Atmospheric Consequences of El Niño
influencing weather patterns worldwide

During an El Niño year, tropical rains usually centered over Indonesia shift eastward, influencing atmospheric wind patterns world wide. Possible impacts include: a shifting of the jet stream, storm tracks and monsoons, producing unseasonable weather over many regions of the globe. During the El Niño event of 1982-1983, some of the abnormal weather patterns observed included:.

Drought in Southern Africa, Southern India, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, Southern Peru, Western Bolivia, Mexico, Central America
Heavy rain and flooding in Bolivia, Ecuador, Northern Peru, Cuba, U.S. Gulf States
Hurricanes in Tahiti, Hawaii

The 1982-83 El Niño strengthened the upper-level ridge that was present off the West coast of the United States. (This intensification is represented by the increased amplitude of the wave in the right panel below).

Normal Winter El Niño Winter
Images by: DAS, University of Washington

The amplification led to a warming in the near-Pacific regions of North America, extending from Alaska to the northern Plains of the United States (orange shading).

Simultaneously, the deepening of the winter upper-level trough (typically found over the eastern US) produced heavier than normal rains in the southern states (blue shading).

As a result of the 1982-83 El Niño event, wide spread flooding occurred across the southern United States.

sea surface temps
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Credits and Acknowledgments for WW2010.
Department of Atmospheric Sciences (DAS) at
the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

economic impacts