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The "Almost" El Niño of 2014

Presenter: Clara Deser and Bob Henson
Date: Tuesday, November 25, 2014

2014 has been a fickle year for conditions that help scientists forecast El Niño events. But why do equatorial Pacific waters matter and what can they foretell?

Join NCAR senior scientist Clara Deser and senior science writer Bob Henson as they discuss the year of watching and waiting as El Nino conditions wax and wane, keeping meteorologists, climatologists, and weather watchers wondering. As of Thanksgiving weekend, NOAA forecasted a 58 percent chance of El Nino conditions emerging, while our friends "down under" forecasted 70 percent odds.

There's no doubt that El Nino's strength helps forecasters predict weather patterns and global conditions, but still to come are answers from scientists at NCAR, UCAR, and elsewhere such as:

  • How do we advance their prediction, how well do we predict them, and what are the factors that we know will affect their occurrence?
  • Why do La Nina events tend to last longer than their El Nino counterparts? 

You'll have to stay tuned for those answers!

Topics:Climate and Climate Change, Weather Research
Audience:General public, Informal education, Middle school, High school

Videography and Editing: Steve Deyo, COMET; Teri Eastburn, UCAR Center for Science Education

Script: Teri Eastburn, Bob Henson, Clara Deser

Copyright: UCAR/NCAR