Definition of El Niño in English:

El Niño

nounPlural El Niños

  • An irregularly occurring and complex series of climatic changes affecting the equatorial Pacific region and beyond every few years, characterized by the appearance of unusually warm, nutrient-poor water off northern Peru and Ecuador, typically in late December. The effects of El Niño include reversal of wind patterns across the Pacific, drought in Australasia, and unseasonal heavy rain in South America.

    • ‘When an El Niño begins, the patterns of winds and ocean upwellings change, and these changes affect weather around the world.’
    • ‘The El Niño weather phenomenon was blamed for major storms in California and, by some, for deadly tornadoes in Florida.’
    • ‘You can think of the upper air winds as being like a white-water river and the effects of an El Niño as being somewhat like moving some of the rocks in a white-water stream.’
    • ‘At the broadest, global, scale, for example, links have been made between circulation changes associated with the El Niño phenomenon and Australian droughts and Asian monsoon rainfall.’
    • ‘The book closes with a look at how El Niño and global climate change might be related’
    • ‘In effect it is similar to that of the tropical El Niño and La Niña but being further north it is often swamped by the seasons.’
    • ‘Good general rains fell in 1996, easing the situation until the onset of the next El Niño in 1997.’
    • ‘The El Niño drought over eastern Australia in 1982 led to tinder dry conditions throughout the grasslands and forests of southeastern Australia.’
    • ‘Drought in Australia as a consequence of El Niño has had substantial effects on production.’
    • ‘One of the most spectacular examples was the storm that swept across Melbourne in February 1983, late in the severe El Niño drought of 1982 / 83.’
    • ‘The fires were blamed on drought conditions related to the El Niño climatic conditions and/or global warming.’
    • ‘However, the last El Niño affected them greatly.’
    • ‘What would happen to the numbers of hurricanes if global warming changed El Niño?’
    • ‘He also says the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center issued a report on September 9th confirming that all signs are lining up for an El Niño pattern.’
    • ‘Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have found that significant changes in the shape of the Earth in the past 28 years may be linked to climate events such as the El Niño weather pattern.’
    • ‘The measurement of Sea-Surface Temperature anomalies helps to determine whether climate patterns like El Niño are developing.’
    • ‘After a wet summer in southeastern Australia and eastern Queensland, a strong El Niño developed in March 1972, bringing an 11-month drought to much of the country.’
    • ‘With a few exceptions, such as the six-monthly forecasts of the El Niño phenomenon, climate anomalies cannot be predicted.’
    • ‘Also, the global weather pattern know as El Niño tends to create west-to-east high-level winds over the tropics of the Atlantic and Caribbean.’
    • ‘In an El Niño season, when rainfall is generally heavier, they can choose to grow more rice - a plant that thrives on moisture - and less cotton, which needs a drier climate.’


Spanish, literally ‘the (Christ) child’, because of the occurrence near Christmas.


El Niño

/ɛl ˈniːnjəʊ/