What Is ''El Nino''?

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By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - It is a mysterious phenomenon stemming from changes in ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean region.

El Nino is the name given when the temperatures are warmer than normal. Scientists are still trying to find out what causes these temperature changes and their apparent effects on the climate around the world.

During these events, our winters tend to be warmer and drier than normal, as the jet stream tends to send our usual autumn rains further south into central and southern California.

El Ninos occur roughly every 4-8 years and can last from six months to three years. This winter, we'll be in a moderate El Nino pattern. The last one was during the late 1997/early 1998 period.

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Your Photos

YouNews Sunday Images Sunday Images
These images were taken Sunday, December 14 with a Nikon D3100 and an Explore Scientific ED127 (Moon) and ED80 (M42
and M31).
YouNews Weekend Sky Weekend Sky
The images of M42 (Orion) and M31 (Andromeda) are short
stacks (lights only) taken Sunday evening with an Explore
Scientific ED80 (wide angle) telescope and a Nikon D3100 DSLR. The image of the moon was taken with an Explore Scientific ED127 (5-inch) refractor.