El Nino 2012
There's a 50 percent chance that El Niño conditions will develop during the second half of 2012, the National Weather Service announced on June 7. When El Niño conditions are in place, water temperatures in the tropical Pacific are warmer than normal, which has far-reaching consequences for climate and weather patterns around the globe. The prediction follows the end of a La Niña cycle — the "opposite" of El Niño, with cooler-than-average surface waters — which has prevailed for much of the last two years. This La Niña cycle had a substantial impact on the extreme winter weather of 2010-2011, as well as last spring's terrible tornado season. La Niña conditions may have helped bring about some of the massive snows that blanketed much of the northern United States last winter, but its waning may actually have been the culprit in ramping up the tornado season. ENSO-neutral conditions have been in place since May (ENSO refers to the El Niño-La Niña climate cycle), which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expects to last throughout the summer.