- El Niño
- El Niño (meaning "Christ child") is a periodic climatic event described by the warming of surface water in the Southwestern Pacific and weakening or reversal of equatorial trade winds. The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a dominant force that affects global climate patterns. It is especially pronounced in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific regions of South America and Australia. ENSO events occur, on average, every two to seven years.
- Special Topic: Drought
- A drought, also defined as a extended period of exceptionally low rainfall resulting in a scarcity of water, develops in many different ways. Elevated levels of reflected sunlight and raised occurrence of high pressure systems, winds carrying continental, rather than oceanic air masses, and ridges of high pressure areas which put a hold on the production of rainfall are the main culprits that cause droughts. There are four different types of droughts.
Thumbnail: The movement of upper-air water vapor over the Eastern Pacific is shown using GOES satellite air temperature data. High, cold clouds are white. High, cold, clear air (around -28 F) is blue. Lower, warmer, dry air (around -10 F) is magenta (where clear, dry air penetrates lower in the atmosphere). (Public Domain; NASA/NOAA GOES Project Dennis Chesters_