A strong El Niño has been wreaking havoc on weather around the world for a year. But it might not be around for too much longer.
Researchers at NOAA are seeing early signs that La Niña, the cooler side of the same climatic cycle that contains El Niño, is starting to emerge. The GIF above shows the water temperatures of the top 1,000 feet of the Pacific Ocean near the Equator taken during the spring. Blue represents cooler than normal temperatures, a sign that the warm waters that drive El Niño might be on the way out.
Both El Niño and La Niña are part of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), a climate cycle that occurs irregularly every few years, defined by changes in sea surface temperatures (warmer than normal in El Niño and cooler than normal in La Niña).