Difference between El Nino and La Nina

Click Here to Read about El Niño and La Nina and their impact on Indian Weather.

MeaningEl Nino is a Spanish term which represents “little boy”La Nina is a Spanish term which represents ‘little girl’.
Temperature at Sea SurfaceTemperature at sea surface is warmer than normal sea-surface temperatures. El Nino is a warming of the Pacific Ocean between South America and the Date Line, centred directly on the Equator, and typically extending several degrees of latitude to either side of the equator.Temperature at sea surface is cooler than normal sea-surface temperatures. La Nina exists when cooler than usual ocean temperatures occur on the equator between South America and the Date Line.
PressureIt accompanies high air surface pressure in the western Pacificaccompanies low air surface pressure in the eastern Pacific
Trade windsEl Niño occurs when tropical Pacific Ocean trade winds die out and ocean temperatures become unusually warmLa Nina, which occurs when the trade winds blow unusually hard and the sea temperature become colder than normal
SeasonsWinters are warmer and drier than average in the Northwest of pacific, and wetter in Southwest of pacific and experience reduced snowfalls.Winters are wetter and cause above-average precipitation across the Northwest of pacific and drier and below average precipitation in South west of pacific.
Coriolis forceEl Nino results in a decrease in the earth’s rotation rate (very minimal) , an increase in the length of day, and therefore a decrease in the strength of the Coriolis forceLa Nino results in increase in the earth’s rotation rate, decrease in the length of day, and therefore a increase in the strength of the Coriolis force.
Ocean waters in PacificWarm water approaches the coasts of South America which results in reduced upwelling of nutrient-rich deep water impacting impacts on the fish populations.Cold water causes increased upwelling of deep cold ocean waters numbers of drought occurrence, with more nutrient-filled eastern Pacific waters.
CyclonesComparatively less compared to La Niña as wind speed is lowLa Nina had a greater tendency to trigger intense tropical cyclones as wind direction changes pilling up water between Indonesia and nearby areas as winds from Africa onwards gets blocked.


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