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El Niño? and La Niña (ENSO) cycles are long-term naturally recurring patterns in climate. ENSO affects global weather patterns and has important implications for temperature, precipitaiton, wind, storms, drought, and ice cover in the Northeast. The ENSO cycle alternates between the warm and cool phases irregularly every 2-7 years. The La Niña phase is represented by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific. During the El Niño phase of the Southern Oscillation pattern, the Equatorial Pacific experiences unusually warm ocean temperatures. The exact effects of ENSO cycles on New England climate are still largely unresolved, thus interactions with climate change remain uncertain.
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