El Niño and La Niña Years and Intensities
Based on Oceanic Niño Index (ONI)
Jan Null, CCM

Updated April 10, 2014
 
The Oceanic Niño Index (ONI) has become the de-facto standard that NOAA uses for identifying El Niño (warm) and La Niña (cool) events in the tropical Pacific.  It is the running 3-month mean SST anomaly for the Niño 3.4 region (i.e., 5oN-5oS, 120o-170oW).  Events are defined as 5 consecutive months at or above the +0.5o anomaly for warm (El Niño) events and at or below the -0.5 anomaly for cold (La Niña) events.  The threshold is further broken down into Weak (with a 0.5 to 0.9 SST anomaly), Moderate (1.0 to 1.4) and Strong (≥ 1.5) events.  For the purpose of this report for an event to be categorized as weak, moderate or strong it must have equaled or exceeded the threshold for at least 3 months.
  El Niño     La Niña  
Weak Mod Strong Weak Mod Strong
1952 1951 1957 1950 1955 1973
1953 1963 1965 1954 1970 1975
1958 1968 1972 1956 1998 1988
1969 1986 1982 1964 2007 1999
1976 1987 1997 1967 2010
1977 1991   1971  
2004 1994   1974  
2006 2002   1983  
  2009   1984  
    1995  
    2000  
    2005  
    2008  
      2011    
Running 3-Month Mean ONI values
http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears.shtml
WE=Weak El Niño, ME=Moderate El Niño, SE=Strong El Niño
WL=Weak La Niña, ML=Moderate La Niña, SL=Strong La Niña
ENSO
Type Season     JJA JAS ASO SON OND NDJ DJF JFM FMA MAM AMJ MJJ
WL 1950 - 1951 -0.6 -0.5 -0.4 -0.5 -0.6 -0.7 -0.8 -0.6 -0.4 -0.2 0.0 0.4
ME 1951 - 1952 0.6 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.1 0.9 0.6 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.1
WE 1952 - 1953 -0.1 0.0 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.7 0.7 0.7
WE 1953 - 1954 0.7 0.7 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.7 0.5 0.1 -0.4 -0.5 -0.5
WL 1954 - 1955 -0.6 -0.7 -0.8 -0.7 -0.7 -0.7 -0.7 -0.7 -0.7 -0.8 -0.8 -0.8
ML 1955 - 1956 -0.8 -0.7 -1.1 -1.4 -1.7 -1.6 -1.1 -0.8 -0.6 -0.5 -0.5 -0.5
WL 1956 - 1957 -0.5 -0.6 -0.5 -0.5 -0.5 -0.5 -0.3 0.1 0.4 0.7 0.9 1.0
SE 1957 - 1958 1.1 1.2 1.2 1.3 1.5 1.8 1.8 1.6 1.2 0.9 0.7 0.6
WE 1958 - 1959 0.5 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.5 0.3 0.2 -0.1
  1959 - 1960 -0.2 -0.3 -0.1 0.0 0.1 0.0 -0.1 -0.2 -0.2 -0.1 -0.1 0.0
  1960 - 1961 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.3 0.4
  1961 - 1962 0.2 -0.1 -0.3 -0.3 -0.2 -0.1 -0.2 -0.3 -0.3 -0.3 -0.2 -0.2
  1962 - 1963 0.0 -0.1 -0.2 -0.3 -0.4 -0.5 -0.4 -0.2 0.1 0.3 0.3 0.5
ME 1963 - 1964 0.8 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.3 1.1 0.6 0.1 -0.4 -0.6 -0.6
WL 1964 - 1965 -0.6 -0.7 -0.8 -0.8 -0.8 -0.8 -0.6 -0.3 0.0 0.2 0.5 0.8
SE 1965 - 1966 1.2 1.5 1.7 1.9 1.9 1.7 1.4 1.1 0.9 0.6 0.4 0.3
  1966 - 1967 0.3 0.1 0.0 -0.1 -0.1 -0.2 -0.3 -0.4 -0.5 -0.4 -0.2 0.1
WL 1967 - 1968 0.1 -0.1 -0.3 -0.3 -0.3 -0.4 -0.6 -0.8 -0.7 -0.5 -0.2 0.1
ME 1968 - 1969 0.4 0.5 0.5 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.1 1.1 1.0 0.9 0.8 0.6
WE 1969 - 1970 0.5 0.5 0.8 0.9 0.9 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.1 -0.2
ML 1970 - 1971 -0.5 -0.7 -0.7 -0.7 -0.8 -1.0 -1.2 -1.3 -1.1 -0.8 -0.7 -0.7
WL 1971 - 1972 -0.7 -0.7 -0.7 -0.8 -0.9 -0.8 -0.6 -0.3 0.1 0.4 0.6 0.8
SE 1972 - 1973 1.1 1.4 1.6 1.9 2.1 2.1 1.8 1.2 0.6 -0.1 -0.5 -0.8
SL 1973 - 1974 -1.0 -1.2 -1.3 -1.6 -1.9 -2.0 -1.9 -1.6 -1.2 -1.0 -0.8 -0.7
WL 1974 - 1975 -0.5 -0.4 -0.4 -0.6 -0.8 -0.7 -0.5 -0.5 -0.6 -0.7 -0.8 -1.0
SL 1975 - 1976 -1.1 -1.2 -1.4 -1.5 -1.6 -1.7 -1.5 -1.1 -0.7 -0.5 -0.3 -0.1
WE 1976 - 1977 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.8 0.6 0.6 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.4
WE 1977 - 1978 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.7 0.8 0.8 0.7 0.5 0.1 -0.2 -0.3 -0.3
  1978 - 1979 -0.3 -0.4 -0.4 -0.3 -0.1 -0.1 -0.1 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.0
  1979 - 1980 0.0 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.5 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.4
  1980 - 1981 0.3 0.1 -0.1 0.0 0.0 -0.1 -0.4 -0.6 -0.5 -0.4 -0.3 -0.3
  1981 - 1982 -0.4 -0.4 -0.3 -0.2 -0.2 -0.1 -0.1 0.0 0.1 0.3 0.5 0.7
SE 1982 - 1983 0.7 1.0 1.5 1.9 2.1 2.2 2.2 1.9 1.5 1.2 0.9 0.6
WL 1983 - 1984 0.2 -0.2 -0.5 -0.8 -0.9 -0.8 -0.5 -0.3 -0.3 -0.4 -0.5 -0.5
WL 1984 - 1985 -0.3 -0.2 -0.3 -0.6 -0.9 -1.1 -1.0 -0.9 -0.7 -0.7 -0.7 -0.6
  1985 - 1986 -0.5 -0.5 -0.5 -0.4 -0.4 -0.4 -0.5 -0.4 -0.2 -0.2 -0.1 0.0
ME 1986 - 1987 0.3 0.5 0.7 0.9 1.1 1.2 1.2 1.3 1.2 1.1 1.0 1.2
ME 1987 - 1988 1.4 1.6 1.6 1.5 1.3 1.1 0.8 0.5 0.1 -0.2 -0.8 -1.2
SL 1988 - 1989 -1.3 -1.2 -1.3 -1.6 -1.9 -1.9 -1.7 -1.5 -1.1 -0.8 -0.6 -0.4
  1989 - 1990 -0.3 -0.3 -0.3 -0.3 -0.2 -0.1 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.2
  1990 - 1991 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.7
ME 1991 - 1992 0.8 0.7 0.7 0.8 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.5 1.4 1.2 1.0 0.7
  1992 - 1993 0.3 0.0 -0.2 -0.3 -0.2 0.0 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.5
  1993 - 1994 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.4
ME 1994 - 1995 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.7 1.0 1.2 1.0 0.8 0.6 0.3 0.2 0.0
WL 1995 - 1996 -0.2 -0.4 -0.7 -0.8 -0.9 -0.9 -0.9 -0.8 -0.6 -0.4 -0.3 -0.2
  1996 - 1997 -0.2 -0.3 -0.3 -0.3 -0.4 -0.5 -0.5 -0.4 -0.1 0.2 0.7 1.2
SE 1997 - 1998 1.5 1.8 2.1 2.3 2.4 2.3 2.2 1.8 1.4 0.9 0.4 -0.2
ML 1998 - 1999 -0.7 -1.0 -1.2 -1.3 -1.4 -1.5 -1.5 -1.3 -1.0 -0.9 -0.9 -1.0
SL 1999 - 2000 -1.0 -1.1 -1.1 -1.3 -1.5 -1.7 -1.7 -1.5 -1.2 -0.9 -0.8 -0.7
WL 2000 - 2001 -0.6 -0.5 -0.6 -0.6 -0.8 -0.8 -0.7 -0.6 -0.5 -0.4 -0.2 -0.1
  2001 - 2002 0.0 0.0 -0.1 -0.2 -0.3 -0.3 -0.2 0.0 0.1 0.3 0.5 0.7
ME 2002 - 2003 0.8 0.8 0.9 1.2 1.3 1.3 1.1 0.8 0.4 0.0 -0.2 -0.1
  2003 - 2004 0.2 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.3
WE 2004 - 2005 0.5 0.7 0.8 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.6 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3
WL 2005 - 2006 0.2 0.1 0.0 -0.2 -0.5 -0.8 -0.9 -0.7 -0.5 -0.3 0.0 0.1
WE 2006 - 2007 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.8 1.0 1.0 0.7 0.3 -0.1 -0.2 -0.3 -0.3
ML 2007 - 2008 -0.4 -0.6 -0.8 -1.1 -1.2 -1.4 -1.5 -1.5 -1.2 -0.9 -0.7 -0.5
WL 2008 - 2009 -0.3 -0.2 -0.1 -0.2 -0.5 -0.7 -0.8 -0.7 -0.5 -0.2 0.2 0.4
ME 2009 - 2010 0.5 0.6 0.8 1.1 1.4 1.6 1.6 1.3 1.0 0.6 0.1 -0.4
SL 2010 - 2011 -0.9 -1.2 -1.4 -1.5 -1.5 -1.5 -1.4 -1.2 -0.9 -0.6 -0.3 -0.2
WL 2011 - 2012 -0.2 -0.4 -0.6 -0.8 -1.0 -1.0 -0.9 -0.6 -0.5 -0.3 -0.2 0.0
  2012 - 2013 0.1 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.2 -0.3 -0.6 -0.6 -0.4 -0.2 -0.2 -0.3
  2013 - 2014 -0.3 -0.3 -0.3 -0.2 -0.3 -0.4 -0.6 -0.7    
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