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El Niņo happens when weakening trade winds (which sometimes
even reverse direction) allow the warmer water from the western
Pacific to flow toward the east. This flattens out the sea level,
builds up warm surface water off the coast of South America, and
increases the temperature of the water in the eastern Pacific.
An El Niņo condition results from weakened trade winds in the
western Pacific Ocean near Indonesia, allowing piled-up warm water
to flow toward South America.
Niņo/ENSO-Short-And-Long Term Effects