Well actually it is El Niño and La Niña not La Nino and La Nina but it is amazing how many people search for la nino and la nina so I figured I would help them out as well! Basically these terms are used to describe ocean currents off the South American coast. El Niño relates to a warming of this current over normal and La Niña represents a cooling of this current. More generally it refers to the entire central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean and is often referred to as ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation). The key thing for us in Australia and the snow fields is what does it do to the snowfalls here? Well that is not clear cut. Here are some AVERAGES for winter conditions in Australia. El Niño = reduced precipitation in Eastern Australia La Niña = increased precipitation in Eastern Australia El Niño = higher than average daytime temperatures in Eastern Australia La Niña = lower than average daytime temperatures in Eastern Austraila El Niño = normal or fractionally below average night time minimum temperatures in Eastern Australia La Niña = higher than average minimum night time temperatures in Eastern Australia The 12 big El Niño years are: 1914, 1940, 1941, 1946, 1965, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1991, 1994, 1997 and 2002. The 12 big La Niña years are: 1910, 1916, 1917, 1950, 1955, 1956, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1988, 1998 and 2010. If you check this against snowfall charts there is no clear correlation. Some seasons are cold and dry, others warm and wet and then sometimes we get it just right where it is cold and wet! The BOM offers a great resource if you are looking for more details. Comments and thoughts as always are welcome.