"El Niño, a tropical-climate phenomenon with a global reach and following, is stirring in the Pacific, although forecasters aren't ready to pronouncing it awake just yet.
It's warming effect on Earth's climate can lower winter heating bills in some regions and reduce the formation and growth of Atlantic hurricanes. But it also alters rainfall patterns in ways that increase the risk of floods in some areas and drought in others.
The '97-'98 El Niño, the strongest on record, is estimated to have caused $35 billion to $45 billion in damage globally and 23,000 fatalities.
Here’s a look at what to expect this time."