This book covers the time span from the first indications of El Nino (May 1997) until its reversal (June 1998). The focus is largely on the United States, where El Nino produced widespread changes in how the public perceives weather and in the accuracy of forecasts. Among the key issues it examines are how the news media interpreted and dramatized El Nino and the reaction both of the public and decision-makers (the latter based on interviews with agribusiness, utilities, water management agencies, etc.); the scientific issues emerging from the event; and the social and economic consequences of the event. Finally, it suggests what can and should be done when El Nino occurs in the future.