This year's El Niño is the strongest ever recorded, with ocean temperatures currently 9 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit greater than normal in parts of the Pacific. The anomaly is measured off the west coast of Peru and extends 6,000 to 8,000 miles into the Pacific. This record temperature was reached in half the time taken by the previous record holder in 1982-83. The trade winds, which normally blow from east to west, stop and reverse direction (to blow from west to east) three separate times, an all-time record for an El Niño. Around the Pacific islands, coral reefs die.