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El Niño Weekly Update [18 Jan 2010]

Posted by feww on January 19, 2010

ENSO Cycle: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictions

El Niño Weekly UPDATE prepared by Climate Prediction Center / NCEP –  18 January 2010

The latest weekly SST departures are:

  • Niño 4   ~  1.5ºC
  • Niño 3.4  ~  1.7ºC
  • Niño 3 ~ 1.1ºC
  • Niño 1+2 ~ 0.3ºC

El Niño Map. [SOURCE: NOAA/ Climate Prediction Center / NCEP]

SST Departures (°C) in the Tropical Pacific During the Last 4 Weeks
During the last 4-weeks, equatorial SSTs were more than 2.0°C above average between 170°W and 145°W.

Global SST Departures (°C)
During the last four weeks, equatorial SSTs were above-average across the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Also, above-average SSTs covered large areas of the Northern Hemisphere subtropics.

Weekly SST Departures (°C) for the Last Four Weeks

  • During the last four weeks, positive SST anomalies have weakened across the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean.
  • During the last 30 days, equatorial SST anomalies have decreased in parts of the eastern Pacific.

Sub-Surface Temperature Departures (°C) in the Equatorial Pacific

  • During late November –December 2009, positive temperature anomalies expanded eastward across the eastern equatorial Pacific, in response to the downwelling phase of an oceanic Kelvin wave.
  • In late December 2009, positive anomalies increased in the central equatorial Pacific in association with another Kelvin wave.
  • The most recent period (below) indicates a broad area of above-average subsurface temperatures across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.

Click image to enlarge.

Intraseasonal Variability

  • Intraseasonal variability in the atmosphere (wind and pressure), which is often related to the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), can significantly impact surface and subsurface conditions across the Pacific Ocean.
  • Related to this activity
    • Significant weakening of the low-level easterly winds usually initiates an eastward-propagating oceanic Kelvin wave.
    • Several Kelvin waves have occurred during the last year (see next slide).


  • El Niño is present across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
  • Sea surface temperatures (SST) are 1.0ºC-3.0ºC above-average across much of the central and east-central equatorial Pacific.
  • Based on current observations and dynamical model forecasts, El Niño is expected to continue at least into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2010.

Unless otherwise stated, information and images on this page are sourced from Climate Prediction Center/NCEP/NOAA. Edited by FEWW

For additional information, previous entries and diagrams see links below:

Related Links:

El Niño Updates:

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