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El Niño Update [1 March 2010]

Posted by feww on March 2, 2010

ENSO Cycle: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictions

El Niño Weekly UPDATE prepared by Climate Prediction Center / NCEP –  1 March 2010

The latest weekly SST departures are:

  • Niño 4   ~  1.2ºC
  • Niño 3.4  ~  1.2ºC
  • Niño 3 ~ 0.9ºC
  • Niño 1+2 ~ 0.4ºC

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

SST Departures (ºC) in the Tropical Pacific During the Last 4 Weeks
During the last 4-weeks, equatorial SSTs were more than 1.0°C above average between 175°E and 125°W and near the western S. American coast.

Global SST Departures (ºC) – Click images to enlarge

During the last four weeks, equatorial SSTs were above-average across the central and eastern Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic Oceans.

Central & Eastern Pacific Upper-Ocean (0-300 m) Weekly Heat Content Anomalies

Since April 2009, the upper-ocean heat content has been above average across the eastern half of the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Sharp increases in heat content during June and October coincide with the development and subsequent strengthening of El Niño, respectively. Recently, heat content anomalies have increased again in association with an oceanic Kelvin wave.

Atmospheric Circulation over the North Pacific & North America During the Last 60 Days

From late December to early January, strong mid-latitude westerlies(East Asian and Atlantic jets) were accompanied by troughs over the North Pacific and the eastern U.S. The troughs contributed to below-average temperatures across portions of the U.S. At higher latitudes, strong ridging led to above-average temperatures across parts of Canada. During mid to late January, the East Asian jet extended farther east and a strong trough became established over the eastern Pacific. Over N. America, strong ridging contributed to above-average temperatures over much of N. America. During February, troughing and below-average temperatures became reestablished over the middle latitudes, along with ridging and above-average temperatures over higher latitudes.

Pacific Niño 3.4 SST Outlook

  • A majority of the models indicate that the Niño-3.4 temperature departures will gradually decrease at least into the summer.
  • The models are split with the majority indicating ENSO-neutral conditions by May-July 2010 and persisting into the Fall. Several models also suggest the potential of continued El Niño conditions or the development of La Niña conditions during the Fall.

Figure provided by the International Research Institute (IRI) for Climate and Society (updated 16 Feb 2010).


  • El Niño is present across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
  • Sea surface temperatures (SST) are more than 1.0ºCabove-average across much of the central and eastern 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

Related Links:

El Niño Updates – Last 4 Weeks:

  • El Niño [Main Page, Links to Weekly Updates Archive]

2 Responses to “El Niño Update [1 March 2010]”

  1. […] El Niño Update [1 March 2010] […]

  2. ancz said

    Wonderful and Informative site you have here – thank you for your work.

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