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El Niño Update [15 March 2010]

Posted by feww on March 17, 2010

ENSO Cycle: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictions

El Niño Weekly UPDATE prepared by Climate Prediction Center / NCEP –  15 March 2010

Recent Evolution of Equatorial Pacific SST Departures (ºC)
Since the beginning of June 2009, SST anomalies have been at least +0.5°C across most of the equatorial Pacific. During December 2009, positive SST anomalies increased across much of the equatorial Pacific. From late December 2009 to mid-February 2010, positive SST anomalies decreased across portions of the central and east-central Pacific. Recently, positive SST anomalies are nearly unchanged across the central and east-central Pacific (area pointed to by red arrow in the diagram below).


Y: Time – X: Longitude –  [SOURCE: NOAA/ Climate Prediction Center / NCEP]

The latest weekly SST departures are:

  • Niño 4   ~  1.2ºC
  • Niño 3.4  ~  1.2ºC
  • Niño 3 ~ 0.5ºC
  • Niño 1+2 ~0 (– 0.3ºC)


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

SST Departures (ºC) in the Tropical Pacific During the Last 4 Weeks
WeeksDuring the last 4-weeks, equatorial SSTs were more than 1.0°C above average between 170°E and 125°W and near the western S. American coast.

Global SST Departures (ºC)
During the last four weeks, equatorial SSTs were above-average across the central and eastern Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic Oceans.

Weekly SST Departures (ºC) for the Last Four Weeks

  • During the last four weeks, positive SST anomalies have persisted across the central, east-central, and far eastern Pacific.
  • During the last 30 days, equatorial SST anomalies are nearly unchanged across much of the Pacific, except for an area of warming west of the Date Line.

Sub-Surface Temperature Departures (ºC) in the Equatorial Pacific

  • In mid January 2010, positive subsurface temperature anomalies increased in the eastern equatorial Pacific in association with the downwelling phase of an oceanic Kelvin wave.
  • Since mid-February 2010, the downwellingphase of another oceanic Kelvin wave has increased temperatures in the east-central equatorial Pacific Ocean.

Summary

  • 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 through 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 5 Weeks:

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