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El Niño Update [5 April 2010]

Posted by feww on April 6, 2010

Serial No  1,541. If any posts are blocked in your country, please drop us a line.

ENSO Cycle: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictions

El Niño Weekly UPDATE prepared by Climate Prediction Center / NCEP –  5 April 2010

The latest weekly SST departures are:

  • Niño 4   ~  0.9ºC
  • Niño 3.4  ~  1.0ºC
  • Niño 3 ~ 0.9ºC
  • Niño 1+2 ~0.1ºC


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 165°E and 120°W and near the western S. American coast.

Global SST Departures (ºC)
During the last four weeks, equatorial SSTs were above-average across the 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.

Global SST Departures (ºC)
During the last four weeks, equatorial SSTs were above-average across the 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 2009 coincide with the development and subsequent strengthening of El Niño, respectively. Since late February 2010, the heat content anomalies have decreased.

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

  • Since mid-February 2010, positive subsurface temperature anomalies increased in association with the downwelling phase of an oceanic Kelvin wave
  • Recently, the Kelvin wave has increased temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. The upwelling phase of the Kelvin wave has contributed to below-average temperatures at depth in the central Pacific.


Click image to enlarge.

Atmospheric Circulation over the North Pacific & North America During the Last 60 Days
During February, strong mid-latitude westerlies(East Asian and Atlantic jets) were accompanied by troughs overthe eastern North Pacific and near the eastern U.S. The anomalous troughs were associated with below-average temperatures over much of the central and eastern United States. At higher latitudes, strong ridging was associated with above-average temperatures across most of Canada. Since early March, the flow across the N. Pacific and Atlantic has weakened. This pattern has contributed to below-average temperatures across the southern U.S. while ridging and above-average temperatures were observed over Canada and the northeastern U.S.

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, which persistinto the fall. Several models also suggest the potential of continued El Niño conditions or the development of La Niña conditions during the late summer or fall.

SST Outlook: NCEP CFS Forecast Issued 4 April 2010

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 4 Weeks:

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

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