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El Niño Weekly Update [8 February 2010]

Posted by feww on February 10, 2010

ENSO Cycle: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictions

El Niño Weekly UPDATE prepared by Climate Prediction Center / NCEP –  8 February 2010

The latest weekly SST departures are:

  • Niño 4   ~  1.1ºC
  • Niño 3.4  ~  1.2ºC
  • Niño 3 ~ 0.6ºC
  • Niño 1+2 ~ 0.0ºC


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

Global SST Departures (°C)
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 weakened across the eastern half of the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
  • During the last 30 days, equatorial SST anomalies have decreased across the east-central and eastern Pacific.

Click images to enlarge


From December to early January, strong mid-latitude westerlies (East Asian and Atlantic jets) were accompanied by troughs over the North Pacific and North America. The troughs contributed to below-average temperatures across portions of the U.S. and Canada. At higher latitudes, strong ridging led to above-average temperatures across Alaska and northern Canada. Since mid January, the East Asian jet has extended farther east and a trough has become established over the eastern Pacific. Overmuch of N. America, strong ridging over Canada has contributed to above-average temperatures across Canada and portions of the contiguous U.S. This recent pattern is typical of El Niño.

SST Outlook: NCEP CFS Forecast Issued 31 January 2010
The NCEP CFS predicts El Niño will last through the Northern Hemisphere summer 2010.

Summary

  • El Niño is present across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
  • Sea surface temperatures (SST) are 1.0ºC-2.5ºC 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

Related Links:

El Niño Updates – Last 4 Weeks:

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

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El Niño Update [23 Nov 2009]

Posted by feww on November 24, 2009

ENSO Cycle: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictions

The following UPDATE is prepared by

Climate Prediction Center / NCEP –  23 November 2009

The latest weekly SST departures are:

  • Niño 4   ~  1.5ºC
  • Niño 3.4  ~  1.7ºC
  • Niño 3 ~ 1.2ºC
  • Niño 1+2 ~ 0.5ºC


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, SSTs were at least 1.0°C above average across much of the equatorial Pacific and more than 2.0°C above average between 180°and 140°W. [Expanding across the Tropical Pacific. FEWW ]


[SOURCE: NOAA/ Climate Prediction Center / NCEP]

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.


[SOURCE: NOAA/ Climate Prediction Center / NCEP]

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

  • During the last four weeks, positive equatorial SST anomalies persisted across the central and eastern Pacific Ocean.
  • During the last 30 days, equatorial SST anomalies increased in some regions across the eastern half of the Pacific.

Upper-Ocean Conditions in the Eq. Pacific

  • The basin-wide equatorial upper ocean (0-300 m) heat content is greatestprior to and during the early stages of a Pacific warm (El Niño) episode (compare top 2 panels) and leastprior to and during the early stages of a cold(La Niña) episode.
  • The slope of the oceanic thermocline is least (greatest) during warm (cold) episodes.
  • Recent values of the upper-ocean heat anomalies (positive) and the thermocline slope index (negative) reflect El Niño.

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

  • During late September –mid November 2009, temperature anomalies at thermocline depth increased and expanded eastward across the central and east-central equatorial Pacific, in response to the downwelling phase of an oceanic Kelvin wave.
  • The most recent period shows a continued eastward expansion of positive anomalies in the equatorial Pacific near 50 -150m depth.

Tropical OLR and Wind Anomalies During the Last 30 Days

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

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).

Summary

  • El Niño is present across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
  • Sea surface temperatures (SST) are at least 1.0ºC-2.0ºC 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 to strengthen and last through at least the Northern Hemisphere winter 2009-10.

Information and images on this page are sourced from Climate Prediction Center/NCEP/NOAA. Edited by FEWW

Related Links:

El Niño Updates:

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