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Pacific ENSO Update

1st Quarter, 2011 Vol. 17 No. 1


A moderate-to-strong La Niña continued during December 2010 as reflected by well below-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) across the equatorial Pacific Ocean. All of the Niño indices were –1.5°C at the end of December, except for the easternmost Niño-1+2 region. The subsurface oceanic heat content (average temperatures in the upper 300m of the ocean) continued to reflect a large reservoir of below-average temperatures at depth in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific. Convection remained enhanced over Indonesia and suppressed over the western and central equatorial Pacific. Also, enhanced low-level easterly trade winds and anomalous upper-level westerly winds continued over the equatorial Pacific. Collectively, these oceanic and atmospheric anomalies reflect the ongoing La Niña.

Average SST Anomalies

Graphics from NOAA's U.S. Climate Prediction Center

Pacific ENSO Applications Climate (PEAC) Center
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Page Last Modified: February 17 2011 06:30:25 GMT


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