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Fri Mar 6, 2015, 08:53 AM

NOAA - El Nino Is Officially Here



For nearly a year, conditions in the Pacific seemed favorable for the formation of an El Niño – part of a multi-year cycle that creates warmer than average ocean temperatures, and greatly impacts weather and climate around the planet. Analysis by the NOAA Climate Prediction Center confirms that after five consecutive overlapping 3-month periods (e.g., Sept-Oct-Nov, Oct-Nov-Dec, etc.) of average sea surface temperatures in the middle equatorial Pacific being 0.5 oC warmer than their historical average the El Niño has officially taken hold. This image shows the average sea surface temperature for February 2015 as measured by NOAA satellites. The large area of red (warmer than average) can be seen extending through the equatorial Pacific.

A full archive of satellite sea surface temperature data showing various El Niño-La Niña cycles can be seen here in NOAA View.

An unlabeled version may be downloaded here.

EDIT

http://www.nnvl.noaa.gov/MediaDetail2.php?MediaID=1680&MediaTypeID=1

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