El Nino Picking Up Steam

Nov 13, 2009
This image was created with data collected by the U.S./French satellite during a 10-day period centered on November 1, 2009. It shows a red and white area in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific that is about 10 to 18 centimeters (4 to 7 inches) above normal. Image credit: NASA/JPL Ocean Surface Topography Team

(PhysOrg.com) -- The latest image from the U.S./French Jason-2 satellite finds a strong wave of warm water heading toward the Americas, fueling El Nino.

El Niño is experiencing a late-fall resurgence. Recent height data from the NASA/French Space Agency Surface Topography Mission/Jason-2 oceanography satellite show that a large-scale, sustained weakening of trade winds in the western and central equatorial Pacific during October has triggered a strong, eastward-moving wave of warm water, known as a Kelvin wave.

In the central and eastern equatorial Pacific, this warm wave appears as the large area of higher-than-normal sea surface heights (warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures) between 170 degrees east and 100 degrees west longitude. A series of similar, weaker events that began in June 2009 initially triggered and has sustained the present El Niño condition.

This image was created with data collected by the U.S./French during a 10-day period centered on November 1, 2009. It shows a red and white area in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific that is about 10 to 18 centimeters (4 to 7 inches) above normal. These regions contrast with the western equatorial Pacific, where lower-than-normal sea levels (blue and purple areas) are between 8 to 15 centimeters (3 and 6 inches) below normal. Along the equator, the red and white colors depict areas where temperatures are more than one to two degrees Celsius above normal (two to four degrees Fahrenheit).

"In the American west, where we are struggling under serious drought conditions, this late-fall charge by El Niño is a pleasant surprise, upping the odds for much-needed rain and an above-normal winter snowpack," said JPL oceanographer Bill Patzert.

Provided by JPL/NASA (news : web)

Explore further: Lava creeps toward road on Hawaii's Big Island

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

La Niña Persists

Nov 07, 2007

The tropical Pacific Ocean remains in the grips of a cool La Niña, as shown by new data of sea-level heights from mid-October of 2007, collected by the U.S-French Jason altimetric satellite.

Floundering El Ninos Make for Fickle Forecasts

Sep 29, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Since May 2009, the tropical Pacific Ocean has switched from a cool pattern of ocean circulation known as La Niña to her warmer sibling, El Niño. This cyclical warming of the ocean waters ...

Forecasters say El Nino may be developing

Jun 08, 2009

(AP) -- A new El Nino could be approaching. Sea-surface temperatures have been warming in the tropical Pacific Ocean, suggesting the potential for the development of the El Nino climate phenomenon this summer, according ...

Oscillation Rules as the Pacific Cools

Dec 10, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- The latest image of sea-surface height measurements from the U.S./French Jason-1 oceanography satellite shows the Pacific Ocean remains locked in a strong, cool phase of the Pacific Decadal ...

El Nino To Affect Weather In Colorado And Western U.S.

Dec 01, 2006

Colorado's late fall snowstorms could disappear by mid-December due to the influence of an El Niño event in the tropical Pacific Ocean, said Klaus Wolter, a University of Colorado at Boulder and National Oceanic and Atmospheric ...

Recommended for you

Icelandic volcano sits on massive magma hot spot

Oct 24, 2014

Spectacular eruptions at Bárðarbunga volcano in central Iceland have been spewing lava continuously since Aug. 31. Massive amounts of erupting lava are connected to the destruction of supercontinents and ...

NASA sees Tropical Storm Ana still vigorous

Oct 24, 2014

NASA's TRMM satellite saw that Tropical Storm Ana was still generating moderate rainfall is it pulled away from Hawaii. The next day, NASA's Aqua satellite saw that wind shear was having an effect on the ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Ninderthana
not rated yet Nov 13, 2009
http://astroclima...ive.html

If you look here you might see a reason for the up coming El Nino for 2009/2010!