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Prelude to El Niño early in summer 2009

Lively Data, July 17, 2009

While current observations indicate El Niño conditions are increasing across the equatorial Pacific Ocean, a quick look with the LAS on recent Sea Level Anomalies evolutions confirms that El Niño conditions are present.

The latest map of NRT Sea Level shows positive anomalies in the western Pacific Ocean and in the Niño 3.4 region (170°W-120°W, 5°S-5°N).

A previous Lively Data (La Niña, westerly current, Jan. 22, 2008) showed that the zonal component of geostrophic current (U) is marked by positive values during El Niño episode, describing easterly current. It's currently also the case, even early in the evolution of an ENSO event.

A previous Lively Data (Rossby waves in ENSO events, May 15, 2008) described the importance of equatorial Rossby waves in the mechanisms of the ENSO phenomenon, having a key role in recharge of the equatorial band in warm water before an ENSO event.

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