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Showing posts from May 15, 2014

Satellite Observations Show El Niño Coming — And It Could Be The Worst In Decades

MICHAEL CARLOWICZ, NASA EARTH OBSERVATORY

MAY 15, 2014, 2:46 PM













Marit Jentoft-Nilsen and Robert Simmon

Data courtesy NASA JPL Ocean Surface Topography Team. Maps by Marit Jentoft-Nilsen and Robert Simmon.










Data from ocean-observing satellites and other ocean sensors indicate that El Niño conditions appear to be developing in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. 





Conditions in May 2014 bear some similarities to those of May 1997, a year that brought one of the most potent El Niño events of the 20th century.







During an El Niño, easterly trade winds in the Pacific falter and allow giant waves of warm water — known as Kelvin waves — to drift across from the western Pacific toward South America. 



Surface waters in the central and eastern Pacific become significantly warmer than normal, altering weather patterns and affecting fisheries along the west coasts of the Americas.





 El Niño also can have a significant influence on weather and climate far from the tropics.






The maps above show the ten-day average of …

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