Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Warm Pacific Water Wave Heads East, But No El Niño Yet

Date:
August 6, 2004
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
Recent sea-level height data from the U.S./France Jason altimetric satellite during a 10-day cycle ending July 27, 2004, show that weaker than normal trade winds in the western and central equatorial Pacific during June have triggered an eastward moving, warm Kelvin wave.

Credit: Image NASA/JPL Ocean Surface Topography Team

Recent sea-level height data from the U.S./France Jason altimetric satellite during a 10-day cycle ending July 27, 2004, show that weaker than normal trade winds in the western and central equatorial Pacific during June have triggered an eastward moving, warm Kelvin wave. In the central equatorial Pacific, this "warm wave" appears as the large area of higher-than-normal sea surface heights (warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures) between 180 degrees W and 130 degrees W. These types of events, should they continue and persist into the fall, can herald the beginnings of an El Niño episode.

Related Articles


"Although an El Niño would be welcome in the American west which definitely needs the rainfall, it's way too early to even begin talking about a possible El Niño," said JPL oceanographer Dr. Bill Patzert. "Scientists will continue to monitor the Pacific closely for further signs of possible El Niño formation and intensity," said Dr. Lee-Lueng Fu, JPL Jason Project Scientist.

The image shows a red area in the central equatorial Pacific that is about 10 centimeters (4 inches) above normal. These regions contrast with the eastern equatorial Pacific, where lower-than-normal sea levels (blue areas) continue that are between 5 and 13 centimeters (2 and 5 inches) below normal. Along the equator, the red sea surface heights equate to sea surface temperature departures greater than one degree Celsius (two degrees Fahrenheit).

These images show sea surface height anomalies with the seasonal cycle (the effects of summer, fall, winter, and spring) removed. The differences between what we see and what is normal for different times and regions are called anomalies, or residuals. When oceanographers and climatologists view these "anomalies" they can identify unusual patterns and can tell us how heat is being stored in the ocean to influence future planetary climate events. Each image is a 10-day average of data, ending on the date indicated.

The U.S. portion of the Jason mission is managed by JPL for NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, Washington, D.C. Research on Earth's oceans using Jason and other space-based capabilities is conducted by NASA's Earth Science Enterprise to better understand and protect our home planet.

To view the latest Jason-1 data see http://sealevel.jpl.nasa.gov/science/jason1-quick-look/.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Warm Pacific Water Wave Heads East, But No El Niño Yet." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 August 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040805092034.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2004, August 6). Warm Pacific Water Wave Heads East, But No El Niño Yet. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040805092034.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Warm Pacific Water Wave Heads East, But No El Niño Yet." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040805092034.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Antarctic Ice Is Melting Faster Than Ever

Antarctic Ice Is Melting Faster Than Ever

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A new study of nearly two decades of satellite data shows Antarctic ice shelves are losing more mass faster every year. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Clean-Up Follows Deadly Weather in Okla.

Clean-Up Follows Deadly Weather in Okla.

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency for 25 Oklahoma counties after powerful storms rumbled across the state causing one death, numerous injuries and widespread damage. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least Four Dead After Floods in Northern Chile

At Least Four Dead After Floods in Northern Chile

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — At least four people have been killed by severe flooding in northern Chile after rains battered the Andes mountains and swept into communities below. Rob Muir reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Oklahomans "devastated" By Tornado Damage

Oklahomans "devastated" By Tornado Damage

Reuters - US Online Video (Mar. 26, 2015) — Buildings and homes lay in ruins and a semi-truck gets flipped following a fierce tornado that left at least one person dead. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins