The Pacific region is officially experiencing an El Niño event, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced that Texas and most of the central US is due for more soaking from the vast region of warm water that has developed in the south Pacific. This El Niño is unusual, in that the phenomenon would usually be ending at this time of year. Sea surface temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific are continuing to warm, which is expected from an El Niño. The temperature has also risen by 1°C over the past three weeks–an increase not seen since the 1980s, when there were back-to-back El Niño events.
As already predicted in Unknown Country’s Climate Watch, it appears that westerly winds sweeping across the Pacific ocean could produce the first El Niño weather system since 2009-2010. Forecasters warn that it could be one of the most dramatic on record.
The predicted El Niño is attracting attention from experts around the globe, who are monitoring its progress with increasing interest:
“Basically it is primed for a strong El Niño, but it needs the final push,” commented Axel Timmermann, Professor of Oceanography at the International Pacific Research Centre, University of Hawaii. “This is perhaps the most-watched El Niño of all time.”
It’s not just global warming, it’s El Nino – Is it HOT where you are this summer? The Pacific Ocean warming known as El Nino can disrupt weather patterns across the world. Over the next few months, there may be more drought in Africa, India and Australia, heavierrainfall in South America and increased extremes of hot and cold in Europe and the US. 2010 may end up being one of the hottest years on record. The 1997-98 El Nino, combined with global warming, made 1998 the world’s hottest year.
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In Ecuador or Peru the air and water are sometimes a bit warmer and the waves are a bit higher. When that happens, it means the area has been hit by a ?Kelvin wave,? which means an El Nino is on the way.
?Kelvin waves are warm bumps in the Pacific Ocean,? says JPL oceanographer Bill Patzert. They form around Indonesia and travel east toward the Americas.?
El Ni?os and Kelvin waves are both triggered by winds in the Pacific Ocean. Sometimes the trade winds slow down for a few days or weeks — researchers aren?t sure why — and warm water slides back across the Pacific toward the Americas. ?”That?s a Kelvin wave,? says Patzert.