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HOME > Expert Assessments > Climate Diagnostics Bulletin > Tropical Highlights
 

Tropical Highlights - May 2006

 

The pattern of tropical sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the Pacific during May 2006 featured  slightly warmer than average temperature west of the date line and near-average conditions east of the date line, except for an area of negative anomalies near the South American coast (Fig. T18).  Accordingly, the SST anomaly in the Nino 4 region is slightly positive (0.2), while the anomalies are near zero in the Nino 3 and Nino 3.4 regions, and -0.4 in the Nino 1+2 region (Table T2).  Meanwhile, the Tahiti Darwin SOI became negative (-0.8) in response to higher than average pressure over Darwin (Table T1, Figs. T1, T19). 

The oceanic thermocline, measured by the depth of the 20C isotherm along the equator, featured slightly deeper-than-average depth across the central and east-central Pacific and near-average depth in the eastern Pacific during May (Figs. T15, T16).  Consistent with these conditions, equatorial oceanic temperatures at thermocline depth were 1-2C above average in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific, while temperatures were slightly below average (0C to -1C) in the far eastern Pacific (Fig. T17).

           During May, low-level winds were near-average throughout the equatorial Pacific, and anomalous cross-equatorial, monsoonal flow was observed in the western Indian Ocean (Fig. T20).  Convection returned to near-average along the equator over the Maritime Continent, with regions of enhanced precipitation just north and south of the equator.  Diminished precipitation was observed over most of the central and eastern equatorial Pacific and equatorial Indian Ocean (Figs. T25, T26, E3).

 


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