Highlights – December 2011
conditions continued during December 2011 as sea surface temperature anomalies
were well below -0.5°C across the eastern and central equatorial Pacific Ocean (Fig. T18, Table T2). The latest monthly Niño indices were -1.0°C for
the Niño 3.4 region and -1.1°C for the Niño 1+2 region (Table T2,
Fig. T5). Consistent
with these conditions, the oceanic thermocline (measured by the
depth of the 20°C isotherm) remained shallower
than average in the east-central equatorial Pacific (Figs. T15, T16), where corresponding
sub-surface temperatures were 1-4°C below average (Fig. T17).
December, the equatorial low-level easterly trade winds and upper-level
westerly winds were stronger than average over the western and central equatorial
Pacific (Table T1,
Figs. T20, T21). Convection
remained suppressed in the western and central equatorial Pacific and enhanced
across Indonesia and northern Australia (Figs.
Collectively, these oceanic and atmospheric anomalies reflect a continuation of
La Niña conditions.
latest status of the ENSO cycle see the ENSO Diagnostic Discussion at: