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Climate Diagnostics Bulletin
Climate Diagnostics Bulletin - Home Climate Diagnostics Bulletin - Forecast Climate Diagnostics Bulletin - Extratropics


  Tropical Highlights

  Table of Atmospheric Indices  (Table 1)

  Table of Oceanic Indices  (Table 2)

  Time Series

  Time-Longitude Sections

  Mean & Anomaly Fields

  Appendix 1: Outside Contributions

Tropical Highlights


Forecast Forum

A moderate-to-strong La Niņa continued during December 2010 as sea surface temperatures (SSTs) remained below average across the equatorial Pacific Ocean (Fig. T18). The latest monthly Niņo indices were -1.5°C for both of the Niņo 3.4 and Niņo 1+2 regions (Table T2, Fig. T5). Consistent with this evolution, the oceanic thermocline (measured by the depth of the 20°C isotherm) remained much shallower than average across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific (Figs. T15 and T16), with sub-surface temperatures reaching 1°C to 5°C below average in these regions (Fig. T17).

Also during December, equatorial low-level easterly trade winds and upper-level westerly winds remained stronger than average over the western and central Pacific (Table T1, Figs. T20 and T21). This wind pattern was associated with enhanced convection over Indonesia and suppressed convection across the western and central equatorial Pacific (Figs. T25 and E3). Collectively, these oceanic and atmospheric anomalies reflect the ongoing La Niņa.

For the latest status of the ENSO cycle see the ENSO Diagnostic Discussion at:

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