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Climate Diagnostics Bulletin
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  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

MARCH 2016

The pattern of tropical sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies

Tropical Highlights - March 2016



Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) remained above-average across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific during March 2016, although the magnitude of the anomalies has decreased (Fig. T18, Table T2). The latest monthly Niņo indices were +1.6°C for the Niņo 3 region, +1.7°C for the Niņo 3.4 region, and +0.9°C for the Niņo 1+2 region (Table T2, Fig. T5). The depth of the oceanic thermocline (measured by the depth of the 20°C isotherm) remained above-average over the far eastern equatorial Pacific (Figs. T15, T16), and the corresponding sub-surface temperatures were 1-3°C above average (Fig. T17). Meanwhile, negative subsurface temperature anomalies extended eastward across the central and east-central equatorial Pacific during the month, which significantly reduced the equatorial oceanic heat content in those regions.


Also during March, the low-level westerly wind anomalies were slightly above-average across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific while upper-level easterly wind anomalies remained strong in the central equatorial Pacific (Table T1, Figs. T20, T21). Meanwhile, enhanced convection persisted across the central and east-central equatorial Pacific and suppressed convection was observed over Indonesia and western equatorial Pacific (Figs. T25, E3). Collectively, these oceanic and atmospheric anomalies reflect the continuation of El Niņo.


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

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