>PRELIMINARY May 2010 SST Anomaly Update

>UPDATE: Corrected the .gif animation at the end of the post. Thanks, Anonymous
The May 2010 SST data through the NOAA NOMADS website won’t be official until Monday June 7th. Refer to the schedule on the NOAA Optimum Interpolation Sea Surface Temperature Analysis Frequently Asked Questions webpage. The following are the preliminary Global and NINO3.4 SST anomalies for May 2010 presented by the NOMADS website. I’ve also included the weekly data through May 26, 2010, but I’ve shortened the span of the weekly data, starting it in January 2004, so that the wiggles are visible.

Based on the preliminary data, monthly NINO3.4 SST anomalies are continuing to decline. They dropped significantly last month, approximately 0.72 deg C.

Monthly NINO3.4 SST Anomalies

Monthly Global SST anomalies, according to the preliminary data, are now dropping in a lagged response to the change in the tropical Pacific.
Monthly Global SST Anomalies

The weekly NINO3.4 SST anomaly data are firmly below zero, but they’ve stalled over the past week.
Weekly NINO3.4 SST Anomalies

Weekly Global SST Anomalies are still elevated but continue their lagged drop in response to the decline in NINO3.4 SST anomalies.
Weekly Global SST Anomalies


The following is a gif animation comparing the equatorial subsurface temperature anomalies for June 1, 2010 to June 1, 2007, as NINO 3.4 SST anomalies were working their way down toward the 2007/08 La Niña. The negative subsurface anomalies in the equatorial Pacific this year appear more significant than three years ago.
Equatorial Subsurface Temperature Anomalies June 1, 2007 & 2010


SST anomaly data is available through the NOAA NOMADS website:

Daily and Monthly equatorial subsurface temperature anomaly graphics are available through the ECMWF website:

About Bob Tisdale

Research interest: the long-term aftereffects of El Niño and La Nina events on global sea surface temperature and ocean heat content. Author of the ebook Who Turned on the Heat? and regular contributor at WattsUpWithThat.
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4 Responses to >PRELIMINARY May 2010 SST Anomaly Update

  1. Anonymous says:

    >You got the 2007 date wrong in the gif animation. Interesting comparison anyway./nic

  2. Bob Tisdale says:

    >Anonymous: Thanks for catching the error on the date. It's been corrected.

  3. John says:

    >Hi Bob -Thanks for the update!How long do you think it will be before we pick up the poleward transfer of heat (if any) from this Nino? Will it show up first in the higher latitudes of the N. Pacific or N. Atlantic?

  4. Bob Tisdale says:

    >John: Looking at TLT anomalies, there has been poleward transport of heat. Refer to the Hovmoller of TLT anomalies (Figure 8) at the RSS website:http://www.ssmi.com/msu/msu_data_description.htmlIf you're looking for the warm SST anomalies east of Japan (the Kiroshio Extension) and along the Eastern US and Canada (the Gulf Stream), it takes a couple of more months before the warm waters appear to spin up there (looks like the North Pacific and North Atlantic gyres are spinning leftover warm water from the El Nino up along the western boundry currents). The warm waters should peak in those areas with the La Nina, which indcates that it's also a function of the La Nina.

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