REALLY PRELIMINARY March 2011 SST Anomaly Update

The March 2011 Reynolds OI.v2 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) data through the NOAA NOMADS website won’t be official until April 10th. 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 March 2011 that the NOMADS website prepares based on incomplete data for the month. I’ve also included the weekly data through March 26, 2011, but I’ve shortened the span of the weekly data, starting it in January 2004, so that the variations can be seen.


Based on the preliminary data Monthly NINO3.4 SST anomalies are at -1.03 deg C.

Monthly NINO3.4 SST Anomalies


The preliminary global SST anomaly is +0.107 deg C.

Monthly Global SST Anomalies



The weekly NINO3.4 SST anomalies for the week centered on March 23, 2011 are -0.82 deg C.

Weekly NINO3.4 SST Anomalies


Weekly Global SST Anomalies are presently at +0.12 deg C.

Weekly Global SST Anomalies



SST anomaly data is available through the NOAA NOMADS 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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25 Responses to REALLY PRELIMINARY March 2011 SST Anomaly Update

  1. Heber Rizzo says:


    It looks nicer and friendler than the other one.

  2. andy says:

    Nice new look.

  3. Pascvaks says:

    I think it’s a lot “darker” and the graphs are “Bigger” than the space alotted. But it is early;-)

  4. Bob Tisdale says:

    Pascvaks: On my screen, all of the graphs show up in the space allowed, even the ones I imported from my blogspot. And my Windows Explorer zoom is set at 100%.

  5. John says:

    I liked the old one better! It had a more … sciency feel to it. How’s that for a helpful comment?

    Thanks as always for the update though. I’m very curious at where the SST anomalies will settle when we enter ENSO-neutral territory.

  6. From Peru says:

    Umm, the WordPress page is nicer in aspect, and the comments part is easier to use.

    But the width of the band where the post is shown is smaller than the width of the graphs, so they are a bit compressed. I suggest to widen the band.

    With respect to ENSO, it is worth considering these SUB-surface tremperature anomalies:

    The warm anomalies below the surface already are bigger than the cool anomalies above. With the former expanding eastwards and the latter weakening, it seems that a new El Niño is forming.

    Best regards from Peru.

  7. Bob Tisdale says:

    From Peru says: “But the width of the band where the post is shown is smaller than the width of the graphs, so they are a bit compressed. I suggest to widen the band.”

    I can’t widen the band. Are you seeing the entire graph?

  8. BBD says:


    I have built up my own index of links to various of your posts. How long will you maintain your Blogger archive, and will you transfer the full archive to WordPress?

    As for design, do as you always did – keep it simple. People come here for the content, not aesthetic refinement 😉

    And sorry to hear about all this techno-grief. Nobody needs that.

  9. Bob Tisdale says:

    BBD: All of the posts have been transfered. I’m going to leave the blogspot open as long as google will maintain it. BUT, I am going to try to link the old posts to the ones here so, if someone googles a subject and gets an old link, they’ll be forwarded to the right post here. There are a couple of “fixes” for that online.

  10. From Peru says:

    Bob Tisdale says:

    “I can’t widen the band. Are you seeing the entire graph?”

    Yes, I can see the entire graph, but is a bit compressed in the horizontal direction.

    About the warm subsurface temperatures, what do you think?

    It is likely that there will be an El Niño in a few months, and how big?

  11. BBD says:


    Thank you.

  12. Bob Tisdale says:

    From Peru: You know I don’t make predictions.

    Notice in the animation of the equatorial Pacific Subsurface Temperatures…
    …how the anomalies in the west are cooling as the warm waters move east. And is the “pocket” of warm water in the east separating from the rest?

    It’ll be interesting to watch.

  13. Bob Koss says:


    I see there are a few comments about the graphics being too wide in some browsers. My Opera browser automatically scales the image to fit the text area. Evidently all browsers don’t. I measured your text area width at about 600 pixels wide while all your graphics are about 644 pixels wide. I imagine there must be a way to widen the text area to about 644 width. That should allow all users to view the entire graphic.

    If that isn’t possible, those having a problem might find an option under their view menu that forces a fit to width.

  14. Bob Tisdale says:

    Bob: As far as I know, there’s no way for me to widen the column in this theme, and so far it has the widest column of the single-column themes I’ve run across in WordPress. I’ll keep looking.

  15. Pascvaks says:

    Not a “solution” but a “bandaid” for viewing graphs while reading (for those who cant see the right hand side of the graphs): Click “View”, Click “Encoding”, Click “Right-to-Left Document”. Like I said, it’s just a bandaid.

  16. dougie says:

    in IE go to view/zoom/ & set your % to suit your screen, works for me anyway.

    anyway, as a lurker, thanks Bob for the info, informative as usual, I agree the oceans hold the key as you suspect/demonstrate, especially Nino & little sister.

    ps. new site look works for me 🙂

  17. Bob Koss says:

    I see Steve McIntyre has a wordpress blog with a text area of about 664 pixels. You might inquire about his theme.

  18. HR says:

    The Australian BOM has a great ENSO page.

    I thought I’d have a look at comparing the 2000 and 2009 data. Both were years coming out of La Nina but in 2000 it persisted in negative/neutral territory for another year while in 2009 it went straight into El Nino conditions.

    March – data for both years looks similar
    March 2000 and March 2009

    April – 2000 looks unchanged while in 2009 the cool eastern has begun to fade and a tongue of warm water has spread from the west
    April 2000 and April 2009

    June – 2000 a subsurface pool of warmer water remains trapped in the west while in 2009 the movement into El Nino conditions seem complete.
    June 2000
    June 2000

    Looking at the 2011 data then it does appear the cooler eastern water is breaking down and warmer western water is spreading eastwards but probably safer to see a month or two more data before confirming this.

    Feb 2011
    March 2011

    All the images come from here the link below, there’s much more to play with.

    A quick question. From the images above the warm western water seems to sloosh back to the east as a subsurface tongue of water as the La Nina fades and an El Nino develops, as I’ve described it for 2009. Is this actually what happens or am I being misled by the graphics?

  19. HR says:

    Yeah pale grey on dark grey ain’t too good for my fading eyesight. But the content is still going to keep me coming back.

  20. Bob Tisdale says:

    HR: As the La Nina fades, the trade winds relax toward “normal” strengths. This allows the warm water in the west to slosh a bit to the east. It also reduces the difference in sea surface height between the western and eastern equatorial Pacific. For more info:

  21. slimething says:

    KNMI does not have OHC for the North Atlantic updated through 2010. What are the grid coordinates for that region? I’d be interested in seeing if OHC increased or decreased during 2010.

  22. Bob Tisdale says:

    slimething: KNMI has updated the NODC OHC on the “Monthly Observations” webpage:

    For the North Atlantic I use 0-75N, 78W-10, and here’s a link to a graph of the North Atlantic OHC data through December 2010. I created the graph, but didn’t use it in my most recent OHC post.


  23. Bob Tisdale says:

    slimething: My error. I had posted the NODC OHC data through December 2010 for the individual basins:

  24. John F. Hultquist says:

    Using Google Chrome — all is fine.

  25. Pingback: >LINKS TO SST ANOMALY UPDATES | Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations

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