Mid-January 2012 SST Anomaly Update


NINO3.4 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies (a commonly used El Niño-Southern Oscillation Index) are still varying back and forth across the threshold of a moderate La Niña. This past week they dropped below again. For the week centered on January 18, 2012, NINO3.4 SST anomalies are approximately -1.13 deg C.

NINO3.4 SST Anomalies – Short-Term


Weekly Global SST anomalies appear as though they may have bottomed out for the season. We’ll be able to tell for sure over the next few weeks.

Global SST Anomalies – Short-Term


The 2010/11 La Niña was a moderate event, while the La Niña this year will be classified as a weak one. Note, however, that the Global sea surface temperature anomalies have dropped lower in response to this La Niña than the last one. That’s a curiosity.


This weekly Reynolds OI.v2 SST dataset begins in 1990. I’ve started the graphs in 2004 to make the weekly variations visible.

ABOUT: Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations


OI.v2 SST anomaly data is available through the NOAA NOMADS system:


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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2 Responses to Mid-January 2012 SST Anomaly Update

  1. George says:

    “Note, however, that the Global sea surface temperature anomalies have dropped lower in response to this La Niña than the last one. That’s a curiosity.”

    There’s another curiosity, too. According to AMSU-A the Aqua channel 5 temperature at 14,000 ft altitude global average temperature is now at record low levels since the start of the satellite observations in 2002. 2008 was the previous record low during that La Nina year but we have now surpassed that one as far as atmospheric temperatures are concerned.


  2. Leonard Weinstein says:

    The recent La Nina dropping lower is not such a surprise as the smaller peak it dropped from was not as high or broad as the previous broad high over 2010. The delta T is smaller, but the starting level was lowered by the previous La Nina.

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