Aussie Meteorologists Say La Nina Is Near Its End

March 13, 2012 02:51 AM

The La Nina event is nearing its end, with most indicators approaching or at neutral values the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology reports. The Bureau says that climate models it surveys suggest that the Pacific Ocean will continue to warm over the coming months, with a neutral ENSO state expected to persist at least through the second half of autumn.

The bureau elaborates, "The declining state of the La Niña is evident in several indicators. Sea surface temperatures across the central tropical Pacific Ocean are now near-normal and the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) has been in the neutral range since late February. Central Pacific trade winds have weakened over the past fortnight, while cloudiness near the Date Line has also returned towards more normal levels."

Sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean warmed during February. However, the sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly map for February shows small areas of cool anomalies more than 1 °C cooler than normal still remain in the central Pacific.

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Sea surface temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific have shown a reduction in the extent of warm anomalies during the past two weeks, with an area of cooler-than-usual water emerging north of the equator. Anomalies in the central equatorial Pacific remain generally similar to the preceding fortnight, although there has been some warming of sea surface temperatures immediately west of the Date Line and to the north of Australia. The SST anomaly map for the week ending 11 March shows cool anomalies remain in the central equatorial Pacific, with some areas more than 1 °C cooler than normal for this time of the year.

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