Don't dismiss a 2014 'super' El Nino just yet

By Agus Santoso

If the eastern Pacific continues to cool while the central Pacific remains warm, we may see the development of an El Nino Modoki – a different form of El Nino with warm anomalies peaking in the central Pacific rather than in the usual east.

As a result, the amount of warm water across the Pacific Ocean – the fuel reserve for El Nino – increased rapidly, reaching a temperature just below that of the 1997-1998 Super El Nino.

Figure 2: During an El Nino, warm water spreads right across the Pacific Ocean, and the winds reverse.

While a strong El Nino is now less likely, a significant event is still possible as long as the eastern Pacific remains warm through August.

For an El Nino to be declared, the surface waters to the east of the Pacific dateline need to be substantially warmer than normal.

Studies show that warmer temperatures in these oceans tend to strengthen the east-to-west trade winds – which works against the formation of El Nino.

This negative index can reverse the direction of trade winds, creating the conditions that generate El Nino events.

Read more here: Business Spectator


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