El Nino and Climate Prediction

Reports to the Nation On Our Changing Planet, Spring 1994
A publication of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Award No. NA27GP0232-01.

Eastward movement of rain area during El Nino is indicated by clouds in the bottom figure below. The top figure is a non-El Nino pattern.

Above is a more detailed view of how El Nino rearranges the distribution of rainfall over the tropical Pacific. The colors indicate the distribution of sea-surface temperature for the cold month of November 1988 and the warm (El nino) month of November 1982, the same months for which the pressure patterns are shown on pg 9. Red indicates warmer water and blue indicates colder water. The regions of heavy rainfall as viewed by satellite are indicated by the clouds. The surface winds on the equator are indicated by the arrows. note how tropical rainfall was supressed wherever the sea-surface temperatures were lower than about 80 degrees F (bluer colors).

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