This week, four saildrones departed from Hawaii on the second mission to the equator in an effort to improve the Tropical Pacific Observing System (TPOS). NOAA forecasts a 50-55% chance of a weak El Niño developing during September - November 2018, increasing to 65-70% chance during winter 2018-19. The second saildrone mission will thus capture ocean and atmospheric data during this developing El Niño, including changes in ocean temperature, winds, currents and ocean carbon dioxide concentrations.
During the first mission in late 2017-early 2018, La Niña conditions were present. Strong currents and low winds on the equator made navigation challenging. This year, two of the four saildrones have been outfitted with larger, more... more
In the News
Odds are increasing that an El Nino will form, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Thursday, bolstering earlier forecasts that winter will be mild... more
Portland experienced record-breaking heat this summer, and it looks like winter could be unusually warm as well. A new winter weather forecast from the ... more
If the long-range forecast from the National Weather Service is right, we have a mild winter ahead of us. The primary driver for the winter outlook is the emergence of El... more
The first decade of the 21st century witnessed a slowdown in the rise of global surface atmospheric temperatures, referred to as the global warming hiatus. During this time, the tropical Pacific Ocean absorbed more heat from the atmosphere than in previous decades, associated with unusually strong trade winds and a cold phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. However, there is no evidence that the tropical Pacific heat content increased during this time. Where did the excess heat go?... more