National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2004

Evolution of the 2002/03 El Niño

McPhaden, M.J.

Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc., 85(5), 677–695, doi: 10.1175/BAMS-85-5-677 (2004)

An El Niño of moderate intensity developed in the tropical Pacific in 2002/03. This event, though not as strong as the 1997/98 El Niño, had significant impacts on patterns of weather variability worldwide. The evolution of the 2002/03 El Niño is documented through comprehensive satellite and in situ observations from the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Observing System. These observations underscore the importance of both episodic atmospheric forcing and large-scale low-frequency ocean-atmosphere interactions in the development of the event.

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