National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2015

Causes and impacts of the 2014 warm anomaly in the NE Pacific

Bond, N.A., M.F. Cronin, H. Freeland, and N. Mantua

Geophys. Res. Lett., 42(9), 3414–3420, doi: 10.1002/2015GL063306 (2015)

Strongly positive temperature anomalies developed in the NE Pacific Ocean during the boreal winter of 2013–2014. Based on a mixed layer temperature budget, these anomalies were caused by lower than normal rates of the loss of heat from the ocean to the atmosphere and of relatively weak cold advection in the upper ocean. Both of these mechanisms can be attributed to an unusually strong and persistent weather pattern featuring much higher than normal sea level pressure over the waters of interest. This anomaly was the greatest observed in this region since at least the 1980s. The region of warm sea surface temperature anomalies subsequently expanded and reached coastal waters in spring and summer 2014. Impacts on fisheries and regional weather are discussed. It is found that sea surface temperature anomalies in this region affect air temperatures downwind in Washington state.

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