Spaceborne sensors observe El Niño's effects on ocean and atmosphere in North Pacific



Three regions of simultaneous anomalous warming observed in the North Pacific Ocean at the end of May 1997 (Figure 1) are related to wind anomalies through different mechanisms, NASA's high-resolution Scatterometer (NSCAT) [Liu et al., 1998] reveals. The anomalous warming along the equator is part of the developing El Niño and is related to the westerly wind anomalies in the central equatorial Pacific and the relaxation of the trade winds. The equatorial westerly wind anomalies are related to the anomalous cyclonic wind pattern in the northeast Pacific.