February 23, 2017

How much can forecasters say about ENSO during the spring?  A lot depends on which phase—El Niño versus La Niña— the Pacific seems to be headed toward.

PMM SST Anomoly (480 px)
November 23, 2016

Are sea surface temperatures located north of the equator important for El Niño or La Niña development?  Yes!  Introducing the Pacific Meridional Mode.  

This multi-part activity introduces users to normal seasonal sea surface temperature (SST) variation as well as extreme variation, as in the case of El NiÃo and La NiÃa events, in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Via a THREDDS server, users learn how to download seasonal SST data for the years 1982 to 1998. Using a geographic information system (GIS), they visualize and analyze that data, looking for the tell-tale SST signature of El NiÃo and La NiÃa events that occurred during that time period.

This lesson explores El NiÃo by looking at sea surface temperature, sea surface height, and wind vectors in order to seek out any correlations there may be among these three variables using the My NASA Data Live Access Server. The lesson guides the students through data representing the strong El NiÃo from 1997 to 1998. In this way, students will model the methods of researchers who bring their expertise to study integrated science questions.

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