The National Weather Service announces warmer than average equatorial Pacific sea surface temperatures

Scientists from NOAA's National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center noted that weekly eastern equatorial Pacific sea surface temperatures were warmer than average at the end of June.  These changes may indicate an increased likelihood of a transition later in the year to El Niño conditions, a climate phenomenon with influences on global weather, ocean conditions and marine fisheries.  El Niño, the periodic warming of central and eastern tropical Pacific waters, occurs on average every two to five years and typically lasts about 12 months.  Impacts of El Niño depend on a variety of factors, such as intensity and extent of ocean warming.  Read the July 9, 2009 press release.


El Niño - Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Information
Visit the Climate Prediction Center's "El Niño - Southern Oscillation" site to find current and historical information, outlooks, discussion, educational materials and reference materials.  


Where can I track the development of El Niño conditons along the U.S. west coast? 
The "El Niño Watch" is a montly production of the West Coast Regional Node of CoastWatch. Visit "El Niño Watch" to track indicators of changing ocean conditions along the U.S. west coast.   

Where can I get real-time information about climate and environmental variability along the U.S. West Coast? 
Visit the SWFSC's Environmental Research Division for a wealth of physical and biological data on climate and environmental variability - such as El Niño's and La Niña's - that are important to fish populaitons, protected species, and marine ecosystems.

Will the arrival of El Niño affect U.S. west coast fisheries? 
The year 2007/2008 was characterized by the strongest La Niña since 2000, bringing cooler conditions to the West Coast, more intense and longer upwelling season, and consequent nutrient enrichment, providing conditions for higher plankton production. By April 2009 La Niña conditions had ended, transitioning to ENSO neutral conditions. Transition to El Niño conditions forecast for summer 2009 will likely have some impact on the U.S. west coast, including fisheries. Learn more by visiting SWFSC’s Fisheries Research Division, Fisheries Oceanography.

Where is the California Current?
The California Current is an eastern boundary current that runs approximately form Vancouver Island, Canada, south along the west coast of the United States, and along Baja California, Mexico.  Here we provide some links to information that describes various features of this dynamic, complex system.
 CA Current

Is the current season abnormally warm or cool?

How strong is the upwelling at different locations along the west coast in the last 6 months?

Where were pelagic fish spawning along the California Coast in recent spring seasons?

What does the California Current System look like from satellites at the moment?

California climate information for decision makers The previous link is a link to Non-Federal government web site. Click to review NOAA Fisheries disclaimer

NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Impacts of El Niño and benefits of El Niño prediction: