Sea Surface Temperatures Across the Globe
The time of year is approaching where subtle changes in water temperatures can make a big difference in weather patterns across the USA during the fall and winter seasons. Currently last year, the Pacific was showing signs of warmer water temperatures near the equator and a possible El Nino. Indeed, an El Nino developed mid-winter and last into early spring.
As you can see in the graphic below, the equator region west of South America is showing cooling water temperatures (blue and green).
This cooling would indicate a developing La Nina weather pattern for this fall and winter. However, notice the large “blob” of red and orange extending from the west coast of Mexico northward all the way to the Gulf of Alaska. The contrast in temperature anomalies between the equator region and the warmer waters to the north suggest that we are not in a La Nina phase now.
The large contrast in temperature anomalies between the warmer waters to the north and colder temperature anomalies to the south should prove interesting over the next few months as we head into the winter season.
The pattern we are in now is best described as “La Nada”, meaning not a La Nina or an El Nino is developing, however, slight temperature changes with sea surface temperatures could push us into one or the other by December or January.