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Cruisers Take Note of Growing El Nino Conditions

By Sue Richards last modified Feb 11, 2010 09:16 PM

Published: 2010-02-11 21:16:13
Topics: Weather

As reported in Cruising Compass

El Nino conditions strengthened during December and January, and they are expected to build through March 2010. Fortunately, a free service from NOAA can help boaters keep their weather eyes peeled. Cruising boaters in Mexico and Central America know El Nino conditions as the upwellings of hot oceanic water that have amplified storms in that region from stronger northwesterlies to the earlier onset of hurricane season.

According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), El Nino is expected to continue, at least into the Northern Hemisphere, in spring 2010. ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) recorded sea surface temperatures at least 1 degree Fahrenheit hotter than average in the southern Sea of Cortez (from Cabo Corrientes to La Paz and Guaymas) and off the gulfs of Tehuantepec and Papagallo, with anomalies of up to 2 degrees hotter than average along the equator in the eastern Pacific.

The Jan. 7 El Nino report issued by the Climate Prediction Center said that oceanographic models differ on exactly when and where the El Nino will peak, but regardless of its precise peak strength, El Nino is expected to exert a significant influence on global weather and climate through June.

Expected El Nino impacts during January-March 2010 include ... enhanced convection over the central tropical Pacific Ocean, which will likely expand eastward and influence portions of the eastern equatorial Pacific, as well as coastal sections of Peru and Ecuador.

The most recent El Nino report, scheduled for release Feb. 4 by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, is available online. Boaters can sign up to receive free e-mail notifications for this and future ENSO discussions. E-mail ncep.list.enso-update@noaa.gov.

The discussions between the National Weather Service and university climate scientists are often geared to answering specific questions sent in by the public, including recreational boaters voyaging outside U.S. waters. From: thelog.com.

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