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Climate Diagnostics Bulletin
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  Tropical Highlights

  Table of Atmospheric Indices  (Table 1)

  Table of Oceanic Indices  (Table 2)

  Time Series

  Time-Longitude Sections

  Mean & Anomaly Fields

  Appendix 1: Outside Contributions

Tropical Highlights

MARCH 2012

The pattern of tropical sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies

Tropical Highlights – March 2012



 La Niña continued to weaken during March 2012. This evolution is reflected by the development of positive sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the eastern equatorial Pacific and by a decreased magnitude of the negative SST anomalies in the central equatorial Pacific (Fig. T18, Table T2). The latest monthly Niño indices were -0.6°C for the Niño 3.4 region and +0.3°C for the Niño 1+2 region (Table T2, Fig. T5). Consistent with these conditions, the oceanic thermocline (measured by the depth of the 20°C isotherm) remained only slightly shallower than average in the east-central equatorial Pacific (Figs. T15, T16), with corresponding sub-surface temperatures were only 0-1°C below average (Fig. T17).

Also during March, the equatorial low-level easterly trade winds were stronger than average over the central and west-central equatorial Pacific (Table T1, Fig. T20).  Convection remained suppressed in the western and central equatorial Pacific and enhanced across Indonesia and the Philippines (Figs. T25, E3). Collectively, these oceanic and atmospheric anomalies reflect a weakening of La Niña conditions.



For the latest status of the ENSO cycle see the ENSO Diagnostic Discussion at:

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