Just about all indicators are pointing to a moderately strong El Niño for the 2014/15 ENSO season. See the NOAA weekly ENSO update dated March 24, 2014. The subsurface temperature anomalies along the equatorial Pacific associated with the downwelling (warm) Kelvin wave are quite warm. See the cross sections on page 11 of the update:
Figure 1 – Equatorial Pacific Subsurface Temperature Cross Sections
Eventually, some (but not all) of that warm water will rise (be drawn) to the surface.
NOAA also animates those cross sections here.
Weekly NINO3.4 sea surface temperature anomalies (central equatorial Pacific) have crossed zero, from negative to positive, for the first time this year. Unless something unforeseen happens, I would not anticipate them returning to negative values for at least a year, during the transition from El Niño to the trailing La Niña.
Figure 2 – NINO3.4 Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies
Weekly NINO1+2 sea surface temperature anomalies (far eastern equatorial Pacific) are presently quite cool (about -1.0 deg C).
Figure 3 – NINO1+2 Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies
We’ll keep track of the NINO1+2 data because the NOAA/NCEP ENSO forecast (from their CFS.v2 model) now is for a moderate East Pacific El Niño, which are generally stronger than a Central Pacific El Niño (aka El Niño Modoki). The following is page 27 of the NOAA update linked above.
Figure 4 – CFS.v2 ENSO Model Forecast
I’ve been downloading the GODAS sea surface temperature maps (see animation here), which are based on the Reynolds OI.v2 data, and their H300 maps (see animation here), the latter of which capture the subsurface temperature anomalies for the top 300 meters (roughly 1000 feet). The NCEP produces the maps on 5-day intervals (with the sea surface temperature maps trailing by about 2 weeks). I’m hoping to continue to download those two sets of maps to produce animations of side-by-side sea surface temperature and H300 maps, not only through the El Niño, but on into the trailing La Niña, so that we can try to keep track of the warm water AFTER the El Niño…