World Ocean Temps Spike to +1.26 Positive Anomaly as Antarctic Polar Amplification Ramps Up
29 August, 2014
Prospects for a moderate to strong El Nino are fading even as the eventual emergence of El Nino this year grows increasingly in doubt. But despite the failure of a weather system which tends to both spike global sea surface temperatures and atmospheric temperature values, the world’s oceans are screaming with heat, today entering hottest yet daily values for 2014 of 1.26 degrees above the already hotter than normal 1979-2000 average.
The monster Kelvin Wave that so many forecasters believed would set off a moderate-to-powerful El Nino this year by as soon as this summer was crushed by a failure of atmospheric feedbacks. Strong westerly winds did not emerge and powerful high pressure systems both north and south of the Equator kept fueling the easterly trades, which tended to over-ride west wind systems when they did emerge. One of these high pressure zones was the doggedly persistent blocking high sitting off the US West Coast and contributing to the worst drought conditions in a century for California.
The Kelvin Wave was strong enough, however, to set off conditions in which May and June of 2014 were the hottest in the global record and in which ocean surface temperatures during July were also the hottest in the 135 year global record.
During that time, June saw global daily ocean temperature anomalies spike to as high as +1.25 C above the already hotter than normal 1979 to 2000 average in the GFS measure. Today, despite equatorial Pacific Ocean temperatures backing off from June highs, global sea surface temperatures spiked to an extraordinary +1.26 positive anomaly, beating out a time when a very energetic Kelvin wave was dumping a high level of heat into the Equatorial Pacific surface zone.