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Marine heatwave in the Pacific Ocean

When we look at sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, we are commonly looking for signs of El Niño or La Niña, which can greatly affect the climate of the Southeast, especially in winter. But recently the most interesting part of the Pacific has not been near the equator where we usually see ENSO signals but farther north, where nearly all of the North Pacific Ocean is well above normal in temperature. How does this compare to the large warming we saw in 2016 and it is expected to occur more frequently in the future? You can learn more in the El Niño blog here.

Sea surface temperature anomalies during September 2019. Red/orange shading indicates above-average temperatures and blue shading indicates below-average temperatures. Climate.gov image based on NOAA NNVL and NCEI.