sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Australia Cruising USA Cruising Canada Boats for Sale Sail-World Racing Photo Gallery FishingBoating
Video Gallery Newsletters
Sail-World.com : What is an El Niño and how will it affect my sailing? (Part 1)
What is an El Niño and how will it affect my sailing? (Part 1)

'El Niño (warm) Conditions - December 1997'    NOAA

El Niño is characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific, as opposed to La Niña, which characterized by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific. El Niño is an oscillation of the ocean-atmosphere system in the tropical Pacific having important consequences for weather around the globe. But what will it actually mean for cruising sailors?

El Niño and La Niña - the background, the facts and the research:

El Niño was originally recognized by fisherman off the coast of South America as the appearance of unusually warm water in the Pacific ocean, occurring near the beginning of the year. El Niño means The Little Boy or Christ child in Spanish. This name was used for the tendency of the phenomenon to arrive around Christmas.

La Niña means The Little Girl. La Niña is sometimes called El Viejo, anti-El Niño, or simply 'a cold event' or 'a cold episode'. El Niño is often called 'a warm event'.

Among these consequences are increased rainfall across the southern tier of the US and in Peru, which has caused destructive flooding, and drought in the West Pacific, sometimes associated with devastating bush fires in Australia. Observations of conditions in the tropical Pacific are considered essential for the prediction of short term (a few months to one year) climate variations.

To provide necessary data, NOAA operates a network of buoys which measure temperature, currents and winds in the equatorial band. These buoys daily transmit data which are available to researchers and forecasters around the world in real time.

Note: Until 1997, the 1982-1983 El Niño, was the largest El Niño of the twentieth century. These two important El Niño events are used for illustrations in this web page.

In normal, non-El Niño conditions (top panel of schematic diagram), the trade winds blow towards the west across the tropical Pacific. These winds pile up warm surface water in the west Pacific, so that the sea surface is about 1/2 meter higher at Indonesia than at Ecuador.

(b) temperature on the Equator at 110W -  NOAA_.  

Schematic diagram of normal El Niño conditions in the Pacific Ocean -  NOAA_.  

   NOAA_.  

   NOAA_.  

The sea surface temperature is about eight degrees C higher in the west, with cool temperatures off South America, due to an upwelling of cold water from deeper levels. This cold water is nutrient-rich, supporting high levels of primary productivity, diverse marine ecosystems, and major fisheries. Rainfall is found in rising air over the warmest water, and the east Pacific is relatively dry. The observations at 110 W (left diagram of 110 W conditions) show that the cool water (below about 17 degrees C, the black band in these plots) is within 50m of the surface.

During El Niño (bottom panel of the schematic diagram), the trade winds relax in the central and western Pacific leading to a depression of the thermocline (transitional water layer) in the eastern Pacific, and an elevation of the thermocline in the west. The observations at 110W show, for example, that during 1982-1983, the 17-degree isotherm dropped to about 150m depth.

This reduced the efficiency of upwelling to cool the surface and cut off the supply of nutrient rich thermocline water to the euphotic(receives enough sunlight for photosynthesis) zone. The result was a rise in sea surface temperature and a drastic decline in primary productivity, the latter of which adversely affected higher trophic levels of the food chain, including commercial fisheries in this region. The weakening of easterly tradewinds during El Niño is evident in this figure as well. Rainfall follows the warm water eastward, with associated flooding in Peru and drought in Indonesia and Australia. The eastward displacement of the atmospheric heat source overlaying the warmest water results in large changes in the global atmospheric circulation, which in turn force changes in weather in regions far removed from the tropical Pacific

Recognizing El Niño
El Niño can be seen in Sea Surface Temperature in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean

El Niño can be seen in measurements of the sea surface temperature, such as those shown above, which were made from the TAO Array of moored buoys. In December 1993, the sea surface temperatures and the winds were near normal, with warm water in the Western Pacfic Ocean (in red on the top panel of December 1993 plot), and cool water, called the 'cold tongue' in the Eastern Pacific Ocean (in green on the top panel of the December 1993 plot). The winds in the Western Pacific are very weak (see the arrows pointing in the direction the wind is blowing towards), and the winds in the Eastern Pacific are blowing towards the west (towards Indonesia). The bottom panel of the December 1993 plot shows anomalies, the way the sea surface temperature and wind differs from a normal December. In this plot, the anomalies are very small (yellow/green), indicating a normal December. December 1997 was near the peak of a strong El Niño year. In December 1997, the warm water (red in the top panel of the December 1997 plot) has spread from the western Pacific Ocean towards the east (in the direction of South America), the 'cold tongue' (green color in the top panel of the December 1997 plot) has weakened, and the winds in the western Pacific, usually weak, are blowing strongly towards the east, pushing the warm water eastward. The anomalies show clearly that the water in the center of Pacific Ocean is much warmer (red) than in a normal December.

December 1998 was a strong La Niña (cold) event. The cold tongue (blue) is cooler than usual by about 3° Centigrade. The cold La Niña events sometimes (but not always) follow El Niño events.

Normal Conditions - December 1993 -  NOAA_.  

La Niña (cold) Conditions - December 1998 -  NOAA_.  


Also see the entire Pacific Ocean

Animation of El Niño
Animation of physical processes allow scientists to better understand El Niño

You can view an animation of El Niño which shows the changes in monthly sea surface temperature in the tropical Pacific Ocean. As you view this animation, you will see the warm water spreading from the western Pacific to the eastern Pacific during 1997. The bottom panel in the animation, labeled anomalies, shows how much the sea surface temperature for each month is different from the long term average for that month. The red color in the anomalies plot indicates that the temperature of the water is much warmer than is normal for that month. Blue color indicates that the water is much cooler than is normal for that month.


http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/

So after all that, how will it affect sailors?

Tropical cyclones:
Most tropical cyclones form on the side of the subtropical ridge closer to the equator, then move poleward past the ridge axis before recurving into the main belt of the Westerlies.[20] When the subtropical ridge position shifts due to El Niño, so will the preferred tropical cyclone tracks. Areas west of Japan and Korea tend to experience much fewer September–November tropical cyclone impacts during El Niño and neutral years. During El Niño years, the break in the subtropical ridge tends to lie near 130°E, which would favor the Japanese archipelago.[21] During El Niño years, Guam's chance of a tropical cyclone impact is one-third of the long-term average.[22] The tropical Atlantic ocean experiences depressed activity due to increased vertical wind shear across the region during El Niño years.[23] On the flip side, however, the tropical Pacific Ocean east of the dateline has above-normal activity during El Niño years due to water temperatures well above average and decreased windshear.[24] Most of the recorded East Pacific category 5 hurricanes occur during El Niño years in clusters.

Atlantic:
El Niño is credited with suppressing hurricanes, and made the 2009 hurricane season the least active in 12 years. There is also a generally accepted link between any less-than-'normally' active Atlantic hurricane season and the notably warm event that characterises the El Nino.

Europe:
El Niño's effects tend to be 12-18 months behind those in the Pacific. The effect on European waters appear to be strongest in winter. Recent evidence indicates that El Niño causes a colder, drier winter in Northern Europe and a milder, wetter winter in Southern Europe. However, researchers are cautious about attributing a direct causal link.

Pacific:
It is in the Pacific Ocean where the strongest evidence exists. As the El Niño event begins, the easterlies relax, reducing the amount of upwelling and allowing the western warm water to move eastward. As time goes on, the warm pool in the western Pacific grows and expands eastward toward the central Pacific (figure 2). Detailed monitoring of recorded El Niño episodes has revealed that once the warmest water reaches the International Date Line, anomalous convection usually appears in that region, accompanied by a weakening of the equatorial easterlies. This pattern typically occurs during the winter (June–August) and may be preceded or followed by a warming that causes the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) to move farther south than normal, which contributes to enhanced rainfall across Ecuador and northern Peru, producing the 'years of abundance.'

However, having quoted all that from the 'experts', an old cruising buddy of mine Don Radcliffe summed it up brilliantly I went across the South Pacific twice--once in an El Nino year. I had too much wind, too little wind, just right wind, rain, sunny days, wind the wrong direction, cyclone threats--both times. I had a fantastic trip--both times!


by NOAA/Sail-World Cruising


  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=123827

12:25 PM Sat 28 Jun 2014GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







Sail-World Cruising News - local and the World

For Christmas a Shiny new Sail-World.com *Feature by Brendan Maxwell
Santa’s elves started on January 7th 2014 building a set of shiny new Sail-World.com websites and just minutes before Christmas morning in one of Santa’s first touch downs Auckland New Zealand , TetraMedia General Manager Jedda Murphy flicked the switch on the dedicated TetraMeda servers in Frankfurt Germany to take almost all our world-wide audience to the new Sail-World sites. ... [more]  

The spirit of the ARC is the spirit of camaraderie and adventure, which makes every one of the 1,250 ARC sailors a winner, not just those on stage to receive awards. After a 20-hour delay to the scheduled start, caused by strong winds in Gran Canaria, ARC 2014 got off to a flying start for this trade wind classic. ... [more]  

The Atlantic hurricane season will officially end on November 30, and will be remembered as a relatively quiet season as was predicted. Still, the season afforded NOAA scientists with opportunities to produce new forecast products, showcase successful modeling advancements, and conduct research to benefit future forecasts. Improved model, new surge forecast products and research projects debuted. ... [more]  

The second edition of this alternative route to the traditional ARC route saw 50 yachts and over 200 crew enjoy the same great activity programme before and after their ARC crossing, but also an interesting and enjoyable stopover on São Vicente, one of the less visited of the Cape Verde islands. Crews were full of praise for ARC+ route, now an integral part of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers. ... [more]  

Waves within waves by Leslie G. Baehr
Scientists have a name for this phenomenon—internal waves. By definition, internal waves occur in the deep, well beyond people’s purview. Scientists have generated miniature internal waves in small tanks in the lab, but out in the wild, they’re as elusive as a white horse in a snowstorm. ... [more]  

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia has received overwhelming support for its Parade of Sail, to be held prior to the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race on December 26, and staged in honour of the 70th Hobart and the Club’s 70th anniversary. ... [more]  

Over the past 30 years, the Arctic has warmed more than any other region on Earth. As sea ice continues to thin and melt, understanding the rapid changes going on in this sensitive part of the world and its ecosystems becomes even more crucial. The new vehicle, called Nereid Under Ice (NUI), is remotely operated by pilots aboard a surface ship via a lightweight, micro-thin, fiber-optic tether. ... [more]  

Tabor Boy - A century of service by Capt. James E. Geil
The history of Tabor Boy, the 92-foot flagship of coeducational Tabor Academy, in Marion, Massachusetts, is that of a working vessel. Although she was designed and built in 1914 to support the commercial shipping trade, Tabor Boy’s real calling turned out to be teaching young people about life and the sea. ... [more]  

The Gunboat 55 has been crowned Cruising World’s 2015 Domestic Boat of the Year. The publication’s annual competition is judged by a panel of independent judges. This year’s judges, Tim Murphy, Ed Sherman and Mark Schrader, were unanimous in their praise and selection. ... [more]  

In 2013, over 955,000 boats changed hands on the pre-owned boat market. That meant for a nearly a million boat buyers, hiring an accredited marine surveyor to inspect their potential dreamboat was often the first step after finding it. ... [more]  

In a world first study researchers have found a coral-eating fish that disguises its smell to hide from predators. 'For many animals vision is less important than their sense of smell,' says study lead author Dr Rohan Brooker from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Coral CoE) at James Cook University. ... [more]  

Writing in the Journal of Animal Ecology the authors set out to answer important and fundamental questions on how life in the ocean will respond to projected changes in the coming decades. Despite evidence of increasing acidification of the world's oceans, questions remain over whether marine species will be able to adapt to these changing conditions. ... [more]  

By studying the colour of seabird guano in the infrared part of the spectrum the researchers from British Antarctic Survey (BAS), University of Cambridge and University of Edinburgh were able to identify and isolate the poo's unique spectral signature from bare rocks and snow. ... [more]  

Sail-World is now live testing the changed website format. If you are using this format for the first time, please scroll to the bottom of the site and check that your region is set for your region and not some other. It can be correctly set up using the drop down boxes. Then go to the top, click refresh, and you should be away. ... [more]  

Oceanographer Bob Pickart will never forget his first cruise aboard Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s (WHOI) research vessel Knorr. It was February 1997, and the ship was headed to the fierce Labrador Sea in the dead of winter. Sailing into the teeth of wintry conditions was the whole point of the 47-day research cruise. ... [more]  

Fifty-five years ago, the group of twelve nations who’d been involved in the International Geophysical Year of 1957 signed the Treaty. The Treaty has ensured that Antarctica remains a natural reserve, devoted to peace and science. ... [more]  

Scientists urge protection of world's deltas by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Extensive areas of the world’s deltas — which accommodate major cities such as Shanghai, Dhaka and Bangkok — will be drowned in the next century by rising sea levels, according to a Comment piece in this week’s Nature. ... [more]  

The BBC has reported that nine Somali pirates should get thousands of Euros because they were not immediately brought before a French judge, the court ruled. One is to get 9,000 Euros (£7,000) and the others sums of up to 7,000 Euros. The judges faulted France for keeping them in custody for an extra 48 hours. ... [more]  

Yacht lost on Majuro by John Martin
Monday morning I awoke early and watched the sky grow light listening to the quiet morning sounds here in our anchorage off the island of Eneko. At 7:30 the cruiser’s net anchor started off with the usual good morning, and she asked if there was any emergency traffic. ... [more]  

When we taught the intense 12-week Professional Mariner Program at the Chapman School of Seamanship, top priority the first week was to get each student into a mindset where they inspected a boat from stem to stern before casting off and after they tied up. Note the dual inspections. Bookends if you will. Before sailing; after sailing. Every time. ... [more]  

Leopard by Finland crossed the finish line in Rodney Bay Saint Lucia this morning at 01:09:51 UTC (02/12 21:09:51 Local time) smashing the ARC Course Record by 2 days 6 hours 45 minutes and 19 seconds. Sailing across the Atlantic from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia in a total of 8 days 14 hours, 39 minutes and 51 seconds. ... [more]  

Fort Lauderdale greets Oceans of Hope yacht by Sailing Sclerosis Foundation
Oceans of Hope sailed into Fort Lauderdale this morning at 11:00 a.m. local time to an enthusiastic dockside audience awaiting their arrival. Cheers ensued, horns blared and the crew looked happy to arrive in the tropical landscape of Florida. It has been a long and arduous journey for some, including Christina Lamb Sidell, who joined the Oceans of Hope crew several weeks ago in New Jersey. ... [more]  

As I look back over nearly 40 years of sailing around Mediterranean waters I can't help but reflect on time passing by. 'Isn't it a bit like painting the Forth Bridge?' a friend asked of my pottering around looking at harbours and anchorages. ... [more]  

Try as you might, it just won’t work. Ropes are for pulling, and pulling alone. Similarly, most things on a boat and in a rig have a specific job to do and hence reason for the way they’re designed. Form follows function, after all. So with this adage firmly in mind, let’s see what Sydney Rigging Specialists have been up to and why they stick to this theory, like rust marks on a trusty kite. ... [more]  

2014 has truly been an Odyssey year, as our boats have criss-crossed the Atlantic on epic journeys, starting in January when the Atlantic Odyssey II yachts sailed from La Palma to Grenada, and followed by the summer adventure of the Blue Planet Odyssey yachts up in the High Arctic attempting the transit of the North West Passage. ... [more]  

Sailing within the ARC+ fleet, Alubat Cignale 18 Eleonora 2 crossed the ARC+ finish line at 07:38:46 local time after a fast 2100NM passage from Mindelo in the Cape Verde Islands. The international crew on board were in great spirits having enjoyed their 12 days at sea and are now looking forward to experiencing the delights of the Caribbean. ... [more]  

Every year, thousands of people suffer from CFP, a poisoning syndrome caused by eating toxic reef fish. CFP symptoms are both gastrointestinal and neurological, bringing on bouts of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, muscle aches, and in some cases, the reversal of hot and cold sensations. Some neurological symptoms can persist for days to months to years after exposure. ... [more]  

Little Pines Multimedia has released a new series of instructional apps for Android available at their website Apps4Sailing.com, Google Play and Amazon. ... [more]  

Scientists from the UK, USA and Australia say the new technology provides accurate ice thickness measurements from areas that were previously too difficult to access. The results, published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience (Monday 24 November 2014), step up the pace of research in the polar regions aimed at understanding the dramatic sea ice changes in the context of climate change. ... [more]  

The Antigua and Barbuda Marine Association (ABMA) is very pleased to announce that Falmouth Harbour Marina, Catamaran Marina and Antigua Yacht Club Marina are now providing only ultra-low sulphur fuel to yachts. This is as a result of joint efforts of the marinas and the ABMA in raising the issue of the fuel previously supplied having a sulphur content higher than legal requirements in Europe ... [more]  

The new application from PredictWind for Mac and PC is revolutionary for accessing weather data when offshore. Accessing GRIB files, Weather Routing, GMDSS forecasts and Satellite Imagery is now a simple task with the unique and user friendly interface. ... [more]  

The government will expedite permitting for yachts wanting to enter the country’s ports, from taking weeks to taking one day only, with an online one-stop service protocol under the management of the Foreign Ministry, said Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Indroyono Soesilo. ... [more]  

As an investment in a FLIR camera is not inexpensive or even one that can be taken quickly due to having to carefully think through the installation process, we thought long and hard about the perceived benefits of the system. At the end of the day we decided to go ahead with the FLIR camera and also decided, that we would pair the FLIR thermal camera with the new Furuno TZ9. ... [more]  

29th Atlantic Rally for Cruisers sets sail
Sometimes the waiting is just as good as the journey
Tips on boating with dogs
Four Tips - How to safely truck your boat over the road
Atlantic Odyssey – Emergency Medi-Vac from Cocojet III
ARC 2014 - ARC start delayed
Antarctic ‘ghost mountains’ preserved by ice sheet
Clear the Decks!
Sail-World Team holds first Continental Conference at METS
British Cycling grows by over 500%, can sailing do the same?
Extinction risk not the answer for reef futures
ARC+ fleet sets sail for Saint Lucia
Sail safer with these 'landfall light' secrets
Sailing the Mediterranean – An infographic
New transducer line from Garmin boasts scanning sonar
Building on borrowed time + Video
Marion to Bermuda Race announces the M2M2B Yacht Rally
34 Atlantic Odyssey yachts cross start line off Arrecife
World ARC fleet explores Zululand
Visit Doyle Sails New Zealand at METS 2014
ARC 2014 Opening Ceremony: Flags and bands, one week to the start   
Sailing veteran celebrates his 20th Atlantic Rally for Cruisers   
All set for ARC+ arrivals in São Vicente   
Caribbean 1500 - Lest We Forget: Crews who won't make it to Tortola   
Crews visit ARC Forest at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria   
Security Council renews action to fight piracy off Somali Coast   
World Odyssey Race cancelled   
Caribbean 1500 - One fleet, two very different stories   
Eccletic ARC fleet assemble in Las Palmas   
Antigua 2 Falmouth - Notice of Race released for 2015 edition   
Oceans of Hope yacht arrives in New York City in unique global voyage   
Spirit of Tradition   
Tropical storm-like conditions in Malta and Sicily as Medicane hits   
ARC+ Cape Verde fleet slows, more wind expected tomorrow   
Top 20 cruising realities no-one talks about!   
Busy schedule begins for ARC crews in Las Palmas   
Slow progress in the Caribbean 1500 fleet   
Crystal Blues finds good medicine in Penang   
ARC+ Cape Verde sets sail from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria   
Destination: Balmy Brentwood Bay and peaceful Tod Inlet   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph, contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW CRU NH
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT