10B.1 Evolution of the 2015-16 El Niño: A Dynamics Perspective

Wednesday, 25 January 2017: 1:30 PM
609 (Washington State Convention Center )
Michael J. McPhaden, PMEL, Seattle, WA

The 2015-16 El Niño was an event of surprising intensity and one of the strongest on record.  Peak amplitudes were comparable in magnitude to those of the 1997-98 El Niño, leading to major climatic impacts felt around the world. Using a combination of satellite, in situ and reanalysis products, this presentation will describe the evolution of the climate system in the tropical Pacific in 2015 and 2016, with emphasis on the oceanic and atmospheric processes that gave rise to the unusual development of this event.  Focus will be on the interplay between high frequency weather noise in the form of westerly wind bursts and low frequency dynamics associated with recharge oscillator and delayed oscillator physics. Unique aspects in the evolution of the 2015-16 El Niño relative to previous major El Niños will also be highlighted
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