The variabilities of the upper layer of the western Pacific warm pool (WPWP) were observed using satellite infrared data from 1982 to 1991 and altimeter data from November 1986 to September 1989. The warm pool was defined as the area where the sea surface temperatures are above 28C. The eastern boundary oscillation, the centroid movement, and the upper-layer volume variation of the WPWP were intensively studied. Spectral analysis revealed that the eastern boundary oscillation of the WPWP was related to the El Nio event and the annual cycle. The centroid of the WPWP traced an ellipselike trajectory during a year and moved counterclockwise in most years. However, in 1982 and 1986, the years of the onset of El Nio events, the movements were clockwise. The upper-layer volume of the WPWP was divided latitudinally into three sections. The annual cycles in the northern (from 3 to 30N) and southern (from 3 to 30S) sections were dominant. No annual cycle was found in the equatorial section (from 3s to 3N), but the volume of warm water in the equatorial Pacific increased during the 1986/87 El Nio event. The equatorial section was further divided into eastern and western sectors along 165W. During the 1986/87 El Nio event, the volume of warm water increased in the eastern sector, but the variation was smaller in the western sector than that in the eastern sector. During the 1988 La Nia event, the warm water volumes decreased in both sectors.
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: May 12, 1995
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