Journal of Oceanology and Limnology

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 33–47 | Cite as

Influences of two types of El Niño event on the Northwest Pacific and tropical Indian Ocean SST anomalies

  • Haibo Hu (胡海波)
  • Qigang Wu (吴其冈)
  • Zepeng Wu (吴泽鹏)


Based on the HadISST1 and NCEP datasets, we investigated the influences of the central Pacific El Niño event (CP-EL) and eastern Pacific El Niño event (EP-EL) on the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies of the Tropical Indian Ocean. Considering the remote effect of Indian Ocean warming, we also discussed the anticyclone anomalies over the Northwest Pacific, which is very important for the South China precipitation and East Asian climate. Results show that during the El Niño developing year of EP-EL, cold SST anomalies appear and intensify in the east of tropical Indian Ocean. At the end of that autumn, all the cold SST anomaly events lead to the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) events. Basin uniform warm SST anomalies exist in the Indian Ocean in the whole summer of EL decaying year for both CP-and EP-ELs. However, considering the statistical significance, more significant warm SST anomalies only appear in the North Indian Ocean among the June and August of EP-EL decaying year. For further research, EP-EL accompany with Indian Ocean Basin Warming (EPI-EL) and CP El Niño accompany with Indian Ocean Basin Warming (CPI-EL) events are classified. With the remote effects of Indian Ocean SST anomalies, the EPI-and CPI-ELs contribute quite differently to the Northwest Pacific. For the EPI-EL developing year, large-scale warm SST anomalies arise in the North Indian Ocean in May, and persist to the autumn of the El Niño decaying year. However, for the CPI-EL, weak warm SST anomalies in the North Indian Ocean maintain to the El Niño decaying spring. Because of these different SST anomalies in the North Indian Ocean, distinct zonal SST gradient, atmospheric anticyclone and precipitation anomalies emerge over the Northwest Pacific in the El Niño decaying years. Specifically, the large-scale North Indian Ocean warm SST anomalies during the EPI-EL decaying years, can persist to summer and force anomalous updrafts and rainfall over the North Indian Ocean. The atmospheric heating caused by this precipitation anomaly emulates atmospheric Kelvin waves accompanied by low level easterly anomalies over the Northwest Pacific. As a result, a zonal SST gradient with a warm anomaly in the west and a cold anomaly in the east of Northwest Pacific is generated locally. Furthermore, the atmospheric anticyclone and precipitation anomalies over the Northwest Pacific are strengthened again in the decaying summer of EPI-EL. Affected by the local Wind-Evaporation-SST (WES) positive feedback, the suppressed East Asian summer rainfall then persists to the late autumn during EPI-EL decaying year, which is much longer than that of CPI-EL.


EPI-EL CPI-EL Indian Ocean SST anomalies zonal SST gradient in the Northwest Pacific Northwest Pacific anticyclone anomaly East Asian Summer rainfall 


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Copyright information

© Chinese Society for Oceanology and Limnology, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haibo Hu (胡海波)
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qigang Wu (吴其冈)
    • 1
  • Zepeng Wu (吴泽鹏)
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.CMA-NJU Joint Laboratory for Climate Prediction Studies, Instituted for Climate and Global Change Research, School of Atmospheric ScienceNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster of Ministry of EducationNanjing University of Information Science and TechnologyNanjingChina
  3. 3.Meteorology Center of Middle South Regional Air Traffic Management Bureau of Civil Aviation of ChinaGuangzhouChina

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