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Ocean Surface Topography from Space
Westerly Wind Triggers an Oceanic "Kelvin" Wave
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March 27, 1997

In March, westerly wind bursts (i.e., east-blowing winds) north of Australia triggered an oceanic "Kelvin" wave that travelled eastward towards the Americas. This allowed warm water to move away from its usual location in the western Pacific Ocean.

Red and white colors show sea-level that is above the average height. This area corresponds to water from the "warm pool" that originated in the seas northeast of Australia.

Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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