December 26, 2010
The current state of this season's La Niña is shown in this Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM)/Jason-2 satellite image of the Pacific Ocean, based on the average of 10 days of data centered on Dec. 26, 2010. The new image depicts places where the Pacific sea-surface height is higher (warmer) than normal as yellow and red, while places where the sea surface is lower (cooler) than normal are shown in blue and purple. Green indicates near-normal conditions. Sea-surface height is an indicator of how much of the sun's heat is stored in the upper ocean. The La Niña cool waters stretch from the eastern to the central Pacific Ocean.
"This La Niña has strengthened for the past seven months, and is one of the most intense events of the past half century ," said Climatologist Bill Patzert of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "It is already impacting weather and climate around the planet."
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory