Researchers and forecasters often study sea surface temperatures for an activity predictions for 2003 in part to changing conditions in the Pacific Ocean, such as the demise of El Niño. This sequence traces the evolution of the warmer-than-normal waters associated with the weak El Niño that developed in the late fall of 2002. By January, the warm conditions began to dissipate. Fewer than normal hurricanes generally form when El Niño is present. Researchers say the Pacific may transition to the colder-than-normal La Niña phase. Areas in red represent warmer than normal and areas in blue represent cooler than normal.
GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 22.214.171.124.0