Researchers and forecasters often study sea surface temperatures to predict the upcoming year's tropical cyclone activity. This sequence tracks warmer-than-normal waters and colder-than-normal waters in the Pacific Ocean. In 2003, experts have predicted a 'normal to below normal' number of tropical cyclones. Researchers say the Pacific may transition to the colder-than-normal La Niña phase. Fewer than normal hurricanes generally form when El Niño is present. 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 184.108.40.206.0