|Situation: What Is an Anomaly?
The three charts below show how anomalies of sea surface temperatures are computed for specific locations. The first chart depicts the average sea surface temperatures along the west coast of South America for the month of June. Notice the cold temperatures (19°C) that extend far up the coast.
The second chart shows sea surface temperatures for a typical El Niño year. Whereas the normal average temperature on the coast is 19°C, the temperature during an El Niño year can be expected to be more than 23°C, an anomaly of slightly more than 4°C.
From the information contained on the first two charts, the third chart is developed. It shows the anomalies for an El Niño year. It is constructed by subtracting the long-term normal averages from the El Niño-year temperatures. The chart reveals that along the Peruvian coast, El Niño-year temperatures can be expected to be more than 4°C greater than the long-term normal average temperature. The large area from central Chile to near the equator can be expected to increase more than 2°C above average.
HTML code by Chris Kreger
Maintained by ETE Team
Last updated November 10, 2004
Some images © 2004 www.clipart.com
Privacy Statement and Copyright © 1997-2004 by Wheeling Jesuit University/NASA-supported Classroom of the Future. All rights reserved.
Center for Educational Technologies, Circuit Board/Apple graphic logo, and COTF Classroom of the Future logo are registered trademarks of Wheeling Jesuit University.