SWOT Satellite Captures Marine Heat Wave Off California Coast

A marine heat wave has been spotted off the coast of California by the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite, a collaboration between NASA and the French space agency CNES.

SWOT measures sea levels all around Earth using a Ka-band Radar Interferometer (KaRIn) instrument that sends radar pulses from its two antennas to collect water-height measurements.

This image shows a visualization of SWOT data that indicates higher-than-average sea surface heights, demonstrated by the red colors.

Where the sea is blue, the water levels are lower than normal.

One reason sea levels can rise is due to the fact that water expands when it warms.

Yes, the similar principle as we observe in freezing and thawing of water at home.

This is a signature of El Niño, a climate cycle that sees the Pacific Ocean warm and the trade winds weaken at irregular intervals.

El Niño can impact weather conditions around the world.

El Niño is a roughly and in simple words warming of the Pacific Ocean

The southwestern U.S. typically experiences cooler temperatures and wetter weather, whereas in the western Pacific, some countries typically experience drought.

Just this month, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecast a greater than 70% chance for a strong El Niño this coming winter.

As this coming cycle might be particularly strong, scientists can use SWOT data to monitor the sea level changes to inform their forecasts and models.

SWOT's ability to measure sea surface so close to the coast will be invaluable forecasters looking at things like the development and progress of worldwide phenomena like El Niño.

What is El Niño?

El Niño is a climate pattern that causes warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean.

It occurs every 2 to 7 years and typically lasts for 9 to 12 months.

So, what do you think and know about the impacts of the El Niño?

In the United States, El Niño typically brings warmer and wetter winters to the southern tier of states, and cooler and drier winters to the northern tier of states.

What can we do to prepare for El Niño?

There are a number of things that can be done to prepare for El Niño, including: – Monitoring weather forecasts and warnings from local and federal agencies.

– Taking steps to protect your property from flooding and other weather damage. – Having a plan in place in case of an evacuation.

I hope this story is informative and helpful. Please stay safe and be prepared for El Niño.

Keep following your local administration!