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Western Pacific Warm Pool

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Article Information
Category: Weather Weather
Content source: SKYbrary About SKYbrary
Content control: SKYbrary About SKYbrary
WX
Tag(s) Climatic Phenomena

Definition

The Pacific Warm Pool (PWP) is characterised by a mean sea surface temperature (SST) exceeding 28 deg C, weak trade winds, and deep convection.

This body of water, which spans the western waters of the equatorial Pacific, holds the warmest seawaters in the world. Because this area of warm water pushes west into the Indian Ocean, it is also often refereed to as the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool.

Scientists found that, over a period of roughly two decades, the warm pool’s average annual temperatures and dimensions (the area enclosed within the 28 deg C isotherm) increase and then decrease like a slowly pulsating beacon.

South Pacific Convergence Zone


Discussion

Because these waters are hot enough to drive heat and moisture high into the atmosphere, the warm pool has a large effect on the climate of surrounding lands. It plays a key role in climate and monsoon variability for many developing nations throughout Asia and Africa and also influences remote regions and large scale climate models of variability. Furthermore, the size and intensity of the warm pool fluctuates with the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

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