El Niño, a disruption of the ocean-atmosphere system in the tropical Pacific Ocean with important consequences for weather and climate around the globe, is expected to continue strengthening and last through at least the Northern Hemisphere winter 2009-2010.
El Niño is characterized by warm temperatures (red in chart). During October 2009, sea surface temperature anomalies increased across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, nearly a full °C. Above-average subsurface temperature anomalies increased across a large region of the central and east-central Pacific, with anomalies ranging between +1 to +5°C by the end of the month (Fig. 3). Consistent with this warming, it may be the swimmers in the 2010 Catalina Channel may warmer than usual water temperatures, but consistent with the El Niño characteristis, wind anomalies may also be strengthened.
It will be an interesting Pacific Ocean marathon swimming season.