Winds Interrupted — El Nino is Tearing a Hole Through the Trades

by dtlange


Trade winds. The east-to-west flow of airs across more than ten thousand miles of Pacific waters. Starting just off the coast of Ecuador, these winds typically blow in the range of 15 to 25 miles-per-hour uninterrupted across the vast Pacific before terminating in the South China Sea. The winds are a normal condition in the Equatorial Pacific. So constant that sailors relied on them as a kind of ocean conveyor during the days when sailing ships still ruled the waves. Year in, year out, the trade winds blow. Usually only subject to minor insults and brief interruptions from the massive and powerful weather phenomena that is El Nino.

But, starting yesterday, something rather odd began to happen. A six thousand mile stretch of the trades simply went dead.


(Pacific Ocean wind pattern as of 1 PM EST, June 4. The brighter the green, the higher the intensity, the deeper theā€¦

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