For something I’ve been studying, it took me a while to understand that longitude is not a simple east and west like most people would think of on a map; the west coast of South America, which is most effected by El Niño, is around 80 degrees W, which is the eastern Pacific. Meanwhile, dryer conditions are in the western Pacific and Indonesia, which is the western pacific, and eastern longitude. It’s more or less western and eastern hemispheres. That much I get now.
Of course El Niño effects the regions throughout the world, but what I need to understand and read off of charts is monthly mean ocean temperatures during the December 1997 El Niño season, as well as a separate chart in 1998, which is considered more La Niña.
Essentially I can’t wrap my head around how to read monthly mean ocean temperatures and specifically how it determines the amount of rainfall at a given longitude. How do you determine how much rainfall was in an area of the ocean, and at which longitude, based solely on ocean temperature?
Longitudes are the north-south lines on the globe, not the east-west. Those are latitudes. I had the hardest time keeping the two distinct until someone said that longitudes are “long” because they have to stretch over the Earth, and that latitudes are flat (I don’t know; he said “lat” sounded like “flat” and that helped him remember that they were the horizontally oriented ones). As far as mean ocean temperatures and El Nino/La Nina go, I have no idea but wish you the best of luck in your search for answers, and will do some research myself. 🙂
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