Enhancement of near-annual variability in the equatorial Pacific in 2000–2008
Like the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the near-annual mode is an air–sea coupled mode of the tropical Pacific that can emerge within a relatively cool mean state. It is documented here from satellite observations over the 2000–2008 period based on a covariance analysis between wind stress and zonal current anomalies. It is shown that near-annual variability is enhanced over the last decade. The signature of this mode consists of a zonal seesaw pattern for zonal current with westward (eastward) anomalous currents in the western (eastern) equatorial Pacific. A composite analysis allows identifying the peak and transition phases of this mode, particularly active over 2000–2004. It is suggested that the reduction of the interannual variability in the eastern Pacific over the last decade may be related to the enhancement of the near-annual mode.