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Wind fields associated with El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events are investigated using 20 years (1965–1984) of monthly mean wind vectors along a ship track from 30°S to 30°N in the western Pacific Ocean. The analysis shows that off-equatorial trade wind fluctuations play a significant role in ENSO events. In particular, the meridional component is found to have strong deviations during ENSO events. Southerly deviations from the mean meridional field are noted during the ENSO events of 1965, 1972, 1976, and 1982. The trade wind deviations are consistent with atmospheric convergence into an equatorial convection region to the east of the ship track. It is hypothesized that these wind fields can cause anomalous oceanic mass convergence toward the equator.

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Journal of Geophysical Research Oceans, v. 92, issue C3, p. 9464-9468

©1987. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

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