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Number of Sea Level Anomaly Months Per Year

Slider for year control
legend for map above

A mean sea level anomaly reveals the regional extent of anomalous water levels in the coastal ocean which can indicate unusual water temperatures, salinities, average monthly winds, atmospheric pressures, and/or coastal currents. A sea level anomaly, as defined by NOAA's National Ocean Service, occurs when the 5-month running average of the interannual variation is at least 0.1 meters (4 inches) greater than or less than the long-term trend. The interannual variation is the monthly mean sea level after the trend and the average seasonal cycle are removed. The map above displays the number of months each year experiencing positive or negative sea level anomalies. The interconnection between the oceanic and atmospheric systems can be demonstrated by the coincidence of positive and negative sea level anomalies along the U.S. Pacific Coast with climatic events such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

Metadata : Sea Level Trends

Revised: 10/15/2013
NOAA / National Ocean Service
Web site owner: Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services