Articles | Volume 10, issue 2
20 Jun 2018
 | 20 Jun 2018

Central-Pacific surface meteorology from the 2016 El Niño Rapid Response (ENRR) field campaign

Leslie M. Hartten, Christopher J. Cox, Paul E. Johnston, Daniel E. Wolfe, Scott Abbott, and H. Alex McColl

Abstract. During the early months of the 2015/2016 El Niño event, scientists led by the Earth System Research Laboratory's Physical Sciences Division conducted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) El Niño Rapid Response (ENRR) field campaign. One component of ENRR involved in situ observations collected over the near-equatorial eastern–central Pacific Ocean. From 25 January to 28 March 2016, standard surface meteorology observations, including rainfall, were collected at Kiritimati Island (2.0° N, 157.4° E) in support of twice-daily radiosonde launches. From 16 February to 16 March 2016, continuous measurements of surface meteorology, sea surface temperature, and downwelling shortwave radiation were made by NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown. These were largely done in support of the four to eight radiosondes launched each day as the ship travelled from Hawaii to TAO buoy locations along longitudes 140 and 125° W and then back to port in San Diego, California. The rapid nature of these remote field deployments led to some specific challenges in addition to those common to many surface data collection efforts. This paper documents the two deployments as well as the steps taken to evaluate and process the data. The results are two multi-week surface meteorology data products and one accompanying set of surface fluxes, all collected in the core of the eastern–central Pacific's extremely warm waters. These data sets, plus metadata, are archived at the NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) and are free for public access: surface meteorology from Kiritimati Island (; surface meteorology and some surface fluxes from NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown (;

Short summary
In early 2016 the NOAA's El Niño Rapid Response Field Campaign documented the ongoing strong event and its impacts. Observations from the warmed Pacific included 10 weeks of surface meteorology from Kiritimati Island and 4 weeks of surface meteorology and air–sea fluxes from NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown. We have vetted the data, identifying issues and minimizing their impacts when possible. Measurements include a meter of rain at Kiritimati, and continuous ocean and air conditions from the ship.