An El Niño of moderate intensity developed in the tropical Pacific in 2002/03. This event, though not as strong as the 1997/98 El Niño, had significant impacts on patterns of weather variability worldwide. The evolution of the 2002/03 El Niño is documented through comprehensive satellite and in situ observations from the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Observing System. These observations underscore the importance of both episodic atmospheric forcing and large-scale low-frequency ocean–atmosphere interactions in the development of the event.

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*Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory Contribution 2584 and Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean Contribution 990

NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Seattle, Washington