Composite seasonal mean and anomaly fields prepared from operational numerical analyses have been used to describe the Southern Hemisphere (SH) circulation features associated with El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events. The period of analyses available (1972–83) has limited the composites to include only three ENSO events. The reliability and stability of the composites has been tested using multiple permutation methods and by comparison with the results obtained using a longer period (1950–79) of SH rawinsonde station data.
In the SH winter, a weak equivalent-barotropic wavetrain pattern of anomalies extends over Australia and the South Pacific Ocean to South America. This wavetrain pattern is quite variable in amplitude and location between ENSO events, although it is more stable over the subtropical Pacific. In the SH summer, the circulation anomalies are more zonally symmetric, with increased height at low and high latitudes and decreased height in middle latitudes. The circulation anomalies in the SH summer are more stable than in winter, with similar patterns of anomalies in the subtropics and middle latitudes in all events.