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Researchers and forecasters often study sea surface temperatures for an activity predictions for 2003 in part to changing conditions in the Pacific Ocean, such as the demise of El Nino. This sequence traces the evolution of the warmer-than-normal waters associated with the weak El Nino that developed in the late fall of 2002. By January, the warm conditions began to dissipate. Fewer than normal hurricanes generally form when El Nino is present. Researchers say the Pacific may transition to the colder-than-normal La Nina phase. Areas in red represent warmer than normal and areas in blue represent cooler than normal.
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