Sea Surface Temperature vs. NDVI
Courtesy Sietse Los and Marit Jentoft-Nilsen, NASA GSFC
Sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific affect precipitation (and therefore plant growth) over much of the North American continent. When there is warmer than normal water (dark red) in the Pacific, more rain than normal often falls over western and central North America (green indicates above average plant growth, generally the result of extra rain). Conversely, cold water temperatures in the Pacific (dark blue) lead to decreased rain over western North America (brown indicates a relative lack of plant growth). For more information see Dry Times in North America.