Climate indices are simple diagnostic quantities that are used to characterize an aspect of a geophysical system such as a circulation pattern. They track droughts, ENSO events, wind patterns, internal modes of climate variability, and extreme events like wildfires and heatwaves. Climate indices play a key role in climate monitoring and prediction. The climate index overview page summarizes the philosophy of climate indices.
To find a specific climate index, jump to the search box below or click your desired index from among the blue sub-category buttons.
To see only the indices with in-depth commentary, select the "Datasets with guidance" button when using the search box.
Years of record
There are several indices used to monitor the tropical Pacific, all of which are based on sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies averaged across a given region…
Experts contributing reviews
- Trenberth, Kevin