The equatorial Pacific is quite warm these days. Figure 1 shows the mean SSTs and SST anomalies from the TAO buoy array. Total (top) and anomalous (bottom) surface winds are superimposed over these maps. The SST structure is interesting with three centers of action along the equator, though these three areas of anomalous warmth don’t appear to be associated with a significant relaxation of the trade winds.
The hovmöller diagrams in Fig. 2 show that SSTs have warmed over the past few months. Interestingly, since August, there hasn’t been much propagation of warm water to the east, rather the water appears to have warmed in-situ.