Abstract Oceanographic surveys were carried out in the southeastern Arabian Sea in two phases during 14–17 May and 23–27 May 2000 to study the evolution of the Arabian Sea mini warm pool. The hydrographic data collected during these experiments, satellite imagery of sea surface temperature for the corresponding period and ship drift data were utilized for this purpose. Both satellite and in situ observations indicated the presence of a mini warm pool up to 14 May and its dissipation thereafter. The Arabian Sea mini warm pool region was characterized by low-salinity Bay of Bengal water (<22 sigma- t). This watermass was advected into the southeastern Arabian Sea by the East India Coastal Current mainly during November–January and recirculated in this region in an anticyclonic eddy. Immediately after the dissipation of the mini warm pool, this watermass could not be traced in this region. Simulation of mini warm pool characteristics using the Princeton Ocean Model (POM) agreed well with in situ and satellite observations. Moreover, the model showed strengthening of southerly currents in the warm pool region during its dissipation period, which caused the disappearance of the Bay of Bengal watermass. Specific experiments with the POM revealed the significance of heat flux components, low wind speed and salinity stratification in the formation and sustenance of the mini warm pool.