Swell Classification Guidelines
Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
Summer - Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
Summer - Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
Summer - up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.
Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
- Buoy 146 (Lanai): Seas were 3.7 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 2.4 ft @ 14.3 secs from 190 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.4 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 2.2 ft @ 16.4 secs from 200 degrees. Wind south 6-8 kts. Water temperature 62.1 degs. At Santa Barbara swell was 0.9 ft @ 17.3 secs from 239 degrees. At Santa Monica swell was 2.1 ft @ 17.6 secs from 211 degrees. Southward from Orange County to San Diego swell was 3.0 ft @ 17.3 secs from 199 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 7.1 ft @ 6.7 secs with southern hemi swell 2.8 ft @ 16.0 secs. Wind northwest 20-25 kts. Water temp 55.2 degs.
Buoy 46059, Hi-res Buoys
On Tuesday (6/14) in North and Central CA surf was shoulder to head high and hacked by northwest winds. At Santa Cruz surf was head high to 1 ft overhead and clean and lined up with improving consistency. In Southern California up north surf was waist high and clean but fairly weak and unimpressive. Down south sets were head high and clean but sporadic. Tops spots were seeing solid sets at 2-3 ft overhead and clean. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was getting continued southern hemi swell with waves shoulder to head high and clean early with sets 1 ft overhead and some sideshore tradewind texture on it. The East Shore was waist to chest high and chopped from easterly trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
The focus remains on the southern hemisphere. The third in a series of 4 gales developed on Sat-Sun (6/5) with seas 36 ft seas aimed northeast with follow-on energy Monday at 30-32 ft aimed north. Swell is fading out in the Islands and is building in CA. And yet a third one started developing in the Southeast Pacific on Wed (6/8) with seas building to 38 ft. More moderate swell to result for Hawaii and the US West Coast. After that the southern ocean took a break till Mon (6/13) when a new system pushed east under New Zealand with 38-40 ft seas and a second is expected with up to 42 ft seas on Wed (6/15). and yet a third is forecast developing in the Southeast Pacific on Fri-Sat (6/18) with up to 51 ft seas. And maybe more behind that. One can't be disappointed by this run of gales.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis.cgius forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Tuesday AM (6/14) no swell producing fetch is occurring and none is forecast for the next 72 hours.
The local California coastal pressure gradient was in affect on Tues (6/14) with high pressure ridging into the coast producing a fetch of 20-25 kt north winds over the North and Central coasts but somewhat southward centered near Monterey Bay and is expected to continue falling south to Pt Conception on Wed (6/15) with north winds down to 15 kts or less in North CA late. Modest short period north windswell possible (see QuikCASTs for surf details). But after that, the gradient is to collapse Thurs-Fri (6/16) with local upper level low pressure moving into the Central Coast.
For Hawaii, east trades were in control on Tues (6/14) at 15-20 kts driven by high pressure north of the Islands resulting in some windswell along easterly shores. This situation is to slowly fade on Wednesday as high pressure retrogrades west with east trades 15 kts over only a shallow area just east of the Islands, reducing the odds for meaningful windswell to result.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday (6/14) high pressure and the usual pressure gradient was in control of California coastal waters producing north winds at 20 kts over the north and central portions of the state making for poor surf conditions at exposed breaks. Wednesday (6/15) the gradient is to start collapsing south as low pressure develops well off the coast. Still north winds to be 20 kts early but fading later for North CA. Thursday that low is to move over San Francisco with a light winds pattern expected for the state. Chances for light rain in North CA moving to San Francisco late. More generally light winds on Friday as the low moves inland. Then once it's inland, high pressure and the the gradient are to return on Saturday (6/18) with north winds 20 kts again over North and Central CA continue Sunday and into Mon (6/20) including Southern CA.
On Tuesday AM (6/14) the southern branch of the jet was tracking east on the 55S latitude line at 130-140 kts in a zonal configuration offering some support for gale development from under New Zealand east to 135W in the Southeast Pacific. East of there the jet fell south forming a ridge and suppressing gale development. Over the next 72 hours more of the same is forecast but with winds building to 150 kts under New Zealand late Wed (6/15) and starting to lift northeast a little forming a shallow trough tracking east into Fri (6/17) offering better support for gale development and also reaching east to 110W, which is east of the California swell window. More support for gale development likely. Beyond 72 hrs the above trough is to track east and out of the CA swell window on Sun (6/19) and pretty weak at that time with winds down to 110 kts. Another weak trough is to push under New Zealand on Mon-Tues (6/21) pushing well north but winds to be only 100-110 kts offering little to support gale development. And then on Tues (6/21) a ridge is to start building under New Zealand pushing south to 75S moving over Antarctica. Support for gale development is to be heavily hindered by this ridge and that hindrance is to be moving east.
On Tuesday AM (6/14) mult.cgie swells were in the water originating from a gale under New Zealand (Gale #1) and yet a stronger one (Gale #2) with a third one (Gale #3) directly behind (details below for all gales). And then another gale formed under New Zealand on Mon (6/13) (see Gale #4 below).
Over the next 72 hours yet 3 more systems are forecast, one of them strong. Tow are to be in the Southeast Pacific and one in the Southwest Pacific.
On Wed AM (6/15) a gale is to develop in the Central Pacific generating a tiny area of 55 kt west winds tracking quickly east. In the evening a small area of 60 kt west winds to move into the Southeast Pacific generating 42 ft seas at 53S 141W (aimed east of the 192 deg path to NCal and the 194 deg path to SCal). On Thurs AM (6/16) 50 kt west winds to continue tracking fast east with 42 ft seas at 52S 126W (182 degs NCal, 183 degs SCal aimed mostly east of any path north). In the evening this system is to be out of the swell window relative to California focused only on Chile. More south angled sideband swell to result if all goes as forecast.
Also on Tues PM (6/14) a storm with 45-50 kt west winds us to be tracking south of the Tasman Sea. By Wed AM (6/15) 45-50 kt west winds are to be just under New Zealand generating 43 ft seas at 54S 163E (barely in the 201 degs path to Hawaii, 219 degs NCal and SCal and unshadowed by Tahiti). In the evening 45-50 kt southwest winds to develop with 43 ft seas at 53S 180W (193 degs HI, 212 degs NCal and barely unshadowed by Tahiti, 213 degs SCal and well shadowed). On Thurs AM (6/16) 45-50 kt southwest winds to continue east generating 43 ft seas at 52S 165.5W (185 degs HI, 206 degs NCal and in the middle of the tahiti swell shadow, 208 degs SCal and unshadowed). In the evening 45 kt southwest winds to be lifting northeast with seas to 42 ft at 50S 154.5W (179 degs HI, 200 degs NCal and unshadowed, 203 degs SCal and unshadowed). Fetch to be fading Fri AM (6/17) from 40-45 kts with seas fading from 37 ft at 46S 144W (196 degs NCal, 199 degs SCal). This system is to fade after that. Possible solid swell to result for California down into Central America and South America.
Yet a third storm is to develop southeast of New Zealand on Fri AM (6/17) with 50+ kt southwest winds and seas building to 39 ft at 54S 168.5W. In the evening winds to build to 55 kt aimed northeast with seas building fast to 48 ft at 53S 153W (178 degs HI, 199 degs NCal and unshadowed, 202 degs SCal). 50+ kts southwest winds to hold into Sat AM (6/18) with seas building to 51 ft at 49.5S 142.5W (east of the HI swell window, 192 degs NCal, 195 degs SCal). Fetch is to be fading from 40-45 kts in the evening pushing well north with seas still solid at 49 ft at 47.5S 133.5W aimed northeast (188 degs NCal, 190 degs SCal). Fetch and seas fading from there. Large swell possible for California down into Mexico, Central America and Peru.
New Zealand Gale #1
On Fri AM (6/3) a solid fetch of 45 kt west southwest winds developed covering a large area under New Zealand with seas building to 31 ft at 60S 165E aimed east-northeast (196 degs HI, 211 degs SCal and shadowed by Tahiti, 211 degs NCal and barely unshadowed by Tahiti). The fetch lifted northeast in the evening with 40-45 kt southwest winds holding and seas 34 ft at 56S 180W (192 degs HI, 210 degs SCal and barely shadowed, 209 degs NCal and barely shadowed). The gale tracked east-northeast on Sat AM (6/4) but was fading with winds barely 35 kts with seas fading from 31 ft at 52S 169W (187 degs HI, 209 degs SCal and barely unshadowed, 207 degs NCal and shadowed). A rapid fade followed. A decent pulse of swell is expected to result for Tahiti, Hawaii and the US West Coast.
SCal: Residuals fading Tues (6/14) from 2.2 ft @ 15 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 209-212 degrees
NCal: Residuals fading Tues (6/14) from 2.2 ft @ 15 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 209-212 degrees
New Zealand Gale #2
Yet another gale developed under New Zealand on Sat AM (6/4) with 40-45 kt west winds and seas building. In the evening 45 kt southwest winds were moving east under New Zealand with seas building from 33 ft at 55S 180E (197 degs HI, 210 degs NCal and unshadowed, 211 degs SCal and shadowed). The fetch fragmented some Sun AM (6/5) with patches of 40-45 kt southwest winds and 36 ft seas at 55S 173W (188 degs HI, 206 degs NCal and shadowed, 207 degs SCal and unshadowed) embedded in a broad area of 30+ ft seas aimed northeast. 40 kt southwest winds to hold in the evening with 32 ft seas over a large area aimed northeast at 54S 167W (187 degs HI, 205 degs NCal and shadowed, 208 degs SCal and unshadowed). Fetch is to be fading on Mon AM (6/6) from 35 kts with seas fading from 32 ft over a solid area aimed more north-northeast at 51S 167W (182 degs HI, 207 degs NCal and shadowed, 209 degs SCal and unshadowed). Residual seas faded in the evening from 30 ft at 45S 162W. Solid swell is possible and overriding swell from Gale #1 (above).
Hawaii: Residuals fading on Tues (6/14) from 2.5 ft @ 14 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction 190 degrees
Southern CA: Swell building Tues (6/14) to 2.3 ft @ 17-18 secs mid-day (4.0 ft with sets to 5.0 ft). Swell fading Wed (6/15) from 2.6 ft @ 16 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 206-211 degrees focused on 208 degrees
Northern CA: Swell building Tues (6/14) to 2.3 ft @ 17-18 secs mid-day (4.0 ft with sets to 5.0 ft). Swell fading Wed (6/15) from 2.0 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 205-210 degrees focused on 207 degrees
Southeast Pacific Gale #3
Yet another gale developed well southeast of New Zealand on Tues AM (6/7) with 40 kt southeast winds starting to get traction on the oceans surface with seas building from 22 ft. In the evening a broader area of 40 kt south-southwest winds developed with seas building to 30 ft over a broader area at 56S 162W aimed northeast (182 degs HI, 200 degs NCal and unshadowed, 203 degs SCal and unshadowed). On Wed AM (6/8) a small area of 45-50 kt south winds developed embedded in a broad area of 40+ kt south winds generating a tiny area of 36 ft seas at 55S 151W aimed north (178 degs HI, 196 degs NCal, 198 degs SCal). In the evening the fetch lifted northeast still at 40-45 kts aimed a little more to the northeast with seas to 40 ft over a tiny area at 51S 146W targeting California down to Peru (195 degs NCal, 196 degs SCal). On Thurs AM (6/9) 35-40 kt south to southwest winds covered a broad area with seas 36 ft at 46S 140W (192 degs NCal, 195 degs SCal). Fetch faded in coverage from there at 35-40 kts over a tiny area while tracking east with seas fading from 30 ft at 43S 134W. More swell to result targeting Hawaii and all points east of there.
Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Tues AM (6/14) with period 18+ secs building through the day to 2.2 ft @ 17 secs (3.7 ft with set to 4.6 ft) at sunset. Swell continues on Wed (6/15) at 2.5 ft @ 16 secs (4.0 ft with sets to 5.0 ft). Swell fading Thurs (6/16) from 2 ft @ 14 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 178-183 degrees
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (6/15) building to 2.6 ft @ 20 secs (5 ft with sets to 6.5 ft) mid-day. Swell continues solid on Thurs (6/16) at 4.0 ft @ 17-18 secs (7.0 ft with sets to 9.0 ft). Swell continues solid on Fri (6/17) at 3.8 ft @ 16 secs (6.0 ft with sets to 7.5 ft) then fading Saturday (6/18) from 2.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 195-203 degs focused on 200 degrees
Northern CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (6/15) building to 2.3 ft @ 20 secs (4.5 ft with sets to 5.8 ft) mid-day. Swell builds on Thurs (6/16) to 3.3 ft @ 18-19 secs (6.0 ft with sets to 7.5 ft). Swell continues solid on Fri (6/17) at 3.2 ft @ 16-17 secs (5.0 ft with sets to 6.5 ft) then fading Saturday (6/18) from 2.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 192-200 degs focused on 197 degrees
New Zealand Gale #4
On Sun PM (6/13) a gale was tracking east from under the Tasman Sea reaching a point south of New Zealand with a broad area of 40 kt west to west-northwest winds and a small embedded pocket to 45 kts generating seas at 32 ft at 52S 155E. mostly north of the CA swell window and shadowed by NZ relative to Hawaii. By Mon AM (6/13) 50 kt winds were southeast of New Zealand blowing from the southwest with seas building to 39 ft over a modest sized area at 57.5S 172E aimed east (195 degs HI, 211 degs NCal and just barely clear of the Tahiti swell shadow but aimed a bit east of the great circle path to CA, 211 degs SCal and shadowed). 45-50 kt west to west-southwest winds tracked east holding solid in the evening with seas building to 40 ft at 57S 173W (188 degs HI and mostly bypassing the great circle tracks there, 205 degs NCal and shadowed, 206 degs SCal and well clear of the shadow). West-southwest fetch was fading Tues AM (6/14) from 40-45 kts with seas holding at 40 ft at 55.5S 160W (aimed well east of the 201 deg great circle track to NCal and the 203 deg track to SCal). Fetch is to regenerate in the evening at 45-50 kts aimed southwest with seas holding at 39 ft at 54S 144W (192 degs NCal, 195 degs SCal but aimed well east of those paths). On Wed AM (5/15) fetch is to fade from 45 kts over a small area aimed southwest with seas 40 ft at 53S 133W (188 degs NCal, 190 degs SCal). The gale to fade from there. More swell is likely for HI and CA but not with as much size as one would guess given the strong easterly fetch heading.
South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Beyond 72 hours the local California pressure gradient is to start regenerating late Friday afternoon producing 15-20 kt north winds over North and Central California building in coverage Sat and Sun (6/19) resulting in modest raw north short period windswell.
For Hawaii the shallow fetch of east winds near Hawaii is to continue into the weekend (6/18) offering no real support for windswell development.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
More details to follow...
Transition to La Nina Stalls Temporarily
The Madden Julian Oscillation is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equatorial Pacific it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slack if not an outright reversal of trade winds and enhanced precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the.cgianet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to .cgiit resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for MJO activity (which directly relate to the potential for swell production).Overview: The 2014-2016 El Nino is fading out. La Nina is emerging.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Mon (6/13) east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific but weak over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA). Anomalies were generally weak westerly in the KWGA and points east to 110W both north and south of the equator. Interesting.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): Very weak west anomalies were over the KWGA and are to hold through 6/16, then be r.cgiaced quickly by east anomalies holding to 6/21, strongest at 130W but weak in the KWGA . It certainly appears that some sort of weak Active Phase of the MJO is in effect at present.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 6/13 a modest Inactive MJO signal was over the West and Central Pacific. The Statistic model projects this Inactive Phase slowly weakening while easing east over the next 2 weeks with the Active Phase of the MJO bottled up the whole time in the Indian Ocean. The dynamic model depicts the same thing, only with the Inactive Phase fading quicker then returning 2 weeks out. No enhancement of the jetstream is expected from the MJO per this model. But the GFS model (above) and CFS model (below) suggest otherwise.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (6/14) The ECMF model indicates a moderate Active MJO signal was present in the Indian Ocean. The forecast projects the Active Phase migrating to the Maritime Continent 2 weeks out at modest strength then fading. The GEFS model depicts the same thing but weakening before reaching the Maritime Continent.
40day Upper Level Model: (6/14) The Inactive Phase of the MJO was over the far West Pacific and is to track east reaching Central America on 7/4. A weak Active Phase to develop in the West Pacific 6/29 easing east into Central America on 7/24.
CFS Model beyond 1 week (850 mb wind): This model suggests the Active Phase of the MJO was over the dateline with weak west anomalies in.cgiay offering minimal support for enhancing the jetstream. The model depicts the Active Phase continuing to produce weak west anomalies through 6/18. After that the MJO is to be weak with no real anomalies forecast. Neutral anomalies if not weak east anomalies are forecast long term 7/4-9/9. The low pass filter suggests the remnants of El Nino are shifting east and are now south of Hawaii (rather than in the KWGA) and offering nothing to enhance the jetstream and are to dissipate (gone) south of California by 8/26.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (6/14) Actual temperatures are building in the west and fading in the east daily. A pocket of 30 deg temps were building in the far West Pacific with the 28 deg isotherm line steady now at 158W. No El Nino subsurface anomalies remain. Neutral anomalies rule from the West Pacific to 150W with weak negative anomalies between there and 120W. Cool subsurface waters are at depth erupting between 130W-150W with -3 degs anomalies reaching east down 100 meters to 130W (steady). The Kelvin Wave pipeline has been r.cgiaced with a cold river rushing east. But it appears to be not reaching Ecuador, but rather is westward di.cgiaced. Per the hi-res GODAS animation posted 6/7 one last weak pocket of +0.5 deg anomalies is confined to a shrinking area 170E to 170W. Cool waters at 3-4 degs below normal were under the entire width of the equator, undercutting any residual warm water above it and forming a bubble near 140W and upwelling from 120-150W. La Nina has begun.
Surface Water Temps: The more warm water in the equatorial East Pacific means more storm production in the North Pacific during winter months (roughly speaking). Cold water in that area has a dampening effect. Regardless of what the atmospheric models and surface winds suggest, actual water temperatures are a ground-truth indicator of what is occurring in the ocean. All data is from blended infrared and microwave sensors.
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4: (6/13) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicates cooler than normal water continues over the equator region with negative anomalies along the coast of Peru (shrinking some compared to days previous) pushing north and then extending west from Ecuador over the Galapagos building west to 157W peaking at -1.25 degs in pockets over that area. La Nina is firmly in control of surface waters, though remnant El Nino warm water is 3 degs north and south of the equator. No warm water remains anywhere in the Nino regions on the equator.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (6/13): A cooling trend is developing along Chile and Peru with cooler than normal waters from the Galapagos west out to 160W, but less so than days previous. The mirror image cooler trend that redeveloped in the Atlantic on 6/9 has weakened. Temps are fading along the California coast due to high pressure and northwest winds in control in that area. The PDO warm pool is holding solidly from Oregon out to Hawaii and west from there to the Philippines.
Hi-res Overview: (6/13) The El Nino signal is dissipating. A clear La Nina cool water pool is tracking from Ecuador but is weaker today than days past. A generalized pattern of +1-2 deg above normal temps remains 3 degs north and south of the equator and west of 160W. Cooler water is over the dateline in the North Pacific with warm water off the Pacific Northwest streaming over Hawaii looking very much like the classic Active PDO pattern.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (6/14) Today's temps were steady at +0.716 degs.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (6/14) temps are building for the moment barely back in positive territory at +0.524 degs due to the slackening of the La Nina cool pool. This is likely just a temporary pulse.
Comparing Stongest El Ninos in the last 50 year - ERSSTv4 'centered' data
Pacific Counter Current: As of 6/6 the current was moderately but continuously from the east on the equator from 90W to 150E. Anomalies were stronger still from the east over the same area. There were no pockets of west anomalies indicated. La Nina is firmly entrenched based on this data, which is normal for this point in the El Nino lifecycle.
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (6/11) indicates temps on a steady downward trajectory falling to -0.6 degs early July then moderating but still falling into Nov, easing down to -1.1 degs by early Dec then slowly rising in Jan 2017. This is solid La Nina territory but it's up from the -1.5 and -1.25 degs indicated even a few weeks ago.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-May Plume depicts temps falling steadily from here forward, down to -0.7 by Sept then starting to drift higher to -0.6 in February, See chart here - link.
Atmospheric Deco.cgiing (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (6/14): The daily index was neutral at +3.50. The 30 day average was rising at +1.00, transitioning from negative to positive for the first time in 2 years on 5/27. The 90 day average was falling from -6.88. El Nino was still evident in the 90 day average, but even that will soon be a distant memory.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation): (6/14) Today's value was rising some from -0.13. It peaked on 3/12 at +1.57 then fell until 4/14, when it started rising again peaking 4/23 at +1.12. But it has been falling steadily ever since.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO continues solid. Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-May) have been +0.79, +1.23, +1.55, +1.60, and +1.45. The Washington EDU index for the Jan-May period indicates +1.54, +1.75, +2.40, +2.62 and +2.35. April's value was the highest since 1941. The PDO turned from a 6 year negative run (2008-2013) in early 2014 and has been mostly above +1.5 all of 2015. Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data suggests that could be a real possibility. We've been in the negative phase since 1998 through at least 2013 (15 years). By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.
See imagery in the ENSO Powertool
External Reference Material: El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), Kelvin Wave
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table