Tuesday, July 25, 2017
- Buoy 146 (Lanai): This buoy is down and there is no backup site and no date if or when it will return to service. Buoy 233/51211 (Pearl Harbor) is available but has a new frequency layout. We'll have to code a new program to read it's output (date TBD).
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.4 ft @ 9.1 secs with windswell 1.6 ft @ 10.2 secs from 191 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southwest 4-6 kts. Water temperature 71.4 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.4 ft @ 9.3 secs from 219 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.7 ft @ 8.4 secs from 252 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.1 ft @ 12.5 secs from 207 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.1 ft @ 8.8 secs from 226 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.6 ft @ 10.8 secs with windswell 4.1 ft @ 10.0 secs from 314 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 12-14 kts. Water temp 57.6 degs.
46006, 46059, Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (bottom of the page)
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.
On Tuesday (7/25) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing surf at thigh to maybe waist high and warbled and weak. Protected breaks were thigh to maybe waist high and clean early but weak. At Santa Cruz there was virtually no rideable waves with clean conditions - Flat. In Southern California up north background windswell was occasionally producing waves at knee high or so and clean. In North Orange Co south angled southern hemi swell was hitting producing waves at waist o chest high on the sets and a little ruffled from southerly wind but rideable. In South Orange Co southern hemi background swell was occasionally producing waves in the waist to chest high range with some south texture on it and unimpressive. In San Diego surf was thigh to maybe waist high on the bigger sets and clean and weak. Hawaii's North Shore was thigh high on the sets and clean. The South Shore had sets at thigh high and clean. The East Shore was thigh to waist high and chopped from modest east trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Tuesday (7/25) small north local windswell was being generated by a modest version of the usual pressure gradient over North California and was also generating east windswell relative to Hawaii in conjunction with the remnants of Tropical Storm Greg. A pair of south angled southern hemi swells were tracking north towards California down into Central and South America generated by 2 gales previously in the far Southeast Pacific. Also Hurricane Hillary is building and is to interact with the remnants of Hurricane Irwin potentially producing swell in the CA swell window. In the far West Pacific Hurricane Noru has been retrograding east possibly setting up some swell pushing towards Hawaii. This level of tropical activity in the Pacific is unexpected given the push towards La Nina.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Tuesday (7/25) a elongated area of high pressure at 1028 mbs was centered over the area from the North Dateline east into the Gulf of Alaska and was weakly ridging east into the North CA coast producing a broad area of 20 kt north winds over Cape Mendocino and southward off Monterey Bay resulting in small north windswell pushing down into exposed breaks in North and Central CA but unremarkable. This high was also producing trades at 15 kts extending from off Pt Conception southeast to the Hawaiian Islands with east-northeast winds 15 kts over the area producing modest east windswell along exposed east facing shores.
Over the next 72 hours relative to the mainland the high is to generally hold position and strength with north winds 20 kts over a broad area mostly off the North CA coast reaching south to Pt Arena and light south of there resulting in more small gutless north windswell down into Central CA. Friday (7/28) The high is to split with the portion remaining in the Gulf of Alaska easing east some increasing winds in the gradient over North CA to 25 kts while falling south some focused over Pt Area with north winds at 20 kts down to Pismo Beach, increasing windswell size but also chop nearshore.
For Hawaii east-northeast trade winds are to hold somewhat into Wed (7/26) at 15 kts with windswell holding, then starting to fade on Thursday (7/27) as the high tracks east. And by Friday (7/28) trades to fall well below the critical 15 kts threshold for producing windswell, down to 10 kts over most of the area east of Hawaii, with windswell falling off considerably and no longer rideable.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
On Tues AM (7/25) 3 tropical system were in play in the East Pacific. Another system was in the West Pacific
Minimal Tropical Storm Greg about 1000 nmiles east-southeast of the Big Island tracking west-northwest at 9 kts with winds 35 kts and forecast to hold that general heading while weakening, and of no interest.
Hurricane Irwin was positioned 1,000 nmiles south-southwest of San Diego with winds recently building to 70 kts tracking west at 5 kts producing 19 ft seas, and forecast to start falling slowly southwest while slowly weakening to tropical storm force later Wed (7/26) with winds down to 60 kts. A steady fading is forecast from there. No swell of interest is to result.
Hurricane Hillary was of most interest. Hillary was positioned today 900 nmiles south-southeast of Cabo San Lucas with winds 90 kts tracking west at 11 kts with seas 37 ft. Hillary is forecast to build, with winds peaking at 100 kts this evening moving into the Point Dume swell window (152 degs) and the Dana Point swell window Wed AM (7/26) moving west-northwest through the evening before starting to fade some Thurs AM (7/27) with winds 95 kts at 175 degrees relative to Dana Point. Swell generation is expected relative to Southern CA. Will monitor. Interestingly Hillary is to start sucking the remnants of Irwin up into it and they are to orbit each other in something called a 'Fujiwhara interaction'. Take a look at the models.
Hurricane Noru previously was tracking west in the far West Pacific about 700 nmiles east-south east of Tokyo Japan on Sun AM (7/23), but then stalled and started tracking slowly east with winds 85 kts over a small area with seas 22 ft and starting to produce swell that could radiate into our forecast area. That motion continued in the evening with winds 90 kts and seas building to 25 ft at 27.2N 152.3E. On Mon AM (7/24) Noru continued east-southeast at 12 kts with winds 80 kts and seas 26 ft at 26.3N 154.4E. In the evening Noru continued east at 10 kts with winds 80 kts and seas 26 ft at 25.7N 156.7E. The forecast has Noru turning northeast Tues AM (7/25) with winds 90 kts then turning northwest by the evening with winds falling from 85 kts and tracking west from there no longer producing swell aimed at our forecast area. Some swell is expected to be radiating towards Hawaii. Possible small swell for Kauai starting Fri PM (7/28) at 1.7 ft @ 15 secs peaking Sat AM (7/29) at 2.0 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.5-3.0 ft) from 284 degrees. This swell is to be shadowed relative to Oahu by Kaui.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday (7/25) high pressure at 1030 mbs was centered in the Gulf of Alaska barely ridging east generating a small pressure gradient mostly off of North CA with north winds there at 20 kts over a moderate footprint and winds less that 15 kts down the entire CA coast. On Wed (7/26) more of the same is forecast with the gradient moving onshore over North CA on Thurs (7/27) at 20-25 kts focused over Pt Arena but with light winds from Pt Reyes southward. Fri (7/28) north winds to be 20-25 kts over all of North CA with north winds 20 kts down to almost Monterey Bay building to Pt Conception on Fri (7/28). Saturday the gradient is to start lifting north still at 25 kts over Cape Mendocino but 10 kts from just south of Pt Arena southward. Sunday (7/30) the gradient is to be fading from 25 kts from the north over Cape Mendocino with no winds from Pt Arena southward. Monday light winds to be in control of all of California waters continuing Tues (8/1).
On Tuesday AM (7/25) the jetstream continued in a zonal pattern with the northern branch running east initially on the 31S latitude line and the southern branch of the jet running east on the 55S latitude line but weak at 70 kts forming a trough south of New Zealand but too weak to support gale development. Over the Central Pacific both streams of the jet were ridging hard south with the southern branch pushing into Antarctica south of 73S at 140W only lifting north at 110W at 110 kts supporting gale development but east of the California swell window targeting only Mainland Mexico and points southward. Over the next 72 hours the ridge is to track east covering 160W and points east of there to South America offering no support for gale development through Thurs (7/27). The weak trough south of New Zealand is to persist while easing east but so weak (winds 80 kts) as to provide no support for gale development. By Fri (7/28) even that trough is to fade as the southern branch starts running east down at 68S the whole way across the South Pacific offering no support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours the southern branch of the jet is to continue flowing hard zonally to the east down at 65S and over Antarctic Ice offering no support for gale development through Tues (8/1). After that there some signs of a weak trough starting to build in the Southeast Pacific near 130W with southwest winds 120 kts pushing northeast up to 58S. Perhaps some support for gale development is possible if one is to believe a model 7 days out.
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
On Tuesday (7/25) weak low pressure 968 mbs was south of New Zealand generating only 30 kts southwest winds offering no potential to generate meaningful swell relative to the Northern Hemisphere. Otherwise strong high pressure at 1036 mbs was ridging south to Antarctic Ice on the eastern edge of the California swell window. A broad gale was east of it generating a pressure gradient producing 30-35 kt south winds and 31 ft seas targeting Mainland Mexico and points south of there (see 2nd Southeast Pacific Gale below). Also swell from a previous gale in the Southeast Pacific was tracking north (see 1st Southeast Pacific Gale below).
Central Pacific Gale
A gale developed in the Central South Pacific Tues PM (7/19) producing 40 kt west winds and seas to barely 30 ft at 60S 161W aimed east. Winds held into Wed AM (7/19) with seas building to 31 ft at 60S 148W again aimed east. that fetch and sea fading by evening. Low odds of any meaningful swell to result.
Southern CA: Expect swell to arrive on Thurs (7/27) building to 1.2 ft @ 17-18 secs later (2.0 ft). Swell fading Fri (7/28) from 1.2 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 200 degrees
1st Southeast Pacific Gale
On Fri PM (7/21) a gale started building in the Southeast Pacific producing a large area of 40+ kt southwest winds with seas building from 26 ft at 55S 131W aimed east-northeast. On Sat AM (7/22) fetch built to 45 kts embedded in a broad area of 40 kt southwest winds with seas building to 35 ft at 56S 121W barely in the NCal swell window and obliquely on the 182 degree path to Southern CA. In the evening the fetch was tracking northeast with 40-45 kts southwest winds moving well out of the SCal swell window targeting mainly Chile and Peru with 38 ft seas at 55S 111W targeting only South America. This system faded rapidly from there Sun AM (7/23) with fetch down to 35 kts over a small area and 36 ft seas at 53S 101W targeting only Chile and Peru.
Small sideband swell is expected for California with more for Central and South America.
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (7/29) building to 2.0 ft @ 19 secs late (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell to continue upwards on Sun AM (7/30) holding at 3.1 ft @ 17 secs (5.0-5.5 ft). Swell to continue Mon (7/31) but being overrun by new south angled swell (see forecast below). Swell Direction: 175-180 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun AM (7/30) building to 2.9 ft @ 17-18 secs late (4.5-5.0 ft) at exposed breaks. Swell to continue Mon (7/31) at 2.9 ft @ 17 secs (4.-5.0 ft). Swell to continue Tues (8/1) but being overrun by another south angled swell (see forecast below). Swell Direction: 175-180 degrees
2nd Southeast Pacific Gale
A new gale developed on the eastern edge of the Southern CA swell window on Sun PM (7/23) with 45 kt south winds and lifting north with seas building from 32 ft over a small area at 57.5S 119W. On Mon AM (7/24) fetch fading from 40 kts still lifting north and on the edge of the SCal swell window with 30 ft seas at 53S 114W tracking north. Additional 35-40 kt south fetch built in the same area in the evening with 32 ft seas at 51S 115W pushing due north. On Tues AM fetch was still 40 kts from the south but well east of the SCal swell window with 31 ft seas at 45.5S 11W pushing due north. This system is to be gone by evening.
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on later Mon (7/31) building to 2.6 ft @ 18-19 secs (4.5 ft). Swell continues on Tues (8/1) at 3.2 ft @ 17-18 secs early (5.5 ft with sets to 7.0 ft). Swell Direction: 175 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on later Mon (7/31) building to 1.6 ft @ 20 secs (3.0 ft). Swell continues on Tues (8/1) at 2.8 ft @ 18 secs early (5.0 ft with sets to 6.0 ft) at exposed breaks. Swell Direction: 170-175 degrees
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 starting Sat (7/29) high pressure is to persist ridging into the North CA coast generating north winds at 25 kts over North CA and 15-20 kt north winds down to Pt Conception making for modest raw north windswell into North and Central CA. Sunday the gradient is to lift north with 25 kt north winds over a small area over Cape Mendocino but light winds projected south of Pt Arena and windswell starting to fade. And by Monday (7/31) the gradient is to start collapsing with north winds barely 20 kts over Cape Mendocino and light winds south of there holding into Tues (8/1) with no meaningful windswell expected to be produced.
For Hawaii trades to hold below 15 kts from the east through Sun (7/30) with no windswell of interest expected. That is to possibly change on Mon (7/31) depending on the track and strength of Hurricane Hillary and it's interaction with weak high pressure projected north of it. Possible east winds at 15 kts to start pushing into the Islands for 24 hours producing limited windswell, then fading on Tues (8/1).
Beyond 72 hours a tiny cutoff gale is forecast developing just east of New Zealand on Fri (7/28) producing 45 kt south winds and 28 ft seas tin the evening building to 32 ft at 41.5S 178W Sat AM (7/29) then fading in the evening. Low odds of tiny swell radiating north to Tahiti and maybe Hawaii.
Otherwise no swell producing fetch is forecast.
More details to follow...
SSTs Falling - Some Models Suggesting La Nina Building
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 equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing 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 planet, 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 in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.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: La Nina started developing in early 2016, but westward displaced and generally weak. And by March 2017, it was gone with suspicious warming developing along South America and over the Galapagos to a point south of Hawaii. By May the atmosphere returned to a neutral configuration and is holding.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Monday (7/24) east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific including the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral over the East Equatorial Pacific but markedly easterly over the entire KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (7/25) Moderate plus east anomalies were modeled over the Central KWGA and forecast to hold solidly for the next week through the end of the 7 day model run (8/1). A week ago it looked like the long running Inactive Phase of the MJO/La Nina was dissipating. But now it appears to have not given up and if anything is stronger than ever per this, the GFS model. Other models offer a different perspective (see below).
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 7/24 a building Active/Wet MJO pattern was depicted over the West Pacific. The statistical model depicts the Active Phase is to hold for the next 2 weeks, weakening some starting day 11. The dynamic model depicts effectively the same thing. Perhaps a real Active Pattern will set up rather than being dominated by the Inactive Phase of the MJO as has been the case the past 6 months.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (7/25) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO modest over the far West Pacific and is to track steadily east reaching the dateline 1 week out and then retrograding some from there while holding strength. The GEFS model depicts the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model: (7/25) This model depicts a moderate Active/Wet Pattern over the far West Pacific moving east while fading slightly reaching the East Pacific and over Central America on 8/24. A modest Dry/Inactive Phase to set up in the Indian Ocean 8/19 tracking east and almost starting to reach the far West Pacific 9/3, the end of the model run. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (7/15) This model depicts a very weak Active MJO signal over the west KWGA with neutral to weak west anomalies indicated there. Over the coming days weak west anomalies are to build some into 7/31 as the Active MJO moves east reaching the dateline 8/8 with modest west anomalies in play over the KWGA then. The active Phase is to fade late Aug only to rebuild some early Sept but west anomalies are to hold in the KWGA generally in the weak to modest category. Perhaps a weak Inactive Phase to set up mid-Sept with winds turning neutral, then the Active Phase rebuilds 10/5 through the end of the model run 10/22 with west anomalies still in control in the KWGA. Of note: East anomalies are in-play from the dateline and points east of there and are to hold from here forward. The low pass filter indicates La Nina signal is to start today from the dateline eastward nd is to hold for the foreseeable future. Best guess is a very weak directionless pattern is to set up or even a weak La Nina redeveloping in Fall of 2017. It will take 5 years for the Pacific to recharge from the 2014-16 El Nino.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (7/25) Actual temperatures remain stratified with warm water in the far West Pacific at 30 degs over a shallow area at 160E. The 28 deg isotherm line has retrograded heavily to 157W. The 24 deg isotherm has retrograded west to 112W but it remains 100 meters deep at 140W. Anomaly wise a generic pattern of +1 deg anomalies stretches from the East to West Pacific from 110 meters upward. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 7/17 depicts a continuous stream of warm water tracking from the west to the east suggesting a homogenous pattern biased warm was in effect of the upper reaches of the entire equatorial Pacific. There is no real warm water in the far West Pacific to feed any sort of a progressive Kelvin Wave pattern. The GODAS image appears to be about 1 week behind the TAO data.
Sea Level Anomalies: (7/17) In all no positive or negative anomalies are present over the length of the equatorial Pacific. Effectively a dead neutral pattern is in control of the entire equatorial Pacific.
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: (7/24) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a cool anomaly pattern along the Peru and Ecuador tracking northwest up to the Galapagos and slightly west of there, but no further. Nearshore upwelling appaers to be in control. Warming well west of South America is loosing ground out to 100W. Also a broad pocket of cooling that was building centered at 25S 100W (well off Chile) is holding. Cooling is also present south of mainland Mexico to the equator. Overall cooling both north and south was more defined as compared to the last forecast update (7/15). The La Nina that developed last Spring faded and was replaced by an El Nino like pattern that tried to build after it during March-May, but that too has dissipated and is being replaced by a neutral pattern possibly trending cool.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (7/24): A neutral trend was along the coast of Chile and Peru. A cooling trend was pushing west off Ecuador and the Galapagos out to 140W interspersed with some alternating pockets of warm water. An early start of a legit La Nina pattern appears to be occurring. A strong warming trend continues in the Northern Hemi from California pushing north of Hawaii and reaching west to the Philippines. But overall nothing remarkable is indicated.
Hi-res Overview: (7/24) A weak warm regime holds over Chile but a thin and building stream of cooler water is depicted just off Peru northwest to the Galapagos then turning west along the equator to 130W. West of there a warmer pattern existing out to 140E. Overall waters of all oceans of the planet are warmer than normal. Suspect climatology needs to be updated to reflect this new reality, or the recent Super El Nino has significantly redistributed heat across the oceans.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (7/25) Today's temps were falling hard, now down to -0.949, down from a warm peak of +3.0 degs on 3/18 and +1.0 degs on 5/2 and +0.6 degs on 6/20.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (7/25) temps were starting to fall from consistently +0.5 degs through 7/18, now down to +0.300.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (7/23) The forecast has temps falling steadily from +0.50 degs July 1 to +0.0 in early Aug to -0.25 in Oct, then dropping steadily to -0.65 in Dec then stating to rebound to 0.0 in early March 2018 and perhaps warming to +0.2 degs in April. This suggests a neutral pattern biased cool setting up for the Winter of 2017-2018. CFS data (7/21) now suggest a legit La Nina cool pattern building on the equator off the Galapagos starting weakly in August and building steadily looking very La Nina like in Nov through Jan 2018. There is no source for El Nino like warming with the warm pool in the far West Pacific weak and fading.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-July Plume updated (7/25) depicts temps warmed to +0.5 degs in June. Temps are forecast to fade some to +0.3 degs in July, and are to hold there solid through March 2018 suggesting a neutral pattern in control. See chart here - link. The NMME consensus depicts the same thing with temp +0.3 degrees above normal through March.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (7/25): The daily index was falling at -4.06 having been positive from the previous 11 days. The 30 day average was rising steadily at 4.76. The 90 day average was rising at -1.32 or just south of neutral. This suggests a return to ENSO neutral conditions has taken hold.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (7/25) Today's value was falling again at -2.04 (up from -2.20 on 6/28) but still strongly suggesting a turn towards La Nina. A supposed peak of this La Nina was reached on 11/2/16 at -1.94. So the index is about as negative as it was at the peak of last years (2016) La Nina. At this time it looks like La Nina is returning. This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina events.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO continues positive, though much weaker lately (as expected with La Nina setting in).
Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.10, Feb = +0.04, March = +0.12, April=+0.52, May=+0.31, June=+0.17. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO. No consistently negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington EDU index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.77, Feb = +0.70, Mar = +0.74, April=+1.12, May=+0.88. No negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). 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 strongly suggests that could be a possibility. 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