Tuesday, October 17, 2017
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 7.3 ft @ 9.1 secs with windswell 5.1 ft @ 8.6 secs from 34 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.3 ft @ 14.7 secs with southern hemi swell 1.5 ft @ 18.0 secs from 186 degrees and 1.4 ft @ 14 secs from 168 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 8-10 kts. Water temperature 69.6 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.1 ft @ 18.4 secs from 194 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.2 ft @ 18.0 secs from 199 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 2.2 ft @ 18.2 secs from 216 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.9 ft @ 18.5 secs from 186 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 4.1 ft @ 13.7 secs with generic swell 2.6 ft @ 13.7 secs from 262 degrees and southern hemi swell 1.7 ft @ 18.6 secs from 197 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 6-8 kts. Water temp 55.2 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 (10/17) in North and Central CA weak generic swell from the North Pacific was producing set waves at exposed breaks at head high and slow with very clean conditions and no wind. Protected breaks were waist high on the sets and clean. At Santa Cruz waves were shoulder high and clean and lined up but slow. In Southern California up north south swell was producing set waves at up to shoulder high and clean with no wind early. In North Orange Co set waves were coming from the southern hemi at chest to maybe head high and clean but very slow. In South Orange Co set waves were head high to 1 ft overhead and clean but with some northerly lump running through it with northwest winds just 1 miles off the beach. In San Diego surf was chest high and clean. Hawaii's North Shore was getting wrap around windswell at chest to shoulder high and clean but a bit warbled. The South Shore was thigh high or so on the sets and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell at head high and heavily chopped from strong east trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Tuesday (10/17) background swell from the North Dateline region was resulting in rideable surf in North and Central California. Local east windswell continued producing sizeable east windswell relatively speaking over the Hawaiian Islands. A gale developed over the northern dateline later Mon (10/16) with seas building from 30 ft while tracking east and remains forecast to move into the Gulf of Alaska on Wed (10/18) with up to 42 ft seas generating larger swell for the US West Coast and Hawaii. Another smaller system is to follow behind in the Northwest Pacific on Thurs-Fri (10/20) with up to 34 ft seas aimed east the fading but still producing 20 ft seas as it moves through the Gulf of Alaska through Sat (10/21). Down south a gale developed in the Central South Pacific Sun-Tues (10/10) producing up to 38 ft seas over a small area aimed well northeast. That swell is hitting California now. Another gale developed in the far Southeast Pacific on Sat (10/14) with 36 ft seas barely in the Southern CA swell window aimed north. And another gale developed under under New Zealand while tracking east on Sun (10/15) with up to 40 ft seas over a small area aimed east. So there's potential both north and south. And long term perhaps a stronger extratropical system might recurve northeast originating off Japan. Things are looking up.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Tuesday AM (10/17) the jetstream was pushing off North Japan on the 45N latitude line running zonally east with winds building to 180 pushing over the dateline continuing east and holding velocity into the Western Gulf of Alaska, then while slow loosing energy with winds down to 110 kts before pushing over Vancouver Island. No troughs were present to support gale development down in lower levels of the atmosphere but the jet overall was looking better than at any point previously this Fall. Over the next 72 hours a trough is to start building in the Gulf on Wed (10/18) being fed by 180 kts winds while tracking east offering great support for gale development, then fading Thurs (10/19) while pushing into Washington. Back to the west a healthy jetstream flow is to continue pushing off Japan with winds in the 130-140 kts range but not troughs projected. Beyond 72 hours starting Sat (10/21) a broad trough is to start building in the solid jetstream flow over the dateline digging southeast and being fed by a broad river of 160 kts winds on Sun (10/22) offering great support for gale development while a pair of ridges develop off Japan and over the US West Coast. The trough is to push east and pinch off early Tues (10/24) with its apex just 300 nmiles northwest of Hawaii and support for gale development fading. But more wind energy is to start building in the jet over Northern Japan likely being fed by a strong extratropical storm there with winds to 170 kts and possibly starting to develop a trough. Something to monitor.
On Tuesday (10/17) some tiny swell of indeterminate source (likely the Western Aleutians 4+ days ago) was arriving in CA.
Over the next 72 hours a gale is to be arriving in the Western Gulf and forecast to build (see Gulf Gale below).
Also starting Thurs AM (10/19) a gale is to try and develop just south of the Aleutians midway between Kamchatka and the dateline producing 45 kts northwest winds and seas 34 ft over a small area at 47N 168E targeting mainly Hawaii (323 degs HI). West fetch is to continue tracking east in the evening at 40 kts near the dateline with 34 ft seas at 47N 176E aimed east (326 degs HI, 303 degs NCal). On Fri AM (10/20) the gale is to fall southeast with northwest winds fading from 35-40 kts and 30 ft seas at 45N 180W (328 degs HI, 300 degs NCal). In the evening fetch is to race east at 35 kts with 26 ft seas at 45N 169W (340 degs HI, 298 degs NCal) targeting mainly the US West Coast. On Sat AM (10/21) 35 kt west fetch is to move into the Central Gulf with 20-21 ft seas at 45N from 150W to 165W (298 degs NCal). Fetch is to fade in the evening from 35 kts from the west with seas 23 ft at 48N 142W (315 degrees NCal) and dissipating and moving out of the NCal swell window. Something to monitor.
A gale started developing just south of the Aleutians near the dateline starting Mon AM (10/16) producing west winds 40-45 kts and seas building from 20 ft at 49N 170E. In the evening the gale pushed to the dateline just south of the Central Aleutians with winds 45 kts from the west and seas 30 ft at 49.5N 178.5E (332 degs HI). The fetch tracked east Tues AM (10/17) while increasing in areal coverage at 45 kts from the west positioned just south of the Eastern Aleutians with seas 36 ft over a small area at 49.5N 172.5W (342 degs HI, 307 degs NCal). In the evening the gale is to track east with winds still 45 to near 50 kts and seas 37 ft at 48N 161W (357 degs HI, 304 degs NCal). The gale is to move over the Central Gulf on Wed AM (10/18) with northwest winds 45-50 kts and 42 ft seas at 48N 150W (307 degrees NCal). In the evening the fetch is to fade over the Eastern Gulf with northwest winds 45 kts and seas 40 ft at 48N 142W (315 degs NCal). The gale is to fade from there Thurs AM (10/19) with northwest winds 30-35 kts over solid area off the Pacific Northwest with seas fading from 32 ft at 48N 137W (319 degrees NCal). Something to monitor. Of note, all the core high seas are to be shadowed relative to the SF Bay area so size will be less than anticipated.
Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on overnight Thurs (10/19) peaking on Fri AM (10/20) at 4.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (5.8 ft) and fading through the day. Residuals on Sat AM (10/21) fading from 3.0 ft @ 12 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 340 degrees
North CA: Rough data suggest swell arrival on Fri (10/20) with lingering energy holding through the weekend.
No windswell relative to California is forecast.
For windswell relative to Hawaii: By later Tuesday (10/17) a fetch of east trades is to be limited to only the area 200 nmiles east of Hawaii and only at 15 kts. Windswell fading. More of the same shallow fetch is forecast Wed (10/18). But on Thurs (10/19) the fetch is to retrograde east with 15-20 kt east-northeast winds building again up to 400 nmiles east of the Islands offering improved opportunity for windswell development. Fetch is to be fading from 15 to barely 20 kts on Fri (10/20) east of the Islands but increasing in coverage with windswell starting to fade slightly.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Tropical Storm Lan was 340 nmiles west of the Central Philippines with winds 55 kts and drifting north. Lan is forecast to build while taking am ore defined track to the north over the next 72 hours with winds to 130 kts by Fri AM (10/20) 700 nmiles south of the Southern tip of Japan. A continues northerly track is forecast with some weakening. See Long Term forecast for details beyond 72 hours.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday (10/17) a light local wind pattern was in control of the entire California coast. More of the same is forecast for Wed (10/18) with a light pressure and wind pattern in control of all of North and Central CA. A front is to impact the Cape Mendocino coast weakly on Thurs (10/19) with southerly winds 20 kts early then turning southwest later afternoon and south winds down to maybe Bodega Bay. North winds 20 kts are forecast for Pt Conception. Friday northwest winds are forecast at mostly 10 kts for North CA but 15-20 kts from Monterey Bay southward and approaching nearshore waters of Southern CA. Saturday high pressure is to take control riding into North CA with light winds for Cape Mendocino to the Golden Gate but north winds 20 kts from Monterey south to Pt Conception. More of the same on Sunday but with north winds creeping north with 15 kts north winds from Pigeon Point southward early and reaching up to Cape Mendocino late. Monday (10/23) north winds at 20 kts to be from Cape Mendocino southward to off Pt Conception but less nearshore. Tuesday (10/24) a light wind flow is forecast for the entire state with the gradient and north winds dissipated.
On Tuesday (10/17) swell from a gale that tracked through the South Central Pacific was radiating north and starting to hit California (see Central Pacific Gale below). Also swell from another gale in the far Southeast Pacific was radiating north towards Southern CA (see Southeast Pacific Gale below). And swell from a gale that tracked under New Zealand was radiating northeast (See New Zealand Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
Central Pacific Gale
On Sun AM (10/8) a fetch of 40 kt southwest winds were getting traction on the oceans surface southeast of New Zealand with seas building from 26 ft at 58S 171W. In the evening the gale was building some with 40-45 kt south winds taking shape and seas 32 ft at 54S 157W aimed northeast. A solid area of 45-50 kt south winds developed Mon AM (10/9) with 32 ft seas at 53S 149W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch consolidated at 45 kts from the south with a tiny core of 39 ft seas at 50S 148.5W surrounded by a decent size area of 30+ ft seas aimed north. On Tues AM (10/10) south fetch was fading from 30 kts over a decent sized area aimed north with 34 ft seas fading over a small area at 45S 146W. Fetch fading from 30 kts from the south in the evening with seas fading from 28 ft at 40S 143W. Small swell is possible for Hawaii with larger size for California. Something to monitor.
Hawaii: Swell fading Tues (10/17) from 1.6 ft @ 15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 180 degrees
South California: Swell continues up on Tues (10/17) building to 3.2 ft @ 17-18 secs later (5.5 ft with sets to 7.0 ft). Swell holding on Wed AM (10/18) at 3.3 ft @ 16 secs (5.3 ft with sets to 6.6 ft). Swell fading Thurs (10/19) from 2.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 198 degrees
North California: Swell continues up on Tues (10/17) building to 2.6 ft @ 18 secs later (4.5 ft with sets to 6.0 ft). Swell peaking Wed AM (10/18) at 3.1 ft @ 16-17 secs early (5.1 ft with sets to 6.4 ft). Swell fading Thurs (10/19) from 2.3 ft @ 15 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 197 degrees
Southeast Pacific Gale
On Sat AM (10/14) a moderate sized gale developed in the far Southeast Pacific on the edge of the California swell window with 40-45 kt south winds and seas building from 27 ft over a moderate area at 58S 124W. In the evening 45-50 kt south winds were pushing north-northeast with 37 ft seas at 56S 117.5W aimed north and northeast. On Sun AM (10/15) fetch was fading fast from 35-40 kts moving northeast with seas fading from 36 ft at 51S 111W targeting mainly from South Mexico and points south of there. The gale faded while moving rapidly east from there. Very south angled swell is possible for California but better focused for Mexico southward into South America.
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (10/21) after dark and building Sun (10/22) up to 2.3 ft @ 18 secs late (4.0 ft). Swell peaking on Mon (10/23) at 2.5 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell fading Tues (10/24) from 2.5 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5 ft) early. Swell Direction: 177-180 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (10/21) after dark and building Sun (10/22) up to 1.9 ft @ 19 secs late (3.5 ft). Swell peaking later on Mon (10/23) at 2.1 ft @ 17 secs (3.0-3.5 ft) at exposed breaks. Swell fading Tues (10/24) from 2.3 ft @ 16 secs (3.5-4.0 ft) early. Swell Direction: 175-178 degrees
New Zealand Gale
Another gale (actually a storm) developed under New Zealand starting on Sat PM (10/14) with 50 kt southwest winds and seas building from 34 ft at 54S 165E tracking due east. On Sun AM (10/15) 50-55 kt southwest winds developed tracking east over a small area with 40 ft seas building at 56S 173E. The gale was fading fast in the evening with winds dropping from 40 kts from the southwest with seas fading from 37 ft at 54S 178W. The gale is to be gone after that.
Southern California: Expect swell starting to show late Tues (10/24) building to 1 ft @ 19 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 315 degrees
Northern CA: Expect swell starting to show late Tues (10/24) building to 1 ft @ 19 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 315 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 the models suggest a developing tropical system currently 300 nmiles east of the Philippines is to build while lifting north grazing the East Japan coast on Sun-Mon (10/23) then racing northeast and tapping jetstream energy off the Kuril Islands late Monday before lifting northeast fast Tues (10/24) producing west winds at 40-45 kts over a solid area and building on the North Dateline region with the core moving into the Bering Sea with 35 ft seas at 51N 179W targeting the US West Coast. None of this is remotely believable at this time. Something to monitor just the same.
For California no local windswell production is forecast until Sat (10/21) with high pressure trying to ridge into North CA producing the usual pressure gradient south of there and north winds at 20-25 kts over the area mainly from Big Sur to Pt Conception limiting windswell to the Pt Conception up to Morro Bay area. More of the same is expected Sun (10/22) with the fetch lifting north up to Monterey Bay but north winds fading at 20 kts. Limited windswell for the same area. Monday north winds to lift north over Cape Mendocino down to Monterey Bay at 20 kts offering windswell for Bodega Bay southward. By Tues (10/24) the fetch is to lift north and dissipate with only residual windswell remaining early.
For Hawaii starting Saturday (10/21) high pressure is to be midway between Hawaii and North CA generating east trades at 15 kts covering the area from off Baja to Hawaii offering more windswell potential for exposed east shores of the Hawaiian Islands. By Sun (10/22) high pressure is to be ridging into North CA with east fetch at 15 kts still in play, but the fetch area starting to decrease and pushing east away from Hawaii. Windswell starting to fade. More of the same on Mon and Tues (10/24) with windswell starting to dissipate but not entirely gone.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.
More details to follow...
Good News Finally - Active Phase of MJO Developing in West Pacific
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 but then in July east anomalies started building in the KWGA and have not stopped, with cold water upwelling over the the Nino1.2 and 3.4 areas, indicative of La Nina. So it appears now a double dip La Nina is setting up and is to continue through the Winter and Spring of 2017-2018.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Mon (10/16) the 5 day average indicated east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific and Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were mixed and light over the East Pacific but modest east over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (10/17) Modest east anomalies were modeled over the core of the KWGA. Moderate to strong east anomalies were building just east of the KWGA but are to hold at modest strength or less for the core of the KWGA and slowly fading to near neutral by the end of the model run on 10/24. This is not the Inactive Phase of the MJO, but another small pulse of La Nina completely squashing the MJO. This is not conducive to storm development in the greater Pacific Basin.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 10/16 a moderate Active/Wet MJO pattern was moving into the far West Pacific. The statistical model depicts it holding and only slightly fading through the end of the 15 day model run. The dynamic model depicts the same thing. This is the first Active Phase of the MJO since March, some good news and a sign that La nina might be weakening some.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (10/17) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO moderate to strong in strength over the Maritime Continent and forecast holding strength while tracking east, over the dateline and then fading there 2 weeks out. The GEFS model suggests the same thing. This is good news.
40 day Upper Level Model: (10/17) This model depicts a moderately strong Active/Wet pattern over the West Pacific and it's to track east over the equatorial Pacific and into Central America 11/5. After that a moderately solid Inactive Phase is to follow in the West on 11/1 tracking east into Central America through the end of the model run on 11/26. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (10/17) This model depicts a strong Inactive Phase of the MJO over the KWGA moving east with east anomalies over the same area. The Inactive Phase is to move east and be gone from the KWGA by 10/25, with a weak Active Phase and weak west anomalies taking over till 11/26 even though a neutral MJO pattern is expected 11/16-11/28. Then the Active Phase returns weakly on 11/29 and building from there into early Jan 2018 with modest west anomalies forecast. The low pass filter indicates a building but still weak to moderate El Nino signal is over the KWGA and is to hold for the foreseeable future. The La Nina signal has moved over the Atlantic. Interesting. If this is true, it suggests the underpinnings of La Nina that is developing in the Pacific are already gone and that the La Nina forecast this winter is to be short lived, or at least overhyped. Best guess is a very weak directionless and low energy weather pattern biased towards La Nina redeveloping in Fall of 2017 holding into December, then vaporizing in March with a neutral ENSO signal developing. It will take about 5+ years for the Pacific to recharge from the 2014-16 El Nino before another El Nino develops.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (10/17) A pattern change set up in August, with warm water retreating to the west and cooler water building in the east. Today in the far West Pacific water temps have fallen to barely 29 degs centered at 160E and shrinking in coverage. The 28 deg isotherm line is barely hanging on at 173W. The 24 deg isotherm is weak at 130W today and shallow at 60 meters deep at 140W. Anomaly wise a clear change is present in the East Pacific with warm water gone and instead neutral to weakly negative temperatures at the surface and down to -3 degs C down 125 meters at 140W indicative of La Nina. Warm anomalies are isolated to the West Pacific at +0.5 degrees down to 100 meters deep with the dividing line between cool and warm retrograding further west at 170W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 10/10 depicts a large area of subsurface cool water filling the East Pacific and erupting to the surface in pockets between 100W to 160W with a near neutral temperature pattern in the west.
Sea Level Anomalies: (10/10) Negative anomalies are in control at -5 cms over the entire equatorial Pacific with a large pocket of -10 cm anomalies present between 110W-160W but a bit more fragmented and showing signs of weakness compared to weeks earlier.
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: (10/16) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a clear cool pattern has developed. Upwelling continues along Peru and Ecuador (though slightly weaker than the past few weeks) and tracking northwest building in density over the Galapagos and flowing steadily west from there on the equator out to 120W then building in coverage but less cold out to 160W. no warm anomalies are indicated within 3+ degs north or south of the equator over the entire region.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (10/16): A neutral trend was along Peru. But a marked cooling trend was indicated starting over the Galapagos continuing west on the equator out to 120W and then mixed warm and cold out to 160W. The marked cooling is likely due to the eruption of the subsurface cool pool. Another pulse of La Nina is occurring.
Hi-res Overview: (10/16) A clear La Nina cool stream is present starting off Southern Chile pushing north up Peru and building in coverage, then turning northwest off Ecuador tracking west over the Galapagos then building out to 140W and stronger than days past. Weak cool anomalies continued west from there out to 165E. This pattern outlines the South Pacific high pressure system well which is assumed to be stronger than normal. It is assumed cool water at depth is erupting to the surface with the breach point near the Galapagos. There is no sign of warm anomalies in the Nino 1.2 or Nino3.4 regions. Otherwise waters of all oceans of the planet are warmer than normal other than the aforementioned stream. We now assert that climatology needs to be updated to reflect the new reality of warming ocean temperatures over the entire planet.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (10/17) Today's temps were rising slightly at -1.284, up from the coldest point so far this La Nina when they dipped to -1.9 degs on 10/11.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (10/17) temps were falling some at -0.440, up some from when they bottomed out on 9/12 at -0.898. But the long arc still suggests a clear downward trend though things have warmed steadily over the past 3 weeks.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (10/15) The forecast has temps falling steadily from -0.2 in early Oct to -1.0 in early Dec holding till Jan1 2018. Then the trend is to turn upwards reaching -0.3 in April and 0.0 degs in July 2018. This suggests a legit La Nina is expected for the Winter of 2017-2018. The CFS SST images (10/13) continues to suggest a moderate La Nina cool pattern building on the equator off the Galapagos into Feb 2018. A full on La Nina is setting up.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Sept Plume updated (9/19) depicts temps forecast to fade -0.4 degs in Sept, and fading to -0.6 degs in Nov, slowly rising from there turning neutral in April 2018. See chart here - link. The NMME consensus for Oct average indicates temps -0.75 degrees below normal Nov-Jan 2018 then rebounding to normal in April. It sure looks like La Nina is on the way. The CFSv2 is the outlier, colder than all other models. Still, given all the oceanic signals, we a tending to side with it more than the other models.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (10/17): The daily index was positive at 13.54. The 30 day average was rising at 11.60. The 90 day average was rising slowly at +7.53. This suggests a turn towards La Nina.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (10/17) The index was falling at -1.67 (up from -2.20 on 6/28/17 but still suggesting a turn towards La Nina). Last years La Nina reached -1.94 on 11/2/16. We're gone deeper than that already. 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 for a double dip/2 year La Nina (not unusual). 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 is weakly negative, but not as much as one would expect with La Nina in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.10, Feb = +0.04, March = +0.12, April=+0.52, May=+0.30, June=+0.19, July= -0.50, Aug= -0.68, Sept = -0.28. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO discounting the recent La Nina dip. 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, June=+0.79, July=+0.10, Aug=0.09, Sept = 0.32. 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