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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, January 22, 2019 4:28 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
2.5 - California & 3.5 - Hawaii
Using the 'Winter' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

Probability for presence of largest swells in near-shore waters of NCal, SCal or Hawaii.    

Issued for Week of Monday 1/21 thru Sun 1/27

Swell Potential Rating Categories
5 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Significant swell
4 = Good probability for 1-2 days of Significant swell
3 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Intermediate/Advanced swell
2 = Good probability for  1-2 days of
Intermediate/Advanced swell
1 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Impulse or Windswell
0 = Low probability for 1-2 days of Impulse or Windswell   

Series of Modest Gales Developing in WPac
And More Forecast Behind That

On Tuesday, January 22, 2019 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/ Buoy 239 (Lanai): At Barbers Point (238) seas were 3.0 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 9.4 secs from 169 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.1 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 2.0 ft @ 13.2 secs from 311 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 5.5 ft @ 10.0 secs with swell 3.0 ft @ 10.1 secs from 258 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north at 23-31 kts. Water temperature 59.9 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 4.1 ft @ 10.1 secs from 274 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 3.0 ft @ 10.1 secs from 268 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.6 ft @ 9.4 secs from 272 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 5.4 ft @ 10.2 secs from 281 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 8.5 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 5.7 ft @ 9.9 secs from 296 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 10-14 kts. Water temp 56.5 degs (042).

See 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).
- 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).
- 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.
- up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.

Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.

Current Conditions
On Tuesday (1/22) in North and Central CA surf was waist to maybe chest high and relatively clean but weak and very much only windswell. Protected breaks were waist to chest high and clean and soft. At Santa Cruz surf was thigh high and warbled and soft and not really rideable. In Southern California/Ventura surf was waist to chest high and clean and lined up but looking to be short period windswell. In North Orange Co surf was waist high and reasonably clean and lined up but breaking on the beach coming from the north. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks had sets at knee high or so and clean breaking on the beach. North San Diego surf was waist to occasionally chest high and clean and lined up with light offshore winds and decent form but soft. Hawaii's North Shore was maybe waist high on the sets at top breaks and clean and lined up with no wind early. The South Shore was flat to knee high and nearly chopped from east-southeast wind. The East Shore was small with southeast windswell thigh high and lightly chopped with a modest southeast flow in effect.

See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (1/22) no real swell was hitting either California or Hawaii other than small local windswell. A small gale developed in the extreme Northwestern Gulf on Sun (1/20) producing up to 38 ft seas over a tiny area aimed east for 12 hours then dissipated. Small swell is pushing east towards CA. And a broader system developed between Japan and the Dateline on Sun (1/20) with 37 ft seas aimed southeast briefly towards Hawaii then quickly faded, with secondary energy redeveloping nearer the dateline on Tues (1/22) with 33 ft seas aimed east. Swell is pushing towards the Islands. Another gale is to briefly develop just west of the dateline Tues (1/22) with 28-30 ft seas aimed east followed by another on a similar track on Fri-Sat (1/26) with 28-30 ft seas aimed east. And maybe another is to develop mid-way to the dateline on Sun-Mon (1/28) with maybe 43 ft seas briefly developing aimed east. We're in the Inactive Phase of the MJO for about a week, waiting for the Active Phase to reappear, and so not too much is expected.

See all the details below...


Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

On Tuesday AM (1/22) the jetstream was well consolidated tracking east off Japan on the 35N latitude line with winds to 210 kts reaching over the dateline then fading and splitting at 165W but not producing any sort of clearly defined trough and not offering much in terms of support for gale production regardless of the solid wind pattern. East of there the jet was split with most energy in the northern branch and lifting northeast pushing into British Columbia with the southern branch falling southeast moving to the equator and supportive of high pressure taking root over the Eastern North Pacific. Over the next 72 hours into Fri (1/25) winds to fade in the consolidated portion of the jet to 170 kts winds forming a weak trough on the dateline offering minimal support for gale development. To the east the split point is to ease east to 155W with the northern branch pushing north and over the North Canadian Coast. Beyond 72 hours the same general pattern is to hold into Tues (1/29) with 160-170 kt winds pushing off Japan reaching east to about 170W with a little more defined trough tracking east embedded in that flow offering some support for gale development. The split point is retrograde some to 165W with the flow east of the becoming less defined and weaker perhaps suggesting that surface high pressure might also weaken some. But there's not indication of the storm door opening relative to the US West Coast yet.

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday (1/22) no clearly defined swell was hitting our forecast area. But swell from two gales was tracking east targeting California and Hawaii (see Northwest Gulf Gale & Dateline Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours another small gale is to start building off Japan on Thurs PM (1/24) with 40-45 kt northwest winds and seas building to 31 ft at 37N 157.5E aimed east. 45 kt west winds are to migrate east on Fri AM (1/25) with 31 ft seas at 37N 166E targeting Hawaii well. In the evening the gale is to lift northeast and fade with west winds 30-35 kts and seas fading from 41N 180W aimed east. The gale is to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.


Northwest Gulf Gale
A tiny gale developed in the extreme Northwestern Gulf of Alaska Sun AM (1/20) producing 45 kt west winds over a small area aimed east with 37 ft seas at 45.5N 167.5W. The gale lifted north some in the evening making no eastward headway with winds fading from 40 kts and seas 31 ft lifting north at 48.5W 165.5W. The gale dissipated after that.

North CA: Small swell is expected for NCal arriving Wed AM (1/23) pushing 3.4 ft @ 17 secs (5.5 ft) but getting overridden by other nondescript swell at 5.4 ft @ 14-15 secs (7.5 ft). Combo energy holding Thursday (1/24) at 6.5 ft @ 13-14 secs (8.5 ft). Swell fading Fri (1/25) from 4.4 ft @ 12-13 secs (6.0 ft) and getting overriding by new swell. Swell Direction: 292-298 degrees


Dateline Gale
Also a gale started building off North Japan on Sat PM (1/19) producing 45-50 kt northwest winds over a moderate area with seas 34 ft at 41N 160E targeting Hawaii well. By Sun AM (1/20) the gale was fading fast with 35 northwest winds over a decent sized area and seas fading from 33 ft at 38N 167E. By evening this system was gone with seas from previous fetch fading from 26 ft at 38N 177E aimed east.

Mon AM (1/21) secondary winds energy was building mid-way between japan and the dateline with 40 kt west winds and seas building from 27 ft at 37N 166E. In the evening 45 kt west winds to push to the dateline with 33 ft seas at 37.5N 179W aimed east. On Tues AM (1/22) the gael is to be fading while lifting northeast with 35-40 kt west winds and seas fading from 31 ft at 38.5N 170W. This system to fade from there.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival Wed AM (1/23) with period 17 secs at 4.2 ft @ 17 secs (7.0 ft) but getting overridden by new more recent energy 5.4 ft @ 14-15 secs (8.0 ft). Combo swell fading on Thurs (1/24) from 7.0 ft @ 15 secs (10.5 ft). Swell fading Fri (1/25) from 4.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (6.0 ft) and getting overridden by new secondary energy building to 6.2 ft @ 15 secs (9.0 ft). Swell fading Sat (1/26) from 5.6 ft @ 13-14 secs. Residuals on Sun (1/27) fading from 3.2 ft @ 12-13 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction 307-312 degrees moving to 315 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (1/25) overriding previous swell to 4.1 ft @ 16-17 secs (6.5 ft). Swell fading on Sat (1/26) from 4.9 ft @ 14-15 secs (7.0 ft). Secondary swell building Sun (1/27) at 4.8 ft @ 15-16 secs (7.0 ft). Swell fading Mon (1/28) at 4.6 ft @ 14 secs (6.0-6.5 ft). Dribbles on Tues (1/29) 3.4 ft @ 12-13 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 290 degrees


  North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height


Tropical Update
No tropical weather systems of interest are forecast.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday AM (1/22) high pressure was ridging inland over the OR-CA border with north winds 15 kts early for the entire state all day but fading to 10 kts for Southern CA late afternoon. Wednesday (1/23) a light north-northeast flow is forecast for the state at 10 kts other than north winds 15 kts for the Cape Mendocino-Pt Arena area late afternoon. No change through Fri (1/27) but with north winds to 20+ kts for Cape Mendocino mid-day Friday into the afternoon. Saturday (1/26) a modest northeast flow is forecast for the entire state at 10 kts fading to 5 kts on Sunday (1/27). Monday (1/28) high pressure holds with north winds 5+ kts for North and Central CA fading to 1-5 kts on Tues (1/29).

Total snow accumulation for for the week for Lake Tahoe (thru 1/30): 0 inches and 0 inches for Mammoth. High pressure is in control.

Snow Models: (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts).


South Pacific

Surface Analysis  
No swell of interest was in the water.

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.


South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height




Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours another southward displaced gale is to develop off Japan on Sun AM (1/27) with 55 kt west winds over a small area and seas building from 37 ft at 34N 180E aimed east. In the evening 45 kt west winds are to continue as the gale itself lifts northeast approaching the dateline with seas building to 39 ft at 35N 168E aimed east. The storm is to lift northeast on the dateline Mon AM (1/28) with 50 kt northwest winds and seas trying to rebuild from 34 ft at 41N 171.5E aimed southeast. In the evening this system to lift north over the Western Aleutians producing 45 kt northwest winds just south of the Aleutians with seas building to 38 ft at 47N 178E aimed east. Fetch to fade Tues AM (1/29) with seas fading from 30 ft at 50N 180W aimed east. The gale to dissipate after that.

Another small gale is to start building off Japan on Tues AM (1/29) tracking east with 45 kt west winds and seas 29 ft at 39N 164E aimed east.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.


MJO/ENSO Forecast


Inactive MJO Continues

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. A double dip La Nina was in control and continued through the Winter of 2017-2018. But warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018 associated with two upwelling Kelvin Waves, and continued trying to build over equatorial waters over the Summer and Fall, but not enough to declare El Nino and not coupled with the atmosphere. As of January 2019, those warm waters were fading.

Fall/Winter 2018 = 6.0 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)

Rationale: Assuming the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that El Nino does not develop as strong as previously forecast, and assuming and an ocean-atmospheric coupling becomes weakly established in the January timeframe and ocean temperature anomalies in Nino3.4 build to the +0.6 deg range, there is good probability for slightly enhanced storm production in the North Pacific starting in the late Nov timeframe (specifically the Gulf of Alaska and Dateline regions) with slightly increased intensity in number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in slightly increased odds for larger than normal swell, with increased duration and higher than normal period. This should be significantly better than the past 2 winter seasons.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (1/21) 5 day average winds were from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific to the dateline, then a little weaker over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral to light east over the East equatorial Pacific turning neutral over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (1/22) moderately east anomalies were over the dateline with modest west anomalies holding in the core of the KWGA. The forecast is for west anomalies holding in the modest category for the next 5 days with east anomalies slowly fading over the dateline. Then on 1/27-1/29 west anomalies are to start filling the entirety of the KWGA and building to moderate strength just east of the dateline. Support for storm development to be weak to modest for the next 5 days, then rebuilding later in the week limited mainly to the West Pacific.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (1/21) The Inactive Phase of the MJO was centered just east of the dateline with the Active Phase over the Maritime Continent. The statistic model indicates the Inactive Phase is to ease east and out of the KWGA at day 3 of the model run with the Active Phase building in the West Pacific and taking over the KWGA at day 8 and holding through day 15. The dynamic model indicates the same thing.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (1/22) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was modest over the Maritime Continent. It is to move east while building to moderate strength moving into the West Pacific 8 days out then weakening and stationary over the West Pacific through day 15. The GEFS model suggests the same thing but with the Active Phase not making it as far to the east and not quite as strong.
40 day Upper Level Model: (1/21) This model depicts a very weak Active Phase over the far West Pacific slowly and weakly pushing east moving in to the East Pacific and over Central America on 2/14. A modest Inactive signal is to set up in the West Pacific on 2/9 moving to the East Pacific on 3/2.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (1/21) This model depicts moderate west anomalies fading over the far West KWGA with east anomalies building over the dateline. West anomalies are to be gone by 1/26 with east anomalies taking control of the core of the KWGA till about 1/29 while west anomalies slowly start building on the dateline and backfilling into the KWGA on 2/4 filling it and holding till the end of the model run on 2/18.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (1/22) This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO trying to build into the core of the KWGA today through 1/28 with modest east anomalies on the dateline then fading by 1/28 with no MJO signal indicated then. A weak to neutral MJO signal to continue in the KWGA for the foreseeable future but with west anomalies slowly building starting 2/14 with weak west anomalies on the dateline and getting progressively more solid in coverage through the end of the model run through 4/21. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias is fully in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east over California and forecast holding over California through 2/14, then retracting some. A third contour line faded 12/17 and is not to return. But the low pressure bias is to hold through the end of the model run on 4/21. It appears from this model that a tendency towards El Nino was previously in control and is to continue, but far weaker. Theoretically the atmosphere and ocean were at one time trying to become coupled towards El Nino in the Pacific Ocean, but there's no objective evidence that it every happened. Still this pattern is more favorable to support storm production in the Pacific regardless of whether El Nino develops, because the atmosphere is still turning from a La Nina pattern (that has been entrenched for the past 2 years) at a minimum towards a neutral one. Our assumption is a normal Winter pattern will result, or perhaps slightly enhanced, but nothing more.

CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (1/21) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs and steady (after previously reaching east to 175W on 12/11) reaching east today to 1789E. The 28 deg isotherm line had retrograded west to 160W mid-Nov, then moved east and walled up to 153W, but retrograded and is back at 165W. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador 25 meters down. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies are filling the entire subsurface Pacific at +1 degs or greater with a pocket building under the dateline at +3 degs (Possible Kelvin Wave #3) and the remnants of Kevin Wave #2 were pushing east in the far East Pacific from 125W and points east at +2 degs. We were thinking the peak of the Kelvin Wave cycle for this supposed El Nino has already occurred associated with Kelvin Wave #2, but upwelling over Ecuador looks poised to continue nonstop for the next 3+ months with the development of Kelvin Wave #3. So there's good surface oceanic warming potential to feed jetstream core energy through the entirety of the 2018/2019 winter cycle. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 1/18 indicates Kelvin Wave #2 fading in the East Pacific with pockets of 3 degs from 130W into Ecuador and with +3 deg anomalies building in the west from New Guinea to the dateline (Kelvin Wave #3 attributable to a Westerly Wind Burst occurring there 12/30-1/16). +1-2 degs anomalies connect the 2 Kelvin Waves making a rives of warm water traversing the width of the equatorial Pacific. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (1/18) Positive anomalies were from the interior Maritime Continent tracking east into Ecuador at mostly 0-5 cms but with a pocket of +10 cms anomalies over the dateline and +5 cm anomalies near 120W. A new weak Kelvin Wave is building north of New Guinea while a previous warm subsurface pattern is fading over the east 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.
Satellite Imagery
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4: (1/21) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate temps were very weakly warm straddling 5 degrees north and south of the equator from the dateline west to Ecuador with a pocket of much warmer water from 110W to Ecuador. Warm water that was previously fading along the coast of Chile and Peru up into Ecuador was steady today. Weak generic warming was off Central America and Mexico and building some today in coverage and intensity. There is no indications that an El Nino is building but it appears a warm pulse is underway in the East Pacific. A concerning pocket of cool waters elongated east to west off Peru to 130W has gained ground extending west from 120W previously to 137W today. Overall the pattern looks somewhat like El Nino, but nothing more than a very weak El Nino. In all this supposed El Nino is weak and becoming more fragile by the day.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (1/21): A small area of weak warm water was off Peru and a small pockets of moderate warming was extending west along the equator between the Galapagos to 110W. It looks like the far equatorial East Pacific is warming some.
Hi-res Overview: (1/21) Weak warm water was along the immediate coast of Chile and Peru. But more important, moderate warm water was on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos continuing out to the dateline. We have turned the corner from a cool regime a year ago to a warm regime. And one could maybe think we are moving towards an El Nino pattern just looking at the surface temps. But that would be a false conclusion because the warm signal on the surface should be much stronger at this time of the year if El Nino were truly developing. We are in an ENSO neutral pattern biased warm and likely not every moving to an official minimal El Nino status this winter.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (1/22) Today's temps were falling at +1.037 after rising to +1.385 the day before. Previously there were down to -0.44 on 12/25, and that after having risen to +1.265 on 12/20. Previously temps fell to +0.212 on 12/3, after having previously built to +1.534 on 11/27. That peak on 11/27 was the all time high for this event in this region.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(1/20) Today temps were falling at +0.539 after rising to +0.738 the day before, after being at +0.487 on 1/7 and after previously risen to +1.050 degs on 12/6 and previously in the +0.5-+0.6 range since 11/12. The all time high for this event was +1.45 on 11/5, beating the previous peak temps of +0.795 on 10/9, and +0.649 on 9/27, and that beating the previous peak at +0.490 on 7/2.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (1/22) The model indicates temps were at +0.65 degs on Jan 1 and are forecast building to +0.85 on Feb1 and stable for the foreseeable future if not rising to +1.0 degs in Aug holding till Oct 1. If one is to believe the model then one would assume that El Nino is to build in the Winter of 18/19. But given all the data we've seen, we believe there no odds of El Nino developing. But maybe a multiyear warming event is in progress.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Nov Plume depicts temps are to slowly rise from here, to +1.00 degs in November and +1.0-+1.1 degs through Feb 2019, then slowly fading to 0.71 in July. See chart here - link. There's a 90% chance of a weak El Nino developing through January.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad) (1/22): The daily index was falling to +3.82. The 30 day average was falling to -1.17 suggesting a neutral MJO. The 90 day average was rising some at +2.74, rising through Jan1 to +4.67 then fading some after that but not much. There is no indication that El Nino is present in the atmosphere.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (1/22) The index rose to +0.30 on 1/20, but fell today to +0.22, up from -0.24 in late December, down from +0.28 on 12/15 and not anywhere near as strongly positive as it should be if El Nino were developing. It suggest only ENSO neutral conditions.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly positive, even though La Nina is in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values: June 2017 +0.21, July -0.50, Aug -0.62, Sept -0.25, Oct -0.61, Nov -0.45, Dec -0.13, Jan 2018 +0.29, Feb -0.19, Mar -0.61, April -0.89, May -0.69, June -0.85, July -0.09, Aug -0.42, Sept -0.42. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO, even with La Nina, because the warm PDO appears to be dampening the effects of La Nina. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): June 2017 +0.79, July +0.10, Aug +0.09, Sept +0.32, Oct +0.05, Nov +0.15, Dec +0.50, Jan +0.70. Feb +0.37, Mar -0.05, April +0.11, May +0.11, June -0.04, July +0.11, Aug +0.18, Sept +0.09. No real 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

Powerlinessurf Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest

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