Thursday, February 4, 2021
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 238 (Barbers Point): Seas were 7.9 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 4.7 ft @ 11.7 secs from 306 degrees. Water temp 77.0 degs.
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): This buoy went down on 1/22 at 18:42Z.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.8 ft @ 5.9 secs with swell 3.0 ft @ 6.4 secs from 263 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southeast at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 56.8 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 4.3 ft @ 11.2 secs from 313 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.1 ft @ 7.8 secs from 266 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.6 ft @ 7.8 secs from 272 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 3.5 ft @ 8.5 secs from 290 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 9.4 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 7.2 ft @ 9.0 ft from 315 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was north at 6-10 kts. Water temp 52.7 (029), 51.6 degs (SF Bar) and 53.6 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).
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 Thursday (2/4) in North and Central CA waves were head high at top spots with clean conditions and unremarkable but rideable. Protected breaks were shoulder high and lined up and clean. At Santa Cruz surf was waist high and lined up and clean. In Southern California/Ventura waves were thigh high or so and clean and weak. Central Orange County had waist high sets and mushed breaking just off the beach but clean. South Orange County's best summertime breaks were thigh to waist high and textured and soft but lined up. North San Diego had sets at waist high or so and soft and clean. Hawaii's North Shore was in the 10 ft range on the sets and a mess with onshore winds and lump and chop. The South Shore was flat and clean. The East Shore was getting minimal east windswell with waves thigh high and chopped from brisk sideshore northwest winds.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Thursday (2/4) California was getting fading residual swell from the Gulf and of no interest. Hawaii was washed out by local swell originating Sat-Mon (2/1) from a small gale that developed just off the Kuril Islands producing 26-28 ft seas aimed east then faded while limping to the dateline and redeveloping some there Tues (2/2) while falling towards Hawaii producing 21 ft seas aimed southeast. Another tiny gale is to follow tracking northeast off the Kuril Islands on Fri-Sat (2/6) producing 39 ft seas aimed east but again not tracking east to even the dateline. Another similar gale is projected Mon-Tues (2/9) with pockets of up to 26 ft seas tracking east-southeast targeting Hawaii. The main issue continues to be a weak and split jetstream flow aloft.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Thursday (2/2) the jet was consolidated pushing east off Japan with winds building to 180 kts falling into a pinched trough with it's apex over Hawaii then splitting with the northern branch ridging hard north and then tracking east just south of the Alaskan Coast and pushing inland over North Canada. There was no real support for gale development in the pinched dateline trough and no support anywhere else. At the split point the southern branch of the jet was was falling southeast over Hawaii and pushing towards the equator. Over the next 72 hours the jet in the west is to fall south some supporting a trough that is to push east off Kamchatka reaching the dateline on Sun (2/7) and fading offering some limited support for gale development. Otherwise the split point is to remain roughly over the dateline with the same unproductive pattern holding east of there. Beyond 72 hours winds are to start rebuilding in the jet off Japan at 200 kts on Mon (2/8) carving out a new trough off the Kuril Islands with that the trough moving east but not even making it to the dateline on Wed (2/10) offering some support for gale development then dissolving. Beyond the main flow in the jet is track east-southeast with winds to 190 kts on Thurs (2/11) then weakly splitting but ill defined somewhere just east of the dateline with a fragmented and ill-defined flow east of there. But most energy is to continue tracking over Hawaii then dissolving offering no support for gale development.
On Thursday (2/4) raw swell was hitting Hawaii from a gale that developed off Japan and tracked east while fading, then redeveloped just north of the Islands (See Raw Hawaiian Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours another gale is to develop off the Kuril Islands on Thurs PM (2/4) producing 40-45 kt west winds over a tiny area with seas building. On Fri AM (2/5) the storm is to track east with 50-55 kt west winds and seas 40 ft over a small area at 45N 164.5E aimed east. The storm is to lift northeast with fetch fading in the evening from 50 kts with seas 40 ft at 45.5N 168.5E aimed east. On Sat AM (2/6) fetch is to be fading from 45 kts while the gale lifts north with seas fading from 39 ft at 47N 173E aimed east. The gale is to dissipate in the evening with west winds fading from 40 kts and seas fading from 29 ft at 48N 175E rom there. Something to monitor. Small swell possible for Hawaii and less for the mainland.
Raw Hawaiian Gale
Secondary fetch from a previous gale off Japan reformed weakly on the dateline Mon PM (2/1) generating 35 kt northwest winds over a small area with 25 ft at 36.5N 175E aimed southeast. On Tues AM (2/2) the gale was lifting northeast with 40 kt northwest winds and seas 23 ft at 33.5N 180W aimed southeast over a moderate area. The gale eased east in the evening with 30 kt north winds and seas 21 ft at 32N 172W aimed southeast. On Wed AM (2/3) fetch faded while falling south fast just 700 nmiles northwest of Hawaii with 30 kt north winds and seas 21 ft at 29N 168W aimed directly at the Islands. In the evening the gale eased east with 25 kt northwest winds and 19 ft seas at 29N 164W aimed right at Oahu and in close proximity. Fetch is to start lifting east-northeast and rebuilding for 12 hours Thurs PM (2/4) with 35-40 kt north winds and seas building to 20 ft over a small area at at 33N 161W then fading. Raw swell likely for the Islands.
Oahu: Expect raw swell arrival on Thurs (2/4) building to 9.7 ft @ 14-15 secs mid-day (12 ft). Residuals fading on Fri (2/5) from 8.4 ft @ 13-14 secs early (10.5 ft). Swell continues fading on Sat (2/6) from 6.5 ft @ 12 secs early (7.5 ft). Dribbles Sun (2/7) fading from 5.0 ft @ 12 secs (6.0 ft). Swell Direction: 315-320 degrees
North CA: Expect tiny swell energy arriving on Fri (2/5) building to 2.8 ft @ 16-17 secs late (4.5 ft). Swell building some on Sat (2/6) to 3.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (5.0 ft). Swell fading on Sun (2/7) from 3.4 ft @ 14 secs early (4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 296 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical weather system of interest were being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
- Thurs (2/4) high pressure at 1038 mbs was off Oregon forming a modest pressure gradient along the North CA coast producing north winds at 20 kts for North CA north of Bodega Bay with north winds 10 kts south of there. North winds building to 25 kts rising to over the Cape Mendocino area later and 10 kts south of there. No rain forecast.
- Fri (2/5) north winds forecast at 25 kts for Cape Mendocino and 10 kts south of there early to Pt Conception building to 30 kts for Cape Mendocino to Pt Arena later and 10+ kts south of there. No precip forecast.
- Sat (2/6) north winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for Cape Mendocino and 20 kts well off the coast of Central CA but 10 kts nearshore holding all day.
- Sun (2/7) north winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for Cape Mendocino to Pt Arena early and 10 kts down to Pt Conception and stronger winds fading in coverage up north later.
- Mon (2/8) northwest winds are forecast at 15-20 kts for North CA and 10+ kts for Central CA early with winds 15 kts from the northwest for all of North and Central CA later.
- Tues (2/9) weak low pressure is to be off the North CA coast with light winds early for all of North CA and northwest winds 10 kts for Central CA with winds turning south 10 kts for Cape Mendocino later and northwest winds 15 kts for Central CA south of Big Sur later.
- Wed (2/10) southwest winds at 10 kts are forecast for North Ca early and northwest winds 10 kts for Central CA turning northwest 5-10 kts all locations later. Light rain early for all of North CA and down to Santa Cruz early pushing south to Morro bay late afternoon. Snow building through the day for the North and Central Sierra.
- Thurs (2/11) a light northwest flow is forecast at 5-10 kts all day for North and Central CA. No rain forecast. Snow fading through the day for the Sierra.
Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 72 inches, 72 inches, 48 inches, and 15 inches through 2/13 occurring on 2/10 and 2/12-2/13.
Freezing level 11,000 ft and holding through 2/7 then fading to 6,500 ft on 2/8 and holding before falling to 5,000 ft on 2/11-2/12.
Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!
No swell was in the water.
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.
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 another diffuse gale is to develop just off the Kuril Islands on Mon AM (2/8) producing 40-45 kts northwest winds over and off the Kuril Islands aimed east over a tiny area with 29 ft seas at 47N 156.5E aimed east. The gale is to be stationary in the evening with 35-40 kt west winds and seas 32 ft over a tiny area at 49.5N 161.5E aimed east. On Tues AM (2/9) a fetch of 40 kt west winds is to be holding over the same area with seas rebuilding to 26 ft at 47N 158E aimed east. Fetch fading in the evening from 30-35 kts with seas fading from 22 ft at 47N 163E aimed southeast.
Beyond the model are hinting at a stronger gale developing well east of Japan and just east of the dateline with 45 kt northwest winds by Thurs PM (2/11) and seas building from 30 ft at 34N 167E aimed southeast.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.
Water Temps Fading Some over Equatorial East Pacific
The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) 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.And the El Nino/La Nino cycle (collectively know as ENSO - El Nino Southern Oscillation) is a less frequent (about once every 7 years) but more impactful cycle that affects world wide weather. Specifically, strong El Nino events promote storm production in the Pacific while La Nina events suppress storm production. These therefore have a significant impact on the production of swell and surf. The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO and ENSO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for upcoming activity (or inactivity depending on the state and interaction of these two oscillations).
Overview: A double dip La Nina was in control 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. In January 2019, those warm waters were fading, but then rebuilt late in Feb associated with Kelvin Wave (#3). But as of early June 2019 warm water was fading and by August a tongue of cool water was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos reaching to a point nearly south of Hawaii. El Nino was dead. A bit of a recovery occurred during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water held in a pool off Peru and had not changed until March 2020. By April the cool pool pushed east and by May subsurface cool waters erupted off Ecuador, forming a well defined cool tongue that looked like the start of La Nina, holding into July 2020.
LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Fall/Winter 2020/2021 = 3.0/3.5 (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: It is assumed the PDO has moved to the warm phase in 2014 and that a weak borderline El Nino from 2018 faded out in the Fall of 2019. A La Nina like ocean temperature pattern developed in the equatorial East Pacific in the summer of 2019, then faded and returned to a neutral if not weak warm status during the Winter of 2019-2020 only to return stronger in the Summer of 2020. We have been suspecting a turn towards a La Nina like atmospheric pattern to develop in the late Winter/early Spring of 2020. Our best hope is that moderation from the warm phase of the PDO might tamp down development of a full blown La Nina as we move into 2020. But at this time that does not appear likely. Given all that, for the 2020 there is decent probability for development of La Nina meaning a reduced number of storm days and storm intensity during the summer season, resulting in a below normal level of swell, with swell being below normal duration and period. And by the Fall and early Winter of 2020/21, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should fade even more, resulting in depressed swell production. This pattern is expected to hold through the Spring of 2021.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (2/3) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific fading to moderate over the Central Pacific and strong east over the KWGA. Anomalies were moderate easterly over the East equatorial Pacific turning neutral over the Central Pacific then moderate to strong easterly over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, so they lag what is happening today by about 2 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (2/4) mostly moderate east anomalies were in control of the KWGA and have been since 1/31. The forecast calls for east anomalies holding at moderate status mostly filling the KWGA and holding through the end of the model run on 2/11.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
- Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (2/3) A moderate Active MJO pattern was over the KWGA today. The statistic model projects it building to strong status while easing slowly east and over the dateline still barely holding the balance of KWGA by day 15 of the model run while a strong Inactive Phase builds over the Maritime Continent. The dynamic model suggests a variation of the same thing with the Active Phase building steadily to strong status on day 10 of the model run and not moving east at all, still filling the KWGA.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (2/4) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was moderate strength over the West Pacific today and is to ease east and fading to weak status on day 15 over the far East Atlantic. The GEFS model suggests the Active Phase is to hold position in the West Pacific at moderate strength through day 15, not moving east at all.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (2/3) This model depicts a moderate Active MJO pattern (moist air) over the Entire Pacific and is to track east while fading moving over Central America on 2/28. A moderate Inactive Phase is to start building in the West Pacific on 2/23 and is to track east to the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 3/15 while holding strength. A weak Active Phase is to building over the KWGA at that time.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (2/3) This model depicts a weak Active MJO signal today over the far West Pacific with weak east anomalies over the core of the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Active Phase is to track east through the KWGA and east of it on 2/14 with west anomalies developing at modest strength around 2/8 for a few days. Weak to modest east anomalies are to return 2/10 holding through the end of the model run on 3/3 but nothing compared to what we've previously seen. West anomalies are to start building at 130E, right on the western edge of the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates weakening in strength of high pressure bias over the KWGA currently with 1 contour line and even that is to lose 50% of it's current coverage at the end of the model run. And weak west anomalies are to be building in the far west KWGA at that time. A dramatic fall of La Nina is forecast in the next month.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (2/4 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a weak Active Phase in control of the KWGA and holding till 2/28 with weak west anomalies today and holding over the KWGA mixed with a few pockets of weak east anomalies. A weak but broad Inactive MJO is to return 2/28 tracking through the KWGA 4/10 with moderate east anomalies filling the KWGA. A moderate Active MJO signal is forecast building in the west KWGA 3/25 tracking east through the end of the model run on 5/4 producing solid west anomalies. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias is firmly in control over the dateline today with 4 contour lines reaching east to a point south of California. The forth contour line is to fade on 3/29. The 3rd contour line is to fade on 4/28. The remaining 2 are to hold indefinitely. A double contour low pressure bias is over the Indian Ocean today and is to hold in coverage with the second contour line fading on 2/13 with the remaining contour line theoretically shrinking in coverage from the west on 3/16 and starting to ease east to 165E. East anomalies that were previously solid in the Indian Ocean for over a year migrated east through the West Pacific to the East Pacific on 10/1/20 and have stabilized there.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (2/4) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 and 29 deg isotherms were gone. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 165E today. The 24 deg isotherm was building east and pushing the whole way across the equatorial Pacific down 15 meters in the far east. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +3 deg C were locked steady in the West Pacific pushing east to 170W at depth but moving no further east. A broad but weakening cooling pattern was controlling the entire equatorial Pacific with anomalies focused at -3C at 150W and west from there. A pocket of +1 deg anomalies was steady from 135W eastward. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 1/18 indicates the same thing but with no warm anomalies in the east. Negative anomalies in the East Pacific were the least negative at any time in months. 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) Negative anomalies were forming a wave pushing west from the Galapagos to the dateline on the equator at -5 to -10 cms continuous over that area with 1 small pocket at -15 cms at 140W. A building thin flow of neutral anomalies was pushing off Ecuador over the Galapagos out to 125W. Negative anomalies were -5 to -10 cms along the coast of Peru up into Ecuador and reaching north up to Baja and -5 to -10 cms into South and North CA. Looking at the big picture, negative anomalies were forming a massive triangle from Cape Mendocino to the intersection of the dateline and equator then into Southern Chile. No positive anomalies were over the equatorial Pacific, except from 170E and points west of there. But the triangle was not as strong as weeks past but not substantially weakening either.
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: (2/3) The latest images indicate warm anomalies were on the equator from Ecuador west to 140W but with a newly developing cool stream in pockets running through the core of teh warm stream. Cooler temps were on the equator from 145W to the dateline. Solid cool anomalies were south of there streaming from Chile west-northwest to the dateline. But no markedly cooler imbedded pockets were present in the east but several were in the west between 160-180W on the equator. And the overall cool pool does not look as cold as weeks and months past. Cool anomalies were also losing strength along the coast of Peru with stray pockets of warming fading in coverage along the South Peruvian Coast. This indicates a late phase version of La Nina filling the entire equatorial Pacific and down into Chile. But the overall cool intensity of that pool appears to be waning. We are past the peak of this event.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (2/3): Temps continue warming off Chile and Peru reaching west to 140W. And a stream of mixed warming and cooling waters was occurring on the equator from Ecuador to 140W. The balance looks like warming is taking the upper hand.
Hi-res Overview: (1/29) A stream of consistent cool water is well entrenched from Chile up well off Peru tracking west on the equator out to the dateline and west to New Guinea. But warm anomalies are on the equator from Ecuador to 130W. The last of the core of La Nina cold waters are pushing west from 160W towards the dateline. The peak of La Nina is past.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (2/4) Today's temps were falling today to -0.183 after a recent high of +0.10 on 2/1. Temps previously were -0.604 on 1/24. A previous peak of -0.595 occurred on 12/11. This area has been on a seesaw rising trend since early October. Temps were previously down to -2.138 on 8/13. The longterm trend has been on a slow but steady increase.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (2/4) Temps have been steady but started rising from -0.982 on 1/21 to -0.689 today after bottoming out at -1.654 on 11/3, beating the previous low of -0.945 on 9/22. The previous low before that was -0.733 on 9/10. Temps have been on a steady decline since 7/25 but stabilized starting in October.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (2/4) Actuals per the model indicates temps rose to -0.65 degs mid-Jan after bottoming out in early Nov at -1.25 degs. The forecast depicts temps steady from today into April at -0.55 then starting a steep decline falling to -1.55 degs in Oct. This is completely unbelievable. This model is having some serious issues over the long term.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Jan 21, 2021 Plume depicts temps are at -0.80 degs today, and are to rise to -0,25 in April and neutral by August. Most models are suggesting a moderate La Nina returning to Neutral in the late Spring.
See chart here - link.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad - this is a lagging indicator) (2/4): The daily index was rising at +19.12. The 30 day average was falling some at +14.65 after peaking at 19.51 on 1/14. The 90 day average was rising to 14.21 peaking on 1/28 at 14.30, clearly in La Nina territory. This index is a lagging indicator.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): June -0.67, May -0.46, April 2020 -0.69, March -0.09, Feb +0.65, Jan +0.42, This index was steady positive Aug 2018 through Feb 2020, and now is steady negative, but only weakly so.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation
Per NOAAs index recent values: Jan 2018 +0.29, Feb -0.19, Mar -0.61, April -0.89, May -0.69, June -0.85, July -0.09, Aug -0.43, Sept -0.46, Oct -0.75, Nov -0.78, Dec -0.12, Jan 2019 -0.18, Feb -0.50 Mar -0.23, April +0.10, May +0.14, June -0.11, July +0.44, Aug -0.14, Sept +0.05, Oct -0.96, Nov -0.28, Dec +0.01, Jan 2020 -1.17, This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2018 +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
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table