Wednesday, February 6, 2019
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/ Buoy 239 (Lanai): At Barbers Point (238) seas were 3.9 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 3.0 ft @ 15.1 secs from 294 degrees.
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 8.7 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 5.2 ft @ 14.9 secs from 317 degrees and 4.6 ft @ 11.8 secs from 22 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 5.8 ft @ 6.2 secs with swell 2.0 ft @ 15.3 secs from 253 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 18-23 kts. Water temperature 59.0 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 2.1 ft @ 13.3 secs from 274 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.4 ft @ 15.5 secs from 256 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 3.2 ft @ 6.5 secs from 277 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 4.5 ft @ 7.8 secs from 280 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 9.3 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 6.1 ft @ 13.3 secs from 304 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 12-17 kts. Water temp 55.9 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 Wednesday (2/6) in North and Central CA windswell was producing waves in the head high to 1 ft overhead range and blown out and white capped. Protected breaks were chest to head high and a white capped mess. At Santa Cruz surf was waist high on the sets and soft and pretty warbled. In Southern California/Ventura surf was thigh high and warbled and muddy and not very rideable. In North Orange Co surf was chest high on the sets and reasonably clean and lined up but soft. At least it was rideable. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were waist high on the sets and reasonably clean but weak. North San Diego surf was waist to chest high and reasonably clean and lined up with light onshore winds but with some lump in the water. Hawaii's North Shore was clean and lined up with Dateline swell producing waves 2-3 ft overhead and sets up to double overhead at top spots and reasonably clean. The South Shore was knee to thigh high and clean. The East Shore was getting northeasterly windswell with waves shoulder to head high and clean with light southerly wind.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Wednesday (2/6) swell was fading some in Hawaii and just starting to hit California from a fairly strong system that developed off Japan tracking northeast on Sun (1/27) with 41 ft seas aimed east initially then moved to the north dateline region Mon (1/28) with up to 44 ft seas aimed east. And another small system tracking pretty far south off Japan Tues-Wed (1/30) with 28-32 ft seas then faded on the dateline on Thurs (1/31). But both these systems were generally small in coverage. Sat-Sun (2/3) an ill formed gale is to track off the kuril ISlands producing 28-30 ft seas aimed east offering maybe little swell mainly for Hawaii. Then later Mon (2/4) a storm is to build off the Kuril Islands tracking east with seas 50-52 ft aimed east. And another is to be right behind Thurs-Fri (2/8) pushing towards the Northern Dateline with up to 53 ft sea pushing east. The Active Phase of the MJO is to be building in the West Pacific feeding the storm track. Make hay while the sun shines.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Wednesday AM (2/6) the jetstream was consolidated tracking off Japan with winds 150 kts producing a small trough over the dateline offering support for gale development there. East of there the jet split at 170W with the northern branch tracking northeast up over Alaska and then pushing down the Canadian and US West Coasts with a tiny trough imbedded in it just south of Alaska offering support for possibly more weather targeting the US West Coast. The southern branch tracked east over Hawaii and then into Baja. Over the next 72 hours the trough over the dateline is to push east reaching the Western Gulf but weak and pinched an offering little to no support for gale development. Winds in the jet pushing off Japan to fade to 120-130 kts reaching to maybe 170E and showing signs of starting to split there. In the east the split pattern is to continue if not build with the northern branch pushing well up into Alaska but then retrograding some off the Pacific Northwest Coast forming a trough off Oregon capable of supporting weather there and pushing south. Beyond 72 hours wind energy is to again starting building over Japan on Mon (2/11) to 190 kts supporting a small trough off Kamchatka offering support for gale development. But winds to rapidly fade east of there with the jet splitting with the split point holding at 180W with a well split jet over the Gulf of Alaska. The trough off Oregon is to fall south with it's southern edge reaching down to San Francisco Fri-Sat (2/9) then lingering into the end of the model run while slow easing onshore continuing a wet and cold weather pattern there. The southern branch is to be merging with the northern branch by Sun (2/10) pushing into and over Central CA and continuing into Tues (2/12). One would think the Active Phase of the MJO in the West Pacific might positively influence the jetstream. But at the same time, the underpinnings of what was to be El Nino are fading in the East Pacific possibly causing this long running split pattern in the East.
On Wednesday (2/6) swell from a gale previously pushing off Japan and the Kuril Islands was fading in Hawaii and expected to start hitting California. And behind that swell from a larger and more organized storm was pushing east towards Hawaii and the US West Coast (see West Pacific Storm below).
Over the next 72 hours no other swell producing systems of interest are forecast.
A fast moving system pushed off Japan tracking northeast starting Fri AM (2/1) with 40 kt west winds and seas 31 ft over a small area at 39N 165E aimed east. In the evening wind energy was building from the west streaming off the Kuril Islands at 35-40 kts with 29 ft seas building at 39N 158E aimed east. On Sat AM (2/2) west fetch held at 30-35 kts over a broad area off the Kuril Islands with 28-29 ft seas over a broad area centered near 37N 155E aimed east. In the evening winds faded from 30+ kts and seas fading from 26 ft at 34N 165E aimed east.
Hawaii: Swell fading Wed (2/6) from 4.5 ft @ 15 secs early (6.5 ft). Residuals on Thurs (2/7) fading from 3.9 ft @ 14 secs (5.0 ft). Swell Direction: 310 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (2/6) at 5.3 ft @ 15-16 secs (8.0 ft). Swell fading on Thurs (2/7) from 4.3 ft @ 14-15 secs (6.0 ft). Swell rebuilding Fri (2/8) at 5.3 ft @ 14-15 secs (7.5 ft). Swell fading Sat (2/9) from 5.4 ft @ 13 secs (7.0 ft). Swell Direction: 297 degrees
West Pacific Storm
A stronger and more organized storm started forming just off the Kuril Islands Mon PM (2/4) with 50 kt west winds and seas building from 41 ft at 45N 158.5E aimed east. On Tues AM (2/5) the storm was downgraded to gale status tracking east with 45 kt west winds and seas to 44 ft at 45N 165.5E aimed east. In the evening the gale tracked east with 45 kt northwest winds and seas 39 ft over a solid area aimed east at 43N 169E. On Wed AM (2/6) fetch was lifting north towards the North Dateline region with 45 kt west winds over a small area just south of the Aleutians with 41 ft seas at 45N 172E aimed east. Fetch to be fading over the North Dateline region in the evening from 30-35 kts from the northwest with seas fading from 34 ft at 43.5N 178E aimed east. The gale is to dissipate from there.
Hawaii: For planning purposes swell arrival is forecast on Fri (2/8) building to 8.4 ft @ 17-18 secs late (14.5 ft). Swell holding on Sat (2/9) at 8.7 ft @ 17 secs early (14.5) ft but possibly being overridden by larger more local swell (see long term forecast). Swell Direction: 315 degrees
North California: For planning purposes expect swell arrival on Sat (2/9) building at sunset to 3.8 ft @ 19-20 secs (7.0 ft). Swell building overnight peaking on Sun (2/10) to 5.6 ft @ 18 secs (10.0 ft). Swell fading Mon (2/11) from 6.0 ft @ 16 secs (9.5 ft) and possibly being overridden by local windswell. Swell Direction: 296 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical weather systems of interest are forecast.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Wednesday (2/6) solid high pressure at 1032 mbs was filling the Gulf of Alaska riding east some producing north winds at 15 kts sweeping down then entire California Coast including Southern CA. Thurs (2/7) high pressure is to fade locally as low pressure starts building off the immediate Pacific Northwest Coast with northwest winds 10 kts for North and Central CA and light into Southern CA. Friday (2/8) low pressure is to be just off the North CA coast with south winds 15 kts there and southwest 5-10 kts early for Central CA building to 15 kts later. Light rain expected building south to Big Sur late afternoon. Saturday (2/9) the original low is to dissipate while moving onshore over Central CA with light winds for the state. But a new stronger low is to be building off the Oregon-Washington border with a front from it and southwest winds building into North CA down to Bodega Bay after sunset. Rain from the original low pushing south from San Francisco and Pt Conception to San Diego later afternoon. And rain developing for North CA later from the new low. Steady modest snow for the Sierra through the day. Sunday (2/10) low pressure is to continue circulating just off Oregon generating northwest winds at 15-20 kts for North CA early reaching to Pt Conception later. Rain for all of North CA early reaching south to Big Sur late afternoon. Moderate snow developing for Tahoe early reaching the mid-Sierra late evening. Mon (2/11) high pressure and to be building offshore with north winds at 15 kts for the entire state and holding through the day. Light scattered showers early along the coast from Pt Conception northward early and fading fast early. Light snow fading early in the Sierra. Tues (2/12) possibly another local low is to start building over the OR-CA border with west winds 15-20 kts for North Ca early and light for Central and South CA. Rain building down the North CA coast into Monterey bay late AM. Snow developing late afternoon for Tahoe.
Total snow accumulation for for the week for Lake Tahoe (thru 2/13): 29-32 inches and 12 inches for Mammoth.
Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts).
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
Beyond 72 hours a cutoff gale is forecast developing on Sat AM (2/9) 700 nmiles north of Hawaii producing 45 kt north winds with seas building from 26 ft at 35N 156N aimed south. In the evening north winds are to be falling south at 50-55 kts with seas building to 42 ft at 31N 159W aimed south. On Sun AM (2/10) fetch is to fade from 40 kts from the northeast and just 300 nmiles northwest of Hawaii with 30-37 ft at 26N from 157W to 163W aimed south. In the evening fetch is to fade from 30-35 kts just north of the Islands with 25 ft seas impacting Hawaii directly and 29 ft seas still being generated at 26N 165W bypassing HAwaii and aimed southwest. Large raw protoswell is forecast for Hawaii.
Hawaii: For planning purposes expect raw local energy building into the Hawaiian Islands on Sat (2/9) at 13 ft @ 12-13 secs (15 ft). The core of the swell is to arrive on Sun (2/10) pushing 20 ft @ 16 secs mid-day (30 ft). Swell fading Mon (2/11) from 11.9 ft @ 13 secs (15 ft). Swell Direction: 340 degrees
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.
Active MJO In Control and Forecast Building Strong
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.
LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
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 (2/51) 5 day average winds were from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific to the dateline, then a weak to almost westerly over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific turning solidly westerly from a point south of Hawaii and filling the entirety of the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (2/6) moderate west anomalies were over the dateline and weaker into the greater KWGA. The forecast is for the that wind pattern to weaken some 3-4 days out, then rebuilding and possibly strong just west of the dateline a week out with moderate west winds backfilling into the KWGA to 140E. Support for storm development is to remain focused west of the dateline.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (2/5) The Active Phase of the MJO was moderate and filling the KWGA. The statistic model indicates the Active Phase is to hold at moderate strength in the KWGA while slowly easing east centered on the dateline at day 15. The dynamic model indicates the same thing but with the Active Phase fading some over the Central KWGA at day 5 and then rebuilding to strong strength at days 10-15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (2/6) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was moderate over the West Pacific. It is to fade in strength and track east over the eastern Atlantic at day 15. The GEFS model suggests the Active Phase is in the West Pacific and is to weaken over the next 4 days then retrograding and rebuilding in the West Pacific through day 8 then moving east to the Atlantic days 9-15.
40 day Upper Level Model: (2/6) This model depicts a strong Active Phase over the dateline slowly weakening while pushing east moving into and over Central America on 3/3. A modest Inactive signal is to set up in the West Pacific on 2/18 moving to the East Pacific and Central America on 3/83. A weak very weak Active Phase of the MJO is to be setting up in the West Pacific on 3/13 pushing east to the dateline at the end of the model run on 3/18.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (2/5) This model depicts moderate strength west anomalies were over the KWGA focused mainly on the dateline. West anomalies are to hold for the next few days, then are to start building to strong status on 2/10 and holding while easing east through 3/3 and into the California coast starting 2/19 through the end of the model run on 3/5.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (2/6) This model depicts a weak version of the Active Phase was over the KWGA with modest west anomalies in the KWGA. This pattern is to hold while easing east through 3/2 but with west anomalies building strongly 2/10-3/2 and at Westerly Wind Burst status. This is a recent development. On 2/15 a modest Inactive MJO signal is to start developing in the West Pacific and filling east into the KWGA 2/25 through 4/3 but with spotty west anomalies continuing mainly on the dateline. On 3/30 a strong Active Phase of the MJO is to start building in the KWGA with west anomalies building and in control through the end of the model run on 5/6. 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 4/118, then retracting to the coast. A third contour line faded 12/17 and is to now to rebuild starting 2/15 and holding through the end of the model run. This is a positive new development. It appears from this model that a tendency towards El Nino was previously in control, then it faded, and is now to rebuild and strongly so. 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. But of more interest, if the low pass filter forecast holds, maybe El Nino to develop next year.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (2/6) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are barely 30 degs and retrograding (after previously reaching east to 175W on 12/11) hard to 165E. 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 162W today. 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 of warm water building under the dateline at +3 degs (Kelvin Wave #3). The remnants of Kevin Wave #2 have fully erupted in the far East Pacific with temps there only +1 degs. We think the peak of the Kelvin Wave cycle for this supposed El Nino has already occurred associated mainly with Kelvin Wave #2. But Kelvin Wave #3 might add some warmth moving into 2019. And a new Westerly Wind Burst is forecast starting a week out. So there's good surface oceanic warming potential to feed jetstream core energy for the foreseeable future. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 1/28 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 river 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: (2/2) Positive anomalies were gone from the interior Maritime Continent but were solid tracking east from 160E over the dateline to a point west of the Galapagos (110W) at mostly 0-5 cms but with a pocket of +5 cms anomalies over the dateline to 130W. -5 cms anomalies were in a small pocket at 90W associated with the upwelling phase of the Kelvin Wave Cycle. 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.
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4: (1/31) No update available - 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 the Galapagos and still losing warmth compared to days and weeks past. Warm water was building strongly along the coast of Chile and Peru up into Ecuador and Central America. There is no indications that an El Nino is building and it appears a warm pulse previously underway in the East Pacific was continuing to fade today. A concerning pocket of cool waters elongated east to west off Peru to 130W is fading some. Overall the pattern looks very weakly like El Nino, but nothing more. In all this warming pattern is weak and becoming more fragile by the day.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (2/5): A building solid area of warm water remained off Chile and Peru building north to Ecuador and extending west to 110W. It looks like the far equatorial East Pacific is warming some.
Hi-res Overview: (2/5) Modest warm water was along the immediate coast of Chile and Peru reaching up to the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos continuing out to 120W then weaker to the dateline. We have turned the corner from a cool regime a year ago to a warm regime now. 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: (2/6) Today's temps were falling some at +0.789 degrees after falling to -0.15 degs on 2/28. Temps rose to a peak +1.385 on 1/21. Previously they 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: (2/6) Today temps were steady at +0.507 after rising to a peak at +0.738 on 1/21, 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.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (2/6) The model indicates temps were at +0.75 degs on Jan 1 and are forecast building to +1.00 on Feb 15 and stable into June. After that temp are to fall to +0.5 degs in Sept 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 and even stronger in Winter of 2019/20. But given all the data we've seen, we believe there no odds of El Nino developing this year. But maybe a multiyear warming event is in progress as suggested by this model.
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) (2/6): The daily index was rising today at +1.54. The 30 day average was rising some at +0.56 suggesting a neutral MJO. The 90 day average was rising some at +2.73, 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): (2/6) The index rose to +0.30 on 1/20, but has been falling recently at -0.13 today, 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
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table