Monday, February 17, 2020
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Barbers Point (Buoy 238) : Seas were 4.5 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 2.9 ft @ 13.7 secs from 297 degrees.
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 7.2 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 4.4 ft @ 12.9 secs from 314 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.2 ft @ 12.0 secs with swell 1.1 ft @ 12.7 secs from 190 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southeast at 8 kts. Water temperature 58.8 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.5 ft @ 14.3 secs from 302 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.2 ft @ 13.7 secs from 249 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.1 ft @ 12.8 secs from 205 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 1.8 ft @ 14.4 secs from 247 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 7.3 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 5.3 ft @ 12.3 secs from 299 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 16-20 kts. Water temp 53.6 degs (013), 50.7 degs (012) and 54.1 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 Sunday (2/16) in North and Central CA North Gulf swell was fading with waves in the head high range and lined up and heavily textured early and a bit soft and crumbled but not undoable. Protected breaks were chest high and lined up but fairly warbled if not occasionally small whitecaps and soft and a bit closed out. At Santa Cruz surf was waist high on the sets and clean and lined up with light wind early but soft and weak. In Southern California/Ventura waves were thigh to maybe waist high and weak but lined up and super clean with some form when they came. In North Orange Co surf was waist to maybe chest high on the peaks of the sets and soft and weak but real clean with decent form. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were waist high on rare sets and lined up and sort of peeling but moderately textured making things soft. North San Diego had surf in the thigh to maybe waist high range and lined up when it came and clean but pretty closed out. Hawaii's North Shore had nice small swell with waves head high to 1 ft overhead on the sets and lined up and clean early with decent form and no warble but a bit inconsistent. The South Shore was waist high on the sets and lined up and clean. The East Shore was getting easterly windswell at chest high and chopped from east trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Sunday (2/16) in California swell was still hitting from a gale that tracked through the Northern Gulf on Wed (2/12) producing up to 34 ft seas aimed east. Hawaii was getting some swell from a small gale that developed over the North Dateline region Wed-Thurs (2/13) producing 38-40 ft seas aimed mainly due east. Beyond a small gale is forecast over the Northwestern Gulf Mon-Tues (2/18) producing 26-28 ft seas aimed east. And another tiny gale is to form off the Kuril Islands Tues (2/18) producing up to 40 kts seas Wed (2/19) while tracking east over the North Dateline and into the Northwestern Gulf on Thurs (2/20) with seas peaking at 42 ft aimed east before fading it the Northern Gulf on Fri (2/21). Of some interest is a small gale is forecast developing on the Dateline Sat-Sun (2/22) falling southeast with up to 43 ft seas aimed southeast. Overall the storm track is to be displaced north and generally weak targeting mainly the Pacific Northwest. The hope is that the Active Phase of the MJO develops late Feb into early March feeding the storm track. But after that Spring is to firmly take root.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Sunday (2/16) the jetstream was almost split/weakly consolidated pushing east off Japan with winds up to 140 kts in one pockets in the northern portion of the jet there forming a trough off the Kuril Islands reaching to the dateline offering some support for gale development. From there the jet split near 165W with the northern branch tracking up into the Northern Gulf and then east into British Columbia with the southern branch tracking east to a point 900 nmiles off North CA, then splitting again with the main flow pushing into Oregon and the secondary flow falling south to a point off Baja, then east into Southern Baja. Over the next 72 hours the dateline trough is to track east being fed by 140 kt winds moving over the Northern Gulf on Wed (2/19) before starting to pinch off and losing support to feed gale development. But on late Mon (2/17) winds are to start building off Japan to 170 kts lifting northeast forming a new broad trough half way to the dateline on Wed (2/19) with the jet fully consolidated to the dateline and starting to offer support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours that trough is to ease into the Northwestern Gulf on Fri (2/21) with the split point moving east to 160W with winds streaming off Japan at 150 kts by Sat (2/22) with a new trough developing on the North Dateline again offering support for gale development and then east into the Northwestern Gulf on Sun (2/23). At that time yet another trough is to be building just off the Kuril Islands and the split point is to be at 150W but with the jet even east of there far less split than weeks past. Maybe a favorable turn is to be developing.
On Sunday (2/16) swell was fading in California originating from a gale that previously formed in the Northern Gulf. (see North Gulf Gale below). Small swell was also hitting Hawaii from another gale formed over the North Dateline region sending more small swell east (see North Dateline Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours another small gale is forecast developing over the Dateline on Sun PM (2/16) producing 35-40 kt west winds over a fragmented area and seas 22 ft at 43N 175E aimed east. On Mon AM (2/17) west winds are to become a little more focused south of the Aleutians and just east of the dateline 35-40 kts with seas 23 ft near 43N 175W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to consolidate with west winds 35-40 kts and seas 27 ft at 47.5N 170.5W aimed east. The gale is to track east Tues AM (2/18) and fade with no meaningful fetch left and seas from previous fetch fading from 23 ft at 46.5N 162.5W aimed east. The gale is to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.
Hawaii: Tiny sideband swell to arrive starting Thurs (2/20) building to 3.5 ft @ 13-14 secs early (4.5 ft) then starting to fade late afternoon. Residuals on Fri (2/21) fading from 2.6 ft @ 12-13 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 330 degrees
North CA: Small swell arriving later Thurs (2/20) at 3.4 ft @ 14 secs (4.5 ft). Swell fading on Fri (2/21) from 3.5 ft @ 13 secs (4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 298-302 degrees
And maybe another gale is to form on Tues PM (2/18) off the Kuril Islands with 40 kt west winds and 26 ft seas building at 43N 165.5E. On Wed AM (3/19) west winds are to be 45 kts over a decent sized area on the dateline with 33 ft seas at 46.5N 175E. In the evening the gale is to be pushing into the Northwestern Gulf with 45-50 kt west winds and 40 ft seas at 48.5N 174.5W aimed east. On Thurs AM (2/20) the gale is to continue east with west winds 45 kts and 41 ft seas at 50.5N 164.5W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to be lifting northeast in the Northern Gulf with 40 kt west winds and seas 38 ft at 53N 156W. The gale is to dissipate Fri AM (2/21) with 31 ft seas fading up at 55.5N 147.5W aimed east. Something to monitor.
North Gulf Gale
On Tues PM (2/11) a small gale started developing just south of the Eastern Aleutians with 40 kt west winds over a small area with seas building from 23 ft at 50N 167W aimed east. On Wed AM (2/12) the gale built some with 45 kt west winds and seas 34 ft at 51.5N 156.5W aimed east. In the evening the gale tracked east into the Central Northern Gulf with 35 kt west winds and 31 ft seas at 51N 149W aimed east. The gale faded on Thurs AM (2/13) with northwest winds dropping from 30 kts and 27 ft seas at 51.5N 141W aimed east. Swell likely from British Columbia down to the Pacific Northwest with some energy seeping into North CA.
North CA: Swell fading Sun AM (2/16) from 5.0 ft @ 12 secs (6.0 ft). Swell Direction: 311 degrees and well shadowed in the SF Bay Area.
North Dateline Gale
Another gale developed over the North Dateline region on Wed AM (2/12) with 40-45 kt west winds and seas building from 28 ft at 43N 176E aimed east. In the evening west winds were 50-55 kts over a small area with seas building to 38 ft at 45.5N 179.5E aimed east. On Thurs AM (2/13) the gale was stalled over the North Dateline region with west winds at 40-45 kts and seas 43 ft at 50N 177.5W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to be fading with west winds 35 kts and 31 ft seas fading at 50N 174W aimed east. On Fri AM (2/14) residual 30-35 kt westerly fetch is to be fading with seas 25 ft at 50N 175W aimed east. Small swell is possible for Hawaii and the US West Coast.
Hawaii: Swell continues on Sun AM (2/16) at 4.5 ft @ 14-15 secs (6.5 ft) fading some as the day progresses. Residuals on Mon AM (2/17) at 3.4 ft @ 13 secs (4.5 ft). Swell fading from there. Swell Direction: 328-331 degrees
North CA: Swell arrival is forecast on Mon (2/17) peaking early at 4.2 ft @ 15-16 secs (6.5 ft) and shadowed in the SF Bay Area. Swell fading Tues (2/18) from 3.8 ft @ 14-15 secs early (5.5 ft). Dribbles on Wed (2/19) fading from 3.1 ft @ 13 secs early (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 301-306 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Sunday (2/16) high pressure was building again just off Central CA with a second center off Oregon producing north winds at 15 kts over Central CA and 10 kts over North CA building to near 15 kts over that entire region later. Light rain is forecast for Cape Mendocino holding till mid-afternoon, then fading. No snow for the Sierra. Monday (2/17) north winds are forecast at 25 kts for North CA and 20 kts for Central CA early and fading to 15 kts for Central CA later while holding at 25 kts up north. Tues (2/18) north winds are to be 25 kts for Cape Mendocino and 10-15 kts for everywhere south of there early fading to 10 kts later and 20 kts for Cape Mendocino later. Wed (2/19) north winds are forecast at 10-15 kts early for Cape Mendocino but 10 kts everywhere south of there to Pt Conception fading to 5-10 kts everywhere later. Thurs (2/20) a light winds pattern is forecast for all of California all day. Fri (2/21) northwest winds are forecast at 5 kts early north of Pt Conception building from the northwest to 15 kts for Bodega Bay northward in the afternoon and 10 kts south of there. Sat (2/22) north winds are forecast at 15 kts for North CA early and 10 kts for Central CA building to 20 kts for the entire region in the afternoon. Sun (2/23) high pressure returns with north winds 20 kts for all of North and Central CA early pushing 25 kts later. Maybe some rain for Cape Mendocino with light snow down to Tahoe in the evening.
Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 5, 3, 7 and 0 inches respectively.
Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!
No swell producing fetch is occurring.
Over the next 72 hours a small gale is forecast developing in the Central South Pacific Mon AM (2/17) with 40-45 kt southwest winds and seas building to 32 ft at 56S 151W aimed northeast. In the evening southwest winds to continue at 35-40 kts and seas 31 ft at 53.5S 144W aimed northeast. Fetch is to be fading Tues AM (2/18) from 30-35 kts from the southwest with seas fading from 29-30 ft at 53S 136.5W aimed northeast. The gale is to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.
South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Beyond 72 hours starting Fri PM (2/21) a small storm is forecast developing approaching the North Dateline region with 55 kt northwest winds over a tiny area and seas building from 35 ft at 46.5N 169.5E aimed southeast. On Sat AM (2/22) northwest winds are to be just west of the dateline at 50-55 kts with 39 ft seas building at 45.5N 171.5E aimed southeast. In the evening the storm is to hold with 50-55 kt northwest winds and seas 44 ft @ 43.5N 176E aimed southeast. On Sun AM (2/23) the storm is to be fading over the dateline with 40-50 kt northwest winds and seas 44 ft at 43N 177.5W aimed southeast. The gale is to be fading in the evening with 40 kt northwest winds and seas 39 ft at 42N 172W aimed southeast. Something to monitor.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
Solid Active MJO Building
The Madden Julian Oscillation is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for MJO activity (which directly relate to the potential for swell production).
Overview: 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 hold in a pool off Peru and has not changed as of late Jan 2020.
LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Fall/Winter 2019/2020 = 5.0/4.0 (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: It is assumed the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that a weak borderline El Nino from 2018 is fading out, but not yet completely gone, especially in the atmosphere. Likewise it looks like a La Nina ocean temperature pattern is developing in the equatorial East Pacific, with cooler than normal waters tracking west on the equator. We assumed El Nino like momentum will hold for a while in the atmosphere will take a while to sense that the ocean temperature pattern has changed. But once it does, a turn towards a La Nina like atmospheric pattern will start to develop. that transition is expected in the late Nov-early Dec timeframe. Even so, moderation from the PDO might prevent La Nina from fully developing. Given all that, there is decent probability for a normal start to the Fall surf season (in the Northern Hemisphere) meaning a normal amount of number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in a normal levels of swell, with normal duration and normal period. But by mid-Dec 2019, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start fading and as a result, swell production should fade slightly as well. This pattern is expected to hold through April 2020.
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 (2/15) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific then fading to near calm over the North Dateline and North KWGA but moderate to strong west over the South Dateline and into the south KWGA. Anomalies were light east over the far East equatorial Pacific fading to neutral over the Central Pacific and then strong west over the dateline and KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (2/16) west anomalies were strong in the KWGA. The forecast calls for strong west anomalies through 2/17 over the KWGA, then fading to moderate strength into 2/20 then fading to weak if not near neutral at the end of the model run on 2/23.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
- Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (2/15) A moderate Active MJO signal was filling the KWGA reaching to the dateline. The statistic model indicates the Active MJO is forecast slowly easing east filling the KWGA on days 5-10 of the model run continuing into day 15 but centered over the dateline at that time. The dynamic model indicates the same thing initially but with the Active Phase pushing a bit further east centered over the dateline at day 10 and gone at day 15 with a neutral pattern in control. The 2 models generally are in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (2/16) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was moderate over the far West Pacific today and is to slowly track east and losing strength over the East Pacific at day 15 of the model run. The GEFS model suggests the same thing initially, but with the Active Phase retrograding back to the West Pacific starting day 8 and holding through day 15 and holding strength at modest levels.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (2/16) This model depicts a strong Active Phase over the Dateline region today. It is to push east moving into Central America on 3/12 while the Inactive Phase starts to develop in the KWGA 2/29. It is to push steadily east while holding strength moving into Central America on 3/27. A very weak Active MJO is to start building in the West Pacific on 3/22 moving to the Central Pacific at the end of the model run on 3/27.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (2/15) This model depicts a weak Active MJO developing east of the dateline today with strong west anomalies in control in the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Active signal is to build slowly over the dateline with strong west anomalies holding for a few days, fading to moderate status, 2/18-2/22, then rebuilding to strong status 2/23 as the Active signal start to max 2/24-3/6 with strong west anomalies holding in the KWGA through 3/2. The Active Phase is to be pushing east of the KWGA 3/7 with moderate west anomalies still in control and pushing into the West Coast 3/1-3/6, then fading as the Inactive Phase starts to build 3/12 and holding through the last day of the model run on 3/14.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (2/13-using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a neutral MJO biased Inactive but with moderate west anomalies in the KWGA today. In reality a weak Inactive Phase was rushing through the KWGA today and is to continue through 2/19 but with west anomalies holding. A moderate Active MJO Phase is to set up 2/21 with moderate to strong west anomalies building into the KWGA holding till 3/11. Beyond that a moderate Inactive Phase is forecast 3/4-4/2 with modest west anomalies holding in the KWGA other than 3/12-3/24 when east anomalies are forecast. Another Active Phase is to develop 3/24 holding through 4/20 with modest to moderate west anomalies in the KWGA. A weak Inactive Phase to follow building in the far West KWGA 4/20 through the end of the model run on 5/15 but with moderate to strong west anomalies forecast starting 5/1 holding through the end of the model run. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias with 2 contour lines in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to the California coast. A third contour line is to briefly appear 3/3-3/12. The second contour line is to weaken some on 4/25 but rebuilding some through the end of the model run. A high pressure bias built in the Indian Ocean and is to hold. East anomalies set up in the Indian Ocean starting 10/22/19 and are to hold except turning westerly during development of the Active Phase mid- to late March. The model keeps switching between the continuation of the Indian Ocean high pressure/east wind bias and the low pressure bias over the dateline and the demise of all three in the April timeframe (Springtime 'Predictability Barrier' in full effect).
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (2/16) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm backtracked from 175E to all but gone today. The 29 deg isotherm backtracked to 173W. The 28 deg isotherm line was a brick wall aligned and steady at 162W today. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador and decently thick. Anomaly wise, Kelvin Wave #6 was under the dateline at +4 degs tracking from the Maritime Continent but stationary with it's leading edge at 138W. Lesser warm water was pushing into Ecuador at +2 degs. Warm water was filling the entire equatorial subsurface Pacific from 150 meters upwards. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 2/2 indicates warm water had formed a Kelvin Wave with warm water falling from 120E down into the dateline at 180m deep peaking there at +3 degrees then pushing and rising east to 140W with lesser warm water pushing and rising east from there (impacting Ecuador). 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) A broad pocket of +5 cms anomalies is filling the equatorial Pacific between 170E pushing into Ecuador. Fairly impressive.
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: (2/15) The latest images indicate warm anomalies were wavering just off the coast of Chile up into Peru but with cool anomalies nearshore there, then with building warm anomalies along Ecuador up into Central America then tracking west on the equator to the Galapagos out to 120W mainly on and north of the equator. Pockets of cool anomalies were on the equator from 118W to 140W . A broad pocket of cooling was still south of the equator and well off Peru filling the area from 2S south down to 35S reaching west to 140W and east to 85W. A mirror image of it was now developing off California and well off Baja.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (2/15): Weak warming was off Peru and also west of the Galapagos out to 104W. The short term trend is neither warming or cooling.
Hi-res Overview: (2/15) A steady pocket of cool anomalies is holding south of the equator starting at 5S and just off Peru reaching west out to 140W and steady. A mirror image of it was also off California and Baja Mexico out to 140W. Warm anomalies were trying to hold on along Chile and Peru then stronger up to Ecuador and Central America up to Mainland Mexico and stronger on the equator out to 120W. A cool pocket was on the equator from 115-135W and weakening. Warmer than normal water was west of there out to the dateline and beyond. Water temps appear to be stable and neither El Nino or La Nina.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (2/16) Today's temps were noodling around at -0.015 but previously much lower down at -0.900 on 12/12. Temps peaked prior at +1.55 degrees on 12/2 after a long runup from negative anomalies in October. It now appears we are in a falling trend.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (2/16) Temps were steady at +0.339. Temps peaked on 11/14 at +0.509 degs, fell some to -0.018 on 11/28, and are now trying to rebuild. The trend has been steadily generally upwards since Sept when they bottomed out at -0.6 degs (9/14).
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (2/16) Actual's indicate a cooling trend set up late last summer with temps -0.2 degs in mid-Sept then started rising to +0.25 degs in early Oct holding to Dec 1 rising to +0.70 degs Jan 1 and holding at +0.65 to Feb 1. From there the forecast depicts temps holding steady to mid-March then starting to fall, down to 0.0 in early May then diving negative appearing to be moving strongly to La Nina down at -1.50 in mid- Oct and possibly falling from there. According to this model a neutral sea surface temperature pattern biased slightly warm is forecast for the Winter and Spring of 2020, then turning strongly towards La Nina in the core of Summer.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Jan 2020 Plume depicts temps are at +0.42 degs, and are to slow fade to neutral +0.00 in June 2020, then holding there till Sept 2020. 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) (2/16): The daily index was negative today at -18.20 and has been solidly negative the last 5 days. The 30 day average was weakly negative at -2.14 and falling. The 90 day average was falling slightly at -4.36, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was developing.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): Dec +0.46, Nov +1.03, Oct +0.27 Sept +1.11, August +0.60, July +0.75, June -0.32, May +1.10, April +0.30, March +1.0, Feb +1.29, Jan +0.193. This index has been steadily positive but still indicates mostly ENSO neutral conditions (not El Nino).
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