Next forecast update: Sun (3/15)
Tuesday, March 3, 2020
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Barbers Point (Buoy 238) : Seas were 2.7 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 13.1 secs from 223 degrees.
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 6.2 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 4.6 ft @ 10.2 secs from 41 degrees. Water temp 75 degs.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.8 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 1.9 ft @ 13.6 secs from 196 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 14-16 kts. Water temperature 59.7 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 8.7 ft @ 11.6 secs from 314 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.8 ft @ 13.3 secs from 253 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.2 ft @ 13.6 secs from 229 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 3.6 ft @ 11.7 secs from 276 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 10.3 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 8.1 ft @ 9.4 secs from 312 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was north at 10-14 kts. Water temp 50.2 degs (013), 53.4 degs (012) and 54.0 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 Tuesday (3/3) in North and Central CA local windswell was producing waves at up to head high and warbled and soft and formless but clean. Protected breaks were shoulder to head high and soft and real line dup if not closed out with a fair amount of warble in the water but clean early. At Santa Cruz surf was chest to head high on the sets and clean and lined up with decent form but with a little warble in the water. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist to chest high and clean and lined up but not super organized but rideable. In North Orange Co surf was waist to chest high coming out of the north and soft but with some lines and clean but with some warble intermixed. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks had sets at chest high or so and lined up coming from the north but soft with some moderate texture on the water. North San Diego had surf in the chest to shoulder high range and clean with long lines and closing out some break and a bit warbled and weird at others. Hawaii's North Shore was getting northeast windswell with waves shoulder high at top breaks and clean but soft and unremarkable. The South Shore had some background southern hemi swell with waves up to waist high and lined up and clean. The East Shore was getting northeasterly windswell at 3 ft overhead and warbled but not chopped with modest southeast trades early.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Tuesday (3/3) in California the faint residuals of swell were fading out and buried in local windswell originating from a gale that pushed off North Japan on Sun (2/23) tracking east producing up to 33 ft seas aimed east fading some on Tues (2/25) only to redevelop into Wed (2/26) producing 28 ft seas pushing up to the dateline, then fading out. In Hawaii only local windswell was present. A small gale is forecast forming in the Northeastern Gulf tracking east Wed-Thurs (3/5) with seas to 26 ft. And another gale is to form off Japan on Wed (3/4) producing up to 32 ft seas aimed east over a small area, but not even making it to the dateline. And another gale is to form off just Japan on Thurs-Fri (3/6) producing 26 ft seas aimed east but again not even making it half way to the dateline. And maybe a cutoff low to form off California on Sun (3/8) producing up to 25 ft seas aimed south. Tiny small southern hemi swell is hitting California underneath the more dominant northwesterly local windswell. And another weak gale developed in the Southeast Pacific Mon-Wed (3/4) producing 32 ft seas aimed northeast. But nothing else to follow. The transition to Spring is well underway.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Tuesday (3/3) the jetstream was loosely consolidated pushing east off Japan with winds to 120 kts in pockets forming a small and weak trough was just off the the coast offering some weak support for gale development there. But east of there the jet was split very far to the west starting at 160E with the northern branch tracking east with winds building to 130 kts pushing inland over Central Canada while the southern branch tracked weakly east over Hawaii and then into Southern Baja. Over the next 72 hours the Japan trough is to lift northeast and fade on Thurs (3/6) while racing over the Western Aleutians while another trough develops in the northern branch over the Northeastern Gulf on Wed-Thurs (3/5) pushing into the Pacific Northwest on Fri (3/6) offering some limited support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours another trough is to develop again the Northeastern Gulf on Sat (3/7) digging south into Sun (3/8) being fed by 130 kt winds offering some support for gale development then pushing inland while weakening into Tues (3/10). Also a weak trough is to push off Japan and develop weakly off the Kuril Islands on Sat (3/7) providing some weak support for gale development, then quickly fading. Overall a heavily split and weak jetstream flow is to continue to be in control.
On Tuesday (3/3) swell was fading in California from a gale that pushed off Japan (see Japan Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours a small gale is forecast developing in the Northwestern Gulf on Wed AM (3/4) producing 35-40 kt northwest winds in the Central Gulf producing 20 ft seas at 45.5N 152W aimed east. In the evening 45 kt northwest fetch is to be tracking east off Washington with 23 ft seas at 46N 142W aimed southeast. On Thurs AM (3/5) the gale is to be just off British Columbia with 45 kt northwest winds and a far broader area of 30 kt northwest winds further off the coast producing 21-23 ft seas at 47N 140W aimed east and seas to 24 ft just off Vancouver Island. In the evening the gale is to be fading fast just over the Central Canadian Coast with 25 kt northwest winds fading off the coast producing 19 ft seas over a broad area at 46N 141W aimed southeast. The gale is to fade from there. Possible swell radiating southeast targeting all the US West Coast north of Pt Conception. Something to monitor.
Also on Tues PM (3/3) a new gale is forecast developing just off Japan producing 40 kt northwest winds and seas 33 ft at 39.5N 158E aimed east. On Wed AM (3/4) the gale is to be fading with west winds 35 kts and seas fading from 28 ft at 39N 164E aimed east. The gale is to dissipate in the evening with 30 kt west winds fading and seas fading from 24 ft at 41N 170E aimed east. Small swell possibly to result for Hawaii but too far away to have meaningful impact in CA.
Hawaii: For planning purposes expect swell arrival late on Sat (3/7) building to 1.4 ft @ 17 secs late (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell peaking on Sun (3/8) at 1.9 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell fading from there. Swell Direction: 310 degrees
Also on Thurs AM (3/5) a gale is forecast developing over and just off North Japan with 40 kt west winds and seas building. In the evening 35-40 kt west winds are to be off North Japan with seas 26 ft at 40.5N 149.5E aimed east. The gale is to be lifting northeast Fri AM (3/6) with 35+ kt northwest winds and seas 27 ft at 39.5N 154E aimed east. In the evening the gale is to be lifting northeast with 35 kt northwest winds and seas 26 ft at 39.5N 159E aimed east. By Sat AM (3/7) the gale is to be fading out with barely 30 kt northwest winds and seas fading from 20 ft at 41N 166.5E aimed east. Something to monitor.
A gale developed off North Japan on Sun PM (2/23) with 45 kt northwest winds and seas 33 ft at 42N 156E aimed southeast. On Mon AM (2/24) 35-40 kt west fetch was pushing towards if not reaching the dateline producing 31 ft seas at 41.5N 162.5E aimed east. In the evening fetch held position and strength at 30-35 kts with 29 ft seas at 40.5N 170E aimed east. More of the same occurred Tues AM (2/25) with 28 ft seas fading at 40N 175E aimed east. Fetch is to pulse but west from it's previous position in the evening at 35-40 kts with seas building to 27 ft at 44N 170E aimed southeast with lingering seas from previous fetch fading from 27 ft at 40N 178W aimed east. Fetch is to be fading Wed AM (2/26) at 35 kts on the dateline with 29 ft seas at 44N 177E aimed southeast. In the evening fetch is to be easing east at 30 kts with seas fading from 26 ft at 45N 178W aimed east. The gale is to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.
North California: Dribbles on Tues (3/3) fading from 3.8 ft @ 12-13 secs (4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 300 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday (3/3) north winds continued at 20-25 kts for North CA early and 10 kts for Central CA holding all day. Wed (3/4) north winds are forecast at 20 kts for Pt Arena northward early but calm south of there fading to 15 kts for Cape Mendocino later and calm to light northwest south of there. Thurs (3/5) light winds are forecast all day for CA. Fri (3/6) light winds are forecast early with a weak front along Cape Mendocino later. Light rain for North CA early early trying to push south but not making it south of Bodega Bay. Sat (3/7) northwest winds are forecast at 15 kts for North and CA early but fading to light northwest 5-10 kts later as low pressure builds off the coast. Light rain for all of North and Central CA early fading out late afternoon. Snow developing for Tahoe holding through the day then fading early evening. Sun (3/8) light south winds are forecast early for North and Central CA building to 10+ kts later as low pressure just off the coast falling south. No precip forecast for the state. Mon (3/9) southeast winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for North and Central CA early turning more easterly and fading later. Light snow possible for higher elevation of the Sierra during the day. Tues (3/10) northeast winds are forecast at 10-15 kts early for North and Central CA turning north 15-20 kts for North CA north of Bodega Bay later. Rain building into Southern CA through the day as the low moves east towards SCal.
Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 12, 14, 14 and 8 inches respectively.
Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!
The fading remnants of swell from a small early season gale has produced small swell that is hitting CA (see Southeast Pacific Gale below). Otherwise no swell producing fetch is occurring.
Over the next 72 hours a gale developed in the Southeast Pacific on Mon AM (3/2) producing a broad area of 40 kt southwest winds and seas building from 31 ft at 61S 134W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch lifted northeast holding coverage at 35 kts with 32 ft seas at 62S 127.5W aimed northeast. On Tues AM (3/3) fetch was fading from 30+ kts with 28 ft seas at 56.5S 120W aimed northeast. Additional fetch is forecast in the evening at 35 kts from the south producing 27 ft seas at 54S 122.5W aimed northeast. That fetch is to fade on Wed AM (3/4) from 30 kts with seas fading from 26 ft at 45.5S 116.5W aimed northeast. Small swell possible radiating northeast into Southern CA and points south of there.
Southern CA: For planning purposes expect swell arrival on Tues (3/10) pushing to 2.2 ft @ 18 secs later (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 185 degrees
Southeast Pacific Gale
A small gale started developing Sat AM (2/22) in the South Central Pacific with 45- kt south winds over a tiny area and seas building from 28 ft at 45.5S 139W aimed north. 40 kt south winds held in the evening with 33 ft seas over a tiny area aimed north at 44S 139W aimed north. Fetch was fading Sun AM (2/23) from 35 kts from the south with seas fading from 29 ft at 42S 134W aimed northeast. Small swell has been produced radiating north.
Southern CA: Swell fading Tues (3/3) from 1.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 198 degrees
Northern CA: Swell fading Tues (3/3) from 1.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (1.5 ft). Swell Direction: 192 degrees
South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Beyond 72 hours a cutoff/backdoor low is to be forming off North CA on Sat PM (3/7) producing 30-35 kt northwest winds and seas building. On Sun AM (3/8) north winds are to be building to 35-40 kts with seas 25 ft at 38.5N 138.5W aimed south-southeast. The gale is to hold position in the evening with 35 kt north winds and seas 24 ft at 35.5N 138W aimed south. The gale is to be rapidly dissipating Mon AM (3/9) with seas fading from 20 ft at 32N 138W aimed south. Low odds of small sideband swell radiating east into Central and Southern CA. Something to monitor.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.
Active MJO Fading
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 (3/2) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific on over the Dateline then fading to calm over the core of the KWGA. Anomalies were moderate easterly over the far East equatorial Pacific turning neutral over the Central Pacific and then neutral over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (3/3) west anomalies were weak to modest in the KWGA with weak east anomalies in the far West KWGA. The forecast calls for modest west anomalies holding through 3/7 then fading with modest east anomalies taking over the KWGA and holding through the end of the model run on 3/10 if not building to moderate strength on the dateline.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
- Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (3/2) A modest Inactive MJO signal was over the KWGA. The statistic model indicates the Inactive MJO is forecast to hold focused on the dateline if not moving slightly east of there through day 15 of the model run while the Active Phase builds strong over the Maritime Continent and trying to ease into the West KWGA. The dynamic model indicates the same thing but with the Inactive Phase pushing out of the KWGA at day 15 and dissipating while a weak version of the Active Phase pushes into the west KWGA.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (3/3) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the Eastern Indian Ocean today and is to slowly ease east over the Maritime Continent at day 15 of the model run. The GEFS model suggests the same thing initially, but with the Active Phase just noodling around the far East Indian Ocean for 15 days, never really moving east.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (3/3) This model depicts the Inactive Phase was weak moving over the East Equatorial Pacific pushing into Central America through 3/8. the Active Phase is to build into the West Pacific on 3/13 pushing east and into Central America on 4/7. The Inactive Phase is to start building in the West Pacific on 3/28 moving to the Central Pacific at the end of the model run on 4/12.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (3/2) This model depicts a weak Inactive Phase in the far West KWGA today but with modest west anomalies just west of the dateline. The forecast indicates the west wind anomaly pattern is to hold through through the end of the model run 3/30 but with the weak Inactive Phase fading on 3/12 and a weak Active Phase developing 3/16 - 3/23. Neither is to have much effect of the base winds pattern.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (3/1 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a very weak Active MJO pattern all but gone in the KWGA today with light west anomalies in the KWGA. A weak Inactive Phase is to set up 3/5-3/17 with weak east anomalies in control of the KWGA. A modest Active Phase is forecast developing 3/17 holding through 4/6 with moderate west anomalies in the KWGA during that period. A broad Inactive Phase is to develop 4/1 holding through the end of the model run on 5/31 with weak west anomalies still in control. 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. It is to hold unchanged through 4/4, then dissipate. 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 for the foreseeable future. The model was previously 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: (3/3) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm was all but gone today at 171E and shallow. The 29 deg isotherm was holding at 175W and is steady today. The 28 deg isotherm line was a brick wall aligned and steady at 163W today. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador and decently thick. Anomaly wise, Kelvin Wave #6 was under the dateline at +2.0 degs tracking from the Maritime Continent under the dateline with it's leading edge steady at 132W. Lesser warm water was pushing into Ecuador at +1 degs. Warm water was filling the entire equatorial subsurface Pacific from 150 meters upwards. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 2/27 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 115W with a stronger pocket of 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: (2/27) A broad pocket of +5-10 cms anomalies is filling the equatorial Pacific between 165E pushing non-stop east to 120W then with a small pocket impacting 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: (3/2) The latest images indicate warm anomalies were weak just off the coast of Chile up into Peru but building some from days past with building warm anomalies continuing up along Ecuador up into Central America then tracking west on the equator to the Galapagos if reaching west to 100W. But cool anomalies were present on the equator in pockets between 97W to 135W. Warm anomalies were west of there on the equator. 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 80W. A mirror image of it was now developing off California and well off Baja.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (3/2): Weak warming was off Peru extending west to 117W. A pocket of building cooling was developing pushing off Ecuador reaching to the Galapagos and then in pockets west of there on the equator. The short term trend is a mixed bag.
Hi-res Overview: (3/2) 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. But warm anomalies were trying to build along Chile and Peru then stronger up to Ecuador and Central America up to Mainland Mexico out over the Galapagos. But a weak cool pocket was on the equator from 100-135W 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: (3/3) Today's temps were holding if not building at +0.652. Previously temps dropped to -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: (3/3) Temps were steady at +0.415. 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 (3/3) 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 2020 and holding at +0.65 through Feb. From there the forecast depicts temps holding steady to early April at +0.5 then starting to fall, down to 0.0 in mid-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 Feb 2020 Plume depicts temps are at +0.32 degs, and are to slow fade to neutral +0.00 in June 2020, then falling some to -0.1 degs in Aug only to rebound to neutral in October 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) (3/3): The daily index was positive today at +2.11. The 30 day average was weakly negative at -2.32 and rising. The 90 day average was falling slightly at -3.36, 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