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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Monday, March 5, 2018 4:15 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
2.0 - California & 2.5 - Hawaii
Using the 'Winter' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

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

Issued for Week of Monday 3/5 thru Sun 3/11

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

Weak Low Pressure in Gulf
Stronger Gale Forecast 6 Day Out


On Monday, March 5, 2018 :

  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): This buoy is down and not updating.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.7 ft @ 12.0 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 10.3 secs from 291 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north at 4 kts. Water temperature 57.2 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.4 ft @ 10.1 secs from 269 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.2 ft @ 10.3 secs from 252 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 0.9 ft @ 12.3 secs from 225 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.6 ft @ 6.3 secs from 280 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 3.9 ft @ 10.0 secs with swell 2.9 ft @ 9.3 secs from 312 degrees. Wind at the buoy was east at 12-14 kts. Water temp 51.8 degs.

See Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (bottom of the page)

Swell Classification Guidelines

Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
- Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
- Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
- up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.

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

Current Conditions
On Monday (3/5) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing waves in the waist high range and clean with modest offshore winds in control. Protected breaks were thigh to maybe waist high and clean with offshore blowing. At Santa Cruz surf was flat and clean. In Southern California up north surf was thigh high on the sets and clean. In North Orange Co surf was thigh to waist high and weak but clean with offshores in control. South Orange Country's best breaks were maybe waist high and clean. In North San Diego surf was thigh to waist high at best breaks and clean. Hawaii's North Shore was getting minimal north swell with waves head high or so at top break and clean and fun looking but slow. The South Shore was flat and clean. East Shore was getting northeast windswell at shoulder high and chopped from moderate east-northeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Monday (3/5) minimal background sideband swell from a gale previously on the North Dateline region last Tues (2/27) was hitting Hawaii but only minimal north windswell was hitting California. Small swell from a gale previously off the North Kuril Islands on Fri-Sat (3/3) producing 36-38 ft seas aimed east was pushing towards Hawaii. A small system developed in the Northern Gulf of Alaska on Sat-Sun (3/4) with barely 31 ft seas falling south might produce some surf for Hawaii shortly. After that nothing is charted until Fri-Mon (3/12) when a progressive pair of gales are to develop in the Gulf of Alaska producing 24 ft seas initially possibly building to 44 ft off Oregon. At least there's something to monitor. Otherwise La Nina in combination with the Inactive Phase of the MJO is to continue suppressing swell development for at least another week.

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

North Pacific

On Monday AM (3/5) the jetstream was pushing east from a point just south of Japan and split as soon as it hit the Pacific Ocean with the northern branch tracking northeast over the Western Aleutians with one pocket of wind to 165 kts and then heading east and far weaker eventually falling south over the Eastern Gulf forming a weak trough there being fed by only 90 kts winds before turning east and pushing over North California. There was some support for gale development in this trough. The southern branch was weak tracking east at up to 80 kts pushing over Hawaii and then into Southern CA. In all no real support for serious gale development was indicated. Over the next 72 hours the same pattern is to hold but with the pocket of wind energy currently in the west moving east through the Bering Sea and trying to fall south and feed the trough in the Eastern Gulf but not really doing it, with no real support for gale development indicated. Beyond 72 hours that wind energy is to get better traction on Sat (3/10) falling southeast into the Northern Gulf at 140 kts forming a trough and holding into Mon (3/12) offering decent support for gale development. Over the same time period the split point is to start pushing east reaching to 170E (nearly the dateline) by Mon (3/12) with winds building to 150 in the consolidated portion of the jet off Japan perhaps offering some support for gale development there. So some improvement looks possible.

Surface Analysis
No real swell of interest was hitting the California Coast. And small swell from a gale previously tracking towards the North Dateline region on Tues-Wed (2/28) as fading in Hawaii making for small rideable surf. A better swell was pushing towards Hawaii from a gale that developed off Hawaii on Thurs (3/1)(see Japan Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a local gale is to build off the North CA coast on Wed PM (3/7) producing a short lived fetch of 35 kt west winds just 450 nmiles off the coast producing 18 ft seas aimed east. The gale is to move onshore over the CA-Oregon border. Windswell to possibly result for the Central CA coast on Thurs afternoon (3/8).


Japan Gale
On Thurs PM (3/1) a gale developed off North Japan producing a building fetch of 45 kt west winds starting to get traction on the oceans surface producing 30 ft seas at 41N 146E aimed east. By Fri AM (3/2) the gale was tracking northeast off the Southern Kuril Islands with 40-45 kt west winds and seas building to 34 ft at 42N 152E aimed east. The gale was lifting northeast in the evening with winds 40 kts from the west and seas 35 ft at 46N 157E. On Sat (3/3) the gale was approaching the West Aleutians with winds 35 kts from the west and seas 31 ft at 49N 163E. In the evening the gale was fading while pushing into the West Bering Sea with all seas impacting the Western Aleutians at 31 ft at 51N 166E. Low odds of some sideband swell reaching Hawaii and swell decayed swell resulting for the US West Coast.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Tues (3/6) building to 2.7 ft @ 16-17 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell fading Wed (3/7) from 2.7 ft @ 15 secs (4.0 ft). This swell to be buried in another swell arriving at the same time. Swell Direction: 310 degrees

North CA: expect swell arrival on Thurs (3/8) building to 2.5 ft @ 16 secs later (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell continues on Fri (3/9) at 2.7 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Residuals on Sat (3/10) fading from 2.4 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 302 degrees


Gulf Gale
A gale developed in the Northern Gulf on Fri PM (3/2) with 45 kt northwest winds aimed well at Hawaii with seas building from 24 ft over a tiny area at 49N 161W. On Sat AM (3/3) fetch was building in coverage at 40 kts from the northwest over a small area with 31 ft seas aimed southeast at 48N 156W. The gale faded in the evening while falling southeast with northwest fetch 40 kts targeting locations just barely at Hawaii and mostly east of there with seas fading from 29 ft at 47N 153W. Sun AM (3/4) fetch fell south at 35 kts over a small area with 27 ft seas at 43N 152W targeting areas just east of Hawaii. The gale is to fell south in the evening with winds 30 kts from the north and seas 25 ft at 39N 150W. The gale was dissipating Mon AM (3/5) with north winds fading from 30 kts and seas fading from 20 ft at 35N 149W aimed southeast. The low is to hold position Mon PM through Tues PM (3/6) with north winds still 30 kts and seas 19 ft at 35N 148W aimed south.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Tues (3/6) building to 4.6 ft @ 13-14 secs later (6.0 ft). Swell continues on Wed (3/7) fading from 5.4 ft @ 11-12 secs (6.0 ft). Residuals on Thurs (3/8) fading from 4.6 ft @ 10 secs (4.5 ft). North windswell continues Fri (3/9) at 6.5 ft @ 11-12 secs (7.0-7.5 ft). Swell fading Sat (3/10) from 6.2 ft @ 10-11 secs (6.5 ft). Swell Direction: 005-015 degrees

North California: Expect swell arrival on Tues (3/6) at 4.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (6.5 ft). Swell all but gone by Wed AM. Swell Direction: 300 degrees


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


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Monday (3/5) low pressure from the Gulf of Alaska was circulating 900 nmiles off the Central CA coast with high pressure inland over the Great Basin generating a modest offshore flow along the entire CA coast. More of the same is expected on Tues (3/6) but with the offshore flow lighter. On Wed AM (3/7) the low is to be tracking east-northeast with winds with a front and south winds developing from Monterey Bay northward pushing 25 kt over Cape Mendocino. Rain building through the day southward to Pt Reyes and maybe down to Monterey Bay later evening. Thurs AM (3/8) the front is to push south from San Francisco to Big Sur with rain fading through the day over that area. Winds southwest 10-15 kts from the Golden Gate northward. Light winds south of there. Higher snow levels at 5500 ft (still below lake level) with maybe 4 inches of accumulation in the Tahoe area. Friday (3/9) weak high pressure is to try and build with north winds 10 kts over North CA down to Monterey Bay and up to 20 kts over Pt Conception into Southern CA early. Saturday a light wind flow is forecast turning south at 10 kts later as low pressure builds off the coast. Rain building from the west into the entire CA coast by 10 PM. Sunday AM (3/11) south winds are forecast at 15-20 kts from Pt Conception northward early as the front hits then southwest at 5 kts and up to 15 kts over Cape Mendocino. Rain continuing through the day. Snow for Tahoe through the day with snow levels at 6400-6800 ft. Monday (3/12) a far stronger gale is forecast building off the CA coast with south winds building to 35 kts over Cape Mendocino and south at 15 kts to Pt Reyes in the evening. Light winds south of there. Rain building heavy over Cape Mendocino early and lighter south to Pt Conception through the day, clearing overnight. Possible heavy snow for Tahoe. Snow levels falling from 6500 ft Sun evening to 2000 ft sunrise Monday.

South Pacific

Surface Analysis  
No swell producing weather systems of interest are occurring. Swell from a gale that previously traversed the South Pacific is limping northeast (see South Pacific Gale below).

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


South Pacific Gale
A gale started developing in the Southwestern Pacific on Sun PM (2/25) producing 50 kt south winds and seas building from 30 ft over a small area at 53S 170W. Mon AM (2/26) 45 kt southwest winds were lifting northeast some with seas to 35 ft at 52S 159W. In the evening fetch rebuilt to 50 kts from the southwest over a consolidated area with seas to 33 ft at 54S 144W. On Tues AM (2/27) 45 kt southwest winds continued pushing east with seas building to 40 ft at 54S 133W aimed mainly east. In the evening fetch continued at 45 kts from the west-southwest with the gale falling slightly southeast with seas 42 ft at 55S 125W aimed east. On Wed AM the gale was fading with 40 kt west winds while racing east and beyond the eastern edge of the California swell window with seas 40 ft at 56S 115W. Some small sideband swell is possible for California, but nothing for Hawaii.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (3/6) building to 1.4 ft @ 18 secs mid-afternoon (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell to peak on Wed AM (3/7) at 1.5 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 197 degrees


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




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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a broad gale is to start building in the Northern Gulf of Alaska Thurs PM (3/8) producing a fetch of 30-35 kt northwest winds getting traction. Fri AM (3/9) northwest winds to be 35 kt over a broad area pushing southeast from the Eastern Aleutians generating 24-25 ft at 50N 162W. In the evening northwest winds to be 30-35 kts over the same area but building southeast with 25 ft at 47N 163W. On Sat AM (3/10) 30+ kt northwest winds to continue with seas 23 ft at 44N 160W. Fetch is to be fading in the evening while falling southeast at 30 kts more from the north with 23 ft seas at 44N 158W targeting both Hawaii and California. additional energy is to be building Sun (3/11) building to 35+ kts in the evening with 23 ft seas 42N 154W. Things to possibly get interesting Mon AM (3/12) with a building fetch of 50 kt northwest winds off the North CA coast with 32 ft seas building at 40N 143W aimed east. In the evening 50 kt west winds to race east with 42 ft seas at 40N 135W just off the North CA coast. Something to monitor.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.

More details to follow...


Nino1.2 Region Cooling Slightly - La Nina 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: 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, suggesting La Nina was fading.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Sunday (3/4) 5 day average winds were from the east over the bulk of the equatorial Pacific including the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral over the equatorial Pacific but weak easterly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (3/5) East anomalies were from 170E and points east of there but weak westerly over the bulk of the Central and East KWGA. This pattern is to hold if not build through 3/12 with solid east anomalies from 170E and points east of there but with west anomalies building to the moderate category starting 3/8 west of there and holding through the end of the model run. Perhaps this is a sign of the eastward shift of the low pressure bias.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (3/4) The Inactive/Dry Phase of the MJO was filling the KWGA and fairly strong. The statistical model depicts the Inactive Phase slowly easing east and weakening incrementally but still filling the KWGA through the end of the model run 15 days out with the Active Phase building over the Maritime Continent. The dynamic model depicts the same thing.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (3/5) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO weak over the Indian Ocean. It is to fade while holding position over the 15 day model run. The GEFS model suggests the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model: (3/5) This model depicts a solid pulse of the Inactive/Dry Phase over the East Pacific with a neutral pattern over the West Pacific. The Inactive Phase is to push east and beyond Central America through 3/10. A very weak Active Phase is to set up in the West Pacific 3/10 moving east east into the East Pacific and Central America 3/30. A new Inactive Phase is to be developing moderately in the far West Pacific on 4/4 migrating to the Central Pacific at the end of the model run on 4/14. This model runs about 1-2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (3/5) This model depicts the Inactive Phase was past it's prime over the KWGA with east anomalies mainly on the dateline and east of there with neutral anomalies west of there with this pattern holding through 3/19. Beyond a weak Active Phase is to follow in the West Pacific starting 3/18 with patchy weak west anomalies on the dateline and in the KWGA 3/20 and holding through the end of the model run on 6/2 with either no coherent MJO signal or a weak Active Phase forecast through the period. The low pass filter indicates a modest low pressure bias over the western half of the KWGA at 165E and is to push east steadily from here forward reaching the dateline 4/15 with a high pressure bias over the East KWGA at 175E and is to steadily move east and out of the KWGA on 4/6. Basically the La Nina bias is to be gone in 4 weeks. But no significant oceanic change is expected until 3 months after the change has taken place in the atmosphere.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (3/5) The overview pattern depicts that warm water is sequestered to the west but building east with cooler water steadily loosing control of the East Pacific. Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 29-30 degs at 160E. The 28 deg isotherm line is easing east today at 180W and steep (meaning there is a headwind of cooler water pushing into it from the east). The 24 deg isotherm was shallow but has made significant eastward progress migrating across the entire Pacific to Ecuador now and 25 meters deep or more the whole way east and 75 meters deep at 140W. Anomaly wise in the East Pacific negative temperatures are at -1 deg at 150W and 25 meters deep and smaller pocket at 105W 75 metes deep. Overall cooler water are steadily loosing coverage and density. Warm anomalies were building in the West at +3.5 degs at 180W down 150 meters and appear to be building east with the dividing line between that and cool waters moving east to 138W indicative of a large Kelvin Wave pushing east. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 2/27 depicts warm water in the west at +4.5 degs reaching east to 145W. Cool water at -1.5 degs was only holding in one pocket in the East Pacific near 140W and has significantly lost density and intensity. Those cool anomalies continue erupting to the surface limited now from 105W to 170W. The cool pool appears to be slowly discharging to the surface. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data.
Sea Level Anomalies: (2/27) Neutral anomalies were over the balance of the equatorial East Pacific with negative anomalies at -5 cms south of the equator south of 3S in the East Pacific out to 150W and getting progressively diffuse.

Surface Water Temps: The more warm water in the equatorial East Pacific means more storm production in the North Pacific during winter months (roughly speaking). Cold water in that area has a dampening effect. Regardless of what the atmospheric models and surface winds suggest, actual water temperatures are a ground-truth indicator of what is occurring in the ocean. All data is from blended infrared and microwave sensors.
Satellite Imagery
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4: (3/4) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a generic and diffuse cool pocket was in the deep Southeast Pacific centered at 100W 15S. Warm anomalies are fading off the coast of Chile and Peru up to Ecuador and into Central America while a small thin cool upwelling pattern was indicated along the immediate coast of Peru and another off Columbia. Warm anomalies are building along the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos out to 125W. Weak cool pockets were generally weak and diffuse west of there to 160W and with a continuing smaller footprint.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (3/4): A weak warming trend was off South Chile pushing west to the Central Pacific. Also a weak warming trend continues off all of Chile and Peru up to Central America with that warming advecting west along the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos and out to 140W. There was a pocket of cooling water over the Galapagos. A weakening warming trend is ongoing.
Hi-res Overview: (3/4) A significant erosion of La Nina is underway with warming building in the entire Nino1.2 region. A broad weak cool pocket is still present well off Chile (10S 110W) and Peru with the La Nina core on the equator from 110W to the dateline, starting to look like a Modoki La Nina than anything solid (meaning the core of La Nina is advecting west). Cool water at depth is still erupting to the surface with the breach point south of Hawaii. Overall the cooling pattern is steadily loosing density and drifting west. It appears La Nina is in steady decline.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (3/5) Today's temps were falling at -0.706 degs after having risen to +0.898 degrees on 2/28. Over all the trend is upwards since late December. Temps in this area bottomed out on 12/23 at -2.1 degs, a third near peak negative reading. The lowest point so far in this La Nina was -2.248 degs reached on 11/5. And that low point was lower than the previous coldest point reached on 10/11 at -1.9 degs.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (3/5) Today temps were steady at -0.916. A dramatic rise occurred 1/12-1/28 reaching up to -0.600 deg range. Since then temps have eased off some. Previously a peak low was observed on 1/10-1/12 to -1.577. On (12/7) temps hit a previous record low at -1.219, just below the previous coldest peak so far this La Nina on 11/22 at -1.156. And the third previous low peak was reached at -1.1 on 11/23. The long arc suggests perhaps a rising pattern. La Nina is in control, but it's taking a hit.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (3/5) The forecast depicts temps bottomed out at -0.75 in Nov and have been slowly rebounding since, up to -0.55 in early Feb and holding at that level today. The model indicates temps falling slowly to -0.75 in July-Aug, only to rise slightly into the Fall to -0.4 degs in Oct. This suggests the peak of this years La Nina has occurred but a hangover from it is to possibly hold weakly through Summer before fading more in the Fall. This model is the outlier with others suggesting La Nina is to die this Spring.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Feb Plume depicts temps at -0.5 degs and are to slowly rise, to +0.0 in May and +0.3 in August and +0.5 in October. See chart here - link. It looks like La Nina is fading out. The CFSv2 is in the low end of that pack.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (3/5): The daily index was positive today at 7.80. The 30 day average was rising at -3.66 suggesting the Inactive Phase of the MJO was still affecting the index. The 90 day average was falling at -0.25 suggesting La Nina is dead.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (2/26) This index is falling today at -0.49, down from -0.33 in late Feb, up from -1.11 on 1/29. The trend suggests La Nina is gone. Last years La Nina reached -1.94 on 11/2/16 and then fell to -2.20 on 6/28/17. It held pretty negative through Jan 2018. This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina events. The goal is to have it rise to at least -0.5 before a significant change could be suggested.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly negative, but not as much as one would expect with La Nina in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.12, Feb = +0.05, March = +0.14, April=+0.53, May=+0.29, June=+0.21, July= -0.50, Aug= -0.62, Sept = -0.25, Oct= -0.61, Nov = -0.46, Dec= -0.18, Jan=0.24. 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 EDU index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.77, Feb = +0.70, Mar = +0.74, April=+1.12, May=+0.88, June=+0.79, July=+0.10, Aug=+0.09, Sept = +0.32, Oct=+0.05, Nov = +0.15, Dec = +0.50. No 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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