Tuesday, March 24, 2020
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Barbers Point (Buoy 238) : Seas were 7.3 ft @ 16.7 secs with swell 5.1 ft @ 16.1 secs from 193 degrees.
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 6.9 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 4.6 ft @ 9.3 secs from 87 degrees. Water temp 75.4 degs.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.4 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 1.8 ft @ 14.4 secs from 175 degrees. Wind at the buoy was west at 14-18 kts. Water temperature 60.4 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.9 ft @ 14.5 secs from 274 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.0 ft @ 15.0 secs from 209 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.2 ft @ 14.6 secs from 202 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 1.8 ft @ 14.5 secs from 249 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 4.7 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 2.7 ft @ 14.8 secs from 245 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was south at 10-14 kts. Water temp 54.1 degs (013), 55.8 degs (012) and 57.2 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 (3/24) in North and Central CA surf was waist to maybe chest high and mushed and warbled from local onshore wind. Protected breaks were thigh to waist high and clean and soft and mushed. At Santa Cruz surf was waist to chest high and lined up with decent form and clean but generally soft. In Southern California/Ventura waves were flat with occasional thigh high sets and heavily warbled from modest onshore wind off the coast. In North Orange Co surf was occasionally shoulder high and soft and pretty warbled and wonky from tide and onshore wind. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks had sets at head high and lined up and clean with a decent number of waves per set. North San Diego had surf in the chest high high range and lined up and clean but a little closed out. Hawaii's North Shore was still getting some swell with waves head high on the sets at top breaks and clean. The South Shore was getting New Zealand swell with set waves up to 2 ft overhead and lined up and solid with reasonably clean conditions. The East Shore was getting easterly windswell at 1 ft overhead and chopped with solid east trades in control.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Tuesday (3/24) in Hawaii swell was hitting the south shore from a small gale that developed northeast of New Zealand Tues-Thurs (2/20) producing up to 39 ft seas aimed north targeting the Islands well. Only minimal energy from this system is expected into California. In California minimal northwest swell was fading out from the storm previous off Japan. No swell producing weather systems are immediately forecast in the North Pacific though some soft of a weak gale is forecast Sun-Mon (3/30) in the Northern Gulf producing 21-23 ft seas aimed southeast. Down south a modest sized gale formed in the Southeast Pacific on Sat (3/14) producing 40-41 ft seas aimed more east than northeast and that swell is fading out in CA. Another gale formed in the far Southeast Pacific on Fri-Sat (3/21) producing up to 38 ft seas aimed north but well east of the SCal swell window targeting mainly Central America. A small gale is forecast developing on the eastern edge of the CA swell window on Tues (3/24) producing up to 33 ft seas aimed north. But nothing else is forecast after that. The transition to Spring well underway with Winter effectively over.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Tuesday (3/24) the jetstream was consolidated pushing east off Japan with winds to 140 kts forming a trough just off the coast of Japan but then splitting heavily just beyond at 160E with the northern branch tracking hard north over the Kuril Islands and Kamchatka on into the Bering Sea then turning east tracking over the Alaskan Coast before falling south off the coast of British Columbia forming a backdoor trough there before turning east and moving onshore over Central CA. The southern branch tracked east tracking south of Hawaii then lifting northeast joining the main flow pushing into Central CA. There was no significant troughs and no support for gale development anywhere in the North Pacific. Over the next 72 hours more of the same is forecast with the Japan trough tracking slowly east but still not making it to the dateline and weak offering little in terms of support for gale development. The backdoor trough is to fall south off the Pacific Northwest then pushing inland over Central CA on Thurs (3/26) offering only potential for weather there. Beyond 72 hours the the trough approaching the dateline is to pinch off and vaporize on Sat (3/28) not offering anything. But with that trough fading it is to open the door to a new trough starting to build in the Northern Gulf (on Sat) being fed by 120 kts winds building to 130-140 kts on Sun (3/29) offering decent support for gale development while falling southeast into Monday. By Tues (3/31) the jet is to be be weak and split starting just off Japan (140E) and remaining that way until just off the CA coast offering no support for gale development.
On Tuesday (3/24) swell from a storm that developed in the far West Pacific was all but gone in California (see West Pacific Storm below). Otherwise no other swell is in the water over the North Pacific with high pressure in control.
Over the next 72 hours no other swell producing weather systems are forecast.
West Pacific Storm
On Mon AM (3/16) a gale started developing just off Japan producing 35-40 kt northwest winds and getting some traction on the oceans surface with seas building. In the evening 45-50 kt north to northwest winds were building with seas starting to build to 28 ft at 36.5N 155.5E aimed east. On Tues AM (3/17) a solid fetch of 50-55 kt west winds were mid-way to the dateline with seas building to 41 ft at 40N 160.5E aimed east with decent coverage area. In the evening the fetch is to start lifting northeast and fading from 45 kts with 43 ft seas over a decent sized area at 42.5N 170.5E aimed east. On Wed AM (3/18) the gale is to lift rapidly northeast and be positioned over the North Dateline region with 45 kt west winds over a decent sized area and 38 ft seas at 47.5N 171E aimed east. In the evening the fetch is to be fading and pushing over the Central Aleutians into the Bering Sea with west winds 35 kts and seas 32 ft over a small area on the North Dateline region at 51N 178.5E no longer offering meaningful support for swell production. Possible modest sized swell to resulting pushing east towards Hawaii and the US West Coast.
North CA: Swell fading out Tues (3/24) from 2.8 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 295-297 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 (3/24) weak low pressure was moving inland over Washington with northwest winds 5-10 kts for North and Central CA. A weak front was impacting the coast with light rain for all of North and Central CA with modest snow developing for all the Sierra through the day and into the evening. Wednesday (3/25) high pressure is to be off the coast producing northwest winds at 5-10 kts early building to 15 kts later for all of North, Central and Southern CA in the afternoon. Light scattered showers for all of CA. Light snow through the day for the Sierra ending late evening. Thurs (3/26) northwest winds to be 15-20 kts all day for North and Central CA and 15+ kts for Southern CA all day. Light rain expected on occasion for the Central CA coast. Light snow for the Sierra peaking late afternoon. Fri (3/27) north to northwest winds forecast at 15 kts for North CA and 15-20 kts for Central CA and 15 kts for Southern CA all fading by 5 kts later in the day. Sat (3/28) south winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for North CA and northwest 10-15 kts for southern Central CA holding all day. Rain building for North CA pushing south to Monterey Bay later. Light snow for the Sierra peaking early evening. Sun (3/29) southwest winds are forecast at 10 kts for North CA and northwest 5 kts for southern Central CA with low pressure filling the Northern Gulf of Alaska. Rain for North CA reaching south to Monterey Bay. Snow reaching south to Tahoe and holding through the day. Mon (3/30) southwest winds are to be 10-15 kts for North CA and northwest 5-10 kts for Central CA. Light rain limited to Cape Mendocino. Tues (3/31) the low is to be fading out with northwest winds 5-10 kts for North CA and building to 20 kts over Pt Conception for Central CA and winds building from the northwest for all regions later. Rain down to San Francisco mid-day.
Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 18, 18, 23 and 6 inches respectively.
Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!
Swell from a gale that formed in the Southeast Pacific is fading in CA (See Another Southeast Pacific Gale below). Swell from a different gale that formed off New Zealand was starting to hit Hawaii (See New Zealand Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours a small gale started building in the far Southeast Pacific Mon AM (3/23) producing south winds at 35-40 kts with seas building from 23 ft at 49S 138W aimed north. Fetch built in coverage while tracking east in the evening with seas building to 27 ft aimed north at 50S 130W aimed northeast. The gale built some more on Tues AM (3/24) on the eastern edge of the CA swell window with 40+ kt south to southeast winds and 28 ft seas building at 54S 122 W aimed north. Fetch is to be fading and tracking southeast in the evening at 40 kts with seas 32 ft at 50S 114W. The gale to fade and move east of the CA swell window from there. Possible small swell for CA and points south of there.
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (4/1).
Another Southeast Pacific Gale
On Fri AM (3/13) another small gale started building in the Southeast Pacific producing 40-45 kt southwest winds and starting to get traction on the oceans surface. In the evening 45 kt southwest winds increased in coverage while nearly holding position with seas building from 39 ft over a small area at 58S 141.5W aimed east-northeast. On Sat AM (3/14) the gale was fading while tracking east-northeast with 40-45 kt west-southwest winds and seas 40 ft at 56S 134W aimed east-northeast. The gale was fading in the evening with 35-40 kt west-southwest winds over a smaller area and seas fading from 38 ft at 53.5S 123.5W aimed east. The gale dissipated from there. Small swell to result.
Southern CA: Swell fading Tues (3/24) from 2.3 ft @ 14 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 190-195 degrees
North California: Swell fading Tues (3/24) from 1.9 ft @ 14 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 190 degrees
New Zealand Gale
Starting Tues AM (3/17) a small cutoff gale developed just east of North New Zealand producing a small area of south winds to 50 kts and seas 32 ft at 33S 177W aimed north. The gale tracked east fading some in the evening with 40 kt south winds and seas 29 ft at 33S 172W aimed north. On Wed AM (3/18) the gale is to track east-southeast with 45 kt south winds and seas building to 34 ft at 38S 166.5W aimed north. In the evening the gale slowly tracked east with 45 kt south winds and seas to 38 ft over a small area at 38S 162W aimed north. The gale started fading on Thurs AM (3/19) with south winds fading from 35 kts and seas fading from 36 ft at 38.5S 159.5W aimed north. The gale is to fade out after that. Possible swell radiating towards Tahiti and Hawaii.
Oahu: Swell peaking on Tues AM (3/24) at 2.6 ft @ 16-17 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell hanging on early Wed (3/25) at 2.6 ft @ 15 secs (4.0 ft) fading through the day. Residuals on Thurs (3/26) fading from 1.8 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 187 degrees
Far Southeast Pacific Gale
A small gale formed on Fri AM (3/20) in the far Southeast Pacific off Chile with south winds 45 kts producing 30 ft over a tiny area at 49.5S 109W and well east of the Southern CA swell window. The gale built in the evening with a larger area of south winds at 45-50 kts and seas 37 ft at 44.5S 104W targeting Central America and Peru. The gale started fading Sat AM (3/21) with 40 kt south winds with seas fading from 38 ft at 41.5S 100.5W targeting primarily Peru. The gale dissipated in the evening no longer producing meaningful seas. Low odds of sideband swell radiating north towards Southern CA but far better for Mexico and Central America.
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on late on Fri (3/27) building to 1.5 ft @ 18 secs late (2.5 ft). Swell peaking on Sat (3/28) at 1.6 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.5 ft). Swell fading on Sun (3/29) from 1.5 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 168 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (3/28) building to 1.4 ft @ 17-18 secs later (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell fading on Sun (3/29) from 1.3 ft @ 16 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 165 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 starting Sat PM (3/28) a gale is forecast developing in the Northern Gulf of Alaska producing northwest winds at 35 kts with seas building to 22 ft at 52.5N 153.5W aimed southeast. Fetch is to fall southeast on Sun AM (3/29) producing northwest winds at 30-35 kts with seas 21-22 ft at 50.5N 146W aimed southeast. In the evening fetch is to fade to 25-30 kts with seas fading from 19-20 ft at 47.5N 142W aimed southeast. Small swell possibly radiating towards the US West Coast. Something to monitor.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.
MJO Inactive - East Anomalies in Control
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 (3/23) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific and then solid east over the Dateline and the whole of the KWGA. Anomalies were light east over the far East equatorial Pacific fading over the Central Pacific and then modest to moderate easterly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (3/24) strong east anomalies were building on the KWGA. The forecast calls for east anomalies building steadily in coverage strong and focused on the dateline through 3/28, then fading and tracking east nearly out of the KWGA at the end of the model run on 4/1.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
- Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (3/23) A strong Inactive MJO was filling the KWGA. The statistic model indicates the Inactive Phase is to fade some on day 5 then losing coverage and strength while moving east of the dateline at day 10 and gone at day 15 with the Active Phase building in the West KWGA. The dynamic model indicates almost exactly the same thing but with the peak of the Inactive Phase at day 5, then fading rapidly and gone at day 15 with with a weak Active Phase moving into the far West KWGA.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (3/24) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was modest over the Eastern Indian Ocean today and is to track east while loosing strength over the West Pacific at day 15. The GEFS model suggests the same thing, but with the Active Phase tracking a bit further east to the Central Pacific but weak at that time.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (3/22) This model depicts the Inactive Phase was moderate over the East Pacific and is to track east over the East Equatorial Pacific pushing into Central America 3/27. The Active Phase is to start building modest over the far West Pacific 3/27 pushing east and into Central America on 4/18. A modest Inactive Phase is to start building in the West Pacific on 4/26 moving east over the West Pacific at the end of the model run on 5/1.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (3/23) This model depicts a weak Inactive MJO pattern was over the West KWGA today but with modest easterly anomaly pattern in the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Inactive Phase is to push steadily east through the equatorial Pacific 3/27 with moderate plus strength east anomalies in control of the KWGA. A weak neutral MJO pattern is to follow starting 3/28 in the West KWGA with weak west anomalies pushing east through 4/13. After that a dead neutral MJO signal is forecast with neutral wind anomalies in the KWGA through the end of the model run on 4/20.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (3/24 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a weak Inactive MJO pattern over the KWGA today with moderate east anomalies in the KWGA. The Inactive Phase is to hold through 4/3 with modest east anomalies in the KWGA fading on 3/27. Beyond a modest Active Phase is forecast developing 4/7 holding through 4/26 with moderate west anomalies in the KWGA during that period. An moderate Inactive Phase/Pattern is to develop 4/25 holding through 6/6 but with weak to modest west anomalies still in control (during the Inactive Phase). A weak Active Phase is to follow starting 6/4 holding through the end of the model run on 6/21 with weak to moderate west anomalies in the KWGA. 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. The second contour line is to dissipate on 3/26, with one contour line holding after that through the end of the model run. A high pressure bias previously built in the Indian Ocean last Fall and is to hold till May 27 then dissipate. East anomalies set up in the Indian Ocean starting 10/22/19 and held through Jan 10, then started to become more episodic and are to continue that way through the end of the model run while west anomalies in the Pacific are to start retrograding west, but still in the KWGA at the end of the model run. It looks like the high pressure bias/blocking pattern in the Indian Ocean is fading and the effect of the low pressure bias in the Pacific is to start fading too by early Summer.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (3/24) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm was steady at 165E. The 29 deg isotherm was steady at 177W today. The 28 deg isotherm line which previously was a brick wall aligned and steady at 163W was moving east to 150W but with most body still at 160W at depth today. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador. 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 pushing east to 103W today at +1 degs. Warm water was filling the entire equatorial subsurface Pacific from 150 meters upwards. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 3/19 indicates warm water had formed a Kelvin Wave with warm water falling from 120E down into the dateline at 180m deep peaking there at +2-3 degrees then pushing and rising east to 110W. A pocket of cool water was east of there associated with the upwelling phase of the previous Kelvin Wave Cycle. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (3/19) A broad pocket of +1-5 cm anomalies was fading on the equatorial Pacific between 160W pushing east to 110W.
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: (3/23) The latest images indicate warm anomalies were modest along the coast of Chile up into Peru and building some from days past with building warm anomalies continuing up along Ecuador up into Central America but with 2 pockets of cool water embedded and streaming to the west over the Galapagos to 107W. Markedly warmer water was aligned on the equator from there to the dateline. A broad pocket of cool anomalies was still south of the equator off Peru with a mirror image of it off California and Baja.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (3/23): Weak warming was dissipating off Peru tracking northwest and also off Central America tracking southwest converging at 110W and then tracking east from there to the dateline. An interesting and building pocket of cooling was developing pushing off Ecuador over the Galapagos and out to 110W on the equator. The short term trend is looking like developing cooling cool tongue was building over the East Equatorial Pacific.
Hi-res Overview: (3/23) A pocket of cool anomalies is trying to hold south of the equator starting at 5S west of Peru between 100W and 140W. A mirror image of it was also off California and Baja Mexico out to 160W. But warm anomalies were building along Chile and Peru then stronger up to Ecuador and Central America up to Mainland Mexico out over the Galapagos. but a cool tongue was extending from Panama over the Galapagos to 110W. Warmer than normal water were tracking from the Galapagos 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: (3/24) Today's temps were rising steadily to +0.900, positive in that range since 2/28. Previously temps had been toggling near neutral. It now appears we are in a rising or at least warmer trend.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (3/24) Temps were steady at +0.681. Temps previously were in the +0.2 degree range but rose to the +0.4 degree range on 1/4 and have been holding steady ever since.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (3/24) Actual's indicate temperatures started rising in early Oct to +0.25 degs holding to Dec 1 then rising to +0.65 degs Jan 1 2020 holding through Feb. From there temps started falling early March down to +0.5 degs. The forecast depicts temps falling, down to 0.0 in early May then diving negative appearing to be moving strongly to La Nina down at -1.5 in early Oct down to -1.5 degs early Nov and holding there. According to this model a neutral sea surface temperature pattern biased slightly warm is forecast for Spring of 2020 but falling strongly towards La Nina in the core of Summer.
IRI Consensus Plume: The March 19, 2020 Plume depicts temps are at +0.30 degs, and are to slow fade to neutral +0.00 in June 2020, then falling some to -0.15 degs in the October 2020 timeframe. 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) (3/24): The daily index was negative today at -9.67. The 30 day average was weakly negative at -2.69 and steady. The 90 day average was slowly rising at -2.61, 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