Tuesday, April 7, 2020
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 3.1 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 15.9 secs from 194 degrees.
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 5.0 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 2.4 ft @ 14.8 secs from 310 degrees. Water temp 76.1 degs.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.1 ft @ 10.0 secs with swell 1.7 ft @ 10.1 secs from 246 degrees. Wind at the buoy was east at 10-14 kts. Water temperature 59.7 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 5.1 ft @ 9.7 secs from 301 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 0.9 ft @ 19.1 secs from 189 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.3 ft @ 14.8 secs from 206 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 2.8 ft @ 9.3 secs from 273 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 6.5 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 5.0 ft @ 9.3 secs from 309 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was east at 4-8 kts. Water temp 51.1 degs (013), 53.1 degs (012) and 55.0 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 (4/7) in North and Central CA local windswell was producing surf at chest high and clean but soft and inconsistent. Protected breaks were waist to chest high on the bigger sets and soft but clean. At Santa Cruz occasional sets were waist high and clean and lined up but mostly weak. In Southern California/Ventura waves were occasionally to waist high and clean and peaky but generally soft. In North Orange Co waves were occasionally waist to almost chest high on the peaks and clean but really soft and inconsistent. Orange Country's best summertime breaks were waist to rarely chest high coming from the south and clean with decent form on occasion but soft and raining. North San Diego had surf at thigh to maybe waist high and clean but soft and weak. Hawaii's North Shore had sets to head high on the peak and clean but with some underlying lump intermixed making it uneven and rideable only at select breaks. The South Shore was near flat and with waves occasionally thigh to waist high and clean but with a fair amount of intermixed lump. The East Shore was getting no meaningful easterly windswell with waves thigh high or less and clean with winds light from the southwest.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Tuesday (4/7) southern hemi swell was starting to show in California from a gale that formed in the Central South Pacific on Sun (3/29) lifting northeast to the Southeast Pacific through Tues (3/31) producing 35 ft seas aimed northeast. Small westerly swell was hitting Hawaii generated from a cutoff low pressure system northwest of the Islands on Sun-Mon (4/6) producing up to 16 ft seas. A secondary fetch associated with the previous gale in the Southeast Pacific produced up to 38 ft seas on the eastern edge of the California swell window late Tues (3/31) aimed well northeast. Swell from that is radiating northeast. After that things took a break. On Tues (4/7) a small gale is to again develop on the eastern edge of the CA swell window producing up to 29 ft seas aimed northeast. Maybe some tiny swell to result. A small storm is to form under New Zealand Thurs-Sat (4/11) producing a small area of up to 46 ft seas aimed east but is to be fading as it moves into the exposed Southwest Pacific. Low odds of swell resulting from either of these systems. Nothing else is charted.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Tuesday (4/7) no groundswell was in the water over the North Pacific with high pressure in control. A cutoff low has produced windswell that is hitting Hawaii but of no particular interest (see Cutoff Low below).
Over the next 72 hours starting Tues PM (4/7) another low pressure system is to be developing 1200 nmiles north of Hawaii producing 30-35 kt north-northeast wind and seas building from 19 ft at 43N 162.5W aimed southwest. Fetch is to hold on Wed AM (4/8) producing 22 ft seas at 43N 161.5W aimed south-southwest. Fetch is to be fading in the evening from 30 kts with seas fading from 19 ft at 44N 159.5W aimed southwest. Some small sideband swell might result arriving from the north-northeast.
Oahu: For planning purposes expect swell arrival late on Thurs (4/9) building to 3.7 ft @ 11 secs (4.0 ft).Swell peaking on Fri (4/10) pushing 5.0 ft @ 12 secs (6.0 ft). Swell fading on Sat (4/11) from 3.8 ft @ 11-12 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 340-350 degrees
A cutoff low produced an area of north winds at 25-30 kts on Sun AM (4/5) aimed a bit west of Hawaii with seas to 16 ft at 37N 175W aimed south, then fading from 20-25 kts on Mon (4/6) resulting in northerly windswell for the Islands. See QuikCASTs for details.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Tues (4/7) north winds are forecast at 10 kts early for Pt Arena northward and variable south of there to Pt Conception holding all day as high pressure tries to build in later. Light rain for Central CA and occasionally heavier for Southern CA fading through the day north of Pt Conception. Light snow mainly for the Southern Sierra continuing through the early evening. On Wed (4/9) high pressure is to take control with north winds 20-25 kts for North CA down to Bodega Bay and north 10-15 kts south of there holding all day and looking much like a typical summertime pressure gradient pattern. Light rain through the day for Southern CA. Continued snow for the Southern Sierra including Mammoth. Thurs (4/9) north winds are forecast at 20-25 kts just off the coast for North CA down to Pt Arena and 10 kts south of there perhaps turning south with an eddy flow setting up for Central CA holding all day. Light rain continues for Monterey Bay southward through San Diego. Moderate snow for the Central and Southern Sierra from Kirkwood south. Fri (4/10) the usual summertime pressure gradient is to hold with north winds at 20 kts for North CA just off the coast and northwest 10 kts for Central CA holding all day. Rain clearing for Southern CA early. Sat (4/11) northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts from Pt Arena northward and north 10 kts south of there holding all day. Sunday (4/12) the gradient holds with north winds 25 kts for North CA and 10 kts for Central CA. Monday north winds are forecast at 20+ kts for Pt Arena northward and 10 kts south of there. No change on Tues (4/14).
Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 1, 1, 0 and 14 inches respectively.
Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!
On Tuesday (4/7) the jetstream was consolidated ridging hard south under New Zealand down to 75S (north coast of Antarctica) and sweeping east almost to the eastern edge of the California swell window at 130W. But, a trough was developing with it's apex at 110W (east of the California swell window) being fed by 140 kt winds and offering good support for gale development targeting mainly Central America and Peru. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to push east quickly and be fading by Wed (4/8) offering nothing for our forecast area. the ridge over the Southwest Pacific is to break down some on Wed (4/8) but not enough to support gale development, with a new weak ridge rebuilding there into Fri (4/10). Beyond 72 hours starting Sat (4/11) a weak jetstream flow is forecast of over the Central and Southeast Pacific but with the flow ridging south over the far Southeast Pacific offering nothing. But a new trough is forecast building south of the Tasman Sea being fed by 150 kt winds lifting northeast offering decent support for gale development with that trough tracking east to the southern tip of New Zealand on Sun (4/12) still being fed by 120 kts winds, with the trough weakening and fading into Mon (4/13) as it pushes east and south of New Zealand, fading out. Some support for gale development is indicated. By Tues (4/14) the southern branch of the jet is to ridging south over the entirety of the South Pacific, down at 65S from under New Zealand to almost south of South America with no troughs indicated offering no support for gale development.
Swell from a gale that developed again in the far Southeast Pacific has generating swell that is radiating north (see Another Southeast Pacific Gale - Swell #1S below). Another gale previously forecast to follow in the far Southeast Pacific on Sat-Sun (4/5) did develop, but far east of the Southern CA swell window. No swell was generated for our forecast area.
Over the next 72 hours starting Mon PM (4/6) a secondary fetch of 40-45 kt southwest winds developed over the far Southeast Pacific starting to get traction on the oceans surface. That fetch was racing northeast Tues AM (4/7) producing south winds 45-50 kts over a small area generating seas of 29 ft over a tiny area at 60S 130W aimed well north-northeast. In the evening the gale is to be racing northeast with 40 kt south winds over a small area and seas 29 ft at 51S 120W aimed well north. On Wed AM (4/8) the gale is to race northeast and be totally east of the CA swell window producing 40-45 kt south winds and 32 ft seas targeting mainly Peru at 45S 107W. Something to monitor.
Another Southeast Pacific Gale - Swell #1S
A gale developed well south of New Zealand and just off Antarctica on Sun AM (3/29) producing 40-45 kts southwest winds over a modest sized area and seas building from 30 ft at 68S 162.5W. In the evening winds built to 45-50 kts from the southwest aimed well northeast with seas building 34 ft at 64S 154W aimed northeast. The gale lifted northeast on Mon AM (3/30) with south winds at 40-45 kts and seas 36 ft over a decent sized area at 59S 143.5W aimed northeast. In the evening the gale was starting to fade while tracking northeast with 35-40 kt southwest winds in pockets and seas dissipating from 33 ft at 55.5S 132W aimed northeast. Southwest fetch was fading Tues AM (3/31) from 30-35 kts over a solid area with seas from previous fetch fading from 29 ft over a broad area at 55S 122W aimed northeast. Swell is radiating northeast.
Secondary fetch developed in the Southeast Pacific on Tues AM (3/31) at 40 kts aimed well northeast with 25 ft seas developing over a small area at 64S 141W aimed northeast. In the evening a small fetch of south winds is to be pushing north-northeast at 45-50 kts with 36 ft seas over a modest sized area at 56.5S 129W aimed northeast. Fetch is to be rapidly fading in coverage Wed AM (4/1) and racing east and out of the Scal swell window from 45-50 kts with seas 39 ft at 52S 116W aimed northeast. This system is to fade and push well out of the SCal swell window.
Southern CA: Swell building through the day Tues (4/7) pushing 3.3 ft @ 17-18 secs late (5.5-6.0 ft with sets to 7.3 ft). Swell steady early Wed (4/8) fading from 3.3 ft @ 16-17 secs (5.5 ft with sets to 6.5 ft). Swell continues on Thurs (4/9) fading from 3.3 ft @ 15-16 secs (5.0 ft with sets to 6.5 ft). Swell fading Fri (4/10) from 2.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell dissipating Sat (4/11) from 2.0 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 190 degrees
North CA: Swell building through the day Tues (4/7) pushing 2.6 ft @ 18-19 secs late (4.5 ft). Swell steady early Wed (4/8) at 3.0 ft @ 17 secs (5.1 ft with sets to 6.5 ft). Swell continues on Thurs (4/9) at 3.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (5.0 ft with sets to 6.5 ft). Swell fading Fri (4/10) from 2.8 ft @ 15 secs (4.0 ft). Swell dissipating Sat (4/11) from 2.2 ft @ 14 secs early (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 188 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 gale is forecast developing mid-way to the dateline off North Japan on Sat AM (4/11) producing west winds at 40-45 kts with seas building from 27 ft at 41.5N 163E aimed east. In the evening the gale is to hold position with 40 -45 kts west winds and seas to 30 ft over a tiny area at 41.5N 165E aimed east. On Sun AM (4/12) the gale is to ease east with 40 kt west winds and seas 29 ft at 41N 169E aimed east. Fetch is to be fading while easing east in the evening still not reaching even the dateline with seas fading from 27 ft at 41.5N 172.5E aimed east. The gael is to dissipate from there. Possible small swell is to be radiating east targeting mainly Hawaii. Something to monitor.
Beyond 72 hours starting Thurs PM (4/9) a gale is forecast developing in a trough well south of the Tasman Sea producing 45-50 kt west winds over a modest sized area and seas building to 47 ft at 58S 151.5E aimed due east and on the 218 degree track to CA. The gale is to fade on Fri (4/10) with west winds 45 kts and seas 42 ft at 58S 162.5E aimed east (214-216 degs CA). In the evening 45 kt west winds to continue tracking east with 41 ft seas fading at 59S 174.5 E aimed east (209-210 degs CA). The gael to dissipate from there. At best some tiny southwest swell could possibly result but this system is a very long ways away and still days from even forming. Something to monitor.
Modest Active MJO Developing
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 (4/6) 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 KWGA but far weaker south of the equator there. Anomalies were moderate east over the far East equatorial Pacific fading over the Central Pacific and then modest easterly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (4/7) weak to modest west anomalies were over the KWGA. The forecast calls for west anomalies holding at modest strength through 4/9, then fading steadily with east anomalies building to strong status on 4/13 and holding through the end of the model run on 4/14 in the core of the KWGA.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
- Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (4/6) A weak Active MJO was in the KWGA today. The statistic model indicates the Active Phase is to hold through day 5, then weaken slowly on day 10 while the Inactive Phase builds strong over the Maritime Continent then starting to seep east and filling the KWGA at day 15. The dynamic model indicates the same thing but with the Inactive Phase far weaker at day 15 of the model run.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/7) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the West Pacific today and is to track slowly east while losing strength over the Atlantic at day 15. The GEFS model suggests the same thing initially but with the Active Phase pushing faster east reaching the Central Indian Ocean at day 15.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (4/7) This model depicts a modest Active Phase was over the Central Pacific. The Active Phase is to track east and is to push into Central America on 4/23. A moderate Inactive Phase is to start building in the West Pacific on 4/17 moving east over the West Pacific reaching Central America on 5/5. A very weak Active Phase is supposed to start building in the West Pacific 5/12 pushing to the Central Pacific at the end of the model run on 5/17.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/6) This model depicts a modest Active MJO pattern was over the core of the KWGA today with modest west anomalies in the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Active Phase and modest west anomalies associated with it holding stationary in the KWGA to 4/14, then weakening steadily after that and racing out of the KWGA through 4/17, then fading out. A neutral MJO pattern is forecast to follow with weak east and west anomalies in pockets from then through the end of the model run on 5/4.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/7 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a weak Active MJO pattern was developing over the KWGA today with weak west anomalies developing. Beyond the Active Phase is forecast holding through 4/25 with modest west anomalies in the KWGA. A moderate Inactive Phase/Pattern is to develop 4/21 holding through 5/10 but with weak west anomalies forecast and no east anomalies indicated. A broad Active Phase is to develop 6/10 in the far West KWGA slowly building east and filling the KWGA 6/24 and holding through the end of the model run on 7/5 with moderate west anomalies developing. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias with 1 contour line in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to the California coast. This contour line is to hold till 6/24, then collapse to almost nothing. A high pressure bias previously built in the Indian Ocean last Fall and is to hold till June 19 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, then fading on 6/9 while west anomalies persist in the West Pacific, but slowly retrograding west, becoming centered near 145E ( in the far West KWGA) at the end of the model run, possibly never to return to the dateline (anytime soon). 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, with La Nina building by early Summer.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/7) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm was gone but previously retrograded to 158E. The 29 deg isotherm was retrograding to 178E today. The 28 deg isotherm line which previously was a brick wall aligned and steady at 155W today. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador. Anomaly wise, Kelvin Wave #6 was under the Central and East Equatorial Pacific at +1.0 degs but with warm water still tracking from the Maritime Continent under the dateline with the leading edge of the Kelvin Wave #6 pushing east to at least 90W today at +1 degs. Warm water was filling the entire equatorial subsurface Pacific but getting progressively shallower at 110 meters deep today. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/3 indicates warm water had formed a Kelvin Wave with warm water falling from 120E down into the dateline at 110 m deep peaking in the East Pacific at +2-3 degrees then pushing and rising east to 100W. 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: (4/3) A previously broad pocket of +1-5 cm anomalies was fading steadily on the equatorial Pacific and all but gone between 130W-120W.
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: (4/6) The latest images indicate warm anomalies were modest along the coast of Chile up into Peru and fading in intensity from days past with building warm anomalies continuing up off Ecuador up into Central America. A pocket of cool water was embedded pushing from north Peru up to Ecuador and from Panama south to Ecuador and then west approaching but not reaching the Galapagos and weaker than days past. 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 (4/6): Weak cooling was building along Chile and Peru and stronger just off Ecuador tracking west only in a few pockets out to 130W. Warming was off Central America. The short term trend is looking like a developing cool tongue was building over the East Equatorial Pacific.
Hi-res Overview: (4/6) A pocket of cool anomalies is trying to hold off Peru but losing coverage and intensity compared to days past. A mirror image of it was also off California and Baja Mexico out to 160W but far stronger. Warm anomalies were building along Chile and Peru then stronger off Ecuador and Central America up to Mainland Mexico out over the Galapagos. A cool tongue was stumped from Panama down to Ecuador and stalled just east of the Galapagos with pockets west of there but fading. Warmer than normal water were tracking from the Galapagos out to the dateline and beyond. Water temps appear to be stable but the cool tongue is of concern even if it was fading some today indicating a weak mixture of both El Nino and La Nina.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/7) Today's temps were steady at +0.324, down from a warmer range near +0.6 degs between 2/25-3/26. Previously temps had been toggling near neutral. It appears we were in a rising or at least warmer trend, but that is now fading.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/7) Temps were steady at +0.531. Temps previously were in the +0.3 degree range but rose to the +0.5-+0.6 degree range on 3/12 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 (4/7) Actual's indicate temperatures started rising in early Oct to +0.25 degs holding to Dec 1 then rising again to +0.65 degs Jan 1 2020 holding well into March in the +0.6 range. The forecast depicts temps falling starting April 1, down to 0.0 in mid-May then diving negative appearing to be moving strongly to La Nina down at -1.25 in early Oct holding there into Nov. 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) (4/7): The daily index was still negative today at -8.22 and has been negative for 23 days now. The 30 day average was falling at -7.38. The 90 day average was falling some at -3.53, 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): Feb 2020 +0.69, Jan +0.44, Dec 2019 +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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