Tuesday, April 9, 2019
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/ Buoy 239 (Lanai): At Barbers Point (238) seas were 3.4 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 2.5 ft @ 13.0 secs from 305 degrees.
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 6.0 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 5.1 ft @ 12.6 secs from 324 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 8.3 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 6.3 ft @ 8.0 secs from 250 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 18-25 kts. Water temperature 59.0 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 6.0 ft @ 6.3 secs from 266 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 6.2 ft @ 6.7 secs from 264 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 2.3 ft @ 6.3 secs from 277 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 3.0 ft @ 14.7 secs from 283 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 12.4 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 6.7 ft @ 12.7 secs from 289 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 25-31 kts. Water temp 57.7 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 (4/9) in North and Central CA residual Gulf swell was producing waves at 1-2 ft overhead but blown out from solid Springtime northwest winds. Protected breaks were chest to head high and soft and pretty warbled if not chopped from northwest wind. At Santa Cruz northwest swell was still wrapping in producing waves at shoulder to head high and lined up and clean but slow and soft. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist high and warbled and chopped with whitecaps just offshore though local wind was calm. In North Orange Co surf was waist to chest high on the sets at the best sandbars and soft, crumbled with a little warbled running through it with a light northerly flow. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks had waves in the thigh to waist high range and warbled and unremarkable. North San Diego had surf at thigh to maybe waist high and warbled and weak and mushed. Hawaii's North Shore was getting residual swell with waves 1-2 ft overhead and reasonably lined up but with some north bump running through it. The South Shore was flat to thigh high on the sets and clean. The East Shore was getting some wrap around windswell with waves thigh to waist high and chopped early with modest trades in control.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Tuesday (4/9) in California residual swell from a small but solid storm that previously formed in the Western Gulf tracking east Wed-Fri (4/5) with up to 48 ft seas aimed east was being buried in local north windswell and chop. Beyond a small system is to develop just west of the dateline tracking northeast Wed-Thurs (4/11) with up to 39 ft seas developing just south of the Eastern Aleutians aimed somewhat east. Maybe another gale to follow developing off Japan Fri-Sat (4/13) pushing to the North Dateline region before fading with seas to 40 ft aimed east. No meaningful activity is forecast from the South Pacific.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Tuesday (4/9) the jetstream was consolidated pushing off Japan forming a trough and being fed by winds to 170 kts offering good support for gale development there. But west of there the jet split just east of the dateline with the northern branch tracking east and poised to move into the Pacific Northwest while the southern branch was pushing southeast over Hawaii and then northeast pushing into Central CA offering no support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to lift northeast fast moving over the North Dateline region on Thurs (4/11) while weakening offering continued support for gale development there into maybe early Fri (4/12). Beyond 72 hours the jet is to remain consolidated over the West Pacific with a new trough developing there on Sat (4/13) being fed by 130-140 kts winds lifting quickly northeast by the northern branch of the jet and over the North Dateline region 24 hours later. Limited support for gale development is possible. And yet another trough is forecast in the West Pacific later Sun (4/14) with winds to 130 kts and pushing east to the dateline on Tues (4/16) but not to the northeast. Limited support for gale development is forecast. The jet is to become split somewhat over Japan behind the trough and the jet is to remain split east of the trough. It appears that a less favorable environment to support gale development is going to set up longer term.
On Tuesday (4/9) swell was still hitting but fading in California from a storm that tracked through the Gulf of Alaska (see Gulf Storm below).
Over the next 72 hours a gale is forecast developing while lifting northeast fast on the dateline Wed AM (4/10) with 40 kt southwest winds and seas 22 ft at 38N 178.5W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to build to storm status while racing northeast over the North Dateline/Northwestern Gulf region with 55 kt west winds and seas 32 ft at 45.5N 168.5W aimed east. The storm is to stall but downgraded to gale status Thurs AM (4/11) over the Eastern Aleutians with 50 kt west winds still holding south of the Aleutians and 39 ft seas at 52N 162W aimed east. The gale is to fade in the evening with 35-40 kt southwest winds and seas 32 ft over a small area at 54N 160.5W aimed east. On Fri AM (4/12) 40 kt west winds to still be holding with 26 ft seas fading at 50N 167W in the Northwestern Gulf aimed east. The gale is to fade in the evening with west wind 30-35 kts aimed east and seas fading from 24 ft at 51N 153W aimed east. The gale is to dissipate from there. Possible decent swell for the Pacific Northwest and less reaching down into North and Central CA. Something to monitor.
Also another small gale is forecast building off North Japan on Thurs PM (4/11) with 40 kts west winds and seas building to 30 ft over a tiny area at 37.5N 160E. The gale is to be lifting northeast Fri AM (4/12) with west winds 45 kts and seas building to 37 ft at 41N 166.5E aimed east. In the evening the gale is to be approaching the dateline with 45 kt west winds over a small area and seas 39 ft at 43.5N 172.5E aimed east. The gale is to be fading Sat AM (4/13) on the North Dateline region with 40 kt west winds over a small area and seas fading from 34 ft at 45N 179.5E aimed east. In the evening winds to fade from 35 kts from the west with seas 31 ft at 48N 174W aimed east. This system is to be gone after that. Something to monitor.
A gale started building in the Western Gulf on Wed AM (4/3) with 45 kt northwest winds over a small area aimed mostly east with seas building from 25 ft at 42N 174W. The gale built to storm status still over the Western Gulf in the evening with 55 kt west winds and seas building while tracking east at 45 ft at 45N 167W. On Thurs AM (4/4) the storm was tracking east with winds 55 kts from the west over a modest sized area with seas building to 48 ft at 45.5N 160W aimed east. The storm was fading while tracking east in the evening with winds barely 45 kts from the west and seas 43 ft at 45.5N 152W aimed east. Secondary energy fed into the gale Fri AM (4/5) positioned in the Central Gulf with 35 kt west winds targeting North CA and 32 ft seas fading at 44N 144W. The gale pushed east in the evening still in the Central Gulf with west winds 35 kts and seas 26 ft at 44.5N 136.5W aimed east at the CA coast well. The gale was fading Sat AM with new fetch developing west of there at 35 kts from the west and seas 26 ft in the Central Gulf at 44N 147W aimed east. In the evening fetch is to push east at 30-35 kts from the west with seas 24 ft up at 46N 142.5W aimed east. The gale is to fade from there. Something to monitor.
North CA: Swell fading Tues AM (4/9) from 6.3 ft @ 13 secs (8.0 ft). Swell DIrection: 297-300 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical weather systems of interest are forecast.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday (4/9) high pressure was taking control with north winds at 20 kts for all of the North and Central CA coast early and forecast building to 25-30 kts for all of the CA coast later. Light rain for Cape Mendocino mainly early. Light steady snow mainly for the Tahoe area during the day fading at sunset while pushing south over the Southern Sierra though that doesn't seem likely given current observations. North winds rule supreme Wed and Thurs (4/11) at 20-30 kts for North and Central CA. Light rain possible for Cape Mendocino on Thursday with modest snow for the entire Sierra mainly in the afternoon and evening. Friday (4/12) high pressure is to continue driving north winds at 25+ kts over North and Central CA. No precipitation forecast. Saturday (4/13) north winds are forecast fading some but still 15-20 kts for the area from Pt Arena south to Big Sur and 10-15 kts elsewhere north of Pt Conception. Sunday (4/14) north winds are forecast at 15-20 kts for all of North and Central CA building to 20 kts steady on Monday and 15-20 kts on Tuesday (4/16). No rain or snow forecast.
Total snow accumulation for for the week (thru Tues PM 4/16) per the GFS model: Tahoe = 8-9 inches and Mammoth = 3-4 inches
Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts).
Small swell from a tiny gale previously in the Southeast Pacific was pushing north towards California and Central America (see Southeast Pacific Gale below). Also small sideband swell from a storm previously in the Deep South Pacific is tracking north towards California (see South Pacific Storm below).
Over the next 72 hours no meaningful swell producing weather systems are forecast.
Southeast Pacific Gale
A tiny gale developed in the upper reaches of the Southeast Pacific on Tues PM (4/2) with winds 45 kt over a tiny area aimed north and seas barely 30 ft over a tiny area at 38N 125W. On Wed AM (4/3) the gale was fading with 40 kt south winds over a tiny area aimed north with seas 30 ft again over a tiny area aimed north at 33S 123W. The gale faded from there.
South CA: expect swell arrival on Tues (4/9) building to 1.9 ft @ 16-17 secs later (3.0 ft). Swell peaking on Wed (4/10) at 2.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading Thurs (4/11) from 1.8 ft @ 14 secs early (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 189 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival later on Tues (4/9) building to 1.4 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell building some on Wed (4/10) at 1.6 ft @ 15-16 secs early (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell fading early on Thurs (4/11) from 1.5 ft @ 14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 186 degrees
South Pacific Storm
A storm developed in the deep Central Pacific on Tues AM (4/2) with 45-50 kt west winds and seas building from 35 ft at 67.5S 144.5W aimed east. 50 kt west winds continued pushing east in the evening with 44 ft seas aimed east at 67.5S 130W. On Wed AM (4/3) winds were fading from 40 kts aimed east with seas 42 ft at 66S 119W and on the east edge of the CA swell window. This system faded from there and pushed out of the CA swell window. Most swell energy is to target Chile but some sideband energy might push north towards CA but given how this system developed weaker than originally forecast, odds are low of any meaningful swell resulting.
Southern CA: Swell arrival expected on Thurs (4/11) building to 1.4 ft @ 18 secs later (2.5 ft). Swell peaking Fri AM (4/12) at 1.5 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell fading on Sat AM (4/13) from 1.5 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 184 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 perhaps another tiny system is to develop over the Southern Kuril Islands on Mon-Tues (4/16) lifting northeast and mostly shadowed by land there.
Otherwise no swell producing weather systems are forecast.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.
SSTs and ESPI Building Some - But SOI is Rising
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 did not stop, 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 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. As of January 2019, those warm waters were fading, but then started building some late in Feb associated with another Kelvin Wave (#3).
LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Fall/Winter 2018 = 6.0 (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: Assuming the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that El Nino does not develop as strong as previously forecast, and assuming and an ocean-atmospheric coupling becomes weakly established in the January timeframe and ocean temperature anomalies in Nino3.4 build to the +0.6 deg range, there is good probability for slightly enhanced storm production in the North Pacific starting in the late Nov timeframe (specifically the Gulf of Alaska and Dateline regions) with slightly increased intensity in number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in slightly increased odds for larger than normal swell, with increased duration and higher than normal period. This should be significantly better than the past 2 winter seasons.
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 (4/8) 5 day average winds were solidly from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific to the dateline, then weaker easterly over the KWGA mainly south of the equator. Anomalies were light easterly over the far East Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific and weak westerly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (4/9) neutral to light easterly anomalies were filling the KWGA. The forecast is for this situation to continue through 4/12, then turning neutral from there through the end of the model run on 4/16. Support for storm development is weak and forecast to hold.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (4/8) A dead neutral MJO pattern was over the KWGA. The statistic model indicates neutral MJO signal is to hold through day 5 then building to a very weak version of the Inactive Phase and holding through last day of the model run or on day 15. The dynamic model indicates the same thing but with the Inactive Phase building ad moderately strong at the end of the 15 day model run. The 2 models are modestly in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/9) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was exceedingly weak and in no position and is to hold that way through day 14. The GEFS model suggests the active Phase is to build weakly over the Indian Ocean days 10-14.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (4/9) This model depicts a very weak Active Phase was over the West Pacific. It is to move east while fading pushing into Central America on 4/24. A modest Inactive Phase of the MJO is to be setting up in the West Pacific on 4/17 pushing east to Central America on 5/9. A weak Active Phase is to be building over the West Pacific 4/29 moving to the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 5/19 while a new Inactive Phase builds over the West Pacific starting 5/9 and pushing east from there.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/7) This model depicts modest west anomalies in the KWGA collapsing today with a weak Active MJO signal indicated. Spotty west anomalies are to be easing east and out of the KWGA on 4/22 while a new Inactive MJO signal develops over the West KWGA with east anomalies in the KWGA starting 4/20 moving to the Central KWGA and holding through the end of the model run on 5/5. Modest support for gale development is indicated through 4/17, then fading out and if anything storm development is to be suppressed.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/9) This model depicts a modest Active Phase was fading over the Central KWGA. The Active Phase is to be gone on 4/16 with neutral anomalies in the core of the KWGA from now till then. After that a very weak MJO signal is forecast turning weakly Active near 5/20 but back to neutral after that through the end of the model run on 7/7. But modest west anomalies are to be rebuilding in the KWGA 4/19 and holding through the end of the model run and retrograding west slightly. The MJO is to remain weak for the foreseeable future. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias is fully in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to California but not inland and forecast to hold steady for the foreseeable future. A third contour line faded 12/17, then rebuilt starting 2/12 centered over the dateline and is to hold through 4/12, then dissipating. It appears from this model that a tendency towards El Nino was previously in control during 2018, then faded, and tried to build in mid-Feb 2019 and is to fade again mid-April and not return. Given this, it seems likely no meaningful El Nino will develop.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/9) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 29 deg temps reaching east to 170W mainly down 50 meters. The 28 deg isotherm line had retrograded west to 160W mid-Nov, then moved east and walled up to 153W near Christmas, then retrograded back at 160W in late Feb, but made a major push east starting 3/16 from 150W to 140W on 3/20, and is steady at 133W today. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador 25-30 meters down. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies are filling the entire subsurface Pacific at +1 degs or greater from the surface to 100 meters down. A pocket of warm water was centered at 120W at +2 degs (Kelvin Wave #3) almost reaching Ecuador and +2 degs C from 140W and point east of there. This Kelvin Wave is the warmest of any Kelvin Wave so far since La Nina faded into early 2018 and is to adding warmth moving into 2019. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/3 indicates cool water associated with the upwelling phase of the Kelvin Wave cycle just east of Ecuador was all but gone. Kelvin Wave #3 was weaker in the West Pacific and stronger over the East Pacific and filling the entirety of that area. +2-3 deg anomalies were over the West Pacific and with a warmer pocket at +4-5 degs from 150W to 105W (attributable to a Westerly Wind Burst 12/30-1/16 and another 2/12-2/24). And there was a hint of more warm water was moving from the Maritime Continent into the far West Pacific at 135E falling into the pre-existing warm pool near 160W. There is a river of very warm water traversing the width of the equatorial Pacific. 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) Positive anomalies were gone from the interior Maritime Continent with weak negative anomalies there now. But positive anomalies were solid tracking east from 155E pushing over the dateline to a point west of the Galapagos (90W) at 0-5 cms with 3 imbedded pockets of +5 cms anomalies at 175E, 140W and 120W. No +10 cms anomalies exist any more. And those pockets of +5 cms anomalies appear to be fading.
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: (4/8) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate temps were modestly warm straddling 20 degrees north and south of the equator from a point just west of the Galapagos west to the dateline and now also filling the area south of Mexico. These temps are stable if now slightly building compared to days past. Cool water was along the entirety of the coasts of Peru up to Ecuador and Columbia and holding steady in terms of areal coverage but losing density. There is some weak indication of El Nino but not strong.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/8): A weak warming trend was over the equatorial East Pacific with slightly stronger warming off Ecuador and Columbia and migrating west to a point just west of the Galapagos. Otherwise a weakly warming pattern was building on the equator from 90W to 120W.
Hi-res Overview: (4/8) Cool water was along the immediate coast of Peru and slightly along Columbia but otherwise warmer than normal water was from immediate Ecuador to the Galapagos and then modestly warmer along the equator west of there to the dateline. It was holding compared to days past.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/9) Today's temps were steady at -0.197 after falling hard from +1.00 degs on 3/20 after rebounding hard from -1.309 on 3/13. Temps fell to -0.6 degs on 2/28, after rising to +0.5 on 2/25, down to -0.425 degrees on 2/14, and that after rising to +1.2 degs on 2/2. Previously temps fell to -0.15 degs on 2/28. Temps rose to a peak +1.385 on 1/21. Previously they were down to -0.44 on 12/25, and that after having risen to +1.265 on 12/20. Previously temps fell to +0.212 on 12/3, after having previously built to +1.534 on 11/27. That peak on 11/27 was the all time high for this event in this region.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/9) Today temps were steady at +0.693 today after falling to +0.694 on 3/9 and that after rising to +1.239 on 3/5 after falling to +0.050 on 2/11. Temps rose to a peak at +0.738 on 1/21, after being at +0.487 on 1/7 and after previously risen to +1.050 degs on 12/6 and previously in the +0.5-+0.6 range since 11/12. The all time high for this event was +1.45 on 11/5, beating the previous peak temps of +0.795 on 10/9, and +0.649 on 9/27, and that beating the previous peak at +0.490 on 7/2.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/9) The model indicates temps were at +1.00 degs on March 1 and forecast holding April then slowly building to +1.20 degrees in early June holding to July 1, then fading slightly through the Fall to +0.75 degs in Sept, holding to Nov 1, then falling to +0.50 degs in early Dec. If one is to believe the model then one would assume that El Nino tried to build weakly in the Winter of 18/19, but didn't really make it, then is to build in the summer on 2019 before fading through the Fall and Winter of 2019/20. But maybe a multiyear warming event is in progress as suggested by this model.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Feb 2019 Plume depicts temps are at +0.65 degs today, and are to hold in the +0.6 range into July, then fade to +0.4 in October 2019. See chart here - link. There's a 90% chance of a weak El Nino developing through January.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad) (4/9): The daily index was positive at 17.01 and has been positive for 7 days running, after having previously been negative for 57 days (Feb 4-4/2 other than 3/23 & 3/24). The 30 day average was rising at -1.68 suggesting a fading Active MJO. The 90 day average was rising at -5.46, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern biased towards El Nino (for now).
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (4/9) The index was neutral at -0.01 on 2/14 but has been rising ever since and pushed up to +0.99 on 3/3 (the highest its been in years), then fell some but rose again to +0.47 on 3/28 and is up to +0.67 today. It was down to -0.24 in late December, down from +0.28 on 12/15 and not anywhere near as strongly positive as it should be if El Nino were developing. It suggest only ENSO neutral conditions.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly positive, even though La Nina is in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values: June 2017 +0.21, July -0.50, Aug -0.62, Sept -0.25, Oct -0.61, Nov -0.45, Dec -0.13, 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 -0.23, Feb -0.55 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/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): June 2017 +0.79, July +0.10, Aug +0.09, Sept +0.32, Oct +0.05, Nov +0.15, Dec +0.50, Jan +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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