Thursday, April 9, 2020
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 3.0 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 14.4 secs from 176 degrees.
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 5.3 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 4.3 ft @ 10.0 secs from 325 degrees. Water temp 76.8 degs.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.9 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 2.3 ft @ 15.3 secs from 170 degrees. Wind at the buoy was east at 14-18 kts. Water temperature 59.2 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 4.7 ft @ 16.0 secs from 213 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.8 ft @ 16.1 secs from 200 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 3.5 ft @ 15.9 secs from 188 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 2.6 ft @ 16.3 secs from 190 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 7.0 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 3.7 ft @ 14.9 secs from 267 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was southwest at 8-12 kts. Water temp 51.8 degs (013), 52.9 degs (012) and 54.9 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 Thursday (4/9) in North and Central CA local windswell was producing surf at waist to maybe chest high on the sets and a bit warbled and soft though wind was light and generally unremarkable. Protected breaks were thigh to waist high and soft but clean. All parking lots closed. At Santa Cruz sets were shoulder high and cleanish but with a fair amount of lump outside the kelp even early. Beaches are closed. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist to chest high and clean and peaky and occasionally peeling. In North Orange Co waves were head high if not a little more and lined up and pushing from the south and closed out at exposed breaks with a fair amount of south lump intermixed. Orange Country's best summertime breaks were 1 ft overhead on the sets and lined up but pretty ragged from southerly wind. Beaches were closed. North San Diego had surf at head high and ragged from south wind with occasional rain. All beaches closed. Hawaii's North Shore had set waves to head high and somewhat lined up and clean. The South Shore had waves occasionally thigh high and clean. The East Shore was getting minimal east windswell with waves thigh high and clean with light northwest wind.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Thursday (4/9) southern hemi swell continued 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. And secondary swell as intermixed from a 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. Small northwest swell was showing in Hawaii generated from a cutoff low pressure system northwest of the Islands on Tues-Wed (4/8) producing up to 22 ft seas. For the future on Tues (4/7) a small gale developed 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 south of the Tasman Sea tracking east Thurs-Sat (4/11) producing a small area of up to 50 ft seas aimed east but is to be fading as it moves into the exposed Southwest Pacific. Low odds of swell resulting. The Tasman Sea storm is to track east and regroup in the far Southeast Pacific on Mon-Tues (4/14) lifting northeast and producing up to 32 ft seas aimed northeasterly. Maybe something to result from it for California. And another gale is to spin up just east of New Zealand on Mon-Tues (4/14) generating up to 38 ft seas aimed well northeast. Something to monitor.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Thursday (4/9) small swell from a cutoff low previously northwest of Hawaii has produced windswell that is pushing towards the Islands (see Another Cutoff Low below).
Over the next 72 hours starting Sat AM (4/11) a gale is forecast developing mid-way to the dateline off North Japan producing west winds at 30-35 kts with seas building aimed east. In the evening the gale is to hold position with 35-40 kt west winds and seas to 23 ft over a small area at 41N 170E aimed east. On Sun AM (4/12) the gale is to build while easing east with 45 kt west winds and seas 31 ft at 43.5N 171.5E aimed east. Fetch is to be fading from 40 kts while easing east in the evening still not reaching even the dateline with seas 33 ft at 43N 175.5E aimed east. The gale is to be dissipating Mon AM (4/13) with west winds fading from 35 kts and seas 26 ft at 40N 178E aimed east. In the evening fetch is to fade from 30 kts from the northwest with seas fading from 25 ft at 40N 178W. Possible small swell is to be radiating east targeting mainly Hawaii. Something to monitor.
Another Cutoff Low
On Tues PM (4/7) a low pressure system developed 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 held on Wed AM (4/8) producing 22 ft seas at 42N 162.5W aimed south-southwest. Fetch was fading in the evening from 30 kts with seas fading from 17 ft at 43.5N 160.5W aimed southwest. Some small sideband swell might result arriving from the north-northeast.
Oahu: Expect swell arrival late on Thurs (4/9) building to 4.2 ft @ 11 secs (4.0 ft). Swell peaking on Fri (4/10) pushing 4.9 ft @ 12 secs (5.5 ft). Swell fading on Sat (4/11) from 3.6 ft @ 11 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 340-350 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday (4/9) north winds are forecast at 20-25 kts off the coast of North CA down to Pt Arena and south 5-10 kts nearshore south of there 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) a north wind pattern is forecast off the coast of North CA at 15-20 kts but with the eddy pattern (south winds) holding nearshore at 5 kts then turning northwest 10 kts later. Rain clearing for Southern CA through the day. 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. No precip is forecast. Sunday (4/12) the gradient holds with north winds 20+ kts for North CA and 10 kts for Central CA. Monday north winds are forecast at 15-20 kts for Pt Arena northward and 10 kts south of there. No change on Tues (4/14). Wed (4/15) the gradient is to start blooming with north winds 20-25 kts off North CA mainly early and 10 kts over Central CA. Thurs (4/16) north winds are to be 20+ kts for North CA north of Pt Arena and 10 kts south of there.
Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 1, 0, 3 and 4 inches respectively.
Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!
On Thursday (4/9) the southern branch of the jetstream was ridging moderately south under New Zealand down to 65S with winds 150 kts then sweeping east but generally weak at 90 kts continuing on the 65S latitude line beyond the eastern edge of the California swell window. There was no support for gale development indicated. Over the next 72 hours a trough is to start building under Southern Australia pushing east Fri (4/10) with 140 kt southwest winds feeding it pushing to the Tasman Sea on Sat (4/11) then pinching off over Southern New Zealand Sun (4/12) offering some support for gale development in the California swell window but along ways away and not fully in the Southwest Pacific. But also on Sun (4/12) the jet is to be lifting north over the Southeast Pacific being fed by 140 kt winds starting to form a trough there offering some building support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours starting Mon (4/13) the jet is to be ridging hard south under New Zealand falling south to 70S being fed by 150 kts winds offering nothing. But the aforementioned pinched trough is to be pushing just east of the southern tip of New Zealand Mon into early Tues (4/14) offering some support for gale development there. And the trough in the far Southeast Pacific is to hold Mon-Tues (4/14) with winds still 140 kts offering support for gale development there but progressively pushing east of the CA swell window. By Wed (4/15) the jet is to be ridging south mostly down at 75S and over Antarctic Ice offering no support for gale development and holding through the end of the model run.
Swell from a gale that developed in the far Southeast Pacific is radiating north and hitting California. (see Another Southeast Pacific Gale - Swell #1S below).
Over the next 72 hours a gale is forecast developing under New Zealand (see New Zealand Gale below).
New Zealand Gale
On Thurs PM (4/9) a gale is forecast developing in a trough well south of the Tasman Sea producing 45-55 kt west winds over a modest sized area and seas building to 50 ft at 57.5S 148E 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 47 ft at 58S 159.5E aimed east (214-216 degs CA). In the evening 40 kt west winds to continue tracking east over a solid area with 43 ft seas fading at 59.5S 171E aimed east (209-210 degs CA). The gale to be dissipating Sat AM (4/11) with 35 kt northwest winds and seas fading from 38 ft at 61S 178W aimed east. Remnants of this gale are to be racing east from there. At best some tiny southwest swell could possibly result but this system is a very long ways away meaning much swell decay should be expected. 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 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 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 yet another small gale is to start building while pushing east off South Japan on Mon AM (4/13) with 35 kt west winds and seas on the increase. In the evening west winds to building to 45 kts over a tiny area with seas 29 ft at 31N 144E aimed east. The gael is to start racing east on Tues AM (4/14) with 30-45 kts west winds over a tiny area and seas fading from 26 ft at 30N 150E aimed east. The gale is to fade from there while racing northeast. The models suggest the gael is to start rebuilding on Thurs AM (4/16) over the dateline with a broad fetch of 35 kts northwest winds and seas 25 ft at 39.5N 178.5E aimed east. Something to monitor.
Beyond 72 hours remnants from the New Zealand Gale (see above) are to start reorganizing over the Southeast Pacific on Sun AM (4/12) producing a broad fetch of 30-35 kts southwest winds with seas building from 27 ft at 62S 151W aimed east. In the evening fetch is to build to 35-40 kts from the southwest with seas 32 ft at 64S 139.5W aimed east-northeast. On Mon AM (4/13) 35 kt southwest winds are to be lifting northeast with seas 34 ft at 61.5S 129.5W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch is to continue tracking east at 35 kts with seas 32 ft at 58S 123W aimed northeast. On Tues Am (4/14) fetch is to be fading from 30-35 kts from the south with seas fading from 30 ft at 52S 119W aimed northeast. Fetch and seas to be fading from there and moving east of the California swell window and no longer of interest.
Also on Mon AM (4/13) a gale is forecast building just southeast of the southern tip of New Zealand producing a small area of 40-45 kt south winds and seas building from 28 ft at 50.5S 171E aimed north. In the evening fetch to build to 45-50 kts aimed north with 40 ft seas building at 48.5S 175E aimed north and northeast. On Tues AM (4/14) southwest winds are to be fading from 40-45 kts with seas 38 ft over a small area at 46.5S 178W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 35-40 kts over a small area aimed northeast with seas fading from 30 ft at 46S 171.5W aimed northeast. The gale is to be gone after that.
Modest Active MJO 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 (4/8) 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 northern KWGA but with west winds building over the Southern KWGA. Anomalies were modest east over the far East equatorial Pacific fading over the Central Pacific and then moderate westerly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (4/9) weak to modest west anomalies were over the KWGA. The forecast calls for west anomalies fading steadily through 4/12, with east anomalies developing on 4/13 building to strong status and holding through the end of the model run on 4/16 in the core of the KWGA.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
- Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (4/8) A modest Active MJO was in the KWGA today. The statistic model indicates the Active Phase is to slowly weaken on day 5, with a weak Inactive Phase developing on day 10 over the Maritime Continent and seeping east and filling the KWGA at day 15, but very weak. The dynamic model indicates the same thing but with the Inactive Phase far stronger at day 10 and in control of the KWGA on day 15 of the model run.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/9) 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 East Indian Ocean at day 15 at modest strength.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (4/9) This model depicts a modest Active Phase was over the East Pacific. The Active Phase is to track east and is to push into Central America on 4/19. A moderate Inactive Phase is to start building in the West Pacific on 4/14 moving east over the West Pacific reaching Central America on 5/4 and pretty strong. A modest Active Phase is supposed to start building in the West Pacific 5/4 pushing to the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 5/19.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/8) 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 easing east and out of the KWGA on 4/15, 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 5/6.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/9 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a weak Active MJO pattern was over the KWGA today with weak west anomalies in-play. Beyond the Active Phase is forecast holding through 4/23 with modest west anomalies in the KWGA. A moderate Inactive Phase/Pattern is to develop 4/23 holding through 6/4 but with weak west anomalies forecast and no east anomalies indicated. A broad Active Phase is to develop 6/5 in the far West KWGA slowly building east and filling the KWGA 6/11 and holding through the end of the model run on 7/7 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 6/4, then collapse down to 1 thin stream aligned at 170E through the end of the model run. A high pressure bias previously built in the Indian Ocean last Fall and is to hold till June 4 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 6/5 while west anomalies persist in the West Pacific, but slowly retrograding west, becoming centered near 145E ( half way in the in Maritime Continent, and half way 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. In fact east anomalies are to start building solidly over the East Pacific reaching west to the the dateline 6/12 through the end of the model run.
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 the 30 deg isotherm was all but gone with remnants at 155E. The 29 deg isotherm was retrograding to 180W today. The 28 deg isotherm line was back to being a brick wall aligned and steady at 160W 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 105 meters deep today. A large pocket of cool water at -3 degs was deep at 165W today tracking east. 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 all but gone with one warm pocket remaining at roughly 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: (4/9) 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 (4/8): Weak cooling was along Chile and Peru. but warming was setting up along Ecuador tracking west and then markedly warmer from the Galapagos west to 130W. Warming was off Central America and Mexico. The short term trend is looking like a mix of warming and cooling with warming now taking firmer control.
Hi-res Overview: (4/8) A pocket of cool anomalies is trying to hold well 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 pocket was stumped along Panama down to Ecuador and stalled just east of the Galapagos but fading. Warmer than normal water were tracking from the Galapagos out to the dateline and beyond. Water temps appear to be stable and if anything looking more like El Nino that anything previous over the past few months. But the cool tongue remains 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: (4/9) Today's temps were rising today at +0.542, 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: (4/9) Temps were falling today at +0.433. Temps previously were in the +0.3 degree range but rose to the +0.5-+0.6 degree range 3/12-4/8.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/9) 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 dropping to -1.35 degs 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) (4/9): The daily index was still positive today at +1.44 but had previously been negative for 24 days. The 30 day average was rising at -6.75. The 90 day average was falling some at -3.68, 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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