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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Sunday, April 15, 2018 5:54 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
3.1 - California & 2.4 - Hawaii
Using the 'Winter' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

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

Issued for Week of Monday 4/16 thru Sun 4/22

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

Weak Swell Pattern for N. Pacific
Small S. Hemi Swell Pushing Towards South CA


On Sunday, April 15, 2018 :

  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 8.4 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 6.2 ft @ 9.4 secs from 44 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.4 ft @ 12.0 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 11.4 secs from 278 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 4-6 kts. Water temperature NA. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 2.1 ft @ 11.7 secs from 271 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.0 ft @ 18.9 secs from 260 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 0.6 ft @ 20.0 secs from 226 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.7 ft @ 19.5 secs from 265 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 7.9 ft @ 11.4 secs with swell 6.1 ft @ 11.5 secs from 309 degrees. Wind at the buoy was south at 12-14 kts. Water temp 54.5 degs.

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

Swell Classification Guidelines

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

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

Current Conditions
On Sunday (4/15) afternoon in North and Central CA new Dateline swell was hitting producing waves at 3 ft overhead and reasonably clean late morning turning choppy as south winds built in the afternoon. Protected breaks were 1-2 ft overhead on the sets and reasonably clean and mostly closed out due to long period. At Santa Cruz surf was head high on the sets lined up and far cleaner but starting to get some texture from southerly wind. In Southern California up north surf was chest to shoulder high and heavily textured but lined up and well rideable. In North Orange Co northwest swell was hitting with sets waist to chest high and heavily textured from northwest winds. South Orange Country's best breaks were waist to chest high on the better sets and lined up and pristine clean but pretty weak. In North San Diego surf was waist high on the sets and clean and weak. Hawaii's North Shore was getting residual Dateline swell and northeast windswell with waves 2-3 ft overhead on the sets and clean but with northeast lump running through it. The South Shore was flat and clean. The East Shore was getting northeast windswell at 1 ft overhead and and chopped from east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Sunday (4/15) swell was hitting California from a small storm that tracked east over the Central Dateline on Wed-Thurs (4/12) with up to 47 ft seas aimed east and then faded while falling southeast through the Gulf Fri (4/13) with seas fading from 24 ft. This is the last of any reasonable sized swell for a while. A small gale is forecast for the North Dateline region on Tues (4/17) with 31 ft seas aimed east and fading Wed (4/18). An even weaker system is forecast for the Northwestern Gulf on Fri-Sat (4/21) with barely 28 ft seas aimed east. After that, nothing. Down south a tiny gale developed on Sun-Mon (4/9) under New Zealand with 28-30 ft seas aimed north. Nothing much expected from it. And another gale developed in the Southeast Pacific on Wed (4/11) with 32 ft seas aimed east. A weak system is forecast for the same area on Mon-Wed (4/18) with 26-28 ft seas aimed northeast. So there's some limited hope down there. But nothing else is forecast to follow.

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

North Pacific

On Sunday AM (4/15) the jetstream was lifting northeast off Japan tracking along the Kuril Islands then falling into a trough over the North Dateline region being fed by 160 kt winds offering some support for gale development. The jet then ridged hard north over Western Alaska, then falling hard south into another trough off the Pacific Northwest being fed by 130 kt winds supporting low pressure development before moving inland over North California. Over the next 72 hours the trough off the Pacific Northwest is to move inland over North California Monday PM (4/16) while the North Dateline trough pushes east while fading, then trying to reorganize in the Northern Gulf of Alaska on Tues (4/17) being fed by 120 kt winds offering limited support for gale development before pushing inland over North CA later on Wed (4/19). There's some suggestion another trough might develop in the Northwestern Gulf on Wed (4/18) too. Beyond 72 hours starting Thurs (4/19) the Northwestern Gulf trough is to pinch off offering no hope. A generally consolidated jet is to continue pushing off North Japan tracking flat east by Sat (4/21) on the 45N latitude line building east to a point in the Central Gulf then dissolving on Sun (4/22). But there is no suggestion that any decently formed troughs are to develop offering no support for gale development.

Surface Analysis
On Sunday AM (4/15) swell from a storm that tracked over the Dateline was hitting California (see Dateline Gale below). Otherwise no swell producing fetch of interest was occurring.

Over the next 72 hours a gale is to form off the Southern Kuril Islands on Mon AM (4/16) tracking east-northeast producing 45 kt west winds over a small area with seas up to 30 ft at 46N 163E. In the evening the gale is to move east with 40 kt west winds over the North Dateline region producing 31 ft seas at 48N 174E. On Tues AM (4/17) the gale is to be over o the Central Aleutians with 40 kt west winds just south of there and 30 ft seas at 50N 177W. In the evening west fetch is to fade from 30+ kts with seas fading from 27 ft at 51N 170W. On Wed AM (4/18) west fetch is to be fading from 30 kts and seas fading from 22 ft at 51N 169W. Perhaps some small swell to push east targeting mainly the US West Coast.


Dateline Gale
And yet another stronger system developed off the North Kuril Islands on Tues AM (4/10) with 40 kt northwest winds over a small area and seas building. In the evening the gale built to storm status while tracking east approaching the dateline with 55 kt west winds over a small area and 26 ft seas at 46N 169E. The storm continued east on Wed AM (4/11) with 55 kt west winds and 45 ft seas at 46N 175E (325 degs HI, 298 degs NCal). The storm faded to gale status in the evening and falling southeast just east of the dateline with 45 kt west winds over a diminishing area aimed east and seas fading from 43 ft at 44N 176W (332 degs HI, 297 degrees NCal). The gale faded Thurs AM (4/12) in the Western Gulf with west winds 30-35 kts and seas 34 ft at 43N 168W targeting the US West Coast well (293 degs NCal). In the evening the gale is to fade with northwest winds 30 kts and seas 28 ft at 43N 160W. On Fri AM (4/13) fetch is to fade from 25 kts and seas 23 ft at 47N 153W. The gale to dissipate from there.

North CA: Swell is to be fading Mon AM (4/16) from 6.2 ft @ 15 secs (9.0 ft) with local windswell intermixed. Mixed swell fading Tues AM (4/17) from 7.5 ft @ 12 secs (8.0 ft). Swell Direction: 292-299 degrees

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


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Sunday PM (4/15) a low pressure system is to be over the Oregon-CA border with south winds building nearshore over North and Central CA with a weak front pushing down the coast reaching the Golden Gate at sunset with northwest winds behind the front at 15 kts. Rain building from Cape Mendocino early pushing to San Francisco late afternoon and Monterey Bay late evening. Snow building in the evening for Tahoe continuing overnight and building south. Snow level 7000 ft during the day falling to lake level near 10 PM and holding. 8-10 inches of snow on the crest at Tahoe. Monday (4/16) northwest winds are forecast at 10 kts early for North and Central CA and northwest winds 15 kts for Southern CA. Northwest winds 15 kts building for the entire state in the afternoon. Light rain for North and Central CA mainly near the coast holding through the day. Light snow through the day for the Sierra with another 2 inches of accumulation possible at Tahoe. Tuesday (4/17) north winds 10 kts early for Central CA but quickly fading with light winds late morning for the entire state except 15 kts for Pt Conception. Another front is to be a bit off the North Coast. Wednesday (4/18) a low is to be off the North Coast with light winds everywhere early except south winds 10+ kts for Cape Mendocino building to Pt Reyes-San Francisco late morning then light in the afternoon. Light rain for the North Coast by late afternoon pushing to Pt Conception in the evening. Light snow for the Sierra overnight with maybe 1 inch of accumulation. Thursday (4/19) northwest winds are forecast early at 15-20 kts mainly for Central CA down into Southern CA early and covering the entire state and the day continues as the low moves out and high pressure builds. Light rain for the Central Coast moving through Southern CA in the morning. Snow showers fading out. Friday (4/20) northwest winds 15+ kts for the North and Central Coast. No precip forecast. Sat (4/21) high pressure is to be ridging into the Pacific Northwest with northwest winds 15-20 kts for North and most of Central CA early building to 25 kts over North CA later. Sunday a summer time gradient is to be set up over North CA at 25+ kts with lighter winds 10 kts for Central CA.

South Pacific

Surface Analysis  
On Sunday (4/15) swell from a small gale that developed south of New Zealand on Sun (4/8) was pushing towards Hawaii (see Another New Zealand Gale below). Also a pair of gale developed in the far Southeast Pacific last week with swell pushing north (see Southeast Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours another gale is to develop in the far Southeast Pacific on Mon AM (4/16) with 30-35 kt southwest winds and seas building from 27 ft at 64S 126W. In the evening additional 30-35 kt south fetch is to build over the same area with seas building to 27 ft at 56S 131W aimed north. On Tues AM (4/17) 30-35 kt southwest fetch is to continue with 29-30 ft seas at 52S 120W. 30-35 kt southwest fetch is to continue in the evening with 24 ft seas at 57S 120W aimed northeast. Southwest fetch to build Wed AM (4/18) to 35 kts with 26 ft seas at 60S 120W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch is to lift northeast at 35 kts with seas 27 ft at 55S 120W aimed northeast. Possibly more fetch to follow. Something to monitor.


Another New Zealand Gale
A small gale developed south of New Zealand on Sun AM (4/8) producing 40-45 kt south winds and 30 ft seas over a tiny area at 55S 170E. In the evening 40 kt south winds held with seas 29 ft at 53S 172E aimed due north. 40 kt south winds to hold Mon AM (4/9) with seas 27 ft at 53S 173E aimed north. The gale is to fade in the evening with winds dying from 30 kts from the south and seas 22 ft at 51S 172E. Something to monitor for Tahiti and Hawaii.

Hawaii: Swell building to 1.1 ft @ 15 secs on Tues (3/17). Swell continues on Wed (3/18) at 1.2 ft @ 13-14 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell fading Thurs (3/19) fading from 1.1 ft @ 13 secs (1.5 ft). Swell Direction: 200 degrees


Southeast Pacific Gale
On Tues AM (4/10) a gale was building in the Southeast Pacific producing 45 kt south winds and 28-30 ft seas over a tiny area at 64S 148W aimed north. In the evening 40 kt southwest winds are to build in coverage over a decent sized area with seas building to 29-30 ft at 65S 139W. The gale built Wed AM (4/11) with 40 kt west-southwest winds with seas building to 33 ft at 65S 128W targeting mainly Chile with sideband energy perhaps pushing north. In the evening the gale tracked east with 40 kt west winds on the eastern edge of California swell window with 32 ft seas at 64S 118W and moving out of the CA swell window. No additional fetch of interest is forecast. Low odds of swell to radiate north into the SCal swell window.

Another gale developed right behind in the far Southeast Pacific on Thurs AM (4/12) with 30+ kt southwest winds over a large area and seas building. In the evening a broad fetch of 35-40 kt southwest winds were lifting northeast on the edge of the California swell window with a small area of 28 ft seas at 58S 122W aimed northeast. Fri AM (4/13) 35-40 kt south-southwest winds were lifting northeast over a solid area with 29 ft seas at 51S 115W and moving out of the Southern CA swell window targeting mainly Mexico, Central America and Peru. The gale is to fade from there. Stronger swell to radiate north towards Southern CA, Mexico and Central America.

South CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (4/20) building to 2.0 ft @ 18 secs later in the day (3.5 ft). Swell continues on Sat (4/21) at 2.5 ft @ 16-17 secs (4.0 ft). Swell fading some on Sun (4/22) fading from 2.4 ft @ 15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 179 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival only at exposed breaks on Fri (4/20) building to 1.5 ft @ 19 secs late (2.5 ft). Swell continues on Sat (4/21) building to 2.2 ft @ 17 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell fading some on Sun (4/22) fading from 2.2 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 176 degrees


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




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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a small gale is forecast just south of the Eastern Aleutians on Sat (4/21) producing a tiny area of 30 ft seas at 52N 166W. The gale is to fade from there while lifting northeast.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch to follow.

More details to follow...


Sea Surface Temps Holding West of Galapagos

The Madden Julian Oscillation is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for MJO activity (which directly relate to the potential for swell production).

Overview: La Nina started developing in early 2016, but westward displaced and generally weak. And by March 2017, it was gone with suspicious warming developing along South America and over the Galapagos to a point south of Hawaii. By May the atmosphere returned to a neutral configuration but then in July east anomalies started building in the KWGA and have not stopped, with cold water upwelling over the the Nino1.2 and 3.4 areas, indicative of La Nina. A double dip La Nina was in control and continued through the Winter of 2017-2018. But warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018 associated with 2 Upwelling Kelvin Waves, suggesting the demise of La Nina was at hand.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Saturday (4/14) 5 day average winds were from the east over the bulk of the equatorial Pacific and a little weaker over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral over the equatorial East Pacific and light easterly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (4/15) Weak east anomalies were over the KWGA and the entire equatorial Pacific. This pattern is to hold for the next 2-3 days and then by 4/19 weak west anomalies are forecast just about filling the KWGA east to 170E. East anomalies are to build from the dateline and point east of there through the end of the model run on 4/22.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (4/14) The Inactive/Dry Phase of the MJO was over the West Pacific filling the KWGA. The statistical model depicts a moderate Inactive/Dry MJO signal covering the West Pacific and filling the KWGA and holding while easing east centered over the dateline at the end of the 15 day run. The dynamic model depicts the same thing initially but with the Inactive Phase fading 5 days out and a weak Active Phase over the KWGA 10 days out holding through the end of the model run 15 days out.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/15) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO fairly strong in the Central Indian Ocean. It is to track east steadily while weakening over the next 15 days eventually moving into the West Pacific and exceedingly weak at the end of the model run. The GEFS model depicts the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model: (4/15) This model depicts a modest Inactive Phase over the East Pacific migrating east to Central America through 4/25. After that a weak Active Phase is forecast moving into the West Pacific 4/25 easing east to the East Pacific and into Central America on 5/15. A weak Inactive Phase is to follow in the West Pacific starting 5/10 moving to the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 5/25. This model runs about 1-2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (4/15) This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO building over the Central KWGA with limited east anomalies in the heart of the KWGA. Beyond the Inactive Phase is to hold over the KWGA through 5/2 but with neutral to weak west anomalies in control in the KWGA starting 4/18. No east anomalies are forecast. A weak pattern to follow with weak west anomalies in control in the KWGA. Perhaps a stronger Active Phase to develop 6/10 holding through the end of the model run on 7/13 with west anomalies strengthening in the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates a modest low pressure bias over the bulk of the KWGA east to the dateline and is to push east steadily from here moving east of the KWGA on 4/26 with the high pressure bias already east of the dateline and out of the KWGA. This is hugely good news. Basically the La Nina bias is to be gone in 1-2 weeks. The expectation is that the atmosphere and ocean will begin to be coupled in over the next 3 months in a more favorable configuration towards storm production in the Pacific.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/15) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 29-30 degs at 160E. The 28 deg isotherm line is steady at 180W and steep but also showing signs of trying to east east with the surface line moving to 178W. The 24 deg isotherm was building in thickness while making significant eastward progress at 100 meters deep at 140W and now to 75 meters deep at 120W dropping to 35 meters into Ecuador. Anomaly wise in the East Pacific negative temperatures are effectively gone and what is left is steadily loosing coverage as warm waters from a Kelvin Wave are building in from the west at depth. Warm anomalies were holding in the West at +3.0 degs at 170W down 150 meters pushing east with +2 deg anomalies reaching east to 120W down 75 meters and starting to erupt at the surface near 100-110W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/8 depicts warm water in the west at +4.0 degs at 170W reaching east to 110W pushing up to 50 m deep and showing signs of of trying to breach the surface near 100W. Cool water was holding in one shallow pocket in the East Pacific off Ecuador near 95W but otherwise isolated and cutoff by the approaching Kelvin Wave. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data.
Sea Level Anomalies: (4/8) Positive anomalies were over the West equatorial Pacific at +5-10 cms centered at 180W reaching east to 110W and now in pockets to 100W. Neutral anomalies were east of there except for negative anomalies at -5 cms over the Galapagos and extending east to Peru. The La Nina cool pool is all but gone.

Surface Water Temps: The more warm water in the equatorial East Pacific means more storm production in the North Pacific during winter months (roughly speaking). Cold water in that area has a dampening effect. Regardless of what the atmospheric models and surface winds suggest, actual water temperatures are a ground-truth indicator of what is occurring in the ocean. All data is from blended infrared and microwave sensors.
Satellite Imagery
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4: (4/15) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a pocket of cool anomalies was along the immediate coast of Peru reaching northwest just barely up to the Galapagos with a weak stream no tracking east from there to 100W limited to the immediate equator. Of much interest is an area of warm anomalies developing on the oceans surface on and just south of the equator from just off Peru out to 105W. This is likely the start of a defined eruption point for a large Kevin Wave directly below. Warm anomalies were also building along the immediate coast of Central America and Mexico reaching west to the dateline just 1 degree north of the equator. Cool anomalies were also on the equator west of 120W mainly south of the equator - the last of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/15): A weak pocket of cooling was from Ecuador to the Galapagos. Weak warming was building off Peru and also north of the equator from just off Central America and just north of the Galapagos out to the dateline. The breach point for a large Kelvin Wave was estimated near 100W-105W.
Hi-res Overview: (4/15) A pocket of cool water was growing some off the immediate coast of Ecuador reaching west to the Galapagos. Weak warming was further off the coast of Peru and reaching north to the equator at 100W. Warming was also along Ecuador and Central America filling the area north of the equator up into Mexico and east over the entirety of the equatorial Pacific. The La Nina core cool pocket was shrinking now mainly south of the equator from 120W to barely the dateline looking like a Modoki La Nina (meaning the core of La Nina is advecting west and dissipating). Overall the cooling pattern is steadily loosing density and drifting west.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/15) Today's temps were steady at -1.483 after falling the past week. Previously temps rose to -0.069 on 4/3. Prior to that temps had fallen hard to -2.364 degs on 3/25, the coldest of any point in this La Nina. Previous cool peaks were on 3/12 at -1.5 degs retreating from the peak of the first Kelvin Wave hitting at +0.898 degrees on 2/28. Overall temps had been steadily marching upwards since late December. Temps in this area bottomed out on 12/23 at -2.1 degs, a third near peak negative reading. The lowest point so far in this La Nina was -2.248 degs reached on 11/5. And that low point was lower than the previous coldest point reached on 10/11 at -1.9 degs.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/15) Today temps were steady at -0.446 after rising to -0.431 degs on 4/7, part of a steady 2 week increase. A weak surge in temps occurred 1/12-1/28 reaching up to -0.600 deg range. But since then temps backed off some. Previously a peak low was observed on 1/10-1/12 to -1.577. On (12/7) temps hit a previous record low at -1.219, just below the previous coldest peak so far this La Nina on 11/22 at -1.156. And the third previous low peak was reached at -1.1 on 11/23. The long arc suggests perhaps a rising pattern. La Nina is in control, but it's taking a hit.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/15) The forecast depicts temps bottomed out at -0.75 in Nov 2017 and have been slowly rebounding since, up to -0.55 in early Feb. In mid-March a sharp temperature increase developed rising to -0.35 in early April. The model indicates temps steadily rising from here forward to neutral in early June, hovering there then starting to rise into the Fall to +0.2 degs in Oct and to +0.4 degs in late Dec. This suggests the peak of La Nina occurred in 2017 and is to fade out in the early Summer of 2018 before turning weakly positive in the Fall. The odds of a 3 year La Nina developing are rare (3 year La Ninas 17%, 2 year La Ninas 50%, 1 year La Ninas 33% 1951-2017). This model is now falling inline with all the others suggesting La Nina is to die this Spring.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-March Plume depicts temps at -0.5 degs and are to slowly rise, to +0.0 in May and +0.2 in August and +0.5 in November. See chart here - link. It looks like La Nina is fading out. The CFSv2 is in the low end of that pack.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (4/15): The daily index was falling some at 12.47. The 30 day average was falling slightly at 11.50 suggesting the Inactive Phase of the MJO was in control. The 90 day average was falling some at 5.56 suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern biased towards La Nina.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (4/5) This site has not update since 4/5. At that time the index was rising slightly at -1.02 down from -1.13 on 3/27. Still this is down from -0.33 in late Feb, but was up from -1.11 on 1/29. The trend suggests La Nina is not gone, but possibly also reflects the last of the cool subsurface water being squeezed to the surface from an approaching large Kelvin Wave. Last years La Nina reached -1.94 on 11/2/16 and then fell to -2.20 on 6/28/17. It held pretty negative through Jan 2018. This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina events. The goal is to have it rise to at least -0.5 before a significant change could be suggested.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly positive, even though La Nina is in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.12, Feb = +0.05, March = +0.14, April=+0.53, May=+0.29, June=+0.21, July= -0.50, Aug= -0.62, Sept = -0.25, Oct= -0.61, Nov = -0.45, Dec= -0.13, Jan=+0.29, Feb=-0.10. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO, even with La Nina, because the warm PDO appears to be dampening the effects of La Nina. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington EDU index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.77, Feb = +0.70, Mar = +0.74, April=+1.12, May=+0.88, June=+0.79, July=+0.10, Aug=+0.09, Sept = +0.32, Oct=+0.05, Nov = +0.15, Dec = +0.50, Jan +0.70. Feb +0.37. No negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data strongly suggests that could be a possibility. By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool


External Reference Material: El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), Kelvin Wave

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