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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, April 18, 2019 3:43 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
2.5 - California & 2.2 - 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 4/15 thru Sun 4/21

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 Gale Pattern for S. Pacific
North Pacific Asleep

On Thursday, April 18, 2019 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/ Buoy 239 (Lanai) seas were 2.1 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 0.8 ft @ 14.6 secs from 184 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 2.6 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 1.3 ft @ 9.5 secs from 269 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.3 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 1.7 ft @ 15.4 secs from 254 degrees. Wind at the buoy was east at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 59.2 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.7 ft @ 10.4 secs from 269 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.3 ft @ 16.3 secs from 235 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 2.1 ft @ 14.8 secs from 217 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.4 ft @ 15.0 secs from 241 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 8.1 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 4.8 ft @ 13.4 secs from 290 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 6-8 kts. Water temp 53.6 degs (042) and 51.1 (013).

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 Thursday (4/18) in North and Central CA local north windswell was mixed with West Gulf swell producing waves at head high or so and soft and warbled but with otherwise clean local surface conditions. Protected breaks were chest high and soft and clean with local fog. At Santa Cruz southern hemi swell was producing waves at chest high and somewhat lined up and clean but generally soft. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist high and textured and soft but rideable with northerly wind blowing outside. In North Orange Co surf was chest to maybe high on the peak of the sets and clean but soft and crumbled with no real local wind. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks had southern hemi swell producing waves in the chest to head high range on the peak and clean but with some texture in the water and a bit inconsistent. North San Diego had surf at chest high on the sets and textured and mushed but lined up. Hawaii's North Shore was getting residual swell with waves waist high and clean but weak and inconsistent. The South Shore was flat to thigh high on the sets and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell with waves thigh high and chopped early from modest east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (4/18) in California local northerly windswell was mixing with fading swell from the Western Gulf producing rideable surf but nothing more with somewhat wonky conditions. Nothing of interest was hitting Hawaii. A gale developed in the Northeastern Gulf on Tues (4/16) with 26 ft seas aimed briefly east, followed by a second gale in the same area Wed (4/17) with 27 ft seas aimed northeast. After that the North Pacific goes to sleep and it's unlikely it will awake. In the Southern Hemisphere maybe a small gale to form in the Central Pacific Fri-Sun (4/21) with 27-30 ft seas lifting northeast.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Thursday (4/18) the jetstream was split over Japan with some energy tracking north over Asia towards the Bering Sea while most energy tracked east off Japan with winds building to 150 kts in one pocket over the dateline and flowing east from there eventually pushing up over British Columbia. No troughs were indicated offering no support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours no real change is forecast offering no troughs and no support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours winds peeling off the jet tracking up to the Bering Sea are to fade with the jet becoming more consolidated with with a single flow traversing the width of the North Pacific with a weaker flow falling off the main flow tracking over Hawaii into Baja. No support for gale development is indicated though a small trough might develop on the dateline on Thurs (4/25) but odds of that occurring are low. No support for gale development is forecast.

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (4/18) swell originating from the West Pacific was fading in California (see West Pacific Gale below). No swell was targeting Hawaii. Also 2 small systems developed in the Northern Gulf somewhat targeting California (see North Gulf Gale and Northeast Gulf Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast with no seas exceeding 17 ft forecast. It appears even Spring is over unless windswell counts.


North Gulf Gale
On Tues AM (4/16) a tiny gale developed in the Northern Gulf producing 35 kt west winds over a small area and seas building to 26 ft at 50.5N 149W aimed east. The gale dissipated in the evening with no seas of interest remaining. Tiny sideband swell possible for NCal and the Pacific Northwest.

NCal: Swell arrival Thursday at sunset (4/18) building to 4.2 ft @ 14 secs (5.5 ft). Swell fading Fri AM (4/19) from 2.7 ft @ 12 secs (3.0 ft) with local windswell intermixed. Swell Direction: 305-310 degrees.


Northeast Gulf Gale
A second gale developed in the Northeastern Gulf on Wed AM (4/17) with 45 kt west winds off Washington over a small area lifting northeast fast with seas building from 21 ft at 45.5N 147.5W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to continue tracking northeast with 45 kt southwest winds and seas 26 ft at 18Z at 47.5N 144.5N (309 degs NCal) and then at 00Z at 27 ft at 50N 141W aimed east to northeast and nearly out of the NCal swell window (319 degrees).

No real swell to result of NCal with most energy targeting the Pacific Northwest.


West Pacific Gale
Another small gale developed off North Japan on Thurs PM (4/11) with 40 kts west winds and seas building to 27 ft over a tiny area at 37.5N 160E. The gale was lifting northeast Fri AM (4/12) with west winds 40 kts and seas building to 32 ft at 40N 167E aimed east. In the evening the gale was approaching the dateline with 45 kt west winds over a small area and seas 35 ft at 42N 173.5E aimed east. The gale was fading Sat AM (4/13) on the North Dateline region with 40 kt west winds over a small area and seas fading from 31 ft at 43.5N 179W aimed east. In the evening winds were fading from 30-35 kts from the west with seas 25 ft at 45.5N 172W aimed east. On Sun AM this system was all but gone with seas fading from 21 ft at 48N 166W aimed east. Small swell to result.

North CA: On Thursday (4/18) mixed swell and windswell to be 3.8 ft @ 14 secs (5.0 ft) and fading. Swell Direction: 295 degrees


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


Tropical Update
No tropical weather systems of interest are forecast.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday AM (4/18) a weak high pressure at 1024 mbs was filling the Southern Gulf with north winds 15 kts off the North and Central CA coast but only 10 kts nearshore and the 15 kt winds fading in the afternoon. No windswell production potential indicated. Friday (4/19) high pressure is to be building to 1028 mbs in the Central Gulf and tracking east with north winds 10-15 kts off North CA early building to 15 kts later for all of North and Central CA waters with windswell potential building. Saturday (4/20) high pressure is to be in control producing north winds at 20 kts for all of North and Central CA building to 25-30 kts over North CA in the afternoon with local windswell building. North winds continue Sun (4/21) at 20-25 kts for all of North and Central CA all day but 15 kts nearshore early. Monday (4/22) north winds to hold at 20 kts all day and 25 kts over North CA. Local windswell continues. Tuesday (4/23) high pressure is to start fading with north winds 20 kts over North CA and 10-15 kts nearshore fading to 10 kts later for Central CA. Wednesday (4/24) the gradient is to fade with north winds 20 kts off North CA but 10 kts or less south of there but with new high pressure at 1038 mbs building in the Central Gulf later and north winds building to near 30 kts over Cape Mendocino later. By Thurs (4/25) a full summertime pressure gradient is to be in effect with north winds 30-35 kts over Cape Mendocino but winds 10 kts or less from Pt Reyes southward. Good potential for windswell production north of Pt Conception.

Total snow accumulation for for the week (thru Tues PM 4/23) per the GFS model: Tahoe = 1-2 inches and Mammoth = 1-2 inches all of which occurred this morning (Tues AM 4/16).

Snow Models: (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts).


South Pacific

Surface Analysis  
No swell producing weather systems of interest were occurring in the South Pacific.

Over the next 72 hours a gale is forecast developing southeast of New Zealand Thurs PM (4/18) with 40 kt southwest winds building and lifting northeast with seas building to 27 ft at 62S 175.5W. On Fri AM (4/19) fetch is to be lifting hard northeast but down to 35 kts over a broad area with seas 27 ft at 55N 160W aimed northeast. Additional 35 kt southwest fetch is to build in behind in the evening with 27 ft seas from the original fetch at 52S 149W aimed northeast. On Sat AM (4/20) winds to be 30-35 kts over a broad area with seas 25 ft at 53S 143W aimed east-northeast. In the evening 35-40 kt mostly westerly fetch is to track east with seas 30 ft at 51S 132W aimed east-northeast. On Sun AM (4/21) fetch is to fade from 35-40 kts over a moderate sized area aimed east with 28-30 ft seas at elongated from 52S 120-150W aimed east-northeast. This system to fade and fall southeast from there. Something to monitor.


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 no swell producing weather systems are forecast.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours another gale is forecast developing in the Central South Pacific on Mon AM (4/22) with 45 kt southwest winds and seas building to 29 ft at 55S 157.5W aimed northeast. Fetch to track east at 45 kt from the south with seas building to 31 ft at 51S 140W aimed northeast. On Tues AM (4/23) the storm is to building with 55 kt south winds and seas 37 ft at 53S 125W aimed northeast. This system is to move east of the California swell window targeting Peru thereafter. Possible decent swell pushing northeast if one is to believe the models.

Another gale is to develop in the Central South Pacific on Tues AM (4/23) producing 45 kt southwest winds and seas building to 30 ft at 58S 160W aimed northeast. In the evening southwest winds to build to 55 kts and seas building to 39 ft at 58S 139.5W aimed northeast. On Wed AM (4/24) 55 kt southwest fetch to be pushing over the far Southeast Pacific with seas building to 48 ft at 56.5S 125.5W aimed east-northeast. In the evening 45-50 kt southwest winds to be covering a solid area on the edge of the Southern CA swell window with 47 ft seas at 54.5S 115.5W and outside the SCal swell window. The gale to continue east from there targeting Chile and Peru. Something to monitor but the models have been steadily overhyping these early southern hemi systems.


MJO/ENSO Forecast


Final Kelvin Wave #3 Poised to Erupt - No Legit El Nino Forecast

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).

Summer 2019 = 5.5 (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 weak borderline El Nino condition continue , and assuming a weak ocean-atmospheric coupling holds and ocean temperature anomalies in Nino3.4 hold in the +0.8 deg range, there is good probability for slightly enhanced storm production in the South Pacific during the Northern Hemisphere Summer time months. There is 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 Summer 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 (4/17) 5 day average winds were from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific to the dateline, then stronger easterly over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the entire Pacific.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (4/18) neutral anomalies were controlling the KWGA. The forecast is for this situation to continue through 4/23 then turning lightly easterly through the end of the model run on 4/25. There is no enhanced nor diminished support for storm development and no real change is forecast.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (4/17) A weak Inactive MJO pattern was over the KWGA. The statistic model indicates a weak Inactive MJO signal is to continue through day 10 of the model run then turning weakly towards the Active Phase at day 15 as it moves from the Indian Ocean to the Maritime Continent and nearly pushing into the Far West Pacific. The dynamic model indicates a variation on that theme with a weak Inactive Phase in the West Pacific and holding through day 10, then dissipating at day 15 turning neutral. The 2 models are generally in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/18) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was exceedingly weak and in no position and is to slowly build weakly over the Maritime Continent through day 15. The GEFS model suggests a variant of the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (4/18) This model depicts no coherent MJO signal and none is forecast for the next 40 days. That said a weak Active Phase is forecast over the West Pacific today tracking east and pushing into Central America on 5/13. A weak Inactive Phase to follow in the West Pacific on 4/26 tracking east into Central America on 5/23. Another weak Active Phase to follow in the West Pacific on 5/8 pushing to the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 5/26. And another Inactive Phase to follow in the West Pacific on 5/20. Overall the MJO is to be exceedingly weak.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/17) This model depicts neutral anomalies to light west anomalies in the KWGA today. Weak west anomalies are forecast to continue holding in the core of the KWGA through 5/6 while weak east anomalies try to develop in the far West KWGA. Weak east anomalies associated with the Inactive Phase of the MJO are to try and build into the Central KWGA 5/10 holding through the end of the model run on 5/15. There is no active support for storm development for the next 4 weeks but nothing suppressing it either.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/18) This model depicts a neutral MJO signal in control with neutral wind anomalies in control holding till 4/22. At that time weak west anomalies are to develop and are to hold in the core of the KWGA if not retrograding west some in June and building with a moderate Active Phase developing 6/27 holding through the end of the model run on 7/16. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias with 2 contour lines is fully in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to California but not inland and forecast to hold steady position wise to the end of the model run on 7/16. But the second contour line is to be weakening steadily over the time period. This model indicates that a tendency towards El Nino was previously in control during the Fall of 2018, but has been steadily fading since then and is to continue a slow decline for the foreseeable future, but not turning to La Nina. No meaningful El Nino will develop.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/18) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 29 deg temps reaching east to 171W 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 it made a major push east starting 3/16 from 150W to 140W on 3/20, and to 130W on 4/10 and to 121W on 4/14, holding there today. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador 25-30 meters down. Anomaly wise, gentle warm anomalies are filling the entire subsurface Pacific at +1 degs or greater from the surface to 150 meters down. Embedded in that flow is a pocket of warmer water centered at 110W at +2-3 degs (Kelvin Wave #3) almost reaching Ecuador and west to 141W. 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 4/13 indicates cool water associated with the upwelling phase of the Kelvin Wave cycle just east of Ecuador were gone. Kelvin Wave #3 was weaker in the West Pacific at +2 degs and stronger over the East Pacific but filling the entire equatorial Pacific. In the East Pacific Kelvin Wave #3 was producing anomalies at +3-4 degs from 145W to 95W (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 dribbling from the Maritime Continent into the far West Pacific at 135E falling into the pre-existing warm pool near 160E. 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: (4/13) 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 just east of the Galapagos (87W) at 0-5 cms with 2 imbedded pockets of +5 cms anomalies at 175E and 120W. But also pockets of neutral heights were developing north and south of the equator at 160W, 130W and 110W indicating the density of the warm pool appears 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.
Satellite Imagery
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4: (4/17) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate temps were modestly warm straddling 20 degrees north and south of the equator from just west of the Galapagos west to the dateline. These temps are fading some compared to days past. Cool water was along the coast of Peru while warm water was building off Ecuador and Columbia in pockets and growing. There is some weak indication of a El Nino but nothing strong.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/17): A weak warming trend was over the equatorial Central Pacific with a pocket of stronger warming from the Galapagos west to 115W.
Hi-res Overview: (4/17) Warmer than normal water was from just off Peru up to Central America west over the Galapagos 20 degrees north and south of the equator continuing west of there to the dateline. It was holding compared to days past.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/16) Today's temps were steady today at -0.301. But the overall trend is falling in spurts for the last 3 months.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(4/18) Today temps were steady at +0.689 today. Temps have been generally steady the last 6 weeks, but up some over the past 3 months.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/18) The model indicates temps were at +1.00 degs on April 1 and are forecast building to +1.15 degrees in early June then fading slowly to +1.05 degs on July 1, fading slightly through the Fall to +0.70 degs in Sept, down to +0.65 degs in Oct and +0.5 in Nov 1, then falling to +0.35 degs
in early Dec and steady into Jan. A weak El Nino like pattern is to hold if not build into July associated with the eruption of Kelvin Wave #3, then slowly fading through the Fall and Winter of 2019/20 with no more Kelvin Waves forecast. A multiyear warming event is in progress as suggested by this model.
IRI Consensus Plume: The March 2019 Plume depicts temps are at +0.65 degs today, and are to hold in the +0.75 range into July, then holding at +0.75 through Nov 2019. 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) (4/18): The daily index was negative today at -8.15 and has been negative the last 9 days but was positive for 7 days before that, and was negative for 57 days before that (Feb 4-4/2 other than 3/23 & 3/24). The 30 day average was falling some at -2.16 suggesting a fading Active MJO. The 90 day average was falling at -6.47, 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): (4/16) 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 was up to +0.85 on 4/14, down to +0.78 today. Still, it is 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

Powerlinessurf Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest

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