Saturday, April 28, 2018
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 7.1 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 3.6 ft @ 11.9 secs from 307 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.5 ft @ 7.1 secs with swell 1.7 ft @ 14.2 secs from 176 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north at 8-10 kts. Water temperature NA. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 4.4 ft @ 6.5 secs from 265 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.6 ft @ 14.9 secs from 202 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.9 ft @ 15.5 secs from 213 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 3.1 ft @ 15.4 secs from 192 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 6.3 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 4.9 ft @ 13.7 secs from 300 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 6-8 kts. Water temp 55.0 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).
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 Saturday (4/28) in North and Central CA new dateline swell was producing waves at head high to 1 ft overhead and a bit lumpy from northwest wind. Protected breaks were waist to maybe chest high on the sets and clean but slow. At Santa Cruz surf was chest high on the sets and clean and lined up but soft. In Southern California up north surf was chest high on the sets and lined up with a bit of warble on it early though wind was calm. In North Orange Co southern fading hemi swell was still producing set waves at up to head high and and textured from south wind. South Orange Country's best breaks were chest high on the sets and lined up when they came but textured from south wind. In North San Diego surf was chest high on the sets and clean but with some intermixed texture. Hawaii's North Shore was getting residual North Dateline swell but trashed by northwest wind and chopped. The South Shore was flat to thigh high and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell at thigh high and nearly chopped from north wind.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Saturday (4/28) swell from the final North Dateline gale was hitting California and Hawaii. It tracked over the North Dateline region Sun-Tues (4/24) producing up to 28 ft seas aimed east. Next up is a a cutoff low forecast to produce up to 27 ft seas just north of Hawaii aimed well at the Islands Sat-Sun (4/29). Down south swell is still barely hitting California from a relatively weak system that developed in the Southeast Pacific on Mon-Wed (4/18) with 26-28 ft seas aimed northeast. A small gale lifted northeast from under New Zealand on Tues-Wed (4/25) producing a tiny area of 32 ft seas. Small swell is possible for Hawaii. Another modest system was developing in the deep Southeast Pacific on Sat-Sun (4/29) with up to 35 ft seas aimed east. But after that nothing is on the charts.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Saturday AM (4/26) the jetstream was consolidated off Japan ridging northeast pushing over the Central Aleutians then splits some with most energy falling hard south forming a steep trough with it's apex 550 nmiles north of Hawaii and winds in it to 125 kts offering some support for gale development. From there the jet lifted northeast and split again with some energy pushing east forming a weak trough just off North CA and the wind energy poised to push inland over Central CA while another stream of winds energy tracked east into Baja. Over the next 72 hours the trough north of Hawaii is to hold into late Sunday (5/29) then get cut off with most energy tracking up along the Kurils and over the Aleutian into Alaska. By early Tues (5/1) the remains of the Hawaiian trough are to still be circulating north of the Islands but totally cut off from the main flow while weak trough off North CA holds but offering nothing but support for weather into the Golden State. Beyond 72 hours the trough north of Hawaii is to fade steadily and finally vaporizing late on Tues (5/1). At that time the trough off NCal is to be falling south moving inland over Pt Conception. By Thurs (5/3) the jet is to be fully split with the northern branch tracking over the Aleutians into North Canada with no troughs nor offering any support for gale development while the southern branch tracks along the 15N latitude line pushing over Hawaii and eventually splitting east of there. Theoretically on Fri (5/4) a new trough is to be developing in the Northwestern Gulf falling southeast and being fed by 180 kts winds diving to a point in the Central Gulf on Sat (5/5) forming a steep energetic trough possibly supportive of gale development.
On Saturday AM (4/28) swell from a gale that tracked east over the North Dateline region was fading in Hawaii and hitting California (see North Dateline Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours starting Fri PM (4/27) a gale started developing 900 nmiles north of Hawaii with 35 kt north winds and seas building from 26 ft at 36N 162W aimed south. On Sat AM (4/28) 40 kt north winds had built in coverage aimed directly at Kauai with 27 ft seas over a small area aimed south at 34N 163W. In the evening 35-40 kt north winds to be falling south with seas 24 ft at 31N 162W aimed a bit west of the Islands. The gale is to fade while falling south Sun AM (4/29) with 30-35 kt northeast winds and seas fading from 23 ft at 32N 162W targeting Hawaii well. Swell expected for Hawaii.
Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Sun (4/29) with swell building to 7.0 ft @ 12-13 secs later (8.5 ft). Swell fading Mon AM (4/30) from 6.5 ft @ 13 secs (8.0 ft). Residuals on Tues AM (5/1) fading from 4.5 ft @ 10 secs (4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 345 degrees
North Dateline Gale
Another gale developed Sun AM (4/22) in the far Northwest Pacific just south of the Western Aleutians producing a small area of 35-40 kt west winds starting to get traction on the oceans surface. In the evening the gale was approaching the dateline with a broader area of 40 kts west wind and seas building to 28 ft at 50N 172E. On Mon AM (4/23) the gale was fading some while falling southeast moving over the North Dateline Region producing a modest area of 30-35 kt west winds and 27 ft seas at 50N 178E aimed east. The gale is to be fading in the evening with 30-35 kt west winds over the North Dateline region and 23 ft seas at 49N 177W aimed east. The gale is to stall and fade Tues AM (4/24) with 30-35 kt west winds over a broader area and 21 ft seas at 48N 171W. The gale is to hold in the evening with 30-35 kt west winds and seas 22 ft at 50N 172W. This system is to dissipate from there.
Hawaii: Swell fading Sat (4/28) from 3.4 ft @ 11-12 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 325 degrees
North CA: Swell continues on Sat (4/28) at 4.8 ft @ 13-14 secs (6.5 ft). Swell fading Sun (4/29) from 3.9 ft @ 12-13 secs (5.0 ft). Swell Direction: 305 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Saturday AM (4/28) a relatively weak pressure pattern was in control with variable winds along the California coast except from Big Sur southward to Pt Conception where north winds were up to 20 kts. Weak low pressure was off the Oregon-CA border. This pattern to hold through the afternoon. Light rain possible from San Francisco northward all day. Sunday (4/29) northwest winds are to be 15-20 kts early for the Pt Conception area but light for North and most of Central CA and building to 15 kts for all locations North and South in the afternoon. Light rain possible for North CA down to Pt Reyes. Monday (4/30) a summer time pressure gradient is to be in effect with north winds 20 kts for all of North and Central CA and building in the afternoon. More of the same on Tues (5/1) but with north winds 30 kts for North CA and 25 kts for Central CA early. The gradient is to be fading Wed (5/2) with 10-15 kts northwest winds early for Central CA fading to 10 kts later and 25+ kts for North CA early fading to 15-20 kts later. Thurs (5/3) light northwest winds at 10 kts are forecast for the North and Central Coasts most of the day and holding Friday into Sat AM (5/5).
On Thursday (4/28) swell from a gale that developed in the Southeast Pacific on Mon (4/16) was hitting California (see Another Southeast Pacific Gale below). Also small swell from a tiny gale south of New Zealand was pushing towards Hawaii (see Small New Zealand Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours a new gale was developing in the deep Central South Pacific on Fri PM (4/27) with 40 kt west winds falling southeast starting to produce 30 ft seas just north of the Ross Ice Shelf at 66S 164W. On Sat AM (4/28) 45 kt west winds were pushing east with the gale itself now tracking east building seas to 34 ft at 66S 149W. In the evening a broad area of 40 kt southwest winds are forecast pushing east fast with 33 ft seas at 65S 135W. The gale is to be fading Sun AM (4/29) on the edge of the SCal swell window with 35 kt west-southwest winds and 32 ft seas at 66S 122W. In the evening the gale is to be east of the California swell window with 30 kt southwest winds and 27 ft seas fading at 64S 110W. Something to monitor.
Another Southeast Pacific Gale
Another gale developed in the far Southeast Pacific on Mon AM (4/16) with a large area of 30-35 kt southwest winds and seas building from 26 ft at 65S 128W. In the evening additional 30-35 kt south fetch built over the same area with seas building to 26 ft at 57S 132W aimed due north. On Tues AM (4/17) 30-35 kt south-southwest fetch continued over a large area aimed north with 28 ft seas at 52S 120W aimed north-northeast. 30-35 kt southwest fetch continued in the evening with 23 ft seas at 50S 119W aimed northeast. Southwest fetch built in coverage Wed AM (4/18) at 30-35 kts with 23 ft seas at 59S 121W aimed northeast. This is not enough energy to make it to California without significant size decay. In the evening fetch lifted northeast at 30-35 kts with seas 26 ft at 51S 117W aimed northeast and barely in the SCal swell window. The fetch moved out of the Southern CA swell window from there but still targeting Peru and Chile. Something to monitor.
Southern CA: Residuals fading on Sun (4/29) fading from 2.2 ft @ 14 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 176 degrees
North CA: Residuals fading on Sun (4/29) fading from 2.2 ft @ 14 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 173 degrees
Small New Zealand Gale
a tiny gale developed well south of New Zealand on Mon AM (4/23) starting to generate 40 kt southwest winds. In the evening 40 kt southwest winds were lifting northeast producing a small area of 28 ft seas at 60S 162E. On Tues AM (4/24) the fetch continued lifting northeast at 35-40 kts with 30 ft seas at 57S 172E. The gale faded in the evening with winds dropping from 35 kts and seas fading from 28 ft at 55S 179W.
Hawaii: Possible small swell pushing northeast arriving late on Tues (5/1) at 1.0 ft @ 17-18 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell building on Wed (5/2) to 1.3 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.0 ft). Swell fading Thurs (5/3) from 1.4 ft @ 14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 197 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 some sort of a low pressure/gale is to be developing in the Northwestern Gulf in Friday (5/4) with 30-35 kts northwest winds and seas possibly building. Its too early to know anything more. Something to monitor.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
More details to follow...
Slow Steady Warming in Nino3.4 Continues - Not Neutral Yet
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 Friday (4/27) 5 day average winds were from the east over the bulk of the equatorial Pacific and weak westerly over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral over the equatorial East Pacific and light westerly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (4/28) Modest west anomalies were over the whole of the KWGA with east anomalies east of the dateline to Ecuador and not in the KWGA. This pattern is to hold for the coming week through the end of the model run on 5/5. Not a bad pattern with persistent weak westerly now locked from the dateline and points west of there.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (4/27) The dead neutral MJO pattern was over the West Pacific in the core of the KWGA. The statistical model depicts a weak Active/Wet MJO signal building in the KWGA 8 days out easing east to the dateline through the end of the model run 15 days out. The dynamic model depicts the same thing until day 12 when a weak Inactive/Dry pattern is to appear over the far West Pacific holding into day 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/28) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was very weak over the Maritime Continent. It is to track east steadily while remaining weak over the next 15 days eventually moving over North Africa and to the East Indian Ocean at the end of the model run. The GEFS model depicts effectively the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model: (4/28) This model depicts a weak Active Phase is moving through the West Pacific and is to be easing east to the East Pacific and into Central America on 5/16. A modest Inactive Phase is to follow in the West Pacific starting 5/9 moving to the East Pacific on 5/26 while a new extremely weak Active Phase builds in the West Pacific starting 5/23 and moving to the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 6/7. This model runs about 1-2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (4/28) This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO is fading over the Central KWGA but with weak west anomalies in the heart of the KWGA. This is an interesting and positive development - West anomalies in the KWGA even during an Inactive Phase. A modest Active Phase is to follow starting 5/2 with weak to modest west anomalies continuing in control in the KWGA. This Active Phase is to fade 5/16 with west anomalies continuing over the entirety of the KWGA. A weak Inactive Phase is to track over the KWGA 5/17-6/6 with neutral to weak west anomalies forecast in the KWGA. Perhaps a stronger Active Phase to develop 6/7 holding through the end of the model run on 7/26 with west anomalies strengthening and solid in the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates the low pressure bias over the bulk of the KWGA has pushed slightly east of the dateline and is to push east steadily from here moving east of the KWGA on 5/9. The high pressure bias is already east of the KWGA. This is hugely good news. Basically the La Nina bias is to be gone in 1.5 weeks. The expectation is that the atmosphere and ocean will begin to be coupled over the next 3 months in a more favorable configuration for storm production in the Pacific. And the low pressure bias is to only strengthen steadily over the KWGA into July.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/28) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 29-30 degs at 160E. The 28 deg isotherm line has moved significantly eastward to 170W from 75 meters down to the surface. This is a significant development. The 24 deg isotherm was building in thickness while making significant eastward progress at 100 meters deep at 140W and now to 50 meters deep at 120W rising to 25 meters into Ecuador. Anomaly wise in the East Pacific negative temperatures are gone 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 165W down 150 meters pushing east with +2 deg anomalies reaching east to 140W down 100 meters and +1 degs at 100W down 25 meters. We suspect these warm waters are starting to erupt at the surface from 100W to 130W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/23 depicts warm water in the west at +4.0 degs at 170W with +2 degs anomalies pushing east to 105W with the leading edge of that mass starting to touch the surface near 105W. The last of the La Nina cool pool was holding in one shallow pocket in the East Pacific along the coast of Ecuador and being squeezed to the surface by the large approaching Kelvin Wave. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data.
Sea Level Anomalies: (4/23) Positive anomalies were over the West equatorial Pacific at +5-10 cms centered at 180W with continuous +5 cm anomalies reaching east under the equator to 100W. Neutral anomalies were east of there except for negative anomalies at -5 cms along the coast of Peru and Ecuador reaching west over the Galapagos. 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.
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4: (4/27) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a pocket of cool anomalies holding along the immediate coast of Peru reaching northwest up to Ecuador and out to the Galapagos but no further. Of much interest is an area of warm anomalies on the oceans surface on and just south of the equator from just off Peru (90W) out to 115W with neutral anomalies west of there. This is likely the start of a defined eruption point for a large Kevin Wave directly below. Warm anomalies were also stable along the immediate coast of Central America and Mexico reaching west to the dateline aligned along and north of the equator. There was no clear indication of La Nina anymore in the oceans surface.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/26): A neutral to weak warm trend was in control of the equatorial Pacific from the Galapagos to the dateline. Stronger warming was 1-5 degrees north of the equator in pockets from 90W to the dateline. The breach point for a large Kelvin Wave was estimated between 90-100W on the equator with a small pocket of warming indicated there (the Galapagos).
Hi-res Overview: (4/26) A tiny pocket of cool water was fading along the immediate coast of Peru up to Ecuador reaching west to the Galapagos and ending there. 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 from the equator northward up into Mexico and east over the entirety of the equatorial Pacific. The La Nina core cool pocket was shrinking and warming some limited to a broad pocket south of the equator from 105W 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: (4/28) Today's temps were rising slightly at -0.859 and have otherwise been slowly rising the past 2 weeks. Previously temps rose to -0.069 on 4/3 but crashed the week after that to -1.9 degs on 4/10. 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: (4/28) Today temps were rising again from -0.299 degs. Temps have been steadily rising since 3/27 when they were about -1.2 degs. 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.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/28) The forecast depicts temps bottomed out at -0.75 in Nov 2017 and have been slowly rising since, up to -0.5 in mid-March and -0.35 in early April. They are forecast to continue a steady increase from here forward to neutral in early June, hovering there then starting to rise into the late Fall to +0.2 degs in late Dec. This suggests the peak of La Nina occurred in 2017 and is to continue to fade through the Summer of 2018 before turning weakly positive in the late Fall. This model is now falling inline with all the others suggesting La Nina is to die this Spring.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-April Plume depicts temps at -0.2 degs and are to slowly rise, to +0.0 in May and +0.4 in August and +0.8 in November. See chart here - link. It looks like La Nina is fading out and a weak El Nino might develop. 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 (4/28): The daily index was falling again today at -10.24. The 30 day average was falling some at 4.65 suggesting the Inactive Phase of the MJO was in control. The 90 day average was falling some at 2.22 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): (4/28) Today the index has fallen some to -0.42, down from -0.35 on 4/26, up from -1.02 on 4/5 and up from -1.13 on 3/27. Still, today's value is down some from a -0.33 reading 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: April 2017=+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 2018=+0.29, Feb= -0.10, Mar= -0.51. 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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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table