Sunday, May 6, 2018
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.1 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 2.3 ft @ 8.4 secs from 338 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.7 ft @ 7.1 secs with swell 1.2 ft @ 14.1 secs from 265 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 8-10 kts. Water temperature NA. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 0.6 ft @ 14.6 secs from 173 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 3.3 ft @ 6.0 secs from 270 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 2.8 ft @ 6.2 secs from 274 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 3.1 ft @ 6.2 secs from 286 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 2.6 ft @ 10.8 secs with swell 1.3 ft @ 14.3 secs from 197 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 10-12 kts. Water temp 53.2 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 Sunday (5/6) in North and Central CA local north windswell was barely present with waves thigh to waist high and nearly white capped early and soft. Protected breaks were knee to maybe thigh high on the sets and reasonably clean but warbled and soft. At Santa Cruz surf was flat and clean. In Southern California up north surf was thigh high on the sets and warbled and gutless but with calm local wind early. In North Orange Co windswell was producing waves at knee high or so and weak and gutless and crumbled with sideshore texture. South Orange Country's best breaks were flat and clean. In North San Diego surf was knee to thigh high and clean but weak and closed out. Hawaii's North Shore was near flat and textured from northeast wind. The South Shore was small at thigh high and clean and weak. The East Shore was getting east windswell at knee thigh high and chopped from north-northeast wind.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Sunday (5/6) no swell of any kind was hitting California or Hawaii. Tiny swell from a modest system that developed in the deep Southeast Pacific on Sat-Sun (4/29) with up to 33 ft seas aimed east was offering minimal odds of rideable swell in Southern California by Mon (5/7). Beyond in the North Pacific a small gale is starting to develop northeast of Hawaii on Sun-Mon (5/7) with 27 ft seas aimed southeast. On Sun-Tues (5/8) another gale is to be developing over the North Dateline region producing 30 ft seas aimed east. And maybe another is to form in the Northwestern Gulf on Sat-Sun (5/13) with up to 24 ft seas aimed east. Down south a small gale is projected developing in the upper latitudes of the South Pacific on Sat-Mon (5/7) pushing northeast producing up to 32 ft seas over a small area. A stronger system is forecast tracking under New Zealand on Tues (5/8) with up to 58 ft seas aimed east. And possibly a whole string of gales to follow directly after in the same area with the biggest one generating 47 ft seas aimed northeast by Sun (5/13). So at least there's something of interest on the charts now. A step in the right direction.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Sunday AM (5/6) the jetstream was mostly consolidated pushing east off North Japan tracking east on the 43N latitude line pushing over the North Dateline region and starting to form a small a weak trough there being fed by 140 kts winds offering limited support for low pressure development. From there the jet fell southeast over the Central Gulf of Alaska with winds ramping up again to 130 kts forming a steep trough there before splitting with some energy heading due north up into Alaska and the remaining wind energy pushing east over Central CA. Over the next 72 hours the same basic pattern is to hold with the trough over the North Dateline region developing some while pushing east to the extreme Northwestern Gulf offering continued support for gale development before dissipating on Tues (5/8). The trough northeast of Hawaii is to push east peaking late Sunday then slowly fading while lifting northeast into Tuesday (5/8) dissipating while pushing over Washington. At that time the jet is to be well consolidated pushing east over the 43N latitude line running from off the Kuril Islands east to North California with some small pockets of up to 140-150 kts winds mainly near the dateline with no troughs indicated. Beyond 72 hours starting Thurs (5/10) wind energy is to build on the dateline with a trough develop in the Western Gulf being fed by 160-170 kt winds offering good support for gale development then slowly moderating while tracking east into the Central Gulf on late Fri (5/11). That trough is to continue moderating while pushing through the Northeastern Gulf and all but gone by Sun (5/13). At that time the jet is to still be consolidated but thin and weal tracking across the North Pacific on be 43N latitude line with a few pockets of wind to 130 kts and no troughs indicated. It looks like the jet is going to fade out completely long term. If and when that occurs, we'll start tracking the jet only in the South Pacific.
On Sunday AM (5/6) a gale was developing north of Hawaii (see details below - Possible Gulf Gale). Otherwise no swell was in the water and no windswell source was indicated relative to Hawaii or California.
Over the next 72 hours another weak gale was forming west of the North Dateline Region Sun AM (5/6) producing 35 kt northwest winds over a small area and starting to get traction on the oceans surface. By evening a modest sized area of 40 kt west winds are forecast with seas building from 26 ft at 45N 176E aimed east. On Mon AM (5/7) the gale is to lift north slightly producing 35-40 kt northwest winds and seas 26 ft at 48N 177W. Winds to build briefly to 45 kts while lifting northeast in the evening with seas building to 30 ft at 47.5N 173W. Fetch is to be fading Tues AM (5/8) from 35 kts from the west with seas fading from 27 ft at 49N 170W aimed east. The gale is to be fading in the evening with 30 kts west winds dropping off and seas fading from 22 ft at 48N 165W. The gale is to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.
On Mon PM (5/7) a far stronger system is to follow on the same track producing 65 kt southwest winds and 54 ft seas at 50S 156E aimed east-northeast but shadowed relative to HI and CA. On Tues AM (5/8) a broad area of 55 kt southwest winds are forecast just south of New Zealand with seas building to 58 ft over a modest sized area at 51S 165E and unshadowed relative to California (221 degs SCal, 220 degs NCal). Fetch is to push east and fade in the evening from 45 kts from the west-southwest with seas 49 ft at 50S 177W aimed east (215 degs SCal and shadowed by Tahiti, 213 degs NCal and unshadowed, 192 degs HI). This system is to fade from there Wed AM (5/9) with southwest winds 40 kts and seas fading from 40 ft at 50S 171W (189 degs HI, 211 degs SCal and 209 degs NCal and both shadowed). This system is to fade from there. Something to monitor.
Possible Gulf Gale
On Sun AM (5/6) a low pressure/gale was developing in the Central Gulf of Alaska with 40 kt north winds and seas building from 21 ft at 40N 155W. By evening 40 kt north winds are to be falling south targeting just east of the Big Island of Hawaii with seas building to 27 ft at 36N 153W aimed south. On Mon AM (5/7) the gale is to start moving east and fading with 30-35 kts west winds and seas fading from 22 ft at 32N 149W somewhat targeting Southern CA. In the evening fetch is to dissipate from 20-25 kts aimed east and fading in coverage with seas fading to 17 ft at 34N 141W. The gale is to fade from there. Possible sideband swell for Hawaii and later for the Central and South CA coast.
Hawaii (Oahu): Sideband windswell possibly arriving on Mon (5/7) at 4 ft @ 10 secs (4.0 ft). Real swell arrival is expected on Tues (5/8) pushing 6.3 ft @ 13-14 secs (8.5 ft faces) mid-day. Residuals fading Wed AM (5/9) from 4.2 ft @ 10-11 secs (4.0 ft) and fading fast from there. Swell Direction: 005-0101 degrees.
North CA: Low odds of sideband energy arriving on Wed (5/9) building to 4.6 ft @ 12 secs late (5.5 ft). Swell Direction: 270 degrees
Southern CA: Small swell arriving on Thurs (5/10) pushing 2.3 ft @ 11-12 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 283 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Sunday AM (5/6) weak high pressure at 1020 mbs was off the Central CA coast ridging east weakly generating a modest northwest flow along mainly the Central CA coast at 15 kts. Winds were northwest 10 kts for North Ca and down to Monterey Bay early. Monday more of the same is forecast but with the gradient building slightly early with 15 kts north winds from Pt Arena southward and up to 20 kts from Big Sur to Pt Conception. Also low pressure is to be moving closer to the coast from a position northeast of Hawaii. Tuesday (5/8) light winds are to be over North CA down to Monterey Bay and northwest at up to 15-20 kts near Pt Conception. Southwest winds at 10 kts are to be moving into North CA late afternoon. Light rain for Cape Mendocino late Tues into early Wed AM. Wednesday (5/9) the low is to fade and move into the Pacific Northwest with light southwest winds forecast for Cape Mendocino and light north 5-10 kts or less south of there but still north 15-20 kts for Pt Conception. Thurs (5/10) clearing high pressure is to be in control with north winds 20-25 kts for the entire North and Central CA coast early. Friday (5/11) a summer time pressure gradient is to set up with 35 kt north winds for all of North CA and 20 kts north winds down to Pt Conception. Sat (5/12) the gradient is to be fading with north winds 30 kts down to Pt Arena and an eddy flow (south winds) setting up south of there. By Sun (5/13) a light south flow is to be in control of the state and the gradient gone.
On Sunday (5/6) tiny swell from a gale previously in the Southeast Pacific was pushing towards Southern CA (see South Pacific Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours a gale started developing in the upper latitudes of the Central South Pacific on Sat AM (5/5) producing 30 kt southwest winds over a small area lifting northeast with seas building. In the evening south winds built in coverage some at 30-35 kts aimed north with seas still building but not reaching a critical threshold just yet. On Sun AM fetch built in coverage at 30-35 kts aimed north with 25 ft seas over a small area at 41S 142W. In the evening a tiny area of 40-45 kt south winds are to be pushing north with seas building to 26 ft at 41S 138W. On Mon AM (5/7) a tiny area of 40-45 kt south winds to persist with seas building to 32 ft at 40S 132W aimed northeast (192 degs SCal, 189 degs NCal). Fetch to fade in the evening with seas dropping from 28 ft at 37N 130W. Something to monitor.
Also a primer gale is to track east under the Tasman Sea approaching New Zealand on Sun AM (5/6) with 40-45 kt west winds and seas to 36 ft at 53.5S 153E and barely in the SCal swell window (222 degs) but shadowed for NCal and Hawaii. This system to rough the oceans surface up some. Fetch is to pushing east in the evening and fade from 40 kts with seas 37 ft at 53S 166E (201 degs HI, 220 degs SCal, 219 degs NCal). On Mon AM (5/7) fetch is to fade from barely 40 kts from the west with seas fading from 33 ft at 54S 174E (195 degs HI, 219 degs SCal, 217 degs NCal). This gale to fade from there.
South Pacific Gale
A gale developed in the deep Central South Pacific on Fri PM (4/27) with 40 kt west winds falling southeast starting to produce 30 ft seas over a tiny area just north of the Ross Ice Shelf at 66S 163W. On Sat AM (4/28) 40 kt west winds were pushing east with the gale itself now tracking east building seas to 32 ft at 66S 149W. In the evening a broad area of 40+ kt southwest winds were pushing east fast with 32 ft seas at 66S 135W. The gale is to be fading fast Sun AM (4/29) on the edge of the SCal swell window with 35 kt west-southwest winds and 30 ft seas at 66S 122W. In the evening the gale was east of the California swell window with 30 kt southwest winds and 25 ft seas fading at 64S 110W. Low odds of small sideband swell radiating north towards California.
South CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon (5/7) building to 1.1 ft @ 17-18 secs late (2.0 ft). Swell building slightly on Tues (5/8) pushing 1.2 ft @ 16 secs 1.5-2.0 ft). Swell fading Wed (5/9) from 1.1 ft @ 14-15 secs (1.5 ft). Swell Direction: 190 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 t here's some sense that more low pressure could be developing in the Northern Gulf in the days to follow as the jetstream builds over that area.
A gale is forecast developing in the Western Gulf on Sat AM (5/12) with 35 kt northwest winds and seas building from 20 ft at 47N 162W. In the evening at broad area of 35 kt west winds are to be pushing east with seas building to 24 ft at 47N 159W aimed east. The gael is to track east and fade Sun AM (5/13) with 30 kt west winds and seas fading from 23 ft at 46N 151W. Hard to believe at this early date.
Beyond 72 hours another gale is to build southeast of New Zealand Thurs AM (5/10) with 45 kt southwest winds over a solid area and seas building. In the evening 45 kt west-southwest winds to continue pushing east with seas building from 38 ft at 54S 160W (205 degs SCal, 202 degs NCal and unshadowed by Tahiti). Fri AM (5/11) fetch is to be fading from 45 kts over a smaller area with seas fading from 34 ft at 53S 149W.
Yet another stronger gale is to start forming due south of New Zealand on Thurs PM (5/10) with 50 kt southwest winds and seas building. On Fri AM (5/11) 50 kt southwest winds are forecast southeast of New Zealand with seas building from 33 ft at 58S 166E. The gale is to fade in the evening with 35 ft seas at 53S 178E. Something to monitor.
Yet a far strong gale to be right behind that and in the same area tracking east-northeast with 45-50 kt southwest winds and seas building to 48 ft on 18Z Sun (5/13) at 52S 155W.
More details to follow...
Low Pressure Bias Now Fills the KWGA
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 (5/5) 5 day average winds were from the east over the bulk of the equatorial Pacific and calm to light west over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral to light easterly over the equatorial East Pacific and calm to light westerly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (5/6) Modest west anomalies were over the whole of the KWGA with light spotty west anomalies east of the dateline to Ecuador and not in the KWGA. This pattern is to hold through Mon 5/7 and then weak east anomalies are to develop over the KWGA 5/9 and hold through the end of the model run on 5/13 with weak west anomalies east of the KWGA.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (5/5) A dead neutral MJO pattern was over the West Pacific in the core of the KWGA. The statistical model depicts a neutral MJO signal holding in the KWGA for the next 15 days. The dynamic model depicts a modest Inactive/Dry pattern building over the far West Pacific at day 5 and moving into the core of the KWGA through day 15. So the 2 models are projecting different outcomes.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (5/6) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was weak over the Atlantic. It is to track east steadily while remaining weak over the next 15 days eventually moving over North Africa and to the Indian Ocean at the end of the model run. The GEFS model depicts effectively the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model: (5/6) This model depicts a weak Active Phase is moving into Central America. A modest Inactive Phase is to follow in the West Pacific starting 5/13 moving to the East Pacific on 6/5 while a new extremely weak Active Phase builds in the West Pacific starting 5/25 and moving through the East Pacific into Central America at the end of the model run on 6/15. At that time a weak Inactive Phase is to be developing over the West Pacific. This model runs about 1-2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (5/3) This model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO is over the West KWGA with weak to modest west anomalies continuing in control in the KWGA until the Active Phase fades 5/13 with west anomalies continuing over the entirety of the KWGA. A neutral pattern biased Inactive is to develop after that 5/18 and hold through 6/7 but with weak west anomalies in control of the KWGA through the period. A stronger Active Phase to develop 6/8 holding through 7/16 with modest west anomalies strengthening and solid in the KWGA. The Inactive Phase is to try and develop after that on 7/17 through the end of the model run on 8/3 but weak to modest west anomalies are to still be in control of the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates the low pressure bias is now officially filling the KWGA. this is good news. The high pressure bias is already east of the KWGA focused mainly a few hundred nmiles east of California on the equator. This is hugely good news. Basically the La Nina bias is gone. The expectation is that the atmosphere and ocean will begin to be coupled 3 months from now (8/8) 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: (5/6) 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 with fingers to 167W. 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 160W down 150 meters pushing east with +2 deg anomalies reaching east to 135W 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 4/28 depicts warm water in the west at +4.0 degs at 170W with a river of warm water at +1 degs pushing east to 100W with the leading edge of that mass touching the surface there. The last of the La Nina cool pool was slowly fading in one shallow pocket in the extreme 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: (4/28) 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 105W. Negative anomalies were east of there at -5 cms from east of the Galapagos to Ecuador then down along the coast of 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.
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4: (5/5) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a pocket of cool anomalies weakening along the immediate coast of Peru reaching northwest off Ecuador then dissipating. Of much interest is a tiny area of warm anomalies building on the oceans surface on the equator over and just west of the Galapagos at 90W with a broad area of less warm water off Peru (90W) out to 110W. Neutral anomalies were 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 (5/5): A neutral trend was in control of the equatorial Pacific from the Galapagos down to Peru and then west to 120W. Otherwise weak warming was over the entirety of the equatorial Pacific north of 20S and south of 20N. The breach point for a large Kelvin Wave subsurface was no longer obvious.
Hi-res Overview: (5/5) A tiny pocket of cool water was fading fast along the immediate coast of Peru but no longer off Ecuador. Instead warm water was building from Ecuador 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 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 110W 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: (5/6) Today's temps were falling at -1.098, ending a previously rising trend over the past 3 weeks that peaked at -0.479 on 5/3. 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: (5/6) Today temps were holding slightly down some at -0.451 after going up -0.254 degs on 5/1. 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 (5/6) 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 reaching neutral in mid-May, hovering there then starting to rise July into Fall to +0.25 degs in Oct and +0.5 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 (5/6): The daily index was falling hard today at -24.57. The 30 day average was falling some to -1.88 suggesting the Inactive Phase of the MJO was fading. The 90 day average was rising some at 2.57 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): (5/4) Today the index has risen some to -0.40, down from -0.35 on 4/26, but up from -1.02 on 4/5 and up from -1.13 on 3/27. Still, today's value is less than the -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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