Saturday, June 16, 2018
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance): Seas were 3.3 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 2.4 ft @ 14.6 secs from 156 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.3 ft @ 10.8 secs with swell 1.7 ft @ 10.3 secs from 184 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southeast at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 66.7 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.9 ft @ 10.3 secs from 266 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.4 ft @ 6.3 secs from 263 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.4 ft @ 12.5 secs from 216 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.2 ft @ 10.2 secs from 262 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 9.2 ft @ 9.1 secs with northwest windswell 7.8 ft @ 9.2 secs from 312 degrees. Wind at the buoy was south at 6-12 kts. Water temp 51.6 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 (6/16) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing surf at head high and fairly clean early but still warbled and soft. Protected breaks were waist to chest high and pretty clean early but still slightly warbled. At Santa Cruz surf was maybe up to waist high on the sets and broken up and junky. In Southern California up north north windswell was producing surf at waist high on the sets and clean but slow and soft. In North Orange Co windswell was producing waves at waist to stomach high and soft with some warble in the water even though local wind was calm. South Orange Country's best breaks were waist high and nearly blown out early from south wind but lined up when they came. In North San Diego surf was waist high and junky and warbled with south wind in effect. Hawaii's North Shore was getting limited Kuril Island swell with waves head high or more and lined up and as clean as it can get. The South Shore was getting swell from the upper reaches of the Central South Pacific with waves head high to 1 ft overhead and lined up and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell at thigh high and fairly clean with only light east trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Saturday (6/16) moderate locally generated northwest windswell was hitting at exposed northwest facing breaks in California. A cutoff low developed Sun-Mon (6/11) in the Central South Pacific with a tiny area of 28 ft seas aimed north. That swell is hitting Hawaii now and bound for California. The tropics are quiet. After that nothing else of interest is forecast until maybe Wed-Thurs (6/21) when a pair of generally weak gales are forecast developing southeast of New Zealand lifting northeast with both perhaps generating 30-32 ft seas aimed northeast. Even locally produced northwest windswell for California is to fade for the bulk of the coming work week.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Saturday AM (6/16) local sizeable but junky short period northwest windswell was producing rideable surf at exposed breaks in California.
A late season low pressure system developed off the Kuril Islands on Sun PM (6/10) generating northwest winds at 35 kts and 22 ft seas over a tiny area at 44N 167E targeting Hawaii but a long ways away. northwest fetch held while tracking east on Mon Am (6/11) with seas building to 24 ft over a small area at 44N 171E. The gael fading in the evening with seas fading from 20 ft at 42N 174E. Small swell is possible for Hawaii.
Hawaii: Swell fading Sat AM (6/16) from 3.1 ft @ 11-12 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 317 degrees
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast, including local windswell mainly for California.
California: On Saturday (6/16) high pressure at 1028 mbs was 600 nmiles west of Oregon generating the usual pressure gradient over North CA producing north winds at 30 kts early resulting in local north windswell for exposed breaks in North and Central CA. But the gradient is to start fading later in the day and be all but gone by mid-Sunday AM (6/17) with windswell fading at that time. No windswell producing fetch is forecast after that through Tues (6/19). See QuikCASTs for details.
Hawaii: On Saturday (6/16) no high pressure or easterly winds of interest were occurring east of the ISlands offering no odds for windswell production. And no change is forecast through Tues (6/19). See QuikCASTs for details.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Sat AM (6/16) a pressure gradient generated by high pressure at 1028 mbs was 900 nmiles west of Oregon producing north winds at up to 30 kts over Pt Arena with a weak eddy flow (south winds) developing over the Central CA coast. On Sunday (6/17) the gradient is to fade out with north winds fading from 25 kts off Cape Mendocino early winds dropping to barely 20 kts late with and eddy flow south of Pt Arena. On Monday (6/18) light winds are forecast for nearshore waters of all of California. A weak northerly flow is to start building on Tues (6/19) with north winds 15 kts over all of North and Central CA waters later with high pressure 1022 mbs 600 nmiles off the coast. Wednesday (6/20) a persistent 15 kts north flow is to continue over all of North and Central CA nearshore waters with up to 20 kts north winds over Pt Conception. On Thurs (6/21) 15+ kt north winds to continue over all of North and Central CA building to 20+ kts by evening. Fri (6/22) a gradient is to build over North CA with north winds 20-25 kts and 15-20 kt north winds over Central CA. Sat (6/23) a solid fetch of 25 kts north winds is to hold over all of North CA with 20 kt north winds over all of Central CA nearshore waters.
On Saturday (6/16) the southern branch of the jetstream was pushing under New Zealand down at 62S tracking east at 120 kts then weakening with winds dropping to 70 kts while ridging southeast down to 72S and over Antarctic Ice before starting to lifting northeast over the far Southeast Pacific forming a trough being fed by 100 kts winds but the apex of that trough was east of the California swell window at 110W mainly supporting gale development only for Chile. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to continue east and be of no interest to our main forecast area. Back to the west a upper level low pressure system is to start building southeast of New Zealand on Mon (6/18) being fed by 150 kts winds and tracking east into Tues (6/19) perhaps offering some support for gale development, then pulsing again on Wed (6/20). Beyond 72 hours that upper level low is to continue circulating while easing east into early Thurs (6/21) over the deep south Central Pacific offering some support for gale development before fading out later in the day. At that time east of there a solid ridge is to be pushing south into Antarctica eliminating potential for gale development over the Southeast Pacific. By Sat (6/23) both the upper low and the ridge are to be gone with the southern branch of the jet weak and not supportive of gale development. But at least a strong zonal or ridging pattern is not forecast.
On Saturday (6/16) swell from a cutoff gale that developed in the upper reaches of the Central South Pacific with 28 ft seas aimed north (see Central Pacific Cutoff Gale below) was hitting Hawaii and bound for California. Also small swell from a gale previously on the eastern edge of the California swell window was starting to push north (see Southeast Pacific Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
Central Pacific Cutoff Gale
On Sat PM (6/9) a gale developed south of Tahiti producing a small area of south winds at 35-40 kts aimed north with seas building from 26 ft over a tiny area at 36S 152W. On Sun AM (6/10) south fetch was holding at 35-40 kts with seas building to 29 ft at 34.5S 149W aimed due north. In the evening fetch was fading from 35 kts from the south and stationary with seas holding at 28 ft at 32.5S 148.5W aimed north. Fetch faded Mon AM (6/11) from 30 kts from the south and seas fading from 24 ft at 30.5S 147W. This system was gone after that. Given this systems rather north position, and therefore closer proximity to California and Hawaii some decent swell could result for Tahiti, Hawaii and California.
Hawaii: Swell building Sat (6/16) to 2.5 ft @ 14-15 secs early (3.5 ft). Residuals fading on Sun (6/17) from 2.0 ft @ 13-14 secs 2.5-3.0 ft). Dribbles on Mon (6/18) fading from 1.5 ft @ 12-13 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction 178 degrees
South CA: Expect swell arrival late on Sat (6/16) pushing 1.8 ft @ 17-18 secs (3.0 ft). Swell building on Sun (6/17) pushing 2.5 ft @ 16 secs (4.0 ft). Swell continues on Mon (6/18) at 2.6 ft @ 15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Residuals on Tues (6/19) fading from 2.3 ft @ 14 secs (3.0 ft). Dribbles on Wed (6/20) fading from 1.8 ft @ 13 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 205 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival late on Sat (6/16) pushing 1.4 ft @ 17-18 secs (2.5 ft). Swell building on Sun (6/17) pushing 2.0 ft @ 16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell continues on Mon (6/18) at 1.8 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 ft). Residuals on Tues (6/19) fading from 2.0 ft @ 14 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Dribbles on Wed (6/20) fading from 1.8 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 203 degrees
Southeast Pacific Gale
On Thurs PM (6/14) a gale started building in the far Southeast Pacific with 40 kt southwest winds and seas building to 29 ft at 55S 137.5W. On Fri AM (6/15) fetch was fading from 40 kts and on the edge of the CA swell window with seas 29 ft at 50.5S 125W aimed northeast. This system moved east of the CA swell window after that. But a second fetch started developing right behind it on Fri PM (6/15) with 45 kt southwest winds and seas building to 28 ft at 55S 128.5W. On Sat AM (6/16) 50 kt southwest winds were east of the SCal swell window with 35 ft seas at 53S 115.5W, again east of the SCal swell window. Low odds of small sideband swell radiating north towards SCal. This system is to be east of the CA swell window after that but is to continue building targeting mainly Southern Chile.
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (6/22) building to 1.8 ft @ 17-18 secs (3.0 ft) later in the day. Swell is to hold on Sat (6/23) at 2.0 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 189 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 no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
California: A weak local wind pattern is forecast until Fri (6/22) when high pressure at 1024 mbs is to start developing 900 nmiles west of North CA starting to produce a small pressure gradient along North CA resulting in north winds at 25 kts starting to produce minimal north windswell for North and Central CA. The gradient is to build in coverage on Sat (6/23) with 25 kt north winds covering all of North CA nearshore waters and with 20 kt north winds down to Pt Conception. Increasing northwest windswell is expected at exposed breaks.
Hawaii: No windswell is forecast through Thurs (6/21). Then high pressure indicated above is to start producing a thin fetch of east-northeast winds extending from California to Hawaii at 15 kts perhaps starting to result in minimal east short period windswell continuing into Sat (6/23).
Beyond 72 hours starting Tues AM (6/19) a fleeting fetch of 40+ kt south winds is to build just southeast of New Zealand but not get traction on the oceans surface. Finally on Wed AM (6/20) a small but focused fetch of 45 kt south winds is forecast with seas building to 33 ft over a tiny area at 44.5S 154W aimed north. And a secondary fetch of 45 kt southwest winds is to be building just southeast of New Zealand tracking northeast with seas 30 ft over a tiny area at 57S 178E. In the evening the original fetch is to be lifting northeast with winds 40-45 kts from the southwest and seas 35 ft at 42S 148W aimed northeast with the secondary fetch much larger at 35-40 kts aimed north-northeast with seas 32 ft at 54S 172W aimed northeast. On Thurs AM (6/21) the original fetch is to be fading from 40 kts with seas fading from 29 ft at 39S 139W aimed northeast with the larger secondary fetch fading from 35 kts over a broad aimed aimed northeast and seas 31 ft at 53S 162W. In the evening only the secondary fetch is to be left with winds fading in coverage at 35 kts and seas 29-30 ft over a solid area at 54S 156W. This system is to be gone after that. Something to monitor.
More details to follow...
NINO 3.4 Temps Continue Building Positive - Kelvin Wave Eruption Point More Defined
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 two upwelling Kelvin Waves, and was building over equatorial waters in early June, suggesting the demise of La Nina.
LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Summer 2018 - Swell Generation Potential (for California & Hawaii) = 4.0
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)
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Fri (6/15) 5 day average winds were solidly from the east over the bulk of the equatorial Pacific but weak over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral to slightly westerly over the equatorial East Pacific and neutral over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (6/16) Light west anomalies were over the eastern portion of the KWGA from 170W and points east of there and with strong west anomalies east of the KWGA filling the entire equatorial East Pacific. Weak east anomalies were filling the bulk of the KWGA. The forecast suggests east anomalies are to hold weakly over the west KWGA (west of 170W) and holding through the end of the forecast period 6/23 while generally west anomalies hold from 170W to Ecuador. In short, a neutral to slightly biased Inactive/Dry MJO signal looks to hold for the next week.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (6/15) A neutral MJO signal was over the KWGA. The statistical model depicts a very weak Inactive/Dry MJO signal is to set up by day 3 and holding weakly if not fading by the end of the model run (day 15). The dynamic model depicts the same thing but with the Inactive Phase possibly building rather than fading at day 15. The models are relatively in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (6/16) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was exceedingly weak over Africa and is to hold there for the next 15 days, perhaps building in strength some but making no eastward progress. The GEFS model depicts the same thing but with the MJO easing east to the West Indian Ocean.
40 day Upper Level Model: (6/16) This model depicts a neutral MJO signal over the equatorial Pacific. An exceedingly weak version of the Inactive Phase is to develop over the West Pacific on 6/26 easing slow east to Central America at the end of the model run on 7/26. Maybe a very weak Active Phase is to develop in the West Pacific 7/11 easing slowly east.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (6/15) East anomalies are to build some in the West KWGA on 6/17 holding through 6/22 then retrograding west and out of the KWGA on 6/25. At the same time solid west anomalies are to hold from 165W and points east of there to Ecuador. By July 1 no east anomalies are forecast in the KWGA with west anomalies from 150E and point east of there and those west anomalies building centered on the dateline. It almost looks like a eastward displaced El Nino is to take root centered on the dateline.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (6/16) This model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was just past it's peak over the KWGA with neutral anomalies in control of the KWGA. The Active Phase of the MJO is to be fading and gone over the KWGA 6/21 but with weak west anomalies forecast in the KWGA from 165E and points east of there. The Inactive Phase is to take control 6/24-7/10 but with west anomalies from 165E and point east of there. A neutral pattern to continue from 7/11-7/25 but with west anomalies holding in the east KWGA. The Active Phase is to follow 7/28 through 9/13 with west anomalies building solid in the KWGA and strong 8/5-8/27 indicative of a WWB. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias is fully in control of the KWGA reaching east to 145W and forecast to hold if not ease east some for the foreseeable future and building from 2 contour lines to 3 starting 7/13. This is good news for the coming Fall-Winter season. The high pressure bias is limited to an area south of California and shrinking at the end of the model run and moving inland over California. The La Nina bias is gone. The expectation is that the atmosphere and ocean will begin to be coupled 3 months after the start of the transition or on 8/8 (low pressure bias officially filled the KWGA starting on 5/8) in a more favorable configuration to support storm production in the Pacific.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (6/16) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs reaching east to 165E. The 28 deg isotherm line is easing east some again today after previously moving from the dateline last winter to 165W on 5/15 then to 160W on 5/22 and 159W on 5/29. Today it is at 157W from the surface to 75 meters deep. The 24 deg isotherm was stable at 115 meters deep at 140W and 75 meters deep at 120W rising to 40 meters into Ecuador. Anomaly wise in the East Pacific, warm waters from a Kelvin Wave are building into the East Pacific at depth. Warm anomalies at depth were moving east from 140W and points east of there at +3.0 degs down 100 meters pushing and reaching east to the Galapagos. These waters are starting to breach the surface from 125W and points east of there. It appears the Kelvin Wave is gaining eastward momentum an starting to erupt at the oceans surface. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 6/12 depicts a large Kelvin Wave starting at 150W at +3.5 degs extending unbroken to the east to Ecuador. The warm pool was breaching the surface between 95W-140W. No residual cool water from La Nina are indicated. And more warm water was pushing east from 140E reaching over the dateline and joining the existing Kelvin Wave. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (6/12) Positive anomalies were solid from the West Equatorial Pacific at +5 cms reaching from New Guinea to the Galapagos with no breaks and then reaching east to Ecuador. There were pockets of +5-10 cms anomalies. No negative anomalies were indicated except just off the coast of Peru. The La Nina cool pool is 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: (6/15) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate very weak localized cool anomalies along the immediate coast of Peru and very shallow. But of more significance was a building area of warm water erupting on the oceans surface on the equator from the Galapagos west to 160W and also over a broad but weak pocket south of the equator between 90W to 115W. A broad area of warming was also filling the area south of Mexico and out to the dateline. The remnants of the La Nina cool pool were south of the equator between 115W-170W and south of 4S and all but gone.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (6/15): A pocket of warming was over the Galapagos and also off Ecuador. A weak warming trend was also indicated from 118W to the dateline. Generic weak spotty cooling was off the immediate Peru coast.
Hi-res Overview: (6/14) A weak incoherent pocket of cool water was indicated along the immediate coast of Peru. Otherwise warm water was building on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos and west from there to the dateline from 4S up to 20N and building in coherence. The only cool water was in the fading remnant pocket from La Nina limited to an area south of the equator between 115W-165W and south of 4S and steadily loosing density and drifting west.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (6/16) Today's temps were falling some at -1.000, down from -0.428 on 6/7, up from -0.819 on 5/22, and that down from a recent peak rising to +0.459 on 5/13. This is part of a larger rising trend that started 4/10 indicative of the collapse of La Nina. Overall temps had been steadily marching upwards since late December.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (6/16) Today temps were still rising sharply to +0.344, up from -0.151 on 6/7. This is the first positive reading in over a year. Previously temps were -0.266 on 6/2, -0.427 on 5/12 after having reached up to -0.254 degs on 5/1. Temps have been steadily rising since 3/27 when they were down at -1.2 degs.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (6/16) 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 -0.30 in early April and neutral in June. The forecast calls for a steady increase from here forward with temp pushing up to +0.45 degs on July 1 and rising in early Oct to +0.90 degs and +1.10 degs in Nov and holding there into the Jan 2019 timeframe. This suggests La Nina is gone and that perhaps El Nino is to build through the Summer and Fall of 2018. Most other models are also suggesting a possible turn to minimal weak El Nino conditions by late Fall.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-May Plume depicts temps at 0.0 degs as of 5/18 and are to slowly rise from here forward, to +0.4 in August and +0.7 in November and +0.8 in December hold there. 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 (negative is good, positive bad) (6/16): The daily index was rising some today at -10.12. The 30 day average was falling today at +0.67 suggesting the Inactive Phase of the MJO was fading. The 90 day average was falling some at +2.14 suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was holding in the atmosphere or biased weakly towards La Nina but even that bias was fading. This is expected for a month or two more.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (6/16) Today the index was rising some at -0.69 after dropping to -1.04 on 6/5, down from -0.70 on 5/20 and -0.60 on 5/17, and the high of -0.36 on Fri (5/11) and -0.38 on Thurs (5/10), down from -0.35 on 4/26, but up from -1.02 on 4/5 and up from -1.13 on 3/27. The trend is upward but still less than the -0.33 reading in late Feb. That was was up from -1.11 on 1/29. The trend suggests La Nina is not gone, but fading steadily. 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, April = -0.85, May =-0.61. 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): 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, Mar = -0.05. 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