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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, October 5, 2017 4:44 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
4.5 - California & 2.4 - Hawaii
Using the 'Summer' 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 10/2 thru Sun 10/8

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   

S. Hemi Swell #2S Starting to Hit CA
Gulf Swell Targets CA Too


On Thursday, October 5, 2017 :

  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 5.0 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 3.6 ft @ 9.8 secs from 339 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.3 ft @ 5.9 secs with windswell 1.7 ft @ 6.2 secs from 265 degrees. Wind at the buoy was east at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 68.9 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 2.0 ft @ 6.3 secs from 280 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 0.6 ft @ 21.5 secs from 231 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 0.9 ft @ 21.5 secs from 222 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.0 ft @ 21.8 secs from 202 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 2.7 ft @ 7.7 secs with local north windswell 1.7 @ 8.8 secs from 277 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest 8-10 kts. Water temp 56.5 degs.

    46006, 46059, 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 (10/5) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing waves at exposed breaks at waist high or so and clean but weak. Protected breaks were near flat and clean. At Santa Cruz there was no rideable surf with waves flat and conditions clean. Not a breath of wind. In Southern California up north windswell was producing set waves were waist high and clean and soft with light northeast winds early. In North Orange Co set waves were flat thigh high or so and clean. In South Orange Co north windswell was occasionally producing waist high plus sets with textured conditions from northerly wind. In San Diego surf was thigh high on the sets and clean and weak. Hawaii's North Shore was starting to get north swell from the Gulf at head high and clean but with much sideshore texture from strong trades. The South Shore was maybe waist high and clean with trades strong with east whitecaps outside the break. The East Shore was getting east windswell at chest to shoulder high and chopped east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (10/5) southern hemi swell was in the water pushing northeast from a gale that developed southeast of New Zealand on Wed (9/27) producing 39 ft seas then it started lifting northeast and north into Fri (9/29) with seas slowly fading to 31 ft targeting from California southward. Late season southern hemi swell from this system is starting to tickle California buoys. In the northern hemisphere swell from another gale that developed in the Northwestern Gulf Mon-Tues (10/3) tracking southeast generating a small area of up to 30 ft seas was starting to hit Hawaii and bound for CA. A gale is forecast for the Northern Gulf on Fri-Sat (10/7) producing 25 ft seas aimed southeast. No real locally generated north windswell is occurring for North and Central CA but is forecast to be rebuilding through the weekend, then fading early Tues (10/10). For Hawaii east windswell is to continue into Sat (10/7) then fade. Down south a small gale produced up to 39 ft seas east of New Zealand Tues (10/3). A broader area of 29-30 ft seas is to push northeast through the Central South Pacific on Mon-Tues (10/10). But the North Pacific jet is choked off from it's main energy source by La Nina.


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

North Pacific

On Thursday AM (10/5) the jetstream was ridging steadily northeast off of Northern Japan pushing up into the East Bering Sea north of the Aleutians and strong at 190 kts then falling hard south over the Eastern Gulf forming a pinched steep almost cutoff trough there before ridging hard north again and pushing up into Northern Canada. There was limited support for gale development in this trough. Over the next 72 hours
the Gulf trough is to fall south and get totally cut off from the main flow into Saturday (10/7) offering little to no support for gale development. The main flow is to be pushing hard though the Northern Gulf at 150 kts Fri-Sat (10/7) but not really forming a trough offering only limited support for gale development. Back to the west the jet is to be weakly pushing off the Kuril Islands with that pattern tracking east into Sun (10/8) and not consolidating until it reaches the Northern Gulf offering no support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours the jet is to be very weak and ridging north up even north of the Bering Sea by Wed (10/11) offering no support for gale development. A more focused flow is to be pushing off the Southern Kuril Islands at maybe 140 kts tracking east to the dateline, then pushing hard north and flowing up into the previously mentioned ridge. No troughs are forecast with no support for gale development indicated. La Nina is manifest in the jet.

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (10/5) no groundswell was hitting California. But northerly swell from a gale that traversed the Gulf of Alaska was hitting Hawaii and bound for California (See Gulf Gale below). No real locally generated north windswell was present in North and Central California. But east windswell was building along exposed east facing shores in Hawaii.

Over the next 72 hours starting Friday AM (10/6) a fetch of west winds at 35-40 kts is forecast moving from the East Bering Sea into the extreme north Gulf of Alaska generating 22 ft seas up at 56N 150W and mostly shadowed for North CA south of Pt Reyes. In the evening winds to turn northwest still at 35-40 kts generating seas of 25 ft at 55.5N 145W and still mostly shadowed. Fetch is to fade Sat AM (10/7) from 30+ kts while tracking east and seas 24 ft at 54N 138W and still shadowed. Possible swell for the Pacific Northwest down into North CA north of Pt Reyes with sideband dribbles south of there.


Gulf Gale
Another small gale developed in the Northwestern Gulf of Alaska on Mon AM (10/2) with 40-45 kts northwest winds over a tiny area falling southeast with seas building from 23 ft at 48N 173W. In the evening 45+ kt northwest fetch continued falling southeast over a tiny area generating 30 ft seas over a tiny area at 47N 166W. The gale quickly faded Tues AM (10/3) with winds dropping from 35 kts and seas 27 ft at 45N 161W. Fetch fading in the evening from 30 kts and tracking east with seas fading from 21 ft at 45N 154W. Sideband swell possible for Hawaii and small more direct swell possible for California. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Thurs AM (10/5) at 2.9 ft @ 15 secs early and holding (4.4 ft). Swell fading Fri AM (10/6) from 2.8 ft @ 11-12 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 340 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri AM (10/6) building quickly to 4.3 ft @ 15 secs (6.5 ft). Swell fading over night and down to 3.5 ft @ 12-13 secs (4.0-4.5 ft) early Sat AM (10/7) and fading from there. Swell Direction: 297-300 degrees


For windswell relative to California: A light pressure and wind pattern is to hold through Fri (10/6) offering no windswell generation potential. But starting Sat (10/7) high pressure at 1034 mbs in the Gulf is to start ridging east into Oregon forming a pressure gradient and north winds at 25 kts over North CA pushing 30 kts later resulting in building local windswell. By Sun (10/8) north winds are to be blowing at 35 kts off North CA and up to 40 kts later and 20 kts nearshore down to Morro Bay resulting in larger north windswell down to Pt Conception.

For windswell relative to Hawaii: Trades were building Thurs (10/5) as high pressure builds 1,200 nmiles north of the Islands at 1038 mbs with east winds 15 kt from Hawaii 1,000 nmiles eastward with pockets of east winds to 20 kts near Hawaii offering good potential for east windswell development along exposed east shores of the Hawaiian Islands. A cutoff low is to develop 1200 nmiles northeast of the Islands on Fri (10/6) too forming a gradient with the high still at 1038 mbs 1,200 nmiles north of the Islands producing 30-35 kt northeast winds briefly and 17-18 ft seas at 35N 149W aimed well at Hawaii and moving west. More of the same is forecast early Sat (10/7) with the low tracking north of Hawaii later with seas 17 ft seas at 35N 153W then fading later. More solid windswell generation possible. By Sun (10/8) a weak pressure and wind pattern is forecast with windswell from previous fetch still arriving.


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


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest were occurring and none were forecast.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday (10/5) a light pressure and wind pattern was in control and is to hold through Friday (10/6). North winds building Sat (10/7) at 25 kts over North CA early and 15 kts down to Pt Conception pushing 30 kts up north later and 20 kts to Pt Conception. Sunday (10/8) north winds to be strong over North CA at 35-40 kts but 20-25 kts down to Pt Conception. Monday north winds to be fading from 30 kts early over North CA down to 25 kts later afternoon but with a well defined eddy flow in control from Pt Arena southward. Tuesday (10/10) light winds are forecast for all California waters. More of the same on Wed (10/11) but north winds 25 kts for Cape Mendocino, and fading there from 25 kts early down to 15-20 kts late.

South Pacific

Surface Analysis  
On Thursday (10/5) swell originating in the South Pacific was radiating northeast and starting to be registered at buoys along California (see South Pacific Gale below). Tiny sideband swell from another gale that developed off New Zealand on Tues (10/3) was radiating northeast.

Over the next 72 hours an slightly improving picture is forecast.

Another small gale is to develop Wed PM (10/4) in the deep Central Pacific with 45 kts southwest winds tracking east and 34 ft seas over a tiny area at 57S 161W. Thurs AM (10/5) 45 kt southwest fetch is to continue tracking east with 36 ft seas over a tiny area at 57S 150W. In the evening 45 kt west fetch is to continue with 34 ft seas at 56S 140W aimed east. More of the same is forecast through Fri PM (10/6) with the gale tracing east. Low odds of any swell resulting for California given the gales small size and due east trajectory. No odds for Hawaii.


South Pacific Gale (Swell #2S)
On Wed AM (9/27) a gale started building southeast of New Zealand with winds 40-45 kts from the southwest getting traction on the oceans surface with seas building from 32 ft at 60S 179W and north of the Ross Ice Shelf. In the evening evening the gale built while tracking east with a solid fetch of 45 kt southwest winds and seas up to 38 ft at 59.5S 165W aimed at the US West Coast well with sideband energy to Hawaii. Fetch started lifting north Thurs AM (9/28) with 40-45 kt south to southwest winds building in coverage with 38 ft seas over a solid area at 54S 150.5W and lifting northeast. In the evening a solid fetch of south winds is to be building at 40 kts over a 1200 nmiles fetch area with 36 ft seas at 49S 142.5W aimed at the US West Coast down into Peru. Fetch faded while lifting north Fri AM (9/29) at 40 kts with 34 ft seas at 45S 136W. Fetch was fading in the evening from 35 kts from the south and still lifting north with seas fading from 31 ft at 40S 135W. Sat AM (9/30) residual 30 kt south fetch was dissipating with seas fading from 27 ft way up at 34S 134W. Solid southerly swell is possible from the US West Coast down into Mexico if all goes as forecast. Limited sideband swell possible for Hawaii.

South California: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (10/5) early with period 21 secs and rideable and building through the day pushing 3.0 ft @ 20 secs later (6.0 ft with sets to 7.5 ft). Swell continuing upward Fri (10/6) from 3.8 ft @ 18 secs (6.8 ft with sets to 8.5 ft) pushing 4.3 ft @ 17 secs later (7.2 ft with sets to 9.1 ft). Swell continues Sat (10/7) at 4.3 ft @ 16 secs (6.9 ft with sets to 8.7 ft), fading slightly later. Swell heading down on Sunday from 3.8 ft @ 15 secs (5.5 ft with sets to 7.0 ft). Residual swell on Mon (10/9) fading from 3.1 ft @ 14 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Dribbles fading Tues (10/10) from 2.3 ft @ 13 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 192-199 degrees

North California: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (10/5) early with period 22 secs and barely rideable and building through the day pushing 2.3 ft @ 21 secs later (4.8 ft with sets to 6.0 ft). Swell continuing upward Fri (10/6) from 3.3 ft @ 19 secs (6.2 ft with sets to 7.8 ft) pushing 3.6 ft @ 18 secs later (6.5 ft with sets to 8.1 ft). Swell continues Sat (10/7) at 3.9 ft @ 16-17 secs (6.6 ft with sets to 8.0 ft). Swell heading down on Sunday but still solid early at 3.3 ft @ 15-16 secs (5.0 ft with sets to 6.5 ft). Swell fading Mon (10/9) 2.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Residuals on Tues (10/10) 2.1 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 190-198 degrees


Small New Zealand Gale
A small gale developed under New Zealand on Mon PM (10/2) with 45 kt west winds and seas 32 ft over a tiny area at 53S 175E tracking east. On Tues AM (10/3) southwest winds built to 50-55 kt with 38 ft seas over a small area at 49S 170W. The storm rapidly faded in the evening with southwest winds dropping from 40 kts and seas 34 ft at 47S 161W. Wed AM (10/4) winds were fading from 35 kts from the southwest and seas 29 ft at 47S 152W. This system dissipated after that. Small southerly swell to result.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Tues AM (10/10) pushing 1.2 ft @ 15-16 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell fading Wed AM (10/11) from 1.1 ft @ 14 secs (1.5 ft). Swell Direction: 195 degrees

California: Expect swell arrival on Fri (10/13).

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 groundswell producing weather system are forecast over the North Pacific.

On Sun AM (10/8) a fetch of 40 kt west winds is forecast over the North Gulf associated with low pressure over Alaska generating 27 ft seas over a tiny area at 55N 156W. That fetch is to move east in the evening at 35 kts with seas 27 ft at 57N 148W. Fetch is to fade from 30-35 kts Mon AM (10/9) with seas 23 ft at 57N 144W. Seas and fetch fading from there. Something to monitor.

For California the pre-existing gradient is to hold on Mon (10/9) with north winds fading from 25+ kts early then starting to fade some later with windswell still solid. An eddy flow is to be in control from Pt Arena southward. Tues (10/10) the gradient is to be fading with north winds 25 kts limited mainly to south Oregon waters and windswell down some. Wednesday the gradient is to hold with north winds 25 kts over Cape Mendocino with windswell bumping up slightly, then fading with north winds barely 20 kts Thurs AM 912/12) and windswell fading.

For Hawaii windswell previously generated still arriving though maybe early Mon (10/9). After that no windswell production is forecast until maybe Wed (10/11) when east trades are to rebuild to 15 kts east of the Islands building over the Islands Thurs (10/12) with windswell increasing some.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours there's suggestions of a broad gale developing in the Central South Pacific Sun PM (10/9) with 40 kt southwest winds aimed well north and seas building from 28 ft at 55S 158W. On Mon AM (10/10) 35-45 kt south winds are to be over a solid area aimed north with 30 ft seas at 50S 151W. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 30-35 kts over a broad area aimed north with 29 ft seas at 48S 141W. Fetch fading from 30 kts from the south early Tuesday with seas fading from 26 ft at 47S 138W. Something to monitor.

More details to follow...


Sea Surface Temperatures Warming Some in Nino3.4

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 and is holding.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Wed (10/4) the 5 day average indicated east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific and Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were weak west over the East Pacific and modest east over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (10/5) modest east anomalies were modeled over the core of the KWGA. East anomalies are to hold in pockets through 10/12 through the end of the model run. This is not the Inactive Phase of the MJO, but is a full pulse of La Nina completely squashing the MJO. This is not conducive to storm development in the greater Pacific Basin.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: As of 10/1 a neutral MJO pattern was in control of the KWGA. The statistical model depicts a dead neutral pattern holding for the next 2 weeks. The dynamic model depicts the same thing.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (10/2) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO weak and incoherent but is to push a bit over the Maritime Continent 6 days out. The GEFS model suggests it staying weak and incoherent.
40 day Upper Level Model: (10/5) This model depicts a moderate Inactive/Dry Phase over the Central Equatorial Pacific. It is forecast tracking east moving into Central America Oct 23. A weak Active/Wet pattern is to follow in the West Pacific 10/15 tracking east in the Central America 11/4. A moderate Inactive Phase is to follow in the West on 11/4 tracking east through the end of the model run on 11/14. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (10/5) This model is trying to spin up after crashing on 9/18. It is a mess and unbelievable. The low pass filter indicates a very weak El Nino signal is over the KWGA and is to hold till 10/28, then fade. An El Nino signal is to again develop over the KWGA on 11/22 drifting east and solidifying it's grip through the end of the model run on 1/2/18. Best guess is a very weak directionless and low energy weather pattern biased towards La Nina redeveloping in Fall of 2017 holding into December, then vaporizing in March with a neutral ENSO signal developing. It will take about 5+ years for the Pacific to recharge from the 2014-16 El Nino before another El Nino develops.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (10/5) A pattern change set up in August, with warm water retreating to the west and cooler water building in the east. Today in the far West Pacific water temps have fallen to 29 degs centered at 160E and shrinking in coverage. The 28 deg isotherm line is barely hanging on at 170W. The 24 deg isotherm is weak at 120W today but shallow at 60 meters deep at 140W. Anomaly wise a clear change is present in the East Pacific with warm water gone and instead neutral to weakly negative +0.0 to -1.0 degs at the surface and up to -3.0 degs at depth at 150W indicative of La Nina. Warm anomalies are isolated to the West Pacific at 0.0-+1.0 degrees down to 100 meters deep with the dividing line between cool and warm moving east at 110W. Some sort of surface warming is occurring. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 9/25 depicts the same thing, but with more cool water east and less warm water in the west. It looks like the cool water pocket at depth in the East Pacific is erupting to the surface near the Galapagos while east winds push all warm surface waters of the equatorial Pacific to the West Pacific. The GODAS image appears to be about 1 week behind the TAO data.
Sea Level Anomalies: (9/25) Negative anomalies are in control at -5 cms from 170E to Ecuador with a large pocket of -10 cm anomalies present between 90W-160W and a cooler pocket at -10 cm at 135W suggesting a building cool pool at depth. This is not good.

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: (10/4) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a clear cool pattern has developed. Upwelling is modest nearshore along Peru and Ecuador and tracking northwest continuing in density but modest over the Galapagos and flowing steadily west from there on the equator out to 105W. But west of there the cool pool has lost significant ground, but is still present to 130W. The cool pool looks much weaker than day and weeks past, likely die to decreases in trades. Perhaps the La Nina pulse is pausing.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (10/4): A weakly warming temperature trend is along Peru. but significant warming in occurring from Ecuador over the Galapagos out to 110W, then moderating and mixed out to 160W.
Hi-res Overview: (10/4) A clear La Nina cool stream is present starting off Southern Chile pushing north up Peru and building some, then turning northwest off Ecuador while tracking west from the Galapagos to 110W but weaker than it was a week ago, then moderating and continuing to the dateline and beyond. This pattern outlines the South Pacific high pressure system well which is assumed to be stronger than normal. It is assumed cool water at depth is erupting to the surface with the breach point near the Galapagos. There is no sign of warm anomalies in the Nino 1.2 or Nino3.4 regions. Otherwise waters of all oceans of the planet are warmer than normal other than the aforementioned stream. We now assert that climatology needs to be updated to reflect the new reality of warming ocean temperatures over the entire planet.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (10/5) Today's temps were steady at -0.506, but still colder since Sept 12, when temps really started dipping.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (10/5) temps continue slowly rising at -0.056, having bottomed out on 9/12 at -0.898. The long arc suggests a clear downward trend though things have warmed steadily over the past 3 weeks.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (10/4) The forecast has temps steady from -0.6 degs early Sept to -0.5 in early Oct and down from there to -1.5 in early Dec. Then the trend is to turn upwards rebounding to -0.4 in April and neutral in June 2018. This suggests a legit La Nina now expected for the Winter of 2017-2018. The CFS SST images (9/26) continues to suggest a moderate La Nina cool pattern building on the equator off the Galapagos in Oct and building steadily into Feb 2018. A full on La Nina is setting up.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Sept Plume updated (9/19) depicts temps forecast to fade -0.4 degs in Sept, and fading to -0.6 degs in Nov, slowly rising from there turning neutral in April 2018. See chart here - link.  The NMME consensus for Sept average indicates temps -0.75 degrees below normal Nov-Jan 2018 then rebounding to normal in April. It sure looks like La Nina is on the way. The CFSv2 is the outlier, colder than all other models. Still, given all the oceanic signals, we a tending to side with it more than the other models.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (10/5): The daily index was positive again at 13.02. The 30 day average was steady at 8.04. The 90 day average was rising at +6.52. This suggests a turn towards La Nina.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (10/5) The index was falling again at -1.59 (up from -2.20 on 6/28/17 but still suggesting a turn towards La Nina). Last years La Nina reached -1.94 on 11/2/16. We're gone deeper than that already. So the index is about as negative as it was at the peak of last years (2016) La Nina. At this time it looks like La Nina is returning for a double dip/2 year La Nina (not unusual). This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina events.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO continues positive, though much weaker lately (as expected with La Nina setting in).
Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.10, Feb = +0.04, March = +0.12, April=+0.52, May=+0.30, June=+0.19, July= -0.50, Aug= -0.68. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO discounting the recent La Nina dip. No consistently 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. 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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