Thursday, October 17, 2019
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai) Seas were 3.2 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 1.6 ft @ 12.8 secs from 197 degrees.
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 5.6 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 3.9 ft @ 8.0 secs from 52 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.9 ft @ 6.2 secs with swell 3.1 ft @ 6.2 secs from 271 degrees and 1.9 ft @ 14.5 secs from 196 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north at 10-12 kts. Water temperature 66.2 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 4.5 ft @ 15.7 secs from 290 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.5 ft @ 15.3 secs from 200 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.9 ft @ 13.7 secs from 206 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.9 ft @ 14.9 secs from 196 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 7.3 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 5.7 ft @ 13.2 secs from 294 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 12-14 kts. Water temp 53.4 degs (013) and 57.9 degs (042).
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 Thursday (10/17) in North and Central CA the first of 3 Gulf swells was hitting with waves 2-3 ft overhead but lightly chopped and raw and ragged and mushed and not really rideable. Protected breaks were head high and warbled and raw and mostly closed out. At Santa Cruz surf was head high and lined up but warbled and a bit funky but with occasional good sets. In Southern California/Ventura surf was near flat with occasional waves in the thigh high range and clean but with wind bump running through it. In North Orange Co waves were up to head high and lined up but pretty warbled from still south wind making it not so rideable. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks had set waves at head high and pretty clean and lined up and peeling making for a decently rideable set up. North San Diego had surf at waist to maybe chest high on the sets and clean and and lined up when it came. Hawaii's North Shore was getting chest high sets and clean and lined up and rideable at top spots. The South Shore was small with sets to maybe waist high and clean and soft. The East Shore was getting some east windswell with waves waist high and chopped early from moderate east trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Thursday (10/17) in California southern hemi swell was hitting from a gale that developed under New Zealand and lifted northeast Sat-Sun (10/6) with up to 37 ft seas over a small area. And another southern hemi swell is radiating northeast from a gale that developed in the Central South Pacific on Fri-Sat (10/12) with up to 42 ft seas aimed east-northeast. Also in California swell was hitting the northerly part of the state from a primer gale that developed in the Northern Gulf on Mon-Tues (10/15) producing up to 28 ft seas aimed east at the US West Coast. A small portion of sideband energy from this system was also hitting Hawaii's North Shore. A far larger gale developed in the Northwestern Gulf falling southeast Tues-Wed (10/16) with up to 34 ft seas again pushing towards primarily the US West Coast. And possibly a third to develop on Thurs (10/17) just off the Pacific Northwest with 29 ft seas forecast. So a run of raw north angled swell is likely for the US West Coast. But beyond no gale production is forecast north or south.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Thursday (10/17) the jetstream was consolidated pushing firmly off North Japan with winds 130 kts and ridging gently northeast pushing just south of the Central Aleutians then building to 150 kts while falling southeast and tracking over the Central Gulf forming a gentle trough pushing into the Pacific Northwest. There was additional support for gale development in the trough over the Northern Gulf. Over the next 72 hours some form of a weak trough are to persist over the Northern Gulf through Fri (10/18) being fed by 120-140 kts winds offering some support for gale development. But then a stronger ridge is to start forming over the Gulf on Saturday (10/19) eliminating support for gale development there. At the same time a ridge is to be building off Japan with a weak pinched trough setting up over the dateline being fed by 130 kts winds offering some support for gale development there. That trough is to push east and wash out by Tues (10/22) over the Northwestern Gulf no longer offering anything. But at that time another very weak trough is to again set up over the dateline pushing east to the Western Gulf on Thurs (10/24) being fed by up to 140 kt winds in one tiny sliver offering weak support for gale development. And at that time east and west of there a weak ridge is to be off Japan and another stronger ridge over the Eastern Gulf of Alaska locking those areas down. Overall the transition to Fall is finally happening but being hampered my an Inactive MJO.
On Thursday (10/17) the first of 3 swells from a primer gale previously in the Gulf of Alaska was hitting the US West Coast (see Gulf Primer Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours swell is expected to arrive from a stronger gale previously in the Gulf (see Gulf Gale below). And yet a third gale is developing in the Eastern Gulf (see Final Pulse below).
Gulf Primer Gale
On Mon AM (12/14) a primer gale started building in the Northern Gulf producing a small area of 40 kt northwest winds and seas building from 23 ft at 49.5N 157W aimed southeast. The gale is to fall southeast in the evening and fade some with 35 kt northwest winds and seas 28 ft at 47N 150W targeting the US West Coast. The gale is to fade on Tues AM (10/15) with 30 kt northwest winds and seas fading from 23-24 ft at 48N 143W targeting the US West Coast. This system is to start getting absorbed by a much larger gale building behind it.
North CA: Swell arrival is expected Thurs (10/17) near 1 AM peaking near 4 AM with swell 7.1-7.4 ft @ 15 secs (10.5-11.0 ft) but shadowed in the SF Bay Area. Period down to 13 secs mid-afternoon. Swell Direction: 304 degrees
The remnants of what was Super Typhoon Hagibis redeveloped while turning extratropical on Sun AM (10/13) off North Japan with winds 40-45 kts tracking northeast and seas fading from 33 ft over a small area at 40N 154E. In the evening ET Hagibis was racing northeast now off Southern Kamchatka with winds 35-40 kts from the northwest aimed well at Hawaii with seas fading from 25 ft at 43.5N 159E aimed east-northeast. On Mon AM (10/14) Hagibis is to tap jetstream energy and rapidly build with 50 kt northwest winds but almost entirely encased in the Central Bering Sea over the dateline. Seas 26 ft at 50.5N 179E aimed northeast and targeting only the Aleutians. In the evening Hagibis remained in the Eastern Bering Sea with winds 55 kts offering nothing. On Tues AM (10/15) energy from Hagibis was starting to build into the Northern Gulf producing a large area of northwest winds at 35+ kts growing in coverage and seas building from 26 ft over a small area just extending southeast from the Eastern Aleutians at 51N 168W aimed southeast. In the evening a broad area of 40 kt northwest winds were nearly filling the Gulf with 29 ft seas building over a solid area aimed southeast at 50N 152W. On Wed AM (10/16) fetch was holding at 40-45 kt northeast winds and seas 33 ft at 50N 147W aimed southeast. The gale is to be fading in the evening with northwest winds 35-40 kts just off British Columbia with 32 ft seas at 47.5N 137.5W aimed east-southeast. On Thurs AM (10/17) this system was moving into the coat of Vancouver Island.
North CA: Swell arrival expected on Fri (10/18) at 1 AM with period 18 secs and size building as period turns to 16 secs at 5 AM with swell 8.6 ft @ 16 secs (13.5 ft and shadowed in the SF Bay Area). Swell fading some through the afternoon but still in the 8 ft @ 15 secs range (12 ft). Swell Direction: 310-317 degrees
On Thurs AM (10/17) one more pulse of wind energy was pushing through the Eastern Gulf at 40 kts from the northwest and seas building to 27 ft off Vancouver Island at 50N 141W (319 degs NCal). In the evening 30-35 kt west winds are to be pushing east through the Eastern Gulf with 29 ft seas at 50N 132W aimed east and east of the NCal swell window and 24 ft seas back at 50N 152W (319 degs NCal) with the core of the gale pushing into North Vancouver Island.
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (10/19) at 1 AM with period 16 secs and size building, peaking just before sunrise as period hits 15 secs with pure swell 7 ft @ 15 secs (10.5 ft but shadowed in the SF Bay Area). Size hold through the day. residuals fading on Sun (10/20) from 5.5 ft @ 13-14 secs (7.5 ft). Swell Direction: 319 degrees
On Thursday (10/17) northwest wind at 15 kts are forecast off for California not producing any windswell initially but building to 30 kts over Pt Conception later offering only windswell production potential there. For Hawaii east winds are to be building in pockets at 15 kts up to 900 nmiles east of the Islands not offering windswell just yet. On Fri (10/18) high pressure is to build in the Southern Gulf 900 nmiles north of Hawaii producing north winds for CA at 20-25 kts mainly for the Pt Conception area producing raw local windswell there but light winds for North CA offering nothing. For Hawaii a building density of east winds at 15 kts are to continue developing up to 900 nmiles east of Hawaii starting to produce rideable windswell. On Sat (10/19) north winds are to be 20-25 kts for mainly the Pt Conception area producing windswell there with 15 kt north winds up to Pt Reyes early but fading late AM offering nothing. East winds are to build in coverage and density at 15+ kts up to 1500 nmiles east of the Islands offering improved potential for windswell production. On Sun (10/20) for California north winds are to be 20-25 kts for all of Central CA and 15 kts up to Pt Arena offering windswell production mainly for Southern Central CA. For Hawaii east fetch is to hold at 15 kts up to 1500 nmiles east of the Islands producing windswell impacting the Hawaiian Islands.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical weather system of inters are occurring or forecast.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday (10/17) north winds are to be building over North and Central CA from 10-15 kts early pushing 30 kts over Pt Conception later and 15 kts up at Cape Mendocino. Light rain for Cape Mendocino through the day. Friday (10/18) north winds to be 20-25 kts from the south end of Monterey Bay to Pt Conception and 10 kts north of there early, building to 15 kts later. Saturday (10/19) north winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for Central CA mainly from the south end of Monterey Bay to Pt Conception and 25 kts for Pt Conception. Light rain for Cape Mendocino south to Pt Arena early. Sunday (10/20) high pressure and north winds to be building at 15-20 kts for North CA and 20-25 kts for Central CA but light for Cape Mendocino. Mon (10/21) north winds are forecast at 20 kts for North and Central CA early and mainly off the coast from Central CA and fading there to 10 kts later but still 20+ kts for Cape Mendocino later. Tues (10/22) north winds are forecast at 15-20 kts for Cape Mendocino but 10 kts south of there. Wednesday (10/23) north winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for North CA and building some later but 10 kts or less for Central CA. Thurs (10/24) north winds are forecast at 25+ kts for Cape Mendocino but calm south of Pt Arena to Pt Conception. No precipitation forecast other than what is noted above.
Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts).
Swell from a gale previously under New Zealand is hitting California (See Another Small New Zealand Gale below) and mixed with small swell from another gale (see Cutoff Tahitian Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours swell from another gale that developed over the South Central Pacific is to start hitting CA (see South Central Pacific Gale below).
Another Small New Zealand Gale
On Saturday AM (10/5) a tiny storm developed under New Zealand with 45-50 kt west winds and seas building to 36 ft over a small area at 58S 164.5E from 213 degrees for California and unshadowed by Tahiti. Southwest winds lifted northeast in the evening at 40 kts with seas 33 ft at 54S 178.5E due south of New Zealand. On Sun AM (10/6) southwest winds were fading from 35-40 kts moving southeast of New Zealand with seas 28 ft at 56S 169.5W aimed well northeast. In the evening fetch was gone with seas fading from 25 ft at 55S 160W aimed east. Small swell is possible for Hawaii and California.
Southern California: Swell fading on Thurs (10/17) from 2.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Residuals on Fri (10/18) fading from 1.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 210-213 degrees
North California: Swell fading on Thurs (10/17) from 2.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Residuals on Fri (10/18) fading from 1.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 210-213 degrees
Cutoff Tahitian Gale
A tiny cutoff low formed south of Tahiti on Mon (10/7) building in the evening while producing a small sized area of 28 ft seas aimed north at 48S 149W. Fetch and seas were fading Tues AM (10/8) from 26 ft at 45S 147.5W aimed north. Whatever swell is generated with be buried in the New Zealand Swell above.
South Central Pacific Gale
A gale developed just north of the Ross Ice Shelf on Fri AM (10/11) producing 45 kt west winds and seas building to 29 ft at 60.5S 17W aimed east. In the evening fetch built to 45-50 kts over a solid area streaming north off the Ross Ice Shelf with seas building to 40 ft at 59.5S 162W aimed northeast. On Sat AM (10/12) southwest winds were 45 kts aimed northeast with seas building to 42 ft over a moderate sized area at 58.5S 149W aimed northeast. Fetch to fade at 30-35 kts in the evening aimed northeast with 35 ft seas fading at 58S 141.5W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (10/13) southwest fetch to fade to 30-35 kts with seas fading from 28 ft at 57.5S 135.5W aimed northeast.
South California: Expect swell arrival on Sat (10/19) building to 1.6 ft @ 20-21 secs (3.0 ft). Swell building on Sun (10/20) at 2.0 ft @ 18-19 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell holds on Mon (10/21) at 2.3 ft @ 16-17 secs early (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell fading on Tues (10/22) from 2.4 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 200 degrees
North California: Expect swell arrival on Sat (10/19) building to 1.1 ft @ 21 secs (2.0 ft). Swell building on Sun (10/20) at 1.6 ft @ 18-19 secs later (3.0 ft). Swell builds on Mon (10/21) to 1.7 ft @ 17 secs early (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Tues (10/22) from 1.9 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 200 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 is expected.
Perhaps on Sat PM (10/19) a tiny gale is to track through the Northern Gulf producing 40 kt west winds and 23 ft seas at 52N 150W. By Sun AM (10/20) fetch is to be racing east and fading from 35 kts with 20 ft seas at 51N 142W aimed east. Tiny sideband swell to possibly radiate south towards NCal.
Also on Mon AM 910/21) a small gale is to form off Japan producing 30-35 kts northwest winds and 24 ft seas at 39N 162E targeting Hawaii. Fetch to dissipate in the evening with seas fading from 18 ft at 36N 168E aimed southeast. Low odds of any energy reaching Hawaii.
On Monday (10/21) north winds are to be 20 kts just off all of North and Central CA early becoming more focused on North CA later producing small windswell for all of North and Central CA. Easterly fetch is to be fading in the direct vicinity of Hawaii but still at 15 kts between 300-1200 nmiles east of the Islands offering some windswell production potential. On Tues (10/22) north winds are to be 20 kts solid off of North CA producing windswell pushing south into Central CA. For Hawaii east fetch is to be rebuilding at 15 kts up to 900 nmiles east of the Islands offering increasing support for windswell production along exposed east facing shores. On Wed (10/23) north winds to continue at 20-25 kts over North CA producing more modest north windswell radiating down into exposed breaks in Central CA. For Hawaii east fetch is to be fading from 15 kts in patches up to 900 nmiles east of the Islands with windswell production potential fading out. On Thurs (10/24) north winds are forecast at 25+ kts over Cape Mendocino mainly early producing north windswell radiating south into Central CA. No east fetch of interest and no windswell is expected for Hawaii.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
Strong Warming Building Over East Equatorial Pacific
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: A double dip La Nina was in control through the Winter of 2017-2018. But warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018 associated with two upwelling Kelvin Waves, and continued trying to build over equatorial waters over the Summer and Fall, but not enough to declare El Nino and not coupled with the atmosphere. In January 2019, those warm waters were fading, but then rebuilt late in Feb associated with Kelvin Wave (#3). But as of early June 2019 warm water was fading and by August a tongue of cool water was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos reaching to a point nearly south of Hawaii. El Nino was dead.
LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Fall/Winter 2019/2020 = 5.0/4.0 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)
Rationale: It is assumed the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that a weak borderline El Nino from 2018 is fading out, but not yet completely gone, especially in the atmosphere. Likewise it looks like a La Nina ocean temperature pattern is developing in the equatorial East Pacific, with cooler than normal waters tracking west on the equator. We assumed El Nino like momentum will hold for a while in the atmosphere will take a while to sense that the ocean temperature pattern has changed. But once it does, a turn towards a La Nina like atmospheric pattern will start to develop. that transition is expected in the late Nov-early Dec timeframe. Even so, moderation from the PDO might prevent La Nina from fully developing. Given all that, there is decent probability for a normal start to the Fall surf season (in the Northern Hemisphere) meaning a normal amount of number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in a normal levels of swell, with normal duration and normal period. But by mid-Dec 2019, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start fading and as a result, swell production should fade slightly as well. This pattern is expected to hold through April 2020.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (10/16) 5 day average winds were moderately from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific shrinking in coverage but still present over the Central Pacific then continuing weakly east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific turning weak westerly over the Central Pacific and then neutral over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (10/17) easterly anomalies were building over the KWGA today. The forecast is for east anomalies to build while pushing east at moderate to strong strength and filling the KWGA by 10/19 building east from there the whole way to a point south of California at the end of the model run on 10/24. A strong pulse of the Inactive Phase of the MJO seems likely.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (10/16) A moderate Inactive Phase of the MJO was over the KWGA today. The statistic model indicates the Inactive Phase is to hold through day 5 then back off some at day 10 and holding through day 15. The dynamic model indicates the Inactive Phase building into day 5 at strong status then fading to modest strength at day 15. The 2 models are generally in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (10/17) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was modest over the far East Indian Ocean and is to migrate weakly to the east over the Eastern Indian Ocean 15 days out and exceedingly weak at that time. The GEFS model is now on board suggesting the exact same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (9/30) This model has not updated in 2 weeks. It depicts a weak Inactive MJO was over the West Pacific today and is to slowly fade while tracking east pushing into Central America on 10/15 while a weak Active Phase starts building in the West Pacific on 10/20. It is to ease east pushing into Central America at the end of the model run on 11/9. A weak Inactive Phase is to be moving east into the West Pacific at that time.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (10/16) This model depicts weak west anomalies filling the KWGA today and holding one more day. On 10/18 the Inactive Phase of the MJO takes over the KWGA with east anomalies building and moving east filling the equatorial Pacific by 10/24. At that time west anomalies are to start building over the core of the KWGA but not reaching the dateline 10/24 and holding through the end of the model run at 11/13. Extremely strong east anomalies are filling the Indian Ocean today centered at 80E and are to remain unchanged through the end of the model run.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (10/17) This model depicts a moderate Inactive MJO pattern filling the KWGA today with weak east anomalies building east. The forecast has east anomalies filling the KWGA one day from now with the Inactive MJO signal holding in the KWGA through 11/8 with east anomalies slowly fading and west anomalies rebuilding in the KWGA 11/1. The Active Phase is to begin on 11/9 lasting through 12/21 with solid west anomalies in the heart of the KWGA. A weak Inactive MJO signal is to develop 11/24 followed by a weak Active Phase 12/5 with another Inactive Phase 12/20 being replaced by another weak Active Phase on 1/15 holding through the end of the model run on 1/15. Moderate plus west anomalies are to hold on the dateline starting 11/3 through the end of the model run. Of note: Strong east anomalies are in the core of the Indian Ocean today at 80E and are to hold solid through the end of the model run but showing signs of tracking east to 130E at the end of the model run and almost in the far West KWGA. The low pass filter changed on 7/25 and is holding today with a low pressure bias with 2 contour lines in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to California. A third contour line is to develop on 12/10 while a high pressure bias builds in the Indian Ocean starting 10/22 building to 2 contour lines on 12/25 and holding through the end of the model run. This model indicates that a weak El Nino like pattern is to possibly rebuild. That is not believable given the subsurface and surface water temperature anomaly pattern over the equatorial Pacific. But it is still a bit early to declare that an outright impossibility.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (10/17) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs over a steady area reaching east to 177E while the 29 deg isotherm was easing east to 167W today. The 28 deg isotherm line was easing east to 153W today. The 24 deg isotherm moved east some today from 120W to 110W. Anomaly wise, gentle warm anomalies are filling the entire Pacific with multiple pockets at +2 degs near 150 meters down on the dateline with a +4 deg pocket centered at 125W indicative of Kelvin Wave #5 on the move to the east. Neutral anomalies were all but gone off Ecuador, being replaced by warming water moving in from the west. The collapse of a previous cool pool in the East Pacific is a significant positive development. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 10/10 indicates warm water from Westerly Wind Burst #5 has formed a Kelvin Wave under the Dateline with temps +2-3 degs at 150W with cool anomalies from 110W into Ecuador drawing up from depth to the surface and being forced east by the 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: (10/10) A broad area of positive anomalies were centered on the dateline pushing west from 150E reaching east to near 120W at +5 cms. Negative anomalies were fading but still present between Ecuador to 110W at -5 cms but backtracking compared to days and week previous still forming a cool triangle reaching up into Central America and down to Chile suggestive of La Nina, but no longer with any real momentum pushing west, and if anything retrograding east.
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: (10/16) The latest images ( 1.2 3.4 ) indicate cool anomalies were collapsing and all but gone along Peru and Ecuador up to the Galapagos and making it no further west. Warm water was building solidly in pockets 1 deg north of the equator from the Galapagos west to 120W. Modest warm anomalies were from Central America west to 140W north of the equator and then broader coverage west of there to the dateline. There was a weak hint of warming building south of the equator on the 8S latitude line from just of Peru and point west of there. There has been a steady evaporation of El Nino in the East equatorial Pacific south of the equator this summer but now there no longer is any sign of La Nina trying to develop there. The cooling trend of this summer has completely reversed direction.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (10/16): Today strong warming continues to occur between Ecuador over the Galapagos and out to 130W. West of there a weak warming trend was in effect to the dateline. And now solid warming is building along Peru and Chile. The short term trend is towards strong warming.
Hi-res Overview: (10/16) A La Nina like cool stream has had been pushing west on the equator is quickly dispersing. A broad bubble of cool water along Chile and Peru is fading and being replaced with pockets of light warming. Stronger warming is starting to appear on the equator from Ecuador eastward. Warmer than normal water was north of the equator from the remnants of El Nino, and all gone south of the equator. El Nino appears to be in retreat but La Nina does not appear to be building.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (10/17) Today's temps were rising today at -0.662 after dropping to -1.921 degs on 10/10, that after falling to -1.8 degs on 9/15, then up to +0.030 on 10/2. Temps have been pretty consistently negative since June 1.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (10/15) Temps were steady today at +0.268 degs after previously bottoming out on 8/28 at -0.510 degs and 9/15 at -0.60 degs. The trend has been generally downward since mid-June.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (10/16) The model indicates a cooling trend set up late summer with temps -0.2 degs in mid-Sept then rising to +0.25 degs in mid-Oct. The forecast has temps rising reaching +0.5 degs by Oct 31 and then forecast to toggle between the +0.3 to +0.5 deg range through May 2020, then fading to neutral in early June and diving to -0.2 degs in July. According to this model a neutral sea surface temperature pattern biased slightly warm is forecast for the mid-term, possibly turning cooler after that.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Aug 2019 Plume depicts temps are at +0.30 degs in August, and are to hold in the +0.50 range into Dec/Jan, then fading slightly to +0.45 in May/April 2020. See chart here - link.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad) (10/17): The daily index was positive today at 2.58. The 30 day average was negative but rising from -7.56. The 90 day average was steady at -6.42, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was developing.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): Sept +1.13, August +0.64, July +0.75, June -0.32, May +1.10, April +0.30, March +1.0, Feb +1.29, Jan +0.193. This index has been steadily positive but still indicates mostly ENSO neutral conditions (not El Nino).
Pacific Decadal Oscillation
Per NOAAs index recent values: June 2017 +0.21, July -0.50, Aug -0.62, Sept -0.25, Oct -0.61, Nov -0.45, Dec -0.13, Jan 2018 +0.29, Feb -0.19, Mar -0.61, April -0.89, May -0.69, June -0.85, July -0.09, Aug -0.43, Sept -0.46, Oct -0.75, Nov -0.78, Dec -0.12, Jan -0.23, Feb -0.55 This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO, even with La Nina, because the warm PDO appears to be dampening the effects of La Nina. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): June 2017 +0.79, July +0.10, Aug +0.09, Sept +0.32, Oct +0.05, Nov +0.15, Dec +0.50, Jan +0.70. Feb +0.37, Mar -0.05, April +0.11, May +0.11, June -0.04, July +0.11, Aug +0.18, Sept +0.09. No real negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data strongly suggests that could be a possibility. By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.
See imagery in the ENSO Powertool
External Reference Material: El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), Kelvin Wave
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