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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, October 30, 2018 4:24 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
2.3 - California & 2.2 - Hawaii
Using the 'Winter' 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 10/29 thru Sun 11/4

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   

Dateline Swell Poised for HI
After That Pacific Goes to Sleep

On Tuesday, October 30, 2018 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 4.3 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 2.0 ft @ 12.4 secs from 184 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.8 ft @ 7.1 secs with swell 2.7 ft @ 7.7 secs from 40 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 5.0 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 3.1 ft @ 12.8 secs from 248 degrees. Wind at the buoy was east at 6-10 kts. Water temperature 65.1 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 3.3 ft @ 12.2 secs from 264 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 3.5 ft @ 10.5 secs from 270 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 2.3 ft @ 15.0 secs from 217 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 4.6 ft @ 13.7 secs from 250 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 12.0 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 6.6 ft @ 12.4 secs from 292 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 23-29 kts. Water temp 59.2 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).
- 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 Tuesday (10/30) in North and Central CA residual northwest swell from the Gulf was producing waves at 3 ft overhead and pretty warbled and mushy but somewhat lined up with moderate texture and lump from wind off the coast. Protected breaks were head high or so and mostly closed out and warbled but with relatively clean local conditions. At Santa Cruz northwest swell was wrapping in producing waves at 1 ft overhead on the peaks of the bigger sets and clean and lined up but mushed. In Southern California/Ventura northwest swell was producing surf at chest to shoulder high with a stray head high peak and clean and lined up but soft. In North Orange Co waves were chest high and lined up and clean. South Orange Country's best breaks were shoulder high on the sets and clean and soft. In North San Diego surf was chest to shoulder high and a bit warbled and mushy. Hawaii's North Shore was getting fading northerly windswell with waves chest high at top breaks and clean and relatively soft. The South Shore was flat and horribly blown out with whitecaps early. The East Shore was getting east windswell with waves chest high or so and cleaning up some with winds south.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (10/30) swell from a gale that fell southeast through the Northwestern Gulf on Thurs-Fri (10/26) producing up to 23 ft seas then turned east producing 18-22 ft seas in the Central Gulf pushing towards the US West Coast was still hitting California and past it's prime and mixed with windswell and warble. A small system developed Sat (10/27) west of the dateline producing 30 ft seas initially then fading Sun (10/28) with 26 ft pushing east over the dateline with swell targeting mainly Hawaii and expected to arrive later today. Beyond some sort of ill formed broad gale is to develop in the Northwest Pacific Thurs (11/1) moving towards the dateline and into the Gulf of Alaska Fri-Sun (11/4) generating pockets of 23-24 ft seas maybe resulting in some small background swell for Hawaii and exposed break along the US West Coast. But overall a very quiet pattern is taking hold.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Tuesday AM (10/30) the northern branch of the jetstream was tracking decently off North Japan with winds 170 kts falling into a weak trough northwest of Hawaii offering some support for gale development then the jet was lifting/ridging hard northeast pushing into the Central Canadian Coast only supporting high pressure off the CA coast. Over the next 72 hours the trough is to weaken and push east and be gone by Thurs (11/1) with the jet running flat east from Japan over the dateline to a point north of Hawaii with winds 160 kts then gently lifting northeast and pushing into British Columbia with no troughs and no support for gale development indicated. On Friday (11/2) a split flow is to be over China and Russia consolidating just off the coast of North Japan with winds building and reaching 170 kts just east of the dateline with something that almost looks like a trough building just west of the dateline offering very limited support for gale development there. The jet is to again start lifting solidly northeast over the Gulf of Alaska and pushing into British Columbia offering nothing. Beyond 72 hours the trough west of the dateline is to push east reaching the dateline on Sun (11/4) and weak and pinched off and useless. no support for gale development is expected by that time. And east of there the ridge is to be solid being fed by 160 kts winds pushing into Washington. Beyond the jet is to become very weak pushing off the Kuril Islands with winds peaking at 90 kts and running flat east splitting on the dateline with the northern branch continuing pushing east and into British Columbia offering no support for gale development. In short, the Inactive Phase of the MJO is to be building over the West Pacific suppressing support for gale development.

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday AM (10/30) swell from a gale that developed in the Northern Gulf falling south and then east into the Central Gulf was hitting California (See North Gulf Gale below). Swell from a gale West of the Dateline was poised to hit Hawaii (see West Dateline Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a weak and ill formed gale/low pressure system is to be build over the dateline and Western Gulf of Alaska Fri AM (11/2) producing pockets of 30 and 35-40 kt winds resulting in a tiny area of 20 ft seas at 42N 180W aimed east and 22 ft seas at 42N 158W aimed northeast and 28 ft seas at 50N 169W aimed northeast. These areas are to fade in the evening with seas 24 ft at 45N 150W aimed northeast and 25 ft at 50N 167W aimed northeast and fading from there. Low odds of background swell possible for Hawaii and the US West Coast.


North Gulf Gale
A gale was developing on the North Dateline region Thurs AM (10/25) producing 30-35 kt north winds streaming south off the Central Aleutians and seas building from 18 ft just south of the Aleutians at 50N 177W. In the evening north winds built in coverage while falling south at 30-35 kts falling into the Central Gulf with 21 ft seas at 45N 168W targeting Hawaii best. On Fri AM (10/26) winds turned from the northwest at 30-35 kts with the gale starting to track east with seas 22 ft at 42N 162W targeting Hawaii well. In the evening the gale started tracking east with winds 35 kts from the northwest and seas 22 ft at 42N 154W aimed east and bypassing Hawaii. The gale pushed east and was losing organization Sat AM (10/27) with winds barely 30 kts from the west and seas 21 ft at 41N 147W. In the evening the gale faded while lifting northeast with west winds 25-30 kts with seas fading from 19 ft at 43N 145W aimed east. This system dissipated after that. Swell is hitting Hawaii and is pushing towards the US West Coast.

North California: A mixture of swell and local windswell is expected on Tues AM (10/30) at 7.0 ft @ 11-12 secs (8.0 ft) and fading from there with windswell taking over beyond. Swell Direction: 293 degrees


West Dateline Gale
another gale started developing west of the dateline on Fri PM (10/26) producing a short lived area of 45-50 kt northwest winds falling southeast with seas building to 22 ft over a tiny area at 46N 168E aimed east. On Sat AM (10/27) northwest winds were falling southeast at 40+ kts approaching the dateline with 30 ft seas at 42.5N 170E aimed southeast. On Sat PM northwest winds were fading from 40 kts and seas 29 ft falling southeast at 41N 175E aimed well at Hawaii. On Sun AM (10/28) the gale was fading with northwest winds 35 kts on the dateline with seas fading from 27 ft at 39N 180W targeting Hawaii. In the evening the gale was fading with 25+ kt west winds and seas 23 ft over a small area at 38N 174W aimed east. The gale is to dissipate from there. Something to monitor mainly for Hawaii.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival Tues afternoon (10/30) building to 4.2 ft @ 15-16 secs late (6.5 ft). Swell peaking Wed AM (10/31) at 4.9 ft @ 14 secs early (6.5-7.0 ft) fading some through the day. Swell fading Wed AM (11/1) from 3.5 ft @ 11-12 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 315 degrees


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


Tropical Update
No tropical weather systems of interest are forecast.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday (10/30) high pressure at 1030 mbs was centered 600 nmiles west of San Francisco generating a pressure gradient and north winds at 25 kts along the entire North and Central coast. Wednesday (10/31) north winds to be fading from 20-25 kts for Cape Mendocino but 10 kts or less from Pt Arena southward after 9 AM. On Thurs (11/1) high pressure is to be pushing into Oregon and weakening with north winds 15-20 kts over Pt Arena but with north winds 10 kts south of there. Fri (11/2) light winds are forecast everywhere except 15 kts from the north for Cape Mendocino. Sat (11/3) high pressure and north winds to build again pushing 20-25 kts over North CA but 10-15 kts for Central CA. Sunday (11/4) north winds to be 20+ kts from Cape Mendocino down to Monterey Bay and 10 kts to Pt Conception early then nearly 20 kts everywhere late afternoon. Monday (11/5) the gradient is to fire up solidly again with north winds 25 kts over North CA and 15 kts for Central CA and holding. Tuesday (11/6) north winds to be 25 kts for North CA but calm from Bodega Bay south to Pt Conception. It looks like summer.


South Pacific

Surface Analysis  
On Tuesday (10/30) swell from a fetch that developed southeast of New Zealand was hitting California (see Secondary New Zealand Fetch below). Maybe some background swell to follow (see QuikCASTs).

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.


Secondary New Zealand Fetch
Another gale was building right behind New Zealand Gale #2 (above) on Fri AM (10/19) with 30-35 kt southwest winds building aimed northeast over abroad area with seas building to 25 ft at 53S 168W. In the evening fetch built to 35+ kts over abroad area from the southwest with 27 ft seas at 52S 168W aimed northeast. Fetch on Sat AM (10/20) was fading from 30 kts from the southwest lifting hard northeast with 27 ft seas at 46S 162W aimed northeast. Fetch was fading from 30 kts from the south in the evening with 25 ft seas at 40S 156W aimed northeast. This system faded from there. Possible solid secondary southwest swell in the 15 sec range to tag on to the end of the New Zealand swell developing above for Hawaii and CA.

Southern CA: Swell fading Tues AM (10/30) from 2.3 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5 ft). Swell fading Wed AM (10/31) from 2.1 ft @ 14 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Thurs AM (11/1) from 2.0 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 205 degrees

North CA: Swell fading Tues AM (10/30) from 2.0 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading Wed AM (10/31) from 1.5 ft @ 14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 205 degrees


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 swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.


MJO/ENSO Forecast


Equatorial SST's Steady - ESPI Steady And Not Positive

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 continued trying to build over equatorial waters over the Summer and beyond, but could not sustain itself, suggesting the demise of La Nina but not yet turning towards El Nino.

Fall/Winter 2018 = 6.5 (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: Assuming the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that El Nino develops as forecast, and assuming and an ocean-atmospheric coupling becomes established in the Sept timeframe and ocean temperature anomalies in Nino3.4 build to the +1.0 deg range, there is good probability for enhanced storm production in the North Pacific starting in the late Nov timeframe (specifically the Gulf of Alaska and Dateline regions) with an increased intensity in number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in increased odds for larger than normal swell, with increased duration and higher than normal period.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Mon (10/29) 5 day average winds were solid from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific fading some while pushing towards the dateline, then turning moderately from the west over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and the dateline, and moderate westerly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (10/30) modest west anomalies were over the core of the KWGA. But on 10/31 moderate plus east anomalies are to take control of the whole KWGA holding to 11/4, and then fading some but still moderate over the same area through the end of the model run on 11/6. This was previously not on any of the longer range models and is not a good sign.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (10/29) A weak Inactive Phase of the MJO was building over the far West Pacific/KWGA and this pattern is to continue with the Inactive Phase filling the KWGA at day 8, then weakening some but still present through the end of the model run at day 15. The statistical model depicts the exact same thing. The 2 models are in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (10/30) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was very weak over the Western Atlantic and is to track steadily east while weakening eventually reaching the Maritime Continent 2 weeks out. The GEFS model depicts a variation on the same thing but with the MJO building in strength while moving to the Maritime Continent and moderate in strength 2 weeks out. The 2 models are generally in sync.
40 day Upper Level Model: (10/30) This model depicts a weak Active/Wet pattern was over the far East Pacific and is to track east pushing into Central America on 11/14. A moderate Inactive/Dry signal is to build over the West Pacific 11/4 pushing east to the Eastern equatorial Pacific and into Central America on 11/29. A weak Active Phase is to push over the West Pacific 11/20 fading while pushing to the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 12/9.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (10/29) This model depicts west anomalies were barely hanging on over the core of the KWGA. But by 10/31 east anomalies are to build and fill the KWGA through 11/6. After that weak west anomalies are to rebuild in the core of the KWGA by 11/7 holding for the foreseeable future but with east anomalies developing and holding on the dateline over the same time period. Whatever sense of El Nino developing that was previously present is now gone per this model.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (10/28) This model depicts weak west anomalies were over the KWGA today with a weak Inactive Phase of the MJO all but gone on the dateline. Western anomalies are to fade and be gone in the KWGA 11/2-11/10. After that supposedly west anomalies are to rebuild some in the heart of the KWGA even while the Inactive Phase of the MJO continues from 11/13-11/20. After that the Active Phase of the MJO is to set up 11/23-12/5 with west anomalies in control of the KWGA and west anomalies holding at modest to moderate strength through the end of the model run on 1/27/19 with no clear MJO pattern is expected (typical of a building El Nino situation). But those west anomalies are to be slowly drifting east and centered on the dateline (and still barely in the KWGA) at the end of the model run. But east anomalies are to also be easing east from the Indian Ocean to the Maritime Continent and into the Western KWGA over that same duration. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias is fully in control of the KWGA reaching east over California to 115W and forecast holding beyond. A 4th contour line forecast to to develop in the 12/22-29 period is now slated for 1/18/19. We're beginning to think this whole El Nino setup is overblown on this model and that it will not develop, or develop only weakly. The atmosphere and ocean are theoretically slowly becoming coupled towards an El Nino bias in the Pacific Ocean. But actual data (not forecast data) indicates that coupling has not happened yet. Supposedly this pattern is slowly becoming more favorable to support storm production in the Pacific regardless of whether El Nino develops, especially compared to the 2 previous years. But there is not one shred of evidence that this is actually happening with the storm track dead and below annual norms.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (10/30) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs solid retrograding west slightly to 175E. The 28 deg isotherm line was retrograding west to 160W. The 24 deg isotherm was 125 meters deep at 140W then setting progressively shallower east of there but retrograding to 100W. It seems that Kelvin Wave #2 has already peaked. Anomaly wise warm anomalies are building indicative of Kelvin Wave (#2) extending from 175E at +3 degs but now appears to be centered near 110W down 90 meters reaching east and pushing into the coast of Ecuador. Basically warm anomalies are filling the entire Pacific subsurface region and reaching South America. This is likely the peak of the Kelvin Wave cycle for this El Nino. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 10/25 paints the same picture with the Second Kelvin Wave starting in the West Pacific near 160E pushing down under the dateline at up to +4.0 degs reaching east to 90W with peak temps at 115W and then pushing into Ecuador. A small pocket of neutral anomalies that was just west of the Maritime Continent appears to be getting warm anomalies flowing into it. Kelvin Wave #2 was breaching the surface from 100W to 145W solidly with secondary solid warm anomalies starting to fill the entire region on the equator from 105W-165E. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (10/25) Positive anomalies were solid from New Guinea over the Dateline and into Ecuador and broad in coverage peaking at +10 cms at 120W. This indicates that Kelvin Wave (#2) was peaking south of California and pushing quickly 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.
Satellite Imagery
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4: (10/29) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate temps were warm in a classic Kelvin Wave pattern straddling 5 degrees north and south of the equator from Ecuador west to the dateline, with imbedded pockets of slightly stronger warming. But these temps were much less warm than day past and not impressive. There was slight warming building along the coast of Chile up into Peru, but less so than days past. Generic warm anomalies were north of the equator from Central America and south of Mexico building out to Hawaii and the dateline. This pattern looks somewhat like El Nino, but no solid warming was branching north and south along the Central and South American coast, suggesting this developing El Nino is only weakly in control at best and very fragile.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (10/29): A weak warming trend was set up from Ecuador to the dateline mainly just south of the equator. Weak warming was along the coast of Peru and Chile. Moderate cooling was was on the equator from the Galapagos west to 110W.
Hi-res Overview: (10/29) A pocket of weak cool water was present just off the outer coast of Chile but warm water was holding along the immediate coast of Peru. Otherwise moderate warm water was on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos building out to the dateline with a few pockets of stronger imbedded warming. There were no pockets of imbedded cool anomalies. It seems we've turned the corner to a warm regime and are no longer in a mixed pattern where La Nina cool anomalies are present intermixed with warm anomalies. But it is not at all apparent that we are in a legitimate El Nino pattern.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (10/30) Today's temps were rising at +0.189 after falling to -0.628 on 10/22, down from the all time high for this event on 9/25 +1.316. Two previous peaks occurred of +0.510 degs on 9/17 and +0.459 on 5/13. Otherwise temps have been steady in the -0.50 deg range.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (10/30) Today temps were falling from +0.471, below the peak of +0.795 on 10/9, beating the previous all time high of +0.649 on 9/27, and that beating the previous peak at +0.490 on 7/2. Overall temps are noodling around at +0.5 degs above normal, but nothing more. This looks like perhaps El Nino is trying to develop, but nothing serious.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (10/30) The forecast calls for a slow but steady increase from here rising to +1.00 degs in mid-Nov then toggling from 0.8 to +1.10 degs from Dec into May 2019, then slowly fading through July 2019 down to +0.75 degs. This suggests that perhaps El Nino is to build through the Fall of 2018 but weaker than previous model runs. But given the weak El Nino forecast, this somewhat dampens the odds of La Nina following in Fall of 2019. Most other models are also suggesting a possible turn to weak El Nino conditions by late Fall.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Oct Plume depicts temps are to slowly rise from here, to +0.90 degs in October and +0.9-+1.0 degs in Nov through March 2019, then slowly fading to 0.78 in June. See chart here - link. It looks like La Nina is fading out and there's a 76% chance of a weak El Nino developing.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad) (10/30): The daily index was rising today at +15.15. The 30 day average was rising at +2.30 suggesting an Inactive MJO was building. The 90 day average was falling some at -4.27 and has been essentially steady for a month now. The 90 degree average turned negative for the first time in a year on 6/30 suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was building in the atmosphere. This is expected for a month more before falling into steady negative territory by mid August.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (10/30) Today the index was rising slightly at -0.15, up from -0.22 the week of 10/22, after having risen to +0.39 on 10/10, the highest so far this event. This suggests the Inactive Phase of the MJO was having a negative effect and that precip and evaporation are just slightly less than normal, and not above normal as one would expect if El Nino were in play. The reading from 8/14 (+0.11) was the first time it's turned positive in a year. In reality, we're in ENSO neutral state now and it's not unexpected that the Index will toggle between weakly positive to weakly negative. Recent points of interest in reverse chronological order are: -1.04 on 6/5, -0.70 on 5/20, -0.60 on 5/17, -0.36 on 5/11 and -0.38 on 5/10, -0.35 on 4/26, -1.02 on 4/5, -1.13 on 3/27. The trend suggests La Nina is all but gone. This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina situations.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly positive, even though La Nina is in play.
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 -0.88, July -0.23. 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. 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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