Saturday, December 14, 2019
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Barbers Point (Buoy 238) : Seas were 3.9 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 1.8 ft @ 13.2 secs from 299 degrees.
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 9.4 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 7.2 ft @ 9.6 secs from 97 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 6.3 ft @ 17.2 secs with swell 2.8 ft @ 16.6 secs from 268 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 4-6 kts. Water temperature 61.9 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 8.4 ft @ 16.1 secs from 295 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.7 ft @ 17.1 secs from 258 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.7 ft @ 14.9 secs from 269 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 7.0 ft @ 15.6 secs from 277 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 16.2 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 11.6 ft @ 13.8 secs from 303 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 16-20 kts. Water temp 55.0 degs (013), 56.8 degs (012) and 57.0 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 Saturday (12/14) in North and Central CA Swell #1 was fading but still producing waves in the double overhead range and lined up but torn apart by northwest winds with whitecaps out to sea. Protected breaks were 2 ft overhead and lined up and closed out and chopped. At Santa Cruz surf was 2-3 ft overhead and lined up and clean but with a little warble intermixed. In Southern California/Ventura the same swell was hitting producing waves at head high on the sets and lined up but with windswell intermixed making for unevenness and a bit of warble. In North Orange Co sets waves were head high to 1 ft overhead and pushing almost sideways down the beach with reasonably clean conditions but some surface warble intermixed. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were waist to chest high and lined up and clean but uneven. North San Diego had waves at 2-3 ft overhead and lined up and clean but inconsistent and not particularly well organized. high high and textured and soft and unremarkable. Hawaii's North Shore was getting northeasterly windswell wrapping in with waves 3-4 ft overhead and clean and lined up but inconsistent with some sideshore warble intermixed. The South Shore was flat to maybe thigh high and clean but gutless. The East Shore was getting northeast windswell at 1 ft overhead and whitecapped from strong east trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Saturday (12/14) in California Swell #1 was still hitting, originating from a gale the developed off the Kuril Islands tracking east Mon-Tues (12/10) with up to 40 ft seas aimed east, then redeveloped in the Gulf Tues-Wed (12/11) with up to 42 ft seas aimed east. Windswell and residual energy from Swell #1 were hitting Hawaii. Another storm pushed off the North Kuril Islands Fri-Sat (12/14) with seas at first up to 39 ft aimed east, then fading with seas down to 29 ft as it tracked east approaching the dateline, but is forecast to pulse slightly in the Northwestern Gulf Sun-Mon (12/16) with seas up to 30 ft aimed east. Yet another gale is to develop off the Kuril Islands tracking east over the dateline Sun-Mon (12/16) with 34-36 ft seas aimed east then rebuilding some in the Western Gulf on Wed (12/18) with seas again in the 36 ft range. A weaker storm pattern to follow.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Saturday (12/14) the jetstream was reasonably consolidated pushing east off Japan with winds building to 140 kts pushing over the dateline forming a small trough in the Northwestern Gulf of Alaska offering some support for gale development. East of there winds in the jet faded and pushed inland over North CA. Over the next 72 hours the Gulf trough is to steadily track east but starting to pinch off on Mon (12/16) but still being fed by up to 140 kt winds not offering much in terms of support for gale development. Back to the west a new trough is to be building off the Kuril Islands on Mon (12/16) moving to the east and getting somewhat better organized as it moves over the dateline on Tues 812/17) and offering support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours that trough is to redevelop in the Gulf of Alaska on Thurs (12/19) being fed by 140 kt winds again offering support for gale development and pushing inland over North CA later Sat (12/21). On Sat (12/21) a new trough is to be building over the dateline being fed by 180 kt winds and offering good support for gale development. In all pretty good support for gale development is forecast over the next week.
On Saturday (12/14) swell from Storm #1 is hitting California but is all but gone in Hawaii (see Dateline Storm #1 below).
Over the next 72 hours another small gale developed while pushing off the Northern Kuril Islands on Fri AM (12/13) with 45 kt west winds and seas 39 ft at 44.5N 158.5E aimed east. In the evening west winds faded at 40-45 kts over a broad area aimed east with 33 ft seas at 43N 170E aimed east. On Sat AM (12/14) the fetch moved over the Dateline with west winds 35-40 kts producing 31 ft seas 42.5N 179W aimed east. Fetch is to redevelop some in the evening over the Western Gulf at 35-40 kts with 31 ft seas at 45N 169.5W aimed east. Fetch is to move east on Sun AM (12/15) at 30-35 kts over a broad area with 28 ft seas at 45N 163W aimed east. Fetch is to be fading in coverage in the evening while lifting north at 30-40 kts aimed east and seas fading from 30 ft over a small area up at 50N 161W aimed east. The gale to fade out Mon AM (12/16) with winds dissipating from 30 kt and seas fading from 26 ft at 49N 154W aimed east. Possible swell resulting.
Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Mon (12/16) building to 6.6 ft @ 16-17 secs later (11 ft). Swell to be fading Tues AM (12/17) from 5.9 ft @ 16 secs (9.0 ft). residuals fading on Wed AM (12/18) from 3.8 ft @ 13 secs (5.0 ft) early. Swell Direction: 323 degrees
North CA: For planning purposes expect swell arrival Wed AM (12/18) with swell building to 4.5 ft @ 17-18 secs (7.5 ft) early. But this swell is to get possibly overridden by more local swell mid-day (see Long Term Forecast below). Swell Direction: 292-293 degrees
Another gale is to be developing starting Sun AM (12/15) tracking just off the Kuril Islands producing northwest winds at 45 kts resulting in 33 ft seas at 42N 158.5E aimed east. In the evening 45-50 kt northwesterly winds are to track east over a tiny area with 34 ft seas at 40.5N 166.5E aimed east-southeast. On Mon AM (12/16) a moderate sized area of 45 kt west-northwest winds are to be approaching the dateline with 33 ft seas at 44N 174E aimed east. In the evening the gale is to move over the Dateline at 40-45 kts with 34 ft seas at 43.5N 178W aimed east. On Tues AM (12/17) a broad area of west winds at 35-45 kts are forecast over the Northwestern Gulf producing 35 ft seas at 45.5N 171W aimed east. More of the same expected in the evening with 35-40 kt west winds over a solid area in the Gulf producing 36 ft seas at 46.5N 162W aimed east. The gale is to hold together Wed AM (12/18) with 30-35 kt west winds filling the Gulf resulting in 35 ft seas at 47.5N 165W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to stall in the Gulf with 30-35 kt west winds over a large area and 30 ft seas nearly filling the Gulf at 47.5N 150W aimed east. The gale is to hold Thurs AM (12/19) with 30-35 kt northwest winds and 25 ft seas filling the Gulf centered at 45.5N 150W aimed east. The gale is to fade in the evening with 30 kt northwest winds and seas fading from 23 ft at 43N 155W aimed southeast. The gale is to fade from there. Something to monitor.
Dateline Storm #1
On Sun PM (12/8) a new gale was building off the Kuril Islands with northwest winds 40-45 kts and seas 34 ft at 44N 160.5E aimed east. On Mon AM (12/9) the storm was building with west winds 50 kts solid over a decent sized area and with seas building to 36 ft at 43.5N 169E aimed east. The storm tracked east pushing to the dateline in the evening with 45-50 kt west winds over a solid area and seas 38 ft at 42N 178.5E aimed east. On Tues AM (12/10) west winds were 40 kts from the west in the Western Gulf with seas 38 ft at 41.5N 172.5W aimed east with secondary fetch building east of that area at 45 kts producing 34 ft seas at 43N 156.5W aimed east. In the evening the gale pushed east and northeast with 45 kt west winds in the Central Gulf of Alaska with 32 ft seas from the original fetch at 40N 152W aimed east-southeast and 42 ft seas from the secondary fetch at 46N 149.5W aimed east. On Wed AM (12/11) the gale is to be fading while lifting north with 35-40 kt west winds filling the Gulf with 34 ft seas up at 47.5N 144.5W aimed east and another pocket of seas at 32 ft at 42N 145W. Remnants of the gale are to hold circulating in the Northwestern Gulf into Thurs (12/12) with 40-45 kt northwest winds and seas fading Wed PM from 30 ft at 49N 147W aimed east and then 33 ft on Thurs AM (12/12) at 51N 148W aimed east. Something to monitor.
Hawaii: Dribbles on Sat (12/14) fading from 3.4 ft @ 12-13 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 324 degrees
North CA: Swell fading on Sat (12/14) from 8.4 ft @ 15-16 secs (13.0 ft). Swell fading on Sun (12/15) from 6.2 ft @ 14 secs (8.5 ft). Residuals on Mon (12/16) fading from 6.0 ft @ 12-13 secs (7.0 ft). Swell Direction: 290-297 degrees
Southern CA: Swell peaking on Sat (12/14) pushing 4.7 ft @ 17 secs early (7.5 ft). Swell fading on Sun (12/15) from 3.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (4.0 ft). Swell fading on Mon (12/16) from 3.3 ft @ 13 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 293-300 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Sat (12/14) north winds were blowing at 15 kts early for all of North and Central CA building to 25-30 kts later for Pt Conception and 20 kts northwest winds pushing down into Southern CA. Light snow fading over the Sierra late morning. Rain developing in the evening over North CA down to Monterey Bay with modest snow redeveloping in the evening over the Sierra. Sunday (12/15) northwest winds continue at 20 kts solid over all of North and Central CA and 25 kts for Southern CA mainly early. Light snow for the Sierra fading mid-morning. Monday (12/16) north to north winds are forecast at 10 kts early and fading through the day as another low starts building off the coast. Winds turning south for North CA in the evening. Light spotty rain for Cape Mendocino early and fading fast. Tues (12/17) south winds are forecast at 15-20 kts early for North CA building to 30 kts later mainly north of Pt Arena and south winds 15 kts for all of Central CA. Rain developing developing along all of the North and Central CA coast down to Pt Conception late evening. Wednesday (12/18) northwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for North and Central CA fading to 10 kts later. Light rain for North and Central CA early. Maybe some flurries over the Central Sierra late afternoon. Thurs (12/19) a front is to be over the Pt Arena area with south winds 20-25 kts from Pt Arena northward building to 35 kt for Cape Mendocino but moving no further south. Light winds for Central CA. Rain developing over Cape Mendocino early reaching to Bodega Bay late afternoon and stalling there. No snow is forecast. Fri (12/20) the front is to remain stalled over Cape Mendocino with south winds there 25 kts and less than 15 kts from the south from the Golden Gate down to Pt Conception. Rain continues from Pt Arena northward. Sat AM (12/21) the front is to push south and washout over Pt Conception late AM with south winds 20 kts turning northwest 10 kts in the afternoon. .rain pushing south to Pt Conception. heavy snow developing for Tahoe.
Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 5, 5, 5 and 1 inches respectively.
Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!
No swell producing fetch is occurring.
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.
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 a small local gale is forecast developing just off North CA on Mon PM (12/16) producing 30 kt northwest winds and seas building. On Tues AM (12/17) northwest winds to build to 30-35 kts with seas 20 ft at 42N 134W (just off the OR-CA boarder) aimed southeast. 30-35 kt northwest winds to hold in the evening drifting east with 24 ft seas at 42.5N 131W aimed east. The gale is to move onshore over Oregon on Wed AM (12/18). Local swell for North CA possible.
Also on Sat (12/21) a new gale is to be developing on the Dateline/Western Gulf producing a broad area of 30-35 kt northwest winds with seas building. Something to monitor.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
MJO Inactive - Kelvin Wave #5 Peaking While Impacting Ecuador
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 (12/13) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific fading to moderate from the east over the Central Pacific continuing on the dateline then turning light westerly over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the far East equatorial Pacific turning light westerly over the Central Pacific continuing on the dateline and weak westerly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (12/14) weak east anomalies were over the KWGA today. The forecast miraculously calls for easterly anomalies backtracking west and gone from the KWGA by 12/18 with west anomalies developing and filling the KWGA on the 18th and holding to the end of the model run on 12/21.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (12/13) A modest Inactive MJO signal was over the Central KWGA today. The statistic model indicates the Inactive Phase is to push east holding together reaching the dateline at day 10 and then east of the dateline at day 15 while the Active Phase starts building moderately over the far West Pacific at day 15. The dynamic model indicates the same thing but with the Inactive Phase and the Active Phase gone at day 15 with a dead neutral pattern in effect. The 2 models are mostly in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (12/14) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the Central Indian Ocean today and is to move to the Maritime Continent and very weak at day 15. The GEFS model suggests the same thing but with the Active Phase moving to the West Pacific.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (12/14) This model depicts a weak Inactive MJO over the East Pacific today. The Inactive Phase is to track east pushing into Central America 12/24. A weak Active Phase is to start building over the KWGA on 12/29 pushing to the East Pacific and over Central America on 1/18. A weak Inactive MJO signal is forecast setting up over the West Pacific on 1/18 pushing to the dateline at the end of the model run on 1/23.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (12/13) This model depicts a weak Inactive Phase over the KWGA with weak east anomalies over that area. Weak west anomalies are to develop within a day or two and holding till 12/20. Another weak pulse of east anomalies are to redevelop 12/21-12/27 followed by a new pulse of weak west anomalies from 12/28-the end of the model run on 1/10. The Inactive Phase of the MJO is to fade out on 12/27 and a dead neutral MJO signal is to hold through the end of the model run.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (12/14) This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO was over the KWGA with weak east anomalies over the KWGA. A generally weak wind anomaly pattern is to hold with the Inactive Phase holding through 1/6. A weak version of the Active Phase is to develop tracking east through the KWGA 1/8 holding through 3/2 with weak west anomalies developing on 1/20 holding and then getting solid 2/8 through the end of the model run on 3/12. A weak Inactive Phase is to follow starting 2/24 through the end of the model run. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias with 2 contour lines in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to the California coast. The second contour line is to hold till 1/31, then collapse. A high pressure bias built in the Indian Ocean starting 10/22 and is to hold through the end of the model run through getting weaker at the end of the run. A strong area of east anomalies in the Indian Ocean is forecast to significantly weaken by 1/20 but reappear on 2/16 holding weakly through the end of the model run.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (12/14) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm was easing east today at 175E after backtracking to 173E while the 29 deg isotherm was building east from 173W to 171W today. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 163W today. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing east into Ecuador after previously being steady at 105W. Anomaly wise, gentle warm anomalies are filling the entire Pacific with an interesting pocket at 2-3 degs building from the Maritime Continent moving east with it's leading edge at 145W indicative of new Kevin Wave #6 pushing east. A smaller area of warm water at +2 degs was pushing into Ecuador indicative of Kelvin Wave #5 mostly inland now. Warm water was filling the entire equatorial subsurface Pacific from 110 meters upwards. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 12/9 indicates warm water had formed a Kelvin Wave extending from 120E under the Dateline east to 150W at +2-3 degrees with lesser warm water pushing east from there then rebuilding to +2-4 degrees and impacting Ecuador. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (12/9) A small area of weak nondescript positive anomalies were fading on the equator in the vicinity of the Galapagos. A building pocket of +5 cms anomalies was tracking east between 155E-145W. Negative anomalies were gone along Peru and being replaced by very weak positive anomalies in pockets.
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: (12/13) The latest images ( 1.2 3.4) indicate warming anomalies were building some along Peru up into Ecuador with a stream of modest warm anomalies tracking west on the equator over the Galapagos out to the dateline. Weak cool anomalies were south of the equator off Peru reaching west to only 100W. Weak warm anomalies were on and north of the equator building while tracking west to the dateline.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (12/13): Today a building area of warming was filling the entire area from Chile and Peru steaming west out to 130W and also off Ecuador on the equator out to the dateline. A few pockets of cooling were interspersed along the equator from Ecuador to 140W. The short term trend is now towards warming in the Southeast Pacific. This is a step in the right direction.
Hi-res Overview: (12/13) A weak fading area of cool anomalies is trying to hold on south of the equator off Peru reaching out to 125W. Otherwise gentle warming along Peru lifting north up to Ecuador then pushing west on the equator, out to the dateline. Warmer than normal water was north of the equator from the remnants of El Nino, but mostly gone south of the equator. Water temps appear to be stable mildly favoring El Nino.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (12/14) Today's temps appear to have bottomed out and are now rising up to -0.425 after bottoming out down at -0.900 on 12/12, temps peaked at +1.55 degrees on 12/2. It now appears we are now in a falling trend.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (12/14) Temps were steady today at +0.131. Temps peaked on 11/14 at +0.509 degs, fell some to -0.018 on 11/28, and are now trying to rebuild. The trend has been steadily generally upwards since Sept when they bottomed out at -0.6 degs (9/14).
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (12/14) Actual's indicate a cooling trend set up late summer with temps -0.2 degs in mid-Sept then then trend started rising to +0.25 degs in early Oct holding to Dec 1. The forecast has temps holding in the +0.3-+0.5 degree range into May, then fading steadily to -0.1 in early Sept. According to this model a neutral sea surface temperature pattern biased slightly warm is forecast for the foreseeable future.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Oct 2019 Plume depicts temps are at +0.25 degs, and are to hold in the +0.25 deg range into May 2020, then fading slightly to +0.15 in June 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) (12/14): The daily index was negative today at -11.31 but has been toggling between positive and negative equally the last 16 days. The 30 day average was negative and falling at -4.87. The 90 day average was steady at -6.20, 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): Oct +0.33 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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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table