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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Sunday, January 21, 2018 3:16 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
2.5 - 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 1/22 thru Sun 1/28

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   

2 Small Swells in the Water
Inactive MJO to Inhibit Storm Production


On Sunday, January 21, 2018 :

  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 6.1 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 3.4 ft @ 15.0 secs from 325 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.9 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 3.7 ft @ 13.5 secs from 277 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northeast at 2-6 kts. Water temperature 59.9 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 2.5 ft @ 12.6 secs from 272 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.3 ft @ 11.9 secs from 270 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 2.2 ft @ 7.8 secs from 261 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 3.9 ft @ 14.2 secs from 278 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 9.6 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 7.5 ft @ 12.0 secs from 296 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 8-12 kts. Water temp 55.4 degs.

See Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (bottom of the page)

Swell Classification Guidelines

Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
- 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 Sunday (1/21) in North and Central CA Gulf residual Gulf swell was still hitting with waves about double overhead and a little jumbled even though wind was calm and reasonably lined up but a little soft. Protected breaks were 1-2 ft overhead and clean and lined up and mostly closed out. At Santa Cruz surf was 2-3 ft overhead on the sets and reasonably lined up and clean early but with some lump running through it and soft. In Southern California up north Gulf swell was still present with waves head high to maybe 1 ft overhead on the drop and clean and lined up but generally soft. In North Orange Co surf was up to 2 ft overhead and lined up and clean with light winds early. South Orange Country's best breaks were near head high and clean and lined. In North San Diego surf was about head high and clean with some rideable shoulders. Hawaii's North Shore was getting leftover Dateline swell with waves in the head high to 1 ft overhead range and pristine clean and lined up. The South Shore was flat and clean. The East Shore was getting northeast windswell at head high and and chopped from moderate trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Sunday (1/21) residual reverberations from Storm #3 that developed while pushing east from a point north of Hawaii with seas building to 50 ft early Wed (1/7) off the Oregon-CA border aimed east was still hitting all of California with improved conditions making for rideable surf. A far weaker gale formed in the Northwestern Gulf tracking east Thurs-Sat (1/20) producing 33 ft seas aimed east. And a repeatable system also developing off Japan Thurs-Sat (1/20) with up to 43 ft seas aimed east but did not make it to the dateline. After that things are to settle down some. A local gale was producing 23 ft seas off Cape Mendocino early Sun (1/21). Maybe a weak gale is to form over the dateline on Tues (1/23) with 28 ft seas but mainly aimed southwest and away from Hawaii. And nothing obvious is on the charts after that.


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

North Pacific

On Sunday AM (1/21) the jetstream was pushing east off Japan with winds 160 kts over Japan, but quickly weakening and splitting with energy pushing north up the Kuril Islands into Russia while most energy tracked east to the dateline and split again with most energy pushing east through the Gulf of Alaska and over the California-Oregon border. A weak trough was trying to organize in the Eastern Gulf of Alaska but is to be onshore in 18 hours. Over the next 72 hours another trough is to organize in the Central Gulf on Tues (1/23) being fed by a pocket of 150 kts winds offering some support for gale development and pushing into the North CA coast on Thurs (1/25). Beyond 72 hours the jet is to be tremendously fragmented pushing off Japan at 160 kts then splitting half way to the dateline then splitting again just north of Hawaii. Energy from the original split is to fall south through the Gulf and join the main flow pushing 130 kts winds into North CA on Thurs PM (1/25) but mostly forming a ridge there but with a new trough trying to develop in the Gulf on Sun (1/28) perhaps offering some support for gale development. But mainly this double split jet pattern is to hold for the next 7 days not consolidating wind energy and offering little to support gale development. This is the result of the Inactive Phase of the MJO taking control.

Surface Analysis
On Sunday (1/21) residual swell from Storm #3 that developed in the Gulf Wed-Thurs (1/18) was still impacting North California but generally pretty weak and fading fast (see Storm #3 below). Also swell from a small gale that tracked through the Gulf was pushing towards California (see Gulf Gale below). And small swell from a gale that tracked off Japan was pushing towards Japan (see Japan Gale below).

Residual wind energy from the Gulf Gale (see below) was impacting the Pacific Northwest coast Sun AM (1/21) producing west winds at 25-30 kts with 22-23 ft seas off the NCal-Oregon border pushing east. This system is to be gone in the evening with 18-19 ft seas pushing down the North CA coast.

Over the next 72 hours another local gale is to develop just off the Pacific Northwest coast producing 30-35 kt northwest winds and seas building to 20 ft with one small pocket to 26 ft at 44N 134W. In the evening the fetch is to consolidate at 30-35 kts from the northwest just off the NCal-Oregon border with 24 ft seas at 43N 134W targeting Oregon down into Central CA. The fetch to fade Thurs AM (1/25) just off Cape Mendocino CA with northwest winds 25 kts and 21 ft seas at 40N 130W targeting Central CA. Raw swell the likely result on Thurs (1/25) midday in North CA

North CA: Based on forecast data expect swell arrival on Thurs (10/25) at 10.8 ft @ 14-15 secs mid-day (15.5 ft). Swell fading fast on Fri (10/26) from 9.2 ft @ 13 secs (12 ft). residual on Sat (10/27) fading from 5 ft @ 11-12 secs (6.0 ft). Swell Direction: 300 degrees

Also a small gale is forecast developing on the dateline on Tues PM (1/23) with 40 kt mostly east winds in the gale north quadrant targeting Hawaii with 24-26 ft seas aimed west. winds building to 45 kts Wed AM (1/24) again aimed mostly east with seas 28 ft at 40N 173W. This system is to fade from there. Low odds of any swell resulting for Hawaii.


Gulf Gale
A small gale is to form in the Northwestern Gulf of Alaska Thurs PM (1/18) with 45 kt west winds over a small area aimed east and seas building from 32 ft over a tiny area at 45N 170W (296 degs NCal). On Fri AM (1/19) the gale tracked east-northeast with 45 kt northwest winds over a small area with 33 ft seas at 47N 159W (299 degs NCal). By evening 45 kt northwest winds continued with 33 ft seas over a small area at 47N 151W (300 degs NCal). Fetch faded from 35 kt Sat AM (1/20) with seas fading from 28 ft at 47N 146W. This system was fading and effectively gone by evening. Small swell possible for NCal but likely lost under larger raw local swell.

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon (1/22) with swell building before sunrise to 10.8 ft @ 15 secs (16 ft) at sunrise and slowly fading from there and partially shadowed in the SF Bay Area. Residuals on Tues (1/23) fading from 6.8 ft @ 12-13 secs (8.5 ft). Swell Direction: 294-300 degrees


Japan Gale
A small storm formed off Japan on Thurs AM (1/18) producing a small area of 50-55 kt northwest winds and seas building from 39 ft at 37N 153E. In the evening 50-55 kt northwest winds were pushing east-northeast with 43 ft seas at 38N 159E targeting Hawaii decently. Fri AM (1/19) fetch was fading from 50 kts from the west while the core lifted northeast with 42 ft seas lifting northeast at 41N 162E. In the evening fetch was fading from 40-45 kts from the west with seas fading from 37 ft at 42N 166E. This system was fading from there Sat AM (1/20) with 35 kt northwest winds and the core lifting north with seas fading from 29 ft at 42N 170E. This system was gone after that. Reasonable odds of modest swell resulting for Hawaii.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Mon AM (1/22) with pure swell 4.2 ft @ 18 secs (7.5 ft) and size creeping up peaking mid-afternoon at 4.6 ft @ 17 secs (8.0 ft). Swell slowly fading on Tues (1/23) from 4.8 ft @ 15-16 secs (7.0-7.5 ft). Residuals fading Wed (1/24) from 3.0 ft @ 14 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 308-312 degrees


Strong Storm #3
Yet another small but powerful storm developed Tues AM (1/16) in the Western Gulf 1100 nmiles north of Hawaii with 45 kt west winds over a small area getting traction on an already roughed up ocean surface with 30 ft seas at 35N 162W aimed east. By evening west winds were 50-55 kts in the Central Gulf with seas building from 38 ft at 38N 149W aimed east. The storm was lifting northeast Wed AM (1/17) and building fast with a decent fetch of 50-55 kt west winds off Oregon with 48 ft seas at 40.5N 140.5W targeting North CA well. Wed PM the storm was just off Washington with 50-55 kt west winds and seas 50 ft at 44.5N 134W targeting the Pacific Northwest down into Central CA. On Thurs AM (1/18) winds were fading from 40-45 kts off British Columbia with seas fading from 43 ft at 47N 131W targeting only Oregon-Washington and points northward with seas impacting the Pacific Northwest. This system is to fade from there. Large very raw swell is expected for the Pacific Northwest. Relative to North CA - the storm is to move to within 740 nmiles of the coast ensuring a raw and jumbled sea state in sync with swell arrival.

North CA: Sunday expect swell to be fading from 8 ft @ 12-13 secs (10 ft). Swell Direction: 282 moving to 292 degrees


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


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Sunday AM (1/21) a front was pushing south over Cape Mendocino early with 30 kt south winds there pushing south to San Francisco late evening with light winds south of there during the day turning south from San Francisco northward through the day and early evening. Moderate rain associated with the front falling from Cape Mendocino south to Half Moon Bay late evening. Light snow for Tahoe starts around 2 AM Monday. Monday AM (1/22) a weak pressure and wind pattern is to take hold for all of North and Central CA with north winds 20 kt for Pt Conception and light north for Southern CA. Light rain fading from Big Sur north to Pt Arena and gone mid-afternoon. Light snow for Tahoe fading through the late morning with a total of 1-2 inches of accumulation. Tuesday (1/23) light winds early but a new front associated with a broad low in the Gulf is to be producing south winds for Cape Mendocino early building slowly south to Bodega Bay but mainly Pt Arena northward at 20-30 kts. Rain for Pt Arena northward. Wednesday (1/24) the front is to push south to San Francisco early pushing south to Morro Bay late afternoon with south winds 20+ kts. Solid rain pushing south from Pt Arena early to Pt Conception late evening. Snow developing for Tahoe at 4 PM overnight and pretty solid overnight. Thursday (1/25) the low is to be fading over Vancouver Island with high pressure and northwest winds taking control for the entire state at 15 kts. Scattered rain for the state from Morro Bay northward fading late. Light snow for Tahoe down into the Central Sierra. Total Accumulation for this mid-week pulse of 18 inches for on the crest. 7 inches for Mammoth. Friday weak high pressure is to be in control just off the Central Coast with north winds 15 kts for North and Central CA and up to 20+ kts for Pt Conception holding through the day. No rain forecast. Saturday (1/27) high pressure ridges into North CA with light winds there but north winds 15-20 kts for Monterey Bay southward. Sunday light offshore winds set up for the state.

South Pacific

Surface Analysis  
No swell producing winds of interest were occurring.

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


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 another gale is to try and take root over and just off Japan on Wed AM (1/24) with 35-40 kt west winds and 28 ft seas at 33N 150E targeting Hawaii. In the evening 35 kt west winds to continue streaming off Japan with 26 ft seas at 34N 157E. On Thurs AM (1/25) west winds to be fading from 30-35 kts just 700 nmiles off Japan with seas fading from 24 ft at 35N 160E. This system is to be gone from there. Small swell is possible for Hawaii with luck.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather system nor fetch is forecast.

More details to follow...


Strong Easterly Wind Burst Fading

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. So it appears now a double dip La Nina is setting up and is to continue through the Winter and Spring of 2017-2018.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Sat (1/20) 5 day average winds were from the east over the entire equatorial Pacific including the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral over the East Pacific but very strong easterly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (1/21) Strong east anomalies were modeled over the entire KWGA. This pattern is to quickly start fading on Mon (1/22) while easing east with light east anomalies only present on the dateline and points east of there a week out (1/28 - the end of the model run) with weak westerly anomalies developing in the core of the KWGA. The Inactive Phase of the MJO looks to be at it's peak today over the KWGA with the Active Phase trying to build in a week out.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (1/20) The Inactive/Dry Phase of the MJO is moderately strong over the dateline with the Active/Wet Phase over the Maritime Continent. The statistical model depicts the Inactive/Dry Phase slowly easing east and moving to 150W and out of the KWGA 10 days out while the Active Phase holds together moving east over the Maritime Continent and into the West Pacific 10-15 days out. The dynamic model depicts the same thing.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (1/21) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO moderately strong over the Maritime Continent and is to track east into the West Pacific 15 days and still moderately strong. The GEFS model suggests the same thing but with the Active Phase weaker 15 days out and not making quite as much eastward progress.
40 day Upper Level Model: (1/21) This model depicts a moderate Active/Wet MJO pattern developing over the West Pacific pushing east and fading some while moving into Central America on 2/20. Another moderate pulse of the Inactive Phase is to follow in the west on 2/7 pushing east to the Central Pacific through the end of the model run on 3/2. This model runs about 1 week ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (1/21) This model depicts a well formed Inactive/Dry pattern just past it's prime over the KWGA with east anomalies in control of the entire KWGA. The Inactive Phase is to start retreating and gone by 1/27. On 1/23 the Active/Wet Phase is to start building over the far West Pacific but not getting decent positioning until 1/27 with west anomalies over the Western KWGA building east and then filling the KWGA by 2/2. The Active Phase is to hold through 2/22 with weak west anomalies in the core of the KWGA. A weak Inactive Phase is to follow in the West KWGA on 2/10 building east and holding through 3/26. A weak Active Phase to follow and in control through the end of the model run on 4/20 with light west wind anomalies indicated. The low pass filter indicates a modest low pressure bias over the western half of the KWGA to 165E and is hold till 2/26, then start moving east reaching the dateline 4/11 with a high pressure bias over the East KWGA at 175E and is to move east and out of the KWGA by 3/15. No significant oceanic change is expected this winter as there is a 3 month delay for the ocean to respond to whatever occurs in the atmosphere, providing that change is consistent and long lasting (months in duration).

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (1/21) The overview pattern depicts that warm water has retreated to the west and cooler water is in control in the east but losing ground quickly. Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 29-30 degs in the far West Pacific at 160E. The 28 deg isotherm line is steady at 180W and steep (meaning there is a headwind of cooler water pushing into it from the east). The 24 deg isotherm was weak but has migrated east to 110W and deepening to 100 meters deep at 140W. Anomaly wise in the East Pacific it appears modest negative temperatures are quickly fading limited to the top 50 meters of the ocean in a few pockets to -1 degs C from Ecuador to the dateline but far less dense than months and weeks past. Warm anomalies are in the West Pacific at +2.0 degrees down 150 meters and appear to be making steady easterly headway with a pocket of +1.0 degs anomalies in the East Pacific at 130W down 100 meters at depth with the dividing line between cool and warm temps now at 110W down 150 meters. A Kelvin Wave appears top be pushing east. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 1/13 depicts a large area of cool water filling the subsurface East Pacific (-2.5 degs) but not as cool as the past months and erupting to the surface almost continuously between Ecuador to 170W with warm anomalies at +3.5 degs in the west. The cool pool appears to be slowly discharging to the surface and loosing density and depth while warm water appears to be pushing east under it at up to +3.5 at 175E and the leading edge at 125W.
Sea Level Anomalies: (1/13) Negative anomalies are in control at -5 cms over the equatorial East Pacific out to 160W with a core of -10 cm anomalies present between the Galapagos to 145W but mainly south of the equator and 1 small pocket to -15 cms at 115W. This area is loosing coverage positioned mainly south of the equator. This is encouraging.

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: (1/20) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a cool pattern is quickly dissipating fading significantly in the past few days. Upwelling is holding nearshore along the immediate coast of Peru and Ecuador but with a building pattern of warm anomalies out beyond the coast of Chile and Peru. Pockets of cool anomalies are tracking west on the equator from the Galapagos out to 140W but with a far smaller footprint than months and even weeks and days past. Pockets of weak warm anomalies are indicated just north and south of that route.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (1/20): A warming trend continues solidly along Chile and Peru and is building, starting to advect west on the equator from the Galapagos out to 140W. There were no pockets of cooling water over the same area. A warming trend is developing.
Hi-res Overview: (1/20) Regardless of the short term warming trend indicated above, a La Nina cool stream is still present starting off well Southern Chile and off the coast of Peru and Ecuador but very weak. The core is running on the equator from the Galapagos pushing west and peaking near 120W, then slowly fading out to 180W. Cool water at depth is still erupting to the surface with the breach point just west of the Galapagos. A small area of warm anomalies are building along the immediate coast of Chile and Peru and Columbia. It appears La Nina may have peaked out.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (1/21) Today's temps were rising some at -0.605 degrees. Temps in this area bottomed out on 12/23 at -2.1 degs, a third near peak negative reading. The lowest point so far in this La Nina was -2.248 degs reached on 11/5. And that low point was lower than the previous coldest point reached on 10/11 at -1.9 degs.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (1/21) Today temps were down slightly at -0.781 after rising fast 1/12-1/15, and that after falling hard on 1/10-1/12 to -1.577 setting a peak low temp. On (12/7) temps hit a previous record low at -1.219, just below the previous coldest peak so far this La Nina on 11/22 at -1.156. And the third previous low peak was reached at -1.1 on 11/23. The long arc suggests perhaps a rising pattern. La Nina is in control, but it's taking a hit.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (1/21) The forecast depicts temps bottomed out at -0.75 on Jan 1 and are rebounding forecast up to -0.5 early Feb then falling again to -0.7 in April and holding through the summer. This suggests the peak of this years La Nina has occurred but it is to possibly hold through Summer into next Winter (2018-2019). This model is the outlier with others suggesting La Nina is to die this Spring.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Dec Plume updated (1/4) depicts temps bottomed out at -0.8 in early Dec and are to slowly rise, to +0.0 in May and +0.3 in August. See chart here - link  The NMME consensus for Jan indicates temps -0.8 degrees below normal Nov-Dec 2018 then rebounding to neutral -0.0 in May and +0.4 degs by July. It looks like La Nina is peaking out now. The CFSv2 is in the low end of that pack.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (1/21): The daily index was steady at +15.97 today. The 30 day average was rising to +2.10 suggesting the Inactive Phase of the MJO was having a effect. The 90 day average was rising at +4.08 suggesting La Nina was weakly in control and maybe fading some (mainly due to influence from the Active Phase of the MJO in Dec-Early Jan).
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (1/21) The index was falling slightly again to -1.08. The trend suggests La Nina is stable (was -0.96 on 1/6). Last years La Nina reached -1.94 on 11/2/16 and then fell to -2.20 on 6/28/17. It held pretty negative after that but has been rising some as of late. This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina events. The goal is to have it rise to at least -0.5 before a significant change could be suggested.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly negative, but not as much as one would expect with La Nina in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.12, Feb = +0.05, March = +0.14, April=+0.53, May=+0.29, June=+0.21, July= -0.50, Aug= -0.62, Sept = -0.25, Oct= -0.61, Nov = -0.46, Dec= -0.18. 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 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, Aug=+0.09, Sept = +0.32, Oct=+0.05, Nov = +0.15, Dec = +0.50. 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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