Saturday, February 8, 2020
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Barbers Point (Buoy 238) : Seas were 5.2 ft @ 16.7 secs with swell 3.4 ft @ 17.2 secs from 316 degrees.
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 14.7 ft @ 16.7 secs with swell 7.8 ft @ 17.1 secs from 316 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 1.8 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 1.2 ft @ 14.1 secs from 165 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southwest at 2-6 kts. Water temperature 59.0 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.8 ft @ 12.7 secs from 293 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.3 ft @ 14.5 secs from 247 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.2 ft @ 14.2 secs from 215 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 1.7 ft @ 14.4 secs from 255 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 12.6 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 9.8 ft @ 8.3 secs from 326 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 25-31 kts. Water temp 51.1 degs (013), 52.9degs (012) and 53.4 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 (2/8) in North and Central CA local northwest windswell was producing waves at 1-2 ft overhead and junky and soft with small whitecaps and chop early. Protected breaks were chest high very soft and crumbled with onshore winds and warbled but not chopped early. At Santa Cruz surf was occasionally waist high on the sets and clean with light fog but bouncing around early from high tide. In Southern California/Ventura waves were flat and clean. In North Orange Co surf was flat to thigh high on rare sets and soft and clean but totally fogged in early. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were thigh to maybe waist high on rare sets and clean. North San Diego was flat to thigh high and soft and clean. Hawaii's North Shore was in the 8 ft range Hawaiian abut trashed with onshore winds, rain and whitecaps in control. The South Shore was flat and clean. The East Shore was getting north windswell at 2 ft overhead and trashed by solid north winds and chop.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Saturday (2/8) in California local north windswell produced by high pressure anchored in the Eastern Gulf of Alaska was present but with poor conditions north of Pt Conception. In Hawaii swell was hitting from another compact gale that developed Tues-Wed (2/5) tracking east from the Kuril Islands to the dateline producing up to 41 ft seas then tracking east while fading over the Northwestern Gulf on Thurs (2/6) but was being marred by a cutoff low still anchored north of the Island producing a steady northerly flow and forecast to hold into Wed (2/12). Some of that swell is to reach CA on Sun (2/9) but winds is likely to be an issue. And yet a third system developed off the Kuril Islands pushing east Thurs-Fri (2/8) producing up to 37 ft seas aimed east then fading over the North Dateline region on Sat (2/8) with seas dropping from 30 ft early. Another broad but diffuse gale is to follow behind limited to the far Northwest Pacific and lifting northeast Sun-Wed (2/12) offering no meaningful swell production potential. So some long distance swell is possible for a while but local winds to be a problem in both Hawaii and CA. And once the wind settle down, so does storm and swell production. At this point we're waiting for one last pulse of the Active Phase of the MJO, and then we should fall into a Springtime pattern. But for now the Inactive Phase is in control.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Saturday (2/8) the jetstream was consolidated pushing flat east off Japan on the 32N latitude line with winds 160 kts reaching just over the dateline supporting a trough centered roughly north of the dateline and offering some support for gale development there. East of there the jet split starting at 168W with the northern branch pushing northeast up into the Northern Gulf of Alaska and then into and down the Canadian Coast pushing inland over Oregon offering nothing in term of support for gale development with the southern branch weak falling over Hawaii then tracking east over Southern Baja. Over the next 72 hours the dateline trough is to fade out on Sun (2/9) while a new trough starts building again over the Kuril Islands being fed by 190 kts winds building in the jet south of there offering building support for gale development. That trough is to push east to the dateline on Tues (2/11) with the split point moving east to 155W and more energy falling into the southern branch just east of the split and literally over Hawaii at 140 kts supporting a cutoff low pressure system there. Beyond 72 hours the trough on the dateline is to be replaced by yet another Kuril Island trough moving to the dateline on Wed (2/12) offering continued support for gale development there but quickly fading early Fri (2/14) as a weak split is to start backbuilding positioned just off North Japan. At that time the jet is to be weak though still fairly decently focused near 40N with the split on the dateline gone and the jet almost consolidated over the entire North Pacific pushing into Oregon. No troughs are forecast but a clear pattern change is forecast to be setting up. All we'll need is some energy.
On Saturday (2/5) swell was fading in California and buried under local northwest windswell from a gale previously over the Northwestern Pacific (See Northwestern Pacific Gale below). Swell from another storm that developed in the far Western North Pacific was hitting Hawaii and moving towards CA (see Dateline Storm below).
Over the next 72 hours yet another swell is to be pushing east originating from a tiny storm that again formed off the Kuril Islands (see Kuril Storm below).
Otherwise no swell producing weather systems are forecast. A broad but fragmented gale is forecast developing just west of the dateline Sun AM (2/9) with 45 kt south winds lifting northeast in it's east quadrant continuing into the evening producing 26 ft seas targeting only the Aleutians. But no meaningful fetch is forecast developing in the gales important west quadrant. A secondary core is to develop just east of the Kurils Mon AM (2/10) producing a limited area of 50 kt west winds and 38 ft seas aimed south at 50N 162E but not targeting even Hawaii. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 40 kts from the northwest with 27 ft seas over a small area at 47N 165E. The gale is to fade while lifting north from there producing only 30-35 kt west winds Tues AM (2/11) with 24 ft seas at 46N 171E aimed east. This system is to fade from there. No meaningful swell is expected to result.
Northwest Pacific Gale
A broad gale developed off the Kuril Islands and Kamchatka on Sat AM (2/1) with up to 50 kt south winds in it's east quadrant producing 31 ft seas at 41N 176W aimed north at the East Aleutians possibly sending sideband energy east and 40 kt west winds approaching the dateline producing 26 ft seas at 41N 175E aimed east. In the evening 45-50 kt south winds continued in the east quadrant producing 31 ft seas at 42N 169W aimed north but with sideband swell potential and 35 kt west winds in it's west quadrant producing 30 ft seas at 46N 178E aimed somewhat at Hawaii. On Sun AM (2/2) more of the same was occurring with 30 ft seas in the east at 44N 163W aimed north and 33 ft ft seas at 50N 168E aimed south at Hawaii. In the evening 40 kt north winds continued aimed south with 33 ft seas fading at 48N 172E aimed south perhaps targeting Hawaii. The gale tracked east and faded Mon AM (2/3) with 30-35 kt north winds and 28 ft seas fading at 45.5N 174E aimed south at Hawaii. In the evening the gale faded with 30 kt north winds and seas fading from 25 ft at 44N 178W aimed south at Hawaii.
North CA: Dribbles fading on Sat (2/8) from 4.0 ft @ 13-14 secs (5.0 ft). Swell Direction: 295-297 degrees
A stronger gale developed off North Japan on Tues AM (2/4) producing a tiny area of 50 kt west winds and seas building from 31 ft at 44N 159E aimed east. In the evening 45-50 kt west winds were tracking east fast with 39 ft seas at 45N 166.5E aimed east. On Wed AM (2/5) the storm was approaching the dateline with 45 kt west winds and 41 ft seas at 45N 173.5E aimed east over a small area. In the evening the gale was pushing over the dateline with 40 kt west winds and seas 38 ft at 45.5N 178.5W aimed east. On Thurs AM (2/6) the gale was fading in the Northwestern Gulf with 35 kt west winds and seas 31 ft at 46N 170W aimed east. The gale to dissipate from there. Swell is in the water tracking east.
Hawaii: Swell steady on Sat (2/8) at 5.9 ft @ 16 secs (9.0 ft) with windswell intermixed. Swell fading on Sun (2/9) from 4.0 ft @ 13-14 secs (5.0 ft) with windswell again in the mix. Swell Direction: 322 degrees
North CA: Swell arrival on Sun (2/9) with period 18 secs building to 4.2 ft @ 17 secs (7.0 ft) and buried in local north windswell. swell continues on Mon (2/10) building to 5.3 ft @ 14-15 secs (7.5 ft). Swell Direction: 302 degrees
Yet another small gale developed just off the Kuril Islands on Thurs AM (2/6) with 45-50 kt west winds over a small area and 35 ft seas at 45N 161E aimed east. In the evening this system stalled with 50+ kt northwest winds holding over a modest sized area and 35 ft seas at 45.5N 162.5E aimed east. More of the same occurred on Fri AM (2/7) with 45 kt northwest winds and the gale holding position with 33 ft seas aimed east at 45N 164E. The gale eased east in the evening with 40 kt west winds and 37 ft seas at 44.5N 167.5E aimed east. The gale started fading Sat AM (2/8) with fetch fading from 35 kts and lifting northeast with seas fading from 30 ft at 45N 174E aimed east. A rapid fade is forecast in the evening with fetch fading from 30 kts on the dateline and seas fading from 24 ft at 45N 180W aimed east. Small swell to track east.
Hawaii: Swell arrival on Mon (2/10) building to 6.3 ft @ 16 secs later (10 ft). Swell steady on Tues (2/11) at 6.3 ft @ 15-16 secs early (9.5 ft) but with copious northwest windswell at 9.1 ft @ 11-12 secs (10 ft) intermixed. Swell fading on Wed (2/12) from 3.4 ft @ 13-14 secs (4.5 ft) with windswell holding at 6 ft @ 10-11 secs (6.0 ft). Swell Direction: 315-320 degrees
North CA: Swell arrival starting Tues (2/11) building to 3.2 ft @ 17 secs (5.0 ft) later. Swell peaks on Wed (2/12) at 4.5 ft @ 16 secs (7.0 ft) holding till sunset. Swell fading on Thurs (2/13) from 4.2 ft @ 15 secs (6.0 ft). Nothing left on Fri (2/14). Swell Direction: 302-303 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Saturday (2/8) high pressure and north winds were in control 20-25 kts for all of North and Central CA early building to 35 kts for SF up to Pt Arena later and 25 kts for all of Central CA later. Sun (2/9) north winds are forecast at 30 kts for North CA and 15-20 kts for Central CA early fading to 15-20 kts late afternoon for North and Central CA and possibly turning slightly north-northeast. Strong northeast winds 25 kts for the Pt Dume area all Sunday evening into early Mon AM. Perhaps a backdoor front is to produce some very light snow for the Central Sierra during the day moving to Southern CA but only producing light rain there late afternoon into early evening. Mon AM (2/10) north to northeast winds to be 10-15 kts for North and Central CA but up to 30 kts for Cape Mendocino fading to 5-10 kts from the north everywhere but still 30 kts from the north for Cape Mendocino later. For Southern CA strong northeast winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for Pt Dume to Santa Monica through the day Monday fading late evening. Tues AM (2/11) north winds to be 20-25 kts for Cape Mendocino early but light north 5 kts from Pt Arena southward and holding all day and fading for Cape Mendocino later too. Wednesday (2/12) light north winds 5 kts or less all day expect north at 25 kts for North Cape Mendocino. No change on Thurs (2/13). Fri (2/14) north winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for North CA and 20 kts just off the coast of Central CA moving onshore in the afternoon. Sat (2/15) north winds are forecast at 20 kts for North CA and 10 kts for Central CA nearshore early holding through the day. Expect water temps to plummet due to upwelling driven by north wind. It sure seems like we're moving into a La Nina influenced Spring pattern.
Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 0, 0, 0 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 gale is forecast developing in the extreme northern Gulf of Alaska Wed PM (2/120 building into Thurs AM (2/13) producing 37 ft seas over a tiny area aimed east up at 53N 140.5W and moving east and out of the NCal swell window (320 degs).
And even further east positioned gale to form in the Northeastern Gulf on Fri (2/14) with 32 ft seas aimed east and not in the NCal swell window at all.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
Active MJO Remains Forecast
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. A bit of a recovery occurred during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water hold in a pool off Peru and has not changed as of late Jan 2020.
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 (2/7) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific fading some over the North Dateline and North KWGA but moderately from the west over the South Dateline and into the south KWGA. Anomalies were modest east over the East equatorial Pacific fading to neutral over the Central Pacific then moderate plus westerly over the dateline and KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (2/8) west anomalies were weak in the KWGA. The forecast calls for a mix of east and west anomalies for 2 days in the KWGA then modest west anomalies start rebuilding over the KWGA and holding through the end of the model run on 2/15 focused on the dateline.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
- Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (2/7) A weak Active MJO signal was over the far West KWGA barely reaching to the dateline with the Inactive Phase tracking east from the Central equatorial Pacific. The statistic model indicates the Active MJO is forecast slowly easing east filling the KWGA on day 10 of the model run and building some into day 15. The dynamic model indicates the same thing but with the Active Phase building a little stronger at day 15. The 2 models are in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (2/8) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was modest to weak over the Maritime Continent today and is to slowly track east holding strength and over the West Pacific at day 15 of the model run. The GEFS model suggests the same thing initially, but with the Active Phase building to moderate if not weak strong strength moving to the West Pacific at day 15.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (2/8) This model depicts a weak Active Phase over the Dateline region today. It is to push east moving into Central America on 3/4 while the Inactive Phase starts to develop in the KWGA. It is to push steadily east while holding strength moving to the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 3/19. At that time a weak Active MJO signal is to start building in the West Pacific.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (2/7) This model depicts a weak Inactive MJO over the dateline today but with modest west anomalies in control in the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Inactive signal is to track east and fade by 2/22 but with west anomalies building to moderate to weak strong strength near 2/17, and then the Active MJO is to materialize on 2/21 holding through the end of the model run on 3/6 with moderate west anomalies in control.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (2/8-using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts the Active Phase was all but gone in the KWGA with weak west anomalies still holding in the core of the KWGA with the Inactive Phase develop in the Eastern KWGA. The forecast has a weak Inactive Phase pushing through the KWGA 2/10-2/16 but with weak west anomalies still holding in the Central KWGA and starting to build on 2/17. A modest Active MJO Phase is to set up 2/21 with moderate west anomalies building into the KWGA holding till 3/11. Beyond that a moderate Inactive Phase is forecast 3/10-4/5 with modest east anomalies filling the KWGA. The Active Phase is to develop 3/29 holding through 4/27 with modest west anomalies in control in the KWGA. A weak Inactive Phase to follow through the end of the model run on 5/7. 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 3/27 then dissipating. And even the last remaining contour line is to be all but gone by the end of the model run. A high pressure bias built in the Indian Ocean and is to hold till 4/26, the dissipate. East anomalies set up in the Indian Ocean starting 10/22/19 and are to hold till 3/22 then fading with a advent of the Active Phase then and not returning with any vigor beyond.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (2/8) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm was steady at 175E with the 29 deg isotherm steady at 171W. The 28 deg isotherm line was a brick wall aligned and steady at 162W today. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador a bit stronger than days past. Anomaly wise, Kelvin Wave #6 was under the dateline at +4 degs tracking from the Maritime Continent moving east with it's leading edge at 137W. Lesser warm water was pushing into Ecuador at +2 degs. Warm water was filling the entire equatorial subsurface Pacific from 110 meters upwards. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 2/2 indicates warm water had formed a Kelvin Wave with warm water falling from 120E down into the dateline at 180m deep peaking there at +3 degrees then pushing and rising east to 140W with lesser warm water pushing and rising east from there (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: (2/2) A broad pocket of +5 cms anomalies is filling the equatorial Pacific between 170E pushing into Ecuador. Fairly impressive.
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: (2/7) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate warm anomalies were building just off the coast of Chile up into Peru but with cool anomalies nearshore there, then building warm anomalies along Ecuador up into Central America then tracking west on the equator to the Galapagos out to 120W mainly on and north of the equator. A broad pocket of cool anomalies still was south of the equator and well off Peru filling the area from 2S south down to 20S reaching west to 115W and east to 90W. A new building pocket of cool anomalies was also on the equator and north of it between 120W to 155W.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (2/7): Today a broad area of moderate warming continued filling the area from Chile and Peru west out to 115W rebuilding in coverage. Warming also extended on the equator from Ecuador out to 120W and stronger today than days past. The short term trend is towards warming in the Southeast Pacific.
Hi-res Overview: (2/7) A steady pocket of cool anomalies is holding south of the equator starting at 5S and just off Peru reaching west out to 130W and steady. Warm anomalies were holding along Chile and Peru stronger up to Ecuador and Central America up to Mexico and stronger on the equator out to 120W. A cool pocket was on the equator from 120-140W. Warmer than normal water was west of there out to the dateline and beyond. Water temps appear to be stable and neither El Nino or La Nina.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (2/8) Today's temps were noodling around at +0.258 but previously much lower down at -0.900 on 12/12. Temps peaked prior at +1.55 degrees on 12/2 after a long runup from negative anomalies in October. It now appears we are in a falling trend.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (2/8) Temps were steady at +0.318. 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 (2/8) Actual's indicate a cooling trend set up late last summer with temps -0.2 degs in mid-Sept then started rising to +0.25 degs in early Oct holding to Dec 1 rising to +0.75 degs Jan 1 and forecast holding there to Feb 1. From there the forecast depicts temps holding steady to mid-March then starting to fall, down to 0.0 in early May then diving negative appearing to be moving to La Nina down at -1.50 in early Oct and stabilizing there. According to this model a neutral sea surface temperature pattern biased slightly warm is forecast for the Winter and Spring of 2020, then turning strongly towards La Nina in the core of Summer.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Jan 2020 Plume depicts temps are at +0.42 degs, and are to slow fade to neutral +0.00 in June 2020, then holding there till Sept 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) (2/8): The daily index was positive today at +3.89. The 30 day average was weakly negative at -1.27. The 90 day average was rising slightly at -4.44, 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): Dec +0.46, Nov +1.03, Oct +0.27 Sept +1.11, August +0.60, 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: 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 2019 -0.18, Feb -0.50 Mar -0.23, April +0.10, May +0.14, June -0.11, July +0.44, Aug -0.14, Sept +0.05, Oct -0.96, Nov -0.28, Dec +0.01, Jan 2020 -1.17, This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2018 +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