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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 3:49 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
3.4 - California & 3.7 - 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 2/13 thru Sun 2/19

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   

Strong Storm Pattern Forecast
Mult.cgie Gales Targeting California - Dateline To Be Active Too

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Tuesday, February 14, 2017 :

  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 10.0 ft @ 18.2 secs with swell 6.0 ft @ 17.3 secs from 315 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.6 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 1.3 ft @ 14.1 secs from 258 degrees. Wind east 6-8 kts. Water temperature 58.8 degs. At Ventura swell was 1.1 ft @ 14.8 secs from 267 degrees. At Santa Monica swell was 1.3 ft @ 15.0 secs from 252 degrees. At Camp Pendleton swell was 1.0 ft @ 16.5 secs from 244 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma swell was 2.0 ft @ 15.5 secs from 277 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 4.7 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 3.6 ft @ 13.9 secs from 288 degrees. Wind northwest 12-14 kts at the buoy. Water temp 55.2 degs.
    Notes

    46006, 46059, New! Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (at the 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.

 

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
Current Conditions
On Tuesday (2/14) in North and Central CA long distance swell from Japan was producing waves in the 1-2 ft overhead range on the sets when they come and clean and lined up. Its the calm before the storm. At Santa Cruz surf was chest to head high with sets to 1 ft overhead and clean and lined up when they come. In Southern California up north residual windswell was producing waves at maybe waist high and clean but with some lump in the water. In North Orange Co surf was thigh to waist high and nearly chopped from south wind and not rideable. In San Diego surf was waist high on the sets and clean but weak and unremarkable. Hawaii's North Shore was getting a new Japan swell with waves 10 ft on the face early and already chewed up by southwest winds and nearly whitecapped. The South Shore was waist to chest high and chopped with whitecaps. The East Shore was windswell at waist high and clean.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (2/14) swell from a gale that developed off Japan tracking east Fri-Sat (2/11) with up to 37 ft seas and then continued east over the dateline while slow fading reaching a point almost north of Hawaii on Mon (1/13) with seas continuously in the 35 ft range before fading east of there and expected to track northeast up into the US West Coast later Wed (2/15) with seas barely 20 ft. Swell is starting to hit Hawaii. By Fri (2/17) the storm track is to start waking up with a local gale forming off South CA with seas up to 26 ft, a second gale tracking northeast through the Gulf with seas to 42 ft, then reorganizing while falling southeast with seas back to 30 ft off Central CA on Mon (2/20). And if one is to believe the models, a strong storm is forecast moving over the dateline on Tues (2/21) with seas to 55 ft over a small area. Something to monitor and all driven by a strong jetstream aloft being enhanced by the Active Phase of the MJO.

SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis.cgius forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Tuesday AM (2/14) the jetstream was consolidated tracking flat east off Southern Japan and well south of normal with winds building to 180 kts over the dateline reaching to a point 900 nmiles west of Central CA before weakening and .cgiitting. The northern branch pushed up into British Columbia and the southern branch .cgiit again with most energy pushing into Central CA with some also tracking south to the equator. A bit of a trough was present in the Gulf of Alaska just behind the .cgiit point. But otherwise the jet was running flat/zonal but still well supportive of gale development based purely on wind speeds alone. Over the next 72 hours through Fri (2/17) the same basic pattern is to continue but with winds weakening some in the west but holding in the east with a gentle trough developing on the dateline being fed by 150 kts winds, then ridging slightly over the Gulf with winds building to 180 kts and then falling into a building trough just a few hundred miles off the Central CA coast. Both these troughs should be supportive of gale development. Beyond 72 hours the trough just off California is to fall ste.cgiy south on Sat (2/19) finally pushing onshore over Central Baja and ceasing support for gale development. The trough on the dateline is to ease east building some as it reaches the Eastern Gulf Mon (2/20) and steepening some into Tuesday but still not onshore, poised just off North CA. And yet another trough is to be developing just west of the dateline on Tues being fed by 160 kts winds offering good support for gale development. And active pattern is suggested.

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday (2/14) swell from a gale that traversed the North Pacific was starting to hit Hawaii and is bound for the US West Coast (see Second Japan Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a string of gales are forecast developing, being fed by a strong jetstream pattern above it.

The first system is to develop just off Central CA on Fri AM (2/17) with pressure 992 mbs and north winds 45 kts starting to produce 26 ft seas at 33N 134W. A solid fetch of 40 kt north winds to develop by Fri PM generating 30 ft seas at 31N 129W targeting Southern CA and Baja. The core of the gale is to move over the Channel Islands on Sat AM (2/18) with a broad fetch of 30-35 northwest winds just off the Central and Southern CA coasts producing 26 ft seas at 28N 124W targeting mainly Baja. The gale is to fade in the evening with 20-22 ft seas impacting Central Baja. Possible raw swell for Pt Conception southward to Cabo San Lucas.

On Thurs PM (2/16) a small storm is to start building just east of the dateline producing a tiny area of 55 kt northwest winds and seas building from 26 ft at 36N 174W. The storm is to be lifting northeast Fri AM (2/17) with winds still 55 kts from the northwest with seas to 40 ft over a small area at 39N 165W. The gale is to continue northeast in the evening with winds fading from 45 kts from the west targeting California and Oregon well with seas fading from 39 ft at 41N 158W. On Sat AM (2/18) the gale is to stall in the Gulf with a solid fetch of 45 kt west winds holding and seas 38 ft at 43N 152W. Fetch is to fade in the evening in the Central Gulf from barely 40 kts from the west with seas fading from 32 ft at 45N 147W. This system is to quickly dissipate from there. Aa good pulse of longer period swell could result for California and Oregon up into Washington. Something to monitor.

3 more gale are to follow (see Long Term Forecast below).

 

Second Japan Gale
A broader gale developed off Japan starting Fri AM (1/10) being fed by a strong jetstream flow aloft. This systems is to not be so much a swell producer as a primer for more activity that is likely behind driven by the first real Active Phase of the MJO all season. 45 kt west winds were over a tiny area with seas building from 27 ft at 37N 153E. In the evening 45 kt west winds were building in coverage while racing east mid-way to the dateline with 33 ft seas moving to 37N 160E. Sat AM (1/11) 40-45 kt west winds were pushing to nearly the dateline with 37 ft seas building back at 39N 168E. In the evening 40 kt west winds were over a broad area on the dateline with 35 ft seas building at 38N 175E. More of the same occurred Sun AM (1/12) with 40-45 kt west winds on the dateline and 35 ft seas over a solid area on the dateline at 37N 180W. Fetch continued in the evening at 40+ kts positioned northwest of Hawaii with 35 ft seas at 36N 174W aimed east. The gale was fading Mon AM (1/13) north of Hawaii with 40 kt west winds and 35 ft seas over a smaller area at 36N 168W targeting mainly Hawaii but also aimed at Central and Southern CA. In the evening fetch faded from 35 kts and became diffuse with 28 ft seas over a solid area at 36N 160W. By Tues PM (2/14) a front from remnants of this system are to be just off the California coast rebuilding from the southwest at 30-35 kts with 20 ft seas at 32N 150W and developing while lifting northeast. 35 kt southwest winds to be just off Central CA on Wed AM (2/15) with 20 ft seas in the same location (35N 140W) lifting northeast.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Tues (2/14) building steadily through the day to 10.8 ft @ 16-17 secs (17 ft Hawaiian). Swell fading some Wed (2/15) from 9.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (13.0 ft Hawaiian). Residuals fading on Thurs (2/16) from 6.7 ft @ 13 secs (8.5 ft). Dribbles on Friday dissipating from 4.8 ft @ 12 secs (5.5 ft faces). Swell Direction: 310-315 degrees

North CA: A mixture of ground swell and locally generated raw windswell to start hitting the coast Thurs AM (2/16) with pure swell 7.0 ft @ 17 secs (12 ft) and windswell 9 ft @ 12-13 secs intermixed (10.5 ft). Residual mixed raw swell to be fading Fri (2/17) from 7.8 ft @ 14-15 secs (11 ft). Jumbled energy continue Sat (2/18) at 6 ft @ 7-14 secs (7 ft). Swell Direction: 285 with windswell from 270 degrees

 

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday (2/14) the last of the protective high pressure was trying to hold on over and just off California with light winds nearshore early and clear skies. Use this time to complete preparations, as another round of storms are forecast. Wednesday (2/15) south winds return to North CA reaching south to Monterey Bay late afternoon with a front impacting Cape Mendocino and rain early for Cape Mendocino and showers down to San Francisco with the front pushing south from there overnight. Thursday AM the front pushes south to Pt Conception with south wind fading from 15 kts down to 5-10 kts late afternoon. Heavy rain over the North Coast moderating while pushing south to Pt Conception at sunset and into San Diego overnight. Snow for Tahoe starting at sunrise fading at sunset with 8-11 inches of accumulation. 6 inches for Mammoth. Fri AM (2/17) south winds are to be building from San Diego to Monterey Bay pushing 30+ kts mid-day even down into Southern CA turning southeast to east north of Monterey Bay. Rain building through the day focused on Southern CA and very heavy in Santa Barbara down to LA late afternoon. Moderate rain north of there. Snow developing at sunrise for Tahoe barely at lake level. 3-4 inches of accumulation and maybe more overnight. Saturday the meat of that gale is to move onshore with north winds 30 kts from Pt Arena southward to Pt Conception but calm winds for Southern CA. Rain fading for North and Central CA but continuing but getting spotty late afternoon for Southern CA. Light snow for Tahoe fading in the evening. Sunday northwest winds fade from 25 kts from all of California with the next gale winding up off the North and Central Coasts with the front and south winds at 25-30 kts impacting North CA overnight. No rain until 10 PM, then moderate for all of North and Central CA. No snow to the Sierra. Monday AM (2/20) south winds 20-25 kts to be sliding south to Pt Conception and 15 kts into Southern CA mid-day. Moderate rain for all of North and Central CA turning to showers later afternoon. Modest rain for Southern CA down to LA. Snow expected for the Sierra starting before sunrise getting heavy later afternoon continuing heavy overnight. Tuesday (2/21) southwest winds to continue for all of North and Central CA at 15+ kts but light north in Southern CA. Moderate rain for all of North and Central CA and light down to LA. Steady snow for the Sierra. Total weekly accumulations till 4 AM Wed (2/22): Kirkwood/Squaw area: 70-78 inches, Mammoth: 42 inches.

 

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis  
A storm developed in the Central South Pacific Tues AM (2/7) producing 55 kt west winds and seas building from 39 ft at 56S 157W. In the evening 50 kt west winds continued tracking east with 42 ft seas at 56S 148W. Most of this fetch was bypassing Hawaii to the east but sideband swell was targeting California, but really focused on Chile and Peru. On Wed AM (2/8) 45 kt west winds continued east with 40 ft seas at 56S 138W. In the evening 40 kt west winds continued east with 37 ft seas at 55S 130W. Thurs AM (2/9) 40 kt west-southwest fetch built in coverage with 34 ft seas at 53S 123W. Fetch continued east at 40 kts in the evening with 32 ft seas at 53S 121W starting to move out of the CA swell window. Fetch was fading Fri AM (2/10) from 35 kts from the southwest with 32 ft seas at 51S 111W and outside the SCal swell window. This system faded from there. A decent pulse of southern hemi swell is possible for Southern CA southward (and even into NCal) if this.cgiays out as forecast. But m
ost energy is to be aimed at Chile and Peru.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed AM (2/15) building to 1.4 ft @ 19 secs late (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell continues on Thurs (2/16) pushing 1.8 ft @ 17-18 secs (3.0-3.5 ft with sets to 4.0 ft). Swell continues on Fri (2/17) at 2.0 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.0 ft with sets to 4.0 ft). Swell fading Sat (2/18) from 1.7 ft @ 14-15 secs early (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 195 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Thus AM (2/16) building to 1.7 ft @ 18-19 secs (3.1 ft with sets to 4.0 ft). Swell continues Fri AM (2/17) at 1.7 ft @ 17-18 secs (3.0 ft with sets to 4.0 ft). Swell fading Sat AM (2/18) from 1.6 ft @ 16 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 190 degrees This swell to be buried in stronger northwest swell.

Otherwise no swell producing fetch of interest is occurring or forecast.

 

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

 

QuikCAST's

 

LONG-TERM FORECAST
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours 3 more system are to develop:

On Sat PM another gale is to develop in the Southern Gulf of Alaska producing a tiny area of 50 kt north winds 900 nmiles north of Hawaii with seas building from 24 ft at 36N 156W. The gale is to build Sun AM (2/19) while tracking east with winds 50 kts and seas up to 34 ft at 36N 149W targeting primarily San Francisco southward. In the evening fetch is to build in coverage absorbing remnants of the system north of it (see above) with a large fetch of 40+ kt west winds setting up off NOrth and Central CA with 31 ft seas at 37N 141W aimed east. On Mon AM (2/20) fetch to build to 50 kts (storm status) 600 nmiles off Pt Arena with 42 ft seas building at 38N 138W. In the evening fetch is to hold position with winds still 45-50 kts from the west winds 40 ft seas at 39N 132W targeting Pt Arena directly and affecting all of North and Central CA. Fetch is to fade out Tues AM (2/21) with 28 ft seas at 38N 127 pushing into Cape mendocino and southward to Pt Conception. Large raw local swell to impact the CA coast. Monitor this situation closely.

A primer gale is forecast developing Sun (2/19) just west of the dateline lifting northeast producing 30-35 kt west winds and seas building from 25 ft at 37N 175E targeting Hawaii. It is to lift northeast into Mon AM (2/20) with winds building to 40 kt from the west with 27 ft seas building at 43N 179W. In the evening 40 kt west winds are to stall over the Northern Dateline region with 34 ft seas at 45N 177W aimed at the US West Coast. More of the same is forecast Tues AM (2/21) with 40 kt west winds just south of the Aleutians with 35 ft seas at 47N 170W aimed at Canada and the Pacific Northwest. This system is to fade from there. For the most part, whatever swell is generated from this system will be lost much larger and raw swell generated by systems ahead and behind it.

A far stronger storm is forecast developing just west of the dateline and well to the south Mon PM (2/20) with 55-60 kt west winds and seas building from 32 ft at 36N 162E. On Tues AM (2/21) winds to be 65 kts (hurricane force) from the northwest with seas building to 45 ft at 39N 170E. in the evening 55 kt west winds to continue with seas building to 50 ft at 40N 178E aimed to the east and pushing over the dateline. Something to monitor.

 
South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.

More details to follow...

 

Active MJO Holds for Now

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 equatorial Pacific it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slack if not an outright reversal of trade winds and enhanced 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.cgianet, 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 help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to .cgiit resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. 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 di.cgiaced and generally weak. And by early 2017, it appears to be fading.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Monday (2/13) east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific but weaker over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. The KWGA is on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south. Anomalies were neutral over the equatorial East Pacific to the dateline then turning easterly over the KWGA. La Nina's remnants in the atmosphere have not given up yet, but it's life is now very limited.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): Weak west anomalies were modeled over the dateline and the Kelvin Wave generation area extending over the entire East Pacific as well. The forecast suggests west anomalies are to hold for 2 days, then weak east anomalies return to the Kevin Wave Generation Area holding till then end of the forecast (2/21). This suggests the Active Phase of the MJO is to dent the fading remnants of La Nina but not overtake them.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: As of 2/13 the Active Phase of the MJO was strong over the West Pacific and dateline regions. The statistic model projects it fading while moving east and gone a week out while a strong Inactive Phase of the MJO builds over the West Pacific making it to the dateline 2 weeks out. The dynamic model depicts the same thing but with no Inactive Phase in the forecast. Instead it stays in the Indian Ocean and fades while the Active Phase fade in the West Pacific.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (2/14) The ECMF model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO is moderately strong over the Galapagos and is to track east and hold strength while moving over the Atlantic and into the Indian Ocean 2 weeks out and loosing strength there. The GEFS model depicts the same thing. This model runs about 1.5 weeks ahead of what occurs at the surface.
40 day Upper Level Model: (2/14) This model depicts a modest Active Phase of the MJO was fading over the Galapagos and is to be gone by 2/19. A very strong The Inactive Phase is to follow tracking over the West Pacific 2/19 reaching Central America 3/16. Another very strong Active Phase is to follow in the West Pacific 3/10 reaching west of the dateline 3/26. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface. Either way, the MJO is forecast to be strong and moving fast.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (2/14) This model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was over the West Pacific and is to track east through 2/25 with moderate west anomalies in the far West Pacific and east anomalies fading over the dateline. A moderate Inactive Phase is to follow 2/26-4/3 but with weak west anomalies slowly getting more traction over the dateline region from March onwards. A weak Active Phase is to follow 4/11 with solid west anomalies over the KWGA and dateline regions. The MJO is forecast to start building in strength from here forward having more influence on wind anomalies in the KWGA as La Nina dies (gone per the low pass filter on 3/28 with El Nina taking hold 4/19).

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (2/14) Actual temperatures remain stratified with warm water in the West Pacific at 30+ degs C (reaching east to 163E) and the 28 deg isotherm line reaching to 178E and steep, suggesting a hard break between warm water in the west and cool water in the east at depth. 26 degs anomalies reached to 130W making steady eastward progress. Anomaly wise there's no signs of La Nina. Warm anomalies at +1-2 degs rule from the West Pacific but are no longer pushing east, reaching only to 160W. Neutral anomalies are east of there to Ecuador except for one pocket of -1.0 deg anomalies down 100 m at 125W but not at the surface. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 2/7 depicts warm water is building east forming a nearly continuous path from the West Pacific to nearly Ecuador at +0.5-1.0 degs. La Nina has lost control of the ocean at depth with remaining negative anomalies weakening and getting shallower.
Sea Level Anomalies: (2/7) Negative anomalies at -5.0-10 cm's still control 2 pockets stranding the equator between 110W to 145W and 5 degs north and south. Sea levels are slowly rising with La Nina loosing it's grip at depth.

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: (2/13) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate warm water dominating the region extending from Southern Chile north to Panama and then extending west over the Galapagos reaching to 130W. There is some signs of cooling along the immediate coast of Southern Peru but it has not grown in the past week. A pocket of cool water is developing along Columbia. No cool waters are present on the equator anywhere from 160W and points east of there. La Nina is gone and it looks like an El Nino like pattern is returning, though that seems unlikely. It's likely just a warm push in the Nino1.2 region and is not expected to make a significant footprint into the Nino3.4 region.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (2/13): A neutral trend is along immediate Peru but a warming trend extends from Ecuador out over the Galapagos extending west to the dateline except one pocket of cooler water between 100-120W.
Hi-res Overview:
(2/13) There is no sign of La Nina cool waters from Ecuador west to at least 160W. Instead warmer than normal water is in.cgiay over that entire region. The only real remnants are from 160W-170E and even those appear to be in collapse and heading west. La Nina is dead and it's remnants are loosing coverage quickly. This is good news.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (2/14) Today's temps were rising at +0.452 or nearly neutral, but certainly not cool.  
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (2/14) temps were rising quickly at +0.24 degs. Temps have been oscillating warm to cool and back in 2-3 week cycles within a range from -0.0 to -0.5 degs but are trending steadily warmer.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies



SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (2/14) This model indicates La Nina developed from June thru Oct in the -0.55 deg range then started fading with temps rising to neutral by Jan 1. La Nina is dead. The forecast has temps rising abruptly to +0.5 degs March 1 building to +0.8 degs in April slowly rising to +1.0 in July, then rising slightly to +1.35 degs through Oct, suggesting a return of El Nino. This indicates that La Nina is over and a return to at least normal temps is expected in Spring. The change in the atmosphere will be slower. An El Nino outcome seems improbable.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Jan Plume depicts temps are warming and are now at -0.2 degs. A slow increase in temps is forecast thereafter to neutral 0.0 in March 2017 warming to +0.2 degs in May and holding into the Fall. This is no different than the Dec forecast and suggests La Nina is over. See chart here - link. 

Atmospheric Deco.cgiing (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (2/14): The daily index was negative today at -1.15, the first negative day after 14 days of positive readings. The 30 day average was rising to +0.28. The 90 day average was rising some at +2.40. All this suggests a near neutral pattern was taking hold.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (2/14) Today's value was steady at -0.90. A peak low was reached on 11/2 at -1.94 the deepest it had been in this La Nina event. But that since backed off but has held in the -1.2 range since. Now even this indicator suggests La Nina is loosing it's grip. This measures atmospheric response, not oceanic. The atmosphere lags changes in the ocean driven by the ENSO cycle. The expectation is this index will continue rising.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO continues positive, though much weaker lately (as expected with La Nina setting in).
Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-Dec) are: +21, This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO.
The Washington EDU index (Jan-Dec) has not updated for Jan yet.
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

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