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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 12:45 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
2.0 - California & 1.3 - 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 2/26 thru Sun 3/4

Swell Potential Rating Categories
5 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Significant swell
4 = Good probability for 1-2 days of Significant swell
3 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Intermediate/Advanced swell
2 = Good probability for  1-2 days of
Intermediate/Advanced swell
1 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Impulse or Windswell
0 = Low probability for 1-2 days of Impulse or Windswell   

Gale Developing off Pacific NW
But Split Jet to Dominate

BUOY ROUNDUP

On Wednesday, February 28, 2018 :

  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): This buoy is down and not updating.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.1 ft @ 7.1 secs with swell 1.9 ft @ 10.0 secs from 279 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northeast at 4-6 kts. Water temperature 58.1 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 2.1 ft @ 11.1 secs from 281 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.0 ft @ 15.0 secs from 199 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.3 ft @ 15.4 secs from 215 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.7 ft @ 12.6 secs from 269 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 7.7 ft @ 10.0 secs with swell 5.3 ft @ 10.3 secs from 318 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 14-18 kts. Water temp 51.4 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).
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 Wednesday (2/28) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing waves in the head high range and and lumpy from northwest wind off the coast and weak and crumbled. Protected breaks were waist to maybe chest high and warbled and mushy with some surface lump intermixed early. At Santa Cruz surf was flat to thigh high and swamped by tide early but semi clean. In Southern California up north surf was flat to knee high and clean. In North Orange Co surf was waist to chest high and nearly chopped from south wind. South Orange Country's best breaks were chest high and clean and somewhat lined up. In North San Diego surf was waist high at best breaks and clean and somewhat lined up but weak. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and nearly whitecapped from strong east trades. The South Shore was flat and clean with some east windswell trying to wrap in. East Shore was getting east windswell at double overhead and chopped from strong east-southeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Wednesday (2/28) no swell of interest was hitting Hawaii and only windswell was hitting California from a gale previously in the Northeastern Gulf. No swell of interest is in the water coming from the North Pacific. But a gale is developing just off Vancouver Island falling south Wed-Fri (3/2) producing 23 ft seas building to 30 ft early Fri (3/2) possibly result in raw local swell. And a somewhat stronger system is to develop off the North Kuril Islands on Fri-Sat (3/3) producing 36-38 ft seas aimed east, but is to not even make it to the dateline. And a small system is forecast for the Central Gulf of Alaska on Sat-Sun (3/4) with barely 31 ft seas aimed southeast. Nothing is charted after that. La Nina in combination with the Inactive Phase of the MJO is to continue suppressing swell development for the next 2 weeks.

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

North Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Wednesday AM (2/28) the jetstream was pushing east-southeast off Japan and almost split there but holding together with winds 130-150 kts then splitting just before reaching the dateline. A trough was developing off the North Kuril Islands offering some support for gale development. The northern branch peeled off and tracked north pushing over the Central Aleutian Islands and up into the North Bering Sea before turning southeast and falling south down off the coast of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest forming an backdoor trough offering some support for low pressure development before moving inland over Oregon. The southern branch continued east and split again just west of Hawaii with some energy tracking northeast and joining the northern branch pushing into Oregon while the bulk of the remaining energy was pushing into Baja. This is a variant of the same pattern that has been in play for weeks now. Over the next 72 hours the Kuril Islands trough is to lift north and dissipate in the Bering Sea late Thurs (3/1) while winds speeds in the jet decrease pushing off Japan. The backdoor trough along British Columbia is to build some while falling south through Thurs (3/1), then weakening and moving inland into Sat (3/3) offering some limited support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours the northern branch is to settle down again pushing over the Eastern Aleutians by Sat (3/3) perhaps forming a trough in the Gulf of Alaska falling southeast some offering some support for gale development. And that trough is to hold through the end of the model run on Wed (3/7) off the Pacific Northwest continuing to offer support for low pressure development. But to the west by Mon (3/5) the jet is to be well split with the split point literally 150 nmiles off South Japan with the jet remaining split over the width of the North Pacific with the northern branch tracking up the Kuril Islands and over the Aleutians then falling south into the aforementioned trough in the Gulf. The southern branch is to be tracking flat east over Hawaii and joining the main flow in the Eastern Gulf moving inland over Central CA. This does not bode well for gale development except for the Eastern Gulf. The good news is it does open the door some to precipitation in California.

Surface Analysis
Residual windswell was still hitting California from a small gale that developed in the Northern Gulf of Alaska on Sat PM (2/24) (see North Gulf Gale below)

Over the next 72 hours a small gale was starting to develop off British Columbia Wed AM (2/28) with northwest winds 30 kts pushing south and seas building. In the evening winds to build to 35 kts from the north over a decent sized area and seas building to 22 ft at 53N 144W. The gale is to be developing just off Vancouver Island Thurs AM (3/1) with 30-35+ kt north winds over open waters pushing south with seas 24 ft at 45N 139W in the NCal swell window (307 degs). In the evening the fetch is to fall south some building to 40-45 kts from the north over a small area generating 30 ft seas at 47N 135W aimed south (312 degrees NCal). On Fri AM (3/2) the core of the low is to move just off Cape Mendocino CA with fetch fading from 35 kts from the northwest with seas fading from 28 ft at 41N 133W (300 degs NCal). The gale is to be moving inland over Cape Mendocino in the evening with 20-22 ft seas impacting the coast there. Raw proto-swell possible sweeping south into North and Central CA if all goes as forecast.

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri AM (3/2) building to 10.5 ft @ 13 secs (12 ft) fading some in the evening while period builds to near 14 secs. Swell peaking Sat AM (3/3) at 10.8 ft @ 14 secs (13 ft) and shadowed in the SF Bay Area. Size and period fading late afternoon to 8.9 ft @ 12-13 secs (10 ft). Residuals on Sun AM (3/4) fading from 5.0 ft @ 11 secs (5.5 ft). Swell Direction: 300-310+ degrees

 

On Thurs PM (3/1) a gale is to be developing off North Japan producing a building fetch of 45-50 kt west winds starting to get traction on the oceans surface. By Fri AM (3/2) the gale is to be tracking northeast off the Southern Kuril Islands with 45 kt west winds and seas building to 37 ft at 42N 153E aimed east. The gale is to lift northeast in the evening with winds 40 kts from the west and seas 36 ft at 46N 157E. On Sat (3/3) the gale is to be approaching the West Aleutians with winds 40 kts from the west and seas 35 ft at 49N 161E. In the evening the gale is to be pushing into the West Bering Sea with all seas impacting the Western Aleutians at 32 ft at 52N 168E. Low odds of some sideband swell reaching Hawaii and swell decayed swell resulting for the US West Coast. Something to monitor.

 

North Gulf Gale
On Sat PM (2/24) a gale was in the extreme Northern Gulf of Alaska producing 40 kt northwest winds with seas building from 24-26 ft at 54N 143W and outside the NCal swell window. On Sun AM (2/25) the gale was drifting southeast some with a respectable area of 35 kt northwest winds with seas building to 24-26 ft at 51N 140W and barely in the NCal swell window (319 degrees NCal). In the evening fetch was fading from 30 kts from the northwest with 20 ft at 48N 140W and again barely in the NCal swell window (319 degs NCal). Mon AM (2/26) fetch is to be gone with seas fading from 19 ft just off the Oregon and Washington coast at 44N 132W (319 degrees NCal). Possible north angled windswell to result for the Pacific Northwest down ito Central CA.

North CA: Residuals on Wed (2/28) fading from 5.0 ft @ 11-12 secs (5.5 ft). Swell Direction: 310-315 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 Wednesday (2/28) 15 kt northwest winds were blowing over open waters of Central CA and lighter over North CA early. And even those winds are to fade by afternoon as south winds start building over Cape Mendocino down to Pt Arena as a gale builds off the Pacific Northwest. Rain building over Cape Mendocino down to Monterey Bay later. Light snow building south to Tahoe late evening. Thurs (3/1) the gale is to fall south of the North Oregon border late afternoon with a front and south winds 15-20 kts pushing south from San Francisco early to Morro Bay late afternoon and into Santa Barbara County overnight. Solid rain is to be from San Francisco northward early and light rain to Pt Conception and all that falling south and holding down to Ventura County. Heavy snow building for the entire Sierra through the day lightening some for Tahoe overnight but solid down into the Southern Sierra overnight. Friday (3/2) the core of the low pressure system is to be moving inland over the Oregon-CA border with west winds 20 kts for all of North CA and 15 kts down into Central CA and 10 kt west to southwest winds into Southern CA, but lightening to 15 kts or less in the afternoon from Morro Bay southward. Solid snow continuing for the Sierra before sunrise then breaking Fri AM only to redevelop in the afternoon while snow continues steadily through the afternoon. Another pulse of snow possible for the entire Sierra in the evening. Saturday (3/3) northwest winds 15 kts for North CA and 10-15 kts for Central CA and less for Southern CA. Light rain along the coast early fading and becoming more scattered through the day. Light snow for Tahoe continuing through the day and evening. Sunday (2/4) light winds 10 kts or less are forecast for the North and Central CA coast but northwest 15 kts for Southern CA. No precip forecast. Significant snowfall accumulations are possible for the Sierra over the Wed PM-Sat PM window pushing 42 inches at resorts on the crest (Squaw, Kirkwood) and 26 inches down to Mammoth. Monday (3/5) low pressure from the Gulf of Alaska is to start building over outer waters with southeast winds 10 kts for all of North and Central CA. Tues (3/6) south winds are forecast for North and Central CA at 10 kts building to near 20 kts late afternoon for Monterrey Bay northward with a front pushing onshore for all of North and Central CA overnight. Rain developing late afternoon from Monterey Bay northward peaking overnight. Snow building for Tahoe 10 PM. A light southwest flow to continue Wed AM (3/7) with rain slowly fading along the entire North and Central CA coast through the day. Snow again in control for the Sierra strongest at sunrise.

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis  
No swell producing weather systems of interest are occurring. Swell from a gale that previously traversed the South Pacific is limping northeast (see South Pacific Gale below).

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

 

South Pacific Gale
A gale started developing in the Southwestern Pacific on Sun PM (2/25) producing 50 kt south winds and seas building from 30 ft over a small area at 53S 170W. Mon AM (2/26) 45 kt southwest winds were lifting northeast some with seas to 35 ft at 52S 159W. In the evening fetch rebuilt to 50 kts from the southwest over a consolidated area with seas to 33 ft at 54S 144W. On Tues AM (2/27) 45 kt southwest winds continued pushing east with seas building to 40 ft at 54S 133W aimed mainly east. In the evening fetch continued at 45 kts from the west-southwest with the gale falling slightly southeast with seas 42 ft at 55S 125W aimed east. On Wed AM the gale was fading with 40 kt west winds while racing east and beyond the eastern edge of the California swell window with seas 40 ft at 56S 115W. Some small sideband swell is possible for California, but nothing for Hawaii.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (3/6) building to 1.4 ft @ 18 secs mid-afternoon (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell to peak on Wed AM (3/7) at 1.5 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 197 degrees

 

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 another gale is to develop in the Central Gulf on Fri PM (3/2) with 45 kt north winds aimed well at Hawaii with seas building from 22 ft over a tiny area at 49N 160W. On Sat AM (3/3) fetch is to be building to 45 kts from the northwest over a small area with 32 ft seas aimed southeast at 47N 155W. The gale is to fade in the evening while falling southeast with northwest fetch 40 kts targeting location east of Hawaii with seas fading from 29 ft at 44N 152W. Sun AM (3/4) fetch is to continue falling south at 35 kts over a small area with 28 ft seas at 42N 150W targeting areas east of Hawaii. The gael is to fall south in the evening with winds still 35 kts from the north and seas 27 ft at 38N 148W. The gale is to dissipate Mon AM (3/5) with seas fading from 22 ft at 35N 145W aimed southeast. Something to monitor.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.

More details to follow...

 

Nino1.2 Region Warming More

The Madden Julian Oscillation is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for MJO activity (which directly relate to the potential for swell production).

Overview: La Nina started developing in early 2016, but westward displaced and generally weak. And by March 2017, it was gone with suspicious warming developing along South America and over the Galapagos to a point south of Hawaii. By May the atmosphere returned to a neutral configuration but then in July east anomalies started building in the KWGA and have not stopped, with cold water upwelling over the the Nino1.2 and 3.4 areas, indicative of La Nina. A double dip La Nina was in control and continued through the Winter of 2017-2018. But warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018, suggesting La Nina was fading.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Fri (2/27) 5 day average winds were normal from the east over the bulk of the equatorial Pacific but weaker to calm over the Central Kelvin Wave Generation Area west of 175E. Anomalies were neutral over the entire equatorial Pacific including the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (2/20) This model has not updated recently. on 2/20 it suggested moderate to strong west anomalies were over the entirety of the KWGA extending east to 150W on the equator. This pattern is to hold through 2/22 then starting to fade with east anomalies building in the KWGA on 2/23 and be in control moderately mainly on the dateline by the end of the model run on 2/27. The Active Phase of the MJO is filling the KWGA but expected to fade with the Inactive Phase taking control by the end of the model run likely causing the jetstream to split even more but possibly allowing high pressure in the east to retrograde west.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (2/27) The Inactive/Dry Phase of the MJO was filling the KWGA and fairly strong. The statistical model depicts the Inactive Phase slowly easing east and weakening incrementally still filling 50% of the KWGA through the end of the model run 15 days out with the Active Phase building over the Maritime Continent. The dynamic model depicts the same thing initially but not moving east, stationary over the KWGA through the model run.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (2/28) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO weak over the Indian Ocean. It is to fade while holding position over the 15 day model run. The GEFS model suggests the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model: (2/28) This model depicts a solid pulse of the Inactive/Dry Phase in the East Pacific with a weak version of the Active Phase over the far West Pacific. The Inactive Phase is to push east and beyond Central America through 3/5. The Active Phase to track east from the far West Pacific into the East Pacific and Central America 3/30. A new Inactive Phase is to be developing moderately in the far West Pacific on 3/25 migrating to the Central Pacific at the end of the model run on 4/9. This model runs about 1-2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (2/28) This model depicts the Inactive Phase was building over the KWGA with east anomalies mainly on the dateline and it's to build east and hold through 3/21 with mostly neutral anomalies forecast in the West KWGA and light to moderate easterly on the dateline. Beyond a weak Active Phase is to follow in the West Pacific starting 3/18 but it is to dissipate. Weak west anomalies are to develop 3/16 and holding through the end of the model run on 5/28 with no coherent MJO signal forecast through the period. The low pass filter indicates a modest low pressure bias over the western half of the KWGA at 165E and is to push east steadily from here forward reaching the dateline 4/15 with a high pressure bias over the East KWGA at 175E and is to steadily move east and out of the KWGA on 4/9. Basically the La Nina bias is to be gone in 4 weeks. But no significant oceanic change is expected until 3 months after the change has taken place in the atmosphere.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (2/26) The overview pattern depicts that warm water is sequestered to the west and cooler water is in control in the east but loosing ground quickly. Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 29-30 degs at 160E. The 28 deg isotherm line is easing east today at 180W and steep (meaning there is a headwind of cooler water pushing into it from the east). The 24 deg isotherm was shallow but has made significant eastward progress migrating across the entire Pacific to Ecuador now and 25 meters deep or more the whole way east and 75 meters deep at 140W. Anomaly wise in the East Pacific negative temperatures have reestablished over a small area but rising to -1 degs at 130W and 75 meters deep and smaller than days past. Warm anomalies were building in the West at +3.5 degs at 180W down 150 meters and appear to be building east with the dividing line between that and cool waters moving east to 147W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 2/22 depicts warm water in the west at +4.5 degs reaching east to 150W. Cool water at -1.5 degs was nearly filling the subsurface East Pacific but has significantly lost density and intensity from 160W and points east of there. Those cool anomalies continue erupting to the surface almost continuously between Ecuador to 170W. The cool pool appears to be slowly discharging to the surface. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data.
Sea Level Anomalies: (2/22) Neutral anomalies were over the balance of the equatorial East Pacific with negative anomalies at -5 cms south of the equatorial East Pacific out to 155W and getting progressively diffuse.

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: (2/27) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a generic and diffuse cool pocket was in the deep Southeast Pacific centered at 100W 15S. Warm anomalies are building off the coast of Chile and Peru up to Ecuador and into Central America while a small thin cool upwelling pattern was indicated along the immediate coast of Peru. Warm anomalies are building along the equator from the Galapagos out to 120W. Cool pockets were generally weak and diffuse from there west to 160W and with a continuing smaller footprint.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (2/27): A warming trend is building solidly off South Chile pushing west to the Central Pacific. A weaker warming trend continues off all of Chile and Peru but then stronger off Ecuador up to Central America with solid warming advecting west along the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos and out to 150W. There were no pockets of cooling water over the same area. A steady warming trend is ongoing.
Hi-res Overview: (2/27) A significant erosion of La Nina is underway with warming building in the entire Nino1.2 region. A broad weak cool pocket is still present well off Chile (10S 110W) and Peru but more so on the equator from 120W to the dateline, starting to look like a Modoki La Nina than anything solid (meaning the core of La Nina is advecting west). Cool water at depth is still erupting to the surface with the breach point south of Hawaii. Overall the cooling pattern is steadily loosing density and drifting west. It appears La Nina is in steady decline.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (2/28) Today's temps were rising steadily at +0.898 degrees. Over all the trend is upwards since late December. 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: (2/28) Today temps were steady at -0.886. A dramatic rise occurred 1/12-1/28 reaching up to -0.600 deg range. Since then temps have eased off some. Previously a peak low was observed on 1/10-1/12 to -1.577. 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 (2/28) The forecast depicts temps bottomed out at -0.75 in Nov and have been slowly rebounding since, up to -0.55 in early Feb. The model indicates temps rising slowly to -0.40 in early April, then falling slowly to -0.6 in July-Aug, only to rise slightly into the Fall to -0.4 degs in Oct. This suggests the peak of this years La Nina has occurred but a hangover from it is to possibly hold weakly through Summer before fading more in the Fall. This model is the outlier with others suggesting La Nina is to die this Spring.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Feb Plume depicts temps at -0.5 degs and are to slowly rise, to +0.0 in May and +0.3 in August and +0.5 in October. See chart here - link. It looks like La Nina is fading out. 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 (2/28): The daily index was positive today at 7.06. The 30 day average was falling at -6.91 suggesting the Inactive Phase of the MJO was still affecting the index. The 90 day average was falling at -0.23 suggesting La Nina is dead.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (2/26) This index has recovered significantly up to -0.37, up from -1.11 on 1/29. The trend suggests La Nina is gone. 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 through Jan 2018. 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, Jan=0.24. 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 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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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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