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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, March 29, 2018 4:35 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 & 2.6 - 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 3/26 thru Sun 4/1

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   

Dateline Gale Targets Hawaii
Small South Swell For CA

BUOY ROUNDUP

On Thursday, March 29, 2018 :

  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): This buoy has been restored to service! Seas were 3.1 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 1.8 ft @ 11.9 secs from 29 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.2 ft @ 4.3 secs with swell 0.7 ft @ 11.7 secs from 230 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southeast at 2-4 kts. Water temperature NA. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.2 ft @ 8.8 secs from 275 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 0.8 ft @ 13.2 secs from 207 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.0 ft @ 12.8 secs from 203 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.2 ft @ 13.1 secs from 201 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 6.8 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 5.6 ft @ 9.2 secs from 316 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 4-6 kts. Water temp 53.8 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 Thursday (3/29) in North and Central CA local northwest windswell was producing waves in the chest to shoulder high range and warbled and weak and mushy but reasonably clean, typical of windswell. Protected breaks were waist high or so and clean but weak and mushy. At Santa Cruz surf was flat and clean and swamped by tide early. In Southern California up north surf was flat and clean. In North Orange Co windswell was producing surf up to shoulder high or so and clean and lined up and breaking decently early despite the tide. South Orange Country's best breaks were waist to chest high and clean but weak. In North San Diego surf was thigh high on the sets at top breaks and weak but clean. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was getting background southern hemi swell at up to chest high and lined up and clean early. The East Shore was getting northeast windswell at chest high and clean with no trades early.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (3/29) swell from a gale that developed on the dateline Tues-Wed (2/28) tracking southeast producing up to 26 ft seas was pushing towards Hawaii. Beyond no clearly defined swell producing weather systems are forecast. The North Pacific is shutting down. Down south a small gale is forecast developing under New Zealand on Sat (3/31) with 38 ft seas aimed east. The transition to Summer is underway.

 

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

North Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Thursday AM (3/29) the jetstream was weakly split over Japan with the northern branch pushing northeast up the Kuril Islands before dissipating while the stronger southern branch was flowing east on the 30N latitude line with winds building to 140 kts on the dateline with remnants of a trough still circulating there. East of that point the southern branch lifted northeast and fragmented with some energy moving inland over Central Canada while the remaining energy pushed down the US West coast moving inland over Central CA. There was still some limited support for gale development in the remains of the dateline trough. Over the next 72 hours through Sun (4/1) the dateline trough is to continue circulating while easing east and becoming less defined while the northern branch splits from the main flow just off Japan tracking northeast up the Kuril Islands and through the North Bering Sea then falling southeast joining the main flow pushing into the Pacific Northwest. Overall winds are to be light over the entirety of the jet other than up to 140 kts over the dateline with a clearly split flow in control over the entirety of the Pacific offering no support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours the split to the north is to fade with a split flow pushing over the far West Pacific (one down at 25N and the second pushing off North Japan at 45N) and those two flows merging over the dateline with winds building there in the consolidated flow to 150 kts. From there the jet is to track east just north of Hawaii on the 30N latitude line then ridging northeast off California pushing up into the Pacific Northwest. No troughs are forecast offering no support for gale development.

Surface Analysis
On Thursday AM (3/29) swell from a gale on the dateline was pushing towards Hawaii (see Dateline Gale below).

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

A tropical system is circulating 450 nmiles east of the Philippines on Thurs AM (3/29) holding stationary. It is to be influenced by high pressure building east off Japan into Sunday (4/1) making no significant change in location and developing only slightly while starting to get heavily sheared by upper level winds.

 

Dateline Gale
A gale was developing in a trough just west of the dateline Tues AM (3/27) producing a modest sized area of 30 kt northwest winds and seas building from 18 ft over a tiny area at 36N 168E. In the evening north winds built to 35 kts with 18 ft seas at 37N 170E targeting Hawaii well. The gale organized better Wed AM (3/28) with northwest winds 40 kts while tracking southeast with seas to 27 ft at 37N 175E targeting Hawaii well. The gale tracked east in the evening with northwest winds fading from 35 kts on the dateline and seas barely 26 ft at 35N 178E aimed directly at Hawaii. The gale was fading Thurs AM (3/29) with 30-35 kt northwest winds and seas dropping from 21 ft at 34N 175W targeting Hawaii. Winds fading in the evening from 30 kts from the west with seas fading from 19-20 ft at 34N 178W. Swell arrival in Hawaii early in the weekend.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Sat AM (3/31) building early to 5.3 ft @ 14-15 secs (7.5 ft) holding decently through the day. Swell fading Sun AM (4/1) from 4.5 ft @ 12-13 secs (5.5 ft). Residuals on Mon (4/2) fading from 3.5 ft @ 10-11 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 310 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 Thursday AM (3/29) high pressure at 1030 mbs was centered 500 nmiles west of South Oregon ridging into the coast there forming a pressure gradient along the Cape Mendocino coast with north winds 20-25 kts over nearshore waters but less than 10 kts from just south of Pt Arena southward. Friday the gradient is to fade even more with limited 15-20 kt north winds for Cape Mendocino and 10 kts or less south of Pt Arena. Saturday (3/31) north winds to be 15 kts for Cape Mendocino and less south of there. Sunday (4/1) weak high pressure is to set up 650 nmiles off Central CA with north winds forecast at 15+ kts for North CA building southward to Pt Conception in the afternoon. Monday (3/2) the high is to lift north with north winds 15-20 kts from Cape Mendocino to the Channel Islands. Weak low pressure is to be building over outer waters off the Oregon-CA border. Tuesday (3/3) the low is to be pushing closer to North CA with the gradient dissipating and northwest winds 15 kts early for all of North and Central CA fading quickly to 10 kts as low pressure moves incrementally closer. Wed AM (4/4) a light northwest flow is forecast for Central CA and south winds 10 kts for Cape Mendocino. On Thurs (4/5) the front is to weakly impact Cape Mendocino with south winds 15+ kts building south to Bodega Bay later with more low pressure building off the coast. Rain building south to the Golden Gate late afternoon.

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis  
A small gale developed in the Southeast Pacific late the past weekend producing swell pushing north (see Southeast Pacific Gale below).

Also a storm developed in the deep Southeast Pacific on Wed AM (3/28) with 45 kt south winds and seas building from 26 ft at 55S 118W aimed northeast and mostly outside the California swell window targeting only South and Central America. In the evening southwest winds built to 55 kts aimed well north and northeast with seas 42 ft at 56S 105W aimed at all of Central and South America. Fetch is to fade Thurs AM (3/29) from 50 kts from the southwest with seas 46 ft at 56S 95W off Patagonia targeting only Southern America. The storm is to track east from there. Something to monitor but of no interest to the US Coast.

Over the next 72 hours a storm is to build just south of New Zealand on Fri PM (3/30) with 50 kt southwest winds and seas building from 35 ft at 52S 166E over a tiny area. On Sat AM (4/1) the gale is to fall southeast slightly with southwest winds 45 kts and seas 38 ft over a tiny area at 53S 173E. The gale is to hold while tracking east in the evening with 36 ft seas at 53S 180W. On Sun AM (4/1) southwest winds to be fading from barely 40 kts with 33 ft seas fading at 52S 172W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch is to fade from 30 kts from the southwest with seas fading from 29 ft at 50S 163W. no further fetch of interest is forecast. Possible small southwest swell to result for Hawaii and the US West Coast if all plays out as forecast.

 

Southeast Pacific Gale
A small weather system developed in the Southeast Pacific on Sun PM (3/25) lifting gently east-northeast with 40 kt southwest winds and seas to 27 ft over a tiny area at 63S 138W. The gale tracked east-northeast Mon AM (3/26) with 40 kt southwest winds and seas 29 ft at 60S 127W aimed mainly at Chile and Peru but with sideband energy possibly pushing up towards Southern CA. The gale continued east-northeast in the evening with a tiny area of 40 kt southwest winds and seas 30 ft at 59S 119W targeting mainly South America with sideband energy somewhat towards Southern CA. This system was outside the CA swell window by Tues AM (3/27) with winds 35 kts aimed at Chile with 30 ft seas at 54S 111W. The gale is fade from there. Maybe some background swell to result for California.

Southern CA: Possible swell arrival on Tues (4/3) building to 2.0 ft @ 18 secs later (3.5 ft). Swell peaking on Wed (4/4) building to 2.4 ft @ 16-17 secs early (4.0 ft). Swell holding Thurs (4/5) at 2.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 183 degrees

North CA: Possible swell arrival on Tues (4/3) building to 1.5 ft @ 18-19 secs later (2.5 ft). Swell peaking later on Wed (4/4) at 2.3 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell holding Thurs (4/5) at 2.6 ft @ 15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 181 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 generic low pressure is to start building in the Gulf of Alaska Sun-Thurs (4/5) as the split jetstream flow aloft and high pressure at the surface fades. At this time there is no indication of meaningful fetch developing, but that could change.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours another small gale is forecast tracking under New Zealand on Tues (4/3) with 45 kt west winds and seas building. But in the evening the gale is to fall southeast while fading with fetch down to 40-45 kts and 30 ft seas at 52S 173E. The gale is to fall southeast from there with seas fading. Something to monitor.

 

More details to follow...

 

Suspicious Warming Developing West of Galapagos

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 associated with 2 Upwelling Kelvin Waves, suggesting the demise of La Nina was at hand.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Wednesday (3/28) 5 day average winds were from the east over the bulk of the equatorial Pacific and also from the east over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral over the equatorial East Pacific and modest easterly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (3/29) Modest east anomalies were from the dateline and points east of there with moderate to strong westerly winds filling the KWGA to the dateline. This pattern is to effectively hold for the next week with the dividing line between east and west anomalies easing slightly east to 175W at the end of the model run on 4/5. This pattern has been unchanged all month.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (3/28) A moderate Active/Wet signal was over the far West Pacific reaching east to the dateline. The statistical model depicts the Active signal fading 7 days out with a weak Inactive/Dry MJO signal building in the far West Pacific at day 10 and filling the KWGA 2 weeks out. The dynamic model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO is to slowly develop while moving east to the dateline filling the KWGA 5 days out holding 10 days out then moving east and out of the KWGA while the Inactive/Dry Phase of the MJO builds over the Maritime Continent moving into the West Pacific at day 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (3/29) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO modest in strength over the West Pacific. It is to track east and build some over the dateline the next 5 days then tracking east and fading back in the Indian Ocean 15 days out. The GEFS model depicts a variant of the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model: (3/29) This model depicts a weak Active/Wet pattern over the West and Central Pacific. The weak Active Phase is to track east into the East Pacific and Central America through 4/6. A new moderate Inactive Phase is to be developing in the far West Pacific on 4/5 migrating to the East Pacific on 4/26. After that a very weak Active Phase is forecast in the West Pacific 4/18 easing east to the East Pacific through the end of the model run on 5/8. This model runs about 1-2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (3/25) This site is down - no update available today. On (3/21) this model depicted the Inactive Phase was all but gone over the KWGA with east anomalies mainly from the dateline and points east of there with moderate west anomalies from 170E and point west of there with this west wind pattern holding through 3/27. From that point forward east anomalies are forecast to collapse and not return for the duration of the model run. A weak Active Phase is to follow in the West Pacific starting 3/29 holding through 4/14 with modest west anomalies developing and filling the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Beyond no coherent MJO signal is forecast through 5/30 but with weak west anomalies holding in the KWGA and no sign of east anomalies in the KWGA or even in the East Pacific. Perhaps a stronger Active Phase to develop 6/1 holding through the end of the model run on 6/18 with west anomalies strengthening some in the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates a modest low pressure bias over the bulk of the KWGA at 170E and is to push east steadily from here forward reaching the dateline 4/14 with a high pressure bias over the East KWGA at 175E and steadily moving east and out of the KWGA on 4/4. Basically the La Nina bias is to be gone in 2-3 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: (3/29) The overview pattern depicts that warm water is building in coverage in the West Pacific tracking east with cooler water steadily loosing control of the East Pacific. Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 29-30 degs 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 - La Nina). The 24 deg isotherm was building in thickness while making significant eastward progress at 90 meters deep at 140W and 50 meters deep at 120W dropping to 25 meters into Ecuador. Anomaly wise in the East Pacific negative temperatures at -2 degs were in one small pocket at 105W 75 metes deep. Cooler waters are steadily loosing coverage and density and being squeezed to the surface by warm water building in from the west at depth. Warm anomalies were weakening in the West at +3.0 degs at 165W down 150 meters and tracking east with the dividing line between that and cool waters at 117W down 75 meters indicative of a large Kelvin Wave trying to push east and about poised to erupt in the far East Pacific. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 3/24 depicts warm water in the west at +4.5 degs at 155W reaching east to 120W. Cool water was holding in one elongated shallow pocket in the East Pacific from Ecuador to 165W down 50-70 meters with one pocket at -3.5 degs at 100W and continues significantly losing density, intensity and depth being squeezed to the surface by the approaching Kelvin Wave. The cool pool appears to be slowly discharging to the surface and is poised to be undercut by an approaching Kelvin Wave. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data.
Sea Level Anomalies: (3/24) Positive anomalies were over the West equatorial Pacific at +5 cms centered at 160W reaching east to 135W, retracting west some from days before. Neutral anomalies were east of there except for negative anomalies at -5 cms near 110W east to Peru. The La Nina cool pool is all but gone.

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: (3/28) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a generic and diffuse cool pocket in the deep Southeast Pacific centered at 20S 100W. A deep pocket of cool anomalies was along the immediate coast of Peru but was loosing coverage compared to day past. Of some interest is a build pool of warm anomalies developing on the oceans surface on the equator between 95W-115W. This possibly could be the start of a defined eruption point for a large Kevin Wave directly below. Warm anomalies were also along the immediate coast of Central America and Mexico. Cool anomalies were generally weak and diffuse on the equator west of there from 1150W to 160W.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (3/28): A previous cooling trend along the immediate coast of Peru has dispersed. One pocket of cooling is between Ecuador and the Galapagos. But a broad pocket of warming is developing from 105W-125W on the equator, possibly indicating the breach point for a large Kelvin Wave directly beneath there. A weak warming trend was also in place along Central America and Mexico.
Hi-res Overview: (3/28) A pocket of cool water is along the immediate coast of Peru and Ecuador. But weak warming was further off the coast over the same area and reaching north over the Galapagos out to 120W on the equator and filling the area north of there up into Mexico. The La Nina core cool pocket was shrinking on the equator covering the area from 110W to barely the dateline looking like a Modoki La Nina than anything solid (meaning the core of La Nina is advecting west). 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: (3/29) Today's temps were rebounding quickly to -1.212 after previously falling hard to -2.364 degs on 3/25, the coldest of any point in this La Nina. Previous cool peaks were on 3/12 at -1.5 degs retreating from the peak of the first Kelvin Wave hitting at +0.898 degrees on 2/28. Overall temps had been steadily marching 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: (3/29) Today temps were rising some at -0.952 degs. A weak surge in temps occurred 1/12-1/28 reaching up to -0.600 deg range. But 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 (3/29) The forecast depicts temps bottomed out at -0.75 in Nov 2017 and have been slowly rebounding since, up to -0.55 in early Feb and expected to rise to -0.3 in early April. The model indicates temps slowly rising to -0.15 early July, hovering there then starting to rise into the Fall to 0.0 degs in Oct and to +0.2 degs in Nov. This suggests the peak of La Nina occurred in 2017 and is to fade steadily into the Summer of 2018 before being gone in the Fall. The odds of a 3 year La Nina developing are rare (3 year La Ninas 17%, 2 year La Ninas 50%, 1 year La Ninas 33% 1951-2017). This model is now falling inline with all the others suggesting La Nina is to die this Spring.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-March Plume depicts temps at -0.5 degs and are to slowly rise, to +0.0 in May and +0.2 in August and +0.5 in November. 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 (3/29): The daily index was rising to 18.67. The 30 day average was falling to 8.64 suggesting the Inactive Phase of the MJO was still affecting the index but less so lately. The 90 day average was rising some at 3.52 suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (3/29) This index was fading today at -1.06 down from -1.13 on 3/27. Still this is down from -0.33 in late Feb, but was up from -1.11 on 1/29. The trend suggests La Nina is not gone, but possibly also reflects the last of the cool subsurface water being squeezed to the surface from an approaching large Kelvin Wave. 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 positive, even though La Nina is 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 = -0.45, Dec= -0.13, Jan=+0.29, Feb=-0.10. 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, Jan +0.70. Feb +0.37. 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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