Monday, April 17, 2017
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 5.7 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 4.1 ft @ 7.3 secs from 52 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.5 ft @ 17.2 secs with swell 1.8 ft @ 16.7 secs from 216 degrees. Wind northeast 2-4 kts. Water temperature 60.3 degs. At Ventura swell was 1.6 ft @ 16.7 secs from 206 degrees. At Santa Monica swell was 1.9 ft @ 17.2 secs from 215 degrees. At Camp Pendleton swell was 1.8 ft @ 17.6 secs from 221 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma swell was 1.9 ft @ 17.1 secs from 219 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 7.5 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 3.1 ft @ 13.3 secs from 274 degrees. Wind north 0-2 kts at the buoy. Water temp 53.6 degs.
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.
On Monday (4/17) in North and Central CA local windswell was producing waves at shoulder to head high and clean with no wind but weak and mushy. Protected breaks were waist high and clean early but soft. At Santa Cruz surf was chest to head high and a bit jumbled but clean and lined up. In Southern California up north southern hemi swell was sneaking in producing waves in the waist high or so range and clean and lined up but slow. In North Orange Co surf was shoulder to maybe head high on the sets and clean but with northerly texture running through it. In South Orange County surf was shoulder high and clean and lined up but slow. In San Diego surf was waist high and clean but soft with some texture running through it. Hawaii's North Shore was getting residual leftover swell from the Northwest Pacific with new swell mixed in under rain with waves head high and some bigger sets and reasonably clean. The South Shore was getting occasional sets waves at shoulder high at top breaks and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell at thigh to waist high and chopped from easterly trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Monday (4/17) swell from a small gale that developed over the Kurils pushing east on Thurs-Fri (4/14) producing 28 ft seas in the far Northwest Pacific was starting to arrive in Hawaii and bound for the US West Coast, but small is the operative word. On Tues (4/18) a gale is to develop in the Gulf with seas building to 23 ft aimed east at California. At the same time another gale is to form north west of Hawaii with 26 ft seas targeting the Islands well and relatively nearby then tracking east into Thurs (4/20) starting to target the mainland while fading. On Sat (4/22) a gale is forecast developing off Japan tracking east with seas building to 36 ft then fading when it hits the dateline on Mon (4/24). A late Spring pattern is to be taking hold with energy in the North Pacific becoming less consistent and slowly fading out. But the Southern hemi is forecast to be come more active offering southerly swells to pick up the slack.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Monday AM (4/17) the jetstream was flowing east-southeast off the Southern Kurils and consolidated with winds 170 kts in one pocket forming a small trough then fading some while pushing over the dateline the falling into another broad trough north of Hawaii with winds building to 140 kts before tracking east and pushing over North California. The was support for gale development in the 2 troughs noted above. Over the next 72 hours the trough off the Kurils is to fall southeast and fade as it hits the dateline on Tuesday (4/18) while the trough north of Hawaii moderates while tracking east and poised off California Tuesday evening. The the Kuril trough is to rebuild on Wed (4/19) just northwest of Hawaii being fed by 140 kts winds offering good support for gale development and continuing east into Friday (4/21) before dissipating. Beyond 72 hours starting Sat (4/22) the jet is to remain consolidated tracking generally east from Japan over the dateline on the 40N latitude line pushing to a point just off North CA before tracking hard north and moving inland over Alaska. A new trough is to develop off the Southern Kurils on Sun (4/23) being fed by 160 kt winds offering support for gale development and tracking east reaching the dateline on Mon (4/24) and washing out while a generalized weak ridge builds off the US West Coast suggestive of high pressure. Still, the jet is to remain cohesive and consolidated, looking decently organized for late in a supposed La Nina season.
On Monday (4/17) swell from a gale previously over the Kuril Islands was tracking southeast and poised to hit Hawaii weakly (see Kuril Island Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours two gales are forecast, one in the Gulf (see Gulf Gale below) and one starting on the dateline (See Hawaiian Gale below).
Kuril Island Gale
A gale started developing over the extreme North Kuril Islands Thurs AM (4/13) with 45 kt west winds barely exposed into the Northwest Pacific and seas 30 ft at 48.5N 156E. In the evening the gale eased east with winds 40 kts from the west and seas fading from 28 ft at 47N 157E. On Fri (4/14) winds were fading from 35 kts from the west over a small area generating 28 ft seas at 48N 163E still isolated to the far Northwest Pacific. Fetch was fading in the evening while lifting northeast dropping to 30 kts with seas 23 ft at 49N 170E and almost starting to impact the Western Aleutians. This system was impacting the Aleutians and fading out Sat AM (4/15). Low odds of any swell resulting targeting Hawaii with only sideband energy.
Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Mon (4/17) building to 2.4 ft @ 17 secs late (4.0 ft). Swell to peak Tues (4/18) at 2.9 ft @ 15 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Residuals fading Wed AM (4/19) from 3.1 ft @ 12-13 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 320 degrees
On Monday AM (4/17) a gale was developing in the Central Gulf of Alaska with 35-40 kt west winds generating a small area of 23 ft seas at 42N 149 targeting California well. By Mon PM (4/17) winds are to be 30-35 kts from the west and seas 22 ft at 42N 144W. By Tues AM (4/18) winds to continue at 30 kts in the Central Gulf from the west with seas 21 ft at 39N 1451W. Fetch to hold into the evening at 30-35 kts inching closer to California with 21 ft seas at 39N 145W targeting California well (285 degs NCal, 294 SCal). Fetch is to fade rapidly Wed AM (4/19) lifting northeast winds seas fading from 19 ft at 38N 139W targeting North and Central CA well. Fetch and seas to dissipate from there. Possible swell for California if all goes as forecast.
North CA: For planning purposes expect swell arrival on Wed (4/19) building to 6.7 ft @ 13-14 secs late (9.0 ft). Swell peaking on later Thurs (4/20) at 7.7 ft @ 13-14 secs (10 ft). Swell fading Fri AM (4/21) from 6.2 ft @ 12 secs (7.5 ft). Swell to be gone on Sat (4/22). Swell Direction 285 degrees
Also another broader gale is to start forming on Tues AM (4/18) just east of the dateline producing 35 kts northwest winds and seas building. In the evening northwest winds to be falling southeast at 35 kts over a decent area targeting Hawaii well and just 1100 nmiles away with seas to 20 ft at 38N 170W. Wed AM (4/19) 35-40 kt northwest winds to build positioned north of Hawaii with seas 25 ft at 37N 170W aimed well at Hawaii. The gale is to track east in the evening with winds fading from 30-35 kts from the northwest with seas 24 ft moving to 35N 168W still targeting Hawaii but also starting to take aim on the US West Coast. Thurs AM (4/20) the gale is to hold stationary north of Hawaii with 30 kt northwest winds starting to take aim on California with seas 20 ft at 36N 160W. In the evening the gale is to move east with winds fading from 30 kts from the west with seas 19 ft at 35N 154W. The gale is to hold Fri AM (4/21) while easing east with northwest winds 30 kts and seas 19 ft at 35N 150W. The gael is to dissipate in the evening with residual sea fading from 19 ft at 39N 144W. Possible swell for Hawaii and the US West Coast. Something to monitor.
Hawaii: For planning purposes expect swell arrival on Fri (4/21) early peaking at sunrise at 8.1 ft @ 13-14 secs (10.5 ft). Swell Direction: 330 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Monday (4/17) low pressure was off the Oregon coast with south winds 10 kts or less for all of Central and North CA but up to 15-20 kts for Cape Mendocino. Light steady rain for Pt Arena northward during the day and showers down to Pt Conception then building over the entire area overnight. Snow developing for the Sierra at 11 PM continuing overnight mainly for higher elevations with 2-3 inches of accumulation possible but up to 6 inches at Kirkwood by sunrise Tuesday. Tuesday (4/18) light winds expected early turning northwest 10 kts in the afternoon. Rain clearing for North and Central CA by mid-afternoon. Snow fading from the Sierra by 8 PM. Total accumulation of 11 inches for Kirkwood and 4-6 inches elsewhere in the Tahoe area. Wednesday (4/19) weak high pressure is to try and take control ridging into Central CA with light winds there but north winds 15 kts for Big Sur southward to Pt Conception in the afternoon. Light rain isolated to Cape Mendocino building south to the Golden Gate overnight. Thursday high pressure takes control with winds building from the north to 20 kts from Monterey Bay south to Pt Conception in the afternoon but light from San Francisco northward early with no precip forecast except for showers in Cape Mendocino early. Friday north winds take control for North and Central CA at 15-20 kts through the day then fading Saturday (4/22) from 15-20 kts isolated from Monterey Bay south to Pt Conception. Sunday more high pressure moves in with north winds 20 kts from Pt Arena south to Pt Conception. More of the same on Monday.
2 swells are in flight relative to California, one from a gale that formed briefly southeast of New Zealand (see Southwest Pacific Gale below) and a stronger and longer lasting one that tracked across the South Pacific (see New Zealand Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours another gale formed in the deep Southwest Pacific on Sun AM (4/16) with 45 kt southwest winds building and seas 30 ft over a small area at 65S 172W. With Antarctic Sea Ice seasonally depressed, there is lots of open ocean for gales to get traction. Winds faded while tracking east in the evening at 40 kts with seas fading to 28 ft at 66S 161W. The gale was reorganizing while lifting northeast Mon AM (4/17) with 45 kt southwest winds and seas 25 ft at 63S 150W. In the evening 45-50 kt southwest winds to continue northeast with seas 32 ft at 52S 130W aimed at California down to Central America and Peru. The gale is to race east from there Tues AM (4/18) with 45 kt southwest winds and seas 32 ft at 49S 118W and mostly out of the California swell window. Small short lived swell possible. Something to monitor.
Southwest Pacific Storm
A storm started developing while tracking east under New Zealand on Fri AM (4/7) with 50 kt southwest winds and seas building to 38 ft at 60S 180S but most energy tracking towards the east. 45 kt south-southwest winds continued in the evening with 37 ft seas starting to lift northeast at 58S 171W aimed decently to the northeast. Sat AM (4/8) southwest winds were fading from 40 kts over a decent sized area with seas fading from 35 ft at 58 161W. Fetch dissipated from 35 kts in the evening with seas fading from 29 ft at 56S 153W. Maybe some decent swell to result.
Southern CA: Swell building through the day Mon (4/17) reaching 2.0 ft @ 17 secs late (3.0-3.5 ft with sets to 4 ft). Swell continues on Tues (4/18) pushing 2.1 @ 16 secs mid-day (3.5 ft with sets to 4.0-4.5 ft). Swell fading on Wed (4/19) falling from 2.0 ft @ 15 secs early (3.0 ft). Residuals on Thurs (4/20) fading from 1.6 ft @ 14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 200 degrees
New Zealand Gale
A storm started developing well south of New Zealand starting Tues PM (4/11) with a small area of 40 kts west winds and seas starting to develop from 27 ft at 61S 172E. On Wed AM (4/12) that fetch built to 45 kts lifting northeast with seas to 30 ft at 58S 174W. In the evening winds built to 45 kts from the south-southwest over a solid area with seas building to 33 ft at 56S 161W. The gale reached storm status while lifting northeast with winds 50 kts Thurs AM (4/13) with seas 39 ft at 52S 151W (200 degs SCal and 196 degs NCal and both unshadowed, 171 degs HI). Winds faded from 45 kts in the evening lifting northeast with seas 35 ft at 48S 143W (195 degs SCal, 193 degs NCal). More fetch developed to the south on Fri AM (4/14) at 50 kts over a tiny area aimed north with 30 ft seas from the original fetch fading at 46S 136W aimed north. The gale is to start fading and falling south in the evening with winds in the new fetch fading from 45 kts over a tiny area aimed north and seas fading from 32 ft at 53S 127W. This system to fade from there.
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (4/20) building to 2.0 ft @ 19 secs at sunset (3.5 ft). Swell to continue upwards on Fri (4/21) building to 2.5 ft @ 17-18 secs (4.5 ft). Swell continues Sat (4/22) at 2.6 ft @ 16 secs early (4.0 ft). Swell still decent on Sun (4/23) at 2.7 ft @ 15 secs (4.0 ft). Swell fading on Mon (4/24) from 2.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 198 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (4/20) building to 1.3 ft @ 20 secs at sunset (2.5 ft). Swell to continue upwards on Fri (4/21) building to 2.0 ft @ 17-18 secs (3.5 ft). Swell continues Sat (4/22) at 2.3 ft @ 16-17 secs early (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell still decent on Sun (4/23) at 2.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.0 ft). Swell fading on Mon (4/24) from 2.0 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 196 degrees
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 starting Sun AM (4/23) a southward displaced small gale is forecast developing mid-way between Japan and the dateline with 40 kt west winds over a small area and seas 22 ft at 37N 160E. That fetch is to build some in coverage in the evening tracking east with seas to 25 ft at 36N 167E. On Mon AM (4/24) fetch is to fade from 35 kts over a decent area targeting Hawaii well with 24 ft seas at 37N 176E. In the evening the gale is to start lifting northeast with winds 30-35 kts and seas fading from 21 ft at 38N 175W. Something to monitor.
Beyond 72 hours another small gale is to start building south of New Zealand on Thurs PM (4/20) with winds to 45 kts and seas 34 ft at 62S 180W aimed east-northeast. Fetch is to track east-northeast Fri AM (4/21) fading from the southwest at 40 kts and seas 32 ft at 60S 170W. The gale is to fade from there. Something to monitor.
A series of small gale is to set up behind that. one is to be east of new Zealand on Sat AM (4/22) with 55 kt south winds over a tiny area generating 34 ft seas at 45S 162E. 50 kt south winds to track northeast in the evening with seas to 40 ft over a small area at43S 155W. Fetch is to be fading from 45 kts Sun AM (4/23) with 39 ft seas at 41S 150W aimed northeast. Fetch is to fade in the evening from 40-45 kts from the southwest with seas 37 ft at 40S 142W. The gale is to dissipate from there. Swell for Tahiti Hawaii and the US West Coast is possible.
And maybe another system is to be tracking under New Zealand on Sat-Sun (4/23) producing 32 ft seas aimed east-northeast.
More details to follow...
Neutral to Active MJO Pattern Continues
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 fading with suspicious warming developing along South America and over the Galapagos to a point south of Hawaii. Still, the atmosphere is in a La Nina configuration.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Sun (4/16) east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific but a little lighter over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were easterly over the equatorial East Pacific north of the equator and neutral to light westerly over the KWGA. The Inactive Phase of the MJO and La Nina appear to have dissipated.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): Light west anomalies were over the west KWGA and light east anomalies over the east KWGA per the model. The forecast suggests more of the same for the coming week through (4/24). This suggests the Inactive Phase of the MJO and La Nina are weakening and a neutral pattern is setting up for the KWGA.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 4/16 a neutral to weak Active MJO pattern was in effect over the KWGA. The statistic model projects it fading but still present 2 weeks out with the Inactive Phase building in the Indian Ocean tracking east. The dynamic model depicts the weakly active pattern holding for the next 15 days if not building some with the Inactive Phase building in the Indian Ocean but confined there. All this suggest the Inactive Phase of the MJO constructively integrating with the remains of La Nina appears to have faded out and a neutral to weakly Active Pattern is taking hold.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/17) The ECMF model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO was very weak over the East Pacific and is forecast to collapse then rebuild some making no eastern headway. The GEFS model depicts the same thing but rebuilding stronger in the East Pacific. This model runs about a week ahead of what occurs down at the surface.
40 day Upper Level Model: (4/17) This model depicts a weak Active Pattern was over the East Pacific and is to ease east into Central America 4/25. A modest Inactive Phase was already present in the Central Pacific and is to drift east to Central America 5/5. A weak Active pattern to follow in the West Pacific 5/8 tracking east to the East Pacific through 5/27 and beyond. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (4/17) This model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was centered over the KWGA with neutral anomalies in play. Beyond the Active Phase is to ease east with neutral anomalies in control of the KWGA until weak west anomalies are to develop by 4/21 as the Active Phase starts moving out of the area and the Inactive Phase moves in by 4/27. The Inactive Phase is to hold till 6/15, but west anomalies are to hold control of the KWGA throughout. After that the Active Phase is to start taking control on 6/20 with solid west anomalies well entrenched and building. The low pass filter indicates La Nina is to be gone on 5/7 (previously 5/6-5/8) with El Nino taking hold 5/24, (previously 5/16-5/22). Projected west anomalies are dependent upon the evolution of El Nino and the date of that development appears to be stable (holding for 2 weeks now). Confidence is building on this forecast.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/17) Actual temperatures remain stratified with warm water in the West Pacific at 30 degs C retrograding west and no longer on the chart. But the 28 deg isotherm line is starting to make eastward progress moving from 176W to 174W and not quite as steep suggesting perhaps a tendency to be moving east. 26 deg anomalies continue easing to the east reaching to the Galapagos with 24 degs anomalies over a modest pool down 25 meters (75 meters at 140W) and holding. Anomaly wise warm anomalies at +0-1 degs rule the entire upper reaches of the equatorial East Pacific from 65 meters upward. A pocket of -2 degs anomalies is steady at depth between 110-170W down 100 meters reaching up to 50 meters. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/13 depicts that warm water is covering the East Pac at +2-3 degs and trying to ease west to about 130W. Cool water at -1-2 degs is at depth at 150W with warm water confined in the West Pacific at +2 degs reaching east to 170W. La Nina has lost control of the ocean at depth with something that almost resembles a warm pattern taking shape. The concern is there is not much warm water in the far West Pacific to feed any sort of a progressive Kelvin Wave pattern, but somehow more warm waters is present in the east. And the cool pocket appears to be blocking any westward flow of such warm water.
Sea Level Anomalies: (4/13) Positive anomalies at 0-+5 cms are on the equator from Ecuador west to 110W but are thinning. 5+ cm anomalies remain along the coast of Peru and Ecuador. La Nina is gone in the East Pacific with a neutral to warm trend building in.
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: (4/16) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate warm water is off Northern Chile and Peru north to Ecuador then extending west over the Galapagos reaching west to 120W at +1.5 degs with warm anomalies out to 160W but mainly south of the equator. But these warm waters have gotten significantly eroded by cool waters upwelling along the immediate coast of Peru and North Chile, so much so that the massive warming indicated 2 weeks (+4 degs) ago has completely diffused (to +1.5 degs). Looking at the large picture, warming in the southern hemi extends east thousands of miles off the coast of South America as far south as 20S. La Nina is gone and it looks like an El Nino like pattern is returning, though that seems hard to believe given the limited volume of subsurface warm water in the West equatorial Pacific.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/16): A weak warming trend is along immediate Chile and Peru. A pronounced cooling trend persists off Ecuador over the Galapagos and out to 110W. A weak warming trend extends west from 110W out to the dateline. A warming trend is also present in the Northern Hemi modesty from Hawaii reaching to the Philippines.
Hi-res Overview: (4/14) There is no sign of La Nina east of 160W. A solid warm regime holds from Ecuador west to 120W and less energetic out to 160W. Remnants of La Nina continue from 160W-160E. It almost looks like El Nino is trying to develop and making headway into the Nino3.4 region.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/17) Today's temps were rising but still neutral at -0.028, down from the peak of +3.0 degs on 3/18.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (4/17) temps were steady at +0.394 degs.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/17) The forecast has temps rising to +0.85 degs late April holding at 0.75 degs in July then building some to +1.0 degs in Oct and +1.2 degs in Nov/Dec suggesting a return of El Nino. La Nina is over and a return to at least normal temps is expected in Spring. The change in the atmosphere will be slower. And a turn to weak El Nino conditions is possible late summer into Fall. Still, there is no source for greater warming with the warm pool in the far West Pacific pretty weak.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-March Plume updated (3/16) and depicts temps are warming and are now at +0.3 degs. A slow increase in temps is forecast thereafter to +0.8 degs in July holding into the Fall. This is +0.3 degs warmer than the Feb forecast and +0.6 degs warmer than the January forecast and suggests La Nina is over and a warmer regime is setting up. See chart here - link.
Atmospheric Decoupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (4/17): The daily index was still hard negative at -30.86 and has been strong negative for 5 days due to tropical low pressure near Tahiti. The 30 day average was falling at -2/07. The 90 day average was falling at -2.40 or effectively neutral. This suggests a return to at least a neutral ENSO conditions has taken hold.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (4/17) Today's value was steady at -1.06, still pretty negative given the other oceanic signals. A peak low was reached on 11/2 at -1.94 the deepest it had been in this La Nina event. This measures atmospheric response, not oceanic. The atmosphere lags behind changes in the ocean. The expectation is this index will rise to 0.0 three months after the oceanic change occurred (Oceanic change occurred approx Jan 20 2017). So on March 20 the index should be neutral. That seems like a reach.
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): Jan 2017 = +0.12, Feb = +0.04, March = +0.08. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO. No consistently negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington EDU index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.77, Feb = +0.70, Mar = 0.74. 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