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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 4:49 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
3.1 - California & 2.4 - 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 4/16 thru Sun 4/22

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   

3 NPac Gales Charted
S. Hemi Swell Pushing Towards South CA

BUOY ROUNDUP

On Tuesday, April 17, 2018 :

  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 6.0 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 4.4 ft @ 8.5 secs from 28 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 5.3 ft @ 6.7 secs with swell 4.0 ft @ 6.2 secs from 266 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 16-20 kts. Water temperature NA. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 3.0 ft @ 9.4 secs from 273 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 3.2 ft @ 6.1 secs from 266 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 2.9 ft @ 6.6 secs from 274 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 5.9 ft @ 6.6 secs from 297 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 10.7 ft @ 12.8 secs with swell 7.9 ft @ 12.2 secs from 300 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 16-18 kts. Water temp 53.4 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 Tuesday (4/17) in North and Central CA Dateline swell intermixed with windswell was producing waves at 3 ft overhead and a bit wonky and out of control with light offshore winds early. Protected breaks were 1-2 ft overhead on the sets and clean and mostly closed out. At Santa Cruz surf was 1-2 ft overhead on the sets and lined up and clean. In Southern California up north surf was waist to maybe chest high and heavily warbled but not white capped and somewhat rideable. In North Orange Co northwest swell was producing waves in the chest to shoulder high range and textured from northwest wind off the coast. South Orange Country's best breaks were thigh high and warbled and unrideable. In North San Diego surf was waist to chest high high on the sets and warbled except at protected breaks. Hawaii's North Shore was small with thigh high sets wrapping in from the northeast and reasonably clean. The South Shore was thigh to waist high and clean. The East Shore was getting northeast windswell at head high and chopped from east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (4/17) swell was still hitting California from a small storm that tracked east over the Central Dateline on Wed-Thurs (4/12) with up to 47 ft seas aimed east and then faded while falling southeast through the Gulf Fri (4/13) and seas fading from 24 ft. A small gale is tracking over the North Dateline region on Tues (4/17) with 29 ft seas aimed east and expected to fade Wed (4/18). A weaker system is forecast tracking from the dateline into the Northwestern Gulf on Fri-Sat (4/21) with up to barely 28 ft seas aimed east. After that, another gale is forecast on the North Dateline region Sun-Tues (4/24) producing up to 31 ft seas aimed east. Down south a tiny gale developed on Sun-Mon (4/9) under New Zealand with 28-30 ft seas aimed north. Nothing much expected from it. And another gale developed in the Southeast Pacific on Wed (4/11) with 32 ft seas aimed east. A weak system is developing in the same area on Mon-Wed (4/18) with 26-28 ft seas aimed northeast. So there's some limited hope down there. But nothing else is forecast to follow.

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

North Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Sunday AM (4/15) the jetstream was consolidated pushing east off North Japan then lifting gently east-northeast pushing over the North Dateline region and into the Western Gulf with winds up to 150 kts in two small pockets before falling southeast through the Central Gulf almost forming a trough there then pushing east into North CA. there was no clear support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours the jet is to sag south some over the dateline on Wed (4/18) still being fed by 140 kts winds offering some support for gale development while at the same time through trough trying to build in the Gulf moves east and inland over North CA later in the day. Beyond the developing trough on the dateline is to track east and never really becoming well organized moving into the Eastern Gulf on Fri (4/20) and weak offering support only for low pressure development. Beyond 72 hours starting Sat (4/21) the jet is to remain consolidated pushing east off the Central Kuril Islands pushing over the dateline at 45N and then east into the Gulf of Alaska with winds 130 kts in two pockets over the Kurils and on the dateline but far weaker over the Gulf with no clearly defined troughs in play. By Mon (4/23) winds are to be building off the Kurils and over the Dateline at 130-140 kts forming a broad but gentle trough approaching the dateline pushing east into Tues (4/24) offering some decent support for gale development. So a steady but generally modest pattern is to continue over the next week.

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday AM (4/17) swell from a storm that tracked over the Dateline was still hitting California (see Dateline Gale below). Another gale was tracking over the North Dateline region likely producing swell (see North Dateline Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours another small gale is forecast developing Thurs PM (4/19) just west of the Central Dateline region producing a tiny area of 45 kt northwest winds and 27 ft seas at 42N 171E. The gale is to fade some while passing over the dateline Fri AM (4/20) producing 40 kt northwest winds and 29 ft seas at 42N 180W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to track east with 40 kt west winds and 26 ft seas at 44N 175W. Sat AM (4/21) the gale is to continue east with 40 kt west winds and 29 ft seas at 48N 168W. The gale is to be fading in the evening in the Western Gulf with 35 kt west winds and 30 ft seas at 48N 161W. On Sun AM (4/22) the gale is to be fading fast with 30 kt west winds and 25 ft seas fading at 47N 157W aimed east. Something to monitor.

 

Dateline Gale
And yet another stronger system developed off the North Kuril Islands on Tues AM (4/10) with 40 kt northwest winds over a small area and seas building. In the evening the gale built to storm status while tracking east approaching the dateline with 55 kt west winds over a small area and 26 ft seas at 46N 169E. The storm continued east on Wed AM (4/11) with 55 kt west winds and 45 ft seas at 46N 175E (325 degs HI, 298 degs NCal). The storm faded to gale status in the evening and falling southeast just east of the dateline with 45 kt west winds over a diminishing area aimed east and seas fading from 43 ft at 44N 176W (332 degs HI, 297 degrees NCal). The gale faded Thurs AM (4/12) in the Western Gulf with west winds 30-35 kts and seas 34 ft at 43N 168W targeting the US West Coast well (293 degs NCal). In the evening the gale is to fade with northwest winds 30 kts and seas 28 ft at 43N 160W. On Fri AM (4/13) fetch is to fade from 25 kts and seas 23 ft at 47N 153W. The gale to dissipate from there.

North CA: Swell is to be fading Mon AM (4/16) from 6.2 ft @ 15 secs (9.0 ft) with local windswell intermixed. Mixed swell fading Tues AM (4/17) from 7.5 ft @ 12 secs (8.0 ft). Swell Direction: 292-299 degrees

 

North Dateline Gale
A gale formed off the Southern Kuril Islands on Mon AM (4/16) tracking east-northeast producing 40 kt west winds over a small area with seas up to 29 ft at 46N 163E. In the evening the gale raced east with 40 kt west winds over the North Dateline region producing 29 ft seas at 48N 175E. On Tues AM (4/17) the gale was over the Central Aleutians with 40 kt west winds just south of there over a small area aimed east producing 29 ft seas at 50N 177W. In the evening west fetch is to fade from 35 kts with seas fading from 27 ft at 51N 172W. On Wed AM (4/18) west fetch is to be fading from 30 kts and seas fading from 23 ft at 51N 167W. Perhaps some small swell to push east targeting mainly the US West Coast by the weekend.

North CA: Rough data suggests swell arrival on Sat (4/21) with swell building to 4.9 ft @ 15 secs mid-day (7.0 ft) and shadowed in the SF Bay area. Swell fading Sun (4/22) from 4.8 ft @ 14 secs (6.5 ft) with much local windswell intermixed. Residuals on Mon (4/23) fading from 4.5 ft @ 13 secs (5.5 ft). Swell Direction: 304-306 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 Tuesday AM (4/17) weak high pressure was ridging into Central CA with a new low trying to develop well off the Oregon-CA border. North winds were 10 kts early for Central CA expected to fade to calm in the SF Bay Area later and turning light south of Cape Mendocino but north 15 kts for Pt Conception. Another front is to be a bit off the North Coast. Wednesday (4/18) the low is to be just off the North Coast with light winds everywhere early except south winds 10+ kts for Cape Mendocino building to Pt Reyes-San Francisco late morning into the afternoon as a front approaches. Light rain for the North Coast by late afternoon pushing to Pt Conception in the late evening. Light snow for the Sierra overnight with maybe 1 inch of accumulation. Thursday (4/19) high pressure moves in behind the front with northwest winds forecast early at 15 kts mainly for Central CA down into Southern CA early but building over the entire state as the day continues. Light rain for the Central Coast moving through Southern CA in the morning with clearing behind. Snow showers fading out mainly for the Southern Sierra. Friday (4/20) northwest winds 15+ kts for the North and Central Coast. No precip forecast. Sat (4/21) high pressure is to be ridging into the Pacific Northwest with northwest winds 15-20 kts for North and most of Central CA early building with a summer like gradient building over North CA later with north winds 30 kts for Cape Mendocino and 15 kts from SF southward. Sunday the gradient is to be set up over North CA at 30+ kts with lighter north winds 10 kts for all of Central CA. Mon (4/23) the gradient is to be fading with north winds 20+ kts for all off North CA and 15 kts for Central CA. More of the same on Tues (4/24) but with more high pressure building later with north winds 25+ kts building over North CA in the late afternoon. Summer is arriving.

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis  
On Tuesday (4/17) swell from a small gale that developed south of New Zealand on Sun (4/8) was supposedly hitting Hawaii (see Another New Zealand Gale below). Also a pair of gales developed in the far Southeast Pacific last week with swell pushing north towards California and South-Central America (see Southeast Pacific Gale below). And another gale developed in the Southeast Pacific on Mon (4/16) (see Another Southeast Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours only activity documented below in the Southeast Pacific is to be of interest.

 

Another New Zealand Gale
A small gale developed south of New Zealand on Sun AM (4/8) producing 40-45 kt south winds and 30 ft seas over a tiny area at 55S 170E. In the evening 40 kt south winds held with seas 29 ft at 53S 172E aimed due north. 40 kt south winds to hold Mon AM (4/9) with seas 27 ft at 53S 173E aimed north. The gale is to fade in the evening with winds dying from 30 kts from the south and seas 22 ft at 51S 172E. Something to monitor for Tahiti and Hawaii.

Hawaii: Swell building to 1.1 ft @ 15 secs on Tues (3/17). Swell continues on Wed (3/18) at 1.2 ft @ 13-14 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell fading Thurs (3/19) fading from 1.1 ft @ 13 secs (1.5 ft). Swell Direction: 200 degrees

 

Southeast Pacific Gale
On Tues AM (4/10) a gale was building in the Southeast Pacific producing 45 kt south winds and 28-30 ft seas over a tiny area at 64S 148W aimed north. In the evening 40 kt southwest winds are to build in coverage over a decent sized area with seas building to 29-30 ft at 65S 139W. The gale built Wed AM (4/11) with 40 kt west-southwest winds with seas building to 33 ft at 65S 128W targeting mainly Chile with sideband energy perhaps pushing north. In the evening the gale tracked east with 40 kt west winds on the eastern edge of California swell window with 32 ft seas at 64S 118W and moving out of the CA swell window. No additional fetch of interest is forecast. Low odds of swell to radiate north into the SCal swell window.

Another gale developed right behind in the far Southeast Pacific on Thurs AM (4/12) with 30+ kt southwest winds over a large area and seas building. In the evening a broad fetch of 35-40 kt southwest winds were lifting northeast on the edge of the California swell window with a small area of 28 ft seas at 58S 122W aimed northeast. Fri AM (4/13) 35-40 kt south-southwest winds were lifting northeast over a solid area with 29 ft seas at 51S 115W and moving out of the Southern CA swell window targeting mainly Mexico, Central America and Peru. The gale faded from there. Stronger swell to radiate north towards Southern CA, Mexico and Central America.

South CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (4/20) building to 2.0 ft @ 18 secs later in the day (3.5 ft). Swell continues on Sat (4/21) at 2.5 ft @ 16-17 secs (4.0 ft). Swell fading some on Sun (4/22) fading from 2.4 ft @ 15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Residuals on Mon (4/23) fading from 2.2 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.0 ft). Little to nothing left on Tues (4/24). Swell Direction: 179 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival only at exposed breaks on Fri (4/20) building to 1.5 ft @ 19 secs late (2.5 ft). Swell continues on Sat (4/21) building to 2.2 ft @ 17 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell fading some on Sun (4/22) fading from 2.2 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft). Residuals on Mon (4/23) fading from 2.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 176 degrees

 

Another Southeast Pacific Gale
Another gale developed in the far Southeast Pacific on Mon AM (4/16) with a large area of 30-35 kt southwest winds and seas building from 26 ft at 65S 128W. In the evening additional 30-35 kt south fetch built over the same area with seas building to 26 ft at 57S 132W aimed due north. On Tues AM (4/17) 30-35 kt south-southwest fetch continued over a large area aimed north with 28 ft seas at 52S 120W aimed north-northeast. 30-35 kt southwest fetch is to continue in the evening with 23 ft seas at 52S 117W aimed northeast. Southwest fetch to build Wed AM (4/18) to 35 kts with 25 ft seas at 59S 120W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch is to lift northeast at 30-35 kts with seas 27 ft at 53S 117W aimed northeast and barely in the SCal swell window. The fetch is to move out of the Southern CA swell window from there but still targeting Peru and Chile. Something to monitor.

Southern CA: Swell arrival possible on Wed (4/25) with period 18 secs. Swell Direction: 180 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 forecast developing Sun AM (4/22) in the Northwest Pacific producing a small area of 40 kt west winds and a tiny area of 28 ft seas at 46N 167E aimed east. In the evening the gale is to be approaching the dateline with a broader area of 40 kts west wind and seas building to 29 ft at 47N 173E. On Mon AM (4/23) the gale is to hold strength while moving over the North Dateline Region producing a broader area of 40 kt west winds and 30 ft seas at 48N 177E aimed east. More of the same is expected in the evening with 40 kt west winds over the dateline and 30 ft seas at 48N 177W aimed east. The gale is to stall and fade Tues AM (4/24) with 30-35 kt west winds and 28 ft seas at 47N 173W. The gale is to hold in the evening with seas fading from 24 ft at 47N 167W. Something to monitor.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch to follow. There's hints of a tiny gale developing under New Zealand on Sat (4/21) lifting north but only producing a small area of 28 ft seas at 54S 168E. Will monitor.

More details to follow...

 

ESPI Index Rises Dramatically

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 Monday (4/16) 5 day average winds were from the east over the bulk of the equatorial Pacific and a little weaker over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were light easterly over the equatorial East Pacific and also light easterly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (4/17) Weak east anomalies were over the KWGA and the entire equatorial Pacific. This pattern is to breakdown in 24 hours with weak west anomalies forecast filling the KWGA east to 180W. East anomalies are to build from the dateline and points east of there and this pattern holding through the end of the model run on 4/24 with perhaps west anomalies building in strength at that time.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (4/16) The Inactive/Dry Phase of the MJO was over the West Pacific filling the KWGA. The statistical model depicts a moderate Inactive/Dry MJO signal covering the West Pacific filling the KWGA and slowly easing east fading over the dateline at day 8 and gone at the end of the 15 day run with the Active Phase of the MJO making inroads into the West Pacific. The dynamic model depicts the same thing initially but with the Inactive Phase fading 5 days out and a weak Active Phase over the KWGA 15 days out at the end of the model run.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/17) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO fairly strong in the Central Indian Ocean. It is to track east steadily while weakening over the next 15 days eventually moving into the West Pacific and exceedingly weak at the end of the model run. The GEFS model depicts the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model: (4/17) This model depicts a modest Inactive Phase over the far East Pacific and fading over Central America through 4/22. After that a weak Active Phase is forecast moving into the West Pacific 4/25 easing east to the East Pacific and into Central America on 5/15. A weak Inactive Phase is to follow in the West Pacific starting 5/12 moving to the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 5/27. This model runs about 1-2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (4/17) This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO was building over the Central KWGA with limited east anomalies in the heart of the KWGA. Beyond the Inactive Phase is to hold over the KWGA through 5/1 but with neutral to weak west anomalies developing in the KWGA starting 4/19, even though the Inactive Phase is to be in control. Interesting. No east anomalies are forecast. A modest Active Phase is to follow starting 5/2 with weak west anomalies continuing in control in the KWGA. This Active Phase is to fade 5/20 but neutral to weak west anomalies are to continue over the entirety of the KWGA. Perhaps a stronger Active Phase to develop 6/10 holding through the end of the model run on 7/15 with west anomalies strengthening in the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates the low pressure bias over the bulk of the KWGA has reached the dateline and is to push east steadily from here moving east of the KWGA on 5/2 with the high pressure bias already east of the KWGA. This is hugely good news. Basically the La Nina bias is to be gone in 1-2 weeks. The expectation is that the atmosphere and ocean will begin to be coupled in over the next 3 months in a more favorable configuration towards storm production in the Pacific.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/17) 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 but also showing signs of trying to ease east with the surface line moving to 178W. The 24 deg isotherm was building in thickness while making significant eastward progress at 100 meters deep at 140W and now to 75 meters deep at 120W rising to 35 meters into Ecuador. Anomaly wise in the East Pacific negative temperatures are effectively gone and what is left is steadily loosing coverage as warm waters from a Kelvin Wave are building in from the west at depth. Warm anomalies were holding in the West at +3.0 degs at 170W down 150 meters pushing east with +2 deg anomalies reaching east to 110W down 75 meters and starting to erupt at the surface near 100-110W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/13 depicts warm water in the west at +4.0 degs at 170W reaching east to 105W starting to touch the surface near 100-115W. The last of the La Nina cool pool was holding in one shallow pocket in the East Pacific off Ecuador near 95W and being squeezed to the surface by the approaching Kelvin Wave. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data.
Sea Level Anomalies: (4/13) Positive anomalies were over the West equatorial Pacific at +5-10 cms centered at 180W with continuous +5 cm anomalies reaching east to 100W. Neutral anomalies were east of there except for negative anomalies at -5 cms over the Galapagos and extending east to Ecuador and down 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: (4/16) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a pocket of cool anomalies was building along the immediate coast of Peru reaching northwest up to the Galapagos and Ecuador limited to the immediate equator. Of much interest is an area of warm anomalies on the oceans surface on and just south of the equator from just off Peru out to 105W. This is likely the start of a defined eruption point for a large Kevin Wave directly below. Warm anomalies were also stable along the immediate coast of Central America and Mexico reaching west to the dateline reaching south to the equator just at most just 1 degree north of the equator. Cool anomalies were also on the equator west of 120W mainly south of the equator - the last of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/16): A weak pocket of cooling was fading from Ecuador to the Galapagos. Weak warming was holding off Peru and also north of the equator from just off Central America and just north of the Galapagos out to the dateline. The breach point for a large Kelvin Wave was estimated near 100W-105W but not as apparent as days past.
Hi-res Overview: (4/16) A tiny pocket of cool water was holding off the immediate coast of Ecuador reaching west to the Galapagos. Weak warming was further off the coast of Peru and reaching north to the equator at 100W. Warming was also along Ecuador and Central America filling the area north of the equator up into Mexico and east over the entirety of the equatorial Pacific. The La Nina core cool pocket was shrinking now mainly south of the equator from 120W to barely the dateline looking like a Modoki La Nina (meaning the core of La Nina is advecting west and dissipating). Overall the cooling pattern is steadily loosing density and drifting west.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/17) Today's temps were rising at -1.233 after falling the previous week. Previously temps rose to -0.069 on 4/3. Prior to that temps had fallen 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: (4/17) Today temps were falling slightly at -0.542 after rising to -0.431 degs on 4/7, part of a steady 2 week increase. A weak surge in temps occurred 1/12-1/28 reaching up to -0.600 deg range. But since then temps backed 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 (4/17) 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. In mid-March a sharp temperature increase developed rising to -0.35 in early April. The model indicates temps steadily rising from here forward to neutral in early June, hovering there then starting to rise into the Fall to +0.1 degs in Oct and to +0.3 degs in late Dec. This suggests the peak of La Nina occurred in 2017 and is to fade out in the early Summer of 2018 before turning weakly positive 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 (4/17): The daily index was falling at 4.04. The 30 day average was falling slightly at 10.40 suggesting the Inactive Phase of the MJO was in control. The 90 day average was falling some at 5.29 suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern biased towards La Nina.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (417) This site has returned to service. Today the index has risen significantly to -0.57 up from -1.02 on 4/5 and up from -1.13 on 3/27. Still, today's value 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: April 2017=+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 2018=+0.29, Feb= -0.10, Mar= -0.51. 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

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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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