Thursday, April 19, 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 3.9 ft @ 10.0 secs with swell 2.0 ft @ 10.2 secs from 254 degrees. Wind at the buoy was west at 16-18 kts. Water temperature NA. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.7 ft @ 10.1 secs from 261 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.3 ft @ 11.1 secs from 232 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 2.6 ft @ 6.3 secs from 272 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 4.4 ft @ 6.4 secs from 290 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 6.1 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 2.6 ft @ 13.9 secs from 292 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 16-20 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.
On Thursday (4/19) in North and Central CA local windswell was producing waves at 1-2 ft overhead on the sets at best breaks and clean with a little bit of warble in the water but not bad. Protected breaks were waist to chest high and clean and soft. At Santa Cruz surf was flat to thigh high and clean. In Southern California up north surf was thigh to maybe waist high and pretty warbled with heavy texture on top. In North Orange Co northwest windswell was producing waves in the waist to maybe chest high range and textured and soft. South Orange Country's best breaks were thigh to waist high and warbled but clean. In North San Diego surf was thigh to waist high high on the sets and warbled with onshore wind and rain. Hawaii's North Shore was small with thigh to waist high sets wrapping in from the northeast and clean but weak. The South Shore was waist to chest high on rare sets and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell at waist to maybe chest high and chopped from east trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Thursday (4/19) 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
On Thursday AM (4/19) the jetstream was consolidated pushing east off Japan then lifting gently east-northeast pushing over the Dateline region and into the Western Gulf with winds in pockets over that length 120-140 kts before starting to form a weak trough south of the Eastern Aleutians but not clearly indicative of support for gale development. From there the jet tracked northeast and pushed into British Columbia then fell hard south forming a trough that was pushing onshore over Central CA producing some rain down into Southern CA. Over the next 72 hours the proto-trough in the Gulf is to push east and move inland over Vancouver Island on Sat (4/21) offering only support for low pressure development. At that time back to the west the jet is to be split over Japan but consolidating on the dateline with winds building to 150 kts and starting to form a trough there pushing east. That trough is to finally develop somewhat on Sun (4/22) over the Central Gulf being fed by 120 kt winds offering some support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours starting Mon (4/23) that trough is to be pushing east and starting to pinch off in the Eastern Gulf offering no real support for gale development and fully pinching and moving onshore over the Pacific Northwest on Tues-Wed (4/25). Otherwise the jet is to remain consolidated pushing from Japan to the east-northeast with winds building to 140 kts east of the dateline but with no troughs and offering no support for gale development until Thurs (4/26) when a trough is forecast building on the dateline being fed by 140 kts winds offering something of interest.
On Tuesday AM (4/17) no swell other than windswell was hitting either California or Hawaii. But swell from a gale that tracking over the North Dateline region is pushing towards both locations (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 28 ft seas at 41N 171E. The gale is to fade some while passing over the dateline Fri AM (4/20) producing 40 kt northwest winds over a broader area and 28 ft seas at 42N 178E aimed east. In the evening the gale is to track east with 40 kt west winds and 28 ft seas at 44N 175W. Sat AM (4/21) the gale is to continue east with 40 kt west winds and 31 ft seas at 45N 168W. The gale is to be fading in the evening in the Western Gulf with 35 kt west winds and 30 ft seas at 45N 160W. On Sun AM (4/22) the gale is to be fading fast with 30 kt west winds and 24 ft seas fading at 45N 155W aimed east. Something to monitor.
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 faded from 35 kts with seas fading from 26 ft at 51N 171W. On Wed AM (4/18) west fetch was fading from 30 kts and seas fading from 21 ft at 51N 167W. Some small swell to push east targeting mainly the US West Coast by the weekend.
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (4/21) with swell building to 4.8 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 @ 12-13 secs (5.5 ft). Swell Direction: 304-306 degrees.
Hawaii: Expect sideband energy arriving on Fri AM (4/20) building mid-morning to 3.1 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.5-5.0 ft). swell fading some late. Residuals to be fading Sat AM (4/21) from 3.0 ft @ 12-13 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Dribbles on Sun (4/22) fading from 2.7 ft @ 11 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 320 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday AM (4/19) high pressure was moving in behind a weak 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 and up to 20 kts. Light rain was indicated for the Central Coast moving through Southern CA with clearing behind about noon time. Snow showers fading out mainly for the Southern Sierra. Friday (4/20) northwest winds are forecast at 15+ kts for the North and Central Coast building to 20 kts later. 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 to MOnterey bay, and less south of there. 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 15 kts for Cape Mendocino and 10 kts or less south of Pt Arena. More of the same on Tues (4/24). Wednesday light winds are forecast for the entire state except north 15 kts for Cape Mendocino. Light winds for Thurs (4/26) too for the whole state. Summer is arriving.
On Thursday (4/19) swell from a small gale that developed south of New Zealand on Sun (4/8) was fading in 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 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 continued in the evening with 23 ft seas at 50S 119W aimed northeast. Southwest fetch built in coverage Wed AM (4/18) at 30-35 kts with 23 ft seas at 59S 121W aimed northeast. This is not enough energy to make it to California without significant size decay. In the evening fetch lifted northeast at 30-35 kts with seas 26 ft at 51S 117W aimed northeast and barely in the SCal swell window. The fetch moved 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
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
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 26 ft seas at 48N 169E 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 48N 175E. 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 29 ft seas at 48N 178W aimed east. The gale is to be fading in the evening with 35 kt west winds in the Western Gulf and 27 ft seas at 48N 170W aimed east. The gale is to stall and fade Tues AM (4/24) with 30 kt west winds and 22 ft seas at 49N 163W. The gale is to hold in the evening with 30 kt west winds and seas fading from 22 ft at 51N 165W. Something to monitor.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch to follow. There's hints of a tiny gale developing under New Zealand on Sat AM (4/21) lifting north but only producing a small area of 27 ft seas at 54S 170E. Will monitor.
More details to follow...
Ocean Temps Returning to Normal in Nino3.4
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 (4/18) 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 to modest easterly over the equatorial East Pacific and mostly light easterly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (4/19) Very light west anomalies were over the whole of the KWGA with stronger east anomalies east of the dateline to Ecuador. This pattern is to hold for the coming week but with east anomalies steadily building west from the dateline into the KWGA to 160E through the end of the model run on 4/26. Still, not a bad pattern.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (4/18) The Inactive/Dry Phase of the MJO was over the West Pacific in the core of the KWGA. The statistical model depicts a modest Inactive/Dry MJO signal filling the KWGA while 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 solid inroads into the West Pacific reaching almost to the dateline. The dynamic model depicts the same thing initially but with the Inactive Phase weaker and fading 5 days out with a dead neutral MJO signal taking root and holding days 10-15 at the end of the model run.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/19) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO weak and fading in the East 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 initially but with the Active Phase stalling over the Maritime Continent.
40 day Upper Level Model: (4/19) This model depicts a weak Inactive Phase over the East Pacific and fading over Central America through 4/29. At the same time 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 stronger Inactive Phase is to follow in the West Pacific starting 5/14 moving to the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 5/29 while a new Active Phase builds in the West Pacific. This model runs about 1-2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (4/19) This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO has about peaked over the Central KWGA but only weak west anomalies are indicated in the heart of the KWGA with east anomalies east of the dateline. Beyond the Inactive Phase is to hold over the KWGA through 5/1 but with neutral to weak west anomalies in control of the KWGA. This is an interesting and positive development - No east anomalies forecast even during an Inactive Phase. 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 5/13 but neutral to weak west anomalies are to continue over the entirety of the KWGA. A broad neutral Phase is to hold 5/15-6/9 with neutral wind anomalies forecast. Perhaps a stronger Active Phase to develop 6/10 holding through the end of the model run on 7/17 with west anomalies strengthening and solid 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 5/3 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: (4/19) 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 175W. 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 175W down 150 meters pushing east with +3 deg anomalies reaching east to 110W down 75 meters and starting to erupt at the surface near 100W-110W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/13 depicts warm water in the west at +4.0 degs at 170W with less warm water pushing east to 115W with the leading edge of that mass starting to touch the surface near 100-110W. The last of the La Nina cool pool was holding in one shallow pocket in the East Pacific along the coast of Ecuador and being squeezed to the surface by the large 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 under the equator to 100W. Neutral anomalies were east of there except for negative anomalies at -5 cms along the coast of Peru and Ecuador reaching west over the Galapagos. 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.
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4: (4/18) 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 Ecuador and the Galapagos. 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 with neutral anomalies west of there. 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 aligned along the equator. There was no clear indication of La Nina anymore in the oceans surface. .
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/18): A weak pocket of cooling was fading between Ecuador and the Galapagos on the equator with another pocket just west of the Galapagos. Weak warming was holding off Peru and starting to appear over a broad area south of the equator east of there to the dateline. Weak warming was also indicated 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 at all apparent today.
Hi-res Overview: (4/18) A tiny pocket of cool water was holding off the immediate coast of peru up to 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 115W 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: (4/19) Today's temps were rising at -1.230 and have been slowly rising the past 1.5 weeks. Previously temps rose to -0.069 on 4/3 but crashed the week after that to -1.9 degs on 4/10. 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: (4/19) Today temps were stable at -0.470. Temps have been steadily rising since 3/27 when they were about -1.2 degs. 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.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/19) The forecast depicts temps bottomed out at -0.75 in Nov 2017 and have been slowly rising since, up to -0.5 in mid-March and -0.35 in early April. They are forecast to continue a steady increase from here forward to neutral in early June, hovering there then starting to rise into the late Fall to +0.3 degs in late Dec. This suggests the peak of La Nina occurred in 2017 and is to continue to fade through the Summer of 2018 before turning weakly positive in the late Fall. 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 (4/19): The daily index was falling at -2.45. The 30 day average was rising some at 10.88 suggesting the Inactive Phase of the MJO was in control. The 90 day average was falling some at 4.91 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 fallen some to -0.61 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
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