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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, April 27, 2017 4:11 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
2.2 - California & 1.5 - 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 4/24 thru Sun 4/30

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   

One Weak Gale Forecast for NPac
Multiple S. Hemi Swells Queued

BUOY ROUNDUP

On Thursday, April 27, 2017 :

  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.0 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 2.1 ft @ 10.4 secs from 316 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 7.3 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 5.9 ft @ 8.1 secs from 255 degrees. Wind northwest 16-18 kts. Water temperature 61.2 degs. At Ventura swell was 5.8 ft @ 6.6 secs from 271 degrees. At Santa Monica swell was 4.7 ft @ 8.0 secs from 258 degrees. At Camp Pendleton swell was 4.1 ft @ 8.2 secs from 267 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma swell was 5.6 ft @ 9.1 secs from 278 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 10.7 ft @ 7.7 secs with swell 7.1 ft @ 8.5 secs from 293 degrees. Wind northwest 21-27 kts at the buoy. Water temp 53.2 degs.
    Notes

    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.

 

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
Current Conditions
On Thursday (4/27) in North and Central CA local windswell was head high to 1 ft overhead and chopped and nearly unrideable. A real mess. Protected breaks were shoulder to head high and cleaner, but not clean. At Santa Cruz windswell wa producing surf at waist to chest high on the sets and reasonably clean but weak. In Southern California up north local windswell was hitting producing waves in the chest high range and pretty raw and mushed with much local bump intermixed. In North Orange Co surf was head high coming from the northwest and a bit raw but with light local winds and decently clean. In South Orange Co windswell was producing waves at chest high or so and nearly chopped. In San Diego surf was head high and warbled and chopped and a mess. Hawaii's North Shore was waist to maybe chest high and clean. Looks like summer. The South Shore was chest to head high on the sets at top breaks and clean and lined up. Some southern hemi swell is hitting. The East Shore was flat and heavily textured.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (4/27) in the Northern Hemisphere no swell of interest was in the water other than windswell. Looking at the charts a gale is forecast developing just off Kamchatka on Fri (4/28) tracking east and just south of the Aleutians with up to 23 ft seas making it to the Northwestern Gulf before dissipating. Low odds for meaningful swell to result. No other fetch of interest to follow. In the Southern Hemi swell from a gale that produced 38 ft seas southeast of New Zealand on Thurs-Fri (4/21) was tracking northeast. Another gale developed in the Central South Pacific on Tues-Wed (4/26) producing up to 34 ft seas aimed northeast with perhaps a smaller one behind that on Tues-Wed (5/3) with 32 ft seas aimed northeast. The transition to summer is well 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 (4/27) the jetstream was ridging some off Japan but consolidated with winds to 160 kts, then falling into a steep trough on the dateline before ridging again northeastward still consolidated at 150-160 kts before pushing into Oregon. There was some support for gale development in the trough but limited by it's steepness. Over the next 72 hours the trough is to push east and get pinched off early Sat (4/29) no longer offering any support for gale development with a split developing north of Hawaii on Sunday. The northern branch is to track east into Washington while the southern branch falls south over Hawaii forming an upper level cutoff low there into Tues (5/2) with remnant energy tracking east into Southern Baja. Beyond 72 hours winds speeds to fade across the jet on Wed (5/3) with a fragmented flow pushing off the Kuril's consolidating on the dateline then splitting again north of Hawaii with most energy ridging hard north up into North Canada. Winds speeds to generally weaken more by Fri (5/5) not exceeding 110 kts anywhere over the North Pacific and split over that region too. No support for gale development is forecast.

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (4/27) no swell producing fetch was occurring and no swell was in the water from previous fetch. High pressure was ridging into Oregon producing a gradient and north winds from Cape Mendocino southward with most fetch south displaced over Pt Conception to 30 kts limiting windswell production capacity for North and Central CA. This same pattern is to hold until the gradient lifts north some mid-day Sat (4/29) becoming more centered near Pt Reyes but weakening to 20 kts, then becoming centered over Pt Arena on Sunday (4/30) with winds to 25 kts. Improving odds for windswell relative to Central and North CA but reducing it for SCal.

Over the next 72 hours a gale is forecast developing just off the North Kuril Islands on Fri PM (4/28) producing west winds 35 kts and seas building from 20 ft at 49N 163E. On Sat Am 94/29) it is to continue tracking east just south of the West Aleutians with west winds 35 kts and seas building to 23 ft at 49N 170E targeting Hawaii and the US West Coast weakly. In the evening more of the same is forecast as it approaches the dateline with 35 kts west winds and 22 ft seas at 50N 176E. Sun AM (4/30) 35 kt west winds to reach the Western Gulf with seas 22 ft seas at 48N 175W. The gael to fade in the evening with seas dropping to barely 20 ft at 48N 167W. Sideband swell possible for Hawaii and small well decayed energy for the US West Coast.

 

  North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height

 

Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday (4/27) high pressure was in control off the Central California coast ridging into Oregon driving north winds 20-25 kts over all of North and Central CA and 30 kts in the afternoon for Pt Conception over the Channel Islands. More of the same on Friday with north winds 25 kts and still covering the Channel Islands. Winds to lighten up on Saturday, but still 20 kts for all of North and Central CA early, fading to 15-20 kts in the afternoon. Sunday the gradient is to be reduced to covering just Cape Mendocino south to Pt Reyes at 20+ kts, and 15 kts down to Pt Conception. No change on Monday but with core winds near Pt Arena at near 30 kts continuing Tuesday. Then the gradient is to lift north on Wed (5/3) with 25 kt north winds limited to Cape Mendocino and maybe a light eddy flow setting up for Central CA. Thursday (5/4) light northwest winds 10 kts are forecast for all of CA.

 

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis  
Residual swell from a gale that tracked across the Central South Pacific was fading in California (see Another New Zealand Gale below). Swell from another stronger gale under New Zealand was in the water pushing northeast poised to put some energy into Hawaii and the US West Coast (see Third New Zealand Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours another small gale is to develop in the deep Central South Pacific on Thurs AM (4/27) with 45 kt southwest winds just north of the Ross Ice Shelf and seas building. In the evening 40 kt southwest winds to expand and weaken with seas to 31 ft at 65S 154W. The gale is to race east and fade with winds dropping from 35 kts and sea fading from 27 ft at 61S 141W. Small swell is possible for CA with better energy for Mexico down into Central America and Peru.

 

Another New Zealand Gale
Another gale formed in the deep Southwest Pacific on Sun AM (4/16) with a small area of 45 kt southwest winds building and seas 30 ft over a small area at 65S 173W. 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 from the southwest with seas fading to 28 ft at 66S 161W. The gale reorganized while lifting northeast Mon AM (4/17) with 45 kt southwest winds and seas 34 ft at 63S 151W. In the evening 45-50 kt southwest winds continued northeast with seas building to 32 ft at 52S 130W aimed at California down to Central America and Peru. The gale raced east from there Tues AM (4/18) with 45 kt southwest winds and seas 31 ft at 49S 120W and on the edge of the California swell window. Small short lived swell possible. Something to monitor.

South CA: Swell fading out on Fri (4/28) from 1.8 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 187 degrees

North CA: Swell fading out on Fri (4/28) from 1.5 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 185 degrees

 

Third New Zealand Gale
Another third small storm built south of New Zealand on Thurs AM (4/20) with 50 kt southwest winds and seas building from 32 ft at 61S 170E. In the evening the storm was pushing east-northeast with winds still 45-50 kts and seas 39 ft over a tiny area at 61S 178E aimed east-northeast (202 degs SCal and 200 degs NCal and unshadowed for both, and 190 degs HI). Fetch tracked east-northeast Fri AM (4/21) fading from the southwest at 40 kts and seas 35 ft at 59S 170W. The gale faded from there in the evening but grew in coverage with 35 kt southwest winds and seas 28-30 ft over a large area at 49S 171W (211 degs SCal and 209 degs NCal and both shadowed,187 degs HI). Fetch continued lifting northeast Sat AM (4/22) with 26 ft seas at 44S 162W. In the evening fetch is to continue lifting northeast with winds up to 45 kts over a tiny area from the southwest and seas 27 ft at 45S 155W (194 degs SCal and 193 degs NCal and unshadowed). The gale faded from there Sun AM (4/23) with 40 kt south winds and 33 ft seas over a tiny area at 47S 139W. The gale to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Thus PM (4/27) pushing 1.3 ft @ 19 secs late (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell building overnight pushing 2 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.0-3.5 ft) later Fri (4/28). Swell fading on Sat (4/29) from 2.1 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading Sun (4/30) from 1.7 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 190 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (4/29) building from 1.3 ft @ 20 secs late (2.5 ft). Swell building late Sun (4/30) to 2.9 ft @ 17-18 secs (5.0 ft). Swell continues Mon (5/1) at 3.0 ft @ 16 secs (5.0 ft). Swell fades early Tues (5/2) from 2.8 ft @ 15 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 203 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (4/29) building from 1.0 ft @ 20 secs late (2.0 ft). Swell building Sun (4/30) to 2.2 ft @ 18 secs (4.0 ft). Swell continues Mon (5/1) at 2.3 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell fades Tues (5/2) from 2.2 ft @ 15 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 200 degrees

 

Central Pacific Gale
Another small gale formed in the Central South Pacific on Tues AM (4/25) with 40-45 kt southwest winds over a decent sized area and seas building from 31 ft at 55S 157W. Fetch built in coverage and held strength in the evening at 40-45 kts with seas building to 34 ft at 53S 147W and unshadowed relative to CA. Fetch faded from 40 kts over a decent sized area aimed northeast Wed AM (4/26) with seas fading from 29 ft at 48S 132W. Fetch faded from 30-35 kts in the evening with seas with seas 26 ft at 48S 121W and no longer of interest. The gale to dissipate from there. Possible small swell for California down into Mexico focused on Central America, Peru and Chile.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Mon (5/1) at 1.6 ft @ 16 secs early (2.5 ft). Swell fading on Tues (5/2) from 2.2 ft at 14-15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading Wed (5/3) from 1.7 ft @ 13-14 secs early (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 195 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival late Tues (5/2) building to 1.3 ft @ 20 secs late (2.5 ft). Swell building Wed (5/3) to 2.5 ft @ 18 secs (4.5 ft). Swell continues Thurs (5/4) at 2.8 ft @ 16-17 secs (4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 197 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (5/3) building to 2.0 ft @ 18 secs late (3.5 ft). Swell building some on Thurs (4/4) to 2.1 ft @ 17 secs early (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 193 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 no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.

 
South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a somewhat stronger gale is forecast in the deep Central South Pacific with winds building from 40 kts from the southwest and seas developing. By evening 45 kt southwest winds are to be developing over a small area with 33 ft seas at 55S 142W. That fetch is to lift northeast and fade some from 40 kts Wed AM (5/3) with seas 31 ft at 50S 134W. Fetch fading from 35 kts in the evening with seas fading from 29 ft at 48S 126W. This system is to have good northward momentum. Something to monitor.

More details to follow...

 

CFS Model Backs Off El Nino Forecast

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. Still, the atmosphere is in a La Nina configuration.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Wed (4/26) east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific but a little lighter over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral to light west from 140W westward including the KWGA. La Nina appears to have finally backed off.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): Light west anomalies were over the entire KWGA. The forecast suggests light west anomalies holding if not building some in the KWGA through 5/4. This suggests La Nina is weakening and a neutral pattern is trying to set up for the KWGA.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: As of 4/25 a neutral to weak Active MJO pattern was in effect over the KWGA. The statistic model projects it fading and gone 2 weeks out with a weak Inactive Phase fading over the Maritime Continent and tracking east into the West Pacific. The dynamic model depicts a 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 that the previous pattern of the Inactive Phase of the MJO constructively integrating with the remains of La Nina appears to be faded out and a neutral ENSO Pattern is taking hold.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/26) The ECMF model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO was very weak over the West Pacific and is forecast to generally hold there maybe building some then tracking east over the next 2 weeks. The GEFS model depicts the same thing but rebuilding stronger in the East Pacific and not migrating east. This model runs about a week ahead of what occurs down at the surface.
40 day Upper Level Model: (4/27) This model depicts a weak Active Pattern was over the East Pacific. The Active Phase is to track east into Central America 5/7. A weak Inactive Phase to set up in the west 5/5 and is to drift east to Central America 5/25. A weak Active pattern to follow in the West Pacific 5/17 tracking east to the East Pacific through 6/6 and beyond. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (4/27) This model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was fading over the KWGA with weak west winds anomalies in play. Beyond the Active Phase is to ease east and pulse 5/5-5/21 with a possible Westerly Wind Burst on the dateline. The Inactive Phase is to move in 5/22-6/6 with neutral wind anomalies setting up. After that the Active Phase is to start taking control on 6/8 with light west anomalies building. The low pass filter indicates La Nina is to be gone on 5/13 (previously 5/6-5/8) with El Nino taking hold 5/30, (previously 5/16-5/22) but much weaker than previously forecast. In fact, latest long range runs from the CFS suggest this to only be a weak Modoki event. That actually makes more sense given the weak warm water reservoir in the West Pacific.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/27) Actual temperatures remain stratified with warm water in the West Pacific at 30 degs C moving east some and back on the chart reaching east to 160E. The 28 deg isotherm line is hovering near 170W after making significant eastward progress the previous week. The 26 deg isotherm continued easing to the east reaching to the Galapagos with the 24 degs isotherm 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 with +2 degs anomalies in the west and +1 degs in the east. A pocket of -2 degs anomalies is holding at depth between 110-150W down 100 meters reaching up to 60 meters. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/23 depicts that warm water is fading in the East Pac at +1-2 degs in small pockets easing east to about 140W. Cool water at -1-2 degs is at depth at 140W but is noticeably loosing coverage. Warm water is in the the West at +2-3 degs reaching east to 160W, possibly making eastward progress. 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 those waters in the west are building eastward some. And the cool pocket in the Central Pacific appears to be fading. Still - it is blocking the Kelvin Wave pathway.
Sea Level Anomalies: (4/23) No positive anomalies remain from Ecuador westward. Neutral anomalies are in control. 0-5 cm anomalies remain along the coast of Peru and Ecuador. No negative anomalies are indicated in the KWGA. 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.
Satellite Imagery
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4: (4/26) 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 are significantly eroded compared to a few weeks ago, caused by 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 or more. 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 (4/26): A neutral trend is along immediate Chile and Peru. A very weak and thin stream of cooling trending extends from Ecuador west over the Galapagos on the equator out to 140W. A moderate warming trend is just north of the equator from Central America and Mexico out to the dateline. A warming trend is also present in the Northern Hemi modesty from North CA out to Hawaii reaching west to the Philippines.
Hi-res Overview:
(4/26) There is no sign of La Nina anymore anywhere on the equator. A solid warm regime holds from Ecuador west to 140W and less energetic out to the dateline. Remnants of La Nina are gone in the ocean and it looks like El Nino is trying to develop and making headway into the Nino3.4 region.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/27) Today's temps have rebuilt to +0.180, down from the peak of +3.0 degs on 3/18.  
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (4/27) temps were rising slightly at +0.727 degs, in weak El Nino territory.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies



SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/27) The forecast has temps rising to +0.75 degs late May holding into early July then fading late summer to +0.55 degs only to rebuild some to +0.7 degs in late Oct and +0.8 degs into Jan 2018 suggesting a return of El Nino, but weak. CFS data suggests a Modoki style El Nino likely. La Nina is over and a return to normal temps appears to have occurred. 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-April Plume updated (4/19) depicts temps are warming and are now at +0.4 degs. A slow increase in temps is forecast thereafter to +0.8 degs in July and up to +0.9 degs through the Fall into Winter. This is +0.3 degs warmer than the Feb forecast and +0.6 degs warmer than the January forecast and +0.1 degs since the March forecast suggesting 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 (4/27): The daily index was rising at +18.67. It previously was negative for 13 days. The 30 day average was rising at -5.48. The 90 day average was rising at -1.11 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): (4/27) 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).

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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