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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Saturday, April 29, 2017 1:31 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
3.0 - California & 2.0 - Hawaii
Using the 'Summer' 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 5/1 thru Sun 5/7

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   

NPac Trying - But Windswell to Dominate
Multiple Small S. Hemi Swells Tracking NE

BUOY ROUNDUP

On Saturday, April 29, 2017 :

  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 8.2 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 5.9 ft @ 8.7 secs from 328 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 5.0 ft @ 11.4 secs with swell 2.6 ft @ 10.2 secs from 230 degrees. Wind northwest 14-16 kts. Water temperature 60.1 degs. At Ventura swell was 3.2 ft @ 9.6 secs from 273 degrees. At Santa Monica swell was 0.8 ft @ 18.7 secs from 219 degrees. At Camp Pendleton swell was 2.6 ft @ 8.5 secs from 265 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma swell was 3.6 ft @ 9.9 secs from 282 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 8.2 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 5.4 ft @ 9.9 secs from 308 degrees. Wind northwest 16-18 kts at the buoy. Water temp 51.4 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 Saturday (4/29) in North and Central CA local windswell was head high, clean, mushed and weak. Protected breaks were waist to shoulder high and clean. At Santa Cruz windswell/southern hemi combo was producing surf at waist to chest high on the sets and clean. In Southern California up north local windswell was producing waves in the thigh to waist high range and clean early. In North Orange Co surf was waist to chest high and clean with hard Santa Ana's in effect. In South Orange Co minimal southern hemi swell was hitting with waves chest high on the sets with brisk offshore's and slow. In San Diego windswell was producing surf at waist high with some sets near chest high and clean with calm wind. Hawaii's North Shore was head high and blown out with onshore wind. The South Shore was looking decent with southern hemi swell producing waves at chest to head high on the sets at top breaks and clean and lined up. The East Shore was waist high and chopped.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Saturday (4/29) in the Northern Hemisphere no swell of interest was in the water other than windswell. Looking at the charts a gale started developing just off Kamchatka late Fri (4/28) and is to be tracking east just south of the Aleutians with up to 21 ft seas making it to the dateline Sun (4/30) before dissipating. Low odds for meaningful swell to result. Another gael is forecast lifting north through the Northeast Gulf on Tues (5/2) with up to 30 ft seas, mainly targeting North Canada. 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 in the far Southeast Pacific behind that on Tues-Wed (5/3) with 32 ft seas aimed northeast. After that things quiet down.

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

North Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Saturday AM (4/29) the jetstream was ridging some off Japan but consolidated then tracked east on the 43rd parallel to a point north of Hawaii with winds to 170 kts before splitting with the main flow continuing east into Vancouver Island with the southern branch falling south over Hawaii forming a cutoff low just north of the Islands before turning east at 15N and moving into Mainland Mexico. There were no troughs supportive of gale production but the cutoff low just north of Hawaii was supportive of weather. Over the next 72 hours more of the same is forecast but with winds fading over the length of the jet and the cutoff low moving directly over Hawaii early Mon (5/1) and fully disconnecting from the main flow likely producing rain and wind for the Islands. A bit of a trough is to start developing on Tues (5/2) in the Gulf being fed by 120 kts winds offering some support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours the cutoff low over Hawaii is to quickly dissipate on Wed (5/3) while the Gulf low eases east with winds feeding it build to 140 kts before it starts pinching off on Thurs (5/4) while lifting northeast fast and loosing support for gale development. But another trough is forecast developing over the dateline then being fed by 140 kt winds and offering some hope but weakening while tracking east into Sat (5/6), but still viable at that time. Not a horrible pattern.

Surface Analysis
On Saturday (4/29) a weak gale was tracking east off Kamchatka (see Northwest Pacific Gale below). High pressure was ridging into Oregon producing a weak gradient and north winds from Cape Mendocino southward to Pt Conception at 20 kts making raw local windswell for North and Central CA. North winds were also associated with a cutoff low north of Hawaii at 20-25 kts making north windswell there.

Over the next 72 hours a new gale is forecast developing in the Gulf of Alaska Tues AM (5/2) with 35 kt northwest winds and seas building. In the evening the gale is to race northeast with winds building to 45 kts from the west with seas 26 ft at 50N 147W targeting mainly Vancouver Island northward. On Wed AM (5/3) the gale is to track north with 45 kts southwest winds just off South Alaska and seas 33 ft at 54N 144W targeting North Canada. no fetch aimed at the US West Coast.The gael is to move inland in the evening. Something to monitor.

 

Northwest Pacific Gale
A gale tracked 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 (4/29) it continued east just south of the West Aleutians with west winds 35 kts and seas building to 21 ft at 49N 168E targeting Hawaii and the US West Coast weakly. In the evening more of the same is forecast as it approaches the dateline with west winds fading to 30 kts and 21 ft seas at 50N 175E. Sun AM (4/30) 30 kt west winds to reach the Western Gulf while fading in coverage with seas 20 ft seas at 49N 177W. The gale to dissipate in the evening with seas dropping below any level of interest. 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 Saturday (4/29) high pressure was in control off the Central California coast ridging into Oregon driving north winds 20 kts over all of North and Central CA waters early but forecast to retreat and weaken to 15 kts in the afternoon focused on Pt Arena. Sunday the gradient is to rebuild focused on Cape Mendocino south to Monterey Bay at 20-25 kts producing windswell there down to Pt Conception. Southern CA to be protected. No change on Monday with core winds near Pt Arena at 25-30 kts continuing Tuesday. Then the gradient is to lift north on Wed (5/3) with 25 kt north winds limited to Cape Mendocino early and weakening 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 but 20 kts for Cape Mendocino. Friday a new and expansive high pressure sets up ridging to South Oregon with northwest winds 20-25 kts for all of North and Central CA building to 35 kts for North CA late. Saturday north winds to build to 40 kts early along the Cape Mendocino coast with possible large local windswell in play.

 

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis  
Swell from a decent gale under New Zealand was in the water pushing northeast hitting Hawaii and poised for the US West Coast (see Third New Zealand Gale below). A small pulse os forecast behind that from a gale previously in the Central South Pacific (see Central Pacific Gale below). and yet maybe a weaker on is to be behind that (see Weak Central Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.

 

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: 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 fading Fri (5/5) from 3.0 ft @ 15 secs early (4.5 ft). Residuals fading on Sat (5/6) from 2.1 ft @ 14 secs (2.5-3.0 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 continue Fri (4/5) at 2.3 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft). Swell fading Sat (4/6) from 1.5 ft @ 14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 193 degrees

 

Weak Central Pacific Gale
A small gale developed 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 from 26 ft at 66S 165W. In the evening 40 kt southwest winds expanded northeast with seas to 31 ft at 65S 154W. The gale raced east and faded with winds dropping from 35 kts but over a broader area with seas fading from 25 ft at 60S 142W. Very small swell is possible for CA with better energy for Mexico down into Central America and Peru.

Southern CA: Swell arrival Sat (5/6) at 1.8 ft @ 18 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 186 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 there's suggestions of a gale trying to organize over the dateline on Thurs (5/4) with 35-40 kt winds from the northwest but quickly fading with seas only getting to 21 ft at 40N 168E targeting Hawaii well but a ways away.

 
South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a somewhat stronger gale is forecast in the deep Southeast Pacific on Tues AM (5/2) with winds at 45 kts from the southwest and seas developing. By evening 45 kt southwest winds are to still be in play over a small area with 31 ft seas at 63S 127W. That fetch is to lift northeast and fade some from 40 kts Wed AM (5/3) with seas 33 ft at 59S 121W. and barely in the NCal swell window. Fetch is to be lifting northeast at 40+ kts in the evening with seas building to 34 ft at 55S 114W and moving out of the CA swell window targeting Mexico southward. This system is to continue northeast into Thurs (5/4) with seas in the 30-33 ft range targeting Central and South America well. This system is to have good northward momentum. Something to monitor.

More details to follow...

 

South America SST Warming Backing Off More

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 Fri (4/28) east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific but a little lighter over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were generally neutral from 140W eastward and light westward west of there to modest strength in 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 west anomalies building some in the KWGA to moderate strength through 5/6. This suggests La Nina is weakening and a Active MJO 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 4/28 a 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 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 taking hold.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/29) The ECMF model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO was very weak over the East Pacific and is forecast to build some then tracking east into the Atlantic over the next 2 weeks. The GEFS model depicts the same thing initially but with the Active Phase holding position over the East to Central Pacific. This model runs about a week ahead of what occurs down at the surface.
40 day Upper Level Model: (4/29) This model depicts a weak Active Pattern was over the West Pacific. It is to track east into Central America 5/9. A moderate Inactive Phase to set up in the west 5/5 and is to track east to Central America 5/25. A moderate Active pattern to follow in the West Pacific 5/19 tracking east to the East Pacific through 6/8 and beyond. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (4/29) 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 again 5/15 with a possible Westerly Wind Burst on the dateline 5/7-5/15 attributable to an Equatorial Rossby Wave. The Inactive Phase is to move in 5/22-6/8 with neutral wind anomalies setting up. After that the Active Phase is to start taking control on 6/10 with light west anomalies building holding through the end of the run on 7/26. 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: (4/29) 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 while drifting east at 168W 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. Warm anomalies at +1 degs rule the entire upper reaches of the equatorial East Pacific from 65 meters upward with +2 degs anomalies in the west down at 125m at +2 degs and greater than 0.0 degs in between. A pocket of -2 degs anomalies is fading fast at depth between 110-140W down 100 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. But no negative anomalies are present on the equator and in fact 0-+5 cm anomalies are over the entire KWGA suggesting warm water at depth. 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: (4/28) 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, but weaker west of there out to 160W. These warm waters are significantly eroded compared to a few weeks ago caused by upwelling along the immediate coast of Peru and North Chile. If anything, upwelling continues along South America and expanding in coverage. 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 (4/28): A neutral trend is along immediate Chile and Peru. A weak and diffuse 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. It looks like El Nino is trying to develop and making headway into the Nino3.4 region.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/29) Today's temps have rebuilt to +0.246, but down from the peak of +3.0 degs on 3/18.  
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (4/29) temps were holding at +0.711 degs, in weak El Nino territory.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies



SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/29) The forecast has temps steady at +0.65 degs from now till late June, then fading early Aug to +0.45 degs, building to +0.5 degs in Oct continuing to +0.7 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. Still, there is no source for greater warming with the warm pool in the far West Pacific pretty weak. Much recharging an heat buildup is required for a real El Nino to develop. We're at least 5 years out from that.
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 (4/29): The daily index was falling at 10.17. Its been unstable and all over the place the past week. The 30 day average was falling at -5.92. The 90 day average was steady at -1.13 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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