Tuesday, May 29, 2018
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance): This buoy is Live now!. Seas were 2.9 ft @ 6.7 secs with swell 0.9 ft @ 16.0 secs from 156 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.7 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 1.6 ft @ 15.6 secs from 170 degrees. Wind at the buoy was south at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 60.8 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.5 ft @ 12.4 secs from 268 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.4 ft @ 15.9 secs from 204 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.5 ft @ 15.6 secs from 209 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.6 ft @ 15.8 secs from 203 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 10.7 ft @ 10.8 secs with northwest windswell 8.5 ft @ 10.4 secs from 318 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 18-21 kts. Water temp 55.0 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 Tuesday (5/29) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing surf at 1-2 ft overhead and nearly chopped with small whitecaps early. Protected breaks were chest to head high and cleaner but still pretty warbled. At Santa Cruz windswell was wrapping in at waist to maybe chest high and clean but buried in fog early. In Southern California up north surf was thigh high and clean and weak. In North Orange Co waves were waist high and clean and weak. South Orange Country's best breaks had surf in the waist high range and clean but slow. In North San Diego surf was waist to maybe chest high and clean. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was small at thigh to maybe waist high and clean but slow. The East Shore was getting east windswell at thigh to waist high and chopped by east trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Tuesday (5/29) no legit swell was hitting either Hawaii or California. But small swell that previously hit Fiji from a storm that tracked north through the Tasman Sea is working it's way towards Hawaii. Local windswell was impacting exposed breaks in North and Central CA and background southern hemi swell was dribbling in at exposed south facing breaks. A small cutoff gale formed southeast of New Zealand on Mon (5/28) producing a short lived and small area of 30 ft seas aimed north. And now a broader system forecast to develop in the deep Central South Pacific Fri-Sun (6/3) has been upgraded, with seas now forecast at 38 ft aimed well to the north. Hard to beleive the models just yet, but there is some hope now.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Tuesday AM (5/29) local windswell was the only energy generated in the North Pacific hitting breaks limited to North and Central CA. Otherwise a weak wind and pressure pattern was in control of the greater North Pacific generating no swell relative to Hawaii or California, typical of a normal summer pattern.
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.
On Tuesday (5/29) local windswell is being generated for North/Central California courtesy of a gradient/fetch over Cape Mendocino driven by high pressure at 1036 mbs in the Eastern Gulf of Alaska ridging east. This gradient is producing 30 kt north winds over North California and expected to hold into early Wed (5/30) before fading later in the day with north winds down to 25 kts then dissipating on Thurs AM (5/31). Windswell is expected to result. See QuikCASTs for details.
East fetch is also in control east of Hawaii associated with the same high pressure system (above) pushing into the Islands on Tues (5/29) at 15 kts with a decent sized footprint and expected to build coverage on Wed (5/30) at 15+ kts extending the whole way from North CA to the Islands and continuing into Thurs (5/31) then fading some on Fri (6/1) resulting is easterly windswell relative to Hawaii. See QuikCASTs for details.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday AM (5/29) high pressure was building 1100 nmiles off North CA generating a pressure gradient resulting in north winds at 30 kts over North CA down to Pt Reyes with north winds 15 kt down to Big Sur but less than that south of there. More of the same on Wed (5/30) with north winds to 30-35 kts early over North CA and 20 kts down to Pt Conception, then fading fast in the evening. The gradient is to be collapsing early Thurs (5/31) with north winds 20-25 kts over North and Central CA early fading to 15-20 kts later. Fri (6/1) high pressure is to be held at bay as low pressure moves towards the Pacific Northwest. North winds 15 kts for all of North and Central California and up to 20 kts off Pt Conception. Sat (6/2) the low is to be fading and lifting north with new high pressure at 1028 mbs within 600 nmiles off North CA with north winds on the rise again at 20+ kts for the North and Central Coasts building to 25 kts over North CA later. The gradient builds Sun (6/3) with high pressure up to 1034 mbs just off and ridging into Oregon with north winds 30 kts solid over all of North CA and 20-25 kts just off the Central Coast. the gradient and north winds hold solid on Mon (6/4) then fading some on Tues (6/5).
On Tuesday AM (5/29) the southern branch of the jetstream was ridging hard south starting under Tasmania reaching down to down at 70S under New Zealand and the tracking east from there over the entirety of the South Pacific and unbroken over that distance. There was no support for gale formation. Over the next 72 hours this pattern is to hold until later Wed (5/30) when a trough is to start forming over the Central Pacific but being fed by only 90-100 kt winds not offering much in terms of support for gale formation. Beyond 72 hours winds in the trough are to start increasing, building to 110 kts on Fri (6/1) lifting northeast over the Central South Pacific reaching north to 47S late Sat (6/2) then significantly weakening. Support for gale development fading then. Beyond there's weak indications of another trough developing in the Central Pacific on Tues (6/5) being fed by 140 kts winds. So there's more hope.
On Tuesday (5/29) no real southern hemi swell was hitting California. Background energy from the Tasman Sea (Gale #2) is supposedly arriving in Hawaii now (see 2nd Tasman Sea Gale below). And more energy from the Tasman Sea is radiating northeast providing potential for filtered swell energy eventually reaching Hawaii (see 3rd Tasman Sea Gale below). Also swell from a gale Southeast of New Zealand is supposedly radiating north (See New Zealand Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours a new gale is to develop in the deep central South Pacific on Fri Am (6/1) generating a decent sized area of 45 kt south winds with seas building from 30 ft at 62S 163W. In the evening the fetch is to lift north with a broader core of 45 kt south winds with 36 ft seas over a building area at 58S 156W. On Sat AM (6/2) 40-45 kt south winds to continue lifting north with seas 39 ft at 54S 150W. In the evening south fetch is to rebuild at 45 kt with 40 ft seas over a smaller area at 49.5S 144W aimed north. The gale to fade from there on Sun AM (6/3) with southwest winds 45 kts over a tiny area and 36 ft seas at 50S 135W. the gael is to fade from there and all fetch turning westerly. Something to monitor.
2nd Tasman Sea Gale
Another gale developed southwest of Tasmania on Mon AM GMT (5/21) producing up to 35-40 kt southwest winds aimed up the Tasman Sea with seas building to 30 ft at 52S 140E. The gale built while pushing up into the Tasman Sea in the evening with 40 kt southwest winds and 31 ft seas at 42S 155E. On Tues AM (5/22) fetch is to be well up in the Tasman Sea at 30-35 kts from the southwest with seas 31 ft at 39S 158E aimed northeast. By evening the gale is to be fading with 30 kt south winds off Northwest New Zealand and seas fading from 27 ft at 37S 165E.
Hawaii: Expect filtered swell to arrive on Tues AM (5/29) with period 17 secs and size building through the day to 1.6 ft @ 16-17 secs later in the day (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell building on Wed (5/30) to 2.0 ft @ 15-16 sec early (3.0 ft). Swell fading Thurs (5/31) from 1.5 ft @ 14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 217 degrees
3rd Tasman Sea Gale
A stronger storm started developing on Wed AM (5/23) under Tasmania with a broad area of 45 kt southwest winds aimed northeast and seas 39 ft at 51S 149E aimed northeast. In the evening 40-45 kt southwest winds continued lifting northeast with 41 ft seas at 49S 152.5E. On Thurs AM (5/24) fetch regenerated some while lifting north into the core of the Tasman Sea at 45 kts and 41 ft seas at 44.5S 159E. The gale is to lift north on the evening with 35-40 kt south winds and seas 37 ft at 39S 163E aimed north. South fetch is to be fading in the evening from 30 kts and seas fading from 31 ft at 33S 168E just off the northwest most point of New Zealand. The gale to be gone after that. Large swell is expected for Fiji on Sun (5/27) (local time) with filtered swell radiating northeast towards Hawaii.
Hawaii: Expect filtered swell to arrive late on Wed (5/30) pushing 1 ft @ 19 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell building through the day Thurs (5/31) to 1.5 ft @ 17 secs (2.5 ft). Swell just past it's peak early Fri (6/1) at 1.5 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell fading Sat (6/2) from 1.2 ft @ 14 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell gone after that. Swell Direction: 215 degrees
Southern CA: Small swell possible starting on Sat (6/2) pushing 1 ft @ 19 secs late (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell building on Sun (6/3) to 1.3 ft @ 16-17 secs later (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Peaking on Mon (6/4) at 1.5 ft @ 16 secs early (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell fading on Tues (6/5) from 1.2 ft @ 15 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 231 degrees
Northern CA: Small swell possible starting on Sun (6/3) to 1.0 ft @ 17-18 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Peaking on Mon (6/4) at 1.2 ft @ 16 secs early (2.0 ft). Swell fading on Tues (6/5) from 1.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (1.5 ft). Swell Direction: 229 degrees
New Zealand Gale
A gale developed southeast of New Zealand Sun PM (5/27) generating south winds at 40-45 kts over a small area aimed north with seas building from 28 ft over a small area at 47S 172W. By Mon AM (5/28) south winds continued at 40-45 kts with seas building to 29 ft at 47.5S 168W. South fetch faded some in the evening at 40 kts with seas holding at 29-30 ft at 46.5S 164W. On Tues AM (5/29) south fetch faded from 30 kts with seas fading from 25 ft over a small area at 44.5S 165W. Some limited south swell could reach Tahiti and Hawaii. Something to monitor.
Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Sun (6/3) building to 1.6 ft @ 17 secs later (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell to build more on Mon (6/4) pushing 2.3 ft @ 15 secs (3.5 ft) later. Swell fading some on Tues (6/5) dropping from 2.3 ft @ 14-15 secs early (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 195 degrees
South CA: Possible small swell arriving on Wed (6/6). Swell Direction 213 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 no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
But windswell is to again build. High pressure is to rebuild in the Eastern Gulf and 600 nmiles west of North CA generating a decent sized fetch of 25 kts north winds later on Sat (6/2) building in coverage on Sun (6/3) with north winds 25-30 kts and 25 kt north winds reaching down to Pt Conception. Mon (6/4) north winds to continue at 30 kts over North Ca with 20-25 kts winds down to a point off Pt Conception. The gradient is to hold into early Tues (6/5) then start fading. Windswell production expected through the period.
Relative to Hawaii starting on Sat (6/2) fetch of 15 kt east winds east of the Islands is to fade and pull east/away from the Islands with windswell fading out. By Mon (6/4) a shallow fetch of east with at 15 kts is to redevelop close to the Islands building in depth some on Tues (6/5) but nothing remarkable. Minimal east windswell possible.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast for the greater South Pacific.
More details to follow...
Large Kelvin Wave Appears to Finally Be on the Move Towards Ecuador
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 two upwelling Kelvin Waves, suggesting the demise of La Nina.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Sat (5/28) 5 day average winds were from the east over the bulk of the equatorial Pacific and also over over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were light east over the equatorial East Pacific and modest east over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (5/29) Modest east anomalies were over the core of the KWGA. Starting 5/30 neutral anomalies are to set up in the far western KWGA (to 145E) but with east anomalies holding modestly from 145E and points east of there and strong over the dateline. This pattern is to hold for the coming week through 6/5. This Inactive Phase of the MJO is stronger than expected.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (5/28) The Inactive/Dry Phase of the MJO was modest over the KWGA. The statistical model depicts the Inactive/Dry Phase is to track east while weakening in the KWGA slowly fading and all but gone by day 5 while the Active Phase builds in from the west and filling the KWGA at day 15. The dynamic model depicts the same thing initially but with the Inactive Phase of the MJO pulsing/rebuilding in the West Pacific at day 4 and holding while fading over the West KWGA through day 15. So the 2 models remain very divergent in their forecasts.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (5/29) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was moderate over the Central Indian Ocean. It is to track east steadily through the Indian Ocean and holding strength moving over the Maritime Continent at day 7 and stalling there through day 15. The GEFS model depicts the same thing but with the Active phase retrograding west over the Maritime Continent the last 5 days of the run.
40 day Upper Level Model: (5/29) This model depicts a moderate Inactive Phase is over the East Pacific and is to be moving east to Central America on 6/11 while a new very weak Active Phase builds in the West Pacific starting 6/3 and moving through the Pacific into Central America on 6/28. A weak Inactive Phase is to be developing over the West Pacific on 6/18 pushing to the East Pacific and Central America at the end of the model run on 7/8. This model runs about 1-2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/28) East anomalies to hold from 150E and points east of there through 6/20. West anomalies to be held to a point not reaching east of 150E through that same time period.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/29) This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO was peaking over the KWGA with modest east anomalies in control of the KWGA from 160E and points east of there. The Inactive Phase is to hold through 6/5 but with weak east anomalies holding through 6/12. The Active Phase to develop 6/6 in the far West Pacific pushing east with weak west anomalies trying to build east but blocked at 165E by east anomalies. Finally on 6/14 weak west anomalies are to fill the KWGA and building in coverage from there.The Active Phase of the MJO is to hold into 7/8 with west anomalies in control. The Inactive Phase of the MJO is to develop after that starting 7/7 holding through 8/1 but with west anomalies holding in the KWGA. After that a neutral pattern is to set up but with west anomalies holding in the entirety of the KWGA from 8/1 through the end of the model run on 8/26. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias is fully in control of the KWGA reaching east to 145W and forecast to hold for the foreseeable future if not building from 2 contour lines to 3 starting 6/28. This is good news for the coming Fall-Winter season. The high pressure bias is limited to an area south of California and shrinking at the end of the model run and inland over California. The La Nina bias is gone. The expectation is that the atmosphere and ocean will begin to be coupled 3 months after the start of the transition or on 8/8 (low pressure bias officially filled the KWGA starting on 5/8) in a more favorable configuration to support storm production in the Pacific.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (5/27) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs reaching east to 165E. The 28 deg isotherm line is stabilizing after moving eastward from the dateline last winter to 165W on 5/15 to 160W 5/22 and to 158W today from the surface to 75 meters deep. The 24 deg isotherm was thickening at 115 meters deep at 140W and 75 meters deep at 120W deepening to 40 meters into Ecuador. Anomaly wise in the East Pacific negative temperatures are gone as warm waters from a Kelvin Wave are building in from the west at depth. Warm anomalies at depth were easing east +3.0 degs at 160W down 150 meters pushing east now with +4 degs anomalies building in the east at 110W and reaching east to the Galapagos. We're waiting for these warm anomalies to erupt to the surface. It appears the Kelvin Wave is gaining eastward momentum. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 5/23 depicts warm water in the west at +4.0 degs at 165W with a river of warm water at +2 degs pushing continuously east to 110W with pockets reaching east from there to the Ecuadorian coast. The last of the La Nina cool pool has evaporated. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (5/23) This image has upgraded significantly. Positive anomalies were solid from the West equatorial Pacific to the east at +5-10 cms reaching from New Guinea to 120W with continuous 0-5 cm anomalies reaching east to 100W and pockets to the Galapagos. No negative anomalies were indicated including along the coast of Peru. The La Nina cool pool is 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: (5/28) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate very weak localized cool anomalies along the immediate coast of Peru and very shallow. Otherwise defined pockets of warm anomalies were building strung along along the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos and out to 140W and starting to fill-in between the pockets. A broad area of warming was also filling the area south of Mexico and out to the dateline. Also warm water was also off Peru (85W) down to 15S aligned along the equator west out to 110W. The remnants of the La Nina cool pool were south of the equator starting at 3S from 110W to 170W.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (5/28): A neutral trend was indicated other than a pocket of warming over the equatorial Pacific from the Galapagos west to 115W and weaker out to the dateline. No pockets of cooling are indicated anywhere near the equator.
Hi-res Overview: (5/28) A few pixels of cool water was indicated along the immediate coast of Peru. Otherwise warm water was building from Ecuador west on the equator over the Galapagos and west from there to the dateline from 3S up to 20N and building in coherence. Weak warming was also further off the coast of Peru to 105W and reaching north to the equator. The only cool water was in the fading remnant pocket from La Nina limited to an area south of the equator from 110W barely to the dateline and south of 3S. Overall the cooling pattern is steadily loosing density and drifting west.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (5/29) Today's temps were falling slightly at -0.640, up from -0.819 on 5/22, and that down from a recent peak rising to +0.459 on 5/13. This is part of a larger rising trend stat started 4/10 indicative of the collapse of La Nina. Overall temps had been steadily marching upwards since late December. Peak low temps in this area occurred on 12/23/17 at -2.1 degs, -2.248 degs on 11/5/17, and -1.9 degs on 10/11/17.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (5/29) Today temps were falling slightly to -0.161, up from -0.427 on 5/12 after having reached up to -0.254 degs on 5/1. Temps have been steadily rising since 3/27 when they were down at -1.2 degs. Previous peak lows were observed on 1/10-1/12 to -1.577, -1.219 on 12/7, -1.156 on 11/22/17, and -1.1 on 11/23. The long arc suggests a rising pattern.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (5/27) 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 -0.30 in early April. The forecast calls for a steady increase from here forward with neutral temps now, pushing up to +0.40 degs in early June and rising July-Oct to +0.75 degs and +0.85 degs in late Dec and holding there into Feb 2019. This suggests La Nina is gone and that perhaps El Nino is to build through the Summer and Fall of 2018. Most other models are also suggesting a possible turn to minimal weak El Nino conditions by late Fall.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-May Plume depicts temps at 0.0 degs as of 5/18 and are to slowly rise from here forward, to +0.4 in August and +0.7 in November and +0.8 in December hold there. See chart here - link. It looks like La Nina is fading out and a weak El Nino might develop. 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 (negative is good, positive bad) (5/29): The daily index was down today at +4.38. The 30 day average was rising some at +2.53 suggesting the Inactive Phase of the MJO was building some. The 90 day average was falling some at 5.13 suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was holding in the atmosphere biased towards La Nina. This is expected for a month or two more.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (5/29) Today the index was falling more at -0.74, down from -0.70 on 5/20 and -0.60 on 5/17, but not reaching the high of -0.36 on Fri (5/11) and -0.38 on Thurs (5/10), down from -0.35 on 4/26, but up from -1.02 on 4/5 and up from -1.13 on 3/27. The trend is upward but still less than the -0.33 reading in late Feb. That was was up from -1.11 on 1/29. The trend suggests La Nina is not gone, but fading steadily. 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/JISAO 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, Mar = -0.05. 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