Tuesday, October 24, 2017
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 6.7 ft @ 14.3 secs with Northwest Pacific swell 4.5 ft @ 13.1 secs from 323 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.8 ft @ 15.9 secs with southern hemi swell 2.2 ft @ 15.4 secs from 187 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north at 0-2 kts. Water temperature 67.3 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 2.6 ft @ 11.7 secs from 272 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.9 ft @ 15.8 secs from 203 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.7 ft @ 15.6 secs from 206 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.5 ft @ 15.7 secs from 191 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 13.0 ft @ 12.0 secs with Northwest Pacific swell 5.9 ft @ 16.0 secs from 292 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northeast at 12 kts. Water temp 58.8 degs.
46006, 46059, 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 (10/24) in North and Central CA a combination of Gulf and Northwest Pacific swells were producing waves at double overhead and clean at exposed breaks. Protected breaks were 2-3 ft overhead and clean and mostly closed out. At Santa Cruz waves were 2 ft overhead and clean with a little bump in the water. In Southern California up north Gulf swell was producing set waves at nearly head high and clean and lined up but slow/inconsistent. In North Orange Co set waves were shoulder to head high but a bit on the weak side with firm offshore wind in control. In south Orange County at best breaks southern hemi swell was still producing well rideable waves at head high to 1 ft overhead and clean with very light offshore winds. In San Diego surf was chest high and clean but slow. Hawaii's North Shore was head high or so and blown to shreds with whitecaps and onshore wind. The South Shore was getting minimal New zealand swell at waist to chest high but pretty warbled from windswell even though surface conditions were clean. The East Shore was getting wrap around northwest swell at waist high and chopped from north-northwest wind.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Tuesday (10/24) swell from a gale that developed off the Northern Kuril's tracking east Thurs-Fri (10/21) with up to 37 ft seas then pushed into the Western Gulf Sat-Sun (10/23) with seas fading from 26 ft is fading in Hawaii and peaking in North CA producing yet more solidly rideable swell. And another system, a strong extratropical storm is developing while recurving northeast Tues-Wed (10/25) in the Northwest Pacific with seas forecast to 60 ft over the northern dateline region. It's then to fade and not make it to even the Western Gulf. More groomed swell is possible. Southern hemi swell is fading in Southern CA from a gale that developed in the far Southeast Pacific on Sat (10/14) with 36 ft seas barely in the Southern CA swell window aimed north. And a gale developed under under New Zealand while tracking east on Sun (10/15) with up to 40 ft seas over a small area aimed east, and is hitting Hawaii, but small. The Active Phase of the MJO is in full effect.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Tuesday AM (10/24) the jetstream was pushing off North Japan on the 43N latitude line with some sense of a trough starting to build just west of the dateline being fed by 170 kts wind, then ridging slightly over the Western Gulf before falling into a very steep pinched trough that was pushing the whole way south to nearly Hawaii, only to ridge hard north from there and push inland over Northern Canada wit winds at 180 kts. Only the trough west of the dateline was capable of supporting gale development. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to become more defined into Wed (10/25) pushing just over the dateline and being fed by 190 kts winds offering good support for gale development, but then starting to pinch off while being absorbed into the pinched trough north of Hawaii on Thurs (10/26) and gone 24 hours later. The ridge is to hold off the US West Coast. Beyond 72 hours starting Fri (10/27) a new trough is to develop west of the dateline falling south to 43N being fed by 150 kt winds pushing to the dateline late Sat (10/28) and then starting to pinch off while moving to the Western Gulf on Mon (10/30). Some support for gale development is possible. But the massive ridge over the Eastern Gulf is to hold strong. By Tues (10/31) yet another trough is to try and form while pushing off the Kuril Islands but not particularly promising with winds only 130-140 kts falling into it, offering only weak support for gale development.
On Tuesday (10/24) swell from the Dateline region was fading in Hawaii and peaking in North California (see Dateline Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours an extratropical storm is to be front and center in the far West Pacific (see Extratropical Storm Lan below)
For windswell relative to California: Starting Tuesday (10/24) no windswell of interest is forecast until Wed AM (10/25) when high pressure at 1030 mbs in the Gulf of Alaska starts ridging east into Oregon generating a weak gradient and north winds at 20 kts over Cape Mendocino building to 25 kts reaching down to Pt Arena late. Building northerly windswell into North and Central CA is possible. That gradient and fetch is to hold into Thurs AM (10/26) then rapidly decay with north winds over Cape Mendocino down to 15 kts later. Windswell dissipating. No fetch 15 kts or greater to follow.
For windswell relative to Hawaii: On Tues (10/24) local low pressure was developing just 600 nmiles north of Hawaii producing a small area of 35 kt north winds forecast building to 40 kts in the afternoon aimed right at the Islands with seas 20 ft at 29N 158W aimed south. Fetch is to be fading overnight down to 30 kts Wed AM (10/25) 650 nmiles northwest of Oahu with seas fading from 19 ft at 42N 161W aimed south. Raw 11-12 sec period north windswell is possible for Oahu starting Tues afternoon pushing to 7 ft @ 11 secs (7.0 ft) peaking Wed AM at 8.1 ft @ 12 secs (9.0 ft) then starting to slowly fade. Residuals on Thurs Am (10/26) fading from 5.5 ft @ 11 secs (5.5 ft).
Another gale developed Wed PM (10/18) just off Kamchatka with 45 kt northwest winds and seas building from 32 ft at 49N 164E. On Thurs AM (10/19) the gale was just south of the Aleutians and moving towards the dateline producing a solid fetch of 40 kt west winds and seas 35 ft over a small area at 47.5N 169E targeting mainly Hawaii (323 degs HI). West fetch continued tracking east in the evening at 45 kts just west of the dateline with 35 ft seas at 47.5N 176E aimed east (326 degs HI, 303 degs NCal). On Fri AM (10/20) the gale was starting to drift southeast with northwest winds fading from 35-40 kts over a solid area and 34 ft seas at 47N 176W (328 degs HI, 300 degs NCal). In the evening fetch was pushing southeast at 35 kts over a broad area with 31 ft seas at 45N 169W (340 degs HI, 298 degs NCal) targeting mainly the US West Coast. On Sat AM (10/21) 35 kt west fetch was over the Central Gulf with 26 ft seas at 45N from 160W (297 degs NCal). Fetch faded in the evening from 30 kts from the west in the Eastern Gulf with seas 23 ft at 45N 153W (298 degrees NCal) and dissipating. Another nice pulse of swell is possible for Hawaii and California. Something to monitor.
North CA: Swell building and peaking Tues AM (10/24) at 4.8 ft @ 15-16 secs (7.5) but shadowed in the SF Bay Area. Swell fading Wed AM (10/25) from 5.3 ft @ 13-14 secs (6.5 ft). Residuals on Thurs AM (10/26) fading from 3.1 ft @ 11 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 297-304 degrees
Extratropical Storm Lan
On Sat AM (10/21) Typhoon Lan was 650 nmiles south southwest of Tokyo Japan tracking north-northeast with winds 130 kts (150 mph). This system moved directly over Tokyo on Sun AM (10/22) with winds 110 kts, briefly moving over land, then back over the North Pacific a few hours later Sun PM with winds 90 kts and heading northeast. This system raced northeast Mon AM (10/23) and start reorganizing as an extratropical storm in the evening with its core just off Southern Kamchatka with a broad fetch of 40-45 kt west winds off the Central Aleutians with seas 34 ft at 42N 157E aimed east. On Tues AM (10/24) a large fetch of 50-55 kt west winds were developing just south of the Western Aleutians as the storm center stalls over the Western Aleutians and seas build from 37 ft at 49N 162-178E aimed east. In the evening west winds to build to 60-65 kts building in coverage approaching the dateline with 59 ft seas forecast at 49.5N 174.0E aimed east (325 degs HI, 306 degs NCal). The core of the storm is to track east over the Aleutians Wed AM (10/25) with winds fading from 45 kts early south of the Aleutians over the North Dateline region with seas 54 ft at 47.5N 177.5W (336 degs HI, 301 degs NCal). The storm is to dissipate in the evening with 35 kt northwest winds fading and seas dropping from 39 ft at 45N 172W (335 degs HI, 298 degs NCal). Something to monitor.
Hawaii: For planning purposes based on modeled data - Expect swell arrival Fri AM (10/27) peaking at 4 PM at 9.0 ft @ 19-20 secs (17.5 ft Hawaiian). Swell fading Sat AM (10/28) early from 8.4 ft @ 16-17 secs (13.9 ft Hawaiian). Swell Direction: 325 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Tropical Storm Saola on Tues AM (10/24) was 650 nmiles south of Tokyo Japan with winds 40 kts tracking north-northwest at 24 kts with seas estimated at 20 ft. Saola is forecast to continue on this track into Thurs AM (10/26) while building in strength to typhoon force (65 kts) then starting to turn north and then recurving northeast eventually passing just east of Tokyo on Sun (10/29) with winds 80 kts, bound for the greater North Pacific. See Long Term forecast for details.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday (10/24) a light offshore wind pattern was in effect from Bodega Bay southward with north winds early at 15 kts over Cape Mendocino but forecast fading to nearly calm late. Wednesday high pressure is to return filling the East Gulf at 1030 mbs with north winds 20+ kts for the area from Pt Arena northward building to 25 kts late and continuing early Thurs (10/26) but light if not an eddy flow setting up for all of Central CA and up to Bodega Bay. A light flow is forecast Friday (10/27) for the state and holding into Sunday. Monday north winds return to Cape Mendocino at 15 kts building to 20 kts mid-day but almost gone by Tues (10/31). Light winds 10 kts or less south of there.
On Tuesday (10/24) swell from a gale previously in the far Southeast Pacific was hitting Southern CA (see Southeast Pacific Gale below). And swell from a gale that tracked under New Zealand was radiating northeast towards California (See New Zealand Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
Southeast Pacific Gale
On Sat AM (10/14) a moderate sized gale developed in the far Southeast Pacific on the edge of the California swell window with 40-45 kt south winds and seas building from 27 ft over a moderate area at 58S 124W. In the evening 45-50 kt south winds were pushing north-northeast with 37 ft seas at 56S 117.5W aimed north and northeast. On Sun AM (10/15) fetch was fading fast from 35-40 kts moving northeast with seas fading from 36 ft at 51S 111W targeting mainly from South Mexico and points south of there. The gale faded while moving rapidly east from there. Very south angled swell is possible for California but better focused for Mexico southward into South America.
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (10/21) after dark and building Sun (10/22) up to 2.3 ft @ 18 secs late (4.0 ft). Swell peaking on Mon (10/23) at 2.5 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell fading Tues (10/24) from 2.5 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5 ft) early. Swell continue down on Wed (10/25) from 2.3 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading Thurs (10/26) from 2.1 ft @ 13 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 177-180 degrees Much of this swell to be buried in northwest swell from the Gulf except at protected breaks.
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (10/21) after dark and building Sun (10/22) up to 1.9 ft @ 19 secs late (3.5 ft). Swell peaking later on Mon (10/23) at 2.1 ft @ 17 secs (3.0-3.5 ft) at exposed breaks. Swell fading Tues (10/24) from 2.3 ft @ 16 secs (3.5-4.0 ft) early. Swell fading Wed (10/25) from 2.2 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading from there. Swell Direction: 175-178 degrees This swell is to be totally buried by stronger northwest swell originating from the Gulf except at protected breaks.
New Zealand Gale
Another gale (actually a storm) developed under New Zealand starting on Sat PM (10/14) with 50 kt southwest winds and seas building from 34 ft at 54S 165E tracking due east. On Sun AM (10/15) 50-55 kt southwest winds developed tracking east over a small area with 40 ft seas building at 56S 173E. The gale was fading fast in the evening with winds dropping from 40 kts from the southwest with seas fading from 37 ft at 54S 178W. The gale is to be gone after that.
Southern California: Expect swell starting to show late Tues (10/24) building to 1 ft @ 19 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell continues Wed (10/25) at 1.3 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.0 ft). Swell fading Thurs (10/26) at 1.4 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 215 degrees This swell to be buried in northwest swell too.
Northern CA: Expect swell starting to show late Tues (10/24) building to 1 ft @ 19 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell continues Wed (10/25) at 1.2 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.0 ft). Swell fading Thurs (10/26) at 1.2 ft @ 15-16 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 215 degrees This swell to be buried in northwest swell too.
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 a low pressure system is to try and develop on the dateline on Sat (10/28) producing 35 kt northwest winds and 21 ft seas at 42N 170E aimed southeast somewhat targeting Hawaii. Fetch is to fall southeast into the evening with seas building to 23 ft at 38N 177E again targeting Hawaii. After that the gale is to vaporize. Something to monitor.
The remnants of Typhoon Saola are to rapidly lift northeast Monday AM (10/30) while building to storm status off the Northern Kuril's with northwest winds to 60-65 kts briefly with seas to 46-54 ft aimed east to northeast at 50N 165E in the evening. Fetch is to fade rapidly from there making no eastward progress with seas fading from 35 ft over a broad area at 50N 169E aimed east. Something to monitor.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.
More details to follow...
Active MJO Fading - La Nina Cool Pool Building
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. So it appears now a double dip La Nina is setting up and is to continue through the Winter and Spring of 2017-2018.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Mon (10/24) the 5 day average indicated east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific but light over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were light east over the East Pacific and neutral over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (10/24) Light west anomalies were modeled over the Western KWGA with weak east anomalies over the East KWGA. West anomalies are to build over the entire KWGA by 10/26 in the light category and building to modest strength by the end of the model run on 10/31. For the first time in months, it appears something that almost looks like an Active Phase of the MJO might be trying to develop with easterly anomalies expected to dissipate.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 10/23 a moderate Active/Wet MJO pattern was over the West Pacific reaching to the dateline. The statistical model depicts it holding for 5 days, then weakening with a weak inactive Phase building in the far West Pacific at the end of the 15 day model run. The dynamic model depicts the same thing. This is the first Active Phase of the MJO since March, some good news and a sign that La Nina might be weakening some.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (10/23) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO moderate in strength in the West Pacific and forecast collapsing over the next 6 days. The GEFS model suggests a variant of the same thing but with the Active Phase holding together longer while pushing east and weakening over the next 2 weeks.
40 day Upper Level Model: (10/24) This model depicts a moderately strong Active/Wet pattern over the East Pacific and it's to track east into Central America 11/3. After that a solid Inactive Phase is to follow in the West on 11/3 tracking racing east into Central America through 11/23. A weak Active Phase is to develop in the West Pacific on 11/18 tracking east through the end of the model run on 12/3. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (10/24) This model has been fixed! It depicts a modest Active Phase of the MJO over the KWGA and moving east with weak west west anomalies over the same area. The Active Phase is to move east and be gone from the KWGA by 11/5 with light west anomalies in play over that time period in the KWGA. The Inactive Phase is to develop in the KWGA on 11/10-12/11 with neutral anomalies perhaps turning very weakly east late Nov. Then the Active Phase returns weakly on 12/15 with weak west anomalies building from there into early Jan 4, 2018. The Inactive Phase to follow but weak into 1/21/18. The low pass filter indicates a modest El Nino signal over the extreme west KWGA and is to ease east filling it by Jan 15. The La Nina signal is over the East KWGA near the dateline and is to move into the East Pacific and no longer in the KWGA by Jan 1. Interesting. If this is true, it suggests the underpinnings of La Nina that is developing in the Pacific and to peak in Jan are weak and fading and are to be gone by late December. Assuming it takes 3 months for the ocean to respond, this winter is lost to La Nina with no significant change expected until likely early April 2018. Even at that it will take about 5+ years for the Pacific to recharge from the 2014-16 El Nino before another El Nino develops. So a neutral ENSO pattern is likely to develop.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (10/24) A pattern change set up in August, with warm water retreating to the west and cooler water building in the east. Today in the far West Pacific water temps have fallen to barely 29 degs centered at 160E and shrinking in coverage. The 28 deg isotherm line is barely hanging on at 178W. The 24 deg isotherm is weak at 135W today and shallow at 30 meters deep at 140W. Anomaly wise a clear change is present in the East Pacific with warm water gone and instead neutral to weakly negative temperatures at the surface and down to -3 degs C down 100 meters at 120W indicative of La Nina. Warm anomalies are isolated to the West Pacific at +0.5 degrees down to 100 meters deep with the dividing line between cool at 170W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 10/20 depicts a large area of subsurface cool water filling the East Pacific (-4.0 degs) and erupting to the surface in broad pockets between 100W to 165W with a near neutral temperature pattern in the west.
Sea Level Anomalies: (10/20) Negative anomalies are in control at -5 cms over the entire equatorial Pacific with a core of -10 cm anomalies present between ecuador to 160W with on patch to -15 cms at 140W.
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: (10/23) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a clear cool pattern has developed. Upwelling continues solidly along Peru and Ecuador (building the past few days) then tracking west on the equator out to 135W. The cool pool continues west from there out to 160W. No warm anomalies are indicated within 3+ degs north or south of the equator over the entire region.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (10/22): A neutral trend was along Peru. A modest warming trend was indicated starting just off Ecuador over the Galapagos continuing west to 117W. A cooling trend was west of there out to 160W.
Hi-res Overview: (10/22) A clear La Nina cool stream is present starting off Southern Chile pushing north up Peru and building in coverage, then turning northwest off Ecuador tracking west over the Galapagos and building out to 160W and stronger than days past. Weak cool anomalies continued west from there out to 175E. This pattern outlines the South Pacific high pressure system well and is stronger than normal. and likely is also strong in the North Pacific too. Cool water at depth is erupting to the surface with the breach point near the Galapagos. There is no sign of warm anomalies in the Nino 1.2 or Nino3.4 regions. Otherwise waters of all oceans of the planet are warmer than normal other than the aforementioned stream. We now assert that climatology needs to be updated to reflect the new reality of warming ocean temperatures over the entire planet.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (10/24) Today's temps were rising slightly at -1.094, up from the coldest point so far this La Nina when they dipped to -1.9 degs on 10/11.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (10/24) temps were steady and cool at at -1.025, now cooler than a previous downward spike on 9/12 at -0.898. The long arc clearly suggests a downward trend. La Nina is in control.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (10/24) The forecast has temps falling steadily from -0.45 in early Oct to -0.8 in late Dec. Then the trend is to turn upwards reaching -0.2 in April and 0.0 degs in July 2018. This suggests a legit La Nina is expected for the Winter of 2017-2018. The CFS SST images (10/13) continues to suggest a moderate La Nina cool pattern building on the equator off the Galapagos into Feb 2018. A full on La Nina is setting up.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Sept Plume updated (9/19) depicts temps forecast to fade -0.4 degs in Sept, and fading to -0.6 degs in Nov, slowly rising from there turning neutral in April 2018. See chart here - link. The NMME consensus for Oct average indicates temps -0.75 degrees below normal Nov-Jan 2018 then rebounding to normal in April. It sure looks like La Nina is on the way. The CFSv2 is the outlier, colder than all other models. Still, given all the oceanic signals, we a tending to side with it more than the other models.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (10/24): The daily index was positive at 10.18. The 30 day average was rising at 13.33. The 90 day average was rising at +7.32. This suggests a turn towards La Nina.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (10/24) The index was rising slightly at -1.13 (up from -2.20 on 6/28/17). Last years La Nina reached -1.94 on 11/2/16 so we've bested that already. but the recent upward trend is offering some hope. At this time it looks like La Nina is returning for a double dip/2 year La Nina (not unusual). This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina events.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly negative, but not as much as one would expect with La Nina in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.10, Feb = +0.04, March = +0.12, April=+0.52, May=+0.30, June=+0.19, July= -0.50, Aug= -0.68, Sept = -0.28. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO discounting the recent La Nina dip. 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, April=+1.12, May=+0.88, June=+0.79, July=+0.10, Aug=0.09, Sept = 0.32. 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