Saturday, May 18, 2019
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/ Buoy 239 (Lanai) Seas were 2.6 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 12.2 secs from 173 degrees.
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 2.9 ft @ 5.3 secs with swell 1.8 ft @ 5.8 secs from 22 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.0 ft @ 6.2 secs with swell 3.2 ft @ 6.2 secs from 249 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southeast at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 60.6 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) no report was available. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.0 ft @ 14.6 secs from 215 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.8 ft @ 14.6 secs from 218 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 4.3 ft @ 7.4 secs from 288 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 4.8 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 2.3 ft @ 13.8 secs from 205 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was southeast at 10-14 kts. Water temp 57.2 degs (042) and 54.9 (013).
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 Saturday (5/18) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing waves at up to chest high on the sets and slightly warbled early from a light southeast wind. Protected breaks were maybe waist high and clean and soft and inconsistent. At Santa Cruz the remnants of Swell #1S were still hitting producing waves maybe to waist high and clean and soft. In Southern California/Ventura surf was thigh high and soft and not lined up but clean. In North Orange Co surf was waist to chest high and soft coming from the south and clean with no wind early. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were maybe chest high on the rare sets and soft but lined up and very clean. North San Diego had surf at waist high or so and clean but very soft. Hawaii's North Shore was thigh high or so and clean but with intermixed warble from the northeast. The South Shore was knee to thigh high and clean but soft. The East Shore had no swell of interest with waves knee high and chopped from east-northeast trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Saturday (5/18) in California Swell #1S was all but gone except for the most exposed and amplifying breaks. Hawaii was getting tiny energy originating from the Tasman Sea but even that was not really rideable. A small gale developed in the Gulf of Alaska on Thurs (5/16) with 23 ft seas aimed east then redeveloped just off North CA on Sat (5/18) with 21 ft seas pushing east. Small swell is expected for Sun (5/19) in North and Central CA. And a somewhat stronger gale is forecast for the Gulf on Sun-Mon (5/20) with 27 ft seas aimed east. down south a decent gale developed in the deep Southeast Pacific Sat-Sun (5/12) with up to 49 ft seas barely in the California swell window. Behind that a gale developed in the Central South Pacific Mon-Wed (5/15) with up to 49 ft seas but was pushing due east if not southeast offering little in terms of direct swell pushing up into our forecast area. But Sat-Wed (5/23) a small gale is to track east from a point just under New Zealand with seas between 33-40 ft offering some smallish swell for Hawaii and California.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Saturday (5/18) swell from a gale that developed in the Gulf of Alaska was pushing east (see 1st Gulf Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours another small gale is forecast developing in the Gulf of Alaska on Sun AM (5/19) with 35-40 kt northwest winds and seas building from 19 ft at 43N 157W aimed east. In the evening 40 kt northwest winds are to be building as the gale tracks east with 27 ft seas at 44N 148W aimed east. On Mon AM (5/20) the gale is to be off Oregon with 35-40 kt northwest winds and seas 26 ft at 44N 141W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to be fading just off Oregon with 30 kt northwest winds and seas 24 ft at 43N 136W aimed east. The gale is to dissipate off Oregon on Tues AM (5/21) with winds fading from barely 30 kts from the northwest fetch and seas barely 20 ft at 42N 131W aimed southeast. The gale to dissipate from there. modest size northwest swell is possible for Oregon down into Central CA. Something to monitor.
1st Gulf Gale
A small gale developed in the Gulf of Alaska on Thurs AM (5/16) with 35 kt west winds over a modest sized area aimed east with seas building to 20 ft at 44N 157W. In the evening fetch built while tracking steadily east with winds 35 kts from the west and seas building to 23 ft at 43N 150W aimed east. Fetch faded Fri AM (5/17) from 30 kts from the west and seas faded from 20 ft at 43.5N 143.5W aimed east. A smaller secondary gale formed from it's remnants on Fri PM with 30 kt northwest winds and seas 19 ft at 41N 146.5W aimed east. On Sat (5/18) AM 30-35 kt northwest winds were building with seas 21 ft at 39.5N 140W aimed east. Northwest fetch is to move closer to Cape Mendocino in the evening at 30-35 kts with seas building to 22 ft at 39N 133.5W aimed east. The gale is to fade off San Francisco Sun AM (5/19) no longer generating seas of interest.
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun AM (5/19) at 6.5 ft @ 13 secs (8.0 ft) and building some through the day to 8.0 ft @ 13 secs (10.0 ft) later. Swell fading Mon AM (5/20) from 7.0 ft @ 12 secs (8.0 ft). Residuals on Tues (5/21) fading from 5.5 ft @ 10 secs (5.0 ft). Swell Direction: 187 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical weather systems of interest are forecast.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Saturday (5/18) a front from low pressure off Oregon is to push into North CA with south winds 20-25 kts for North CA late morning and 20 kts down to Monterey Bay late afternoon. Solid rain to push into all of North CA late morning reaching south to Morro Bay late afternoon with snow only for the highest elevations of the Sierra late afternoon then building some overnight. Sunday AM (5/19) the core of the low is to be just off Cape Mendocino with northwest winds 15-20 kts for North and Central CA all day and 15 kts into Southern CA in the afternoon. Modest rain is forecast in spotty areas for all of California through the day with steady snow for the Sierra through the day. Monday (5/20) another low is to start building in the Eastern Gulf while weak high pressure develops nearshore off Southern CA with northwest winds 15-20 kts for all of California except Cape Mendocino and up to 25 kts for Southern CA though the day. No rain forecast until late afternoon limited to Cape Mendocino building south to Bodega Bay in the evening. Tues (5/21) northwest winds to be building from 15 kts early for all of California building to 20-25 kts later as high pressure builds in behind the low. Light rain early for North and Central CA generally falling south through the day while dissipating. Light snow for the Tahoe region early building south over all of the Sierra. Wednesday (5/22) a full summer pressure gradient is to take over with 25 kt north winds over Cape Mendocino and 20 kts north winds down into Southern CA early then retracting late afternoon with north winds 35 kts for Cape Mendocino and 20 kts down to Pt Conception. No rain forecast. Significant windswell production possible. Thursday (5/23) the gradient is to be slowly fading with north winds 30 kts over Cape Mendocino early fading to 25 kts later. Light winds from Bodega Bay southward. Friday (5/24) north winds to be 20 kts limited to Cape Mendocino and over outer waters but clam south of there and fading from there. Light winds to hold on Sat (5/25) over all of California.
Snow is forecast for Tahoe for the week ending Sat (5/25) PM: 17-19 inches and 20 inches for Mammoth
Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts).
On Saturday (5/18) the southern branch of the jetstream was split with the southern branch lifting north just south of New Zealand forming a new trough being fed by 150 kt winds and offering good support for gale development in the Southwest Pacific.East of the trough the jet was weak and tracking east then falling steadily southeast starting in the Southeast Pacific forming a ridge that covered the Southeast Pacific providing no support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to push east Sun (5/19) while building being fed by 130 kts winds still offering good support for gale development but steadily weakening into Tues AM (5/21) while migrating to the Central South Pacific. Beyond 72 hours the trough is to dissipate by Wed (5/22) with a weak jetstream pattern forecast through Sat (5/25) neither forming a ridge but not forming any troughs either. No support for gale development is indicated.
A gale developed in the far Southeast Pacific with small swell in the water pushing north towards CA (see Southeast Pacific Storm below). And another smaller but strong storm developed southeast of New Zealand falling southeast (see Central Pacific Storm below).
Over the next 72 hours another gale is to develop just south of New Zealand on Sun AM (5/19) with 40 kt southwest winds and seas building from 32 ft at 51.5S 173E aimed northeast. In the evening fetch is to build to 45 kts from the south-southwest over a small area with seas 33 ft at 47.5S 174W aimed northeast. Fetch is to hold Mon AM (5/20) from the southwest at 40-45 kts over a small area with seas 35 ft at 45S 167W aimed northeast. In the evening additional fetch is to be building at 45 kts from the west with seas 40 ft at 43.5S 155.5W aimed east. On Tues AM (5/21) fetch to fade in coverage while falling southeast some at 40 kts from the south with 39 ft seas at 43S 147.5W aimed northeast. Additional 40 kt southwest fetch is to build in the evening with 30 ft sea from the new fetch at 49S 159W aimed northeast. Fetch is to fade on Wed AM (5/22) from 35-40 kts in pockets with seas 35 ft at 44S 154W aimed east-northeast. The gale is to fade from there. Something to monitor.
Southeast Pacific Storm
A storm developed Sat PM (511) in the far Southeast Pacific with 45-50 kt southwest winds and seas building from 32 ft at 57S 135W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (5/12) southwest winds were 45-50 kts tracking east with seas 43 ft at 58.5S 125.5W aimed east-northeast. In the evening fetch was moving out of the Southern CA swell window at 45-50 kts over a diminishing area with 50 ft seas at 57S 115W and outside/east of the SCal swell window targeting only Chile and Peru. There's low odds for maybe some minimal sideband swell from early in this systems lifecycle radiating north into mainly Southern CA and points south of there.
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (5/19) building to 1.6 ft @ 19 secs late (3.0 ft). Swell building on Mon (5/20) at 2.3 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell peaking on Tues (5/21) at 3.0 ft @ 16-17 secs (5.0 ft). Swell fading some on Wed (5/22) from 2.9 ft @ 15 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Residuals on Thurs (5/23) fading from 2.5 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.5 ft). Dribbles on Fri (5/23) fading from 2.1 ft @ 13 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 184 degrees moving to 179 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (5/19) building to 1.3 ft @ 19 secs late (2.5 ft). Swell building on Mon (5/20) to 2.0 ft @ 17-18 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell peaking on Tues (5/21) at 2.8 ft @ 17-18 secs (4.5-5.0 ft). Swell fading some on Wed (5/22) from 2.6 ft @ 16 secs (4.0 ft) early. Residuals on Thurs (5/23) fading from 2.2 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0 ft) early. Swell fading Fri (5/24) from 1.9 ft @ 13 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 183 degrees moving to 177 degrees
Central Pacific Storm
Another storm started building southeast of New Zealand on Mon AM (5/13) with 45-50 kt south winds and seas building from 27 ft over a tiny area at 50S 174W aimed north. In the evening 55 kt southwest winds were falling southeast over a solid area with seas building to 38 ft at 56S 165W aimed northeast. On Tues AM (5/14) the storm was falling south with west winds 55-60 kts over a large area aimed east with seas 43 ft at 60S 154.5W aimed east. The remnants of the storm held while easing east with 45-50 kts west winds and seas 49 ft at 62S 142.5W aimed due east. On Wed AM (5/15) the gale was fading with winds 45 kts over a small area aimed east. Seas were fading from 44 ft at 63.5S 131W aimed east to southeast. The gale faded from there with all fetch aimed southeast. No additional potential swell production occurred. We suspect there are some odds of small swell resulting but the big concern is the southward heading of the fetch. Will monitor.
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on late on Tues (5/21) building to 1.0 ft @ 19 secs (2.0 ft). Swell building on Wed (5/22) to 1.5 ft @ 18 secs later (2.5 ft). Swell building on Thurs (5/23) to 1.8 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.0 ft) early. Swell fading some on Fri (5/24) at 1.7 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.5 ft). Swell dissipating from there. Swell Direction: 200-205 degrees
North CA: Swell arrival is expected on Wed (5/22) building to 1.0 ft @ 19 secs later (2.0 ft). Swell holding on Thurs (5/23) at 1.1 ft @ 17-18 secs (2.0 ft). Swell fading some on Fri (5/24) at 1.0 ft @ 16 secs (1.5 ft). Swell dissipating from there. Swell Direction: 200 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 weather systems are forecast.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.
WWB #4 Fading In KWGA
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 did not stop, 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, and continued trying to build over equatorial waters over the Summer and Fall, but not enough to declare El Nino and not coupled with the atmosphere. As of January 2019, those warm waters were fading, but then started building some late in Feb associated with another Kelvin Wave (#3).
LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Summer 2019 = 5.5 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)
Rationale: Assuming the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that weak borderline El Nino condition continue , and assuming a weak ocean-atmospheric coupling holds and ocean temperature anomalies in Nino3.4 hold in the +0.8 deg range, there is good probability for slightly enhanced storm production in the South Pacific during the Northern Hemisphere Summer time months. There is slightly increased intensity in number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in slightly increased odds for larger than normal swell, with increased duration and higher than normal period. This should be significantly better than the past 2 Summer seasons.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (5/17) 5 day average winds were solidly from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific turning light east over the Central Pacific then turning weak westerly in the West Pacific. Anomalies were neutral over the East and Central equatorial Pacific but solidly westerly in the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (5/18) moderate plus west anomalies were filling the KWGA. The forecast is for west anomalies weakening steadily into 5/22 but still modestly westerly through the end of the model run on 5/25 and just barely filling the KWGA. There is to be an increase in support for storm development now and continuing for the next few days, then fading.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (5/17) An Active MJO pattern was fading fast over the KWGA today. The statistic model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO is to be small and fading on the dateline through day 10 of the model run with the Inactive Phase of the MJO moving into the West Pacific and taking over the KWGA at days 10-15 at moderate strength. The dynamic model indicates a variation on the same theme with the Active Phase fading slower at day 10 and with the Inactive Phase making steady but limited headway into only the far West Pacific at day 15. The 2 models are mostly in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (5/18) The statistical model depicts modest Active Phase of the MJO was modest over the Atlantic, and is forecast to push east into the Indian Ocean at day 15 and becoming weak. The GEFS model suggests the same but with the Active Phase making to the West Indian Ocean.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (5/18) This model depicts a weak Active Phase in the East Pacific today and is forecast tracking east into Central America on 5/27. A strong Inactive Phase is developing in the West Pacific on 5/18 pushing east into Central America on 6/12. A modest Active MJO signal is to build over the West Pacific 6/4 pushing east to Central America at the end of the model run on 6/27. A weak Inactive Phase to follow over the West Pacific 6/27.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/16) This model depicts a solid Active Phase of the MJO past its peak over the dateline today with solid west anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast has the Active Phase tracking east while filling the KWGA through 5/22 with moderate plus west anomalies in the control of the KWGA pushing east. A weak Inactive Phase is to push into the West KWGA on 5/28 and pushing east to 6/5 but not totally filling the KWGA with west anomalies holding in the core of the KWGA non-stop and then retrograding and filling the KWGA at the end of the model run on 6/13.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/18) This model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was peaking in the KWGA today and is forecast to hold through 5/28 with west anomalies holding. A moderate Inactive Phase of the MJO sets up 5/24 in the West Pacific building east and filling the KWGA through 6/19 but with very weak west anomalies in the KWGA. A modest Active Phase is to develop 6/19 building east through 7/26 with solid west anomalies in the KWGA. A weak Inactive Phase is to follow 7/20 through the end of the model run on 8/15 but with weak west anomalies barely holding in the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias with 2 contour lines is fully in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to California and forecast to slowly retract to 125W at the end of the model run possibly indicating a drier Winter for CA during 2019-2020. The second contour line is to fade on 6/29. This model indicates that a tendency towards El Nino was previously in control during the Fall of 2018, but has been steadily fading since then and is to continue a slow decline for the foreseeable future, but not dissipating nor turning to La Nina. Basically we are moving to a ENSO neutral pattern bias slightly towards El Nino.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (5/18) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs over a small area reaching east to 162E while the 29 degs isotherm was creeping east holding at 160W today. The 28 deg isotherm line had retrograded west to 160W mid-Nov into late Feb. But it made a major push east starting 3/16 from 150W and reached Ecuador on 5/5, but started retrograding after that and today was at 142W. It appears Kelvin Wave #3 was nearly done erupting in the East Pacific. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador 30 meters down. Anomaly wise, gentle warm anomalies are filling the entire subsurface Pacific at +1 degs from the surface to 125 meters down. Embedded in that flow is a pocket of warmer water centered in the East Pacific at 120W at +2 degs (Kelvin Wave #3) extending from 130W east into Ecuador. This Kelvin Wave is fading fast with no clear evidence of another one in the pipeline. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 5/13 indicates warm water from Kelvin Wave #3 was filling the equatorial Pacific from 155E eastward at +1 degs reaching into Ecuador. But a pocket of cool water was starting to develop in the east at 105W and almost poking up to the surface there. There was a stream of warm water flowing into the far West Pacific at 140E attributable to a WWB currently occurring. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (5/13) Positive anomalies were all but gone over the equatorial Pacific except with one 1 small area at 150E to 180W (West Pacific) attributable to the WWB occurring there. From this data it looks like the Kelvin Wave #3 was dissipating and maybe Kelvin Wave #4 was developing.
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: (5/17) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate temps were steady from 10S to 20N on the equator from 105W west to the dateline but limited from 10S to 2N from Ecuador to 105W. Temps on the equator from Peru up to Ecuador and out to the Galapagos are slightly warmer than normal compared to recent days. There is some weak indication of a El Nino but nothing strong.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (5/17): A previous cooling trend was fading from Peru tracking northwest to the Galapagos then out to 140W on the equator. Otherwise weak warming was over the Central equatorial Pacific.
Hi-res Overview: (5/17) Warmer than normal water was from just off Peru up to Central America west over the Galapagos 20 degrees north and south of the equator continuing west of there to the dateline. It was holding compared to days past.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (5/18) Today's temps were falling some at -0.065. Overall the trend is steady.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (5/16) Today temps were fading at +0.407 today. Temps have been generally steady the last 6 weeks.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (5/18) The model indicates temps were +0.75 degs in early May and are to be rising to +1.00 degrees in early June then holding in the +0.85 deg range into October, then fading to +0.4 in Dec 1 then rising to +0.55 degs on Fed 1, 2020. A weak El Nino like pattern is to hold if not build into early Fall associated with the eruption of Kelvin Wave #3, then slowly fading through the later Fall and Winter of 2019/20 with no more Kelvin Waves forecast. A multiyear warming event is in progress as suggested by this model.
IRI Consensus Plume: The April 2019 Plume depicts temps are at +0.82 degs today, and are to hold in the +0.75 range into October, then fading to +0.70 through Dec 2019. See chart here - link.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad) (5/17): The daily index was positive today at +14.88, rising over the past 6 days consistent with a fading Active Phase in the West Pacific. The 30 day average was rising at -4.93 today suggesting a fading Active MJO. The 90 day average was rising some at -6.78, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern biased towards El Nino (for now).
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (4/23) There has been no update recently. At that time the index was neutral at -0.01 on 2/14 but has been rising ever since and pushed up to +0.99 on 3/3 (the highest its been in years), then fell some but started rising again and was up to +1.10 today. It is approaching El Nino territory but still indicted mostly ENSO neutral conditions.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly positive, even though La Nina is in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values: June 2017 +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 -0.19, Mar -0.61, April -0.89, May -0.69, June -0.85, July -0.09, Aug -0.43, Sept -0.46, Oct -0.75, Nov -0.78, Dec -0.12, Jan -0.23, Feb -0.55 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): June 2017 +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, April +0.11, May +0.11, June -0.04, July +0.11, Aug +0.18, Sept +0.09. No real 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