Monday, January 14, 2019
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/ Buoy 239 (Lanai): At Barbers Point (238) seas were 6.2 ft @ 16.7 secs with swell 3.7 ft @ 15.9 secs from 308 degrees.
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 8.0 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 6.2 ft @ 15.1 secs from 322 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.5 ft @ 12.0 secs with swell 1.9 ft @ 12.6 secs from 208 degrees. Wind at the buoy was east at 21-27 kts. Water temperature 59.9 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.2 ft @ 20.1 secs from 236 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.5 ft @ 12.6 secs from 246 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.8 ft @ 10.2 secs from 250 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.3 ft @ 11.8 secs from 263 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 11.1 ft @ 20.0 secs with swell 6.0 ft @ 19.0 secs from 296 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was east at 16-21 kts. Water temp 56.3 degs (042).
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 Monday (1/14) in North and Central CA surf was 10-12 ft on the face and clean but a bit warbled by short period windswell from previous nearshore south winds. Protected breaks were chest to head high and lined up and clean and mostly closed out being overpowered by long period energy. At Santa Cruz surf was 2-3 ft overhead at top breaks and clean and lined up but with a bit of a warble intermixed. In Southern California/Ventura surf was head high and lined up but suffering from strong offshore winds and mostly untouchable. In North Orange Co surf was waist to chest high and clean but unfocused an not breaking well, mostly closing out on the beach. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks had sets at thigh high and nearly chopped from south wind. North San Diego surf was waist high and soft with some rideable sections and clean. Hawaii's North Shore was still getting solid swell with waves 8-10 ft Hawaiian and clean and lined up and peeling. The South Shore was waist high or so and clean and lined up. The East Shore was small with wrap around swell thigh to waist high and clean with a light southeast breeze in effect.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Monday (1/14) new swell from a strong storm previously over the dateline (Storm #6) with 56 ft sea aimed east was hitting California and still hanging on solidly in Hawaii driven by secondary energy from the aforementioned storm. A small storm is forecast off California on Wed)1/160 with 41 ft seas aimed east. And maybe another small storm to develop over the North Dateline region on Sun (1/20) producing 41 ft seas aimed east. And possibly a strong one to push off Japan on Mon (91/21). Still fairly active even with a fading MJO.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Monday AM (1/14) the jetstream was well consolidated tracking east off Japan on the 30N latitude line with winds building to 165 kts pushing over the dateline to a point a bit northeast of Hawaii then weakly splitting at 150W with a trickle of energy peeling north up into Alaska with most energy falling southeast pushing over North Baja. A weak trough was trying to develop over Japan offering weak support for gale development there. And a weak trough was just off the Central CA coast offering only support for weather there. Over the next 72 hours the trough off Japan is to race east moving over the dateline on Thurs (1/17) perhaps starting to support gale development there being fed by 190 kts winds pushing off Japan. And the split in the jet off California is to be gone by Tues (1/15) with a new trough building off the coast and pushing inland over North CA on Thurs (1/17) offering some support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours starting Fri (1/18) the dateline trough is to be building while pushing east relocated north of Hawaii offering support for gale development and lifting northeast pushing inland over the Pacific Northwest on Sun (1/20). Back to the west the jet is to be building strong on Sun (1/20) with winds to 220 kts pushing off Japan reaching to the dateline forming a trough there offering support for gale development. But in the east the jet is to be splitting 700 nmiles north of Hawaii and becoming more pronounced into Mon (1/21) only supporting high pressure down at the surface over the Gulf of Alaska offering nothing to support gale development. It looks like the storm track is to shift west for a bit.
On Monday (1/14) swell from Dateline Storm #6 was hitting California and secondary energy from that system was starting to hit Hawaii (See Gulf Storm #6 below).
Over the next 72 hours another storm is to form in the Central Gulf (Storm #7). Starting Tues PM (1/15) the storm is to have 55 kt northwest winds over a tiny area aimed southeast with seas building fast from 33 ft at 37.5N 147.5W aimed southeast targeting primarily California. On Wed AM (1/16) 50 kt northwest winds are to be tracking east with seas building to 44 ft over a small area at 38N 140W or 900 nmiles west of San Francisco (280 degs NCal). The storm to fade to gale status in the evening with 45 kt northwest winds lifting northeast off the North CA coast with 44 ft seas forecast at 39N 133.5W aimed east (290 degs NCal). On Thurs AM (1/17) the gale is to be fading just off Southern Oregon with 40 kt west winds and seas 37 ft at 42N 129W and moving out of the Central CA swell window. This could become Swell #7 focused on the California coast.
Dateline Storm #6
On Wed AM (1/9) a broad gale started building off Japan pushing east with 40-45 kt west winds building with the system pushing towards the dateline. In the evening the gale built to storm status growing in size with northwest winds 60-65 kts from the northwest and seas building from 41 ft over a small area at 41.5N 168E. On Thurs AM (1/10) the storm was approaching the dateline with 55-60 kt west winds and seas building to 56 ft at 42N 176E aimed east. In the evening the storm stalled just west of the dateline with 55 kt west winds and seas 52 ft at 44N 179W aimed east. The gale faded Fri AM (1/11) with fetch fading from 45 kts from the west on the dateline with seas fading from 43 ft at 46.5N 177.5W.
A secondary fetch was building in from the west on Fri PM (1/11) with a core of west winds at 45-50 kt building just west of the dateline with seas building from 32 ft over a broad area centered at 37N 169E with seas from previous fetch 20-30 ft filling a huge area from the Western Gulf to a point just off the Kuril Islands pushing east (over about 2000 nmiles aimed east). On Sat AM (1/12) fetch was consolidating at 35-40 kts from the northwest positioned mid-way between North Japan and the dateline with seas 28-30 ft near 38N 175E aimed east. Fetch fell southeast in the evening at 35 kts from the northwest with seas fading from 28-30 ft at 38N 173E aimed southeast. On Sun AM (1/13) fetch was move east at 35 kts with seas 31 ft at 38N 175E aimed east. Fetch was fading in the evening from 35 kts with 32 ft seas at 39N 175W aimed east at the US West Coast. The gale to fade from there.
Hawaii: Residuals from the first pulse of swell from this system fading on Mon AM (1/14) from 7.6 ft @ 15-16 secs early (11.5 ft). A second pulse of swell building Tues AM (1/15) to 8.4 ft @ 17 secs later (14.0 ft) Secondary swell fading on Wed AM (1/16) from 6.4 ft @ 15 secs (9.5 ft). Dribbles fading on Wed AM (1/17) from 4.1 ft @ 13 secs (5.0 ft). Swell Direction: 318-330 degrees turning to 313 degrees for pulse #2.
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon (1/14) building to 7.8 ft @ 19 secs (14.5 ft). Swell fading Tues AM (1/15) from 7.2 ft @ 16-17 secs (11.5 ft). Residuals on Wed (1/16) fading from 6.0 ft @ 14 secs (8.5 ft). Swell Direction: 295-296 degrees Secondary energy arriving on Wed (1/16) building to 5.6 ft @ 17 secs later (9.5 ft). Swell holding on Thurs (1/17) 6.2 ft @ 16 secs (9.5 ft) and possibly becoming swamped later in the morning. Swell Direction: 290 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical weather systems of interest are forecast.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Monday (1/14) a weak low pressure system was positioned 500 nmiles west of San Francisco driving south winds at 10-15 kts over Central CA and from the east at 10 kts over North CA. Also south winds 10 kts for Southern CA mainly early. This pattern is to continue through the day. Light rain was developing over the Central and South end of the state building up to Pt Arena later in the evening. Snow building in the Southern Sierra building to light status for Lake Tahoe by the evening. Tuesday (1/15) the low is to weaken but hold position just off San Francisco with south winds 15-20 kts over North and Central CA and 15 kts for Southern CA with a front pushing through the state mid-afternoon. Light rain for the whole state mainly along the coast early there building inland through the day. Light snow for the Sierra starting a sunrise building steadily through the day and getting solid for the Central Sierra later afternoon. Snow continuing overnight. Wednesday (1/16) a new far stronger storm is forecast building 800 nmiles off San Francisco with south winds for the entire state including Southern CA at 15 kts early building to 35 kts at sunset from Pismo Beach northward but fading to 5 kts for Southern CA. Light rain for the North Coast early fading mid-day then building in strong from Pt Conception northward and very strong for North CA late evening. Light rain building from South CA in the evening. Snow building heavily starting at 8 PM for the entire Sierra. Thurs AM (1/17) southwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts from Southern CA up to Monterey Bay and 20-25 kts for North CA fading to calm for Southern CA at sunset and slowly turning northwest for Central CA at sunset and west 15 kts for North CA. Patchy but steady rain for the entire state early stating to fade along the coast later. Heavy snow for the Sierra early tapering some through the day but still very solid at sunset then lightening late evening. Fri (1/18) weak high pressure builds in with light winds nearshore early. No rain or snow forecast except maybe light showers for Cape Mendocino. Sat (1/19) weak high pressure holds with light winds up north and and offshore flow for Central and South CA all day. Sun (1/20) a weak trough is to push into North CA with south winds 10-15 kts down to Bodega Bay with an offshore flow for Southern CA. High pressure and north winds building for Cape Mendocino at 15-20 kts late afternoon. Moderate rain for North CA pushing down to Big Sure late evening. Light snow for Tahoe late evening. Mon (1/21) clearing high pressure takes control with north winds 25-30 kts for all of North and Central CA fading to 15-20 kts later and 10-15 kts for Southern CA. Moderate snow for mainly the Tahoe area early fading mid-day.
Total snow accumulation for for the week for Lake Tahoe (thru 1/21): 44-50 inches and 42 inches for Mammoth.
Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts).
No swell of interest was in the water.
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.
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 another broad area of low pressure is to start forming filling the Northwestern Pacific on Sat (1/19) but fetch unfocused producing a fragmented area of seas at 20-22 ft near 38N 160E aimed east. It is to fade later on Sun (1/20) with no meaningful swell expected to result.
But a stronger system is forecast forming just west of the dateline on Mon AM (1/21) with west winds 55 kts over a small area and seas building from 34 ft over a small area at 42N 164E aimed east. In the evening west winds to be 55 kt tracing east-southeast with seas building from 47 ft at 41.5W 169E. Something to monitor.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.
Active MJO Gone - Sea Surface Temps Stable - ESPI Weakly Positive
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, 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.
LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Fall/Winter 2018 = 6.0 (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 El Nino does not develop as strong as previously forecast, and assuming and an ocean-atmospheric coupling becomes weakly established in the January timeframe and ocean temperature anomalies in Nino3.4 build to the +0.6 deg range, there is good probability for slightly enhanced storm production in the North Pacific starting in the late Nov timeframe (specifically the Gulf of Alaska and Dateline regions) with 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 winter seasons.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (12/23) No update due to partial government shutdown. 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific to the dateline, then pushing moderately from the east over the whole of the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific turning moderately easterly near the dateline and continuing into the core of the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (1/14) moderately strong west anomalies were over the core of the KWGA with east anomalies building on the dateline. The forecast is for slowly moderating west anomalies holding centered in the core of the KWGA through the end of the model run on 1/21 with east anomalies building to moderate strength on the dateline. Support for storm development appears to be fading in the West Pacific but not out.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (1/13) A neutral Phase of the MJO was centered over the dateline with a weak Inactive signal trying to ease into the far West Pacific. The statistical model indicates a weak Inactive Phase is to ease east tracking through the KWGA to the dateline at day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model indicates the same thing initially but with the Inactive Phase moving east faster and the Active Phase redeveloping in the West Pacific at day 10 moving in to the core of the KWGA at day 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (1/14) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was weak over Africa. It is to race east while building some moving over the Maritime Continent at day 9 and moderate in strength then moving to the West Pacific at day 15. The GEFS model suggests the same thing but far weaker.
40 day Upper Level Model: (1/14) This model depicts a strong Active Phase over Africa with a weak MJO signal over the Pacific. A weak west Active signal is to traverse the Pacific 1/19-2/13 followed by another weaker wet Active Signal traversing west to east 2/8 to the dateline at the end of the model run on 2/23.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (1/13) This model depicts strong west anomalies were over the Central KWGA and dateline. West anomalies are to start fading and mostly gone by 1/18. A very weak westerly wind pattern is to hold in the Central KWGA through the end of the model run on 2/10 but with one small pocket of easterly winds over the dateline 1/15-1/27.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (1/14) This model depicts a strong Active Phase of the MJO fading over the core of the KWGA with modest west anomalies fading in the KWGA and reaching into California. The Active MJO pattern is to be gone by 1/19 while a weak Inactive Phase follows starting 1/17 in the far West Pacific making much east headway and gone 2/16. Spotty mixed east and west anomalies are forecast through that period. West anomalies and a weak Active Phase of the MJO is to be building in the KWGA 2/17. The MJO is to fade out 3/11 through the end of the model run on 4/13 but with weak west anomalies holding in the core of the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias is fully in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east over California and forecast holding through the end of the model run. A third contour line faded 12/17 and is not to return. It appears from this model that a tendency towards El Nino was previously in control and is to continue, but far weaker. Theoretically the atmosphere and ocean were at one time trying to become coupled towards El Nino in the Pacific Ocean, but there's no objective evidence that it every happened. Still this pattern is more favorable to support storm production in the Pacific regardless of whether El Nino develops, because the atmosphere is still turning from a La Nina pattern (that has been entrenched for the past 2 years) at a minimum towards a neutral one. Our assumption is a normal Winter pattern will result, or perhaps slightly enhanced, but nothing more.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (12/24) Not updated due to partial government shutdown. Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs and steady (after previously reaching east to 175W on 12/11) reaching east today to 180W. The 28 deg isotherm line had retrograded west to 160W mid-Nov, then moved east and walled up to 153W, but retrograded and is steady today back at 160W. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador 25 meters down. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies are filling the entire subsurface Pacific with temps rebuilding in the Central Pacific at +3 degs at 140W (Possible Kelvin Wave #3). Temps are stable at 3 degs east of there the whole way into Ecuador. It appears Kelvin Wave #2 is gone and fully erupted off Ecuador. We were thinking the peak of the Kelvin Wave cycle for this supposed El Nino has already occurred associated with Kelvin Wave #2, but upwelling over Ecuador looks poised to continue nonstop for the next 2-3 months with the development and merging of Kelvin Wave #3 with Kelvin Wave #2. So there's good surface oceanic warming potential to feed jetstream core energy through the entirety of the 2018/2019 winter cycle. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 1/8 indicates Kelvin Wave #2 fading in the East Pacific with pockets of +3 degs from 135W into Ecuador and with +2 deg anomalies building in the west from New Guinea to the dateline (possible Kelvin Wave #3 attributable to a Westerly Wind Burst occurring there 12/30-1/16). Basically a river of warm water is traversing the width of the equatorial Pacific. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (1/8) Positive anomalies were building from the interior Maritime Continent tracking east at mostly 0-5 cms over the equator from north of New Guinea to 150W, then turning neutral. Anomalies rebuilt to +5 cms from 135W to 110W then dissipated east of there. Perhaps a new weak Kelvin Wave is building north of New Guinea while a previous warm subsurface pattern faded over the east equatorial Pacific.
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: (1/8) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate temps were very weakly warm straddling 5 degrees north and south of the equator from Ecuador west to the dateline, and still fading compared to days and weeks past. that said, a few warm pockets were building on the equator near 100W. Warm water that was previously fading along the coast of Chile and Peru up into Ecuador has built a little today. Weak generic warming was off Central America and Mexico and building some today in coverage and intensity. There is no indications that an El Nino is building and if anything the warming pattern is fading. A concerning pocket of cool waters elongated east to west off Peru to 130W has lost ground only extending west to 120W today. . Overall the pattern looks more like El Nino than La Nina, but nothing more than weakly like El Nino. In all this supposed El Nino is weak and becoming more fragile by the day.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (1/8): No update available A broad area of weak warm water was off Peru extending west along the equator. Otherwise no clear indications of warming or cooling was on the equator or in any Nino region.
Hi-res Overview: (1/8) Weak warm water was along the immediate coast of Chile and Peru. But more important, moderate warm water was on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos continuing out to the dateline. We have turned the corner from a cool regime a year ago to a warm regime. And one could maybe think we are moving towards an El Nino pattern just looking at the surface temps. But that would be a false conclusion because the warm signal on the surface should be much stronger at this time of the year if El Nino were truly developing. We are in an ENSO neutral pattern biased warm and likely not every moving to an official minimal El Nino status this winter.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (1/14) Today's temps were rising to +0.693 after previously falling hard down to -0.44 on 1/25, and that after having risen to +1.265 on 12/20. Previously temps fell to +0.212 on 12/3, after having previously built to +1.534 on 11/27. That peak on 11/27 was the all time high for this event in this region.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (1/14) Today temps were stable at +0.327 after being at +0.487 on 1/7 and after previously risen to +1.050 degs on 12/6 and previously in the +0.5-+0.6 range since 11/12. The all time high for this event was +1.45 on 11/5, beating the previous peak temps of +0.795 on 10/9, and +0.649 on 9/27, and that beating the previous peak at +0.490 on 7/2.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (1/14) The model indicates temps were at +0.6 degs on Jan 1 and are forecast building to +0.85 on Feb1 and stable through March, then falling some to +0.80 degs by April 1 and holding through July, then down to +0.65 later in Sept. If one is to believe the model then one would assume that El Nino is to build in the Winter of 18/19. But given all the data we've seen, we believe there no odds of El Nino developing.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Nov Plume depicts temps are to slowly rise from here, to +1.00 degs in November and +1.0-+1.1 degs through Feb 2019, then slowly fading to 0.71 in July. See chart here - link. There's a 90% chance of a weak El Nino developing through January.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad) (1/14): The daily index was falling to -4.33. The 30 day average was falling at +1.61 suggesting a fading Inactive MJO. The 90 day average was falling some at +2.58, rising the past month and no longer negative and the highest its been in months. There is no indication that El Nino is present in the atmosphere.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (1/14) The index has risen to +0.21 from -0.24 in late December, down from +0.28 on 12/15 and not anywhere near as strongly positive as it should be if El Nino were developing.
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 -0.42, Sept -0.42. 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