Tuesday, February 11, 2020
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Barbers Point (Buoy 238) : Seas were 8.7 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 4.6 ft @ 15.9 secs from 311 degrees.
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 15.6 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 9.5 ft @ 11.9 secs from 325 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.2 ft @ 5.9 secs with swell 1.3 ft @ 13.8 secs from 236 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southeast at 4-6 kts. Water temperature 59.5 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 4.4 ft @ 11.5 secs from 315 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.1 ft @ 13.7 secs from 238 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.0 ft @ 15.0 secs from 215 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 2.2 ft @ 14.7 secs from 272 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 9.2 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 4.5 ft @ 14.7 secs from 306 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 10-12 kts. Water temp 50.2 degs (013), 52.7 degs (012) and 53.8 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 Tuesday (2/11) in North and Central CA dateline swell was hitting producing waves in the head high to 1 ft overhead range and relatively clean with light winds and swell lined up but still with some warble in the water. Protected breaks were chest high and soft and crumbled with light winds but warble also present. At Santa Cruz surf was waist to chest high on the sets and clean and lined up with no winds early. In Southern California/Ventura waves were small at thigh high and clean and inconsistent. In North Orange Co surf was thigh to waist high on the sets and soft and clean and weak with some intermixed warble. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were waist high on rare sets but heavily textured if not nearly chopped early from south wind. North San Diego was thigh high and soft and textured from light south wind. Hawaii's North Shore was in the 8-10 ft range Hawaiian but still trashed by north wind and whitecaps/chop. The South Shore was thigh high and clean and weak. The East Shore was getting north windswell at 2-3 ft overhead and still trashed by solid north wind and chop.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Tuesday (2/11) in California swell was hitting from a compact gale that developed Tues-Wed (2/5) tracking east from the Kuril Islands to the dateline producing up to 41 ft seas then tracking east while fading over the Northwestern Gulf on Thurs (2/6), In Hawaii swell was hitting from another system that developed off the Kuril Islands pushing east Thurs-Fri (2/8) producing up to 37 ft seas aimed east then fading over the North Dateline region on Sat (2/8) with seas dropping from 30 ft early. But that swell was being trashed by wind and local windswell from a cutoff low still anchored north of the Islands. Another broad but diffuse gale developed limited to the far Northwest Pacific lifting northeast Sun-Wed (2/12) offering no meaningful swell production potential. Beyond a small gale is forecast for the North Dateline region Wed-Thurs (2/13) producing a small area of 38 ft seas aimed east. And an equally small gale is to track through the Northern Gulf on Wed (2/12) producing up to 33 ft seas aimed east. So maybe some small swell to result. Beyond a stronger system is forecast for the Northwestern Gulf Mon-Tues (2/18) producing up to 40 ft seas aimed east. From here forward the storm track is to be displaced well north targeting mainly the Pacific Northwest until such time as the last pulse of the Active Phase of the MJO develops late this month. After that a Springtime pattern is projected.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Tuesday (2/11) the jetstream was consolidated pushing flat east off Japan on the 30N latitude line with winds up to 180 kts forming a trough mid-way to the dateline offering good support for gale development. The jet was lifting northeast from there to the Northwestern Gulf then split heavily at 155W with the northern branch weak and tracking over the Alaskan Coast then down over the coast of the Pacific Northwest and fading out offering nothing. The southern branch was far more energetic pushing south over Hawaii at up to 140 kts forming a small trough just east of the Islands producing winds and inclement weather there. The jet tracked east into Baja from there. Over the next 72 hours the trough west of the dateline is to moderate while pushing east reaching the dateline on Fri (2/14) and no longer supporting gale formation. But, the split in the jet is to be all but gone with the jet pushing into Washington Friday night. At this time the jet is to be tracking east somewhat consolidated over the width of the North Pacific centered on the 40N latitude line but generally weak with no obvious troughs forecast. Beyond 72 hours a bit more energy is to try and start building into the jet on Mon (2/17) with a weak trough starting to develop over the North Dateline region pushing to the Northern Gulf of Alaska later Tues (2/18). At that time the jet is to be far more consolidated in the west with winds 130-160 kts lifting gently northeast pushing just south of the Eastern Aleutians but with a small portion of that energy splitting off falling over Hawaii and then east into Baja, but far weaker than weeks past. It appears that all we need is a little more energy injection into the jet to consolidate it across the North Pacific.
On Tuesday (2/11) swell was fading in California from a gale that previously tracked over the Dateline (See Dateline Storm below). Swell from another storm that formed off the Kuril Islands was hitting Hawaii and moving towards California (see Kuril Storm below).
Over the next 72 hours starting Tues PM (2/11) a small gale is to start developing just south of the Eastern Aleutians with 40 kt west winds over a small area with seas building from 24 ft at 50.5N 167W aimed east. On Wed AM (2/12) the gale is to build with 45 kt west winds and seas 35 ft at 51.5N 159.5W aimed east. The gale is to track east into the Central Northern Gulf with 40 kt west winds and 34 ft seas at 51N 150W aimed east. The gale is to fade on Thurs AM (2/13) with north west winds dropping from 30+ kts and 28 ft seas at 50N 141W aimed east. Swell likely from British Columbia down to the Pacific Northwest with some energy seeping into North CA. Something to monitor. .
Another gale is to be developing over the North Dateline region on Wed AM (2/12) with 40 kt west winds and seas building from 27 ft at 47N 176E aimed east. On Thurs AM (2/13) the gale is to be solid with 45-50 kt west winds pushing up to the dateline with 36 ft seas over a tiny area at 48.5N 178.5E aimed east. In the evening the gale is to be stalled with west winds 40-45 kts and seas 36 ft at 50N 179E aimed east. On Fri AM (2/14) west winds to be fading from 30+ kts with 29 ft seas are to be fading from 29 ft at 51N 174.5W aimed east. Something to monitor.
A stronger gale developed off North Japan on Tues AM (2/4) producing a tiny area of 50 kt west winds and seas building from 31 ft at 44N 159E aimed east. In the evening 45-50 kt west winds were tracking east fast with 39 ft seas at 45N 166.5E aimed east. On Wed AM (2/5) the storm was approaching the dateline with 45 kt west winds and 41 ft seas at 45N 173.5E aimed east over a small area. In the evening the gale was pushing over the dateline with 40 kt west winds and seas 38 ft at 45.5N 178.5W aimed east. On Thurs AM (2/6) the gale was fading in the Northwestern Gulf with 35 kt west winds and seas 31 ft at 46N 170W aimed east. The gale to dissipate from there. Swell is in the water tracking east.
North CA: Swell to fade on Tues (2/11) from 4.5 ft @ 10-11 secs (4.5 ft) and 3.9 ft @ 15 secs (5.5 ft). Swell Direction: 302 degrees
Yet another small gale developed just off the Kuril Islands on Thurs AM (2/6) with 45-50 kt west winds over a small area and 35 ft seas at 45N 161E aimed east. In the evening this system stalled with 50+ kt northwest winds holding over a modest sized area and 35 ft seas at 45.5N 162.5E aimed east. More of the same occurred on Fri AM (2/7) with 45 kt northwest winds and the gale holding position with 33 ft seas aimed east at 45N 164E. The gale eased east in the evening with 40 kt west winds and 37 ft seas at 44.5N 167.5E aimed east. The gale started fading Sat AM (2/8) with fetch fading from 35 kts and lifting northeast with seas fading from 30 ft at 45N 174E aimed east. A rapid fade occurred in the evening with fetch fading from 30 kts on the dateline and seas fading from 24 ft at 45N 180W aimed east. Small swell to track east.
Hawaii: Swell steady on Tues (2/11) at 6.3 ft @ 15-16 secs early (9.5 ft) but with copious northwest windswell at 9.1 ft @ 11-12 secs (10 ft) intermixed. Swell fading on Wed (2/12) from 3.4 ft @ 13-14 secs (4.5 ft) with windswell holding at 6 ft @ 10-11 secs (6.0 ft). Swell Direction: 315-320 degrees
North CA: Swell arrival starting Tues (2/11) building to 3.2 ft @ 17 secs (5.0 ft) later. Swell peaks on Wed (2/12) at 4.6 ft @ 16 secs (7.0 ft) holding till sunset. Swell fading on Thurs (2/13) from 4.2 ft @ 15 secs (6.0 ft). Nothing left on Fri (2/14). Swell Direction: 302-303 degrees
Another Kuril Island Gale
A broad but fragmented gale developed just west of the dateline Sun AM (2/9) with 45-50 kt south winds lifting northeast in it's east quadrant continuing into the evening producing 28 ft seas at 42N 178E targeting only the Aleutians. But no meaningful fetch is forecast developing in the gales important west quadrant. A secondary core is to develop just east of the Kurils Mon AM (2/10) producing a limited area of 45-50 kt west winds and 35 ft seas aimed east at 48N 170E and aimed south at 50N 162E but not targeting even Hawaii. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 45 kts from the northwest and west with 29 ft seas over a small area at 48N 164E. The gale is to fade while lifting north from there producing only 30-35 kt west winds Tues AM (2/11) with 24 ft seas at 44N 173E aimed east. This system is to fade from there. No meaningful swell is expected to result.
Hawaii: Low odds of swell arriving on Sat (2/15) building to 3.2 ft @ 13-14 secs later (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell fading on Sun (2/16) from 2.8 ft @ 12-13 seas (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 322 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday AM (2/11) north winds to be 20-25 kts for Cape Mendocino early but light north 5 kts from Pt Arena southward and holding all day but building to 30 kts for Cape Mendocino later. Wednesday (2/12) light north winds 5 kts or less all day except north at 25 kts from Bodega Bay northward. Thurs (2/13) north winds to be 15 kts for Pt Arena northward early but calm south of there and fading some up north later. Fri (2/14) north winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for North CA and 10 kts just off the coast of Central CA moving onshore in the afternoon for Central CA and holding at 25 kts for North CA. Sat (2/15) north winds are forecast at 20 kts for North CA early and 10 kts or less for Central CA nearshore early holding through the day but weaker up north later. On Sun (2/16) a front and north winds are to be building at 25 kts over Cape Mendocino early pushing south with north winds at 25-30 kts over all of North and Central CA late. Cold rain is forecast for Cape Mendocino early pushing to maybe Monterey Bay late morning and stalling there. Snow reaching south to Yosemite mid-morning and the southern Sierra late afternoon the fading out in the evening. Monday (2/17) north winds are forecast at 25-30 kts for all of North and Central CA pretty much holding all day. Tues (2/18) north winds are to be 20-25 kts for Cape Mendocino and 10+ kts for everywhere south of Pt Arena early fading to 5-10 kts later and 15 kts for Cape Mendocino later.
Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 5, 5, 4 and 1 inches respectively.
Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!
No swell producing fetch is occurring.
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch is 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 small gale is forecast developing over the North Dateline region on Sun PM (2/16) producing 35-40 kt west winds and seas 29-30 ft at 44-48N 177W aimed east. On Mon AM (2/17) northwest winds are to be 45 kts with seas 34 ft at 47.5N 168.5W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to bloom in coverage with west winds 35-40 kt and seas 35 ft at 48.5N 160.5W aimed east. The gale is to track east Tues AM (2/18) with 30-35 kt west winds and seas fading from 34 ft at 51.5N 153.5W aimed east. The gale is to fading fast in the evening with seas dropping from 27 ft at 52.5N 151W aimed east.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
Active MJO Starting to Develop
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: A double dip La Nina was in control 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. In January 2019, those warm waters were fading, but then rebuilt late in Feb associated with Kelvin Wave (#3). But as of early June 2019 warm water was fading and by August a tongue of cool water was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos reaching to a point nearly south of Hawaii. El Nino was dead. A bit of a recovery occurred during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water hold in a pool off Peru and has not changed as of late Jan 2020.
LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Fall/Winter 2019/2020 = 5.0/4.0 (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: It is assumed the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that a weak borderline El Nino from 2018 is fading out, but not yet completely gone, especially in the atmosphere. Likewise it looks like a La Nina ocean temperature pattern is developing in the equatorial East Pacific, with cooler than normal waters tracking west on the equator. We assumed El Nino like momentum will hold for a while in the atmosphere will take a while to sense that the ocean temperature pattern has changed. But once it does, a turn towards a La Nina like atmospheric pattern will start to develop. that transition is expected in the late Nov-early Dec timeframe. Even so, moderation from the PDO might prevent La Nina from fully developing. Given all that, there is decent probability for a normal start to the Fall surf season (in the Northern Hemisphere) meaning a normal amount of number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in a normal levels of swell, with normal duration and normal period. But by mid-Dec 2019, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start fading and as a result, swell production should fade slightly as well. This pattern is expected to hold through April 2020.
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 (2/10) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the North Dateline and North KWGA but modestly from the west over the South Dateline and into the south KWGA. Anomalies were modest east over the East equatorial Pacific fading to neutral over the Central Pacific then moderate plus westerly over the dateline and KWGA mainly south of the equator.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (2/11) west anomalies were moderate in the KWGA. The forecast calls for moderate west anomalies building over the KWGA 2/12-2/16, then fading slightly but not gone through the end of the model run on 2/18 focused on the dateline.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
- Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (2/10) A moderate Active MJO signal was filling the KWGA just reaching to the dateline. The statistic model indicates the Active MJO is forecast slowly easing east filling the KWGA on day 5 of the model run and building some into day 15 while holding position. The dynamic model indicates the same thing but with the Active Phase pushing a bit further east centered over the dateline at day 15. The 2 models are in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (2/11) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was modest over the East Maritime Continent today and is to slowly track east holding strength and over the West Pacific at day 15 of the model run. The GEFS model suggests the same thing initially, but with the Active Phase building to moderate plus strength moving to the West Pacific at day 15.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (2/11) This model depicts a modest Active Phase over the Dateline region today. It is to push east moving into Central America on 3/4 while the Inactive Phase starts to develop in the KWGA 2/28. It is to push steadily east while holding strength moving to the East Pacific on 3/17. A weak Active MJO is to start building in the West Pacific a the end of the model run on 3/22.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (2/10) This model depicts a weak Inactive MJO just east of the dateline today but with modest west anomalies in control in the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Inactive signal is to track east and fade by 2/22 over the East equatorial Pacific while a moderate plus strength Active MJO is building in the Central KWGA today and pushing east with strong west anomalies taking root 2/12 and holding in the KWGA through 3/1. The Active Phase is to be pushing east of the KWGA 3/3 through the end of the model run on 3/9 with moderate west anomalies still in control.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (2/11-using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a neutral MJO in control but with modest west anomalies in the KWGA today. In reality a weak Inactive Phase was rushing through the KWGA today and is to continue through 2/19 but with west anomalies holding. A moderate Active MJO Phase is to set up 2/21 with moderate to strong west anomalies building into the KWGA holding till 3/11. Beyond that a moderate Inactive Phase is forecast 3/10-4/5 with a mix of weak east and west anomalies filling the KWGA. Another Active Phase is to develop 4/3 holding through 4/27 with modest to moderate west anomalies in control in the KWGA. A weak Inactive Phase to follow through the end of the model run on 5/10. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias with 2 contour lines in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to the California coast. a third contour line is to briefly appear near 3/14. The second contour line is to hold but weaker near 4/23. A high pressure bias built in the Indian Ocean and is to hold. East anomalies set up in the Indian Ocean starting 10/22/19 and are to hold. The model keeps switching between the continuation of the Indian Ocean high pressure/east wind bias and the low pressure bias over the dateline and the demise of all three in the April timeframe.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (2/11) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm backtracked from 175E to 173E with the 29 deg isotherm steady at 171W. The 28 deg isotherm line was a brick wall aligned and steady at 162W today. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador a bit thicker than days past. Anomaly wise, Kelvin Wave #6 was under the dateline at +4 degs tracking from the Maritime Continent moving east with it's leading edge at 137W. Lesser warm water was pushing into Ecuador at +2 degs. Warm water was filling the entire equatorial subsurface Pacific from 150 meters upwards. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 2/2 indicates warm water had formed a Kelvin Wave with warm water falling from 120E down into the dateline at 180m deep peaking there at +3 degrees then pushing and rising east to 140W with lesser warm water pushing and rising east from there (impacting Ecuador). The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (2/2) A broad pocket of +5 cms anomalies is filling the equatorial Pacific between 170E pushing into Ecuador. Fairly impressive.
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: (2/10) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate warm anomalies were building just off the coast of Chile up into Peru but with cool anomalies nearshore there, then building warm anomalies along Ecuador up into Central America then tracking west on the equator to the Galapagos out to 120W mainly on and north of the equator. A broad pocket of cool anomalies still was south of the equator and well off Peru filling the area from 2S south down to 20S reaching west to 115W and east to 90W. A new building pocket of solid cool anomalies was also on the equator and north of it between 122W to 155W and getting cooler.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (2/10): Today a shrinking area of warming was fading in the area from Chile and Peru west out to 100W. Warming also extended on the equator from Ecuador out to 120W but also weaker with a thin stream of cooling tracking through the middle of it. The short term trend is towards weak warming in the Southeast Pacific.
Hi-res Overview: (2/10) A steady pocket of cool anomalies is holding south of the equator starting at 5S and just off Peru reaching west out to 130W and steady. Warm anomalies were holding along Chile and Peru stronger up to Ecuador and Central America up to Mexico and stronger on the equator out to 100W. A cool pocket was on the equator from 115-140W. Warmer than normal water was west of there out to the dateline and beyond. Water temps appear to be stable and neither El Nino or La Nina.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (2/11) Today's temps were noodling around at +0.168 but previously much lower down at -0.900 on 12/12. Temps peaked prior at +1.55 degrees on 12/2 after a long runup from negative anomalies in October. It now appears we are in a falling trend.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (2/11) Temps were steady at +0.274. Temps peaked on 11/14 at +0.509 degs, fell some to -0.018 on 11/28, and are now trying to rebuild. The trend has been steadily generally upwards since Sept when they bottomed out at -0.6 degs (9/14).
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (2/11) Actual's indicate a cooling trend set up late last summer with temps -0.2 degs in mid-Sept then started rising to +0.25 degs in early Oct holding to Dec 1 rising to +0.70 degs Jan 1 and forecast holding there to Feb 1. From there the forecast depicts temps holding steady to mid-March then starting to fall, down to 0.0 in early May then diving negative appearing to be moving to La Nina down at -1.35 in early Oct and stabilizing there. According to this model a neutral sea surface temperature pattern biased slightly warm is forecast for the Winter and Spring of 2020, then turning strongly towards La Nina in the core of Summer.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Jan 2020 Plume depicts temps are at +0.42 degs, and are to slow fade to neutral +0.00 in June 2020, then holding there till Sept 2020. 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) (2/11): The daily index was positive today at +3.12. The 30 day average was weakly negative at -1.34. The 90 day average was rising slightly at -3.94, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was developing.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): Dec +0.46, Nov +1.03, Oct +0.27 Sept +1.11, August +0.60, July +0.75, June -0.32, May +1.10, April +0.30, March +1.0, Feb +1.29, Jan +0.193. This index has been steadily positive but still indicates mostly ENSO neutral conditions (not El Nino).
Pacific Decadal Oscillation
Per NOAAs index recent values: 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 2019 -0.18, Feb -0.50 Mar -0.23, April +0.10, May +0.14, June -0.11, July +0.44, Aug -0.14, Sept +0.05, Oct -0.96, Nov -0.28, Dec +0.01, Jan 2020 -1.17, This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2018 +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