Saturday, March 14, 2020
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Barbers Point (Buoy 238) : Seas were 3.2 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 1.7 ft @ 14.4 secs from 305 degrees.
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 7.8 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 5.1 ft @ 11.8 secs from 337 degrees. Water temp 75.4 degs.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.5 ft @ 12.8 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 13.4 secs from 193 degrees. Wind at the buoy was south at 2-4 kts. Water temperature 59.7 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 4.4 ft @ 11.0 secs from 309 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.7 ft @ 13.5 secs from 204 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.0 ft @ 13.5 secs from 196 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 2.3 ft @ 13.4 secs from 194 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 6.6 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 4.2 ft @ 7.9 secs from 307 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was southwest at 16-18 kts. Water temp 51.8 degs (013), 54.7 degs (012) and 54.9 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 Saturday (3/14) in North and Central CA local windswell was producing waves at waist to maybe chest high and warbled and soft and formless with south chop on top. Protected breaks were waist high and mushed and warbled and lightly chopped from west wind. At Santa Cruz surf was thigh to maybe waist high and clean and weak. In Southern California/Ventura waves were thigh high and clean and lined up but inconsistent. In North Orange Co surf was waist high or so coming out of the south but mostly closed out with heavy textured making it aggressively mushed. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks had sets at chest high and lined up coming from the south and clean and peeling when they came. North San Diego had surf in the waist high range and clean with long lines and closing out. Hawaii's North Shore was getting leftover northerly windswell with waves 2 ft overhead at top breaks and a bit warbled from northeast trades. The South Shore was flat with waves waist high or less and clean. The East Shore was getting northeasterly windswell at waist to chest high and warbled but not chopped with modest northeast trades early.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Tuesday (3/3) in California minimal local west windswell was providing something barely rideable up north with background southern hemi swell providing occasional lines down south. In Hawaii leftover north swell was still hitting from a gale previously north of the Islands on Wed-Thurs (3/12) that produced up to 30 ft seas aimed due south. Of some interest is a storm forecast forming off Japan late Mon (3/16) tracking east-northeast on Tues (3/17) producing up to 48 ft seas aimed east then racing northeast and moving over the north dateline region on Wed (3/18) with seas fading from 40 ft aimed east. Some hope there. But nothing else to follow. Down south a weak gale developed in the Southeast Pacific Mon-Wed (3/4) producing 32 ft seas aimed northeast. Small swell is hitting exposed breaks in CA now. A stronger gale formed in the Central and Southeast Pacific Sun- Mon (3/9) producing up to 40 ft seas aimed east-northeast. Small to modest sized swell is radiating north towards CA and points south of there. And another modest sized gale formed in the Southeast Pacific on Sat (3/14) producing 40 ft seas aimed more east than northeast. Maybe some small swell to result. The transition to Spring continues with Winter just a distant memory from a swell production standpoint.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Saturday (3/14) the jetstream was loosely consolidated pushing east off Japan with winds to 140 kts forming a trough mainly over Japan offering some support for gale development there. But east of there the jet was split very far to the west starting at 155E with the northern branch tracking northeast up into the Bering Sea. The southern branch tracked east. From there the jet remained an unorganized mess and was offering no support for gale development over the remainder of the North Pacific. Over the next 72 hours the Japan trough is to track east and then northeast into Tues (3/17) being fed by 150 kts winds offering some decent support for gale development but never tracking east to even the dateline. The jet is to remain a fragmented mess east of there. But a backdoor trough is to be developing off Washington on Sat (3/14) falling south to a point off San Francisco on Tues (3/17) offering support for weather in that area. Beyond 72 hours the Japan trough is to hold together till early Thurs (3/19) offering support for gale development then start breaking up and no longer supporting gale development. The backdoor trough in the East is to fall apart and move inland over Southern CA late Wed (3/18) with support for weather production fading then. But a broader trough is to start forming off the US West Coast on Thurs (3/19) turning again into a backdoor trough on Sat (3/21) perhaps offering more support for gale development. But to the west the jet is to be split just off Japan at 150E with the influential northern branch tracking hard northeast into the Bering Sea west of the dateline with a large ridge generally in control of everything east of there and offering no support for gale or storm production.
On Saturday (3/14) no swell of interest was in the water relative to California. Fading swell from a gale previously north of Hawaii was fading in the Islands.
Over the next 72 hours starting Mon AM (3/16) a gale is to start developing just off Japan producing 40-45 kts west winds and getting some traction on the oceans surface with seas building. In the evening 50+ kt north to northwest winds are to be building with seas starting to build to 38 ft at 36N 154.5E aimed east. On Tues AM (3/17) a solid fetch of 50-55 kt west winds are to be mid-way to the dateline with seas building to 45 ft at 40N 158.5E aimed east with decent coverage area. In the evening the fetch is to start lifting northeast and fading from 45-50 kts with 47 ft seas over a decent sized area at 42N 167E aimed east. On Wed AM (3/18) the gale is to lift rapidly northeast and be positioned over the North Dateline region with 40 kt west winds over a solid area and 43 ft seas at 46.5N 173E aimed east. In the evening the fetch is to be fading and pushing over the Central Aleutians with west winds 40-45 kts and seas 42 ft over a small area on the North Dateline region at 51N 176.5E no longer offering meaningful support for swell production. Possible swell to resulting pushing east towards Hawaii and the US West Coast.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Saturday (3/14) west winds were 10-15 kts for North CA early and northwest at 10 kts for Central CA forecast turning west to southwest at 10-15 kts all regions north of Pt Conception late afternoon. Light rain possible for all of CA mid-day becoming focused on North CA later. Light snow focused on Tahoe early building to heavy snow late afternoon. light snow reaching south to maybe Mammoth later. On Sun (3/15) southwest winds are forecast early for Central CA at 15-20 kts and 10-15 kts for North CA and holding at 10-15 kts late afternoon for all of North and Central CA. Rain is forecast for all of North and Central CA all day. Heavy snow for Tahoe early building south to Yosemite north over Tahoe and north of there into the evening. Mon (3/16) a light westerly flow is forecast at 5 kts or so early for North and Central CA holding all day. A front with south winds at 15 kts is forecast pushing through Southern CA late afternoon. Light rain early for Pt Arena southward to Pt Conception pushing into Southern CA in the late afternoon and evening. moderate plus snow continues mainly the Tahoe region. Light rain at time for Central and South CA. Tues (3/17) south winds are forecast at 5-10 kts north of Pt Conception reaching down into Central Southern CA late afternoon. Snow fading from the Sierra through the day. Wed (3/18) north winds at 10-15 kts are forecast for Cape Mendocino but with light winds south of there and east winds 5-10 kts for Southern CA as the low moves onshore over Northern Baja. Patchy showers possible for all of CA at times. Maybe some snow showers for higher elevations of the Central Sierra. Thurs (3/19) light winds are forecast area turning southerly at 5 kts for the state late afternoon as low pressure builds off Pt Conception. Showers possible at times for all of CA. Light snow for the Sierra late afternoon into evening. Fri (3/20) south winds are forecast at 15 kts for Central CA early and east winds for North CA 5 kts holding all day with south winds building to 10 kts for Southern CA later as the low falls south off Southern CA. Rain building for all of CA through the day. Maybe some snow for the Sierra. Sat (3/21) southeast winds are forecast at 10 kts for North CA early and 15 kts for Central CA and south winds 5-10 kts for Southern CA building there to 20 kts later. Rain early for Monterey Bay north to Pt Arena.
Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 87, 100, 99 and 20 inches respectively.
Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!
Swell from a gale previously in in the deep Southeast Pacific was radiating north towards California and points south of there (see Southeast Pacific Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours starting Fri PM (3/13) another small gale developed in the Southeast Pacific producing 45 kt southwest winds and seas building from 39 ft over a small area at 58S 141.5W aimed east-northeast. On Sat AM (3/14) the gale was fading with 45 kt southwest winds and seas 41 ft at 55.5S 134W aimed east-northeast. the gael is to be fading in the evening with 40 kt west-southwest winds and seas fading from 38 ft at 54.5S 123.5W aimed east. The gale to dissipate from there. Small swell to result.
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (3/21) building to 2.1 ft @ 19 secs later (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 190-195 degrees
Southeast Pacific Gale
On Sun AA (3/8) a gale started developing in the Central South Pacific producing 40-45 kt southwest winds and seas building from 36 ft at 59N 156W aimed northeast. In the evening a broad fetch of 45 kts southwest winds developed aimed well northeast with seas to barely 40 ft at 58S 138.5W aimed northeast. The fetch contracted while pushing east Mon AM (3/9) at 45 kts aimed due north producing seas at 38 ft at 56.5S 127 W aimed northeast. The gael rapidly faded in the evening with 35 kt southwest winds and seas fading from 35 ft at 58S 121W aimed northeast. The gale dissipated after that. Swell is in the water tracking northeast.
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (3/15) building to 1.6 ft @ 21-22 secs late (3.0 ft). Long waits for sets. Swell to build through the day Mon (3/16) pushing 2.6 ft @ 18-19 secs alter (4.5 ft) and still pretty inconsistent but energetic when they arrive. Swell peaking through the day Tues (3/17) at 2.7 ft @ 16-17 secs (4.5 ft with sets to 5.5 ft) mainly earlier. Swell fading some on Wed (3/18) from 2.5 ft @ 15-16 secs early (4.0 ft). Residuals fading on Thurs (3/19) from 2.0 ft @ 14 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Dribbles on Fri (3/20) fading from 1.7 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 190-192 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon (3/16) building to 2.3 ft @ 19-20 secs later (4.0-4.5 ft). Long waits for sets. Swell peaking through the day Tues (3/17) at 2.5 ft @ 17-18 secs (4.0-4.5 ft with sets 5.0-5.5 ft) mid-day. Swell fading some on Wed (3/18) from 2.3 ft @ 15-16 secs early (3.5 ft). Residuals fading on Thurs (3/19) from 1.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 ft). Dribbles on Fri (3/20) fading from 1.5 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 188-190 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 of interest are forecast.
Beyond 72 hours a pair of small gales are forecast developing on Fri (3/21), one in the Southeast Pacific and the other off New Zealand with seas in the 30-35 ft range aimed northeast. Something to monitor but it is way to early to believe any model just yet.
Weak MJO Pattern in Control
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 (3/13) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific and then on over the Dateline and the whole of the KWGA. Anomalies were weak westerly over the far East equatorial Pacific turning neutral over the Central Pacific and then modest easterly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (3/14) weak west anomalies were over the KWGA. The forecast calls for weak west anomalies holding through 3/12 then fading with weak east anomalies taking over the KWGA and building to modest strength at the end of the model run on 3/21.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
- Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (3/13) A weak Active MJO signal was over the KWGA. The statistic model indicates the weak Active MJO signal is to hold but get progressively weaker through day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model indicates the same thing initially but with the Active Phase fading at day 5 and a moderate plus strength Inactive Phase building and filling the KWGA at day 10 fading slightly at day 15 as the Active Phase builds in the Indian Ocean.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (3/14) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was very weak over the West Pacific today and is to slowly ease east over the Atlantic at day 15 of the model run. The GEFS model suggests the same thing initially, but with the Active Phase racing east and setting up moderately strong in the Indian Ocean 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): (3/14) This model depicts the Active Phase was weak moving over the Central Equatorial Pacific pushing into Central America through 4/3. The Inactive Phase is to build into the West Pacific on 3/24 pushing east and into Central America on 4/18. A weak to modest Active Phase is to start building in the West Pacific on 4/8 moving to the Central Pacific at the end of the model run on 4/23.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (3/13) This model depicts a neutral MJO pattern in control of the KWGA with weak west anomalies holding The forecast indicates the west wind anomaly pattern is to hold through through the end of the model run on 4/10 but retrograding west some but still in the core of the KWGA even while a weak Inactive MJO tracks through the eastern KWGA 3/17-3/27. It is to not have much effect on the base wind pattern.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (3/14 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a very weak Inactive MJO pattern over the KWGA today with weak west anomalies in the KWGA. A weak Active Phase is to set up 3/19-3/25 with weak west and east anomalies nodding in the KWG building to modest west anomalies 3/26-4/8 with no MJO signal present. A weak Active Phase is forecast developing 4/10 holding through 4/25 with weak west anomalies in the KWGA during that period and beyond through 5/15. A broad Inactive Phase is to develop 5/12 holding through the end of the model run on 6/11 with weak west anomalies still in control. 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. It is to hold unchanged through 3/29, then dissipate with one contour line holding and even that showing signs of weakness at the end of the model run. A high pressure bias previously built in the Indian Ocean last Fall and is to hold till May 1 then dissipate. East anomalies set up in the Indian Ocean starting 10/22/19 and held through Jan 10, then started to become more episodic and are to continue that way for the foreseeable future. The model was previously 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 (Springtime 'Predictability Barrier' in full effect).
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (3/14) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm was rebuilding some today easing east to 167E. The 29 deg isotherm was retrograding at 177W today. The 28 deg isotherm line was a brick wall aligned and steady at 163W today. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador and losing some thickness. Anomaly wise, Kelvin Wave #6 was under the dateline at +2.0 degs tracking from the Maritime Continent under the dateline with it's leading edge pushing east to 120W today. Lesser warm water was pushing into Ecuador at +1 degs. Warm water was filling the entire equatorial subsurface Pacific from 150 meters upwards. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 3/9 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 110W. A pocket of cool water was east of there with a pocket of warm water pushing and impacting Ecuador east of the cool pocket. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (3/9) A broad pocket of +5-10 cms anomalies is filling the equatorial Pacific between 170E pushing non-stop east to 110W then with a small pocket impacting 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: (3/13) The latest images indicate warm anomalies were weak just off the coast of Chile up into Peru but building some from days past with building warm anomalies continuing up along Ecuador up into Central America then tracking west on the equator over the Galapagos reaching west to the dateline. Cool anomalies were just south of the equator but not present on the equator. A broad pocket of cooling was still south of the equator and well off Peru filling the area from 2S south down to 40S reaching west to 140W and east to 100W. A mirror image of it was now developing off California and well off Baja.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (3/13): Weak warming was off Peru extending west to 100W. A pocket of cooling was developing pushing off Ecuador reaching to the Galapagos but then replaced with strong warming from the Galapagos on the equator west to 125W. The short term trend is a mixed bag but mostly towards warming.
Hi-res Overview: (3/13) A pocket of cool anomalies is trying to hold south of the equator starting at 5S west of Peru between 100W and 140W. A mirror image of it was also off California and Baja Mexico out to 160W. But warm anomalies were trying to build along Chile and Peru then stronger up to Ecuador and Central America up to Mainland Mexico out over the Galapagos. Warmer than normal water was from the Galapagos 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: (3/14) Today's temps were falling at +0.365, positive in that range since 2/22. Previously temps had been toggling near neutral. It now appears we are in a rising or at least warmer trend.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (3/14) Temps were steady at +0.464. Temps previously were in the +0.2 degree range but rose to the +0.4 degree range on 1/4 and have been holding steady ever since.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (3/14) Actual's indicate a cooling blip developed 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 2020 and holding at +0.65 through Feb. From there temps started falling down to +0.5 degs in mid-March. The forecast depicts temps falling, down to 0.0 in mid-May then diving negative appearing to be moving strongly to La Nina down at -1.25 in mid-Oct and holding there into Dec. According to this model a neutral sea surface temperature pattern biased slightly warm is forecast for Spring of 2020 but falling strongly towards La Nina in the core of Summer.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Feb 2020 Plume depicts temps are at +0.32 degs, and are to slow fade to neutral +0.00 in June 2020, then falling some to -0.1 degs in Aug only to rebound to neutral in October 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) (3/14): The daily index was positive today at +0.53. The 30 day average was weakly negative at -2.30 and unchanged. The 90 day average was rising slightly at -3.09, 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