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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, April 12, 2018 4:45 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
3.9 - California & 3.4 - Hawaii
Using the 'Winter' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

Probability for presence of largest swells in near-shore waters of NCal, SCal or Hawaii.    

Issued for Week of Monday 4/9 thru Sun 4/15

Swell Potential Rating Categories
5 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Significant swell
4 = Good probability for 1-2 days of Significant swell
3 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Intermediate/Advanced swell
2 = Good probability for  1-2 days of
Intermediate/Advanced swell
1 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Impulse or Windswell
0 = Low probability for 1-2 days of Impulse or Windswell   

2 Swells Pushing East from Dateline-Gulf Region
Weaker Swell Pattern Beyond

BUOY ROUNDUP

On Thursday, April 12, 2018 :

  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 5.9 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 4.2 ft @ 8.9 secs from 218 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.5 ft @ 10.8 secs with swell 1.9 ft @ 10.7 secs from 253 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 27-33 kts. Water temperature NA. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 6.2 ft @ 6.4 secs from 275 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 5.4 ft @ 6.4 secs from 270 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 4.1 ft @ 7.9 secs from 269 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 5.9 ft @ 8.3 secs from 283 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 11.0 ft @ 12.8 secs with swell 7.4 ft @ 12.8 secs from 293 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 12-16 kts. Water temp 54.1 degs.

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.

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
Current Conditions
On Thursday (4/12) in North and Central CA North Dateline/Gulf swell was hitting producing waves at 10 ft (double overhead) and raw and warbled and unrefined and nearly chopped. Protected breaks were 2-3 ft overhead and nearly chopped and unremarkable. At Santa Cruz surf was 1-2 ft overhead and clean with offshore winds but still pretty raw and warbled. In Southern California up north surf was waist to chest high and warbled with whitecaps just off the beach and pretty ugly. In North Orange Co northwest windswell was hitting with sets to head high and heavily warbled and not good. South Orange Country's best breaks were waist high or so and chopped. In North San Diego surf was waist to shoulder high on the sets and chopped. Hawaii's North Shore was getting residual swell with waves chest to shoulder high and clean but with some north warble intermixed and slow and weak. The South Shore was flat and clean. The East Shore was getting northeast windswell at waist high and chopped from east trades.

See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (4/12) swell was hitting California from a gale that fell southeast from Kamchatka Fri-Sat (4/7) producing a short lived area of 32 ft seas almost fading before reaching the dateline on Sat (4/7) then reorganized in the Gulf of Alaska Sun-Mon (4/9) with 21 ft seas aimed east at California. All the while another system tracked east over the North Dateline region on Sun-Tues (4/10) with 30-34 ft seas aimed east then fell southeast into the Central Gulf on Wed (4/11) producing a decent sized area of 27 ft seas aimed east. That swell is poised to Hit California. And a stronger system was behind that tracking east over the Central Dateline on Wed-Thurs (4/12) with up to 47 ft seas aimed east and is to then be fading while falling southeast through the Gulf Fri (4/13) with seas fading from 24 ft. So a few swells are queued up targeting mainly the US West Coast. But after that no seas of interest are forecast. Down south a tiny gale developed on Sun-Mon (4/9) under New Zealand with 28-30 ft seas aimed north. Another gale developed in the Southeast Pacific on Wed (4/11) with 32 ft seas aimed east. And another system is forecast for the same area on Mon-Wed (4/18) with 28 ft seas aimed northeast. So there's some hope down there.

SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Thursday AM (4/12) the jetstream building and weakly split over Japan with the northern branch lifting northeast at 130-140 kts forming a trough over Japan but the two streams running close and parallel to each other. The two streams merged on the dateline with another trough building in the Western Gulf with winds 130-140 kts pushing down into the trough and up to 150 kts on Fri (4/13) offering good support for gale development. Back to the west a ridge is to be building on the dateline pushing up into the Bering Sea shutting down gale generation potential there. But another trough is to be off Kamchatka being fed by 160 kt winds offering some support for gale development there. Beyond 72 hours starting Sun (4/15) the Gulf trough is to push east and starting to get pinched off positioned just off the Pacific Northwest being fed by 120 kts winds still providing support for gale development, then pinching off more pushing inland over North CA on Mon AM (4/16). Back to the west the trough off Kamchatka is to be lifting northeast and moving over the Eastern Aleutians on Sun (4/15) offering little to no support for gale development. But remnants of that trough are to be redeveloping in the Northern Gulf falling southeast on Tues (4/17) being fed by 140 kts winds offering some support for gale development. That trough is to move onshore over North CA later Wed (4/18). Back to the west the jet is to remain mostly consolidated lifting northeast from Japan with winds 110 kts falling southeast some over the dateline then rising again northeast in the Gulf with no clear support for gale development. No significant change is forecast through then end of the model run on Thurs (4/19).

Surface Analysis
On Thursday AM (4/12) swell from a gale that tracked over the North Dateline Region and into the Gulf was hitting California and pushing towards Hawaii (see North Dateline/Gulf Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours swell from a stronger system is to be approaching Hawaii and California (see Dateline Gale below). No other systems of interest are forecast.

 

North Dateline/Gulf Gale
Another gale developed west of the Northern Dateline region just off Kamchatka on Sun AM (4/8) producing 40 kt west winds and seas building. By evening the gale was decently broad approaching the North Dateline region with 40 kt west winds and seas building from 33 ft at 51N 170E just barely south of the Western Aleutians. The gale moved over the Northern Dateline Mon AM (4/9) with 40 kt northwest winds south of the Aleutians and 33 ft seas at 51N 177E aimed east at the US West Coast. Fetch pushed east at 40 kts over a broader area in the evening on the dateline with 32 ft seas at 50N 180W just barely south of the Central Aleutians. Fetch faded Tues AM (4/10) from 35 kts on the dateline but grew in coverage at 30-35 kt from the west nearly filling the Gulf with 27 ft seas fading at 50N 172W targeting the US West Coast and sideband energy at Hawaii. The core of the original gale was gone in the evening but the new center is to be stalled in the Central Gulf producing a broad area of 35-40 kt northwest winds and seas 27 ft at 47N 158W aimed at the US West Coast. Wed AM (4/11) the gale moved east with winds fading from 35 kts with a broad area of 27 ft seas at 48N 150W. In the evening the gale is to dissipate with seas fading from 26 ft in the Northeastern Gulf at 47N 143W. Possible solid swell for the US West Coast if all goes as forecast but shadowed in the SF Bay Area.

Hawaii: Small swell mainly from when the gale was on the North Dateline Region arriving Thurs (4/12) peaking at sunset at 4.6 ft @ 15-16 secs (7.0 ft). Swell fading Fri AM (4/13) fading from 3.6 ft @ 13 secs(4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 330 degrees

North CA: Swell holding at 8.0 ft @ 12-13 secs Thurs (4/12) then being overtaken by a second pulse of energy building Fri AM (4/13) to 8.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (11.5 ft) with much local windswell intermixed. Swell fading Saturday AM (4/14) from 7.0 ft @ 13-14 secs (9.5 ft). Residuals on Sun AM (4/15) fading from 5.4 ft @ 12 secs (6.5 ft). Swell Direction: 297-308 degrees

 

Dateline Gale
And yet another stronger system developed off the North Kuril Islands on Tues AM (4/10) with 40 kt northwest winds over a small area and seas building. In the evening the gale built to storm status while tracking east approaching the dateline with 55 kt west winds over a small area and 26 ft seas at 46N 169E. The storm continued east on Wed AM (4/11) with 55 kt west winds and 45 ft seas at 46N 175E (325 degs HI, 298 degs NCal). The storm faded to gale status in the evening and falling southeast just east of the dateline with 45 kt west winds over a diminishing area aimed east and seas fading from 43 ft at 44N 176W (332 degs HI, 297 degrees NCal). The gale faded Thurs AM (4/12) in the Western Gulf with west winds 30-35 kts and seas 34 ft at 43N 168W targeting the US West Coast well (293 degs NCal). In the evening the gale is to fade with northwest winds 30 kts and seas 28 ft at 43N 160W. On Fri AM (4/13) fetch is to fade from 25 kts and seas 23 ft at 47N 153W. The gale to dissipate from there.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival at sunset Fri (4/13) building to 4.1 ft @ 20 secs (8.0 ft). Swell peaking at sunrise Sat (4/14) pushing 6.6 ft @ 16-17 secs (10.5 ft) , then slowly fading into the day down to 5.6 ft @ 15 secs later (8.5 ft). Residuals on Sun (4/15) fading from 3.6 ft @ 13 secs early (4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 325-330 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival Sun AM (4/15) with period 18 secs and size slowly building through the day pushing 5.6 ft @ 16-17 secs later (9.0 ft). Swell continues overnight fading Mon AM (4/16) from 6.2 ft @ 15 secs (9.0 ft) with local windswell intermixed. Mixed swell fading Tues AM (4/17) from 7.5 ft @ 12 secs (8.0 ft). Swell Direction: 292-299 degrees

  North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height

 

Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday AM (4/12) high pressure was building into the California coast after a short lived front passed through the evening before. 6 inches of snow fell in the Tahoe area. Otherwise winds were from the northwest at 15 kts over North CA and 20 kts from Big Sur southward including over all of Southern CA. Friday (4/13) high pressure is to be ridging into North CA with light winds for Cape Mendocino and north winds 15 kts from Bodega Bay down to Big Sur and 20 kts south to Pt Conception. No precipitation is forecast. Saturday (4/14) high pressure is to fade some with light winds for Cape Mendocino and north winds 15 kts from Pt Arena south to Pt Conception. Light winds for Southern CA. Sunday (4/15) light northwest winds are forecast for the state early with a weak front pushing down the coast with north winds behind the front building to 15 kts in the afternoon from the Golden Gate down to Santa Barbara County. Rain building from Cape Mendocino early pushing to Monterey Bay late afternoon and Morro Bay late evening. Snow building in the evening for Tahoe continuing overnight and building south. Snow level 8500 ft during the day falling to lake level near 8 PM and holding. 5 inches of snow on the crest at Tahoe. Monday (4/16) light winds are forecast early for North and Central CA and northwest winds 15 kts for Southern CA. Northwest winds 15 kts building for the entire state in the afternoon. Light rain for North and Central CA mainly near the coast holding through the day. Light snow through the day for the Sierra with another 6 inches of accumulation possible at Tahoe. Tuesday (4/17) north winds 15 kts early for Central CA but quickly fading with light winds late morning for the entire state. Another front is to be a bit off the North Coast. Wednesday (4/18) a low is to be off the North Coast with light winds everywhere early turning south 10-15 kts from Pt Reyes northward late afternoon. Thursday (4/19) light winds are forecast early turning northwest 15+ kts later afternoon as the low moves out and high pressure builds. Light rain for the Central Coast moving into Southern CA alter in the day. Maybe another push of snow. Snow level near lake level from Sunday (4/15) night onward.

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis  
On Tuesday (4/10) swell from a small gale that developed south of New Zealand on Sun (4/8) was pushing towards Hawaii (see Another New Zealand Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours another gale is to develop in the far Southeast Pacific on Thurs AM (4/12) with 30+ kt southwest winds over a large area and seas building. In the evening a broad fetch of 35-40 kt southwest winds are to be lifting northeast on the edge of the California swell window with a small area of 28 ft seas at 58S 122W aimed northeast. Fri AM (4/13) 35-40 kt south-southwest winds to be lifting northeast over a solid area with 30 ft seas at 51S 115W and moving out of the Southern CA swell window targeting mainly Mexico, Central America and Peru. The gale is to fade from there. Something to monitor.

 

Another New Zealand Gale
A small gale developed south of New Zealand on Sun AM (4/8) producing 40-45 kt south winds and 30 ft seas over a tiny area at 55S 170E. In the evening 40 kt south winds held with seas 29 ft at 53S 172E aimed due north. 40 kt south winds to hold Mon AM (4/9) with seas 27 ft at 53S 173E aimed north. The gale is to fade in the evening with winds dying from 30 kts from the south and seas 22 ft at 51S 172E. Something to monitor for Tahiti and Hawaii.

Hawaii: Swell building to 1.1 ft @ 15 secs on Tues (3/17). Swell Direction: 200 degrees

 

Southeast Pacific Gale
On Tues AM (4/10) a gale was building in the Southeast Pacific producing 45 kt south winds and 28-30 ft seas over a tiny area at 64S 148W aimed north. In the evening 40 kt southwest winds are to build in coverage over a decent sized area with seas building to 29-30 ft at 65S 139W. The gale built Wed AM (4/11) with 40 kt west-southwest winds with seas building to 33 ft at 65S 128W targeting mainly Chile with sideband energy perhaps pushing north. In the evening the gale tracked east with 40 kt west winds on the eastern edge of California swell window with 32 ft seas at 64S 118W and moving out of the CA swell window. No additional fetch of interest is forecast. Low odds of swell to radiate north into the SCal swell window. Will monitor.

 

South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height

 

QuikCAST's

 

LONG-TERM FORECAST
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a gale is to form off the Southern Kuril Islands on Mon (4/16) tracking east-northeast producing up to 30 ft seas at 43N 159E targeting mainly the Aleutians and continuing on the track into early Tues (4/17) moving up to the Central Aleutians with seas 27 ft at 49N 180W. Seas fading to 23 ft Wed AM (4/18) at 51N 167W. Perhaps some small swell to push east targeting mainly the US West Coast.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours another gale is to build in the Southeast Pacific on Mon AM (4/16) with 30-35 kts southwest winds over a broad area and 24 ft seas at 62S 130W. In the evening a broad fetch of 35-40 kt south-southwest winds to continue building in the Southeast Pacific with seas to 28 ft at 56S 128W pushing north. More south fetch is forecast Tues AM (4/17) at 40-45 kts with 32 ft seas at 63S 125W and seas from previous fetch at 30 ft at 51S 122W. In the evening 40 kt southwest winds to be on the edge of the Scal swell window with 35 ft seas at 58S120W aimed north-northeast. The gale is to move out of the CA swell window on Wed AM (4/18). Something to monitor.

More details to follow...

 

Sea Surface Temps Rising Steadily West of Galapagos

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 2 Upwelling Kelvin Waves, suggesting the demise of La Nina was at hand.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Wednesday (4/11) 5 day average winds were from the east over the bulk of the equatorial Pacific and a little weaker over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral over the equatorial East Pacific and light easterly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (4/12) Weak east anomalies were over the KWGA and the entire equatorial Pacific. This pattern is to hold for the next week through 4/19. This suggests a pattern change.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (4/11) The Inactive/Dry Phase of the MJO was over the West Pacific. The statistical model depicts a moderate Inactive/Dry MJO signal covering the West Pacific and filling the KWGA and holding if not building while easing east through the end of the 15 day run. The dynamic model depicts the same thing initially but with the Inactive Phase fading 8 days out and a weak Active Phase over the KWGA 15 days out.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/12) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO fairly strong in strength over the East Atlantic. It is to track east steadily over the next 15 days moving into the Indian Ocean 4 days out and then to the Maritime Continent at the end of the model run and stalling and weak. The GEFS model depicts the same track and speed but with the Active Phase moving to the West Pacific 15 days out but very weak and incoherent.
40 day Upper Level Model: (4/12) This model depicts a modest Inactive Phase over the West Pacific migrating east to the East Pacific through 4/30. After that a weak Active Phase is forecast moving into the West Pacific 4/25 easing east to the East Pacific and into Central America on 5/17. A weak Inactive Phase is to follow in the West Pacific starting 5/15 moving to the Central Pacific at the end of the model run on 5/22. This model runs about 1-2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (4/12) This model depicts the leading edge of the Inactive Phase of the MJO arriving in the Central KWGA with limited east anomalies in the heart of the KWGA. Beyond a modest Inactive Phase is to hold over the KWGA 4/13-5/2 but with neutral to weak west anomalies in control in the KWGA starting 4/18. No east anomalies are forecast. A weak pattern to follow with weak west anomalies in control in the KWGA. Perhaps a stronger Active Phase to develop 6/15 holding through the end of the model run on 7/10 with west anomalies strengthening in the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates a modest low pressure bias over the bulk of the KWGA east almost to the dateline and is to push east steadily from here forward reaching the dateline 4/16 and out of the KWGA on 4/26 with the high pressure bias already east of the dateline and out of the KWGA. This is hugely good news. Basically the La Nina bias is to be gone in 1-2 weeks. The expectation is that the atmosphere and ocean will begin to be coupled in over the next 3 months in a more favorable configuration towards storm production in the Pacific.

CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/12) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 29-30 degs at 160E. The 28 deg isotherm line is steady at 180W and steep but also showing signs of trying to east east with the surface line moving to 178W. The 24 deg isotherm was building in thickness while making significant eastward progress at 100 meters deep at 140W and now to 75 meters deep at 120W dropping to 35 meters into Ecuador. Anomaly wise in the East Pacific negative temperatures are effectively gone and what is left is steadily loosing coverage as warm waters from a Kelvin Wave are building in from the west at depth. Warm anomalies were holding in the West at +3.0 degs at 165E down 150 meters pushing east with +2 deg anomalies reaching east to 120W down 75 meters and starting to erupt at the surface near 110W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/8 depicts warm water in the west at +4.0 degs at 165W reaching east to 110W pushing up to 50 m deep and showing signs of of trying to breach the surface near 105W. Cool water was holding in one shallow pocket in the East Pacific off Ecuador near 95W but otherwise isolated and cutoff by the approaching Kelvin Wave. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data.
Sea Level Anomalies: (4/8) Positive anomalies were over the West equatorial Pacific at +5-10 cms centered at 180W reaching east to 110W and now in pockets to 100W. Neutral anomalies were east of there except for negative anomalies at -5 cms over the Galapagos and extending east to Peru. The La Nina cool pool is all but gone.

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.
Satellite Imagery
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4: (4/11) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a pocket of cool anomalies was along the immediate coast of Peru reaching northwest just barely up to the Galapagos and ending there and continually fading, almost gone. Of much interest is a building pool of warm anomalies developing on the oceans surface on and just south of the equator near 100W reaching almost to Peru. This is likely the start of a defined eruption point for a large Kevin Wave directly below. Warm anomalies were also building along the immediate coast of Central America and Mexico reaching west to the dateline south to 1-2N along the equator. Cool anomalies on the equator were limited to points west of 120W mainly south of the equator - the last of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/11): A previous pocket of cooling near the Galapagos has reappeared. Weak warming was building along the equator from just west of the Galapagos out to the dateline. The breach point for a large Kelvin Wave was estimated near 100W-115W.
Hi-res Overview: (4/11) A pocket of cool water was mainly now limited to the immediate coast of Ecuador reaching west to the Galapagos and covering far less area than days past and still loosing coverage. Weak warming was further off the coast of Peru and reaching north to the equator at 100W. Warming was also along Ecuador and Central America filling the area north of the equator up into Mexico and east over the entirety of the equatorial Pacific. The La Nina core cool pocket was shrinking now mainly south of the equator from 120W to barely the dateline looking like a Modoki La Nina (meaning the core of La Nina is advecting west and dissipating). Overall the cooling pattern is steadily loosing density and drifting west.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/12) Today's temps were rebounding some to -1.629 after falling the past week. Previously temps rose to -0.069 on 4/3. Prior to that temps had fallen hard to -2.364 degs on 3/25, the coldest of any point in this La Nina. Previous cool peaks were on 3/12 at -1.5 degs retreating from the peak of the first Kelvin Wave hitting at +0.898 degrees on 2/28. Overall temps had been steadily marching upwards since late December. Temps in this area bottomed out on 12/23 at -2.1 degs, a third near peak negative reading. The lowest point so far in this La Nina was -2.248 degs reached on 11/5. And that low point was lower than the previous coldest point reached on 10/11 at -1.9 degs.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/12) Today temps were rising some again to -0.409 after rising to -0.431 degs on 4/7, part of a steady 2 week increase. A weak surge in temps occurred 1/12-1/28 reaching up to -0.600 deg range. But since then temps backed off some. Previously a peak low was observed on 1/10-1/12 to -1.577. On (12/7) temps hit a previous record low at -1.219, just below the previous coldest peak so far this La Nina on 11/22 at -1.156. And the third previous low peak was reached at -1.1 on 11/23. The long arc suggests perhaps a rising pattern. La Nina is in control, but it's taking a hit.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/12) The forecast depicts temps bottomed out at -0.75 in Nov 2017 and have been slowly rebounding since, up to -0.55 in early Feb. In mid-March a sharp temperature increase developed rising to -0.35 in early April. The model indicates temps steadily rising from here forward to neutral in early June, hovering there then starting to rise into the Fall to +0.25 degs in Oct and to +0.4 degs later in Nov. This suggests the peak of La Nina occurred in 2017 and is to fade out in the early Summer of 2018 before turning weakly positive in the Fall. The odds of a 3 year La Nina developing are rare (3 year La Ninas 17%, 2 year La Ninas 50%, 1 year La Ninas 33% 1951-2017). This model is now falling inline with all the others suggesting La Nina is to die this Spring.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-March Plume depicts temps at -0.5 degs and are to slowly rise, to +0.0 in May and +0.2 in August and +0.5 in November. See chart here - link. It looks like La Nina is fading out. The CFSv2 is in the low end of that pack.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (4/12): The daily index was rising again at 18.96. The 30 day average was rising again at 11.65 suggesting the Inactive Phase of the MJO was in control. The 90 day average was rising some at 5.77 suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern biased towards La Nina.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (4/5) This site has not update since 4/5. At that time the index was rising slightly at -1.02 down from -1.13 on 3/27. Still this is down from -0.33 in late Feb, but was up from -1.11 on 1/29. The trend suggests La Nina is not gone, but possibly also reflects the last of the cool subsurface water being squeezed to the surface from an approaching large Kelvin Wave. Last years La Nina reached -1.94 on 11/2/16 and then fell to -2.20 on 6/28/17. It held pretty negative through Jan 2018. This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina events. The goal is to have it rise to at least -0.5 before a significant change could be suggested.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly positive, even though La Nina is in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.12, Feb = +0.05, March = +0.14, April=+0.53, May=+0.29, June=+0.21, July= -0.50, Aug= -0.62, Sept = -0.25, Oct= -0.61, Nov = -0.45, Dec= -0.13, Jan=+0.29, Feb=-0.10. 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 EDU index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.77, Feb = +0.70, Mar = +0.74, April=+1.12, May=+0.88, June=+0.79, July=+0.10, Aug=+0.09, Sept = +0.32, Oct=+0.05, Nov = +0.15, Dec = +0.50, Jan +0.70. Feb +0.37. No negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data strongly suggests that could be a possibility. By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool

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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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