Tuesday, June 20, 2017
- Buoy 146 (Lanai): This buoy is down and there is no backup site and no date if or when it will return to service. Buoy 233/51211 (Pearl Harbor) is available but has a new frequency layout. We'll have to code a new program to read it's output (date TBD).
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.4 ft @ 18.9 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 18.0 secs from 224 degrees. Wind northwest 4-8 kts. Water temperature 66.4 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 2.3 ft @ 8.1 secs from 280 degrees. At Santa Monica (Buoy 028) swell was 1.8 ft @ 18.9 secs from 210 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (Buoy 043) swell was 2.2 ft @ 19.7 secs from 218 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (Buoy 191) swell was 2.0 ft @ 15.8 secs from 199 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 10.0 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 8.7 ft @ 9.2 secs from 306 degrees. Wind northwest 16-20 kts at the buoy. Water temp 54.1 degs.
46006, 46059, 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 (6/20) in North and Central CA local north windswell was up some producing surf at 1 ft overhead and warbled and bumpy with moderate south winds in affect. Protected breaks were chest to head high and lumpy but clean early. At Santa Cruz southern hemi swell was hitting producing surf at waist to chest high and clean but inconsistent. In Southern California up north local windswell was hitting producing waves waist to almost chest high and clean but with some lump intermixed early. In North Orange Co southern hemi swell was producing surf at chest to head high and textured from northerly wind. In South Orange Co southern hemi swell was producing waves at 1-2 ft overhead and lined up and clean. In San Diego northwest windswell and southern hemi swell was producing surf at waist to chest high and windswell like with light texture on it. Hawaii's North Shore was waist to almost chest high at top breaks and clean. The South Shore was getting southern hemi swell with sets chest to head high and clean. The East Shore was getting minimal east windswell with waves thigh to waist high and chopped from modest east trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Tuesday (6/20) larger raw local north windswell was hitting North and Central California. But of more interest is the start of an increase in legitimate southern hemi swell over the coming days attributable to 2 systems near New Zealand: A small gale that developed under New Zealand Sat-Sun (6/11) tracking east with up to 41 ft seas aimed east. An even smaller weather system that developed just east of New Zealand Tues-Wed (6/14) with up to 37 ft seas tracking northeast. Also some swell continues for California from a small gale that developed off Chile on Wed (6/14) with 28 ft seas aimed north. Otherwise another system developed under New Zealand on Mon (6/19) with up to 43 ft seas aimed east. And a cutoff low to possibly set up 37 ft seas aimed at Hawaii from the southeast Sun-Mon (6/26). So there's increased hope for surf ahead.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Tuesday (6/20) weak high pressure at 1024 mbs was 600 nmiles west of North CA ridging into the coast generating the standard summer time pressure gradient and 25-30 kt northwest winds focused over North CA with 20 kt north winds down to Big Sur resulting in moderate local northwest windswell down into Central CA. This high was also producing trade winds at 15 kts from the east and northeast running from North California the whole way to Hawaii resulting in minimal east windswell along east facing shores there.
Over the next 72 hours the high pressure system is to push more into the Pacific Northwest with the gradient tightening over North CA with north winds building to 35 kts on Wednesday (6/21) building to 40 kts early Thurs (6/22) still focused over North CA with building windswell for North and Central CA. A light eddy flow (south winds) is possible stating mid-day Wed (6/21) from San Francisco southward. By Friday (6/23) the gradient is to start fading in coverage with northeast winds 30 kts limited to the Cape Mendocino area with an eddy flow in effect from Pt Arena southward. The short of it is larger windswell from Central CA with improving conditions later in the workweek.
For Hawaii trades to start fading on Wed AM (6/21) and gone relative to Hawaii by Thurs AM (6/22). Windswell fading out in Hawaii mid-day Wed (6/21). Trades to remain below 15 kts after that.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday (6/20) high pressure at 1026 mbs was ridging into the North CA coast from a position 600 nmiles west of Cape Mendocino generating a pressure gradient and north winds at 30 kts over Pt Arena producing raw local north windswell with a weak eddy flow trying to get established over Central CA. Wednesday the gradient is to build significantly with north winds 35+ kts over Cape Mendocino building to 40 kts later and a weak eddy flow along the Central CA coast. On Thurs (6/22) the gradient is to start fading with north winds dropping from 40 kts over Cape Mendocino with an eddy flow in control along all of the Central CA coast up to Bodega Bay. Fri (6/23) north winds to continue over Cape Mendocino at 30 kts with the eddy flow holding south of there. Sat (6/24) the gradient is to fade from 25 kts limited to waters of South Oregon with the eddy flow holding for CA. Sunday (6/25) a northwest flow is to set up for Pt Conception at 15-20 kts but 10 kts or less elsewhere. More of the same through Tuesday but with high pressure at 1030 mbs in the Central Gulf of Alaska poised to ridge east.
On Tuesday AM (6/20) the southern branch of the jet had a pocket of winds at 130 kts tracking east under New Zealand offering limited support for gale development then the jet started ridging hard south from the Central Pacific east and under South America offering no support for gale development. The northern branch was tracking east generally on the 28S latitude line. Over the next 72 hours the semi-trough under New Zealand is to fade and energy from it tracking southeast into the ridge over the Central Pacific into late Wed (6/21) with support for gale development fading. Beyond 72 hours starting Fri (6/23) a ridge is to start building in under New Zealand and getting strong by Sat (6/24) pushing hard south into Antarctica then rebounding just as hard to the north over the Southeast Pacific forming a steep almost cutoff trough being fed by 110 kt winds offering some support for gale development. But that trough is to get cutoff by later Sunday (6/25) with a solid ridge then in control of the entire South Pacific sweeping over Antarctica offering no support for gale development through Tues (6/27).
On Tuesday (6/20) small swell from a gale that developed under New Zealand was hitting California (see New Zealand Storm below). Also another small swell was right behind it generated from a gale that tracked northeast along the New Zealand Coast (see Second New Zealand Storm below). And swell from a small gale that developed off Chile was supposedly hitting exposed breaks in California but more focused on Mainland Mexico (see Chilean Gale below). Another gale was fading southeast of New Zealand possibly generating yet another swell (see 3rd New Zealand Gale below).
Otherwise no swell producing fetch was occurring.
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
New Zealand Storm
A storm developed southwest of New Zealand on Fri PM (6/9) with 55 kt west winds over a small area aimed east with seas building from 36 ft at 57S 141E. On Sat AM (6/10) winds were fading but still 55 kts from the west while tracking east with seas building to 44 ft over a small area at 58.5S 153E (220 degs NCal and SCal and unshadowed, shadowed relative to HI by NZ). Fetch was fading from 40 kts in the evening with 41 ft seas at 59S 165E (198 degs HI and unshadowed, 212 degs NCal and unshadowed, 211 degs SCal and shadowed). Fetch was rebuilding to 45 kts from the east Sun AM (6/11) south of New Zealand with seas fading from 36 ft at 60S 172.5E (209 degs NCal and 210 degs SCal and both shadowed, 192 degs HI and unshadowed). The gale dissipated from there with 40 kt west winds Sun PM and seas fading from 33 ft at 61S 180W (190 degs HI, 202 degs NCal and 203 degs SCal and unshadowed). The gale was gone after that. Possible sideband swell to result targeting Hawaii and far more direct energy for NCal and shadowed energy from Southern CA.
Southern CA: Swell builds on Tues (6/20) to 1.2 ft @ 19 secs (2.0 ft) and 1.5 ft @ 15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell fading on Wed (6/21) from 1.4 ft @ 17 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell fading Thurs (6/22) from 1.4 ft @ 16 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 202-220 degrees focused on 215 degrees
North CA: Swell builds on Tues (6/20) to 1.0 ft @ 19 secs (2.0 ft) and 1.3 ft @ 15 secs (2.0 ft). Swell fading on Wed (6/21) from 1.1 ft @ 17 secs (2.0 ft). Swell fading Thurs (6/22) from 1.1 ft @ 16 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 203-220 degrees focused on 215 degrees
Second New Zealand Storm
Another gale developed well south of Tasmania on Mon AM (6/12) with 40 kt southwest winds starting to get traction on the oceans surface. By evening a fetch of 45 kt southwest winds was lifting northeast with seas building to 30 ft at 52S 155E and shadowed by New Zealand for CA and HI. On Tues AM (6/13) the storm was lifting northeast and centered just southeast of New Zealand with winds to 50 kts from the south with seas building from 32 ft at 50S 170E but covering only a small area. On Tues PM (6/13) a small fetch of 45-50 kt south winds is to be pushing north just east of the New Zealand coast with 37 ft seas at 46S 175.5E (221 degs SCal, 220 degs NCal, 201 degs HI). On Wed AM (6/14) fetch was fading from 40 kts off North New Zealand generating 33 ft seas at 40.5S 180W. In the evening south winds were fading from 35 kts with seas fading from 25 ft at 37S 175W. This system is to be gone on Thurs AM (6/15).
Possible solid short lived swell for Tahiti given it's close proximity there. A decent pulse of energy is possible for Hawaii too. Lesser energy for the US West Coast given the small fetch size of this system and longer travel distance.
A secondary pulse of low pressure developed just southeast of New Zealand Thurs PM (6/15) with 40-45 kt south winds and seas to 24 ft at 49S 175W. That fetch lifted north Fri AM (6/16) at 35-40 kts aimed due north with seas peaking at 27 ft at 49S 167W. 35 kt south fetch continuing into the evening with barely 28 ft seas at 46S 164S. This system faded out from there. No swell to result expect for Tahiti.
Tahiti: Swell fading Tues (6/20) from 5.7 ft @ 14 secs (8.0 ft). Swell Direction: 210 degrees
Hawaii: Swell building on Tues (6/20) pushing 2.0 ft @ 16-17 secs mid-day (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell peaking on Wed (6/21) at (2.2 ft @ 15 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell fading on Thurs (6/22) from 2.0 ft @ 14 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 200 degrees
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival Wed PM (6/21) with period 20 secs and size tiny. Swell building on Thurs (6/22) to 1.5 ft @ 17-18 secs late (2.5 ft). Swell building on Fri (6/23) to 1.8 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.0 ft). Swell holding on Sat (6/24) at 2.1 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 222 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival Thurs AM (6/22) building to 1 ft @ 18 secs late (2.0 ft). Swell building on Fri (6/23) to 1.8 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.0 ft). Swell holding on Sat (6/24) at 1.7 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.5-3.0 ft).Swell Direction: 220 degrees
On Mon PM (6/13) a gale started developing off Southern Chile producing 35 kts southeast winds and seas building from 25 ft at 39S 105W aimed decently north. More of the same continued Tues AM (6/13) with seas fading from 24 ft at 38S 104W. In the evening winds built to 40 kts from the southeast lifting north with seas 27 ft at 34S 101W aimed north. Fetch continued but was fading some at 40 kts Wed AM (6/14) with seas 27 ft at 30S 100W aimed due north. Fetch started fading in the evening with seas dropping from 26 ft at 32S 95W. The gale faded from there. Small southeast angled swell is possible for Southern California with more directly energy targeting Mainland Mexico.
Southern CA: Swell continues on Tues (6/20) at 2.3 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.0 ft) with a second pulse arriving later afternoon building to 3.2 ft @ 16 secs late (5.0 ft). Swell continues Wed (6/21) at 3.2 ft @ 14-15 secs (4.5 ft). Swell fading Thurs (6/22) from 3.0 ft @ 14 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 175 degrees moving to 165 degrees.
North CA: Swell continues on Tues (6/20) at 2.0 ft @ 13 secs (2.5 ft) with a second pulse arriving later afternoon building to 2.0 ft @ 16 secs late (3.0 ft). Swell continues Wed (6/21) at 3.0 ft @ 15 secs (4.5 ft). Swell fading Thurs (6/22) from 2.8 ft @ 14 secs (4.0 ft). Residuals on Fri (6/23) (2.5 ft @ 13 secs (3.0-3.5 ft) Swell Direction: 175 degrees moving to 165 degrees.
3rd New Zealand Gale
On Sun (6/18) a storm started developing southeast of Tasmania with 55 kt west winds and seas building from 35 ft over a tiny area at 54S 150E and shadowed by New Zealand relative to NCal and HI and barely in the 222 degs window for SCal. Winds held at 55 kts from the west on Mon AM (6/19) but with the fetch falling east-southeast with seas 38 ft at 57.5S 166E (214 degs SCal and shadowed by Tahiti, 214 degs and unshadowed for NCal, and clear and in the 200 degs window for Hawaii). Fetch was 50 kts in the evening from the southwest and still falling east-southeast with seas to 43 ft at 59.5S 177E aimed east (208 degs NCal and shadowed, 209 degs SCal and barely unshadowed,192 degs HI). On Tues AM (6/20) fetch was fading from 40 kts with seas fading from 37 ft at 61S 171.5W (203 degs NCal and unshadowed, 204 degs SCal and unshadowed, 187 degs HI). This system is to be gone by evening.
This system had sold winds and seas, but was tracking east-southeast with not much momentum aimed northeast, thereby limited swell size traveling in that direction and towards our forecast area.
Swell arrival in NCal expected Wed AM (6/28) with period 20 secs.
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 starting Saturday (6/24) the gradient is to be fading over extreme north Cape Mendocino with north winds 25 kts fading to 20 kts on Sunday (6/25) collapsing to 15 kts on Monday (6/26). Windswell relative to North and Central fading commensurate with the speed of winds in the gradient. No change beyond.
For Hawaii trades to remain below the 15 kt threshold for producing windswell from Sat (6/24) through Tues (6/27).
Beyond 72 hours a cutoff low is forecast developing in the Southeast Pacific on Fri PM (6/23) with 40 kt south winds building and 25 ft seas at 58S 143W. Fetch is to be building to 45 kts Sat AM (6/24) with seas from previous fetch building to 28 ft at 54S 140W aimed north. In the evening 40 kt south fetch is to hold with 28 ft seas at 50S 140W pushing north. Sun AM (6/25) 40 kt south fetch is to continue with 29 ft seas pushing up to 45S 140W aimed north. In the evening a broad new fetch of 50 kt southeast winds are to build with 32 ft seas at 50S 125W aimed north-northwest. Mon AM (6/25) fetch is to be fading from 40 kts from the southeast with 33 ft seas at 48S 130W targeting Hawaii to California. This system is to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.
More details to follow...
24 deg Isotherm Rising In EPac - Positive Sea Level Anomalies Fading in Equatorial EPac Too
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 and is holding.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Monday (6/19) east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific including the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were weak westerly in the East Pacific and light easterly in the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): Light east anomalies were over the KWGA and forecast to hold for the next 2 days then fading to near neutral by 6/23 and hold through the end of the 7 day model run (6/27). These winds are at the 850 mb level (about 4,200 ft) and it is suspected winds will be less down at the surface. This suggests a fading Inactive Phase of the MJO is over the KWGA.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 6/19 a moderate Inactive/Dry Phase of the MJO was over the West Pacific and dateline regions. The statistical model depicts it fading in 8 days with no MJO signal in play beyond out 2 weeks. The dynamic model continues to projects the Inactive Phase holding unchanged in the West Pacific for the next 2 weeks.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (6/20) The ECMF model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO was weak over West Africa and is to disintegrate and become incoherent 2 weeks out. The GEFS depicts the Active Phase weak and holding over West Africa for the next 2 weeks.
40 day Upper Level Model: (6/20) This model depicts a modest Inactive/Dry pattern over the Central Pacific tracking east into Central America 6/28 with a weak second Inactive pulse pushing off the Philippines 6/20 tracking east and fading over the Central Equatorial Pacific 7/5. Then a weak Active Phase develops in the West Pacific 7/7 tracking to the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 7/30. And Inactive Phase to follow in the West Pacific 7/25. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (6/20) This model depicts no MJO signal over the KWGA. Neutral wind anomalies were indicated over the KWGA. But starting 6/22 west anomalies are to be developing in the KWGA and holding in some form into mid-July with a weak MJO signal projected. A legitimate Active Phase of the MJO is to fully develop in the West Pacific on 7/26 with building west anomalies moderate in strength holding till 8/31, then fading as the Inactive Phase of the MJO tries to develop in the KWGA holding through 9/17 (the end of the run). Still weak west anomalies to hold over the KWGA. But of note, east anomalies are to be from the dateline and points east of there from 7/22 onward. The west winds scenario is likely overstated as the model has been teasing at west anomalies for months and yet they never develop. The low pass filter indicates La Nina dissipated as of 6/14. But a lowpass La Nina signal is to redevelop 8/15 (previously 7/21) at 180W and points east of there with a secondary stronger core over California rather than over the KWGA. Best guess is a very weak directionless pattern is to set up or even a weak La Nina redeveloping in Fall of 2017. It will take 5 years for the Pacific to recharge from the 2014-16 El Nino.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (6/20) Actual temperatures remain stratified with warm water in the far West Pacific at 30 degs over a shallow area at 160E. The 28 deg isotherm line is steady at 147W. The 24 deg isotherm no longer reaches Ecuador or if it does is 1-2 meters deep. It is at 95 meters down at 140W but that seems likely to start rising. Anomaly wise a generic pattern of +1 deg anomalies stretches from the East to West Pacific from 100 meters upward. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 6/12 depicts a continuous stream of warm water tracking from the west to the east suggesting a Kelvin Wave is in flight towards the East Pacific. The concern remains that there is no real warm water in the far West Pacific to feed any sort of a progressive Kelvin Wave pattern. The GODAS image appears to be about 1 week behind the TAO data.
Sea Level Anomalies: (6/12) In the east 5 cm anomalies are fading in coverage only covering waters of Central America out to 100W and fading. In the west +0-5 cm anomalies are present only west of 165E on the equator. Otherwise a neutral pattern is in play over the equator.
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: (6/19) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a generalized weak warm pattern offset from the immediate South American coast. Pockets of warm water are along the equator from 100W westward tracking west, remnants of a warm event previously along South America. Upwelling along the immediate coasts of Chile, Peru and Ecuador is present but sporadic. Overall temps are cooling off South America out to 120W (2,400 nmiles off the coast). The La Nina that developed last Spring is gone and an El Nino like pattern that was trying to build after it during March-May is dissipating with a neutral pattern if not slightly cool pattern setting up off Central America down to Peru.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (6/19): A neutral trend is in control of the coast of Chile, Peru and Ecuador. Pockets of warming are present on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos out to 120W, the likely fading remnants of warming previous along Peru. A strong warming trend continues in the Northern Hemi from California pushing north of Hawaii and reaching west to the Philippines. But overall nothing remarkable is indicated.
Hi-res Overview: (6/19) A weak warm regime holds from Chile north to Ecuador and west to 140W then stronger to 140E. But it looks like a neutral temperature regime is trying to set up off South America. Pockets of cool anomalies are in the far East Pacific off Ecuador out to 120W. Overall waters of all oceans of the planet are warmer than normal. Suspect climatology needs to be updated to reflect this new reality, or the recent Super El Nino has significantly redistributed heat across the oceans.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (6/20) Today's temps are steady at +0.520, down from the peak of +3.0 degs on 3/18 and +1.0 degs on 5/2..
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (6/20) temps were steady at +0.499 degs.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (6/20) The forecast has temps steady at +0.55 degs today into early July then falling to +0.25 in early Aug down to +0.05 early Oct, then falling to -0.25 in Jan 2018, perhaps warming to neutral in March. This suggests a neutral to weak La Nina pattern setting up for the Winter of 2017-2018. CFS data (6/20) still suggests a Modoki style warming pattern over the dateline this Fall and Winter but other models are no suggesting a return of a weak La Nina pattern. There is no source for El Nino like warming with the warm pool in the far West Pacific weak and fading. Much recharging and heat buildup is required for a real El Nino to develop. We're at least 5 years out from that.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-June Plume updated (6/15) depicts temps have warmed to +0.3 degs. Temps are forecast to hold at this level for the coming 8 months suggesting a neutral pattern in control. See chart here - link. The NMME consensus depicts the same thing with temp +0.3 degrees above normal through Feb.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (6/20): The daily index was falling at -7.10 and has been negative for 20 days. The 30 day average was falling at -4.49. The 90 day average was falling at -3.97 or just south of neutral. This suggests a return to ENSO neutral conditions has taken hold.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (6/20) Today's value was falling at -1.84 or trending strongly towards La Nina. A peak low was reached on 11/2/16 at -1.94, the deepest of the past La Nina event. This measures atmospheric response, not oceanic. At this time it looks like La Nina is returning. This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO continues positive, though much weaker lately (as expected with La Nina setting in).
Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.10, Feb = +0.03, March = +0.09, April=+0.52, May=+0.36. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO. No consistently 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. 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
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