Tuesday, September 3, 2019
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai) Seas were 2.9 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 2.1 ft @ 14.4 secs from 202 degrees.
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.8 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 2.5 ft @ 9.6 secs from 310 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.7 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 1.8 ft @ 13.5 secs from 167 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north at 2 kts. Water temperature 68.7 degs (46086). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 4.2 ft @ 7.7 secs from 303 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.4 ft @ 13.5 secs from 204 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.8 ft @ 13.2 secs from 207 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.0 ft @ 13.3 secs from 199 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 4.9 ft @ 5.9 secs with swell 1.7 ft @ 13.6 secs from 206 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 13-18 kts. Water temp 56.1 degs (013) and 57.4 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 (9/3) in North and Central CA surf was waist high and warbled but not chopped from local northwest wind. Protected breaks were waist high and a little textured and warbled and wonky but rideable if you had to. At Santa Cruz surf was thigh to occasionally waist high and clean and soft. In Southern California/Ventura waves were knee to thigh high and clean and weak. In North Orange Co waves were waist high on the sets and clean though inconsistent. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were chest to shoulder high on the sets on the peak and soft and clean. North San Diego had surf at waist high on the sets and clean but very soft. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean early. The South Shore was thigh to waist high on the sets and clean and slow. The East Shore was near flat with no real east windswell or waves and lightly chopped from modest northeasterly trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Tuesday (9/3) in California no real swell was hitting. For Hawaii no swell was hitting either. The first in a series of small gales developed under New Zealand on Wed-Thurs (8/29) with up to 39 ft seas, but mainly falling and aimed southeast at Antarctica. No swell to result. But another developed right behind Thurs-Fri (8/30) producing up to 43 ft seas aimed due east. Swell from that one is tracking northeast. And a third developed Fri-Sun (9/1) producing up to 41 ft seas aimed east-northeast offering some better hope. And yet a fourth developed Sun-Tues (9/3) with seas building to 43 ft aimed northeast nearly traversing the South Pacific. But in all cases, fetch size was small, limiting the fetch's footprint and ability to generate significant swell momentum. In the North Pacific a small gale developed in the Northwestern Gulf Sat-Mon (9/1) with 36 ft seas aimed east. Swell is radiating towards HI and CA. But after that a weak storm and swell pattern is forecast both North and South. The transition to Fall is starting to occur, but weakly.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
No swell of interest was hitting California or Hawaii. Swell was propagating east from a gale previously in the Northwestern Gulf (See Northwestern Gulf Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours a small low pressure system is to build in the Central Gulf lifting north on Wed AM (9/4) producing 30+ kt north winds no getting good traction on the oceans surface. The gale is to continue lifting north in the evening with 30-35 kts northwest winds producing 18 ft seas at 44N 149W aimed southeast. The gale is to stall on Thurs AM (9/5) with 30+ kt northwest winds and seas 14 ft targeting the Pacific Northwest down into Northern CA at 44N 146W. In the evening the gale is to start fading with 25 kt northwest wind and seas fading from 12 ft at 44N 147W aimed southeast. Something to monitor.
Northwestern Gulf Gale
A small gale started to develop on the northern dateline region on Fri PM (8/30) producing 35-40 kt north to northwest winds with seas starting to build. On Sat AM (8/31) the gale was blooming with 45-50 kt northwest winds and seas 32 ft over a tiny area at 47N 176W aimed southeast. In the evening the gale swept east comfortably in the Northwestern Gulf with 45 kt west winds with 37 ft seas at 49N 169.5W aimed east. On Sun AM (9/1) the gale was lifting northeast slightly with 35 kt west winds reasonably well south of the Eastern Aleutians with 33 ft seas at 51.5N 163W aimed east. In the evening 30 kt easterly fetch was holding somewhat exposed south of the Aleutians with 25 ft seas fading at 54N 157.5W aimed east. On Mon AM (9/2) the gale was gone with it's core in the Eastern Bering Sea offering no more sea production potential. The first modest swell of the Fall 2019-2020 season is to result.
Oahu: Expect swell arrival starting Tues (9/3) building to 2.8 ft @ 14 secs later (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell holding on Wed (9/4) at 2.8 ft @ 12-13 secs (3.5 ft). Residuals fading on Thurs (9/5) from 2.2 ft @ 11 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 332 degrees
North CA: Expect the first signs of this swell arriving on Tues (9/3) pushing 2 ft @ 19 secs late (3.5 ft). Swell peaking on Wed (9/4) at 4.2 ft @ 15-16 secs (6.5 ft) but shadowed by the Faralones in the SF Bay Area. Swell fading on Thurs (9/5) from 4.0 ft @ 13 secs (5.0 ft). Residuals on Fri (9/6) fading from 3.0 ft @ 11-12 secs (3.5 ft). Swell DIrection: 303 degrees
No meaningful windswell is expected for California or Hawaii until maybe Tues (9/3) afternoon when north winds starting building to 15 kts along the entire North and Central CA coast. Also a small fetch of 15 kt east winds is to develop 300 nmiles east of the Big Island of Hawaii possibly starting to produce windswell propagating west. On Wed (9/4) northwest winds at 15+ kts are forecast from Pt Arena to Pt Conception offering some minimal support for windswell production. East fetch at 15-20 kts is to hold from 200-900 nmiles east of the Big Island offering some odds for windswell production for all Islands. On Thurs (9/5) north winds are to be gone offering no coverage over North and Central CA waters offering no support for windswell production relative to CA. A weak tropical low is to be 600 nmiles south-southeast of the Big Island producing an area of east winds at 15 kts extending up to 800 nmiles east of the Islands offering some odds for weak windswell production radiating west. Fri (9/6) no fetch is expected along the California coast. A building fetch of east winds at 15 kts is forecast over the Hawaiian Islands and extending east 900 nmiles offering improved odds for windswell production along east facing shores of all the Islands.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Hurricane Juliette was positioned 360 nmiles southwest of Cabo San Lucas Mexico on Tues AM (9/3) tracking northwest with winds 100 kts (115 mph) producing 25 ft seas. Juliette is to build in the evening with winds to 115 kts (135 mph) at 18.5N 115.5W or on the 168 degree path to Dana Point and 950 nmiles away aimed only tangentially in that direction. Swell peaking in Southern CA in 47 hours assuming a 13 sec period or on Thurs PM (9/5). On Wed (9/4) Juliette is to turn a little more westerly with winds fading from 100 kts (115 mph) offering less support for swell development. No more swell production likely. Julliette to fade from there while holding on a west-northwesterly track.
Southern CA: Expect small swell to start hitting on Wed afternoon (9/4) pushing 3.0 ft @ 12 secs (3.5 ft). Swell building some through the day Thurs (9/5) to 3.7 ft @ 12-13 secs (4.5 ft). Swell fading on Fri (9/6) from 3.5 ft @ 11-12 secs (4.0 ft). Nothing left on Sat (9/7). Swell Direction:
California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday (9/3) 15 kts northwest winds were in pockets along the North and Central CA coasts. Wednesday (9/4) northwest winds are forecast at 15+ kts for all of North and Central CA and more continuous. Thurs (9/5) and Fri (9/6) north winds are to be 15 kts mainly for the Pt Conception area with northwest winds 10 kts for the remainder of North and Central CA then continuing into Sat (9/7), but building to 15+ kts everywhere later. Sunday (9/8) northwest winds to be on the increase building to 20 kts over all of the region later and up to 25 kts for Pt Conception. Mon (9/10) northwest winds are to be 20-25 kts for all of North and Central CA holding on Tues (9/10) in NCal but pulling away from the coast to Central CA from Pt Reyes southward.
Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts).
On Saturday (8/31) the jetstream was well split with the influential southern branch of the jet ridging south under New Zealand but weak but still offering no support for gale development there then lifting northeast over the Central South Pacific forming a trough being fed by no wind of interest with it's apex at 48S 147W offering very limited odds for gale development then ridging hard south over the Southeast Pacific offering nothing. Over the next 72 hours the trough is to steadily weaken while tracking east and be all but gone on Thurs (9/5) while the ridge under New Zealand builds stronger and sweeping east filling the Southwest and most of the South Central Pacific offering no support for gale development and continuing into Fri (9/6). Beyond 72 hours starting Sat (9/7) the southern branch of the jet is to be ridging south traversing the entire South Pacific down at 65S under New Zealand reaching down over Antarctica in the Southeast Pacific and offering nothing in terms of support for gale development with that pattern holding unchanged through the end of the model run on Tues (9/10).
Swell from a gale previously in the Tasman Sea is fading out in California (see Tasman Sea Gale below). A gale developed under New Zealand falling southeast (See First New Zealand Gale below) followed by a more interesting gale behind (see Second New Zealand Gale below). And third gale developed under New Zealand behind that tracking northeast (See Third New Zealand Gale below). And yet a 4th gale developed behind that (See 4th new Zealand Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
Tasman Sea Gale
On Tuesday AM (8/20) a gale started building just south of Tasmania producing 40 kt southwest winds and seas to 35 ft at 46S 148E aimed northeast. In the evening 35-40 kt southwest winds were building north into the Tasman Sea proper with 34 ft seas 46S 151E targeting Fiji. On Wed AM (8/21) 30-35 kt southwest winds were almost filling the Tasman Sea with 30-36 ft seas at 45S 155.5E aimed northeast targeting Fiji. In the evening secondary fetch built at 35-40 kts filling the western Tasman Sea aimed north with 28-30 ft seas at 42S 155E aimed northeast. On Thurs AM (8/22) south fetch at 35 kts was filling the Tasman Sea with seas 28-30 ft slid at 32S-42S and 160E aimed north. Fetch was fading fast in the evening at 30 kts with seas fading from 26-28 ft at 39S 164E aimed north. The gale fading from there.
Hawaii: Dribbles fading Sat AM (8/31) from 1.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 215 degrees
Southern CA: Residuals fading on Tues (9/3) from 1.8 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 230 degrees
North CA: Residuals fading on Tues (9/3) from 1.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 230 degrees
First New Zealand Gale
A tiny storm developed just south of New Zealand on Wed AM (8/28) with 50-55 kts west winds over a small sized fetch area and seas building from 39 ft aimed east to southeast at 59S 171.5E. In the evening 45 kt west winds were over a small area with the core of the gale falling southeast with seas 39 ft at 61S 177.5 aimed east to southeast. On Thurs AM (8/29) fetch was fading from 35 kts from the west with the core of the gale tracking east and seas fading from 31 ft at 62.5S 168W aimed east and nearly impacting Antarctic Ice. The gale is to dissipate and track southeast from there over the Ross Ice Shelf. Doubtful much if any swell will be radiating northeast given it's southeasterly trajectory.
Second New Zealand Gale
Another gale developed south of New Zealand on Thurs AM (9/29) with 45-55 kt southwest winds with the gale itself tracking east and up to 39 ft seas at 57.5S 168E aimed east. In the evening a core of 45 kt southwest winds built pushing east with a tiny area of 43 ft seas building at 55S 178.5E aimed east. On Fri AM (8/30) southwest winds were building in coverage but fading in velocity at 35-40 kts with 37 ft seas at 55S 171W aimed northeast. Fetch was collapsing through the day and gone by evening with seas mainly from previous fetch fading from 30 ft at 57S 161W aimed east. Maybe some small swell to result.
Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (9/5) building to 1.6 ft @ 18 secs later (2.5-3.0 ft). On Fri (9/6) swell holding at 1.6 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.5 ft) but getting swamped by stronger swell. Swell Direction: 198 degrees
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri afternoon (9/6) with period 19 secs and size not noticeable. Swell building on Sat (9/7) to 1.6 ft @ 18 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell getting swamped by other stronger swell on Sun (9/8). Swell Direction: 213 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri afternoon (9/6) with period 19 secs and size not noticeable. Swell building on Sat (9/7) to 1.6 ft @ 18 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell getting swamped by other stronger swell on Sun (9/8). Swell Direction: 212 degrees
Third New Zealand Gale
Yet a third small gale developed under New Zealand on Fri AM (9/30) with 50 kts southwest winds and seas on the increase from 30 ft at 57S 168E aimed east. In the evening southwest winds were 50-55 kt over a modest area aimed northeast with seas 44 ft over a tiny area at 55S 179.5E aimed east-northeast. On Sat AM (8/31) 45 kt southwest winds were in-play with 36 ft seas at 50.5S 169W aimed east-northeast. In the evening 40 kts southwest winds were fading aimed northeast with 33 ft seas at 48.5S 159W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (9/1) the gale was fading with barely 35 kts southwest winds remaining and 29-30 ft seas fading at 47S 151W aimed northeast. More swell is to be radiating northeast.
Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Fri (9/6) building to 2.0 ft @ 18 secs later (3.5 ft). On Sat (9/7) swell to be fading from 2.2 ft @ 16-17 secs early (3.5 ft). Residuals fading on Sun (9/8) from 2.0 ft @ 14 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 193 degrees
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat afternoon (9/7) with swell building to 1.6 ft @ 19 secs (3.0 ft). Swell building on Sun (9/8) to 2.4 ft @ 18 sec (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell building on Mon (9/9) to 2.5 ft @ 16-17 (4.0 ft). Swell fading Tues (9/10) from 2.1 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 213 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat afternoon (9/7) with swell building to 1.6 ft @ 19 secs (3.0 ft). Swell building on Sun (9/8) to 2.2 ft @ 18 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell steady on Mon (9/9) at 2.3 ft @ 17 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell fading on Tues (9/10) from 2.0 ft 15-16 secs early (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 206-211 degrees
4th New Zealand Gale
And yet a larger 4th gale is to follow under New Zealand on Sat PM (8/31) producing a broad area of 35-40 kt west winds and seas building from 29 ft at 55S 155E aimed east. On Sun AM (9/1) a broad fetch of southwest winds developed with a core at 50 kts just south of New Zealand with 35 ft seas building at 56S 170.5E aimed northeast. In the evening the gale was lifting solidly northeast with 50-55 kt southerly fetch developing with 43 ft seas building at 53S 177.5W aimed northeast. On Mon AM (9/2) a solid fetch of 50 kt southwest winds were pushing northeast with seas 43 ft at 50S 166W aimed northeast. In the evening southwest winds were fading and pushing northeast at 45 kts with seas 41 ft at 48S 157.5W aimed northeast. On Tues AM (9/3) southwest winds were 35 kts over a broad area in the Central South Pacific with 35 ft seas at 45.5S 151W. Fetch is to be fading fast from 30-35 kts in the evening with seas fading from 29 ft at 45S 143W aimed northeast. Something to monitor.
Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Sat (9/7) building to 2.0 ft @ 20-21 secs late (4.0 ft). Swell peaking on Sun (9/8) at 2.3 ft @ 18 secs (4.0 ft) holding all day. Swell fading some on Mon (9/9) from 2.1 ft @ 16 secs early (3.0 ft). Residuals fading on Tues (9/10) from 1.7 ft @ 14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 189 degrees
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon (9/9) at sunset with period 20-21 secs and size barely noticeable (1.4 ft @ 20-21 secs - 2.5 ft). Swell building on Tues (9/10) to 2.0 ft @ 18-19 secs later (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 206 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon (9/9) at sunset with period 20-21 secs and size barely noticeable (1.4 ft @ 20-21 secs - 2.5 ft). Swell building on Tues (9/10) to 2.0 ft @ 18-19 secs later (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 206 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 clearly defined swell producing weather systems are forecast. But the transition from Summer to Fall is to continue with a steadily building pattern of low pressure and windswell production starting to evolve.
Sat (9/7) high pressure is to be building in the Gulf of Alaska but not yet reaching California other than Pt Conception generating northwest winds at 15-20 kts there but near calm from Big Sur northward offering no real windswell production potential. For Hawaii trades are to hold at 15 kts solid up to 900 nmiles east of the Hawaiian Islands producing windswell there. On Sun (9/8) a gradient and north winds are to develop over Pt Conception and down over the Channel ISlands but not north of there producing north winds at 20+ kts likely offering no windswell production potential for California. For Hawaii the tropical low is to be south of the Big Island producing east winds at 15 kts up to 600 nmiles east of all Islands resulting in windswell. On Monday (9/9) high pressure at 1026 mbs is to be in the Central Gulf producing northwest winds at 15 kts for all of North CA and up to 20+ kts for Pt Conception generating northerly windswell along the North and Central CA coast. East winds east of Hawaii are to fade to existing only in patches with windswell starting to fade out along the east shores of the Hawaiian Islands. On Tues (9/10) northwest winds to be fading at 15-20 kts in patches along the North and Central CA Coast offering limited odds for windswell production. East trades are to be generally less than 15 kts relative to Hawaii offering no windswell production potential.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
Models and Reality Divergent
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.
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 (9/2) 5 day average winds were solidly from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific shrinking in coverage but still present over the Central Pacific with east winds at moderate strength extending west to the dateline then fading and turning calm from 160E and points west of there over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East and Central equatorial Pacific to 170E then turning weakly westerly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (9/3) westerly anomalies were building in the core of the KWGA with weak mixed neutral pattern holding elsewhere. The forecast is for westerly anomalies building in the KWGA over the coming week filling the KWGA with west anomalies at the end of the model run on 9/9. A building Active Phase of the MJO is forecast over the next 7 days.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (9/2) A weak Active MJO pattern was in control of the KWGA today. The statistic model indicates it is to hold for the next 5 days, then start fading returning to a neutral pattern at day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model indicates the same thing initially, but perhaps a weakly developing Inactive Pattern setting up at day 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (9/3) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was exceedingly weak in strength over the Maritime Continent and is to migrate slowly east to the West Pacific 15 days out and still very weak. The GEFS model suggests the Active Phase migrating to the far West Pacific and exceedingly weak at day 15 of the model run and stalling there.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (9/3) This model depicts the Active Phase was developing over the far West Pacific and is to slowly east east while losing energy moving over the Central Pacific and dissipating over Central America on 9/30. A modest Inactive MJO is to be setting up over the far West Pacific 10/3 easing east through the end of the model run on 10/13 and over the Central Pacific at that time.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (9/2) This model depicts no MJO signal present in the Pacific today but with modest west anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast depicts these west anomalies building in coverage completely filling the KWGA and areas east of there by 9/6 and holding solidly through the end of the model run on 9/30.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (9/3) This model depicts a neutral MJO pattern over the KWGA today but with weak west anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast has a dead neutral MJO signal holding from now through 9/10 when a very weak Active MJO develops holding through 10/1. A weak Inactive Phase is to follow 9/25 through 10/20 followed by a continued weak MJO pattern through the end of the model run (11/31). During that entire period weak west anomalies are to hold in the core of the KWGA if not building pretty solid from 10/18 through 11/20. The low pass filter changed on 7/25 and is building yet more today with a low pressure bias with 1 contour line in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to California. This single remaining contour line is to hold while a second contour line develops 10/21 and possibly a third contour line on 11/22 while a high pressure bias builds in the Indian Ocean. If this pattern holds into early Fall it would constitute a significant upgrade. This model indicates that a weak El Nino pattern is to maybe rebuild. That is not believable at this early date given the water temperature situation in the Pacific today.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (9/3) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs over a decent size area retrograding west to 178E while the 29 deg isotherm was steady at 172W today. The 28 deg isotherm line was retrograding to 162W today. The 24 deg isotherm previously pushed into Ecuador at 30 meters down, but retrograded on 7/11 from 107W to 125W today. Anomaly wise, gentle warm anomalies are filling the West Pacific at +1-2 degs from the surface to 150 meters down (deepest on the dateline) and indicative of a possible stationary Kelvin Wave #5 there reaching east to 150W. East of there in the East Pacific NO warm anomalies remained with a cool pocket with a core at -1 degs down 100 meters at 130W but fading compared to days past. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 8/26 indicates warm water from Westerly Wind Burst #5 has formed a small stationary Kelvin Wave under the Dateline with cool anomalies from 150W into Ecuador drawing up from depth to the surface. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (8/26) A small area of weak positive anomalies were on the dateline from 165E to 165W. Negative anomalies were fading west from Ecuador at -5 cms reaching to 150W but still suggestive of La Nina.
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: (9/2) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate weak warm anomalies are present north of the equator from Central America west to 140W and holding in coverage and then with broader coverage west of 140W to the dateline. Of more interest was a pool of cool waters along the coasts of Chile up to Peru then streaming west on the equator off Ecuador over the Galapagos and out to 160W solidly suggestive of La Nina. That stream appears to be rebuilding some today from the Galapagos to 100W. Warm anomalies south of the equator are steady but very weak today from just of Peru east to 140W centered on 10S. There had been a steady push towards the evaporation of El Nino in the East equatorial Pacific with La Nina developing there.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (9/2): A solidly cooler trend has set up on the equator from Ecuador to 145W with a few interspersed pockets of warming intermixed. The trend is definitely towards the cooler end of the spectrum.
Hi-res Overview: (9/2) A clear La Nina cool stream was pushing west starting with a broad bubble of cool water along Chile and Peru then streaming west off Ecuador to 175W indicative of La Nina. Warmer than normal water was straddling the equator from the remnants of El Nino, mainly north of the equator and all but gone south of the equator starting to form a cool triangle from South Chile northwest to the dateline then end to Ecuador. El Nino appears to be in retreat and La Nina appears to be developing.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (9/3) Today's temps were steady today at -0.503 degs, but have been pretty consistently negative since June 1.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (9/3) Today's temps were steady at -0.392 degs after bottoming out on 8/28 at -0.510 degs. The trend has been generally downward since mid-June.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (9/3) The model indicates a cooling trend set up with temps down to -0.05 degs in early August. The forecast has temps rising through Sept into early Oct reaching +0.45 degs then rising from there to +0.50 degrees in Dec to +0.6 degs in late Dec. On Jan 1 2020 temps are to be holding at about +0.65 holding steadily into May 2020. According to this model a neutral to weak El Nino sea surface temperature pattern is forecast.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Aug 2019 Plume depicts temps are at +0.30 degs in August, and are to hold in the +0.50 range into Dec/Jan, then fading slightly to +0.45 in May/April 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) (9/3): The daily index was negative today at -16.70. The 30 day average was negative at -3.22. The 90 day average was falling at -6.43, 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): (April) +0.34, March +1.0, Feb +1.29, Jan +0.193. It is approaching El Nino territory but still indicted mostly ENSO neutral conditions.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly positive, even though La Nina is in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values: June 2017 +0.21, July -0.50, Aug -0.62, Sept -0.25, Oct -0.61, Nov -0.45, Dec -0.13, Jan 2018 +0.29, Feb -0.19, Mar -0.61, April -0.89, May -0.69, June -0.85, July -0.09, Aug -0.43, Sept -0.46, Oct -0.75, Nov -0.78, Dec -0.12, Jan -0.23, Feb -0.55 This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO, even with La Nina, because the warm PDO appears to be dampening the effects of La Nina. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): June 2017 +0.79, July +0.10, Aug +0.09, Sept +0.32, Oct +0.05, Nov +0.15, Dec +0.50, Jan +0.70. Feb +0.37, Mar -0.05, April +0.11, May +0.11, June -0.04, July +0.11, Aug +0.18, Sept +0.09. No real negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data strongly suggests that could be a possibility. By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.
See imagery in the ENSO Powertool
External Reference Material: El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), Kelvin Wave
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