Tuesday, September 25, 2018
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 2.9 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 1.9 ft @ 10.5 secs from 180 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.3 ft @ 17.2 secs with swell 0.9 ft @ 16.6 secs from 192 degrees. Wind at the buoy was east at 2-4 kts. Water temperature 69.4 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 0.6 ft @ 16.7 secs from 189 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 0.8 ft @ 18.4 secs from 196 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.6 ft @ 18.3 secs from 217 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.2 ft @ 18.0 secs from 202 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 6.2 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 4.8 ft @ 10.3 secs from 321 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was southeast at 6-10 kts. Water temp 58.1 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 (9/25) in North and Central CA northwest windswell was producing waves to waist high or so and clean and lined up but weak. Protected breaks were thigh to waist high and clean and soft. At Santa Cruz surf was flat to thigh high and clean but very weak. In Southern California/Ventura surf was thigh to waist high on the bigger peaks and clean but slow and weak. In North Orange Co surf was flat to knee high and clean. South Orange Country's best breaks were up to chest high on the bigger sets and clean and lined up. In North San Diego surf was waist high and clean and lined up but soft. Hawaii's North Shore was near flat and clean. The South Shore was small with sets thigh to waist high and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell with waves thigh to waist high and lightly textured from light southeast wind early.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Tuesday (9/25) small southern hemi swell was starting to hit the US West Coast from a small short-lived gale in the deep Southwest Pacific on Sun-Mon (9/17) that produced a small area of 42 ft seas aimed east. For Hawaii no swell of interest was hitting. Beyond a gale is forecast for the Northwestern Gulf on Wed (9/26) producing 18 ft seas aimed south somewhat at Hawaii. And down south a gale previously forecast to push up into the Tasman Sea on Mon-Tues (9/25) has now shifted east some and is forecast to track just southeast of New Zealand with 29 ft seas aimed north on Tues-Wed (9/26). This is a significant downgrade from previous forecasts. Otherwise no swell producing fetch is forecast. We're really just waiting for the after effects of La Nina to fade in the atmosphere and for a Fall pattern if not a weak El Nino pattern to take hold.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Tuesday AM (9/25) no swell of interest was hitting and none was being produced.
Over the next 72 hours a broad low pressure system is forecast developing 1200 nmiles north of Hawaii on Tues PM (9/25) positioned in the Northwestern Gulf of Alaska producing 30-35 kt north winds and seas building targeting mainly open ocean south of there. On Wed AM (9/26) 30 kt north winds are to be building in coverage some with seas building to 18 ft at 42N 165W over a tiny area aimed south somewhat at Hawaii. In the evening fetch is to be falling south with 30 kt north winds and seas holding at 17 ft at 39N 164W aimed south with sideband energy possibly radiating towards Hawaii. The gale to fade some Thurs AM (9/27) with north winds fading from 25-30 kts about 1000 nmiles north of Hawaii with 16 ft seas at 37N 164W aimed south. The gale to fade from there. Maybe windswell to result for Hawaii. Something to monitor.
Hawaii: Possible windswell arriving later Fri (9/28) building to 3.8 ft @ 10 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell peaks on Sat (9/29) to 4.5 ft @ 11 secs (4.5 ft). Swell fades Sun AM (9/30) from 2.7 ft @ 10 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 345+ degrees
California: On Tuesday (9/25) high pressure at 1032 mbs 400 nmiles off Vancouver Island ridging south producing a pressure gradient and northeast winds at 25 kts off the Oregon-CA border making small north windswell pushing south into North and Central CA while an weak eddy flow continued over almost all of the CA coast other than Cape Mendocino. On Wednesday (9/26) high pressure is to hold off British Columbia ridging south producing northeast winds at 20 kts over the CA-Oregon border but not even reaching south to Cape Mendocino resulting in low odds of windswell reaching south to Central CA and light winds over all of the greater CA coast. On Thursday (9/27) the fetch is to fade and turn more easterly offering even less to no odds for windswell production. By Friday (9/28) the fetch is to fade away and no windswell is expected. See QuikCAST's for details.
Hawaii: On Tuesday (9/25) no organized easterly fetch at 15 kts or greater was east of the Islands with no windswell generation indicated. No change is forecast through Fri (9/28). See QuikCAST's for details.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Super Typhoon Trami: On Tuesday (9/25) Trami was 370 nmiles east-northeast of the Northern Philippines with winds 130 kts (150 mph) and stalled if not drifting north a 1 kt with seas 40 ft. A general track to the north is forecast from here forward and winds holding at 120 kts by Thurs AM (9/27) with Trami only 100 nmiles further north than today. But after that a decidedly more aggressive northward track turning northeast is forecast with Trami brushing the southern tip of South Japan Sun AM (10/30) with winds 100 kts (115 mph). the GFS model has Trami tracking up the coast of Japan and then racing north over the Kurils and then over Kamchatka mostly landlocked and not making significant northeastward progress and offering no potential for swell production. Clearly the jetstream is hot configured to push this system to the east, meaning there is no El Nino effect forecast to occur.
Tropical Storm Rosa: On Tuesday (9/25) Rosa was 500 nmiles south-southwest of Cabo San Lucas Mexico with winds 40 kts tracking west northwest. Rosa is to slowly strengthen while continuing on a west-northwest track into Fri AM (9/28) positioned 900 nmiles south of Los Angeles CA and peaking with winds 95 kts (110 kts) and starting to make a turn to the northwest pushing fetch up into the California swell window. A full turn to the north is expected by Sun AM (9/30) when Rosa is to be 600 nmiles south of Los Angeles with winds fading from 85 kts (98 mph). Theoretically swell is to be radiating north into Southern CA and exposed breaks in NCal. Best guess is arrival in SCal late on Sat (9/29) and NCal on Sun (9/30).
California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday (9/25) light winds are forecast for all of North and Central CA. Light winds to hold past that Wed (9/26) through Mon (10/1) with weak low pressure just off the Central CA coast and slowly moving east over the coast. On Tues (10/2) as the low moves inland northwest winds to start building at 10-15 kts for North and Central CA.
On Tuesday AM (9/25) the southern branch of the jetstream had formed a weak trough just southeast of New Zealand being fed by only 90-100 kt winds offering weak support for gale development. Well east of New Zealand the jet was ridging southeast pushing south to 63S over the Southeast Pacific offering no support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours the trough southeast of New Zealand is to track east into Thurs (9/27) but progressively weakening being fed by only 60-70 kts winds offering decreasing support for gale development while the ridge builds east of there pushing into Antarctica on Wednesday further shutting down potential for gale development east of the trough. Beyond 72 hours starting Sat (9/29) a ridge is to be pushing under New Zealand sweeping east to the Central South Pacific shutting down any odds fro gale development with the jet no further north than 69S if not well south of there offering no support for gale development through Mon (10/1). On Tues (10/2) a bit of a weak trough is to develop south of New Zealand but only reaching up to 65S and not really clear of the Ross Ice Shelf offering no support for gale development. But another trough is to be building south of Tasmania perhaps offering some hope if it can make it into the Southwest Pacific intact.
On Tuesday (9/25) tiny southern hemi swell from a gale that built under New Zealand over a week ago was radiating into California (See Another New Zealand Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours a gale is forecast developing south of Tasmania on Mon AM (9/24) producing a broad fetch of 35-40 kt southwest winds with seas 27 ft at 58.5S 146E. The gale lifted northeast in the evening with winds still 35-40 kts over a solid area but mostly impacting Southern New Zealand with 33 ft seas at 53S 158E and barely in the CA swell window (221 degrees). On Tues AM (9/25) southwest fetch was holding while easing east at 30-35 kts aimed northeast and just barely clear of New Zealand with seas 30 ft at 49S 170E just clear of Auckland Island and in the Hawaii (201 degrees) and CA swell windows (221-222 degrees). In the evening the gale is to barely hold with 30-35 kt south-southwest winds holding and seas 29 ft at 48S 175E free and clear of any land (200 degs HI, (220 degs CA). On Wed AM (9/26) southwest fetch of 30-35 kts is to be producing 27 ft seas at 45S 180W (220 degs CA, 200 degs HI) aimed well north. In the evening the fetch is to fade and mostly just be 30 kts from the southwest over a fragmented area with seas 24-26 ft at 49S 173W. Fetch to dissipate Thurs AM (9/27) with no seas of interest left. Possible swell for Tahiti and Hawaii but much less size for US West Coast given the relatively low wind speeds and sea heights causing significant decay on the long journey north. Something to monitor.
Another New Zealand Gale
Starting Saturday PM (9/15) a gale formed south of New Zealand with 45 kt northwest winds and seas starting to build from 27 ft at 51S 165.5E but falling southeast. On Sun AM (9/16) 50 kt west winds are to blowing east with seas 40 ft at 56.5S 173.5E but with the system falling southeast. The gale was falling southeast in the evening with winds holding at 50 kts from the west with seas building to 41 ft at 58.5S 174.5W. The gale tracked east Mon AM (9/17) while fading with winds 40 kts from the west and seas 34 ft at 57S 163W. In the evening the gale faded with west winds 35 kts and seas fading from 27 ft at 55S 153W. Given the east to southeast falling direction of this system, only small swell is expected to radiate northeast. Something to monitor.
Hawaii: No swell is forecast to radiate north.
Southern CA: Swell builds on Tues (9/25) to 2.3 ft @ 15 secs later in the day (3.5 ft). Secondary energy is to be backfilling behind Wed (9/26) building to 2.0 ft @ 16-17 secs late (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell fading some on Thurs (9/27) from 2.0 ft @ 15-16 secs early (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 203 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (9/25) building to 1.5 ft @ 15-16 secs later in the day (2.0 ft). Swell holding Wed (9/26) at 1.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft) with secondary energy backfilling to 1.3 ft @ 17-18 secs late (2.0 ft). Swell fading some on Thurs (9/27) from 1.3 ft @ 16 secs early (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 202 degrees
South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast. A gale has been continuously modeled tracking east over the dateline in the Sat-Sun (9/30) timeframe, but has recently weakened and is not forecast to produce any swell. Still, we'll continue to monitor in case it reintensifies per the model.
California: On Saturday (9/29) no winds of 15 kts or greater is forecast anywhere near California offering no windswell production potential. And no change is forecast until Tues (10/2) when weak high pressure at 1020 mbs starts building 1100 nmiles off California generating north winds at 15 kts off the coast possibly offering windswell potential for the future.
Hawaii: On Saturday (9/29) easterly fetch is supposed to be building at 15 kts extending over 600 nmiles east of the Islands associated with a tropical storm that is to be tracking west 120 nmiles south of the Big Island. If that happens easterly windswell is possible for exposed east shores of all Islands, but odds are low of the tropical system actually forming. More of the same is forecast on Sun (10/30) and with the same/equal risk of it not occurring. Mon and Tues (10/2) no easterly fetch is forecast with no windswell production forecast.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast. But the models suggest perhaps a building gale pattern pushing under New Zealand 180 hours out. Something to monitor.
Details to follow...
Upwelling Phase of Kelvin Wave Fading - ESPI Rising
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 two upwelling Kelvin Waves, and continued trying to build over equatorial waters in July and beyond, but could not sustain itself, suggesting the demise of La Nina but not yet turning towards El Nino.
LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Fall/Winter 2018 = 6.5 (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: Assuming the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that El Nino develops as forecast, and assuming and an ocean-atmospheric coupling becomes established in the Sept timeframe and ocean temperature anomalies in Nino3.4 build to the +1.0 deg range, there is good probability for enhanced storm production in the North Pacific starting in the late Nov timeframe (specifically the Gulf of Alaska and Dateline regions) with an increased intensity in number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in increased odds for larger than normal swell, with increased duration and higher than normal period.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Mon (9/24) 5 day average winds were solidly from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific then fading and turning modest westerly on the dateline and points west of there over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East Pacific then turning moderate westerly south of Hawaii and building to strong westerly in the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (9/25) strong west anomalies were in the core of the KWGA and have been for the past 2-3 days. Strong west anomalies are to hold for another 2-3 days then dissipate and turning to modest east anomalies on 9/30 continuing through the end of the model run on 10/2. So it appears we're in a mini-Westerly Wind Burst (WWB) right now.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (9/24) A weak Inactive/Dry signal was over the far West Pacific and the KWGA. The statistical model depicts that this pattern is to slowly build with a full and strong Inactive/Dry Phase in control of the KWGA at the end of week 2 in the West Pacific. The dynamic model depicts the exact same thing.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (9/25) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was moderately strong over the Atlantic and is to be hold at moderate strength slowly moving west moving over Africa at the end of the model run 2 weeks out. The GEFS model depicts a variation on the same thing but not quite as strong and still holding over the West Atlantic at the end of the model run.
40 day Upper Level Model: (9/25) This model depicts a weak Wet signal over the far East Pacific and is to push into Central America on 10/5. A strong Dry/Inactive pattern is to develop over the West Pacific 10/5 and is to track while fading filling the equatorial Pacific 10/10 but pretty weak and then pushing into Central America on 10/30. A weak Active/Wet signal is to follow in the West Pacific starting 10/20 pushing east to the Central equatorial Pacific at the end of the model run on 11/4.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (9/24) This model depicts strong west anomalies over the central KWGA today and is to hold for the next week then moving east and out of the KWGA by 10/5. Modest east anomalies are to develop over the Western KWGA 10/1 moving east and filling the KWGA by 10/10 and holding through the end of the model run on 10/22. This remains a significant downgrade from previous model runs. It seems that El Nino is trying to take root, but not coupled yet with the Inactive Phase of the MJO likely to damped development further.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (9/25) This model depicts a weak Inactive/Dry MJO signal over the western KWGA but with moderate west wind anomalies filling the KWGA and forecast to hold for the next week. Then the Inactive Phase is to build over the KWGA and in control 10/3 holding the next month through 10/27 with east anomalies reaching east almost to the dateline but then fading with west anomalies starting to develop in the heart of the KWGA on 10/18. The Active Phase of the MJO is to take root 10/28 with west anomalies building to weak WWB status at that time and holding till 11/21 when the Active Phase start fading. A weak Inactive Phase is to develop 12/2 but west anomalies holding through the end of the model run on 12/23. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias is fully in control of the KWGA reaching east to 125W at 3 contour lines and is to build east to 120W (over California) by 10/2 and to 115W in mid-October. A 4th contour line previously forecast to start 12/2 and holding through the end of the model run has now vaporized on today's run. The high pressure bias has dissolved south of California (9/11) and is to not return and is instead building over the Indian Ocean reaching 2 contour lines on 9/29. The atmosphere and ocean are slowly becoming coupled towards an El Nino bias in the Pacific Ocean. But the coupling is developing a bit less aggressively than expected. It's not clear when full coupling will occur, though we're now tempted to say mid to late Oct. This pattern is slowly becoming more favorable to support storm production in the Pacific regardless of whether El Nino develops.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (9/24) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs solid and migrating east now to 170E. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady today at 159W. The 24 deg isotherm was 125 meters deep at 140W then started getting progressively shallower east of there breaching the surface today at 115W. Anomaly wise warm waters associated with the February Kelvin Wave #1 are gone with a generalized pattern of 1-2 degree warm anomalies in the far East equatorial Pacific pushing into Ecuador. To the west warm anomalies are building indicative of the new Kelvin Wave (#2) at +3-4 degs centered under 140W down 150 meters and with a finger of +1.0 degs anomalies reaching east to Ecuador. Basically warm anomalies are filling the entire Pacific subsurface region. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 9/20 indicates the Second Kelvin Wave was pushing aggressively east from the Maritime Continent spilling into the West Pacific pushing under the dateline at +3.5 degs reaching east to 110W and then cohesive east of there to 100W but a bit broken up over the Galapagos where the remnants of the Upwelling Phase of the Kelvin Wave cycle was dissipating. Kelvin Wave #2 was poised to breach the surface from 120W continuously to 160E. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (9/20) Positive anomalies were solid from the Maritime Continent over the West Equatorial Pacific and dateline and broad in coverage east to 120W at +5-15 cms indicative of a new Kelvin Wave (#2) building and pushing east. East of there it weakened some with 5 cms anomalies in pockets continuing to Ecuador. El Nino appears to be developing.
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: (9/24) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate temps were biased cool along the outer coast of Peru and Chile but warmer nearshore than days past. A thin stream of warm anomalies were holding directly over the equator from Ecuador westward to 160W. Generic warm anomalies were north of there from Central America and south of Mexico building out to Hawaii. Small pockets of persistent cool upwelling on the equator near 105W have significantly shrunk in coverage today. The remnants of the La Nina cool pool were gone.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (9/24): 2 previous pockets of cooling on the equator are all but gone, one at 98W and the other at 105W. They are being replaced by a generalized warming trend. Otherwise weak warming was strung along the equator from the Galapagos to 140W. Temps were neutral along the coasts of Chile and Peru.
Hi-res Overview: (9/24) A pocket of weak cool water was present along the coasts of Chile and Peru. Otherwise mild warm water was holding on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos out to the dateline with multiple small imbedded pockets of cool anomalies but those pockets are fading. We're still in a mixed pattern where La Nina cool anomalies are all but gone but warm anomalies for El Nino are not yet really established.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (9/25) Today's temps are rising quickly today at +1.316. Two previous peaks occurred of +0.510 degs on 9/17 and +0.459 on 5/13. Otherwise temps have been steady in the -0.50 deg range.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (9/25) Today temps were rising today at +0.271 or just above neutral, down from a peak at +0.490 on 7/2. Overall temps are slowly and steadily fading from the +0.25 degs range the past month. This looks nothing like El Nino.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (9/25) The forecast calls for a steady increase from here forward rising Oct 1 to +0.70 degs and to +1.10 degs in early Nov holding through April 2019 then slowly fading through May 2019 down to +0.80 degs. This suggests that perhaps El Nino is to build through the Fall of 2018. Most other models are also suggesting a possible turn to weak El Nino conditions by late Fall.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Sept Plume depicts temps at +0.52 degs in August (predicted at +0.6 last month) and are to slowly rise from here forward, to +0.71 in October (+0.8 per last months forecast) and +0.8 to +0.9 in Nov through March 2019, then slowly fading to 0.7 in May. See chart here - link. It looks like La Nina is fading out and there's a 76% chance of a weak El Nino developing.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad) (9/25): The daily index was still negative -10.52. The 30 day average was falling some today at -6.88 suggesting an Active MJO was holding. The 90 day average was falling at -4.16. The 90 degree average turned negative for the first time in a year on 6/30 suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was building in the atmosphere. This is expected for a month more before falling into steady negative territory by mid August.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (9/25) Today the index was rising at -0.23 after falling to -0.43 on 9/22. It fell below it's all time recent high of +0.24 on 9/8. The reading from 8/14 (+0.11) was the first time it's turned positive in a year. But this recent turn to negative suggest that perhaps La Nina is not gone or at a minimum the Upwelling Phase of the Kelvin Wave Cycle is occurring. In reality, we're in ENSO neutral state now and it's not unexpected that the Index will toggle between weakly positive to weakly negative. Recent points of interest in reverse chronological order are: -1.04 on 6/5, -0.70 on 5/20, -0.60 on 5/17, -0.36 on 5/11 and -0.38 on 5/10, -0.35 on 4/26, -1.02 on 4/5, -1.13 on 3/27. The trend suggests La Nina is all but gone. This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina situations.
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 -0.88, July -0.23. 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. No real negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data strongly suggests that could be a possibility. By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.
See imagery in the ENSO Powertool
External Reference Material: El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), Kelvin Wave
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table