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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, October 12, 2017 4:09 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
1.9 - California & 1.5 - Hawaii
Using the 'Summer' 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 10/9 thru Sun 10/15

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   

Another S. Hemi Swell Pushing North
Windswell In Contrl For CA - Building For HI


On Thursday, October 12, 2017 :

  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.0 ft @ 7.7 secs with windswell 2.3 ft @ 7.9 secs from 106 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.0 ft @ 7.7 secs with northwest windswell 1.8 ft @ 9.2 secs from 273 degrees. Wind at the buoy was south at 2-4 kts. Water temperature 68.4 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 2.4 ft @ 11.6 secs from 264 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.0 ft @ 10.3 secs from 265 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.4 ft @ 17.5 secs from 215 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 3.9 ft @ 10.2 secs from 287 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 10.8 ft @ 10.8 secs with local north windswell 7.8 @ 10.3 secs from 314 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north at 18-21 kts. Water temp 54.5 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).
- 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).
- 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.
- up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.

Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.


Current Conditions
On Thursday (10/12) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing waves at exposed breaks at head high and clean with just a slight warbled intermixed. Not bad. Protected breaks were shoulder to maybe head high and clean but soft. At Santa Cruz waves were waist to maybe chest high and weak and a bit warbled and soft. In Southern California up north windswell was producing waves at waist to chest high and clean and lined up. In North Orange Co set waves were still coming from the southern hemi at waist to maybe chest high and clean with a slight south texture on it. In South Orange Co southern hemi swell was still hitting with sets chest high and textured but mostly clean. In San Diego surf was waist high and clean and weak. Hawaii's North Shore was knee to maybe waist high and clean and weak. The South Shore was maybe waist high on the sets and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell at knee high and lightly textured from light southeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (10/12) local north windswell was still producing surf in North and Central California. And residual southern hemi swell was still producing something barely rideable in Southern CA. But no swell was hitting Hawaii. A gale formed in the Western Bering Sea Wed-Thurs (10/12) with some fetch pushing just south of the Western Aleutians producing 28 ft seas just barely exposed to the North Pacific. Maybe some background swell to result for Hawaii but confidence is low. A gale is to form on the dateline on Mon (10/16) with seas building from 30 ft pushing east eventually forecast to move into the Gulf of Alaska on Wed (10/18) with 35 ft possibly generating larger swell for the US West Coast and Hawaii. Down south a gale developed in the Central South Pacific Sun-Tues (10/10) producing up to 38 ft seas over a tiny area aimed well northeast. Small southern hemi swell is pushing north. Another gale is forecast for the far Southeast Pacific on Sat (10/14) with 38 ft seas barely in the CA swell window aimed north. And another gale is forecast tracking under New Zealand on Sun (10/15) with up to 40 ft seas over a small area aimed east. So there's potential both north and south.


Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

On Thursday AM (10/12) the jetstream was pushing east off the Southern Kurils Islands on the 44N latitude line with winds to 160 kts reaching the dateline then starting to ridge north tracking over the Eastern Aleutians and up into Alaska and no returning to the Pacific. There was limited support for gale development mainly in the Western Bering Sea. Over the next 72 hours
the jet is to continue to push east with the ridge all but gone by Sat (10/14) flowing generally east on the 45N latitude line pushing through the Gulf of Alaska and into Central Canada up at 50N. Winds are to build from the Kurils to the Western Gulf on Sun (10/15) at 150 kts over the entire region, but no troughs are forecast. Still, a more favorable upper level environment for gale development is indicated. Beyond 72 hours the same basic pattern is to hold and by Mon (10/16) a weak trough is to start developing in the flow over the Northern Gulf of Alaska being fed by 130 kt winds and pushing east moving inland over Vancouver Island on Tues (10/17) offering limited support for gale development. Also on Tues (10/17) a healthy flow of wind energy is to develop on the dateline pushing east at 180 kts carving out another trough in the Gulf on Wed (10/18) offering good support for gale development. And yet more generalized troughing is forecast in the Gulf by Fri (10/20). Maybe Fall is to start in earnest now.

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (10/12) local generated north windswell was hitting North and Central CA. Maybe some tiny swell from a fetch south of the Western Aleutians is radiating southeast towards Hawaii (see West Bering Sea Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours only local north windswell is in the forecast for California, and east windswell for Hawaii.

For windswell relative to California: On Thurs (10/12) high pressure at 1040 mbs was in the Central Gulf of Alaska ridging east forming a pressure gradient producing north winds off the Pacific northwest coast at 20-25 kts and also off mainly Central CA generating 30 kt north winds resulting in raw local windswell from Pt Reyes southward to Pt Conception. Fetch is to fade to 25 kts on Fri (10/13) with somewhat smaller windswell resulting. Sat (10/14) high pressure is to still be in the Gulf at 1040 mbs ridging east forming the usual pressure gradient along the North and Central CA coast generating 25-30 kts north winds over Cape Mendocino but with an eddy flow (south winds) trying to develop nearshore for all of Central CA making for somewhat cleaner local north windswell. And by Sun (10/15) north winds to be fading from 25 kts early over Cape Mendocino while the eddy flow continues nearshore south of there and with the gradient and north winds fading to 20 kts late. Windswell fading in size.

For windswell relative to Hawaii: On Thurs (10/12) high pressure developing in the Gulf of Alaska (see above) was starting to produce a fetch of east winds at 15-20 kts 300 nmiles east of the Islands perhaps starting to generating east windswell radiating west towards exposed east facing shores. That fetch is to build in coverage east of the Islands and starting to push over the Islands on Fri (10/13) and extending from California the whole way over Hawaii at near 20 kts offering great potential for windswell development. Sat (10/14) high pressure is to still be in control 1200 nmiles northeast of Hawaii still generating a broad fetch of 20 kt east winds filling the area between Hawaii and the mainland though more focused 500 nmiles east of Hawaii generating more east windswell then becoming completely focused near Hawaii on Sun (10/15). Local windswell to continue.


West Bering Sea Gale
A gale developed in the Western Bering Sea Wed AM (10/11) with 40 kt west winds barely extending south of the Western Aleutians generating 23 ft seas at 50N 174E aimed east. In the evening fetch increased in coverage but only at 30 kts with 28 ft seas at 52N 175E. Fetch lifted north on Thurs AM (10/12) fading in coverage from 30 kts south of the Aleutians with 25 ft seas fading at 51N 175E. Low odds of small swell radiating towards Hawaii.

Hawaii: Low odds of small background swell arriving on Sun (10/15) at 2.2 ft @ 16 secs later (3.5 ft). Swell fading Mon (10/16) from 2.2 ft @ 14 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 330 degrees


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


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest were occurring and none were forecast.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday (10/12) high pressure at 1040 mbs was in the Central Gulf of Alaska moving east generating the usual pressure gradient along the CA coast generating 30 kt north winds from Pt Arena south to a point off Morro Bay but lighter nearshore. More of the same is forecast Friday (10/13) but with north winds down some at 25 kts over the same area. Saturday (10/14) the north winds are to become progressively isolated to North CA at 25-30 kts through the day but only 15 kts for Central CA early. Sunday (10/15) north winds are to be 25 kts over Cape Mendocino early and light offshore (northeast) from Pt Arena southward. Mon-Wed (10/18) a light pressure and wind pattern is forecast for all of North and Central CA. A front is to possibly impact the North Coast weakly on Thurs (10/19) with light winds early turning northwest 15 kts later in North CA and up to 20 kts for Pt Conception later.

South Pacific

Surface Analysis  
On Thursday (10/12) tiny sideband swell from a gale that developed off New Zealand on Tues (10/3) was radiating northeast (see Small New Zealand Gale below). Also a gale tracked through the South Central Pacific (see Central Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours two systems of interest are forecast.

On Sat AM (10/14) a small gale is forecast developing in the far Southeast Pacific on the edge of the California swell window with 45 kt south winds and seas 29 ft over a solid area at 60S 121.5W. In the evening 45 kt south winds to be pushing north-northeast with 38 ft seas at 55S 117W aimed north and northeast. On Sun AM (10/15) fetch is to be fading from 40-45 kts moving northeast with seas fading from 39 ft at 50S 109W. The gale is to fade and move rapidly east from there. Very south angled swell is possible for California but better focused for Mexico southward into South America.

Another gale (actually a storm) is forecast developing under New Zealand on Sat PM (10/14) with 55 kt southwest winds and seas building from 34 ft at 54S 165E tracking due east. On Sun AM (10/15) 50 kt southwest winds to continue tracking east with 41 ft seas building at 54S 176E. The gale is to be fading fast in the evening with winds dropping from 40-45 kts from the southwest with seas fading from 34 ft at 55S 175W. The gale is to be gone after that. Something to monitor.


Small New Zealand Gale
A small gale developed under New Zealand on Mon PM (10/2) with 45 kt west winds and seas 32 ft over a tiny area at 53S 175E tracking east. On Tues AM (10/3) southwest winds built to 50-55 kt with 38 ft seas over a small area at 49S 170W. The storm rapidly faded in the evening with southwest winds dropping from 40 kts and seas 34 ft at 47S 161W. Wed AM (10/4) winds were fading from 35 kts from the southwest and seas 29 ft at 47S 152W. This system dissipated after that. Small southerly swell to result.

South California: Expect swell arrival on Fri (10/13) pushing 1.0 ft @ 17-18 secs later (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell continues on Sat (10/14) at 1.5 ft @ 16 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell fading Sun (10/15) from 1.4 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 206-210 degrees.

No swell grater than 1.0 ft @ 15 secs (1.5 ft) expected for North CA late Sat (10/14). .


Central Pacific Gale
On Sun AM (10/8) a fetch of 40 kt southwest winds were getting traction on the oceans surface southeast of New Zealand with seas building from 26 ft at 58S 171W. In the evening the gale was building some with 40-45 kt south winds taking shape and seas 32 ft at 54S 157W aimed northeast. A solid area of 45-50 kt south winds developed Mon AM (10/9) with 32 ft seas at 53S 149W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch consolidated at 45 kts from the south with a tiny core of 39 ft seas at 50S 148.5W surrounded by a decent size area of 30+ ft seas aimed north. On Tues AM (10/10) south fetch was fading from 30 kts over a decent sized area aimed north with 34 ft seas fading over a small area at 45S 146W. Fetch fading from 30 kts from the south in the evening with seas fading from 28 ft at 40S 143W. Small swell is possible for Hawaii with larger size for California. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Sun (10/15) building to 1.9 ft @ 17-18 secs later (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell peaks Mon (10/16) mid-day at 2.0 ft @ 16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading Tues (10/17) from 1.6 ft @ 15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 180 degrees

South California: Expect swell arrival on Mon (10/16) building to 2.0 ft @ 20 secs late (4.0 ft). Swell continues up on Tues (10/17) building to 3.2 ft @ 17-18 secs later (5.5 ft with sets to 7.0 ft). Swell holding on Wed AM (10/18) at 3.3 ft @ 16 secs (5.3 ft with sets to 6.6 ft). Swell fading Thurs (10/19) from 2.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 198 degrees

North California: Expect swell arrival on Mon (10/16) building to 1.6 ft @ 20 secs late (3.0 ft). Swell continues up on Tues (10/17) building to 2.6 ft @ 18 secs later (4.5 ft with sets to 6.0 ft). Swell peaking Wed AM (10/18) at 3.1 ft @ 16-17 secs early (5.1 ft with sets to 6.4 ft). Swell fading Thurs (10/19) from 2.3 ft @ 15 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 197 degrees


Another small gale developed Wed PM (10/4) in the deep Central Pacific with 45 kts southwest winds tracking east and 33 ft seas over a tiny area at 57S 159W. Thurs AM (10/5) winds were fading from 40 kts with 30 ft seas over a tiny area at 58S 148W. In the evening the gale faded out. No meaningful swell is expected to result for our forecast area.


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




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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours another gale is to be developing just south of the Aleutians near the dateline starting Mon AM (10/16) producing west winds 45 kts and seas building from 30 ft at 48N 169E. In the evening the gael is to push over the dateline with winds 40-45 kts from the west and seas 33 ft at 48.5N 177.5E. The fetch is to track east Tues AM (10/17) building and consolidating with at 45 kts west winds just south of the Eastern Aleutians with seas 36 ft over a small area at 50N 167W. The gale is to track east with winds to near 50 kts in the evening and seas 35 ft at 48N 157W. The gale is to start moving into North Canada on Wed AM (10/18) with northwest winds 45 kts and 35 ft seas at 48N 142W. Residual fetch fading in the Gulf from 30-35 kts from the northwest and seas 32 ft at 48N 133W. Something to monitor.

For California starting Monday (10/16) the gradient is to be gone with no windswell production potential indicated and no change forecast beyond.

For Hawaii starting Monday (10/16) the fetch is to become more localized within 350 nmiles east of Hawaii at 20 kts making for shorter period local east windswell. More of the same is expected on Tues (10/17) as low pressure moves through the Gulf of Alaska but by Wed-Thurs (10/19) fetch fetch is to start growing to the east again at 20 kts offering potential for larger raw east windswell on exposed east shores with fetch still impacting the Islands.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.

More details to follow...


La Nina Possibly Starting to Pulse Again

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 Wed (10/11) the 5 day average indicated east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific and Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were mixed and light over the East Pacific but modest east over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (10/12) Strong east anomalies were modeled over the core of the KWGA. Moderate to strong east anomalies are forecast holding over the KWGA through the ned of the model run on 10/19 but tracking east and becoming focused mainly east of the KWGA at the end of the run. This is not the Inactive Phase of the MJO, but another small pulse of La Nina completely squashing the MJO. This is not conducive to storm development in the greater Pacific Basin.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: As of 10/11 a weak Active/Wet MJO pattern was moving into the far West Pacific. The statistical model depicts it fading to dead neutral 5 days out and holding through the end of the 15 day model run. The dynamic model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO building in the far West Pacific 5 days out and holding fairly strong while pushing east some through the end of the 2 week model run. This would be the first Active Phase of the MJO in months if it were to develop.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (10/12) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO modest in strength over the Maritime Continent and forecast building to moderate strength while tracking east, over the dateline 2 weeks out. The GEFS model suggests it building to the strong category and not making as much east headway, but still positioned well in the West Pacific 2 weeks out.
40 day Upper Level Model: (10/12) This model depicts a weak Active/Wet pattern developing in the West Pacific and it's to track east over the equatorial Pacific and into Central America 11/1. A moderate Inactive Phase is to follow in the West on 10/30 tracking east into Central America through the end of the model run on 11/21. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (10/12) This model depicts a strong Inactive Phase of the MJO over the KWGA moving east with east anomalies over the same area. The Inactive Phase is to move east and be gone from the KWGA by 10/24, with a weak Active Phase and weak west anomalies taking over till 11/11. A neutral pattern to follow till the Active Phase returns weakly on 11/21 and building from there into early Jan 2018. The low pass filter indicates a very weak El Nino signal is over the KWGA and is to hold for the foreseeable future. The La Nina signal has moved over the Atlantic. Interesting. If this is true, it suggests the underpinnings of La Nina are already gone. Best guess is a very weak directionless and low energy weather pattern biased towards La Nina redeveloping in Fall of 2017 holding into December, then vaporizing in March with a neutral ENSO signal developing. It will take about 5+ years for the Pacific to recharge from the 2014-16 El Nino before another El Nino develops.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (10/12) A pattern change set up in August, with warm water retreating to the west and cooler water building in the east. Today in the far West Pacific water temps have fallen to 29 degs centered at 160E and shrinking in coverage. The 28 deg isotherm line is barely hanging on at 171W. The 24 deg isotherm is weak at 124W today and shallow at 60 meters deep at 140W. Anomaly wise a clear change is present in the East Pacific with warm water gone and instead neutral to weakly negative temperatures at the surface and down to -3.0 degs C down 125 meters at 140W indicative of La Nina. Warm anomalies are isolated to the West Pacific at 0.0-+1.0 degrees down to 100 meters deep with the dividing line between cool and warm moving east at 155W. Some sort of weak surface warming is occurring in the East Pacific compared to 2 weeks ago, but nothing that is legitimately warm. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 10/5 depicts the same thing, but with a broad cool pool at depth in the east and erupting to the surface in pockets between 95W to 160W with minimal warm water in the west.
Sea Level Anomalies: (10/5) Negative anomalies are in control at -5 cms over the entire equatorial Pacific with a large pocket of -10 cm anomalies present between 100W-170W suggesting a building cool pool at depth. This is not good.

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: (10/11) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a clear cool pattern has developed. Upwelling is rebuilding solidly nearshore along Peru and Ecuador and tracking northwest fading in density over the Galapagos and flowing steadily west from there just south of the equator out to 115W then building north and south of the equator out to 145W. Interesting but warm anomalies are just north of the equator from the Galapagos to 115W.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (10/11): A weakly warming temperature trend is along Peru. But a cooling trend is indicated starting just west of the Galapagos continuing west on the equator out to 160W. Another pulse of La Nina is setting up.
Hi-res Overview: (10/11) A clear La Nina cool stream is present starting off Southern Chile pushing north up Peru and building in coverage, then turning northwest off Ecuador while tracking west from the Galapagos out to 150W and a bit stronger than 2 days ago. Weak cool anomalies continue west from there out to 170E. This pattern outlines the South Pacific high pressure system well which is assumed to be stronger than normal. It is assumed cool water at depth is erupting to the surface with the breach point near the Galapagos. There is no sign of warm anomalies in the Nino 1.2 or Nino3.4 regions. Otherwise waters of all oceans of the planet are warmer than normal other than the aforementioned stream. We now assert that climatology needs to be updated to reflect the new reality of warming ocean temperatures over the entire planet.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (10/12) Today's temps were falling at -1.925, but not as cold as Sept 20, when temps really started dipping.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (10/12) temps were falling down to -0.383, up some from when they bottomed out on 9/12 at -0.898. But the long arc still suggests a clear downward trend though things have warmed steadily over the past 3 weeks.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (10/12) The forecast has temps falling steadily from -0.4 in early Oct to -1.3 in early Dec. Then the trend is to turn upwards rebounding to -0.4 in April and neutral in June 2018. This suggests a legit La Nina now expected for the Winter of 2017-2018. The CFS SST images (9/26) continues to suggest a moderate La Nina cool pattern building on the equator off the Galapagos in Oct and building steadily into Feb 2018. A full on La Nina is setting up.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Sept Plume updated (9/19) depicts temps forecast to fade -0.4 degs in Sept, and fading to -0.6 degs in Nov, slowly rising from there turning neutral in April 2018. See chart here - link.  The NMME consensus for Sept average indicates temps -0.75 degrees below normal Nov-Jan 2018 then rebounding to normal in April. It sure looks like La Nina is on the way. The CFSv2 is the outlier, colder than all other models. Still, given all the oceanic signals, we a tending to side with it more than the other models.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (10/12): The daily index was positive at 5.28. The 30 day average was rising at 9.87. The 90 day average was rising at +7.49. This suggests a turn towards La Nina.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (10/12) The index was steady at -1.56 (up from -2.20 on 6/28/17 but still suggesting a turn towards La Nina). Last years La Nina reached -1.94 on 11/2/16. We're gone deeper than that already. So the index is about as negative as it was at the peak of last years (2016) La Nina. At this time it looks like La Nina is returning for a double dip/2 year La Nina (not unusual). This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina events.

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 = +0.04, March = +0.12, April=+0.52, May=+0.30, June=+0.19, July= -0.50, Aug= -0.68. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO discounting the recent La Nina dip. 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, June=+0.79, July=+0.10. 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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