Saturday, October 17, 2020
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 3.7 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 2.8 ft @ 10.2 secs from 267 degrees.
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 7.4 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 5.2 ft @ 12.2 secs from 315 degrees. Water temp 81.9 degs.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.5 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 1.6 ft @ 13.7 secs from 187 degrees. Wind at the buoy was east at 10-12 kts. Water temperature 70.2 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 2.5 ft @ 11.0 secs from 264 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.4 ft @ 15.2 secs from 203 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.7 ft @ 13.5 secs from 197 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 2.0 ft @ 13.8 secs from 192 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 7.2 ft @ 10.0 secs with swell 6.3 ft @ 9.7 secs from 326 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 2 kts. Water temp 53.1 degs (013), 59.0 degs (SF Bar) and 56.1 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 Saturday (10/17) in North and Central CA local northwest windswell was producing waves at waist high and semi lined up with light winds and clean but with a little underlying lump early. Protected breaks were up to waist high on the sets and soft and clean. At Santa Cruz surf was flat to thigh high and clean. In Southern California/Ventura waves were flat to thigh high and clean and soft early. Central Orange County was getting some southern hemi swell with waves rarely to chest high and lined up and textured with some lump under that. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had set waves occasionally at chest high on the peak and textured and soft but somewhat lined up when it came. North San Diego had sets at waist high and clean and lined up but inconsistent and soft. Hawaii's North Shore was getting more swell with waves 2-3 ft overhead at best breaks and clean but a little bit uneven. The South Shore was thigh high and clean and soft. The East Shore was thigh high and clean with light south wind early.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Saturday (10/17) California was getting only local windswell up north and some background southern hemi swell down south. Hawaii was getting some decent sized northwesterly windswell. Beyond a gale developed in the far Southeast Pacific on Tues (10/13) producing 41 ft seas aimed east. Sideband swell from it is radiating north towards CA and South America. In the North Pacific a weak gale is forecast developing over the dateline producing 28-30 ft seas aimed southeast on Wed-Thurs (10/22). Down south no swell producing weather systems are forecast.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Saturday (10/17) the jet was consolidated tracking northeast off the Southern Kuril Islands ridging over the intersection of the dateline and the Aleutians with winds to 170 kts then falling hard south into a pinched trough with it's apex 450 nmiles northwest of Hawaii being fed by 120 kt winds offering some limited support for gale development there. East of there the jet was ridging hard north pushing up into the North Canadian coast. Over the next 72 hours the trough north of Hawaii is to get fully cut off on Sun (10/18) with the bulk of the jet weakening while tracking east-northeast from Japan over the dateline and over the Northern Gulf of Alaska with winds in the 120 kts range offering no troughs and therefore no real support for gale development. On Tues (10/20) remnants of the cut off trough north of Hawaii are to again tap the jet forming a pinched trough again over the same area being fed by 110-120 kt winds offering some support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours that trough is to pinch off again late on Wed (10/21) no longer support gale formation but then is to rejuvenate yet again on Fri (10/23), this time being fed by up to 180 kt winds offering good support for gale development and move focused over the dateline and rotating east over the Western Gulf on Sat (10/24) still offering support for gale development. This suggests perhaps a more hopeful pattern for the future.
On Saturday (10/17) no ground swell of interest was hitting California or Hawaii. But decent windswell was hitting the Islands.
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
But high pressure was still present over the North Dateline area and forecast to continue Sat-Sun (10/18) while weak low pressure was east of it and north of the Hawaiian Islands generating a fetch of 25-30 kts north winds targeting Hawaii, then forecast fading on Mon (10/19). Windswell is expected to result (see QuikCASTs for details).
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical weather system of interest were being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Saturday (10/17) northeast winds were blowing at 25 kts limited to Cape Mendocino with light winds south of there early and forecast to hold all day. Windswell fading. Sun (10/18) northeast winds are forecast for Cape Mendocino at 25 kts early fading to 20-25 kts later falling south over Pt Arena with south winds south of there. Minimal odds for windswell production. On Monday (10/19) north winds are forecast at 20-25 kts limited to Cape Mendocino and Pt Arena early offering minimal support for windswell production but building in coverage over all of North CA and up to 30 kts over Cape Mendocino later offering improved odds for windswell production. Light winds are forecast south of Pt Reyes early but building from the north to 10-15 kts later. Tues (10/20) north winds are forecast building to 30 kts for Cape Mendocino reaching down to Pt Arena later with light north winds 5-10 kts south of there. Windswell starting to build down to Pt Conception. Wed (10/21) north winds are forecast at 30 ft from Cape Mendocino down to near Bodega Bay building to 35 kts later with windswell production increasing. Light northwest winds from Pt Reyes southward. Thurs (10/22) north winds are forecast at 35-40 kts for Cape Mendocino down to Pt Arena with windswell production increasing. Light winds are forecast south of there. Friday (10/23) north winds are forecast at 30 kts limited to Cape Mendocino with windswell fading some and light south winds from Bodega Bay southward. Sat (10/24) north winds are forecast at 20 kts for Cape Mendocino building to 20-25 kts and reaching south to the Golden Gate later. Light winds south of there all day. Windswell potential building. No rain is forecast with the rain line starting on the Oregon-Washington border except for late Fri (10/23)/early Sat with rain developing over Cape Mendocino reaching south to perhaps Pt Arena.
Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 1.0, 0, 0.5, 0 inches respectively. Freezing level at 14,000 ft or higher falling to 13,000 ft on 10/20, and then stable through into 10/24, falling to 5500 on 10/26.
Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!
On Saturday (10/17) swell from a small weak gale that formed in the far Southeast Pacific was starting to hit Southern CA (see Weak Southeast Pacific Gale below). And a small storm formed in the far Southeast Pacific after that likely offering more sizeable sideband energy long term (see Southeast Pacific Storm below).
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.
Weak Southeast Pacific Gale
A gale developed in the Southeast Pacific on Fri PM (10/9) producing 45 kt southwest winds over a tiny area with seas building to 31 ft at 53S 139.5W aimed east-northeast. On Sat AM (10/10) 40 kt southwest winds tracked east with seas fading from 30 ft at 52.5S 129W aimed east. In the evening fetch faded with no seas of interest remaining. Low odds for small swell developing. Something to monitor.
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (10/17) building to 1.4 ft @ 17 secs late (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell building on Sun (10/18) to 2.2 ft @ 15-16 secs mid-day (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell fading on Mon (10/19) from 2.1 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading Tues (10/20) from 1.9 ft @ 14 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 195 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (10/18) building to 1.5 ft @ 16 secs later (2.5 ft). Swell continues on Mon (10/19) at 1.7 ft @ 16 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell fading Tues (10/20) from 1.6 ft @ 14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 195 degrees
Southeast Pacific Storm
A storm formed in the Southeast Pacific on Mon PM (10/12) producing 50-55 kt southwest winds and seas building to 34 ft at 61S 139W aimed east-northeast. On Tues AM (10/13) west-southwest winds were 45 kts as the now gale moved east with 43 ft seas at 60S 129.5W. The gale rapidly faded in the evening with 40 kt southwest winds and seas fading from 38 ft at 57S 120W aimed east-northeast. Winds faded from 30-35 kts from the southwest on Wed AM (10/14) with seas fading from 29 ft at 54.5S 118.5W aimed northeast. The gale dissipated from there. Maybe some small swell to radiate north.
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (10/20) building to 1.3 ft @ 20 secs late (2.5 ft). Swell building on Wed (10/21) pushing 2.0 ft @ 17-18 secs later (3.5 ft). Swell holding on Thurs (10/22) at 2.4 ft @ 16 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell fading Fri (10/23) from 2.1 ft @ 14-15 secs early (3.0 ft). Residuals on Sat (10/24) fading from 1.7 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 185 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (10/21) pushing 1.9 ft @ 18 secs later (3.5 ft). Swell holding on Thurs (10/22) at 2.3 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell fading Fri (10/23) from 1.8 ft @ 15-16 secs early (2.5-3.0 ft). Residuals on Sat (10/24) fading from 1.5 ft @ 14 secs (2.0 ft) early. Swell Direction: 183 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 a gale is forecast developing over the North Dateline region Gulf on Wed AM (10/21) producing 40 kt northwest winds over a small area and seas building from 20 ft at 46N 172E aimed southeast. In the evening northwest winds are forecast at 45 kts falling southeast with 29 ft seas building at 44.5N 177e aimed southeast. On Thurs AM (10/22) 40 kt west winds to continue pushing east with seas 28 ft at 43.5N 178W aimed east. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 30-35 kts over a solid area aimed southeast with 21 ft seas at 43N 173W aimed southeast. Something to monitor.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
La Nina Building
The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) 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.And the El Nino/La Nino cycle (collectively know as ENSO - El Nino Southern Oscillation) is a less frequent (about once every 7 years) but more impactful cycle that affects world wide weather. Specifically, strong El Nino events promote storm production in the Pacific while La Nina events suppress storm production. These therefore have a significant impact on the production of swell and surf. The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO and ENSO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for upcoming activity (or inactivity depending on the state and interaction of these two oscillations).
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. A bit of a recovery occurred during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water held in a pool off Peru and had not changed until March 2020. By April the cool pool pushed east and by May subsurface cool waters erupted off Ecuador, forming a well defined cool tongue that looked like the start of La Nina, holding into July 2020.
LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Fall/Winter 2020/2021 = 3.0/3.5 (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: It is assumed the PDO has moved to the warm phase in 2014 and that a weak borderline El Nino from 2018 faded out in the Fall of 2019. A La Nina like ocean temperature pattern developed in the equatorial East Pacific in the summer of 2019, then faded and returned to a neutral if not weak warm status during the Winter of 2019-2020 only to return stronger in the Summer of 2020. We have been suspecting a turn towards a La Nina like atmospheric pattern to develop in the late Winter/early Spring of 2020. Our best hope is that moderation from the warm phase of the PDO might tamp down development of a full blown La Nina as we move into 2020. But at this time that does not appear likely. Given all that, for the 2020 there is decent probability for development of La Nina meaning a reduced number of storm days and storm intensity during the summer season, resulting in a below normal level of swell, with swell being below normal duration and period. And by the Fall and early Winter of 2020/21, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should fade even more, resulting in depressed swell production. This pattern is expected to hold through the Spring of 2021.
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 (10/16) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific and strong from the east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial turning moderate easterly over the Central Pacific and moderate easterly over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, so they lag what is happening today by about 2 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (10/17) moderate to strong east anomalies were filling the KWGA today and extending east to a point south of California on the equator. The forecast calls for east anomalies holding at moderate to strong status filling the KWGA through 10/22 and then starting to fade and almost gone at the end of the model run on 10/24 through holding on south of California. Support for energy transfer into the jet is weak and is expected to only weaken more as east anomalies continue.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
- Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (10/16) A moderate Active MJO signal was over the KWGA today. The statistic model indicates the Active MJO pattern is to hold unchanged on days 5 and 10,then weakening slightly on day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model suggests the same thing initially but with the Active Phase fading and all but gone on day 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (10/17) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was moderate over the East Maritime Continent today and is to fade while tracking east over the West Pacific and near nothing at day 15. The GEFS model suggests the MJO is to ease east to the West Pacific over the next 15 days and slowly weakening to weak status.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (10/16) This model depicts a modest Active MJO was over the West Pacific today. It is to push east and build some to moderate status as it moves over Central America on 11/5 having some support for storm production. A moderate plus Inactive Phase of the MJO is to push east over the KWGA on 11/5 tracking to the East Pacific and over Central America at the end of the model run on 11/25. At that time a moderate Active signal is suggested building over the far West Pacific.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (10/16) This model depicts no coherent MJO signal today but with moderate to strong east anomalies filling the KWGA and all of the equatorial Pacific. The forecast indicates east anomalies holding at moderate status through the end of the model run on 11/13 even while the Active Phase is forecast pushing over the KWGA on 10/23-11/7 (producing no west anomalies). East anomalies are to fade south of California 10/30-11/13 as the Active MJO tracks south of that area.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (10/17 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a weak Active MJO signal is moving east through the KWGA but with east anomalies in control to a point south of California and into Ecuador. The Active MJO is to slowly push east finally exiting the KWGA on 11/11 producing only weak west anomalies in pockets in the KWGA with mostly east anomalies filling the KWGA and east over the East Pacific. A stronger Inactive Phase is to follow over the KWGA 11/12 tracking east through 12/4 producing mostly east anomalies in the KWGA and strong east anomalies over the East Pacific to Ecuador. A strong Active Phase is to follow 11/28-12/25 with moderate west anomalies over KWGA trying to move over the East Pacific but not making it with modest east anomalies holding over the East Equatorial Pacific. A weak Inactive Phase is to follow 12/22 through the end of the model run on 1/14 with west anomalies trying to hold on in the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias is firmly in control over the dateline today with 2 contour lines reaching east to a point south of California and is to continue through the end of the model run with it's western periphery easing east to 170E at the end of the model run. At that time a third contour line is to develop starting 12/20. A single contour low pressure bias is over the Indian Ocean today and is to build in coverage through the end of the model run with its eastern periphery easing east to 165E at the end of the model run. Its core and western periphery is to show no signs of moving east locked over the Indian Ocean. East anomalies that have been previously solid in the Indian Ocean for over a year have migrated east through the West Pacific to the East Pacific on 10/1 and are forecast stabilizing there for the foreseeable future. The trend is turning towards La Nina.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (10/17) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm was gone. The 29 deg isotherm was stable at 163E today. The 28 deg isotherm line was stable at 178E today. The 24 deg isotherm was stable at 135W today. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +0-1 deg C were steady in the West Pacific pushing east to 165W at depth today but no warmth east of there. There was a pocket of cooler anomalies at -4 degs near 135W with cool anomalies filling the entire area east of the dateline and shallower west to 160E. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 10/10 indicates the same with a large cool water bubble at depth stronger and larger erupting to the surface from 165W eastward to Ecuador with a core to -5C but with cool anomalies even west of there to 160E. Warm anomalies were below the surface over the far West Pacific reaching east to 160W at depth (150m). The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (10/10) Negative anomalies were forming a wave pushing west from the Galapagos to 180W with negative anomalies -5 to -15 cms. Negative anomalies were -5 to -10 cms along the coast of Peru up into Ecuador and then reaching north up to Baja and into South and North CA. Looking at the big picture, negative anomalies were forming a massive triangle from San Francisco south to Southern Chile and west out to the intersection of the dateline and the equator. No positive anomalies were over the equatorial Pacific, except from the dateline and points west of there.
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: (10/16) The latest images indicate cold anomalies were on the equator from Ecuador west to the dateline and solid in density over that entire and large area. Cold anomalies were imbedded in that flow between the Galapagos to 135W and holding solid today. Cool anomalies were also holding along the coasts of Chile and Peru. This clearly indicates a well developed version of La Nina filling the entire equatorial Pacific and down into Chile. Warm water was all but gone off Central America north of the equator. Overall the cool pool on the equator was unmistakable and starting to show signs of rebuilding after previously being stalled.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (10/16): Warming was on the equator from Ecuador to a bit west of the Galapagos. But cooling was from 110W to 150W then moderating west of there to 170E.
Hi-res Overview: (10/14) A stream of consistent cool water is well entrenched from Chile up to Peru and Ecuador then tracking west on the equator out to the dateline with markedly cool anomalies between 110-135W. A clear La Nina signal is depicted.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (10/17) Today's temps were rising some at -1.494 degs after previously reaching a momentary low of -2.138 on 8/13. The trend has been steady but quite cold since June.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (10/17) Temps were falling again at -1.162 today beating the previous low of -0.945 on 9/22. The previous low was -0.733 on 9/10. Temps have been on a steady decline since 7/25. Overall the trend appears to be in a steep decline.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (10/17) Today the model indicates temps at -1.0 degs. The forecast depicts a steady downward trend from here reaching down to -2.4 degs in mid-Jan then beginning to rise in later Dec, rebuilding up to -0.2 degs in July. This is becoming a 2 year event in that even after temps return to 0/normal it will take 3-5 months for the upper level circulation to respond in kind.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Sept 21, 2020 Plume depicts temps are at -0.75 degs today, and are to fall in Nov to -0.85 degs then moderating and starting to rise some to -0.54 by Jan 2021 and then neutral by April. The low outliers are dynamic models (NASA GMAO, NCEP CFSV2). But most model are suggesting a moderate La Nina returning to Neutral in the late Spring. 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 - this is a lagging indicator) (10/17): The daily index was negative today at -9.67. The 30 day average was falling slightly at +10.35. The 90 day average was falling some at 8.57, suggesting a La Nina pattern was developing. This index is a lagging indicator.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): June -0.67, May -0.46, April 2020 -0.69, March -0.09, Feb +0.65, Jan +0.42, This index was steady positive Aug 2018 through Feb 2020, and now is steady negative, but only weakly so.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation
Per NOAAs index recent values: 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 2019 -0.18, Feb -0.50 Mar -0.23, April +0.10, May +0.14, June -0.11, July +0.44, Aug -0.14, Sept +0.05, Oct -0.96, Nov -0.28, Dec +0.01, Jan 2020 -1.17, This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2018 +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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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table