Saturday, December 1, 2018
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 2.1 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 1.3 ft @ 8.4 secs from 156 degrees.
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 7.3 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 5.9 ft @ 12.4 secs from 315 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 6.3 ft @ 12.8 secs with swell 3.6 ft @ 13.5 secs from 267 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 12-16 kts. Water temperature 63.5 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 3.5 ft @ 10.0 secs from 268 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.8 ft @ 9.4 secs from 262 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 3.9 ft @ 9.3 secs from 270 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 4.8 ft @ 12.5 secs from 277 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 11.9 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 8.9 ft @ 10.3 secs from 288 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 16-21 kts. Water temp 60.6 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 (12/1) in North and Central CA raw local westerly swell was still hitting producing waves in the 3 ft overhead range and whitecapped and chopped with brisk northwest winds. Protected breaks were 1-2 ft overhead and pretty lumpy and lightly chopped and mostly closed out. At Santa Cruz surf was 2-3 ft overhead on the peaks and lined and generally clean but warbled and sloppy. In Southern California/Ventura surf was chest high and reasonably lined up and somewhat clean but pretty warbled from winds over outer waters. In North Orange Co surf was head high to 1 ft overhead and pretty clean and lined up but a bit sloppy. South Orange Country's best breaks were chest high and nearly chopped and warbled. In North San Diego surf was 1-2 ft overhead on the bigger sets and soft and sloppy but with some lined and relatively clean. Hawaii's North Shore was starting to get new small swell with set waves 2-3 ft overhead but pretty warbled from northerly wind. The South Shore was flat and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell at thigh high and warbled from north wind.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Saturday (12/1) raw local proto-swell was still hitting California generated by a small local gale that developed just off Central California Wed-Thurs (11/29) with 30 ft seas impacting the coast directly. Another far smaller system fell southeast through the Northern Gulf on Thurs-Fri (11/30) with seas to 20 ft perhaps generating more follow-on swell. And windswell was hitting Hawaii from a local weather system that was northwest of the Islands on Thurs (11/29) with 20 ft seas aimed southeast. But of far more interest is another strong storm forecast developing off North Japan late Sat (12/1) moving east towards the dateline late Sun (12/2) with seas to 54 ft aimed east then fading while pushing over the dateline into the Western Gulf Mon-Tues (12/4) with seas fading from 53 ft down to 33 ft. It's still a ways from actually forming, but it suggests another real swell is possible. And after that perhaps a broad system is to develop over the North Dateline falling southeast into the Gulf Thurs-Sat (12/8) with 29 ft seas aimed east. The remnants of the Active Phase of the MJO and a warming equatorial Pacific is having the desired effect for a little while.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Saturday AM (12/1) the jet was modestly consolidated tracking east from Japan to the Western Gulf with winds 130-140 kts but with no indication of supporting trough formation then with the jet splitting over the Central Gulf and the northern branch pushing hard north up into Alaska then falling hard south directly thereafter over the Eastern Gulf while the southern branch meandered east. The two rejoined over the Eastern Gulf and pushed east into North California with winds up to 150 kts. Overall the jet was reasonably consolidated and powerful, though not supporting gale development just yet. Over the next 72 hours a trough is to start building east of Japan half way to the dateline on Sun (12/2) being fed by 140 kts winds and that trough pushing east and then northeast into late Tues (12/4) to the Northwestern Gulf supportive of gale development. The split in the Gulf is to slowly ease east. Beyond 72 hours starting Tues (12/4) the split in the east is to hold over the extreme East Pacific protecting California with high pressure into early Fri (12/7). Back to the west the jet is to start splitting on Tues (12/4) just off Japan with most energy in the northern branch pushing east up at 45N at 130-140 kts extending solid from North Japan to the Western Gulf by Thurs (12/6) then getting supercharged on Fri (12/7) by winds to 190 kts carving out a broad and solid trough over the Western Gulf pushing east to the Central Gulf on Sat (12/8) offering great support for gale development. All the while the split in the west is to be fading with most energy becoming consolidated in what was the northern branch of the jet. From there the somewhat fragmented jet is to be pushing onshore over the entire US West Coast. And more winds energy at 180 kts is to be building over Japan. A possible start to an impressive pattern might be setting up.
On Saturday (12/1) swell from a raw local gale was still hitting (see Local CA Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours swell from another gale that pushed through the Eastern Gulf (See Gulf Gale below) is to be arriving. But of far more interest is to be a new strong storm building west of the dateline (See West Pacific Storm below).
Local CA Gale
Starting Wed AM (11/28) a fetch of 30 kt northwest winds were developing in the Southern Gulf with seas building. In the evening that fetch tracked east and built stronger than expected with northwest winds 45 kts covering a decent sized area associated with low pressure hugging the North CA Coast with seas 22 ft at 36N 135W aimed east. The gale was solid Thurs AM (11/29) with it's core 200 nmiles off Bodega Bay producing 40 kts northwest winds off Pt Arena down to Morro Bay aimed southeast and the low moving inland over North CA with 30 ft seas at 36.5N 128.5W or just west of Monterey Bay. The low is to move inland over NCal in the evening with 30-35 kt northwest winds over and just off all of Central CA nearshore waters and 27 ft seas just off Morro Bay moving onshore over Pt Conception. A messy local weather pattern is expected for North and Central CA. The gale is to be dissipating Fri AM (11/30) with residual 30 ft seas fading over Pt Conception.
North/Central CA: Residuals fading on Sat AM (12/1) from 6 ft @ 11-12 secs (6.5 ft). Swell Direction: 290 degrees
Southern CA: Swell fading Sat AM (12/1) from 4.2 ft @ 12-13 secs (5.0 ft). Residuals on Sun (12/2) from 2.6 ft @ 11-12 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 285 degrees moving to 295 degrees
Another gale is to started developing over the Northern Dateline Tues PM (11/27) pushing east. By Thurs AM (11/29) it was in the Northwestern Gulf just south of the Eastern Aleutians producing 35 kt northwest winds over a small area with seas building from 20 ft at 52N 156W aimed southeast. In the evening it is to be falling southeast with fetch fading from 30 kts from the northwest aimed southeast with 20 ft seas at 50N 151W targeting Oregon down to Pt Conception. On Fri AM (11/30) the gale is to be falling southeast just off Oregon and fading with 25 kt northwest winds and seas 18 ft over a tiny area at 47N 145W aimed at Southern Oregon down into Central CA. The gale is to push east and stall off North Oregon Sat AM (12/1) with 30-35 kts northwest winds and seas 17 ft at 45N 130W. This system to dissipate from there. Most likely outcome is windswell for Oregon (Sat-Sun 12/2) and down into California (Sun 12/2). See QuikCASTs for details.
West Pacific Storm
On Sat PM (12/1) a new storm is to start building off North Japan producing a solid area of 60-65 kt northwest winds (hurricane force) aimed southeast with seas building from 30 ft at 41N 159.5E. On Sun AM (12/2) northwest winds are to be tracking east at 60-65 kts solid with seas building from 50 ft at 39.5N 168E. The storm is to track east in the evening with fetch still 55 kts from the northwest with seas building to 51 ft at 39N 176.5E aimed east. On Monday AM (12/3) the storm is to be lifting northeast over the dateline with winds 50-55 kts from the northwest over a solid area with seas holding at 51 ft at 44N 178W. The gale is to hold position and strength in the evening on the dateline with 50-55 kt northwest winds and seas still 51 ft at 45.5N 171W over a solid area aimed east. On Tues AM (12/4) the gale is to dissipating with fetch dropping from 45 kts over a modest area aimed southeast and seas fading from 41 ft at 48N 168W aimed east. The gale to fade in the evening with fetch down to 35 kts from the west and seas fading from 32 ft over a modest sized area centered at 50N 163W mainly from previous fetch. Something to monitor. Possible large long period swell to result.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical weather systems of interest are forecast.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Saturday AM (12/1) low pressure was moving inland over Oregon with high pressure just west of there and ridging into Southern CA with northwest winds 15 kts for all of North and Central CA building to 20 kts later but reasonably light into Southern CA. Moderate rain early for North CA pushing south to Pt Conception at sunset and dissipating there. Moderate snow sweeping down the Sierra through the day dissipating at sunset. On Sunday (12/2) north winds are to be fading from 15 kts early for North CA and up to 20 kts for Central and Southern CA down to calm at sunset everywhere except 15 kts for Pt Conception. No precip forecast. Monday (12/3) southeast winds to start building ahead of a new gale approaching the coast at 10 kts for Monterey Bay northward and 15 kts late afternoon from Pt Reyes northward. Light rain starting at sunset from the Golden Gate northward. Light snow for Tahoe late evening. On Tues (12/4) the gale is to be falling southeast 600 nmiles off Monterey Bay with south winds 15 kts from Big Sur northward pushing to 25-30 kts from Monterey Bay to Cape Mendocino late afternoon. Steady light rain developing for the entire North and Central CA coast by late afternoon. Light snow for the Sierra late evening. Wednesday (12/5) the low is to remain off Monterey Bay drifting southeast with south winds 20-25 kts for Central CA and 10 kts for Southern CA building to 20 kts later ad east for North CA through the day. Steady light rain for the entire state. Light snow for the Sierra through the day. Thurs (12/6) the low is to be moving inland over Southern CA with east winds 10-15 kts early for North CA and southwest winds 10+ kts for Southern CA fading to light and variable late up north and west 10 kts for Southern CA late afternoon. Rain for Southern CA all day and light rain for Central CA though the day. Light snow for the Sierra all day. Friday (12/7) another gale is to queue up off the coast with south winds building to 20+ kts for Central and North CA late afternoon with rain developing for that area after sunset. Total accumulation for the week for North Lake Tahoe 22 inches and 8 inches for Mammoth.
No swell of interest was in the water.
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.
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 new fetch of northwest winds is to be building over the North Dateline into the Western Gulf on Fri AM (12/7) at 35-40 kts aimed mainly east with seas to 28 ft at 46.5N 178W. In the evening fetch is to fall southeast still at 40 kts with 29 ft seas at 43N 165W aimed southeast. On Sat AM (11/8) fetch is fade some while pushing southeast at 30-35 kts with seas 27-29 ft at 38N 156W aimed southeast. We suspect this might be understated too. Something to monitor.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.
SST's Steady If Not Fading Some Across the Equator
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 over the Summer 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 = 6.0 (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: Assuming the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that El Nino does not develop as strong as previously forecast, and assuming and an ocean-atmospheric coupling becomes weakly established in the January timeframe and ocean temperature anomalies in Nino3.4 build to the +0.6 deg range, there is good probability for slightly enhanced storm production in the North Pacific starting in the late Nov timeframe (specifically the Gulf of Alaska and Dateline regions) with slightly increased intensity in number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in slightly increased odds for larger than normal swell, with increased duration and higher than normal period. This should be significantly better than the past 2 winter seasons.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (11/30) 5 day average winds were moderately from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific to the dateline, then hard west at 175E and continuing over the remainder of the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral to slightly west over the East and Central equatorial Pacific, then turning to strong westerly from 170E and points west of there over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (12/1) moderate west anomalies were filling the KWGA and extending east on the equator to Ecuador. Basically west anomalies were over the entire equatorial Pacific. The forecast has west anomalies fading over the entirety of the KWGA by 12/2 other than west anomalies on the dateline and everywhere east of the on the equator and those anomalies holding while slowly weakening into 12/6. But in the KWGA modest east anomalies are to start taking over that area 12/2 building to 12/4 then fading and almost neutral through the end of the model run on 12/8. And these east anomalies are to be building over the entire equatorial Pacific by 12/7.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (11/30) The Active Phase of the MJO was all but gone on the dateline and moving east from there. The statistical model indicates the Inactive Phase is building over the far West Pacific easing east and in the core of the KWGA at day 5 filling the KWGA then weakening while pushing east and over the dateline and all but gone at day 15. The dynamic model indicates the same thing but with the Inactive Phase not moving as fast to the east and still over the core of the KWGA at day 15. The 2 models are somewhat in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (12/1) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was weak over the Atlantic. It is to track east steadily at moderate strength and is to be over the Maritime Continent 2 weeks out. The GEFS model depicts the same but with the MJO getting weaker making it to the Maritime Continent 2 weeks out. The 2 models are generally in sync.
40 day Upper Level Model: (12/1) This model depicts a modest Inactive signal over the West Pacific tracking east. It is to track quickly east over the East Pacific and into Central America on 12/21. A weak Active Phase of the MJO is to build in the West Pacific 12/20 tracking east into Central America at the end of the model run on 1/10/19. A weak Inactive Phase is to start building
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (11/30) This model depicts moderate west anomalies were over the core and eastern KWGA and over the entire equatorial Pacific east of there and is to hold over that area through 12/6. Weak east anomalies are over the western KWGA through 12/7, then fading out. After that modest west anomalies are to redevelop in the core of the KWGA holding through the end of the model run on 12/28.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (12/1) This model depicts weak weak west anomalies were in the core of the KWGA today with a modest Active Phase of the MJO there. The Active Phase of the MJO is to hold with weak to modest west anomalies over the entirety of the equatorial Pacific through 12/7. After that the Inactive Phase of the MJO is to develop in the KWGA 12/8 -12/20 with weak west anomalies in the KWGA centered near the dateline. After that a weak Active MJO pattern is to develop 12/23 with west anomalies holding from 150E and points east of there in the KWGA and east to 140W for the foreseeable future through the end of the model run on 2/28. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias is fully in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east over California and forecast holding through the end of the model run. A 4th contour line previously forecast to to develop in the 12/22-1/21/19 period has reappeared starting 2/11. Conversely the third contour line which was to fade from 12/25-1/15 has disappeared. It now appears El Nino development is becoming less certain per this model. But a tendency towards El Nino is fairly certain. The atmosphere and ocean are trying to become coupled towards an El Nino bias in the Pacific Ocean, but there's no objective evidence of it yet. If it hasn't happened yet (by Dec 15), it's doubtful there will be significant weather influence even if it does develop. And this model is not suggesting they will not become coupled with the MJO coming back to life and steady west anomalies fading. Still this pattern is to slowly become more favorable to support storm production in the Pacific regardless of whether El Nino develops, especially compared to the 2 previous years given that we're still moving towards Winter and La Nina is gone. Our assumption is a normal Winter pattern will result, but nothing more.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (12/1) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs but losing ground significantly reaching east to 173E, previously to 180W. The 28 deg isotherm line had retrograded west to 160W a few weeks back, then moved east again and stable today at 154W. The 24 deg isotherm was 125 meters deep at 140W then getting progressively shallower east of there but now pushing into Ecuador. Anomaly wise warm anomalies are filling the entire subsurface Pacific but with temps far weaker in the West Pacific than weeks and months past. Kelvin Wave (#2) starts at 130W at +2-3 degs building to +4.0 degs centered at 100W down 90 meters then pushing into the coast of Ecuador. One pocket of +3 deg anomalies is lingering back at 170W and building some. But there was a big break between 165W to 130W with only +1 deg anomalies there. Temps are certainly weakening in the far West Pacific. It appears Kelvin Wave #2 is fading out in the East Pacific though maybe Kevin Wave #3 is building under the dateline (but that is a reach). The peak of the Kelvin Wave cycle for this supposed El Nino has already occurred, but upwelling from it is still to be ongoing for a few more weeks. but after that, no more Kelvin Waves seem apparent. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 11/24 paints the same picture with the Kelvin Wave #2 starting in the Central Pacific near 135W pushing into Ecuador with temps peaking at +5.0 degs at 95W-110W. Modest warming at +1-2 degs were from the far West Pacific to 140W with a small pocket of warming to +3 degs at 165W. Negative anomalies previously in the far West Pacific just east of the Maritime Continent remain not-present and if anything new warming waters are filling in there. Kelvin Wave #2 was breaching the surface from 90W to 155W solidly with secondary warm anomalies west from there to 165E. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (11/24) Positive anomalies were solid from the interior Maritime Continent tracking east, over an area north of New Guinea, then over the Dateline and into the East Pacific and Ecuador at +5 cms. There were no longer any pockets of +10 cms. Kelvin Wave (#2) was steady from the dateline to Ecuador and branching north to Baja and south to Southern Peru along the coasts there, a good sign.
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: (11/30) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate temps were warm in a Kelvin Wave pattern straddling 5 degrees north and south of the equator from Ecuador west to the dateline, with one imbedded pocket of stronger warming centered at 140W, symptomatic of perhaps a Modoki El Nino. But these temps are down some from days past. There is a steady stream of moderate warming along the coast of Chile up into Peru and Ecuador and far weaker reaching north to Central America, but nothing indicative of a strong trend towards El Nino. Generic warm anomalies were north of the equator from Central America and south of Mexico building out to Hawaii and the dateline. A pocket of cool waters was elongated east to west off Peru to 130W. This pattern looks somewhat like El Nino, but also like La Nina with no solid warming branching north and south along the Central and South American coast, and most warming still in the West Pacific centered at 140W, suggesting this developing El Nino is only weakly in control and still fragile at best in the East Equatorial Pacific as it has been for weeks.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (11/30): No pockets of cooling were present over the equator. Instead broad pockets of generic warming were indicated along the equator and along the coast of Chile and Peru. Overall a steady pattern is indicated.
Hi-res Overview: (11/30) Warm water was building along the immediate coast of Chile and Peru. Otherwise moderate plus warm water was on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos building out to the dateline but with no strong imbedded warming. We have turned the corner to a warm regime. And one could kinda think we are moving towards a El Nino pattern just looking at the surface temps. But that would be a false conclusion based on what is going on sub-surface (fading Kelvin Wave scenario). And given the time of year, the warm signal on the surface should be much stronger if El Nino were truly developing. We are in ENSO neutral and likely only going to move to a minimal warm regime, likely not reaching full El Nino status this winter.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (12/1) Today's temps were steady at +1.093 after rising significantly to +1.534 on 11/27. The recent peak on 11/27 beat the previous peak on 9/25 at +1.316. A warming trend seems apparent here.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (12/1) Today temps were falling at +0.664 degs after having rising to +0.825 on 11/28 and steady in the +0.5-+0.6 range since 11/12. The all time high for this event was +1.45 on 11/5, beating the previous peak temps of +0.795 on 10/9, and +0.649 on 9/27, and that beating the previous peak at +0.490 on 7/2. Overall temps are noodling around at +0.5 to +0.7 degs above normal adding suggesting some sort of minimally weak El Nino is trying to develop, but nothing serious.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (11/30) The model indicates temps at +0.8 degs in mid-Nov (which isn't even close to reality - they were about +0.5) then rising some to +1.1 on Dec 1 and holding there into May 2019, then falling to +0.95 degs into July 2019 and steady from there into Aug. If one is to believe the model then one would assume that El Nino is to build in the Winter of 18/19. But given all the data we've seen, we believe odds of even a weak El Nino developing are fading. Most models are suggesting a turn to weak El Nino conditions by late Fall. It's not certain we're there yet.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Nov Plume depicts temps are to slowly rise from here, to +1.00 degs in November and +1.0-+1.1 degs through Feb 2019, then slowly fading to 0.71 in July. See chart here - link. There's a 90% chance of a weak El Nino developing through January.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad) (11/29): The daily index was falling some at 6.43. The 30 day average was falling some at 0.49 suggesting a neutral MJO and not moving towards the Active Phase. The 90 day average was steady at -1.84, unchanged the past 2 weeks and the highest its been in months. 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. Unfortunately we have made no progress from there towards a negative El Nino pattern.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (11/27) This index has not updated. On 11/27 the index was steady at -0.02, not positive as it should be if El Nino were developing. It was down to -0.22 the week of 10/22, after having risen to +0.39 on 10/10, the highest so far this event. This suggests that precip and evaporation are normal, and not above normal as one would expect if El Nino were in play. We are in an ENSO neutral pattern. The reading from 8/14 (+0.11) was the first time it's turned positive in a year.
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 -0.42, Sept -0.42. 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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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table