Tuesday, December 1, 2020
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 2.2 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 1.6 ft @ 8.9 secs from 192 degrees.
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.6 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 3.0 ft @ 13.0 secs from 281 degrees. Water temp 80.6 degs.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.4 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 15.8 secs from 166 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 60.3 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 5.3 ft @ 15.1 secs from 294 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.9 ft @ 16.6 secs from 234 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.9 ft @ 15.8 secs from 193 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 2.7 ft @ 15.0 secs from 208 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 12.1 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 9.0 ft @ 13.7 ft from 308 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 14-16 kts. Water temp 51.4 degs (013), 54.9 degs (SF Bar) and 53.8 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 (12/1) in North and Central CA yet another swell from the Northwestern Gulf was hitting producing waves at double overhead at top spots and clean and lined up but a bit warbled from outer winds. Protected breaks were 1-2 ft overhead and lined up and mostly closed out but clean though a fair amount of underlying lump was in the water. At Santa Cruz surf was head high to 1 ft overhead and lined up and clean but a bit warbled and swamped by tide. In Southern California/Ventura waves were thigh to maybe waist high on the sets and clean and lined up with nice surface conditions. Central Orange County had occasional waves at waist high or so when they came and clean and lined up but soft. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at chest high and clean and lined up and with good form but infrequent. North San Diego had some rare sets to waist high and clean and lined up. Hawaii's North Shore was getting leftover swell with set waves 1 ft overhead and super clean and lined up but slow. But much more is loading up outside. The South Shore was flat to knee high and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell with waves waist high and nearly clean with almost no trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Tuesday (12/1) swell was hitting California and Hawaii from a gale previously in the Northwestern Gulf Fri-Sun (1/29) with up to 39 ft seas aimed east. But the big story remain a far stronger storm that developed while pushing over the dateline with seas to 57 ft aimed east. The first significant class swell of the season is in the water streaming east and southeast (see Storm #1 below). And another stong storm is forecast right behind. Finally there is going to be surf.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Tuesday (12/1) the jet was well consolidated pushing hard off Japan with winds building to 190 kts pushing east over the dateline forming a trough in the Western Gulf of Alaska offering great support for gale if not storm development there. East of there the jet was well split with the northern branch ridging hard north and pushing inalnd over Alaska. Over the next 72 hours the Gulf trough is to hold position and getting reinforced later in the period by more consolidated with energy pushing due east from Japan with winds to 180 kts still offering great support for glae if not storm development. Beyond 72 hours amazingly winds are to rebuild to 190 kts over the dateline on Sat (12/5) falling into the pre-existing trough and starting to build a new one offering great support for gale development. and that trough is to hold filling the Gulf Sunday into Tues (12/8) offering continued support for gale development. And on Tues (12/8) wind energy is to again start building over and off Japan to 190 kts again starting to fall into the pre-existing trouhg in the Western Gulf. The future suddenly looks brighter.
On Tuesday (12/1) swell from a reasonably strong gale previously in the Northern Gulf was peaking in California and weakly pushing into Hawaii as well (see Another Northwest Gulf Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours swell from Strong Storm #1 is to be impacting both Hawaii (imminently) and the US West Coast (see Storm #1 below).
Also ill formed gale is to start developing filling the Western Gulf of Alaska Thurs AM (12/3) producing pockets of 30-35 kt northwest winds targeting ahwaii and teh US West Coast with seas on the increase. In the evening fetch is to build to i40 kts in 3 small pockets with 23 ft seas at 37.5N 170W aimed east to southeast. On Fri AM (12/4) 30-35 kt northwest fetch is to persist producing 21 ft seas at 35N 160W targeting Hawaii and California. In the evening a more coherent fetch of 35 kt west winds are to build off North CA producing 20 ft seas over a small area at 40N 143W aimed east. On Sat AM (12/5) the gale is to be racing northeast pushing into North British Columbia with 40-45 kt west widns and 22 ft sas pushign into the coast offering nothing for our forecast area. Low odds from some 12 sec period background swell radiating into Hawaii and the US West Coast. Will monitor.
Another Northwest Gulf Gale
And another small gale developed in the far Northwestern Gulf on Fri AM (11/27) with 40-45 kt west winds just south of the Central Aleutians producing 31 ft seas over a tiny area at 51.5N 171.5W aimed east. In the evening the gale tracked east with 45-50 kt west winds building in the Northwestern Gulf with 37 ft seas building over a small area at 52.5N 165.5W aimed east. On Sat AM (11/28) west winds were gaining footprint in the Northwestern Gulf at 40-45 kts with 38 ft seas at 51N 158.5W aimed east. The gale was fading in the evening with 30-35 kt west winds and seas fading from 31 ft at 53.5N 148W aimed east.
North CA: Swell to peak before sunrise Tues (12/1) pushing 7.2 ft @ 15-16 secs (10 ft) but still shadowed. Swell fading on Wed (12/2) from 5.6 ft @ 13 secs early (7.0 ft). Swell Direction:309 degrees
A small but potent storm started developing in the West Pacific on Sat PM (11/28) a bit off North Japan with west-northwest winds at 55-60 kt and seas building from 34 ft at 43N 163E aimed east. On Sun AM (11/29) the storm was approaching the dateline with 60 kt west-northwest winds and seas building from 53 ft at 44N 171.5E aimed east pushing 57 ft at 18Z at 44N 175.5E aimed east. In the evening a broad area of 50 kt west winds were straddling the dateline with 54 ft seas at 43.5N 179.5E aimed east. On Mon AM (11/30) the gale was solid in coverage with 45 kt west-northwest winds and seas 48 ft at 41.5N 172.5W aimed east. In the evening the gale was fading with 35-40 west-northwest winds over a solid area 1200 nmiles northwest of Hawaii in the Western Gulf with seas fading from 40 ft at 41N 166W aimed east. On Tues AM (12/1) west winds were fading from 30 kts with seas fading from 32 ft at 41.5N 158.5W aimed east. Large long period swell is expected to result.
Oahu: Expect swell arrival later on Tues (12/1) building to 8.0 ft @ 20-21 secs (16 ft Hawaiian) at sunset. Swell heading upward from there peaking overnight near 2 AM Wed (12/2) at 12.9 ft @ 18.5 secs (23.8 ft Hawaiian) and holding well into sunrise and even decent size with little decay until mid-day. Swell fading on Thurs (12/3) from 7.3 ft @ 14-15 secs early (10 ft). Residuals fading on Fri (12/4) from 4.9 ft @ 12 secs (6.0 ft) early. Swell Direction: 318-325 degrees focused on 321.9 degrees
Maui: Expect swell arrival later on Tues (12/1) building to 6.0 ft @ 22 secs (13 ft Hawaiian) at sunset. Swell heading upward from there peaking at sunrise Wed (12/2) at 11.5-12.8 ft @ 18.5 secs (21.3-23.7 ft Hawaiian) and holding until mid-day. Swell fading on Thurs (12/3) from 7.7 ft @ 14-15 secs early (11 ft). Residuals fading on Fri (12/4) from 5.0 ft @ 12-13 secs (6.0 ft) early. Swell Direction: 318-329 degrees focused on 321.2 degrees
North California: Expect swell arrival at sunset Wed (12/2) with period 23-24 secs and size just barely noticeable. Swell building overnight. Swell continuing up through the day Thurs (12/3) building to 9.8 ft @ 18 secs late (17.5 ft) and holding well into the evening. Swell still solid Fri AM (12/4) fading from 9.0 ft @ 16 secs early (14.0 ft). Residuals on Sat (12/5) fading from 5.6 ft @ 13 secs (7.0 ft). Swell Direction: 289-299 degrees with peak energy at 298.55 degrees and slightly shadowed in the SF Bay Area. Virtual fetch in-play meaning a good number of waves per set when the sets come.
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (12/3) building to 3.4 ft @ 20 secs late (6.5 ft). Swell building overnight peaking at sunrise Fri (12/4) at 4.4 ft @ 17-18 secs (7.5 ft) holding decently through the day. Swell fading early Sat (12/5) from 3.2 ft @ 15 secs (4.5-5.0 ft). Dribbles on Sun (12/6) fading from 1.8 ft @ 12-13 secs early (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 295.6-303.54 degrees with most energy coming from 302.7 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical weather system of interest were being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday (12/1) northwest winds were 15 kts over outer waters and over Cape Mendocino but light nearshore and forecast holding all day. Wed (12/2) northwest winds are forecast at 10 kts early for all of North and Central CA and continuing all day but maybe 15 kts for Monterey Bay and down into Central CA in the afternoon. Thurs (12/3) northwest winds are forecast at 5-10 kts early for all of North and Central CA fading to 1-5 kts later. Fri (12/4) north winds are forecast at 1-5 kts for all of North and Central CA early holding all day. Sat (12/5) northwest winds are forecast at 1-5 kts early for North and Central CA building to 10 kts later but south winds are possible for Cape Mendocino mid-day at 5-10 kts. Maybe some sprinkles for Cape Mendocino late evening. Sun (12/6) north winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for North and Central CA early building to 15-20 kts later. Monday (12/7) northweset winds are forecast at 10-15 kts early for North and Central CA building to 15-20 kts later. Tues (12/8) light winds are forecast for all of North and Central CA early buidling from the northwest at 10-15 kts later mainly for Central CA south of Pidgeon Point.
Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 0 inches, 0 inches, 0 inches, and 0 inches respectively.
Freezing level 12.500 today falling to 8,500 ft 12/3 and generally holding there except for a rise to 10,500 ft 12/8-12/9.
Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!
On Sunday (11/29) no swell was in the water and no swell producing weather systems were occurring.
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems 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 and oOf more interest is another strong storm forecast developing just west of the dateline on Fri AM (12/4) producing 50-55 kt west winds and seas building to 25 ft at 40N 171.5E aimed east. In the evening the storm is to be pushing over the dateline producing 55-60 kt west winds and seas building from 37 ft at 39N 177W aimed east. On Sat AM (12/5) the storm is to sweep east with 55 kt west winds and seas building from 48 ft at 41.5N 165.5W aimed east. The storm is to plod east in the evening with 50-55 kt west winds in the Western Gulf with seas 56 ft at 44N 158W aimed due east. On Sun (12/6) the storm is to start fading with 45-50 kt west winds and seas fading from 50 ft up at 47N 150.5W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to continue fading in the Northern Gulf with 45 kt west winds and seas fading from 40 ft at 49.5N 144.5W aimed east-northeast.
And perhaps another gale is to start buidling on the dateline behind that.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast. The southern hemi is asleep.
That said, the models continue suggesting some sort of a storm is to be positioned just south of New Zealand on Wed-Thurs (12/3) producing 45 ft seas aimed east at 53.5S 161E 18Z on Wed (12/2). Something to monitor.
Inactive MJO Driving Increased Trades - But Sea Surface Actually Rise Slightly
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 (11/30) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific and strong over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific turning modest easterly over the Central Pacific and strong 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 (12/1) strong east anomalies were filling the KWGA. The forecast calls for strong east anomalies holding rock solid filling the KWGA through 12/4 then moderating to moderate status after that through the end of the model run on 12/8. East anomalies are also over the East Pacific to a point south of California today and are forecast backtracking to a point south of Hawaii at the end of the model run.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
- Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (11/30) A weak MJO signal is present today over the KWGA today. The statistic model indicates the Active Phase is to start building on day 5 then peaking over the KWGA on day 10 at moderate strength then fading slightly on day 15. The dynamic model suggests the Active Phase is to not develop and instead a neutral MJO is forecast through day 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (12/1) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the Maritime Continent today and is to track east to the West Pacific and remaining weak on day 15. The GEFS model suggests the Active Phase is to hold over the Maritime Continent weak status through day 15.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (11/30) This model depicts a moderate Active Phase (wet air) over the West Pacific/KWGA tracking east while fading pushing into Central America on 1/4. A modest Inactive Phase is to set up over the West Pacific on 12/25 pushing east and into the Central Pacific and dissipating at the end of the model run on 1/9. At that time another weak Active Phase is to push over the West Pacific.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (11/30) This model depicts no MJO signal over the KWGA today but with strong east anomalies over the core of the KWGA and reaching east to a point south of California. The forecast indicates east anomalies are to hold in coverage and strength through 12/7 then fading some but still present at moderate status into 12/15, then rebuilding to strong status after that till the end of the model run over the KWGA into 12/28 and reaching east to a point south of California.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (12/1 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO was fading over the KWGA today with east anomalies in control. The Inactive Phase is to push east and out of the KWGA by 12/20 producing east anomalies filling the KWGA and points east of there to California slowly decaying in coverage over that duration. A weak Active Phase is to follow on 12/19 building in strength 1/17 and holding solid into 2/17 producing initially weak west anomalies only in the far west KWGA then building to moderate status starting 1/15 with strong east anomalies forecast in the eastern KWGA (over the dateline) through the duration. A weak Inactive MJO is to return 2/11 but with west wind anomalies unchanged 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 150E at the end of the model run. A third contour line is to appear on 12/15 with a fourth contour line developing from 1/11 and a fifth on 1/29. A single contour low pressure bias is over the Indian Ocean today and is to build in coverage holding through the end of the model run and its eastern periphery easing east to 140E at the end of the model run. Its core is to remain locked at 80E. A second contour is to develop on 12/28. East anomalies that have been previously solid in the Indian Ocean for over a year previous 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 towards a building La Nina that is not likely to be dislodged anytime soon. This is turning into a 2 year event.
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 the 30 deg isotherm was gone. The 29 deg isotherm was retrograding to 156E today. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 179W today. The 24 deg isotherm was steady at 135W today. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +1 deg C were steady in the West Pacific pushing east to 155W at depth today but no warmth east of there and no sign of moving east anytime soon. The non-stop cold anomaly pocket at -3 degs was near 105W with cool anomalies filling the entire area east of the dateline and shallower west to 150E. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 11/24 indicates the same with a large cool water bubble at depth stronger and larger erupting to the surface from 160E eastward to Ecuador with a core to -5C at 130W. 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) Negative anomalies were forming a wave pushing west from the Galapagos to 180W building to -15 cms at 120W and -10 cms solid from Ecuador to 140W. 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: (11/30) 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. Colder anomalies were imbedded in that flow between 95W to 140W and steady in coverage today. Cool anomalies were also holding along the coasts of Chile and Peru with a previous small warm pocket along southern Peru now gone. 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 (11/30): Temps were cooling in pockets on the equator between Ecuador to 135W and steady west of there.
Hi-res Overview: (11/30) 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 and west to New Guinea with markedly cool anomalies fading dramatically limited to the area near 115W. A clear La Nina signal is depicted.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (12/1) Today's temps were on a slow rise to -1.189 after previously rising to a high of -0.650 on 11/15. This area has been on a seesaw rising trend since early October. Temps were previously down to -2.138 on 8/13. The longterm trend has been steady but quite cold since June.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (12/1) Temps were steady today to -1.300 today after bottoming out at -1.654 on 11/3, beating the previous low of -0.945 on 9/22. The previous low before that 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 (12/1) Today the model indicates temps at -1.25 degs. The forecast depicts a steady downward trend to continue reaching -1.45 degs in mid-Jan then beginning to rise, rebuilding up to -0.00 degs mid-July and stabilizing there. 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 Oct 21, 2020 Plume depicts temps are at -1.10 degs today, and are to hold into Dec, then moderating and starting to rise some to -0.89 by Jan 2021 and then neutral by June. Most models are suggesting a moderate to 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) (12/1): The daily index was rising to +21.23. The 30 day average was rising at +8.99. The 90 day average was rising some at 7.70. 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