Wednesday, December 11, 2019
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Barbers Point (Buoy 238) : Seas were 3.6 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 2.3 ft @ 14.5 secs from 301 degrees.
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 8.6 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 7.3 ft @ 13.6 secs from 325 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.3 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 1.2 ft @ 13.5 secs from 204 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 4-6 kts. Water temperature 62.1 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 2.9 ft @ 15.7 secs from 296 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.6 ft @ 13.5 secs from 213 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.6 ft @ 13.4 secs from 208 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.0 ft @ 13.4 secs from 239 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 9.8 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 6.4 ft @ 13.3 secs from 290 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was southeast at 20-23 kts. Water temp 55.4 degs (013), 56.8 degs (012) and 57.2 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 Wednesday (12/11) in North and Central CA Gulf windswell was producing waves at 1-2 ft overhead and pretty lumpy from south wind and soft but with defined lines apparent. Protected breaks were waist to chest high and clean and lined up but soft and closed out. At Santa Cruz surf was waist to chest high and clean and lined up but soft. In Southern California/Ventura the same windswell was producing waves at thigh high and lined up but heavily textured and weak. In North Orange Co sets waves were waist high and clean but inconsistent. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were waist high or so and textured and lined up but weak. North San Diego had waves at thigh high and textured and soft and unremarkable. Hawaii's North Shore was getting Kuril Island swell with sets 2 ft overhead and clean and lined up but inconsistent. The South Shore was flat to thigh high and textured from solid easterly wind. The East Shore was getting Kuril Island wrap around swell at head high and flat and textured from modest easterly trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Wednesday (12/11) in Hawaii swell was still hitting from a broad but ill defined fetch that pushed off the Kuril Islands tracking to the dateline Thurs-Sat (12/8) with 24 ft seas over a solid area aimed east then redeveloped over the North Dateline region Sat-Sun (12/8) with up to 30 ft seas aimed east. A portion of this swell was hitting California too. Storm #1 developed off the Kuril Islands tracking east Mon-Tues (12/10) with up to 40 ft seas aimed east, then redeveloped in the Gulf Tues-Wed (12/11) with up to 42 ft seas aimed east. Swell is in the water pushing towards Hawaii and the US West Coast. Another storm is to push off the North Kuril Islands Fri-Sat (12/14) with seas up to 41 ft aimed east initially, then fading as it approaches the dateline only to redevelop in the Northwestern Gulf Sun (12/15) with seas to 36 ft aimed east. Yet another gale is to develop off the Kuril Islands tracking east Sun-Mon (12/16) with up to 40 ft seas aimed east fading in the Western Gulf on Wed (12/18) with seas fading from 29 ft. A continued productive swell pattern is forecast.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Wednesday (12/11) the jetstream was reasonably consolidated pushing off Japan with winds to 140 kts in pockets fading some on the dateline only to rebuild over the Gulf of Alaska with winds to 150 kts forming a trough there offering good support for gale development then poised to push inland over North CA. Over the next 72 hours the Gulf trough is to move inland over Vancouver Island on Sat (12/14) providing steadily diminishing support for gale development. Back to the west winds to consolidate later Thurs (12/12) off the Kuril Islands forming a new trough offering decent support for gale development with that trough pushing east and fading in the Northwestern Gulf on Sat (12/14). Beyond 72 hours that trough is to redevelop in the northern Gulf of Alaska on Sun (12/15) being fed by 150 kts again offering support for gale development and pushing east into later Tues (12/17) pushing inland over North CA. And on Mon (12/16) the jet is to produce another trough off Kamchatka being fed by 140 kt winds holding together well moving east to the Dateline and into the Western Gulf on Wed (12/18) offering good support for gale development. A bit of a split in the jet is forecast developing just west of the Dateline on Wed (12/18) but winds are to be rebuilding over Japan at 170 kts possibly offering hope beyond. Not a bad upper level pattern is taking hold.
On Wednesday (12/11) swell from a fetch that pushed off the Kuril Islands was hitting Hawaii and California (See Kuril Fetch below).
Over the next 72 hours swell from a far more interesting storm is to be moving into Hawaii and California (see Dateline Storm #1 below).
And another small gale is forecast developing pushing off the Northern Kuril Islands on Fri AM (12/13) with 45 kt west winds and seas 41 ft at 43N 161E aimed east. In the evening west winds to fade from 35-40 kts over a broad area aimed east with 35 ft seas at 42.5N 171E aimed east. On Sat AM (12/14) the fetch is to move to the North Dateline region at 35-45 kts from the west with 31 ft seas 42N 180W. Fetch is to redevelop in the evening over the far Northwestern Gulf at 45 kts with 34 ft seas at 49.5N 168W aimed east. Fetch is to move east on Sun AM (12/15) at 35 kts with 34 ft seas at 48N 161W aimed east. Fetch fading in the evening from 30-35 kts and seas fading from 27 ft at 47N 158W aimed east. The gale to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.
Dateline Storm #1
On Sun PM (12/8) a new gale was building off the Kuril Islands with northwest winds 40-45 kts and seas 34 ft at 44N 160.5E aimed east. On Mon AM (12/9) the storm was building with west winds 50 kts solid over a decent sized area and with seas building to 36 ft at 43.5N 169E aimed east. The storm tracked east pushing to the dateline in the evening with 45-50 kt west winds over a solid area and seas 38 ft at 42N 178.5E aimed east. On Tues AM (12/10) west winds were 40 kts from the west in the Western Gulf with seas 38 ft at 41.5N 172.5W aimed east with secondary fetch building east of that area at 45 kts producing 34 ft seas at 43N 156.5W aimed east. In the evening the gale pushed east and northeast with 45 kt west winds in the Central Gulf of Alaska with 32 ft seas from the original fetch at 40N 152W aimed east-southeast and 42 ft seas from the secondary fetch at 46N 149.5W aimed east. On Wed AM (12/11) the gale is to be fading while lifting north with 35-40 kt west winds filling the Gulf with 34 ft seas up at 47.5N 144.5W aimed east and another pocket of seas at 32 ft at 42N 145W. Remnants of the gale are to hold circulating in the Northwestern Gulf into Thurs (12/12) with 40-45 kt northwest winds and seas fading Wed PM from 30 ft at 49N 147W aimed east and then 33 ft on Thurs AM (12/12) at 51N 148W aimed east. Something to monitor.
Hawaii: Expect swell arrival Wed afternoon (12/11) building to 9.2 ft @ 15-16 secs (14.0 ft). Swell to continue if not build more on Thurs AM (12/12) pushing 10.4 ft @ 17 secs (17.5 ft) holding decently through the day. Swell fading on Fri (12/13) from 7.8 ft @ 14 secs (11.0 ft). Dribbles on Sat (12/14) fading from 3.4 ft @ 12-13 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 324 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (12/12) building to 6.7 ft @ 18 secs late (12 ft) with lesser period swell intermixed. Swell peaking on Fri AM (12/13) pushing 10 ft @ 15-16 secs (15.5 ft) with longer period energy arriving later. Swell fading on Sat (12/14) from 8.4 ft @ 15-16 secs (13.0 ft). Swell fading on Sun (12/15) from 6.2 ft @ 14 secs (8.5 ft). Residuals on Mon (12/16) fading from 6.0 ft @ 12-13 secs (7.0 ft). Swell Direction: 290-297 degrees
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (12/13) building to 4.8 ft @ 16-17 secs early (7.5 ft) with lesser period swell intermixed. Swell peaking on Sat (12/14) pushing 4.7 ft @ 17 secs early (7.5 ft). Swell fading on Sun (12/15) from 3.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (4.0 ft). Swell fading on Mon (12/16) from 3.3 ft @ 13 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 293-300 degrees
On Thurs AM (12/5) a new fetch of west winds was building pushing off the Kuril Islands at 30-35 kts with seas 24 ft at 42N 160E aimed east. Fetch held in the evening while pushing east halfway to the dateline with 25 ft seas over a broad area at 40N 167E aimed east. More of the same occurred on Fri AM (12/6) with 25-30 kt west winds over a large area aimed east with 23-24 ft seas at 43N 173E aimed east. Fetch was fading in the evening from 30 kts but back building over the Western Aleutians at 35+ kts with 21 ft seas over a large area at 45N 177E aimed east. On Sat AM (12/7) fetch became more focused over the Northern Dateline region at 40 kts and seas 27 ft up at 50N 170E aimed east. In the evening 35-40 kt west winds moved to the dateline with 30 ft seas at 49N 178E aimed east. On Sun AM (12/8) fetch was fading from 30 kts from the northwest moving towards the Western Gulf with 27 ft seas fading at 47N 174W aimed east. Fetch is to be fading in the evening from 30 kts with seas fading from 23 ft at 45N 169W aimed east.
Hawaii: Swell fading on Wed (12/11) while being overrun by possible new swell. Swell Direction: 313 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (12/11) 4.2 ft @ 14-15 secs early (6.0 ft) building some to 6.0 ft @ 13 secs later (7.5 ft). The secondary pulse to arrive on Thurs (12/12) at 6.7 ft @ 15 secs (10 ft) and being overrun by possible new swell. Swell Direction: 290-295 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Wed (12/11) a weak but steady southerly flow was occurring over North CA as a front approaches with light winds for Central CA. Light rain fading early for North CA, building in to the evening reaching south to the Golden Gate. Light snow or sleet for the highest elevations of Tahoe. Thurs (12/12) light winds are forecast all day except with south winds 15 kts for Cape Mendocino early with a front stalling over the Oregon-CA border. Light rain for North CA down to Pigeon Point at times through the day. Light rain for the northern Sierra. Friday (12/13) light winds are forecast but north winds at 15 kts for Pt Conception building to 20 kts late afternoon. Light rain possible for Pt Arena northward building south to Monterey Bay overnight. Snow developing for the Sierra at sunset holding overnight. Sat (12/14) north winds are forecast at 15 kts early for all of North and Central CA building to 20+ kts later for Pt Conception down into Southern CA. Light snow for the Sierra fading late afternoon. Rain developing in the evening from Monterey Bay northward with snow redeveloping in the evening to the Sierra. Sunday (12/15) north winds continue at 20 kts solid over all of North and Central CA and 25 kts for Southern CA. Light snow for the Sierra fading mid-morning. Monday (12/16) north to north winds are forecast at 10 kts early and fading through the day as another low sets up off the coast. Light rain for Cape Mendocino mainly early. Tues (12/17) south winds are forecast at 15 kts early for North CA building to 20 kts later mainly north of Pt Arena. Rain developing for all of North and Central CA down to Pt Conception late afternoon. Moderate snow developing in the evening for the Sierra. Wednesday (12/18) northwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for North and Central CA. Light rain mainly for North CA early. Moderate snow fading steadily through the day for the Sierra. .
Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 36, 44, 29 and 7 inches respectively.
Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!
No swell producing fetch is occurring.
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch is 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 starting Sun AM (12/15) yet another storm is to start building just off the Kuril Islands producing northwest winds at 45-50 kts resulting in 36 ft seas at 42.5 N 158E aimed east. In the evening 45-50 kt northwesterly winds are to track east with 39 ft seas at 42N 166E aimed east-southeast. On Mon AM (12/16) a solid area of 45 kt west winds are to be mid-way to the dateline with 40 ft seas at 44.5N 173E aimed east. In the evening the gael is to move over the North Dateline region at 35-40 kts with 36 ft seas at 45N 178W aimed east. On Tues AM (12/17) residual 35 kt west fetch is to push just east of the dateline with 34 ft seas at 47.5N 171.5W aimed east. More of the same expected in the evening with 31 ft seas at 46/5N 169.5W aimed east. The gale is to hold together Wed AM (12/18) with 30-35 kt west winds and 30 ft seas at 45.5N 164W aimed east. The gale to continue east in the evening with 30 kts west winds over a large area with 25 ft seas nearly filling the Gulf at 45N 156W aimed east. Something to monitor.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
MJO Turning Inactive - West Anomalies Fading in KWGA
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: 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.
LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Fall/Winter 2019/2020 = 5.0/4.0 (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: It is assumed the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that a weak borderline El Nino from 2018 is fading out, but not yet completely gone, especially in the atmosphere. Likewise it looks like a La Nina ocean temperature pattern is developing in the equatorial East Pacific, with cooler than normal waters tracking west on the equator. We assumed El Nino like momentum will hold for a while in the atmosphere will take a while to sense that the ocean temperature pattern has changed. But once it does, a turn towards a La Nina like atmospheric pattern will start to develop. that transition is expected in the late Nov-early Dec timeframe. Even so, moderation from the PDO might prevent La Nina from fully developing. Given all that, there is decent probability for a normal start to the Fall surf season (in the Northern Hemisphere) meaning a normal amount of number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in a normal levels of swell, with normal duration and normal period. But by mid-Dec 2019, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start fading and as a result, swell production should fade slightly as well. This pattern is expected to hold through April 2020.
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 (12/10) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific fading some over the Central Pacific continuing on the dateline then turning light westerly over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the far East equatorial Pacific turning light westerly on the dateline and modest westerly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (12/11) westerly anomalies were rapidly collapsing in the KWGA today and barely holding on over the dateline. The forecast calls for moderate easterly anomalies developing in the KWGA on 12/12 building to moderate status 12/14 and then fading to neutral if not light westerly at the end of the model run on 12/18.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (12/10) A modest Inactive MJO signal was over the far west KWGA today. The statistic model indicates this weak Inactive Phase is to fade some while while pushing east to the dateline at day 10 and then nearly gone relocated to the dateline at day 15 while the Active Phase starts building weakly over the far West Pacific at day 15. The dynamic model indicates the same thing but with the Inactive Phase and the Active Phase gone at day 15 with a dead neutral pattern in effect. The 2 models are mostly in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (12/11) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the Central Indian Ocean today and is to move to the Maritime Continent and very weak at day 15. The GEFS model suggests the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (12/11) This model depicts a modest Inactive MJO over the West Pacific today. The Inactive Phase is to track east over the Pacific pushing into Central America 12/28. A weak Active Phase is to start building over the KWGA on 12/31 pushing to the East Pacific and over Central America on 1/20. A weak Active MJO signal is forecast setting up over the West Pacific at that time.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (12/10) This model depicts the Active Phase was all but gone over the Central Pacific today with moderate west anomalies collapsing in the KWGA. Weak east anomalies are to start building in the KWGA on 12/11 holding to 12/30 as the Inactive Phase of the MJO builds while moving east over KWGA, and moving east out of the KWGA on 1/2. A neutral MJO Phase to follow with neutral anomalies developing in the KWGA 1/2 holding through the end of the model run on 1/7.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (12/11) This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO was over the KWGA with weak east anomalies starting to build in the KWGA. East anomalies associated with the Inactive Phase are to hold for 3 days then fading to neutral. The Inactive Phase is to hold through 1/5 now with no sign of west anomalies developing. A weak version of the Active Phase is to develop tracking east through the KWGA 1/8 holding through 2/21 with weak west anomalies developing on 1/20 holding through 2/13. An even weaker Inactive Phase is to follow starting 2/17 through the end of the model run on 3/9. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias with 2 contour lines in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to the California coast. The second contour line is to hold till 1/23, then collapse. A high pressure bias built in the Indian Ocean starting 10/22 and is to hold through the end of the model run through getting significantly weaker at the end of the run. A strong area of east anomalies in the Indian Ocean is now forecast to significantly weaken by 1/20 and gone thereafter.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (12/11) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm was stable after backtracking to 173E while the 29 deg isotherm was backtracking from 171W to 173W. The 28 deg isotherm line was backtracking some to 162W to 163W today. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing east into Ecuador after previously being steady at 105W. Anomaly wise, gentle warm anomalies are filling the entire Pacific with an interesting pocket at 2-3 degs building from the Maritime Continent moving east with it's leading edge at 150W indicative of new Kevin Wave #6 pushing east. A smaller area of warm water at +2 degs was pushing into Ecuador indicative of Kelvin Wave #5 pushing east there. Warm water was filling the entire equatorial subsurface Pacific from 110 meters upwards. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 12/4 indicates warm water had formed a Kelvin Wave extending from 140E under the Dateline east to 160W at +2-3 degrees with lesser warm water pushing east from there then rebuilding to +2-3 degrees and impacting Ecuador. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (12/4) A small area of weak nondescript positive anomalies were fading on the equator in the vicinity of the Galapagos. A building pocket of +5 cms anomalies was tracking east centered at 155E-150W. Negative anomalies were gone along Peru and being replaced by very weak positive anomalies in pockets.
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: (12/11) The latest images ( 1.2 3.4 ) indicate warming anomalies were building some along Peru up into Ecuador with a stream of modest warm anomalies tracking west on the equator over the Galapagos out to the dateline. Weak cool anomalies were south of the equator off Peru still reaching west to 105W. Weak warm anomalies were on and north of the equator building while tracking west to the dateline.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (12/10): Today a building area of warming was along Peru steaming west off Ecuador on the equator out to 120W. Previous pockets of cooling interspersed along the equator from Ecuador to 140W were all but gone. The short term trend is now towards warming in the far East South Pacific. This is a step in the right direction.
Hi-res Overview: (12/10) A weak fading area of cool anomalies is trying to hold on south of the equator off Peru reaching out to 125W. Otherwise gentle warming is pushing west on the equator, out to the dateline. Warmer than normal water was north of the equator from the remnants of El Nino, but mostly gone south of the equator. Water temps appear to be stable mildly favoring El Nino.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (12/11) Today's temps continued falling down to -0.751 after previously peaking at +1.55 degrees on 12/2. It now appears we are now in a falling trend. Temps previously had been building since 10/10 when temps bottomed out at -1.921 degs.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (12/11) Temps were steady today at +0.126. Temps peaked on 11/14 at +0.509 degs, fell some to -0.018 on 11/28, and are now trying to rebuild. The trend has been steadily generally upwards since Sept when they bottomed out at -0.6 degs (9/14).
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (12/11) Actual's indicate a cooling trend set up late summer with temps -0.2 degs in mid-Sept then then trend started rising to +0.25 degs in early Oct building slightly to +0.5 degs in early Nov. The forecast has temps holding in the +0.5 degree range into May, then fading to +0.25 in late July. According to this model a neutral sea surface temperature pattern biased slightly warm is forecast for the foreseeable future.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Oct 2019 Plume depicts temps are at +0.25 degs, and are to hold in the +0.25 deg range into May 2020, then fading slightly to +0.15 in June 2020. 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) (12/11): The daily index was positive today at +5.14 but has been toggling between positive and negative equally the last 13 days. The 30 day average was negative and rising to -5.19. The 90 day average was rising slightly at -6.77, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was developing.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): Oct +0.33 Sept +1.13, August +0.64, July +0.75, June -0.32, May +1.10, April +0.30, March +1.0, Feb +1.29, Jan +0.193. This index has been steadily positive but still indicates mostly ENSO neutral conditions (not El Nino).
Pacific Decadal Oscillation
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 -0.43, Sept -0.46, Oct -0.75, Nov -0.78, Dec -0.12, Jan -0.23, Feb -0.55 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