La Niña - The End

Craig Brokensha picture
Craig Brokensha (Craig)
Swellnet Analysis

The first one was a relief; a welcome change from bushfire and drought.

The second set the pattern of easterly swell and rain. It set a few weather records too.

When the third La Niña was announced, however, surfers on the Eastern Seaboard knew they were living through something special. No longer could the old timers brag about the days of yore: these were the glory days.

For almost three full years our easterly swell window has been wide open and active. So much so that even seasonal zones such as the Sunshine Coast fell into one long season of waves. It wasn't always pretty, especially when the Northern Rivers copped the floodwater outflows, but it was extremely active, to the extent that it began to feel normal. No need to rush for this eight foot swell because there'll be another one next week. 

But all good things must come to an end, and that end, unfortunately, is here.

Standard fare for our La Niña years (Brokensha)

The usual starting point of La Niña/El Niño cycles is in spring, with a peak during summer before weakening through the autumn months.

This was the case for our first and second La Niña's, through 20/21 and 21/22, but the trifecta came anomalously early this year, restrengthening through winter and peaking through the middle to end of spring.

La Niña events form under stronger than normal easterly trade-winds blowing across the equatorial Pacific Ocean, creating surface currents which pile up warm water towards the western Pacific (north-east of Australia), while upwelling colder water throughout the central and eastern Pacific Ocean.

Through July we saw a significant easterly wind anomaly along the equator (read: stronger than normal easterly winds), sending us into our third La Niña. The consecutive La Niña's preceding this third also helped bring consecutive negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) events, with the warm water piled up in the western Pacific Ocean, and associated rise in sea levels causing a through flow towards Indonesia.

The end result of the coinciding negative IOD and La Niña events was a significant warm water signal surrounding Australia, from the north-west to north-east leading to significant rainfall, particularly falling inland, this spring.

Meanwhile in Indonesia, anywhere west of Java has seen strong northwest winds spoiling exposed breaks thanks to the negative IOD signal, though this is now breaking down and will continue to into summer.

With the La Niña signal peaking through our spring, we've seen out of season surf and weather impacting the East Coast, with plentiful swells for those with a bit of flexibility in their diary.

Recent warming trend (past seven days up to Nov 27th) across the equatorial Pacific Ocean (NOAA)

At the same time, our southern brethren were rewarded for their patience with multiple days of good surf across the more exposed beaches under a north-easterly flow.

Before we get to ahead of ourselves, the questions have to be asked: Why has the third La Niña signal peaked, and what will prevent it from restrengthening over the coming months?

There are a couple of reasons.

Firstly, the source of cooler water anomalies surfacing throughout the central and eastern Pacific Ocean is starting to shrink while at the same time, the warm water sub-surface signal to the west is showing signs that it's started to transition east in the form of a Kelvin wave (see image below). There has also been a clear warming signal at the surface along the equator in the eastern Pacific over the past week (see image above).

The anomalous easterly trade-winds have also weakened, leading to a weakening of the Walker circulation which drives surface currents and the La Niña signal as whole.

Sub-surface warm water temperature anomalies have started to spread east (NOAA)

This is in line with most long-range climate models for the Niño 3.4 region, with a fairly steady transition back to a neutral phase due by the end of summer.

It should be noted that any transition from La Niña to neutral or to El Niño isn't like flicking a switch, with an instant change from wet to dry or any other variation. It's a gradual transition as the Pacific slowly warms across equatorial locations and the heat to our north-east slowly subsides.

This means we'll continue to see the influence of La Niña through this summer before we transition to a more average state of affairs for both surf and weather into next autumn and winter.

There are no clear surf signals for a neutral Niño 3.4 phase, however East Coast surfers should expect a less active swell season from the east (compared to the last two), while those in the southern states will hopefully see a return to normal programming through autumn and winter.

ENSO probabilites for the coming months. Note the decreasing La Niña probability and increasing chance of neutral conditions into next autumn/winter (NOAA)

Comments

Sprout's picture
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Sprout Tuesday, 29 Nov 2022 at 5:48pm

Unfortunately? Great news! Thanks Craig!

simsurf's picture
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simsurf Tuesday, 29 Nov 2022 at 6:08pm

I missed the normal SE QLD winter of cloudless days with offshore winds. Glad to see the end of it.

mowgli's picture
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mowgli Tuesday, 6 Dec 2022 at 11:56am

ditto

conrico's picture
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conrico Tuesday, 29 Nov 2022 at 6:41pm

Thank god!

bbbird's picture
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bbbird Tuesday, 29 Nov 2022 at 7:13pm

Excellent summary as ever Craig.
The latent (stored up) heat energy in the Coral Sea and off Qld, may still translate into winds and waves.
eg. Qld gulf to Brisbane is forecast to receive monsoon downpours Wed - Friday
https://www.weatherzone.com.au/news/soaking-rain-and-severe-storms-in-ql...
Superbank & Kirra might get good though...

Im glad many scored waves & their surfing skills would have progressed.
I wonder how many of those flimsy 4oz EPS shortboards are in the local tip...' the end' ....or...
Is there are return & recycle s'board system in Oz, if the customer snaps a new board within a day, a week or a month?

Craig's picture
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Craig Tuesday, 29 Nov 2022 at 8:49pm

Oh it will for sure still result in wind, waves and rain. The transition is slow. Not abrupt and we've still got the East Coast's prime surf seasons to push through yet.

Hit us back when spring comes around next year ;p

bonza's picture
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bonza Tuesday, 29 Nov 2022 at 7:23pm

Surf aside. That last graph El Niño trend looks scary. Fire season/s / conditions still very raw. Thanks for this write up Craig

juegasiempre's picture
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juegasiempre Wednesday, 30 Nov 2022 at 8:02am

Totally disagree with your take. It was a disaster. Ask any one on the north coast of NSW if these la niña events were a 'good thing'? Also the banks were the worst because of the constant swell. Mass erosion, polluted waterways. It was the driving decision for me to cut travelling around Australia short because I got over living in what felt like the 'end of days' weather wise. Seeing suffering on a mass scale that didn't seem real for being in Australia.

Glad you loved it though.

MrBungle's picture
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MrBungle Thursday, 1 Dec 2022 at 10:50am

At least from the central cost southwards the last 3 years has pretty amazing surf wise. The South Coast of NSW really turns on in swell with east in it while south swells that are usually more common in Winter mostly travel straight up the coast unless it's huge or long period. Definitely feel for the people further north and out west though. I also miss the good weather in Summer that we haven't had in what feels like forever.. before this it was bush fires.

helmet-not-hose's picture
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helmet-not-hose Wednesday, 30 Nov 2022 at 8:24am

I'm on the north coast and I thought it was a good thing?? Of course it wasn't great for residents of Lismore and those areas but this was written from a surfing POV. My son and daughter both started surfing seriously and I've had to tell them it won't always be this consistent.

lostdoggy's picture
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lostdoggy Wednesday, 30 Nov 2022 at 8:27am

It was good for Noosa, Byron and coolangatta.
Not so good for everyone else.

Patrick0710's picture
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Patrick0710 Wednesday, 30 Nov 2022 at 9:56am

Eye of the beholder.

Moored's picture
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Moored Wednesday, 30 Nov 2022 at 12:45pm

So what does this mean for WA Craig?

Craig's picture
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Craig Wednesday, 30 Nov 2022 at 12:50pm

Moving into autumn and winter a return to more proper frontal progressions instead of those mid-latitude lows and high riding storms. So better conditions further north than we've seen the past couple.

Also into the end of summer, a return to those stronger sea-breezy days mid-late summer.

booman's picture
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booman Wednesday, 30 Nov 2022 at 12:51pm

I reckon it has been one of the long of the longest periods of constant swell I have ever experienced. I never surfed so many sessions as the last year until it shut off last week on the QLD coast.

Standingleft's picture
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Standingleft Wednesday, 30 Nov 2022 at 1:24pm

nasigoreng's picture
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nasigoreng Wednesday, 30 Nov 2022 at 3:03pm

Good riddens. Personally I am looking forward to sunshine, blue water and stability. The far north coast residents need a break from filthy water, floods and wet undies.

Sheep go to heaven's picture
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Sheep go to heaven Wednesday, 30 Nov 2022 at 7:53pm

I think 3rd time round trumps all . It appeared the last of the 3 la Ninas was the strongest and most destructive up north and yet the most benign in southern Vic ,
never seen a southern Vic Winter like it in 30 + years of weather watching .
Day after day of 2 foot and light Nor east winds right through Winter and Spring
Virtually no north westerlies or swell

( Apart from the last 2 weeks ! )

mattlock's picture
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mattlock Wednesday, 30 Nov 2022 at 8:42pm

"those in the southern states will hopefully see a return to normal programming through autumn amd winter"
Thank fuck.
It's about time Huey.

Bungan33's picture
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Bungan33 Thursday, 1 Dec 2022 at 9:39am

Ill second that!!!
I feel really sorry for you east coast brethren (having grown up there I must admit I was green with envy...) but please Huey.....send some consistent love down south here.....

vicbloke's picture
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vicbloke Thursday, 1 Dec 2022 at 7:09am

glad too see the end of the worst 3 years on the Vic West Coast in living memory

memlasurf's picture
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memlasurf Friday, 2 Dec 2022 at 3:09pm

Loved it for surf down here surfed every day it was offshore as it wasn't too big and often is was too small which is rare down here. Normally you might get 1 or 2 days flat or too small a year and that is in summer, the Ninja brought multiple in winter truly bizarre. Now I looked this morning, offshore, sunny and 6+ foot.

SDW's picture
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SDW Thursday, 1 Dec 2022 at 10:15am

Surf wise I loathed it. I'll take less consistent swell that actually has a decent bank to break on when it arrives than swell after swell that only favours a couple of crowded points.
Human impact aside, the rains seem to have done a lot to help the recovery of so many thrashed ecosystems after the drought and heat of 2018 - 2019, likely the most significant and destructive weather/climate event since European settlement.

FriarTuck's picture
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FriarTuck Friday, 2 Dec 2022 at 11:04am

must of been a different east coast

FriarTuck's picture
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FriarTuck Friday, 2 Dec 2022 at 11:06am

2020 was way better than 2022 on MNC

dangerouskook2000's picture
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dangerouskook2000 Saturday, 3 Dec 2022 at 4:19pm

There is one other point that seems to get missed a bit or overlooked might be the word. The region up north is called the northern rivers. Up there we have an abundance of beautiful beaches with golden sand that stretch for as far as the eye can see. The reason we have these golden sandy beaches is because of all the rivers. When it rains and floods it erodes the land and washes the resultant silt and sand into the rivers which then transport it to the sea. From there the sand gets transported up the coast. I'm sure that there's other rivers on the way up tallebudgera ,coomera, logan, brisbane rivers etc which also contribute hence Straddie Moreton and Fraser islands. Don't quote me on this but I think it goes off into a big hole up north of Fraser island. Anyway I guess I'm trying to say that all this rain has given a lot of people up north nsw and qld the shits for a while, but we should hopefully also continue to have nice beaches and rippable banks too. i.e. no rain=no sand=no banks. The circle of life.....Lion King anyone?

BigZ's picture
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BigZ Monday, 5 Dec 2022 at 11:06am

FYI Dangerouskook the big hole up north of Fraser is the Capricorn Channel, a geologist informed me that even the sediment erosion from the sandstone Sydney cliffs makes it way north on the inshore escalator, all the way to Whitehaven on Whitsunday Island .

Craig's picture
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Craig Monday, 5 Dec 2022 at 11:39am

The sub-surface, warm Kelvin wave has started to spread further east. We've still got plenty of cooler water available to upwell in the far east, but the mechanisms for breakdown are getting under way.

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno Monday, 5 Dec 2022 at 7:48pm

New paper described, notices the increased La Nina compared to model projections of more El Nino. Very interesting.

(The headline is far more sensational than the balanced reporting within, and overall lack of conclusion, and so is worth a watch.)

Craig's picture
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Craig Monday, 5 Dec 2022 at 8:00pm

Yeah, I linked and discussed this in the other article, fairly fascinating!

https://www.swellnet.com/comment/857968#comment-857968

Seaweed's picture
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Seaweed Wednesday, 7 Dec 2022 at 6:25am

There must be 2 southern Victoria’s, as the one I live at has had an abundance of head high plus days of glassy reef and sandbank days since last summer.

Craig's picture
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Craig Wednesday, 7 Dec 2022 at 6:55am

Oh for sure, the exposed coasts have been the big winner the past year in Victoria, lots of north-east days and smaller swells.

Mr.Tee on a long board's picture
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Mr.Tee on a lon... Wednesday, 7 Dec 2022 at 8:41am

A return to regular programming on the M.P. and W.P. here in VIC. would be welcome after three years of very little Autumn surf to get excited about.

Patrick0710's picture
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Patrick0710 Wednesday, 7 Dec 2022 at 4:46pm

December temps in the mid-teens again this week and next week in Tassie and Vic. Same reason: a low in the Tasman and a high in the Southern squeezing winds up from the polar vortex.

Craig's picture
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Craig Wednesday, 7 Dec 2022 at 4:49pm

Yep, those long-range EC charts I linked here: https://www.swellnet.com/comment/865596#comment-865596, showing the prolonged cold spell are coming to fruition.

Here's the latest, extending to Chrissie..

Craig's picture
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Craig Wednesday, 7 Dec 2022 at 4:52pm

Here are the temperature anomaly chart forecasts for the coming weeks as well.

Mon 5 - 12 Dec

Mon 12 - 19 Dec

Mon 19 - 26 Dec

Patrick0710's picture
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Patrick0710 Thursday, 8 Dec 2022 at 10:06am

Far out. I'd pencilled in mid-Dec as a return to 'normal'. Admittedly more out of hope than anything else ...

george-mcfly's picture
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george-mcfly Saturday, 10 Dec 2022 at 8:01am

So we should start to see some improvement in SA as its been the wort run of surf I've seen in the last 3 years. Come on Huey bless us down here whith waves a plenty

kieranol's picture
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kieranol Sunday, 15 Jan 2023 at 10:12am

Fingers crossed george-mcfly. It has been a long time between drinks.

Sprout's picture
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Sprout Tuesday, 20 Dec 2022 at 3:53pm

I finally found some incredible sand. Best banks I've seen in at least 3 years. Needed two hands to count the perfect a-frame banks up and down the stretch. Crystal clear water. One person on the entire beach. Not a single person in the water. No buildings, just nature. A soul nourishing sight, magic. Over 2500ks South from home with no board or wetty. Ah well, nice to know it still exists somewhere.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Tuesday, 20 Dec 2022 at 4:16pm

Nice one Sprout......South of Vicco?

Big Island?

Sprout's picture
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Sprout Tuesday, 20 Dec 2022 at 6:08pm

Yeah mate, technically an island, off an island, off an island haha, great cheese... but not that island.
People who surf that big wave out to sea, which is a speck on the horizon, are actually mental.
Will definitely head back there with a board next year, beautiful place.

dawnperiscope's picture
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dawnperiscope Wednesday, 21 Dec 2022 at 7:34am

Just looking at the SSTs and notice some big changes offshore both here and Peru have occurred over the past couple of weeks.
Peruvian fisherman could be feeling like the little boy is coming!
Hope the cold water stays offshore here.

dawnperiscope's picture
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dawnperiscope Tuesday, 3 Jan 2023 at 5:09pm

After another look at all the excellent links you've posted Craig and the SSTs seem to have returned to "muy frio" off Peru with high pressure entrenched in the eastern Pacific.
The Kelvin wave looks like it's still doing its thing further west - so hoping the Peru SSTs are just a blip on the return to neutral (anxious face emoji)

Cruisin's picture
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Cruisin Tuesday, 10 Jan 2023 at 8:46am

Starting to think the unthinkable may play out a fourth la-nina. Over the past few seasons, the Bjerknes feedback keeps intimately intensifying with the east to west winds and thus has sustained the thermal gradient bringing up cooler water to the surface over the enso region 3.4. Just my 2cents. Some climate models are showing a change to neutral and then onto a warm elnino cp. The climate models have been mostly poor over past few years most had forecasted neutral to warm to happen last year tho it never happened. Climatology is given to much weight in the forecasts with enso modeling.

Dx3's picture
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Dx3 Tuesday, 10 Jan 2023 at 9:34am

I've never wanted someone to be wrong more in all my life. Please no more La Nina's, we can't take another la nina autumn and winter surf down here.

dawnperiscope's picture
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dawnperiscope Tuesday, 10 Jan 2023 at 3:43pm

That's really interesting. One thing I've been pondering for a while that I'd be interested to hear thoughts from yourself and Craig -

My understanding is that in general the strength of the winds is increasing with the warming atmosphere. With increased wind speed comes increased upwelling and there is a hell of a lot more cold water down there than Kelvin can feedback. Throw in the cold water coming up the coast of South America from Antarctica melting and I've been regularly checking the sea temperature charts wondering if Kelvin's impact may be short lived.

I'm now wondering if perhaps I'm saying what you've just said!

PS - I hope no-one takes offence to the personification of Kelvin

Craig's picture
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Craig Tuesday, 10 Jan 2023 at 10:31am

Overall the sub-surface temperatures are warming, even with the recent burst of easterly trade-winds.

Notice the darker blues becoming lighter as well as the near surface warming to the east.

dawnperiscope's picture
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dawnperiscope Tuesday, 10 Jan 2023 at 3:35pm

Thats good news Craig.
From a novice perspective that unthinkable has also been growing roots over the last week with the colder waters off Peru continuing to spread northwest on the SST anomalies.

Craig's picture
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Craig Tuesday, 10 Jan 2023 at 3:39pm

Nothing to worry about relative to the warming. Here's the latest 7 days trend in SST.

dawnperiscope's picture
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dawnperiscope Tuesday, 10 Jan 2023 at 3:45pm

Nice, that one really paints the picture.
Sticking that in the kit bag. thanks!

batfink's picture
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batfink Tuesday, 10 Jan 2023 at 5:47pm

I hated the dirty water. Just can’t talk myself into smelly, oily, greasy water surfs. Not to mention bull sharks taking chunks out of boards at the local (another reason to dislike dirty water). So that put me out of the water from about Feb to May 2022. Add on Covid lockdowns and every nutter taking up surfing meant abominable surf conditions, regardless of wave size.

Then there was the sand movement which was beneficial 1 time out of 4, and terrible for the other 3.

Been the worst 3 years for surfing for me, and I got a redundancy from work in that time.

Hopefully back to more normal conditions. Everyone else back to school and work. Then I’ll start all over again.

Standingleft's picture
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Standingleft Wednesday, 11 Jan 2023 at 9:31am

Sorry to hear that list of bummers BF hopefully will slowly turn around for you. Just remember mate, your wings are like a shield of steel

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thermalben Friday, 13 Jan 2023 at 6:51am

NWS expecting a neutral transition over the next couple of months, to become fully established through late autumn, early winter (the MAM forecast - issued Nov - was a 70% chance of neutral, the new forecast is at 82%). Weak El Nino on the cards from spring onwards.

Cruisin's picture
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Cruisin Friday, 13 Jan 2023 at 8:15am

DIAGNOSTIC DISCUSSION
issued by
CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER/NCEP/NWS
12 January 2023

ENSO Alert System Status: La Niña Advisory
Quote
Synopsis: A transition from La Niña to ENSO-neutral is anticipated during the February-April 2023 season. By Northern Hemisphere spring (March-May 2023), the chance for ENSO-neutral is 82%.

During December, below-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) weakened over the equatorial Pacific Ocean . All of the latest weekly Niño index values were between -0.7°C and -0.8°C . The subsurface temperature anomalies also weakened substantially but below-average subsurface temperatures persisted near the surface and at depth in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean . However, the atmospheric circulation anomalies over the tropical Pacific Ocean did not notably weaken. Low-level easterly wind and upper-level westerly wind anomalies remained across most of the equatorial Pacific. Suppressed convection persisted over the western and central tropical Pacific, while enhanced convection was observed around Indonesia . Overall, the coupled ocean-atmosphere system continued to reflect La Niña.

The most recent IRI plume predicts that La Niña will transition to ENSO-neutral during the Northern Hemisphere winter 2022-23. Interestingly the dynamical models indicate a faster transition (January-March) than the statistical models (February-April). At this time, the forecaster consensus favors the statistical models, with a transition to ENSO-neutral in the February-April 2023 season. The sustained atmospheric circulation anomalies and the weakening downwelling oceanic Kelvin wave do not support an imminent transition. However, lower accuracy during times of transition, and when predictions go through the spring, means that uncertainty remains high. In summary, a transition from La Niña to ENSO-neutral is anticipated during the February-April 2023 season. By Northern Hemisphere spring (March-May 2023), the chance for ENSO-neutral is 82%.
https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_advisory...


Craig's picture
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Craig Friday, 13 Jan 2023 at 8:40am

Some great analysis in there, including the stubborn walker circulation and persistent easterly trade-winds, but the overall trend is still a warming one across and below the equatorial Pacific.

Not just a big rebound out of La Niña for reasons they've also stated.

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freeride76 Friday, 13 Jan 2023 at 8:37am

Great.

Island Bay's picture
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Island Bay Friday, 13 Jan 2023 at 8:46am

SST anomaly off Fiordland (southernmost NZ)

Craig's picture
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Craig Friday, 13 Jan 2023 at 8:48am

Wow, sweltering..

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Friday, 13 Jan 2023 at 8:52am

Do you have a hypothesis for that phenomena IB?

Island Bay's picture
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Island Bay Friday, 13 Jan 2023 at 9:01am

Probably persistent NE flow forcing downwelling, along with generally higher SSTs in the Tasman.

These are two good websites for monitoring NZ SSTs:

https://www.moanaproject.org/marine-heatwave-forecast

https://www.swellmap.com/map-forecasts/sea.temperature.anomaly.at-sea-su...

Cruisin's picture
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Cruisin Friday, 13 Jan 2023 at 9:54am

Not the forecast you 'want' to see. With potent easterlies domination over the enso region.
Whilst the bjerknes feedback setup is showing no signs of winding down. I myself are sticking to my previous thoughts.

Island Bay's picture
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Island Bay Friday, 13 Jan 2023 at 2:16pm

Nice little daisy chain of tropical lows, courtesy of GFS/Windy.com

Cruisin's picture
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Cruisin Saturday, 14 Jan 2023 at 1:20pm

Cool tongue

Island Bay's picture
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Island Bay Saturday, 14 Jan 2023 at 2:55pm

Yep, it's definitely not El Nino yet.

Cruisin's picture
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Cruisin Sunday, 15 Jan 2023 at 9:49am

Indeed, and also its not near a neutral atmosphere either.
We remain steadfastly in a la-nina environment with water temperatures in the equatorial pacific comfortably cooler. SOI average for last 30 days was + 20.44 reflecting the steadfastly nina atmosphere as well instead of just showing up in ocean water sst's.

kieranol's picture
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kieranol Sunday, 15 Jan 2023 at 10:16am

I am drowning in science here. I guess mother nature will eventually make a decision as all good women eventually do. Good thing we cant control her :- )

dawnperiscope's picture
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dawnperiscope Wednesday, 18 Jan 2023 at 11:16pm

On the latest upper ocean heat anomaly it looks like Kelvin has pulled a hammy

Craig's picture
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Craig Thursday, 19 Jan 2023 at 8:03am

It's not letting go just yet but the Pacific overall is still slowly warming.

Here's the weekly SST's

And the weekly anoms

The Kelvin wave was definitely stopped by persistent stronger than normal trades through the end of December.

Looks like another easterly burst coming as another Kelvin wave builds in heat, primed and ready to go to the west.

Will continue to watch closely with interest.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Thursday, 19 Jan 2023 at 10:08am

She doesn't want to let go.

Roopy's picture
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Roopy Thursday, 19 Jan 2023 at 11:16am

Hi Steve,

Hope you don't mind me asking this here, and I appreciate it's a silly question for just about everyone except me, but here goes: in the surf reports for the Gold Coast, what's the difference between the 'magnets' and the 'points'? I think (I hope) I know what is meant by the 'points' (eg: snapper, kirra, the alley, burleigh), but I'm not sure about 'magnets'. At first I thought the terms were synonymous, but - taking today's report as an example - there seems to be a distinction drawn.

Thanks in advance, and I really appreciate your work, not least 'Drift Theory' (for anyone who missed it: https://www.swellnet.com/news/swellnet-dispatch/2022/12/30/drift-theory)

MrBungle's picture
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MrBungle Tuesday, 24 Jan 2023 at 3:15pm

I'm not Steve but, he is probably referring to 'swell magnets' - which is common way of describing a surf break which usually picks up the most amount of swell in the area, usually from a certain swell direction. Where I live for example, there are lots of NE swell magnets, headlands and beaches that are exposed to NE swell, but also a beach facing dead south which picks up a lot more south swell than all the other spots around the area but is almost flat on a NE swell. Swell direction especially those that are not mostly east in direction play a big roll in the size of the surf at a given break.

stunet's picture
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stunet Tuesday, 31 Jan 2023 at 10:28am

Hey Roopy,

I'm not Steve either but Mr Bungle has nailed it. Magnets are simply those places that receive the most amount of swell on any given direction. In a sense, they're the benchmark for what's on offer that day.

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freeride76 Tuesday, 31 Jan 2023 at 11:26am

Sorry Roopy, missed that.

As above, and to be more specific when I'm referring to NENSW/SEQLD magnets, I'm referring to S swell magnets primarily.

Craig's picture
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Craig Tuesday, 24 Jan 2023 at 1:32pm

The guys at Earth and Space research have developed a tool to analyse the equatorial surface currents which then leads to a response in the SST signal across the Pacific. When the blue line is negative, the currents are flowing from east to west, and vice versa. I discussed this a couple of years ago here: https://www.swellnet.com/news/swellnet-analysis/2021/06/24/are-we-headin...

Basically the increase in surface currents along the equator correlates extremely well to the sea surface temperature response in the months following.

What the latest data shows is that even though we've been seeing the weak, persistent trades, the overall surface current from east to west is on the decline, and with that so are the SST anomalies.

https://www.esr.org/data-products/monthly-enso-index/

dawnperiscope's picture
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dawnperiscope Tuesday, 24 Jan 2023 at 3:16pm

Thanks Craig. Clicked on the link to your old article and got mighty confused! Looks like they decided at some time since then the SST anomaly direction was upside down

Craig's picture
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Craig Tuesday, 24 Jan 2023 at 3:18pm

They have to!! Ha, makes it more confusing reading the old article. Easier to track the correlation now though.

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Cruisin Wednesday, 25 Jan 2023 at 9:31pm


5N-5S, 120W-170W

Yawns wake me up when there is a legitimate trend with matching sst thresholds being met with the data to verify there is warming over the 3.4 region.

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Cruisin Tuesday, 31 Jan 2023 at 10:23am


Those easterlies are still being forecast to strengthen over the date line. The continuation with the rebound's of cool upwellings over the Enso region will likely just continue if the wind forecast on the above plot continues to verify as such.

Sloshing (KW's) for warm anom down welling to be effective over enso will need very weak and at some point a total reversal of those easterlies across the date line for a change to a warm phase to eventuate over enso.

You guys have likely had a gutful now of my opinions on enso and where i think its heading over
the next few months. That's just my 2 cents.

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Cruisin Tuesday, 31 Jan 2023 at 11:01am


add to above post.

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Sprout Tuesday, 31 Jan 2023 at 1:34pm

Love your posts Cruisin, learning new things, keep it up.

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Craig Wednesday, 1 Feb 2023 at 11:58am

Quite a significant trade-burst feeding into the MJO signal, but I still feel this Niña is slowly falling apart.

More so a gut feel looking at the sub-surface stuff and continued slow warming of the basin as a whole, but the current circulation still keeps pointing La Niña. Continue to wait and watch.

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batfink Wednesday, 1 Feb 2023 at 3:01pm

A 4th La Niña would be hard to take, but so would an El Niño.

Hoping for neutral for a while, anything else looks disastrous for large parts of Oz.

Reported on ABC weather last night that the EAC was strong and not far off the coast, with water temps of 27 degrees offshore of Coffs (yikes).

27 degrees sounds horrible. I can’t cool down in boardies and a vest in 23 degrees.

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freeride76 Wednesday, 1 Feb 2023 at 3:19pm

Cooler inshore at the moment BF.