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Forecast Origin Dates

The Pacific Fishery Management Council manages fisheries off the coast of California, Oregon, and Washington, for about 119 species of ground fish, salmon, coastal pelagic species, and highly migratory species. The Fishery Management Council has requested that its Ecosystem Plan Development Team provide annual State of the California Current Ecosystem Reports. The reports include observed indicators of environmental conditions in the California Current that affect the productivity and distribution of harvested fish populations.

Using our J-SCOPE ocean condition predictions, here we can forecast many of these California Current environmental conditions and indicators, including:

  • Regional Upwelling Indices, which drive local primary production. Two wind products are reported here. The first is the 8-day Upwelling Index. The average of all three model runs making up the ensemble are plotted in the solid line with the range of the ensemble runs shown as a gray cloud around that line. The upwelling season is predicted to begin on the 28th of March, which is earlier than the climatological average reported by NOAA of April 13th.

  • The second is the Cumulative Upwelling Index, CUI. The ensemble mean is plotted in the solid line and range of the ensemble runs plotted as a gray cloud around that line. The spring transition or day when upwelling begins predicted by the CUI is March 22nd, also predicted to occur earlier than the climatological average of April 13th. In addition, the CUI is predicted to be lower (~2500) than the average of 6,163 m3/sec per 100 m of coastline. We know from prior forecast years that the CFS model is biased toward longer upwelling seasons, due to late onset of the fall transition.

Complementary forecasting tools provide forecasts of basin-scale climate indicators:

  • Multivariate ENSO Index. The January 2015 CFS forecast suggests a chance of El Niño conditions in January – February 2015, with ENSO-neutral favored thereafter.

  • Pacific Decadal Oscillation The January 2015 CFS forecast suggests a continuation of the positive phase of the PDO conditions into 2015.