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Forecast Origin Dates

The 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 JSCOPE 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 (m2/s). 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 30th day of May (black line), which is later than the climatological average reported by NOAA of April 13th (pink line).

  • 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 April 17th (black line), also predicted to occur later than the climatological average of April 13th (pink line). In addition, the CUI is predicted to be lower 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:

  • ENSO Index. The January 2016 CFS forecast suggests a continuation of El NiƱo conditions in January - February 2016, with ENSO-neutral possible near the end of the summer.

  • Pacific Decadal Oscillation The January 2016 CFS forecast suggests a continuation of the positive phase of the PDO conditions into 2016 trending toward more neutral conditions over the summer with a possible reversal in July of 2016 and thereafter.