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PEAC Seasonal Sea Level Outlook

(PEAC Services will no longer provide an official Sea Level Outlook as of January 2020)


November- December- January (DJF) 2019-2020

 

The following sections describe: (i) the Canonical Correlation Analysis (CCA)-based forecasts for the seasonal MEAN and MAXIMUM sea level anomaly in the DJF season of 2019/2020, and (ii) the monthly sea level anomaly observed in the previous season,  September- October- November (SON) of 2019-2020. See Figure 2 at right for location of USAPI tide guage stations.

Note that 'anomalies' are defined as 'deviations or departures from the normal' using 1983-2001 mean sea level values computed at each station. Also, note that the forecasting technique used here does not account for sea level anomalies created by other atmospheric or geological conditions such as tropical cyclones, storm surges or tsunamis.

(i) Seasonal Sea Level Outlook DJF 2019/2020

Based on the independent SST values observed in the SON 2019 season, the resulting CCA model has been used to forecast the sea-level for the DJF 2019 season (see Table 1).

tide station location
 
Table 1 : Forecasts of MEAN and MAX sea level anomaly in inches for DJF 2019/2020
 
Tide Gauge Station
Forecast Anomaly for DJF 2019 (in inches)
 

MEAN
Deviation(1)

Standard Deviation 
DJF season
MAX
Deviation (2)
Standard Deviation of DJF season
Marianas, Guam
+3
3.5
+19
3.3
Malakal, Palau
0
4.4
+36
4.2
Yap, FSM 1
+3
4.7
+30
4.9
Chuuk, FSM**
+3
**
+29
**
Pohnpei, FSM
+4
4.3
+36
4.5
Kapingamarangi, FSM
+5
**
**
**
Majuro, RMI
+4
3.3
+40
3.7
Kwajalein, RMI
+4
3.5
+40
3.8
Pago Pago, American Samoa
+7
[+10]
3.1
+35
[+40]
3.2
Honolulu, Hawaii
+3
1.8
+28
2.5
Hilo, Hawaii
+4
1.8
+28
2.4

+/- indicate positive anomaly (rise) and negative anomaly (fall) respectively. Note that any changes between (0~ ±1) inch is considered to be negligible. Also note that changes within the range of (+/-) 2 inches are unlikely to cause any adverse climatic impact. *** (Experimental) Satellite Aviso Altimetry data, ** Data currently unavailable; Figures in parenthesis ( ) for monthly-max anomaly indicates difference between the maximum anomaly for the given month and the long-term monthly average anomaly.

1: Difference between the mean sea level for the given month and the 1983 through 2001 monthly mean sea level value at each station (seasonal cycle removed); 2: Same as 1 except for maxima; SD stands for standard deviations.

* In Pago Pago, There was a level shift (approximately 5 inches) in American Samoa at the time of September 2009 earthquake. So, -5 inches has been adjusted (shown in parenthesis [ ] to the current tide-gauge values of Pago Pago.

 

Forecasts for DJF:

PEAC-CCA[1] Other FSM stations (Chuuk, Pohnpei) and RMI’s stations are likely to remain in higher than normal state. In Hawaii, both Honolulu and Hilo are likely to be elevated. Other than Palau, PEAC-CCA[1] Statistical model is predicting slightly above-normal sea level to the north of Pacific islands (Yap, and Chuuk). The FSM stations (Chuuk, Pohnpei) and RMI’s stations are likely to remain in higher than normal state. In Hawaii, both Honolulu and Hilo are likely to be elevated. 

 
El Niño has already transitioned to ENSO neutral—this is most likely to continue through Northern Hemisphere winter 2019-20 (50-55% chance). So, the sea level is also likely to come back to normal by the end of 2019.
 

[1] Chowdhury M. R., Chu P-S, and Guard C. (2014): An Improved Sea Level Forecasting Scheme for Hazards Management in the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands. Int. J. Climatology  6, 2320-2329.

 

 

 

(ii) Observed Monthly Sea Level Deviation in SON 2019

The monthly time series (SON 2019) for sea-level anomaly has been taken from the UH Sea Level Center. 

Current Conditions:

Models and expert opinion suggest that El Niño has already transitioned to ENSO neutral—

  • While the ENSO status will most likely remain “neutral” over the next season, the atmosphere may respond in an El Niño Modoki-like (i.e. central Pacific) fashion at times.
  • Since January 2019, the pattern of sea level variability corresponded very well with  WP El Niño, where the positive sea level anomaly is located over/or near the central Pacific and maximum near 1600E-180 (i.e., Pohnpei, Kwajalein, and Majuro) and the  negative SLA is located near 1300E-1500E (i.e., Koror) (also see Kug, J.-S., et al. (2009).
  • The MJO displays eastward propagating signal across eight phases from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific and later the western hemisphere.

 

Impacts: There are reports of minor-to-moderate inundations in the low lying atolls with some minor damages. 

 

 

 

[1] Kug, J.-S., et al. (2009). Two types of El Niño events: Cold tongue El Niño and warm pool El Niño. J. Climate, 22, 1499–1515 (available @ https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2008JCLI2624.1).

 

Table 2 : Observed MEAN anomaly and MAX sea level in inches for ASO 2019

 
Tide Gauge Station
Observed MEAN Sea Level 
Anomaly
Observed MAX Sea Level
 
September
2019
October
2019
November
2019
Standard Deviation of the SON mean
September
2019
October
2019
November
2019
Standard Deviation of the SON max
Marianas, Guam
+4.5
+4.0
+4.0
3.5
+19
+19
+18
4.6
Malakal, Palau
+0.5
+0.5
-0.5
4.3
+39
+38
+34
4.4
Yap, FSM
+2
+2
+3
4.7
+31
+32
+29
3.9
Chuuk, FSM
**
**
**
*
**
**
**
**
Pohnpei, FSM
+6
+6
+6
3.8
+33
+34
+35
3.3
Kapingamarangi +4 ** +7 ** +25 +29 +35 **
Majuro, RMI
+8
+5.0
+5.0
2.8
+50
+47
**
2.6
Kwajalein, RMI
+4.5
+4.0
+4.0
3.2
+43
+41
+40
3.0
Pago Pago, American Samoa
+7
(+12)
+7
(+12)
+7
(+12)
3.2
+38
+38
+35
3.7
Honolulu, Hawaii
+3
+4
+5
1.8
+20
+22
+22
2.3
Hilo, Hawaii
+5
+6
+6
1.8
    +25
+29
+29
2.6
** Denotes where data is unavailable
Updated 13 December 2019 at 1900 UTC.