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Pacific ENSO Update

2nd Quarter, 2010 Vol. 16 No. 2


SEASONAL SEA LEVEL OUTLOOKS FOR THE U.S.-AFFILIATED PACIFIC ISLANDS


The following sections describe: (i) the Canonical Correlation Analysis (CCA) forecasts for seasonal (mean and maxima) sea-level deviations for the forthcoming seasons AMJ, MJJ, and JJA of 2010, (ii) .the observed monthly mean and maximum sea-level deviations for the season JFM 2010, (iii) forecast verifications for JFM 2010 (observed/forecast values). Note that the deviations are defined here as ‘the difference between the mean sea level for the given month and the 1975 through 1995 mean sea level value computed at each station’. (See Figure 2 at right for location of these stations.) Also note that, the CCA-forecasting technique adapted here does not account for sea-level deviations created by other atmospheric or geological conditions such as tropical cyclones, storm surges or tsunamis.

tide station location
 

(i) Seasonal sea level forecast (deviations with respect to climatology) for AMJ, MJJ, and JJA of 2010

Forecasts of the mean and maximum sea-level deviations in the USAPI are presented using CCA statistical model. Based on the independent SST values in JFM 2010, the resulting CCA model has been used to forecast the sea-level of three consecutive three-month periods: AMJ, MJJ, and JJA of 2010 (see Table 1). CCA cross-validation forecast skills for 0, 1, and 2-month leads are presented in Fig. 3.

Table 1 : Forecasts of MEAN and MAXIMUM sea level deviation in inches for forthcoming seasons

 
(1) Seasonal Mean Deviations
(2) Seasonal Maximum Deviations
Tide Gauge Station
AMJ
MJJ
JJA

(3) Forecast Quality

AMJ
MJJ
JJA
(3) Forecast Quality
(4) RP for JAS Season
(5) Lead Time
0
1M
2M
0
1M
2M
20 yr
100 yr
Marianas, Guam
+2
+3
+4
Very Good
+14
+17
+17
Very Good
5.6
6.7
Malakal, Palau
0
0
+1
Good
+32
+35
+35
Good
9.6
14.3
Yap, FSM
0
+1
+1
Very Good
+24
+28
+28
Good
16.7
33.0
Chuuk, FSM**
0
+1
+1
N/A
+24
+28
+28
N/A
N/A
N/A
Pohnpei, FSM
+3
+2
+2
Very Good
+31
+32
+32
Good
5.8
7.1
Kapingamarangi, FSM
0
-1
-1
Good
+29
+27
+26
Fair
7.4
9.4
Majuro, RMI
+2
+1
1
Good
+44
+44
+43
Fair
4.1
5.1
Kwajalein, RMI
+3
+3
+3
Good
+39
+40
+41
Fair
4.5
5.9
Pago Pago, AS
-1
0
+1
Very Good
+25
+25
+23
Very Good
3.9
5.4
Honolulu, Hawaii (6)
0
0
0
Fair
+20
+18
+18
Fair
4.1
5.9
Hilo, Hawaii (6)
+2
+1
+1
Good
+26
+23
+22
Good
7.9
11.4

Remarks: The forecast values for the AMJ, MJJ, and JJA seasons (Table 1 above) indicate that sea levels for most stations in the north Pacific are likely to record slight rise in the forthcoming seasons. The maximums will remain slightly higher than normal due to returning trade winds in the western and central tropical Pacific. Sea levels at the Hawaiian stations are also likely to be slightly elevated during this time period.

The forecast values are supportive to the condition of a transition from a moderately strong El Niño to a weaker El Niño. However, if the on-going transition to ENSO-neutral conditions continues then more rise is possible in the vicinity of the northwest Pacific islands. At PEAC, we are constantly monitoring the on-going El Niño event. Significant results will be reported in a special bulletin format, if required.

Note: (-) indicate negative deviations (fall of sea-level from the mean), and (+) indicate positive deviations (rise of sea-level from the mean), n/a: data not available; also note that any deviations from -1 to +1 inches are considered negligible and deviations from -2 to +2 inches are unlikely to cause any adverse climatic impact. Forecasts for Chuuk (**) are estimated subjectively based on information from WSO Chuuk and observations from neighboring stations of Pohnpei and Yap.

(1) Seasonal Mean Deviations is defined as the difference between the mean sea level for the given month and the 1975-1995 mean sea level value at each station. Likewise, (2) Seasonal Maximum Deviations is defined as the difference between the maximum sea level (calculated from hourly data) for the given month and the 1975-1995 mean sea level value at each station.

(3) Forecast Quality is a measure of the expected CCA cross-validation correlation skill. In general terms, these forecasts are thought to be of useful (but poor) skill if the CCA cross-validation value lies between 0.3 ~ 0.4 (Fig. 3). Higher skills correspond to a greater expected accuracy of the forecasts. Skill levels greater than 0.4 and 0.6 are thought to be fair and good, respectively, while skill levels greater than 0.7 are thought to be very good.

(4) Return Period (RP) of extreme values is calculated from hourly sea-level data. For example, the predicted rise of 5.6 inches at 20-year RP at Marianas, Guam indicates that this station may experience an extreme tide event once every 20 years that could result in sea-level rise of up to 5.6 inches above the median of seasonal maxima during the AMJ season. Likewise, about once every 100 years we can expect the highest AMJ tide at Marianas, Guam to be as high as 6.7 inches above the median of seasonal maxima. During some seasons some stations display alarmingly high values at the 20 and 100 year RP. These high values are due to large and significant increases in the tidal range caused by the passage of past storm events during that season. Click here to view probability of exceedence graphs for the AMJ season.

(5) Lead time is the time interval between the end of the initial period and the beginning of the forecast period. For example, lead-0, lead-1M, and lead-2M means ‘sea-level’ of target season 0 (AMJ), 1 (MJJ), and 2 (JJA) month leads based on SSTs of JFM 2010.

 

(ii) Observed monthly sea level deviation in January-February-March (JFM) 2010 Season

The monthly time series (January-March 2010) for sea level deviations have been taken from the UH Sea Level Center. Note that ‘deviation’ is defined here as ‘the observed or forecast difference between the monthly mean [or maximum] and the climatological monthly mean values (from the period 1975- 1995) computed at each station’.. Locations of all these stations are shown in Figure 2 (top of page).

 

Table 2: Monthly observed MEAN and MAX sea level deviations in inches for January, February, and March, with year to year standard deviations (SD).

Tide Gauge Station

(1) Monthly Mean Deviations
(2) Monthly Maximum Deviations
Jan
Feb
Mar
SD
Jan
Feb
Mar
SD
Marianas, Guam
+1.1
+2.2
+3.6
(+4.2)
+18.3
+20.1
+19.9
(+3.8)
Malakal, Palau
-5.9
-6.4
-3.8
(+4.8)
+32.4
+31.1
+35.8
(+4.8)
Yap, FSM
-6.3
-4.9
-1.4
(+4.0)
+22.6
+22.6
+30.5
(+4.4)
Chuuk, FSM **
*
*
*
(*)
*
*
*
(*)
Pohnpei, FSM
+0.7
-0.2
*
(+2.6)
+36.1
+32.0
*
(+3.2)
Kapingamarangi, FSM
*
*
*
(+2.4)
*
*
*
(+4.1)
Majuro, RMI
+0.5
+1.9
*
(+3.3)
+45.1
+46.4
*
(+2.5)
Kwajalein, RMI
*
*
*
(+3.7)
*
*
*
(+2.8)
Pago Pago, AS
+4.2
+1.4
+0.5
(+2.8)
+29.5
+27.6
+26.4
(+3.0)
Honolulu, Hawaii
-1.3
-5.3
-2.6
(+1.7)
+19.5
+14.5
+13.3
(+2.6)
Hilo, Hawaii
+0.9
+0.5
*
(+2.1)
+27.9
+24.3
*
(+3.0)

Note: - indicate negative deviations (fall of sea-level from the mean), and + indicate positive deviations (rise of sea-level from the mean); N/A: data not available. ** Sea level data for Chuuk is based on estimates from neighboring tide stations (Yap and Pohnpei) and observations from WSO Chuuk. Standard deviations describe how widely spread the values are in the dataset. See Table 1 for other notes.

Remarks: As compared to February 2010, the monthly mean sea level in March 2010 remained steady; in some cases it recorded a slight rise. The monthly maxima recorded higher than February’s sea-level maxima in most stations. This is due to strong trade winds in the western and central tropical Pacific, which have again become active in recent weeks.

 

(iii) Forecast Verification (Seasonal Mean) for JFM 2010

Observed and forecast seasonal sea level values for the JFM 2010 season are presented in Figure 4. Forecasts were in general skillful; only Guam displayed a different picture, where a positive deviation was recorded despite negative forecast.

(iv) Tide Predictions (April 1 to June 30, 2010)

NOAA's web site for tide and currents has been used to generate the water level plot for the next three months. Predicted water level plots from April 1 to June 30, 2010 for five stations [(a) Marianas, Guam (b) Kwajalein, RMI (c) Pago Pago, American Samoa (d) Honolulu, Hawaii and (e) Hilo, Hawaii] are provided below.

 

Figure 5 (below): Predicted water level for the AMJ 2010 season at (a) Marianas, Guam (b) Kwajalein, RMI (c) Pago Pago, American Samoa, (d) Honolulu, HI and (e) Hilo, Hawaii. Data from NOAA/NOA/CO-OPS. X-axis: date/time (GMT); Y-axis: height in feet relative to Mean lower low water level (MLLW); MR: Mean-difference between high and low; SR: Difference between high and low tide during full moon (spring tide); and ML: Arithmetic means of high and low tides.

 

Predicted Water Level Plot for Guam

a) Marianas, Guam

 

Predicted Water Level Plot for RMI

b) Kwajalein, RMI

 

Predicted Water Level Plot for American Samoa

c) Pago-Pago, American Samoa

 

Predicted Water Level Plot for Honolulu

d) Honolulu, Hawaii

 

Predicted Water Level Plot for Hilo

e) Hilo, Hawaii



Pacific ENSO Applications Climate (PEAC) Center
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2525 Correa Road, suite 250
Honolulu, HI 96822
(808) 956-2324

Web Master's email: peac@noaa.gov
Page Last Modified: August 04 2011 22:27:12 GMT

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