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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, April 4, 2019 3:47 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
3.5 - California & 3.0 - Hawaii
Using the 'Winter' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

Probability for presence of largest swells in near-shore waters of NCal, SCal or Hawaii.    

Issued for Week of Monday 4/1 thru Sun 4/7

Swell Potential Rating Categories
5 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Significant swell
4 = Good probability for 1-2 days of Significant swell
3 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Intermediate/Advanced swell
2 = Good probability for  1-2 days of
Intermediate/Advanced swell
1 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Impulse or Windswell
0 = Low probability for 1-2 days of Impulse or Windswell   

Storm Pushing Through Gulf of Alaska
North Dateline Storm Forecast

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Thursday, April 4, 2019 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/ Buoy 239 (Lanai): At Barbers Point (238) seas were 4.0 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 2.4 ft @ 14.2 secs from 261 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 6.5 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 4.9 ft @ 13.5 secs from 315 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.5 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 2.3 ft @ 14.0 secs from 209 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 4 kts. Water temperature 59.9 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.1 ft @ 15.0 secs from 212 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.1 ft @ 14.6 secs from 218 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.8 ft @ 13.1 secs from 217 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.5 ft @ 13.8 secs from 214 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 4.2 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 3.1 ft @ 13.8 secs from 229 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was south at 12-16 kts. Water temp 56.8 degs (042).

See Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (bottom of the page)

Swell Classification Guidelines

Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
Summer
- Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
Summer
- Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
Summer
- up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.

Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
Current Conditions
On Thursday (4/4) in North and Central CA residual background energy was producing waves at waist high and lined up but getting heavily textured by southerly wind and rideable only if you're desperate. Protected breaks were flat to occasionally thigh high on the rare sets and clean and weak. At Santa Cruz southern hemi swell was producing waves at waist high on the set and a bit warbled and soft and unremarkable. In Southern California/Ventura set waves were waist high and clean and line dup but slow and inconsistent. In North Orange Co surf was waist to chest high on the sets at the best sandbars and soft, jumbled and mushed from north winds though not whitecapping just yet. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks had waves in the waist to chest high range and clean and lined up with decent form coming from the south and pretty inconsistent. North San Diego had surf at thigh to maybe waist high and clean and lined up but weak and mushed. Hawaii's North Shore was getting fading swell with waves chest high or so and slow but clean and lined up. The South Shore was flat to thigh high on the sets and clean. The East Shore was getting minimal east windswell with waves thigh to waist high and lightly chopped from east wind.

See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (4/4) no meaningful swell was hitting Hawaii or California. Beyond a gale developed while approaching the North Dateline region Mon-Tues (4/2) with 28-29 ft seas aimed east. And a small but solid storm formed in the Western Gulf tracking east Wed-Fri (4/5) with up to 48 ft seas aimed east. Beyond a weaker storm pattern is forecast with a small system forecast developing just west of the dateline tracking northeast Tues-Wed (4/10) with up to 42 ft seas forecast then lingering on the North Dateline region Thurs (4/11) with 35 ft seas aimed east. Maybe another to follow developing off Japan then.

See all the details below...

 

SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Thursday (4/4) the jetstream was consolidated pushing well off South Japan with winds building to 180 kts pushing over the dateline and into the Western Gulf forming a weak trough there, then weakening while tracking east and splitting 600 nmiles off the California coast pushing inland over Oregon and Baja with the southern branch tracking south over Hawaii then turning east and merging with the northern branch pushing into Baja. The weak trough in the Western Gulf was supportive of gale development. Over the next 72 hours wind energy is to push east and weaken with the Gulf trough moving inland over Washington late on Fri (4/5) while a new broad trough starts building in the Western Gulf and that trough moving east to the Central Gulf on Sun (4/7) offering some support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours the jet is to remain consolidated over the entire width of the North Pacific on Sun (4/7) with winds 145 kts just off Japan weakening to 120-130 kts over the East Pacific and still supporting a trough there with that trough pushing into Oregon on Tues (4/9). On Tues (4/9) a new pocket of 170 kts winds is to be building off Japan forming a new trough mid-way to the dateline offering support for gale development with that trough lifting northeast fast to the North dateline region Wed (4/10) and fading there 24 hours later. By Thurs (4/11) the jet is to be consolidated pushing off Japan mid-day to the dateline then splitting with a split flow holding the rest of the way across the Pacific with the northern branch pushing into North Canada and the southern branch falling towards the equator then splitting again. In short a weak and fragmented flow is to set up offering no substantial support for gale development. It looks like Spring is setting up.

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (4/4) swell from a small gale that developed north of Hawaii was fading in Hawaii and moving towards California (see Hawaiian Gale below). Another gale produced seas targeting Hawaii from the Dateline (see Dateline Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours swell is to be generated from a storm tracking through the Gulf (see Gulf Storm below).

 

Hawaiian Gale
On Sun AM (3/31) a small gale was developing 950 nmiles north-northwest of Hawaii producing 35 kt northwest winds and seas building from 18 ft aimed southeast. In the evening fetch was building in coverage still aimed southeast at 35 kts with seas 23 ft at 39N 170.5W 1150 nmiles northwest of Hawaii. Fetch was fading Mon AM (4/1) from 30 kts with seas 23 ft fading at 38N 169W targeting Hawaii well. This system was gone in the evening with seas fading from 19 ft at 39N 167W aimed southeast. Small windswell expected for Hawaii.

Hawaii: Residuals fading on Thurs AM (4/4) from 3.9 ft @ 11 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 330 degrees

North CA: Expect minimal swell to reach California on Fri (4/5) at 3.2 ft @ 13 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 286 degrees

 

Dateline Gale
Another small gale developed west of the dateline on Sun PM (3/31) with 40 kt northwest winds over a small area and seas building. On Mon AM (4/1) the gale was building with 45 kt west winds over a modest area tracking east with seas 30 ft at 42N 166E aimed east. In the evening the gale was fading with west winds dropping from 40 kts approaching the dateline with seas 29 ft at 43.5N 174E aimed east. On Tues AM (4/1) fetch was fading from 35 kts from a west over a decent sized area and stationary with seas 27 ft at 46N 176E aimed east. In the evening fetch is to fade from 30+ kts over a moderate area aimed east with seas fading from 23 ft at 46N 175W aimed east. This system is to be gone after that. Small swell possible for Hawaii and eventually reaching the US West Coast. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival at sunset on Thurs (4/4) building to 3.5 ft @ 15-16 secs (5.0 ft). Swell steady on Fri (4/5) at 4.7 ft @ 13-14 secs (6.0 ft). Swell fading Sat (4/6) from 4.6 ft @ 12-13 secs (5.5 ft). Swell Direction: 320 degrees

 

Gulf Storm
A gale started building in the Western Gulf on Wed AM (4/3) with 45 kt northwest winds over a small area aimed mostly east with seas building from 25 ft at 42N 174W. The gale built to storm status still over the Western Gulf in the evening with 55 kt west winds and seas building while tracking east at 45 ft at 45N 167W. On Thurs AM (4/4) the storm was tracking east with winds 55 kts from the west over a modest sized area with seas building to 47 ft at 45.5N 160W aimed east. The storm is to fade while tracking east in the evening with winds barely 45 kts from the west and seas 43 ft at 45.5N 152W aimed east. Secondary energy to feed into the gale Fri AM (4/5) positioned in the Central Gulf with 35 kt west winds targeting North CA and 32 ft seas fading at 44N 144W. The gale is to push east in the evening still in the Central Gulf with west winds 35 kts and seas 26 ft at 44.5N 136.5W aimed east at the CA coast well. The gale is to be fading Sat AM with new fetch developing west of there at 35 kts from the west and seas 22 ft in the Central Gulf at 44N 152W aimed east. In the evening fetch is to push east at 30-35 kts from the west with seas 23 ft at 44.5N 147.5W aimed east. The gale is to fade from there. Something to monitor.

North CA: Swell arrival expected on Sat (4/6) building to 7.8 ft @ 18 secs late afternoon (14 ft) but mostly shadowed in the SF Bay Area. Swell to hold overnight then fading Sun AM (4/7) 8.9 ft @ 15 secs (13.5 ft) and still shadowed. Residuals fading on Mon AM (4/8) from 7.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (10 ft). Swell fading Tues AM (4/9) from 6.3 ft @ 13 secs (8.0 ft). Swell DIrection: 297-300 degrees

 

  North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height

 

Tropical Update
No tropical weather systems of interest are forecast.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday (4/4) broad low pressure was filling the Gulf pushing towards California with south winds 5-10 kts early for North and Central CA early pushing 20 kts from Cape Mendocino northward in the late afternoon and 10-15 kts from San Francisco northward. Scattered light rain for North and Central CA early building to steady light rain for all of North CA in the afternoon. Light rain for Tahoe later and snow for the highest elevations in the evening. Fri (4/5) a stronger front from a building local low to be hitting extreme North CA early with south winds 20+ kts early for Cape Mendocino and 15 kt south winds down to Pt Arena fading to light winds for the entirety of North and Central CA late afternoon. Rain pushing south from Pt Reyes early to Big Sur at sunset. Snow developing for the entire Sierra late afternoon then fading later in the evening. On Sat (4/6) south winds are forecast at 10-15 kts from Big Sur northward fading to 10 kts late morning for Central CA but building to 25 kts for Cape Mendocino mid-day and holding. Light rain for Morro Bay northward stating mid-AM and holding through the day. No snow forecast. Sunday (4/7) weak high pressure is to be building in with south winds 15+ kts for Cape Mendocino and north winds 15 kts for Pt Conception and calm in between and holding through the day. Light rain for Cape Mendocino. No snow. Monday (4/8) a weak pressure pattern is forecast with north winds 15 kts for Pt Conception and south winds 15 kts for Cape Mendocino and light winds in between and holding. Light rain for North CA pushing south to Bodega Bay late afternoon. Tuesday (4/9) high pressure takes control with north winds forecast at 20 kts for all of North and Central CA early building to 25-30 kts for Central CA later. Light rain for Cape Mendocino. Snow heavy early for mainly the Tahoe area fading some though the day and pushing over the Southern Sierra. North winds rule supreme Wed and Thurs (4/11) at 20 kts for North and Central CA. Light rain possible for Cape Mendocino.

Total snow accumulation for for the week (thru Thurs PM 4/11) per the GFS model: Tahoe = 16-24 inches and Mammoth = 2 inches

Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts).

 

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis  
Swell was hitting California from a gale that previous formed in the Central South Pacific (See Central South Pacific Gale below). Small sideband swell from another storm previously in the Deep South Pacific is tracking north towards California.

Over the next 72 hours no meaningful swell producing weather systems are forecast.


Central South Pacific Gale
A gale started building in the Central South Pacific Wed AM (3/20) with 35 kt southwest winds and seas building to 29 ft ft at 61S 167W aimed east-northeast. In the evening winds turned fully southwest at 35-40 kts with 30 ft seas at 57.5S 157W aimed northeast. On Thurs AM (3/21) fetch held at 35 kts from the south-southwest with seas 29-30 ft at 59S 145W aimed -northeast. The gale faded from there in the evening with seas 27 ft at 55S 139W aimed northeast. Maybe some small swell is to radiate northeast towards Hawaii a week out and the US West Coast 10 days out.

Southern CA: Swell fading Thurs (4/4) from 2.2 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading out on Fri (4/5) from 2.0 ft @ 13 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 196 degrees

North CA: Swell fading Thurs (4/4) from 1.9 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.5 ft). Dribbles on Fri (4/5) fading from 1.5 ft @ 13 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 195 degrees

 

Southeast Pacific Gale
A tiny gale developed in the upper reaches of the Southeast Pacific on Tues PM (4/2) with winds 45 kt over a tiny area aimed north and seas barely 30 ft over a tiny area at 38N 125W. On Wed AM (4/3) the gale was fading with 40 kt south winds over a tiny area aimed north with seas 30 ft again over a tiny area aimed north at 33S 123W. The gale faded from there.

South CA: expect swell arrival on Tues (4/9) building to 1.9 ft @ 16-17 secs later (3.0 ft). Swell peaking on Wed (4/10) at 2.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading Thurs (4/11) from 1.8 ft @ 14 secs early (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 189 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival later on Tues (4/9) building to 1.4 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell building some on Wed (4/10) at 1.6 ft @ 15-16 secs early (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell fading early on Thurs (4/11) from 1.5 ft @ 14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 186 degrees

 

South Pacific Storm
A storm developed in the deep Central Pacific on Tues AM (4/2) with 45-50 kt west winds and seas building from 35 ft at 67.5S 144.5W aimed east. 50 kt west winds continued pushing east in the evening with 44 ft seas aimed east at 67.5S 130W. On Wed AM (4/3) winds were fading from 40 kts aimed east with seas 42 ft at 66S 119W and on the east edge of the CA swell window. This system faded from there and pushed out of the CA swell window. Most swell energy is to target Chile but some sideband energy might push north towards CA but given how this system developed weaker than originally forecast, odds are low of any meaningful swell resulting.

Southern CA: Swell arrival expected on Thurs (4/11) building to 1.4 ft @ 18 secs later (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 184 degrees

 

South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height

 

QuikCAST's

 

LONG-TERM FORECAST
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a gale is forecast developing between Japan and the Dateline on Tues AM (4/9) with 45 kt west winds lifting northeast with seas 29 ft at 32.5N 162,5E aimed east. In the evening the gale is to build to storm status with west winds 55 kts over a small area and seas building to 32 ft at 35N 174E aimed east. The storm is to lift northeast fast on Wed AM (4/10) with 55 kt west winds and seas 37 ft at 41.5N 178W aimed east. In the evening the storm is to be over the North Dateline region with 50 kt west winds and seas 42 ft at 48N 170.5W aimed east. The storm is to fade to gale status in the evening moving over the Eastern Aleutians with 40 kt west winds still holding south of the Aleutians with 40 ft seas fading at 52N 165W aimed east. The gale is to fade from there. Something to monitor.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

SSTs Steady - SOI Rising - Mixed Signals

The Madden Julian Oscillation is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for MJO activity (which directly relate to the potential for swell production).

Overview: La Nina started developing in early 2016, but westward displaced and generally weak. And by March 2017, it was gone with suspicious warming developing along South America and over the Galapagos to a point south of Hawaii. By May the atmosphere returned to a neutral configuration but then in July east anomalies started building in the KWGA and did not stop, with cold water upwelling over the the Nino1.2 and 3.4 areas, indicative of La Nina. A double dip La Nina was in control and continued through the Winter of 2017-2018. But warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018 associated with two upwelling Kelvin Waves, and continued trying to build over equatorial waters over the Summer and Fall, but not enough to declare El Nino and not coupled with the atmosphere. As of January 2019, those warm waters were fading, but then started building some late in Feb associated with another Kelvin Wave (#3).

LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Fall/Winter 2018 = 6.0 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)

Rationale: Assuming the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that El Nino does not develop as strong as previously forecast, and assuming and an ocean-atmospheric coupling becomes weakly established in the January timeframe and ocean temperature anomalies in Nino3.4 build to the +0.6 deg range, there is good probability for slightly enhanced storm production in the North Pacific starting in the late Nov timeframe (specifically the Gulf of Alaska and Dateline regions) with slightly increased intensity in number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in slightly increased odds for larger than normal swell, with increased duration and higher than normal period. This should be significantly better than the past 2 winter seasons.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (4/3) 5 day average winds were solidly from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific to the dateline, then weaker easterly over the KWGA and from the west south of the equator. Anomalies were easterly over the far East Pacific then neutral over the Central Pacific and modestly westerly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (4/4) modest west anomalies were filling the KWGA. The forecast is for modest west anomalies steady through 4/5, then fading to neutral or light westerly and holding there through the end of the model run on 4/11. Support for storm development is modest but is to be fading to neutral 4/5 and holding.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (4/3) A dead neutral MJO pattern was over the KWGA. The statistic model indicates neutral MJO signal is to hold through the length of the model run on day 15. The dynamic model indicates some variant of the same theme. The 2 models are generally in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/4) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was exceedingly weak and in no position and is to effectively hold in that status for the next 15 days. The GEFS model suggests the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (4/4) This model depicts a weak Active Phase was over the West Pacific. It is to move east while fading pushing into Central America on 4/24. A modest Inactive Phase of the MJO is to be setting up in the West Pacific on 4/17 pushing east to Central America on 5/9. A moderate Active Phase is to be building over the West Pacific 4/27 moving to the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 5/14. This model suggests the MJO is very weak.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/1) This model depicts moderate west anomalies in the KWGA today with a weak Active MJO signal indicated. Moderate west anomalies are to be holding in the Central KWGA through 4/28 then nearly gone the last day of the model run on 4/29. Continued modest support for gale development is indicated.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/4) This model depicts a modest Active Phase was fading over the Central KWGA. The Active Phase is to dissipate in the KWGA on 5/2 with weak west anomalies in the core of the KWGA holding steady. After that a very weak MJO signal is forecast with weak to modest west anomalies holding in the KWGA through the end of the model run on 7/2 and if anything retrograding west slightly. From an MJO perspective this looks very much like El Nino (no MJO and consistent west anomalies). The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias is fully in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to California but not inland and forecast to hold steady for the foreseeable future. A third contour line faded 12/17, then rebuilt starting 2/12 centered over the dateline and is to hold through 4/12, then dissipating. It appears from this model that a tendency towards El Nino was previously in control during 2018, then faded, and then rebuilt in mid-Feb 2019 and is to hold till mid-April before fading again. Given this, It seems likely no meaningful El Nino will develop. Still this pattern is favorable to support storm production in the Pacific, because the atmosphere has turned from a La Nina pattern (that had been entrenched for the past 2 years) towards a neutral one. But there is low to no odds of a meaningful El Nino developing.

CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/4) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 29-30 deg temps reaching east to 172W, pushing east from 180W where it had been for the past month. The 28 deg isotherm line had retrograded west to 160W mid-Nov, then moved east and walled up to 153W near Christmas, then retrograded back at 160W in late Feb, but made a major push east starting 3/16 from 150W to 140W on 3/20, and is at 134W today. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador 25-30 meters down. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies are filling the entire subsurface Pacific at +1 degs or greater from the surface to 100 meters down. A pocket of warm water was centered at 110W at +3 degs (Kelvin Wave #3) pushing into Ecuador and +2 degs C from 140W and point east of there. Kelvin Wave #3 is the warmest of any Kelvin Wave so far since La Nina faded into early 2018 and is to adding warmth moving into the 2019-2020 El Nino year. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 3/29 indicates cool water associated with the upwelling phase of the Kelvin Wave cycle just east of Ecuador was all but gone. Kelvin Wave #3 was fading some under the West Pacific but was solid east of there peaking at +4-5 degs from 150W to 100W (attributable to a Westerly Wind Burst 12/30-1/16 and another 2/12-2/24). And more warm water was moving from the Maritime Continent into the far West Pacific at 135E falling into the pre-existing warm pool near 160W. There is a river of very warm water traversing the width of the equatorial Pacific. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (3/29) Positive anomalies were gone from the interior Maritime Continent with weak negative anomalies there now. But positive anomalies were solid tracking east from 145E over the dateline to a point west of the Galapagos (100W) at 0-5 cms with an imbedded pocket of +5 cms anomalies fading from 145W to 95W. No +10 cms anomalies exist any more.

Surface Water Temps: The more warm water in the equatorial East Pacific means more storm production in the North Pacific during winter months (roughly speaking). Cold water in that area has a dampening effect. Regardless of what the atmospheric models and surface winds suggest, actual water temperatures are a ground-truth indicator of what is occurring in the ocean. All data is from blended infrared and microwave sensors.
Satellite Imagery
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4: (4/3) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate temps were modestly warm straddling 15 degrees north and south of the equator from a point just west of the Galapagos west to the dateline though neutral just south of Mexico. These temps continued fading compared to day past. Cool water was along the immediate coast of Chile and Peru up to Ecuador. And cold water was also present off Columbia but smaller than days past. There is some indication of El Nino but that signal is fading.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/3): A neutral pattern was over the equatorial East Pacific but warming off Ecuador and Columbia and migrating east to a point just west of the Galapagos. Otherwise a weakly warming pattern was building on the equator from 120W and points west of there.
Hi-res Overview: (4/3) Cool water was along the immediate coast of Peru and also along Columbia but with warmer water out beyond that and warm water from the Galapagos along the equator west to the dateline. It was holding compared to days past. We have turned the corner from a cool regime a year ago to a warm regime now. And it's almost starting to look like an El Nino pattern is developing based on surface temps.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/4) Today's temps were steady today at -0.319 after falling hard from +1.00 degs on 3/20 after rebounding hard from -1.309 on 3/13. Temps fell to -0.6 degs on 2/28, after rising to +0.5 on 2/25, down to -0.425 degrees on 2/14, and that after rising to +1.2 degs on 2/2. Previously temps fell to -0.15 degs on 2/28. Temps rose to a peak +1.385 on 1/21. Previously they were down to -0.44 on 12/25, and that after having risen to +1.265 on 12/20. Previously temps fell to +0.212 on 12/3, after having previously built to +1.534 on 11/27. That peak on 11/27 was the all time high for this event in this region.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(4/2) Today temps were steady at +0.783 today after falling to +0.694 on 3/9 and that after rising to +1.239 on 3/5 after falling to +0.050 on 2/11. Temps rose to a peak at +0.738 on 1/21, after being at +0.487 on 1/7 and after previously risen to +1.050 degs on 12/6 and previously in the +0.5-+0.6 range since 11/12. The all time high for this event was +1.45 on 11/5, beating the previous peak temps of +0.795 on 10/9, and +0.649 on 9/27, and that beating the previous peak at +0.490 on 7/2.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/4) The model indicates temps were at +1.00 degs on March 1 and forecast holding April then slowly building to +1.30 degrees in early June holding through July, then fading slightly through the Fall to +1.00 degs in Sept, holding to Nov 1, then falling to +0.8 degs
in early Dec. If one is to believe the model then one would assume that El Nino tried to build weakly in the Winter of 18/19, but didn't really make it, then is to build in the summer on 2019 before fading through the Winter of 2019/20. But maybe a multiyear warming event is in progress as suggested by this model.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Feb 2019 Plume depicts temps are at +0.65 degs today, and are to hold in the +0.6 range into July, then fade to +0.4 in October 2019. See chart here - link. There's a 90% chance of a weak El Nino developing through January.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad) (4/4): The daily index was positive at 17.23 after having previously been negative for 57 days (Feb 4-4/2 other than 3/23 & 3/24). The 30 day average was rising at -5.88 suggesting a holding Active MJO. The 90 day average was rising at -6.84, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern biased towards El Nino (for now).
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (4/4) The index was neutral at -0.01 on 2/14 but has been rising ever since and pushed up to +0.99 on 3/3 (the highest its been in years), then fell some but rose again to +0.47 on 3/28 and then down and now steady at +0.40 today. It was down to -0.24 in late December, down from +0.28 on 12/15 and not anywhere near as strongly positive as it should be if El Nino were developing. It suggest only ENSO neutral conditions.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly positive, even though La Nina is in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values: June 2017 +0.21, July -0.50, Aug -0.62, Sept -0.25, Oct -0.61, Nov -0.45, Dec -0.13, Jan 2018 +0.29, Feb -0.19, Mar -0.61, April -0.89, May -0.69, June -0.85, July -0.09, Aug -0.43, Sept -0.46, Oct -0.75, Nov -0.78, Dec -0.12, Jan -0.23, Feb -0.55 This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO, even with La Nina, because the warm PDO appears to be dampening the effects of La Nina. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): June 2017 +0.79, July +0.10, Aug +0.09, Sept +0.32, Oct +0.05, Nov +0.15, Dec +0.50, Jan +0.70. Feb +0.37, Mar -0.05, April +0.11, May +0.11, June -0.04, July +0.11, Aug +0.18, Sept +0.09. No real negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data strongly suggests that could be a possibility. By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 

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External Reference Material: El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), Kelvin Wave


Powerlinessurf Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest

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Powerline Productions New Movie Preimer - Next Level - Friday (11/9) at 7 PM. Details here: http://www.stormsurf.com/page2/forecast/forecast/NextLevel.html

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Stormsurf and Mavericks on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luQSYf5sKjQ

Mavericks Invitational Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:
http://www.bloomberg.com/video/how-to-predict-the-best-surfing-waves-EsNiR~0xR5yXGOlOq2MqfA.html
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/surfs-up-for-mavericks-invitational-in-calif/

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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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