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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, April 5, 2018 4:48 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
2.0 - California & 2.3 - 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 4/2 thru Sun 4/8

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   

Stronger NPAC Swell Pattern Building
Multiple Gales Projected

BUOY ROUNDUP

On Thursday, April 5, 2018 :

  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.8 ft @ 7.7 secs with swell 3.3 ft @ 8.2 secs from 291 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.5 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 13.7 secs from 207 degrees. Wind at the buoy was east at 4-6 kts. Water temperature NA. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.2 ft @ 12.5 secs from 223 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.5 ft @ 14.6 secs from 207 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.8 ft @ 13.8 secs from 218 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.4 ft @ 14.7 secs from 180 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 3.5 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 1.9 ft @ 15.4 secs from 180 degrees. Wind at the buoy was south at 4 kts. Water temp 55.4 degs.

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 (4/5) in North and Central CA local northwest windswell was producing set waves in the thigh to waist high range and clean but very weak and mushy. Protected breaks were flat to thigh high and soft but clean. At Santa Cruz surf was waist high and lined up and clean but weak coming from the south. In Southern California up north surf was thigh high on the sets and clean. In North Orange Co surf southern hemi swell was hitting with waist to chest high sets and clean and lined up when it comes, but slow. South Orange Country's best breaks were chest to head high and clean and lined up but slow. In North San Diego surf was waist to chest high on the sets at top breaks and lined up with some south warble on it. Hawaii's North Shore was getting background northwest windswell with waves shoulder high at top breaks and with a little south warble on it. The South Shore was flat and nearly chopped. The East Shore was flat and clean with modest southwest winds early.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (4/5) small southern hemi swell was hitting California from a very south angle from a storm previously in the far Southeast Pacific. Otherwise no swell was in the water relative to Hawaii or CA. A tiny gale is tracking northwest of Hawaii on Thurs-Fri (4/6) producing 17 ft seas then fading only to redevelop just off North CA early Sat (4/7) with 25-27 ft seas possibly making raw local swell. At the same time another gale is to be falling southeast from Kamchatka producing a short lived area of 32 ft seas almost fading out before reaching the dateline on Sat (4/7) then trying to reorganize in the Gulf of Alaska Sun-Mon (4/9) with 22-23 ft seas aimed east and up to 30 ft off Oregon on Tues (4/10). Another system to track east over the North Dateline region on Mon-Tues (4/10) with 34 ft seas aimed east. And maybe a stronger system is forecast behind that tracking east over the Central Dateline on Wed-Thurs (4/12) with up to 40 ft seas aimed east. So a far more active pattern is forecast up north. Down south a small gale is forecast Sun-Tues (4/10) under New Zealand with 32 ft seas aimed north.

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

North Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Thursday AM (4/5) the jetstream was splitting over Japan with the two streams tracking east and parallel to each other consolidating just east of the dateline at 170W down at 32N with winds building to 170 kts forming a trough that was supportive of gale development, then lifting east-northeast holding together well, poised to push onshore over North CA and Oregon. Over the next 72 hours through Sun (4/8) the split point is to move steadily eastward to 150W as the southern branch faded and consolidates with the northern branch over Japan. By Sunday the jet is to be pushing northeast off Japan with winds to 170 kts up along the Kuril Islands to the Western Aleutians before falling hard southeast with winds still 160 kts feeding the existing trough now repositioned in the Gulf of Alaska offering good support for gale development. The jet is to be falling south from Oregon over North CA. Beyond 72 hours the jet is to remain consolidated with the trough pushing east through the Gulf pushing inland over Washington late Tues (4/10) offering good support for gale development up to that point in time. And yet another trough is to be forming over the Western Gulf Tues (4/10) tracking east and move inland over the Pacific Northwest on Thurs (4/12) also offering good support for gale development. A that time the jet is to be fully consolidated over the width of the North Pacific running east on the 40N latitude line with a small trough just off the North Kuril Islands being fed by 150 kt winds and another developing in the Western Gulf of Alaska fed by 130 kts winds offering some support for gale development. An interesting late season pattern is setting up.

Surface Analysis
On Thursday AM (4/5) a low pressure system was northwest of Hawaii (see Hawaiian Low below) and another was off the Pacific Northwest (see PacNW Low below). Both had minimal swell generation potential.

Over the next 72 hours another system of interest is forecast.

The remnants of the Hawaiian Low are to track east rapidly Fri PM (4/6) and redevelop while merging with remnants of the Pacific northwest Low in the Northeastern Gulf off San Francisco lifting northeast producing a fetch of 35+ kt west winds 450 nmiles off SF with 22 ft seas building fast at 38N 139W. By Sat AM (4/7) a broader fetch of 45 kt west winds is to be in place off the Southern Oregon/North CA coast with 28 ft seas at 43N 131W and 24 ft seas at 40N 132W (296 degs NCal). This system is to be pushing inland over Oregon in the evening with 28 ft seas along the coast there and 20 ft seas still at 42N 130W (319 degs NCal).

North CA: Rough data suggest raw local swell hitting North CA Saturday PM (4/7) under cover of darkness fading Sun AM (4/8) from 8.8 ft @ 12-13 secs (11 ft). Swell Direction 285-295 degrees

Also starting Friday AM (4/6) another broader gale is to develop off Kamchatka and the Northern Kurils with 45 kt northwest winds and seas to 30 ft at 48N 164E. The gale is fall southeast rapidly by evening with 40 kt northwest winds over a broader area and seas 30 ft at 46N 171E targeting Hawaii. By Sat AM (4/7) residual 30-35 kt northwest winds to be fading in coverage just east of the dateline with seas fading from 25 ft at 43N 17EW targeting Hawaii. Fetch is to fade and track rapidly east in the evening at 35 kts with seas from previous fetch fading from 21 ft at 42N 175W aimed a bit east of Hawaii. Something to monitor.

 

Pacific Northwest Low
A broadish low pressure system developed in the Central Gulf on Wed AM (4/4) with 30 kt northwest winds and seas building. In the evening west winds were 30 kts over a broader area targeting North CA with seas building to 16 ft at 39N 148W. The gale lifted northeast on Thurs AM (4/5) with 30 kt west winds and seas 17 ft at 42N 143W. The gale is to fade from there. Low odds of small 10-11 sec period windswell for North and Central CA.

North CA: Expect windswell building Fri (4/6) through the day pushing 5 ft @ 10 secs (5.0 ft). Windswell continue Sat AM (4/7) at 5.8 ft @ 10 secs (5.5-6.0 ft). Swell Direction: 260-270 degrees

 

Hawaiian Low
On Wed PM (4/4) a low pressure system developed just east of the dateline with 35 kt northwest winds over a tiny area and 18 ft seas at 38N 172W targeting Hawaii. The gale built Thurs AM (4/5) with a broader area of 30 kt northwest winds targeting Hawaii with 15 ft seas at 36N 168W. In the evening 30 kt northwest winds to be north of Hawaii with 16 ft seas at 35N 163W again targeting Hawaii. On Fri AM (4/6) the gale is to track east with 30 kt west winds and no seas of interest. Small windswell is to possibly result for Hawaii.

Oahu: Expect north windswell arriving at Sat AM (4/7) building to 5.5 ft @ 12 secs (6.5 ft) mid-day. Residuals fading Sun AM (4/8) from 4.0 ft @ 10-11 secs early (4/5 ft). Swell Direction: 340 degrees

 

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday AM (4/5) weak high pressure at 1020 mbs was centered 500 nmiles west of the North Baja ridging northeast into Central California while a broad low pressure system was off the Pacific Northwest with a front from it weakly impacting Cape Mendocino with south winds 15-20 kts late AM and south winds forecast building down to Bodega Bay at 10 kts after sunset. North winds were 15 kts over Pt Conception. More low pressure is to be building well off the coast and out to Hawaii. Rain building south to the Golden Gate early evening and Monterey Bay overnight. Rain building for Tahoe overnight. Friday AM (4/6) southwest winds to push from the Golden Gate at 15 kts early building south to Morro Bay 10+ kts and 20+ kts for Cape Mendocino late evening as low pressure moves up to the Oregon Coast. Rain for all of North CA down to Big Sur early falling south to Pt Conception late afternoon stalling there and continuing overnight. Rain for Tahoe early and building with snow levels varying between 10000-12000 ft all day and evening. Saturday AM (4/7) low pressure is to be holding off Oregon with west winds 15 kts down to Monterey Bay early and 20-25 kt for Pt Arena northward. Those winds fading to 10 kts for Monterey Bay north to Cape Mendocino later and 15 kts for Cape Mendocino. High pressure and north winds building over Pt Conception and the Channel Islands 20 kts late afternoon. Moderate to heavy rain continues for all of North and Central CA early reaching to Pt Conception then fading as the day continues. Heavy rain for Tahoe early below 10,000 ft but snow levels falling to 6500 at 10 AM with mixed precip to 5400 ft and then to lake level at sunset. 2-3 inches of accumulation up high then fading out. Sunday (4/8) weak high pressure is to set up off the Central Coast riding into the North Coast with north winds 20 kts just south of Monterey Bay southward to Pt Conception and light north 5-10 kts for all of North CA down to Monterey Bay and north winds building to 15 kts over North CA later. Light precipitation fading for Cape Mendocino early. Monday (4/9) north winds are forecast at 15 kts for all of North and Central CA but turning calm for North Ca later as another front approaches the coast. Tues (4/10) the front impacts North CA with south winds 20 kts for Cape Mendocino and 10 kts to the Golden Gate and light north winds 10-15 kts for Central CA. Rain early from Bodega Bay northward early pushing south to maybe Monterey bay late afternoon and fading up north. Snow levels 1000 ft for Tahoe with light rain expected. Wednesday the next front is to be queued up off the coast with south winds 15+ kts building south to the Golden gate 10-15 kts later afternoon. Rain building south to Monterey Bay in the evening. Light snow for Tahoe in the evening with snow levels at 5300 ft. Thursday (4/12) high pressure and north winds to be 15+ kts for all of North, Central and South CA building to 25 kts for Southern CA and fading to 10 kts for North CA. Light rain mainly from Monterey Bay southward into Southern CA early and light snow from Tahoe into the the Southern Sierra.

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis  
A small gale developed in the Southeast Pacific a weekend ago producing swell hitting California now (see Southeast Pacific Gale below). Another gale developed right behind in the Southeast Pacific mid-last week also producing swell that was hitting California (Stronger Southeast Pacific Gale). Also a gale developed south of New Zealand last weekend (see New Zealand Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.

 

Southeast Pacific Gale
A small weather system developed in the Southeast Pacific on Sun PM (3/25) lifting gently east-northeast with 40 kt southwest winds and seas to 27 ft over a tiny area at 63S 138W. The gale tracked east-northeast Mon AM (3/26) with 40 kt southwest winds and seas 29 ft at 60S 127W aimed mainly at Chile and Peru but with sideband energy possibly pushing up towards Southern CA. The gale continued east-northeast in the evening with a tiny area of 40 kt southwest winds and seas 30 ft at 59S 119W targeting mainly South America with sideband energy somewhat towards Southern CA. This system was outside the CA swell window by Tues AM (3/27) with winds 35 kts aimed at Chile with 30 ft seas at 54S 111W. The gale is fade from there. Maybe some background swell to result for California.

Southern CA: Swell holding Thurs (4/5) at 2.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 183 degrees

North CA: Swell holding Thurs (4/5) at 2.6 ft @ 15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 181 degrees

 

Stronger Southeast Pacific Gale
On Wed AM (3/28) a gale developed in the deep Southeast Pacific producing a small area of 45 kt south winds with 27 ft seas building at 55S 119W aimed northeast. In the evening 55 kt south winds were building with 41 ft seas at 56S 105W mainly outside the SCal swell window but some energy pushing north. By Thurs AM (4/29) the gale was racing east with 45-50 kt west winds and 45 ft seas at 56S 96W and totally outside the CA swell window aimed only at Southern Chile. Swell possibly radiating north towards mainly Southern CA and point well south of there.

SCal: Swell continues Thurs (4/5) 2.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5 ft). Swell fading from Fri (4/6) from 2.5 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Residuals on Sat (4/7) 2.3 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 180-190 degrees

NCal: Swell continues Thurs (4/5) 2.6 ft @ 15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell fading from Fri (4/6) from 2.5 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Residuals on Sat (4/7) 2.3 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 180-185 degrees

 

New Zealand Gale
A gale started building just south of New Zealand on Fri PM (3/30) with 45 kt southwest winds and seas building from 30 ft over a tiny area at 52S 167E. On Sat AM (4/1) the gale fell southeast slightly with southwest winds 45 kts and seas 33 ft over a tiny area at 52S 174E. The gale faded some while tracking east in the evening with 40 kt southwest winds and 33 ft seas at 53S 180W. On Sun AM (4/1) southwest winds were fading from barely 35 kts with 29 ft seas fading at 53S 173W aimed northeast. In the evening the gale was gone. No swell expected for Hawaii and only minimal southwest swell to result for the US West Coast.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (4/10) pushing 1.0 ft @ 16-17 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Residuals fading Wed (4/11) from 1.1 ft @ 15-16 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 219 degree

 

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 theoretically remnant energy from a gale forecast tracking from Kamchatka over the dateline is to try and redevelop Sun AM (4/8) in the Central Gulf of Alaska with 35 kt northwest winds and 23 ft seas at 41N 165W aimed east. The gale is to fade and fragment while falling southeast in the evening with a pocket of 35 kt west winds and 23 ft seas at 38N 157W targeting Hawaii and the US West Coast. On Mon AM (4/9) the gale is to be reorganizing in the Eastern Gulf with 35 kt westerly winds and 24 ft seas at 36N 150W targeting Central CA. In the evening fetch is to consolidate off North CA lifting northeast with 45-50 kt northwest winds and seas building from 26 ft at 38N 140W aimed east. The gale is to build and lift northeast quickly Tues AM (4/10) with 45+ kt west winds off Oregon with 31 ft seas at 43N 133W targeting Central and North CA (309 degs). The gale is to move inland in the evening with a far broader fetch of 30-35 kt northwest winds building just behind it over the Central Gulf with 23 ft seas filling the Gulf at 42N 147W. By Wed AM (4/11) 45 kt northwest winds to be consolidating off the Oregon-CA border targeting all of California with 32 ft seas at 43N 139W. The gale is to move up to the South Oregon coast in the evening with a broad area of 35 kt west winds and 32 ft seas at 42N 132W targeting Oregon and CA. Something to monitor.

And yet another gale is to develop over the Northern Dateline Mon AM (4/9) with 45 kt northwest winds and seas 33 ft at 50N 174E. Fetch is to push east at 40 kts over a broader area in the evening with 34 ft seas at 50N 180W just barely south of the Central Aleutians. Fetch is to fade Tues AM (4/10) from 35 kts just east of the dateline with 29 ft seas fading at 50N 172W. This system is to fade from there and get absorbed in a new system developing in the Central Gulf (above).

And yet another system is forecast building off the North Kuril Islands on Tues AM (4/10) with 55 kt northwest winds over a small area and seas building from 30 ft at 45N 163E. In the evening the storm is to track east with 50 kt west winds and 41 ft seas at 45N 170E. The storm is to continue east on Wed AM (4/11) with 45 kt west winds and 40 ft seas at 45N 176E. The gael is to be fading in the evening with 45 kt west winds over a diminishing area aimed east and seas fading from 40 ft at 45N 176W. The gale to fade from there.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a small gale is forecast building south of New Zealand on Sun AM (4/8) producing 45 kt south winds and 32 ft seas over a tiny area at 53S 170E. In the evening 40-45 kt south winds to hold with seas 32 ft at 52S 170E aimed due north. 45 kt south winds to rebuild Mon AM (4/9) with seas 34 ft at 52S 172E aimed north. The gale is to fade in the evening with winds dying from 40 kts from the south and seas 28 ft at 49S 175E. Something to monitor for Tahiti, Hawaii and the US West Coast.

More details to follow...

 

High Pressure Bias Moves East of KWGA - Active MJO over EPac

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 have not stopped, 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 2 Upwelling Kelvin Waves, suggesting the demise of La Nina was at hand.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Wednesday (4/4) 5 day average winds were from the east over the bulk of the equatorial Pacific but weaker over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral over the equatorial East Pacific and weak westerly over the Western KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (4/5) Modest east anomalies were from the dateline and points east of there with moderate to strong westerly winds filling the KWGA to the dateline. This pattern is to collapse on 4/6 with westerly anomalies dissipating with modest east anomalies building over the KWGA and holding though weaker through the end of the model run on 4/12. This suggests a pattern change.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (4/4) A moderate Active/Wet signal was over the dateline with the Inactive/Dry Phase over the Maritime Continent. The statistical model depicts the Active signal fading steadily over the next 5 days with a moderate Inactive/Dry MJO signal building in the West Pacific at day 10 and filling the KWGA 15 days out. The dynamic model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO is to continue filling the KWGA 5 days out then fading and gone by day 10 while the Inactive/Dry Phase of the MJO builds over the West Pacific then stalls and fades there at day 15 with a dead neutral pattern over the KWGA.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/5) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO modest in strength over the East Pacific. It is to track east steadily over the next 15 days moving into the Indian Ocean 10 days out and weak. The GEFS model depicts the same track and speed but with the Active Phase weaker the last 6 days of the model run.
40 day Upper Level Model: (4/5) This model depicts a weak Active/Wet pattern exiting the Pacific over Central America. A new moderate Inactive Phase is developing in the far West Pacific on 4/10 migrating east to the East Pacific through 5/3. After that a weak Active Phase is forecast moving into the West Pacific 4/23 easing east to the East Pacific and into Central America at the end of the model run on 5/15. This model runs about 1-2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (4/5) This site is up - use alternative link below. On (4/5) this model depicted a weak Active Phase was peaking on the dateline with weak west anomalies from the KWGA over the dateline and eastward to Central America. Beyond a modest Inactive Phase is to set up in the KWGA 4/23-4/30 but with west anomalies in control in the KWGA. A weak pattern to follow with weak west anomalies still in control. Perhaps a stronger Active Phase to develop 5/28 holding through the end of the model run on 7/3 with west anomalies strengthening in the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates a modest low pressure bias over the bulk of the KWGA at 170E and is to push east steadily from here forward reaching the dateline 4/12 with the high pressure bias already east of the dateline and out of the KWGA. This is huge good news. Basically the La Nina bias is to be gone in 2 weeks. But no significant oceanic change is expected until 3 months after the change has taken place in the atmosphere.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/5) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 29-30 degs at 160E. The 28 deg isotherm line is steady at 180W and steep (meaning there is still a headwind of cooler water pushing into it from the east - La Nina). The 24 deg isotherm was building in thickness while making significant eastward progress at 95 meters deep at 140W and 50 meters deep at 120W dropping to 25 meters into Ecuador. Anomaly wise in the East Pacific negative temperatures at -1.0 degs were in one small pocket at 100W 50 metes deep. Cooler waters are steadily loosing coverage and density and being squeezed to the surface by a Kelvin Wave and warm water building in from the west at depth. Warm anomalies were weakening in the West at +3.0 degs at 165E down 150 meters with +1 deg anomalies reaching east to 120W down 75 meters and starting to erupt at the surface near 115W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 3/29 depicts warm water in the west at +4.0 degs at 160W reaching east to 115W pushing up to 50 m deep. Cool water was holding in one shallow pocket in the East Pacific off Ecuador near 100W but otherwise continues significantly losing density, intensity and depth while being squeezed to the surface by the approaching Kelvin Wave. The cool pool appears to be slowly discharging to the surface and is poised to be undercut by an approaching Kelvin Wave. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data.
Sea Level Anomalies: (3/29) Positive anomalies were over the West equatorial Pacific at +5-10 cms centered at 160W reaching east to 125W. Neutral anomalies were east of there except for negative anomalies at -5 cms near 3S 100W and extending east to Peru. The La Nina cool pool is all but gone.

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: (4/4) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a pocket of cool anomalies was along the immediate coast of Peru reaching northwest up to the Galapagos and ending there and much smaller than days past. Of much interest is a building pool of warm anomalies developing on the oceans surface on and just south of the equator starting off of Peru out to 110W and building there north and south of the equator. This possibly could be the start of a defined eruption point for a large Kevin Wave directly below. Warm anomalies were also along the immediate coast of Central America and Mexico. Cool anomalies on the equator were limited to points west of 120W - the last of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/4): A small but deep pocket of cooling is fading over Galapagos. Warming was building along the equator from just west of the Galapagos out to the dateline with a core at 100-120W indicating the breach point for a large Kelvin Wave directly beneath there.
Hi-res Overview: (4/4) A pocket of cool water is along the immediate coast of Peru reaching up to the Galapagos. But weak warming was further off the coast over the same area and reaching north to the equator at 100W. Warming was also along Ecuador and Central America filling the area north of the equator up into Mexico and east over the entirety of the equatorial Pacific. The La Nina core cool pocket was shrinking now mainly on the equator and south of there from 120W to barely the dateline looking like a Modoki La Nina (meaning the core of La Nina is advecting west and dissipating). Overall the cooling pattern is steadily loosing density and drifting west.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/5) Today's temps were rebounding quickly to -0.069 after previously falling hard to -2.364 degs on 3/25, the coldest of any point in this La Nina. Previous cool peaks were on 3/12 at -1.5 degs retreating from the peak of the first Kelvin Wave hitting at +0.898 degrees on 2/28. Overall temps had been steadily marching upwards since late December. Temps in this area bottomed out on 12/23 at -2.1 degs, a third near peak negative reading. The lowest point so far in this La Nina was -2.248 degs reached on 11/5. And that low point was lower than the previous coldest point reached on 10/11 at -1.9 degs.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/5) Today temps were rising some at -0.672 degs. A weak surge in temps occurred 1/12-1/28 reaching up to -0.600 deg range. But since then temps have eased off some only rebuilding in the past week. Previously a peak low was observed on 1/10-1/12 to -1.577. On (12/7) temps hit a previous record low at -1.219, just below the previous coldest peak so far this La Nina on 11/22 at -1.156. And the third previous low peak was reached at -1.1 on 11/23. The long arc suggests perhaps a rising pattern. La Nina is in control, but it's taking a hit.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/5) The forecast depicts temps bottomed out at -0.75 in Nov 2017 and have been slowly rebounding since, up to -0.55 in early Feb. In mid-March a sharp increase developed rising to -0.35 in early April. The model indicates temps steadily rising from here forward to neutral in early June, hovering there then starting to rise into the Fall to +0.2 degs in Oct and to +0.5 degs later in Nov. This suggests the peak of La Nina occurred in 2017 and is to fade out in the early Summer of 2018 before turning weakly positive in the Fall. The odds of a 3 year La Nina developing are rare (3 year La Ninas 17%, 2 year La Ninas 50%, 1 year La Ninas 33% 1951-2017). This model is now falling inline with all the others suggesting La Nina is to die this Spring.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-March Plume depicts temps at -0.5 degs and are to slowly rise, to +0.0 in May and +0.2 in August and +0.5 in November. See chart here - link. It looks like La Nina is fading out. The CFSv2 is in the low end of that pack.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (4/5): The daily index was steady at 21.05. The 30 day average was rising to 11.09 suggesting the Inactive Phase of the MJO was building. The 90 day average was rising some at 4.70 suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (4/5) This index was rising slightly at -1.02 down from -1.13 on 3/27. Still this is down from -0.33 in late Feb, but was up from -1.11 on 1/29. The trend suggests La Nina is not gone, but possibly also reflects the last of the cool subsurface water being squeezed to the surface from an approaching large Kelvin Wave. Last years La Nina reached -1.94 on 11/2/16 and then fell to -2.20 on 6/28/17. It held pretty negative through Jan 2018. This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina events. The goal is to have it rise to at least -0.5 before a significant change could be suggested.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly positive, even though La Nina is in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.12, Feb = +0.05, March = +0.14, April=+0.53, May=+0.29, June=+0.21, July= -0.50, Aug= -0.62, Sept = -0.25, Oct= -0.61, Nov = -0.45, Dec= -0.13, Jan=+0.29, Feb=-0.10. 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 EDU index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.77, Feb = +0.70, Mar = +0.74, April=+1.12, May=+0.88, June=+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. No 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

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