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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, April 11, 2017 5:10 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
3.0 - 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 4/10 thru Sun 4/16

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   

NPac Remains Weakly Productive
Small SHemi Swell On the Way - More to Follow

BUOY ROUNDUP

On Tuesday, April 11, 2017 :

  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 6.4 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 4.7 ft @ 9.0 secs from 325 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.1 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 1.6 ft @ 16.1 secs from 217 degrees. Wind southeast 1-4 kts. Water temperature 59.5 degs. At Ventura swell was 2.6 ft @ 11.5 secs from 276 degrees. At Santa Monica swell was 1.6 ft @ 15.6 secs from 210 degrees. At Camp Pendleton swell was 2.2 ft @ 15.4 secs from 213 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma swell was 2.2 ft @ 16.1 secs from 195 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 8.2 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 5.9 ft @ 13.0 secs from 296 degrees. Wind southeast 8-10 kts at the buoy. Water temp 53.1 degs.
    Notes

    46006, 46059, New! Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (at the 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 Tuesday (4/11) in North and Central CA local Gulf swell was 3 ft overhead on the face and clean but with south lump running through it and a bit jumbled with light southeast winds. Protected breaks were up to 1-2 ft overhead and clean but soft. At Santa Cruz surf was up to 1-2 ft overhead on the sets and clean but with a fair amount of south lump running through it but well lined up. In Southern California up north the same swell was producing waves at waist to chest high and clean with no real wind but a bit warbled from tide. In North Orange Co surf was shoulder to head high and clean but soft with a slight north texture running through it. In San Diego surf was chest to maybe head high and clean but a bit warbled with light winds. Hawaii's North Shore was up to chest high at top breaks and clean but weak. The South Shore was waist high with some bigger waves intermixed and clean. The East Shore was getting east wrap around northwest windswell at waist high and chopped from easterly trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (4/11) residual swell from a gale that tracked through the Gulf Sun (4/9) producing 20-22 ft seas was still hitting the California coast. Another small swell from a gale developed over the Northern Dateline region Sat-Sun (4/9) tracking east with up to 28 ft seas was pushing towards Hawaii and the US West Coast, but size is to be minimal. Another system wa developing off the Kurils on Mon (4/10) with seas building to 30 ft but is to fade later Tues (4/11) with seas dropping from 23 ft aimed decently at Hawaii. Perhaps a small gale to produce a second of 20 ft seas off California in the Central Gulf late Tues (4/11). Yet another small gale is to develop over the Kurils pushing northeast on Thurs-Fri (4/14) producing 28 ft seas in the far Northwest Pacific. A bit of a pause is forecast then on Tues (4/18) 2 more systems are forecast, one in the Gulf with 26 ft seas aimed at North CA while another develops on the North Dateline region with up to 28 ft seas aimed decently at Hawaii. So for now, the swell production pattern does not appear to be fading. projected.

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

North Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Tuesday AM (4/11) the jetstream was splitting weak while pushing off Japan with most energy in the northern branch over the width of the Pacific. A trough was positioned in the Northwest Pacific being fed by 150 kts winds offering support for gale development then ridging just east of the dateline pushing up into the Bering Sea only to fall back southeast forming a broad trough over the Gulf of Alaska being fed by 130 kts winds and again offering support for gale development. The broadest split in the jet was positioned north of Hawaii up to the Central Aleutians. Over the next 72 hours that broad split is to fade and effectively be gone by the end of the period. Wind energy is to be building over Japan pushing east on Wed (4/12) at 160 kts pushing east-northeast reaching to a point just south of the Eastern Aleutians on Fri (4/14) consolidated and flowing well at 140 kts with a weak trough developing off Kamchatka. The trough previously off Kamchatka on Tues (4/11) is to move into the Bering Sea and be gone by Wed (4/12) while the trough in the Gulf is to hold while easing east moving over North CA on Thurs (4/13) and continuing to provide support for gale development until them. Beyond 72 hours the jet is to be pushing east running flat on the 33N latitude line by Sat (4/15) but weakening with winds down to 130 kts mainly over the dateline with a trough redeveloping ahead of this energy in the Gulf being fed by 120 kts winds briefly offering some support for gale development before moving inland over North CA on Sun (4/16). By late Mon (4/17) wind energy is to be building across the width of the jet to 170 kts in a ridge over Japan falling southeast forming a new trough approaching the dateline offering support for gale development while another trough starts building in the Gulf well off North CA with winds to 140 kts both offering support for gale development. A bit of a late season pulse might evolve.

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday (4/11) swell from a small gale previously in the Gulf was hitting California (see Gulf Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours two more small systems are being monitored, one in the Gulf (see Another Gulf Gale below) and one in the Northwest Pacific.

 

Another Gulf Gale
A gale was developing in the Central Gulf on Tues AM (4/11) generating 30-35 kts northwest winds and seas building. The gale is to be falling southeast in the evening with west winds still 30-35 kts targeting Central CA with seas building to 19 ft at 41N 146W. The gale is to be falling southeast On Wed AM (4/12) positioned just off Central CA with winds barely 30 kts and seas 20 ft over a tiny area at 37N 141W. The gale is to fade from there off Central CA no longer producing fetch of interest.

North CA: Swell arrival expected later on Thurs (4/13) pushing to 6 ft @ 11-12 secs at sunset (7.0 ft). Swell fading Fri AM (4/14) from 5.2 ft @ 11-12 secs (5.5-6.0 ft). Swell Direction: 290 degrees

 

Northwest Pacific Gale
Also a gale started to develop off the North Kurils Islands on Mon (4/10) with winds building to 45 kts in the evening and seas building to 30 ft at 44N 168E. The gale migrated east Tues AM (4/11) with northwest to west winds 35-40 kts moving east into the North Dateline region with 26-28 ft seas over a solid area at 45N 175E. The gale is to lift northeast in the evening with residual 35 kt northwest winds south of the Aleutians with 25 ft seas at 48N 170E targeting Hawaii well. The gale is to fade from there Wed AM (4/12) while lifting northeast into the Bering Sea and becoming shadowed by the Aleutians. No more swell production is expected.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Fri (4/14) building reaching 4.5 ft @ 14-15 secs later (6.5 ft). Swell holding overnight then fading Sat AM (4/15) from 4.1 ft @ 14 secs (5.5-6.0 ft) and dropping from there. Swell Direction: 315 degrees.

 

Gulf Gale
A gale developed in the Gulf on Fri PM (4/7) with 35 kt northwest winds and seas building. On Sat AM (3/8) winds to build to 35 kts over a broader area from the northwest with seas 19 ft at 44N 155W targeting mainly the US West Coast. Fetch held at 35 kts in the evening over a modest area tracking east with seas to 21 ft at 44N 148W. On Sun AM (3/9) the gale tracked east with winds building to 40 kts over a small area from the west just off South Oregon with seas 23 ft at 44N 143W. The gale faded in the evening with seas dropping from 19 ft at 43N 136W. The gale dissipated after that. Possible swell for Oregon and California (late Monday into Tues).

North CA: Swell hit Mon evening (4/10) at 10 PM peaking at 9.1 ft @ 14.9 secs (13 ft). Swell faded Tues AM (4/11) from 5.0 ft @ 13 secs (6-7 ft). Residuals expected on Wed AM (4/12) fading from 3.6 ft @ 11-12 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 298 degrees

 

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday AM (4/11) a small low was developing unexpectedly just 500 nmiles off the Central CA coast trying to get traction on the oceans surface but not quite doing it. Winds were building from the south and expected to reach 15 kts down to Monterey bay late afternoon and up to 25 kts over Cape Mendocino later as the low lifts north and moving inland over Oregon after dark. Light rain is forecast from Monterey northward through the day and evening. Maybe 1-2 inches of snow for higher elevations near Tahoe overnight. Then another low nestles up to the coast Wed (4/12) with south winds building to 20+ kts for North CA and down to Monterey Bay late afternoon with rain developing through the day for North CA reaching south to Morro Bay early Thursday. Snow for higher elevations of the Sierra by late evening building overnight. 8-10 inches of accumulation for Tahoe on the crest by 8 AM Thursday. Thursday AM (4/13) northwest winds are forecast behind the front at 5 kts early building to 15-20 kts for all of North and Central CA late afternoon and 15 kts for all of Southern CA too. Scattered showers along the coast from Monterey Bay northward. Light snow forecast for Tahoe redeveloping 5 PM and continuing through 3 AM Friday with 2-3 inches of accumulation possible. Total accumulation for the 84 hr period 11-15 inches for Tahoe on the crest and not even 1 inch for Mammoth. Friday high pressure takes control with north winds 15 kts from Pt Reyes southward and up to 25 kts for Pt Conception and continuing early Saturday then fading late as more low pressure moves up to the coast. No precipitation forecast. Sunday the front from the next low arrives with south winds building to 20 kts early afternoon and 15 kts down to Pt Conception late afternoon. Light rain for all of North and Central CA by late afternoon with snow developing for the whole Sierra by evening continuing overnight. 6 inches of accumulation possible for Tahoe and maybe 2 inches for Mammoth. Monday (4/17) another low is to be off the Oregon coast with south winds 10 kts or less for all of Central and North CA but 15-20 kts for Cape Mendocino. Light rain from Half Moon Bay northward. Maybe 1 inch of snow for Tahoe in the evening. Tuesday more light south winds expected at 5 kts for North and Central CA as the low lifts northeast off the Pacific Northwest.

 

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis  
Over the next 72 hours another storm is forecast developing well south of New Zealand on Tues PM (4/11) with a small area of 45 kts west winds and seas starting to develop from 29 ft at 61S 172E. On Wed AM (4/12) that fetch is to hold turning more southwesterly while lifting northeast with seas to 31 ft at 60S 175W. In the evening winds to build to 45 kts from the south-southwest and seas building to 34 ft at 56S 161W. The gale is to reach storm status while lifting northeast with winds 50+ kts Thurs AM (4/13) with seas 37 ft at 52S 149W. Winds to hold at 45-50 kts in the evening lifting northeast with seas 37 ft at 48S 141W. More fetch is to develop from the south on Fri AM (4/14) at 50+ kts with 37 ft seas at 46S 134W aimed north. the gael is to start fading and falling south in the evening with winds fading from 45 kts and seas fading from 34 ft at 50S 125W. Something to monitor.

 

Central Pacific Gale
A gale developed in the West South Pacific Thurs PM (3/30) with 40 kt southwest winds and seas building 35 ft at 62S 175W aimed east. The gale tracked east Fri AM (3/31) to the Central South Pacific with 45 kt southwest winds lifting northeast and seas 34 ft over a small area at 60S 166W. In the evening 40 kt southwest winds lifted northeast with seas 33 ft at 58S 157W. Sat AM (4/1) fetch was fading from 35 kts from the south with seas fading from 30 ft at 55S 150W. In the evening winds built to 40 kts from the south with 29 ft seas at 53S 145W aimed north. South fetch faded Sun AM (4/2) from 35 kt and seas 27 ft at 50S 143W. 35 kt south winds continued fading in coverage in the evening with seas 25 ft at 50S 140W. A nice little pulse of southerly swell is possible for Tahiti, Hawaii and up into the US West Coast. Something to monitor.

Southern CA: Swell continued on Tues (4/11) at 2.3 ft @ 15 secs (3.5 ft). Residuals are to be fading on Wed (4/12) from 1.9 ft @ 14 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 200 degrees.

 

Southwest Pacific Storm
A storm started developing while tracking east under New Zealand on Fri AM (4/7) with 50 kt southwest winds and seas building to 38 ft at 60S 180S but most energy tracking towards the east. 45 kt south-southwest winds continued in the evening with 37 ft seas starting to lift northeast at 58S 171W aimed decently to the northeast. Sat AM (4/8) southwest winds were fading from 40 kts over a decent sized area with seas fading from 35 ft at 58 161W. Fetch dissipated from 35 kts in the evening with seas fading from 29 ft at 56S 153W. Maybe some decent swell to result.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (4/16) building to 1.3 ft @ 19 secs late (2.5 ft) and very inconsistent. Swell building through the day Mon (4/17) reaching 2.0 ft @ 17 secs late (3.0-3.5 ft with sets to 4 ft). Swell continues on Tues (4/18) pushing 2.1 @ 16 secs mid-day (3.5 ft with sets to 4.0-4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 200 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 in the extreme Northwest Pacific on Fri (4/14) with 40 kt west winds over a small area aimed east and just off Kamchatka generating 28 ft seas at 50N 162E. Fetch is to be fading in the evening while lifting northeast dropping to 35 kts with seas 27 ft at 51N 169E and almost starting to impact the Western Aleutians. This system is to be impacting the Aleutians and fading out Sat AM (4/15). Low odds of any swell resulting targeting Hawaii with only sideband energy. Will monitor.

On Mon AM (4/17) a broad gale is to be developing off the Kuril Islands producing 35 kts northwest winds and seas building. In the evening west winds to build to 35-40 kts over a solid area with from 22 ft over a broad area at 45N 171E. Tues AM (4/18) 40 kt west winds to hold with seas building to 27 ft at 47N 174E aimed east. Something to monitor.

On Mon PM (4/17) a small gale is forecast developing in the Gulf off North CA with 30-35 kts west winds building and seas barely 20 ft at 42N 142W. 30-35 kt west winds to build in coverage Tues AM (4/18) at 35 kts with seas increasing to 26 ft over a tiny area at 42N 140W targeting Oregon and North CA. Something to monitor.

 
South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.

More details to follow...

 

Inactive MJO Dead But Weak East Anomalies Return

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 fading with suspicious warming developing along South America and over the Galapagos to a point south of Hawaii. Still, the atmosphere is in a La Nina configuration.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Mon (4/10) east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific and the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were light westerly over the equatorial East Pacific (opposite of normal) and light back to modest easterly over the KWGA. The Inactive Phase of the MJO and La Nina is still not completely gone.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): East anomalies are still over the KWGA focused on the dateline and points east of there with modest west anomalies from 160E and points west of there. The forecast suggests east anomalies are to slowly retrograde west and weaken but reaching the far western edge of the KWGA at the end of the forecast period (4/18) with weak west anomalies building over the dateline. This suggests the Inactive Phase of the MJO and La Nina are to be loosing control of the KWGA but still not gone completely.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: As of 4/10 a neutral MJO pattern was in effect over the KWGA. The statistic model projects a neutral pattern holding for the next 2 weeks if not trending weakly Inactive. The dynamic model depicts the neutral pattern turning weakly Active, then fading 15 days out. That is good news. All this suggest the Inactive Phase of the MJO constructively integrating with the remains of La Nina might finally be fading out and a neutral pattern is taking hold.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/11) The ECMF model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO was very weak over the Maritime Continent but is forecast to start making some eastern headway, weakly in the West Pacific 3 days out and moving to the East Pacific 7 fays out then collapsing. The GEFS model depicts the same thing but even weaker. This model runs about a week ahead of what occurs down at the surface.
40 day Upper Level Model: (4/11) This model depicts a weak Active Pattern was over the West Pacific and is to ease east into Central America 5/1. A very weak Inactive Phase is to follow in the West 4/21 drifting east to Central America 5/16. An even weaker Active pattern to follow in the West Pacific 5/6 tracking east to the East Pacific through 5/21. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (4/11) This model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was over the Western KWGA with weak east anomalies still hanging on over the dateline. The core of the Active Phase was on the move finally tracking towards the dateline. Beyond the Active Phase is to reach the dateline 4/19 but with neutral anomalies in control of the KWGA earlier, near 4/15. West anomalies are to be developing by 4/25 as the Active Phase starts moving out of the area and the Inactive Phase tries to move in. Basically a weak MJO pattern is to hold till 5/13 when the Inactive Phase moves east into the KWGA. But even then west anomalies are to be in control. After that the Active Phase id to take control on 6/22 with west anomalies well entrenched and building. La Nina is to be gone per the low pass filter on 5/10 (previously 5/8) with El Nino taking hold 5/21, (previously 5/16-5/22). Projected west anomalies are dependent upon the evolution of El Nino and the date of that development now appears to be firming up (holding for 2 weeks now).
Confidence still low on this forecast for now. We'll see what happens.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/11) Actual temperatures remain stratified with warm water in the West Pacific at 30 degs C retrograding west and no longer on the chart. The 28 deg isotherm line is steady at 178E and steep still suggesting a hard break between warm water in the west and cool water in the east at depth. But 26 deg anomalies continue easing to the east reaching to the Galapagos with 24 degs anomalies over a modest pool down 25 meters (75 meters at 140W) and holding. Anomaly wise warm anomalies at +1 degs rule the entire upper reaches of the equatorial East Pacific from 75 meters upward. A pocket of -2 degs anomalies is steady at depth between 110-170W down 125 meters. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/3 depicts that warm water has built in the east at +2-4 degs and trying to ease west to about 130W. Otherwise warm water is confined to the West Pacific at +2 degs reaching east to 170W. La Nina has lost control of the ocean at depth with something that almost resembles a warm pattern taking shape. A pocket of cooler water is down 100 meters from 120-170W. The concern is there is not much warm water in the far West Pacific to feed any sort of a progressive Kelvin Wave pattern, but more warm waters appears to be building in the east.
Sea Level Anomalies: (4/3) A previous pool of positive anomalies at 0-+5 cms on the equator from Ecuador west to 130W has backtracked, reaching to 115W now. 5+ cm anomalies remain along the coast of Peru and Ecuador. La Nina is gone in the East Pacific with a neutral to warm trend building in.

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: (4/10) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate warm water is still in the region extending from Northern Chile over Peru and north to Ecuador then extending west over the Galapagos with the warmest anomalies reaching west to 110W at +1.0 degs with warm anomalies out to 160W but mainly south of the equator. But these warm waters are fading and getting eroded by cool waters that were building some along the immediate coast of South Peru and North Chile and appear to be building some up into North Peru and off Ecuador. Looking at the large picture, warming in the southern hemi extends east thousands of miles off the coast of South America as far south as 20S. La Nina is gone and it looks like an El Nino like pattern is returning, though that seems hard to believe given the limited volume of subsurface warm water in the West equatorial Pacific.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/10): A weak cooling trend is along immediate Chile, Peru and most pronounced off Ecuador. A weak warming trend extends west the Galapagos out to the dateline. A warming trend is also present in the Northern Hemi strongly from off California out over Hawaii and reaching to the Philippines.
Hi-res Overview:
(4/10) There is no sign of La Nina east of 160W. A solid warm regime holds from Ecuador west to 120W and less energetic out to 160W. Remnants of La Nina continue from 160W-160E. It almost looks like El Nino is trying to develop and making headway into the Nino3.4 region.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/11) Today's temps were falling to neutral at +0.154, down from the peak of +3.0 degs on 3/18.  
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (4/11) temps were rising some at +0.423 degs.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies



SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/10) The forecast is steady with temps projected at +0.55 degs April 1 building to +0.85 degs later in April holding at 0.75 degs in July and holding, building some to +0.95 degs in Oct and to +1.1 degs in Nov suggesting a return of El Nino. La Nina is over and a return to at least normal temps is expected in Spring. The change in the atmosphere will be slower. And a turn to weak El Nino conditions is possible late summer into Fall. Still, there is no source for greater warming with the warm pool in the far West Pacific pretty weak.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-March Plume just updated today (3/16) and depicts temps are warming and are now at +0.3 degs. A slow increase in temps is forecast thereafter to +0.8 degs in July holding into the Fall. This is +0.3 degs warmer than the Feb forecast and +0.6 degs warmer than the January forecast and suggests La Nina is over and a warmer regime is setting up. See chart here - link. 

Atmospheric Decoupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (4/11): The daily index was rising steadily +15.28 and has been positive for 7 days. The 30 day average was rising at +3.79. The 90 day average was falling at -1.26 or effectively neutral. This suggests a return to at least a neutral ENSO conditions has taken hold.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (4/11) Today's value was steady at -1.06, still pretty negative given the other oceanic signals. A peak low was reached on 11/2 at -1.94 the deepest it had been in this La Nina event. This measures atmospheric response, not oceanic. The atmosphere lags behind changes in the ocean. The expectation is this index will rise to 0.0 three months after the oceanic change occurred (Oceanic change occurred approx Jan 20 2017). So on March 20 the index should be neutral. That seems like a reach.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO continues positive, though much weaker lately (as expected with La Nina setting in).
Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.12, Feb = +0.04, March = +0.08. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO. No consistently negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington EDU index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.77, Feb = +0.70. 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

****

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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Local Interest

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

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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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