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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Saturday, April 15, 2017 2:31 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 4/17 thru Sun 4/23

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   

Two Final Gales for NPac
Two S. Hemi Swells in Flight

BUOY ROUNDUP

On Saturday, April 15, 2017 :

  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 6.1 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 5.2 ft @ 13.8 secs from 315 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 5.2 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 3.7 ft @ 9.9 secs from 263 degrees. Wind northeast 4-6 kts. Water temperature 59.5 degs. At Ventura swell was 2.7 ft @ 10.2 secs from 271 degrees. At Santa Monica swell was 2.7 ft @ 8.7 secs from 263 degrees. At Camp Pendleton swell was 1.2 ft @ 14.2 secs from 224 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma swell was 5.1 ft @ 10.2 secs from 280 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 7.0 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 3.0 ft @ 12.2 secs from 288 degrees. Wind north 12-14 kts at the buoy. Water temp 53.2 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 Saturday (4/15) in North and Central CA local windswell was head high and clean with light offshores early but a bit on the weak side. Protected breaks were waist to maybe chest high and clean early but weak. At Santa Cruz surf was up to waist to chest high and lined up when it came and clean but generally weak and inconsistent. In Southern California up north Gulf windswell was still hitting producing waves in the chest high range and clean and lined up. In North Orange Co surf was head high and lined up and closed out on the sets and clean. In San Diego surf was up to head high and mostly clean and rideable but nothing epic. Hawaii's North Shore was getting swell from the Northwest Pacific at 1-2 ft overhead and sometimes bigger and clean and lined up but a little inconsistent. The South Shore was thigh to maybe waist high and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell at waist high plus and chopped from easterly trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Saturday (4/15) small swell from a gale that developed over the West Pacific on Mon-Tues (4/11) tracking east with up to 30 ft seas was hitting Hawaii and starting to arrive in North California, but size was unremarkable. Yet another small gale developed over the Kurils pushing east on Thurs-Fri (4/14) producing 28 ft seas in the far Northwest Pacific offering potential for small swell for Hawaii. Then a pause is forecast until Tues (4/18) when a gale is to develop in the Gulf with seas building to 24 ft aimed east at California. At the same time another gale is to form north west of Hawaii with 23 ft seas targeting the Islands well and relatively nearby tracking east into Thurs (4/20) starting to target the mainland, then fading. Beyond things are to be settling down more with Spring taking hold and energy in the North Pacific slowly fading out.

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

North Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Saturday AM (4/15) the jetstream was flowing well and consolidated east off Japan with winds 140 kts pushing over the dateline on the 35N latitude line reaching a point 900 nmiles north of Hawaii then falling into a small trough mid-way to the US West Coast before continuing east and pushing over North California. The was limited support for low pressure development in that trough. Residual wind energy from a previous split still lingered from the dateline tracking east down at 15N, but of no consequence. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to ease east and decay, moving over North CA on Sunday and of no interest other than local weather there. But by Mon (4/17) the entire jet is to tilt southeast flowing from off the Kuril Islands down towards Hawaii with two troughs setting up, one approaching the dateline and the other north-northeast of Hawaii both being fed by pockets of winds energy to 140-150 kts. Support for gale development building in these troughs. Beyond 72 hours starting Tues (4/18) the troughs are to move east with one just east of the dateline and the other fading positioned mid-way between Hawaii and California and moving onshore Wednesday. Both are to be supporting gale development. On Wed (4/19) the trough north of Hawaii is to be deepening quickly being fed by 140 kts winds continuing east into Thurs (4/20) before fading and lifting northeast with support for gale development dissipating. Still a consolidated jetstream flow is to be holding across the width of the North Pacific with winds building to 150 kts over a broad area forming a gentle ridge in the West Pacific off Japan and falling into a developing trough in the Gulf. Winds feeding that trough to build to 170 kts by Saturday (4/22) offering good support for gale development in the Gulf. Still, the turn of seasons will dampen whatever potential existing in the jet for supporting gale development.

Surface Analysis
On Saturday (4/15) swell from a gale previously over the Northwest Pacific was starting to fade in Hawaii and starting to reach the US West Coast (see Northwest Pacific Gale below). Swell from a gale over the Kuril Islands was tracking southeast towards Hawaii (see Kuril Island Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a gale is to start developing in a tough in the upper atmosphere northeast of Hawaii Mon PM (4/17) producing 30-35 kt northwest winds and seas building from 18 ft at 37N 155W. By Tues AM (4/18) winds to consolidate at 35 kts in the Central Gulf from the west with seas building to 24 ft at 40N 151W. Fetch to hold into the evening with 23 ft seas at 40N 146W targeting California well. Fetch is to fade rapidly Wed AM (4/19) lifting northeast winds seas fading from 20 ft at 40N 141W targeting North and Central CA well. Fetch and seas to dissipate from there. Possible swell for California if all goes as forecast.

Also another gale is to start forming on Tues AM (4/18) just east of the dateline producing 30-35 kts northwest winds and seas building. In the evening northwest winds to build to 35-40 kts over a decent area targeting Hawaii well and just 1000 nmiles away with seas to 23 ft at 39N 177W. Wed AM (4/19) 35 kt northwest winds to hold now north of Hawaii with seas 22 ft at 35N 168W aimed well at Hawaii. The gale is to continue east in the evening with winds 35 kts from the northwest with seas 21 ft moving to 35N 161W still targeting Hawaii but also starting to take aim on the US West Coast. Thurs AM (4/20) the gale is to hold stationary north of Hawaii with 30-35 kt northwest winds starting to take aim on California with seas 23 ft at 34N 161W. In the evening the gale is to move east with winds fading from 30 kts from the west with seas 22 ft at 32N 154W. The gale is to dissipate from the tracking northeast. Possible swell for Hawaii and the US West Coast. Something to monitor.

 

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 lifted northeast in the evening with residual 35 kt northwest winds south of the Aleutians and 24 ft seas at 48N 170E targeting Hawaii well. The gale faded from there Wed AM (4/12) while lifting northeast into the Bering Sea and becoming shadowed by the Aleutians with seas fading from 20 ft at 45N 177E. No more swell production occurred after that.

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 4.2 ft @ 14 secs (5.5-6.0 ft) and dropping from there. Dribbles on Sun AM (4/16) fading from 3.2 ft @ 12-13 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 315 degrees.

North CA: Swell arrival expected Sat PM (4/15) building to 2.0 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.5 ft). Sun AM (4/16) swell to be at 2.8 ft @ 15 secs (4.0 ft) and inconsistent and fading by late afternoon. Swell Direction: 300 degrees

 

Kuril Islands Gale
A gale started developing over the extreme North Kuril Islands Thurs AM (4/13) with 45 kt west winds barely exposed into the Northwest Pacific and seas 30 ft at 48.5N 156E. In the evening the gale eased east with winds 40 kts from the west and seas fading from 28 ft at 47N 157E. On Fri (4/14) winds were fading from 35 kts from the west over a small area generating 28 ft seas at 48N 163E still isolated to the far Northwest Pacific. Fetch was fading in the evening while lifting northeast dropping to 30 kts with seas 23 ft at 49N 170E and almost starting to impact the Western Aleutians. This system was impacting the Aleutians and fading out Sat AM (4/15). Low odds of any swell resulting targeting Hawaii with only sideband energy.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Mon (4/17) building to 2.4 ft @ 17 secs late (4.0 ft). Swell to peak Tues (4/18) at 2.9 ft @ 15 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Residuals fading Wed AM (4/19) from 3.1 ft @ 12-13 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 320 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 Saturday AM (4/15) weak low pressure was circulating off North Californiawith high pressure in between it and the coast producing north winds 15 kts over outer waters of North and Central CA but light nearshore and fading late as the low moves up to the coast. No precipitation forecast. Sunday the front from the low arrives while falling apart with south winds building to 20 kts early into afternoon from Big Sur northward and 10-15 kts down to Pt Conception late afternoon. Light rain for all of North and Central CA by late afternoon with light snow developing for upper elevations of the Sierra by evening continuing overnight. 3-5 inches of accumulation possible for Tahoe. 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 up to 15-20 kts for Cape Mendocino. Light steady rain for Bodega Bay northward during the day and showers down to Pt Conception then building some over the entire area overnight. Snow developing for the Sierra at 5 PM continuing overnight mainly for higher elevations with 4 inches of accumulation possible but up a foot at Kirkwood by sunrise Tuesday. Tuesday (4/18) light winds expected early turning northwest 10 kts in the afternoon. Rain clearing for North and Central CA by mid-afternoon. Snow fading from the Sierra. Wednesday (4/19) weak high pressure is to try and take control ridging into North CA with light winds there but north winds 15 kts for Big Sur southward to Pt Conception in the afternoon. Light rain isolated to Cape Mendocino maybe building south to the Golden Gate overnight. Thursday winds to be north 20 kts from Monterey Bay south to Pt Conception but light from San Francisco northward early with no precip forecast except from showers in Cape Mendocino. Friday north winds continue for North and Central CA at 15-20 kts through the day then fading Saturday (4/22) from 15-20 kts isolated to Monterey Bay south to Pt Conception.

 

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis  
2 swells are tracking towards California, one from a gale that formed briefly southeast of New Zealand (see Southwest Pacific Gale below) and a stronger and longer lasting one that tracked across the South Pacific (see New Zealand Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours another gale is to form in the deep Southwest Pacific on Sun AM (4/16) with 45 kt southwest winds building and seas 30 ft over a small area at 65S 172W. With Antarctic Sea Ice seasonally depressed, there is lots of open ocean for gales to get traction. Winds to fade while tracking east in the evening at 40 kts with seas fading to 29 ft at 65S 160W. The gale is to rebuild while lifting northeast Mon AM (4/17) with 45 kt southwest winds and seas 26 ft at 63S 148W. In the evening 50 kt southwest winds to continue northeast with seas 30 ft at 54S 135W aimed at California down to Central America and Peru. The gael is to dissipate from there Tues AM (4/18) with seas fading from 28 ft at 51S 128W. Something to monitor.

 

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 fading on Wed (4/19) falling from 2.0 ft @ 15 secs early (3.0 ft). Residuals on Thurs (4/20) fading from 1.6 ft @ 14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 200 degrees

 

New Zealand Gale
A storm started developing well south of New Zealand starting Tues PM (4/11) with a small area of 40 kts west winds and seas starting to develop from 27 ft at 61S 172E. On Wed AM (4/12) that fetch built to 45 kts lifting northeast with seas to 30 ft at 58S 174W. In the evening winds built to 45 kts from the south-southwest over a solid area with seas building to 33 ft at 56S 161W. The gale reached storm status while lifting northeast with winds 50 kts Thurs AM (4/13) with seas 39 ft at 52S 151W (200 degs SCal and 196 degs NCal and both unshadowed, 171 degs HI). Winds faded from 45 kts in the evening lifting northeast with seas 35 ft at 48S 143W (195 degs SCal, 193 degs NCal). More fetch developed to the south on Fri AM (4/14) at 50 kts over a tiny area aimed north with 30 ft seas from the original fetch fading at 46S 136W aimed north. The gale is to start fading and falling south in the evening with winds in the new fetch fading from 45 kts over a tiny area aimed north and seas fading from 32 ft at 53S 127W. This system to fade from there.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (4/20) building to 2.0 ft @ 19 secs at sunset (3.5 ft). Swell to continue upwards on Fri (4/21) building to 2.5 ft @ 17-18 secs (4.5 ft). Swell continues Sat (4/22) at 2.6 ft @ 16 secs early (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 198 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 no immediate swell production is forecast.

 
South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours another storm is to start building south of New Zealand on Thurs PM (4/20) with winds to 50 kts and seas 36 ft at 60S 169W aimed east-northeast. Fetch is to track east-northeast Fri AM (4/21) fading from the southwest at 40 kts and seas 34 ft at 58S 155W. The storm to fade from there. Something to monitor.

More details to follow...

 

Active MJO Pattern Getting A Toehold

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 Fri (4/14) east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific but a little lighter over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral over the equatorial East Pacific and neutral over the KWGA. The Inactive Phase of the MJO and La Nina appear to have dissipated.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): Light east anomalies were over the west KWGA and light west anomalies over the east KWGA per the model. The forecast suggests light east anomalies are to slowly track east and move to the dateline at the end of the forecast period (4/22) while weak west anomalies move east into the core of the KWGA. This suggests the Inactive Phase of the MJO and La Nina are weakening and a neutral pattern is setting up for the KWGA.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: As of 4/14 a neutral to weak Active MJO pattern was in effect over the KWGA. The statistic model projects it fading to a pure neutral pattern and week out and holding for the next 2 weeks with the Inactive Phase building in the Indian Ocean tracking east. The dynamic model depicts the weakly active pattern holding for the next 15 days with the Inactive Phase building in the Indian Ocean but confined there. All this suggest the Inactive Phase of the MJO constructively integrating with the remains of La Nina appears to have faded out and a neutral to weakly Active Pattern is taking hold.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/15) The ECMF model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO was very weak over the East Pacific and is forecast to build some while making eastern headway, then collapse 5 days out and disappear. The GEFS model depicts the same thing but holding in the East Pacific. This model runs about a week ahead of what occurs down at the surface.
40 day Upper Level Model: (4/15) This model depicts a weak Active Pattern was over the Central Pacific and is to ease east into Central America 4/25. A modest Inactive Phase was already developing in the West and is to drift east to Central America 5/5. An very weak Active pattern to follow in the West Pacific 5/5 tracking east to the East Pacific through 5/25 and beyond. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (4/15) This model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was centered over the KWGA with neutral anomalies in play. Beyond the Active Phase is to reach the dateline 4/19 but with neutral anomalies in control of the KWGA. West anomalies are to develop by 4/21 as the Active Phase starts moving out of the area as the Inactive Phase moves in by 4/27. The Inactive Phase is to hold till 6/13, but west anomalies are to hold control of the KWGA throughout. After that the Active Phase is to start taking control on 6/20 with solid west anomalies well entrenched and building. The low pass filter indicates La Nina is to be gone on 5/8 (previously 5/6-5/8) with El Nino taking hold 5/24, (previously 5/16-5/22). Projected west anomalies are dependent upon the evolution of El Nino and the date of that development appears to be firming up (holding for 2 weeks now).
Confidence is building on this forecast for now.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/15) Actual temperatures remain stratified with warm water in the West Pacific at 30 degs C retrograding west and no longer on the chart. But the 28 deg isotherm line is starting to make eastward progress moving from 176W to 174W and not quite as steep suggesting perhaps a tendency to be moving east. 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 +0-1 degs rule the entire upper reaches of the equatorial East Pacific from 65 meters upward. A pocket of -2 degs anomalies is steady at depth between 110-170W down 100 meters. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/8 depicts that warm water is covering the East Pac at +2-4 degs and trying to ease west to about 130W. Cool water at -1-2 degs is at depth at 150W with warm water confined in 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. 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 somehow more warm waters is present in the east.
Sea Level Anomalies: (4/8) Positive anomalies at 0-+5 cms are on the equator from Ecuador west to 110W. 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: (4/14) 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 reaching west to 120W at +1.5 degs with warm anomalies out to 160W but mainly south of the equator. But these warm waters have gotten significantly eroded by cool waters upwelling along the immediate coast of Peru and North Chile. The good news these cooler waters appear to be fading some. 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 (4/14): A weak warming trend is along immediate Chile and Peru. A pronounced cooling trend persists off Ecuador but weaker than days past. A weak warming trend extends west the Galapagos out to the dateline but it is fading. A warming trend is also present in the Northern Hemi modesty from off California out over Hawaii and reaching to the Philippines.
Hi-res Overview:
(4/14) 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: (4/15) Today's temps were falling but still neutral at -0.255, down from the peak of +3.0 degs on 3/18.  
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (4/13) temps were steady at +0.370 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 updated (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 (4/15): The daily index was falling hard today to -34.47 and has been strong negative for 3 days. The 30 day average was falling at +0.90. The 90 day average was falling at -1.78 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): (4/15) 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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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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