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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, May 23, 2019 5:46 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 & 2.5 - Hawaii
Using the 'Summer' 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 5/20 thru Sun 5/26

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   

Winsdwell Hitting CA
Small N. Zealand Swell Tracks Northeast - Another Forecast

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Thursday, May 23, 2019 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/ Buoy 239 (Lanai) Seas were 3.4 ft @ 16.7 secs with swell 1.4 ft @ 16.7 secs from 191 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 2.1 ft @ 5.9 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 6.2 secs from 62 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.7 ft @ 11.4 secs with swell 2.2 ft @ 13.6 secs from 200 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 8-10 kts. Water temperature 59.4 degs. At Harvest (Buoy 071) swell was 9.0 ft @ 10.6 secs from 292 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.6 ft @ 16.8 secs from 200 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.5 ft @ 18.5 secs from 219 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 4.3 ft @ 11.5 secs from 283 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 16.3 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 12.6 ft @ 10.2 secs from 303 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 21-27 kts. Water temp 56.8 degs (042) and 51.8 (013).

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 (5/23) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing waves at 2-3 ft overhead and pretty warbled from local northwest wind and mushed but not whitecapped early. Protected breaks were head high to 1 ft overhead and lined up but warbled and not pleasant looking. At Santa Cruz northwest windswell was wrapping in producing waves at 1-2 ft overhead on the peaks and pretty warbled but with clean faces. In Southern California/Ventura northwest windswell was producing waves at head high and lined up with no local wind but a bit of intermixed warble in the water. In North Orange Co surf was 1 ft overhead on the set and lined up coming from the south with intermixed northwest windswell with no local wind but still warbled. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were chest high and unrideable due to northwest lump and warble. North San Diego had surf at waist to chest high and soft and warbled with calm local wind. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore had sets at head high to 1 ft overhead and clean and lined up. The East Shore had no swell of interest with waves thigh high and nearly chopped from southeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (5/23) in California a mixture of Southeast Pacific and Central South Pacific swells were hitting but buried under more locally generated northwest windswell. Hawaii was getting more background southern hemi swell. Down south a decent gale developed in the deep Southeast Pacific Sat-Sun (5/12) with up to 49 ft seas barely in the California swell window. And behind that a gale developed in the Central South Pacific Mon-Wed (5/15) with up to 49 ft seas but was pushing due east if not southeast offering little in terms of direct swell pushing up into our forecast area. Both of these swell were hitting California now. And on Sun-Wed (5/23) a small gale tracked east from a point just under New Zealand with seas between 33-40 ft offering some smallish swell for Hawaii and California longer term. And another small gale is forecast developing in the Central South Pacific on Sat-Mon (5/27) with seas 34-37 ft possibly offering more swell pushing northeast.

See all the details below...

 

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

North Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis
On Thursday AM(5/23) windswell was being generated by the combination of high pressure in the Gulf and low pressure over Nevada producing a pressure gradient and north winds at 30 kts over and off all of North CA and 20-25 kts winds over outer waters south to Pt Conception. The gradient is to be retracting north in the late afternoon but peak winds still hold at 30 kts still producing windswell but slowly fading in size. On Friday (5/24) the gradient is to be in quick decline with only 20 kt north winds over North CA waters early and fading to a point just nearshore Cape Mendocino late afternoon. By Sat AM (5/25) the gradient and associated windswell is to rebuild some over North CA with north winds 25-30 kts and holding at 25 kts solid while sinking south covering all of North CA and down to Monterey Bay late afternoon. Sun AM (5/28) windswell is to be fading with north winds 20 kts over North CA nearshore waters and fading in coverage but still present in the evening.

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast other than local windswell.

 

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

 

California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday (5/23) the focus of a pre-existing pressure gradient is to be lifting north focused just off Pt Arena with north winds 30 kts over all of North CA early and 20 kts for Central CA slowly fading in coverage with north winds 30 kts over Cape Mendocino later and 10-15 kts for Central CA nearshore and 20-25 kts well offshore. Light snow for the Southern Sierra through the day and rain elsewhere in the Sierra. Friday (5/24) north winds to be 20 kts limited to Cape Mendocino and over outer waters but calm south of there and fading. Light rain for the Sierra in the afternoon. Sat (5/25) north winds to rebuild to near 30 kts over a small area off Bodega Bay and 20-25 kts over North CA early and fading some in the afternoon. Light rain for the Sierra in the evening. Sunday (5/26) a weak pressure gradient is to hold with north winds 20 kts over all off North CA and 15 kts north winds over Central CA and holding through the day. Scattered showers are forecast for North and Central CA. Snow for the Sierra falling south through the day. Monday (5/27) north winds to be 15 kts for all of North and Central CA. No rain forecast. Tues (5/28) north winds are forecast holding at 15 to near 20 kts over Pt Conception. No rain is forecast. Wednesday (5/29) north winds to be 20+ kts limited to Pt Conception and light elsewhere. No change on Thurs (5/23).

Snow is forecast for Tahoe for the week ending Tues PM (5/28): 12-20 inches and 12 inches for Mammoth

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

 

South Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Thursday (5/23) the jetstream was split with the southern branch lifting north just south of New Zealand forming a weak trough being fed by only 100-110 kt winds and offering no real support for gale development in the Southwest Pacific. East of the trough the jet was exceedingly weak and tracking east up at around 45S then falling south at 120W and mostly east of the California swell window forming a ridge over the far Southeast Pacific providing no support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours the same pattern is to hold but with the weak trough just east of New Zealand moving steadily east and getting better organized on Sat (5/25) being fed by 100-110 kts winds but more cohesive relocated with it's apex at 140W possibly providing limited support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours starting Sun PM (5/26) the trough is to start getting infused with a steady flow of 110 kt south winds into Mon (5/27) offering continued support for gale development while a ridge starts building west of the trough over the Southwest Pacific and sweeping east. By Tues (5/28) the trough is to be reinforced in the far Southeast Pacific with 110 kt south winds as the ridge pushes east continuing to provide support for gale development at 125W with winds building to 120+ kts on Wed (5/28) offering support for gale development. But by Thurs (5/30) the trough is to pinch off and move east of the California swell window providing no support for gale development. And a generalized riding pattern is to be in control of the rest of the South Pacific offing no support either.

Surface Analysis  
A gale developed in the far Southeast Pacific with small swell now fading in CA (see Southeast Pacific Storm below). And another smaller but strong storm developed southeast of New Zealand falling southeast generating small swell that is hitting Ca now (see Central Pacific Storm below). Of more interest is a gale that formed under New Zealand sweeping east (see New Zealand Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a new gale is forecast building in the Central South Pacific on Sat AM (5/25) with 45 kts southwest winds over a small area generating 32 seas at 52S 159W. Fetch is to track northeast at 40-45 kts over a tiny area with 34 ft seas at 49S 147.5W aimed northeast. The gale is to fade Sun AM (5/26) with 40 kt southwest winds and seas fading from 32 ft at 46S 138W aimed northeast and a new gale building right behind the original one with 45-50 kt south winds and seas building from 32 ft at 53S 163.5W aimed northeast. In the evening only the new fetch is to remain with 50-55 kt south winds pushing northeast with 41 ft seas at 48S 155W aimed northeast. The gale is to track northeast while fading with 40 kt south winds and seas fading from 37 ft at 44S 149W aimed northeast. Fetch is to fade in the evening from 40 kts over a tiny area with 30 ft seas at 41S 142W aimed northeast. Something to monitor.

 

Southeast Pacific Storm
A storm developed Sat PM (511) in the far Southeast Pacific with 45-50 kt southwest winds and seas building from 32 ft at 57S 135W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (5/12) southwest winds were 45-50 kts tracking east with seas 43 ft at 58.5S 125.5W aimed east-northeast. In the evening fetch was moving out of the Southern CA swell window at 45-50 kts over a diminishing area with 50 ft seas at 57S 115W and outside/east of the SCal swell window targeting only Chile and Peru. There's low odds for maybe some minimal sideband swell from early in this systems lifecycle radiating north into mainly Southern CA and points south of there.

Southern CA: Residuals on Thurs (5/23) fading from 2.5 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.5 ft). Dribbles on Fri (5/23) fading from 2.1 ft @ 13 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 184 degrees moving to 179 degrees

North CA: Residuals on Thurs (5/23) fading from 2.2 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0 ft) early. Swell fading Fri (5/24) from 1.9 ft @ 13 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 183 degrees moving to 177 degrees

 

Central Pacific Storm
Another storm started building southeast of New Zealand on Mon AM (5/13) with 45-50 kt south winds and seas building from 27 ft over a tiny area at 50S 174W aimed north. In the evening 55 kt southwest winds were falling southeast over a solid area with seas building to 38 ft at 56S 165W aimed northeast. On Tues AM (5/14) the storm was falling south with west winds 55-60 kts over a large area aimed east with seas 43 ft at 60S 154.5W aimed east. The remnants of the storm held while easing east with 45-50 kts west winds and seas 49 ft at 62S 142.5W aimed due east. On Wed AM (5/15) the gale was fading with winds 45 kts over a small area aimed east. Seas were fading from 44 ft at 63.5S 131W aimed east to southeast. The gale faded from there with all fetch aimed southeast. No additional potential swell production occurred. We suspect there are some odds of small swell resulting but the big concern is the southward heading of the fetch. Will monitor.

Southern CA: Swell building on Thurs (5/23) to 1.8 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.0 ft) early. Swell fading some on Fri (5/24) at 1.7 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.5 ft). Swell dissipating from there. Swell Direction: 200-205 degrees

North CA: Swell holding on Thurs (5/23) at 1.1 ft @ 17-18 secs (2.0 ft). Swell fading some on Fri (5/24) at 1.0 ft @ 16 secs (1.5 ft). Swell dissipating from there. Swell Direction: 200 degrees

 

New Zealand Gale
A gale started developing just south of New Zealand on Sun AM (5/19) with 40 kt southwest winds and seas building from 31 ft at 49.5S 175E aimed northeast. In the evening fetch was building in coverage at 40 kts from the southwest with seas 33 ft at 47.5S 174W aimed northeast (216 degs Scal and shadowed, 214 degs NCal and unshadowed). Fetch was fading Mon AM (5/20) from the southwest at 35 kts over a small area with seas 31 ft at 45S 167W aimed northeast. In the evening additional fetch was building at 40-45 kts from the southwest over a small area with seas 29 ft at 43.5S 160W aimed northeast. On Tues AM (5/21) fetch was holding while falling southeast some at 40-45 kts from the south and southwest with 31 ft seas at 43S 158W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch held at 40-45 kts from the southwest with 35 ft sea at 46S 148W aimed northeast (200 degrees SCal and unshadowed, 199 degrees NCal and unshadowed). Fetch held at 40 kts from the southwest on Wed AM (5/22) with seas 31 ft over a solid area at 44S 153W aimed northeast (203 degs SCal and unshadowed, 201 degs NCal and shadowed). The gale is to fade in the evening with 35 kts south-southwest winds over a solid area aimed northeast with 28-30 ft seas at 40.5N 139W aimed northeast. The gale collapsed Thurs AM (5/23) with 30-35 kts southwest winds fading in coverage and seas fading from 27 ft at 43S 134W aimed east. Swell is pushing northeast.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon (5/27) with swell barely 1.6 ft @ 19 secs at sunset (3.0 ft) and inconsistent. Swell building on Tues (5/28) to 2.5 ft @ 17-18 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell continues upwards on Wed (5/29) to 3.1 ft @ 16-17 secs later (5.0 ft). Swell holding Thurs (5/30) at 3.1 ft @ 16 secs (4.5-5.0 ft). Swell Direction: 203-210 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon (5/27) with swell barely 1.3 ft @ 19 secs at sunset (2.5 ft) and inconsistent. Swell building on Tues (5/28) to 2.1 ft @ 17 secs (3.5 ft). Swell continues upwards on Wed (5/29) at 2.3 ft @ 16 secs early (3.5 ft) with additional swell building to 2.0 ft @ 18 secs later (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell holding Thurs (5/30) at 2.1 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft) and additional energy at 2.0 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 201-213 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 swell producing weather systems are forecast. North windswell is to turn meager on Mon (5/27) with north winds nearshore to North and Central California barely 15 kts, builds in some in coverage on Tues (5/28) with the same result then fading on Wed (5/29) with north winds 20 kts limited to Pt Conception. No change on Thurs (5/3) but with another low pressure system developing in the Eastern Gulf of Alaska off Oregon producing a fetch of 20+ kt northwest winds possibly setting up windswell beyond.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours the models suggest a small gale is to develop in the deep Southeast Pacific on Thurs AM (5/30) with 55 kt southwest winds building over a solid area and seas 44 ft building at 54S 133.5W aimed northeast. Given it's 180 hours out on the model none of this is believable yet. Something to monitor.

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

Kelvin Wave #3 is Gone - Warm Temps Build in E. Equatorial Pacific

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

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

LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Summer 2019 = 5.5 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)

Rationale: Assuming the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that weak borderline El Nino condition continue , and assuming a weak ocean-atmospheric coupling holds and ocean temperature anomalies in Nino3.4 hold in the +0.8 deg range, there is good probability for slightly enhanced storm production in the South Pacific during the Northern Hemisphere Summer time months. There is slightly increased intensity in number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in slightly increased odds for larger than normal swell, with increased duration and higher than normal period. This should be significantly better than the past 2 Summer seasons.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (5/22) 5 day average winds were solidly from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific turning light east over the Central Pacific then turning moderately westerly in the West Pacific. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific but weak west in the Central Pacific and solidly westerly in the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (5/23) moderate west anomalies were filling the KWGA. The forecast is for west anomalies weakening steadily into 5/25 then fading to neutral in the KWGA and moving quickly east into the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 5/30. There is to be an increase in support for storm development now and continuing for the next few days, then fading.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (5/22) An Active MJO pattern was all but gone over the KWGA today. The statistic model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO is to be small and fading on the dateline and dispersed at day 5 of the model run with the Inactive Phase of the MJO moving into the West Pacific and taking over the KWGA at days 10-15 at moderate strength and weakening. The dynamic model indicates a variation on the same theme with the Active Phase fading slower at day 10 but with the Inactive Phase making steady headway into the far West Pacific at day 15. The 2 models are mostly in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (5/23) The statistical model depicts a modest Active Phase of the MJO over the Atlantic, and is forecast to push east into the West Indian Ocean at day 15 and becoming weak. The GEFS model suggests the same but with the Active Phase not even making it to the West Indian Ocean, stalling over Africa.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (5/23) This model depicts a weak Active Phase dissipating in the East Pacific today and is forecast tracking east into Central America on 5/27. A strong Inactive Phase is developing in the West Pacific fully present by 5/28 pushing east into Central America on 6/17. A modest Active MJO signal is to build over the West Pacific 6/10 pushing east to Central America at the end of the model run on 7/2. A weak Inactive Phase to follow over the West Pacific 7/2.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/22) This model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was past its peak and fading over the dateline today with solid west anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast has the Active Phase tracking east and no longer filling the bulk of the KWGA on 5/25. A weak Inactive Phase is to push into the West KWGA on 5/29 tracking east quickly and out of the KWGA on 6/12 while weak west anomalies fade some centered on the dateline then rebuild starting 6/8 and through the end of the model run on 6/19.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/23) This model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was past it's peak over the dateline today and is forecast to be out of the KWGA on 5/28 with west anomalies holding in the KWGA. A moderate Inactive Phase of the MJO sets up 5/24 in the West Pacific building east and filling the KWGA through 6/27 but with very weak west anomalies in the KWGA near the dateline. A modest Active Phase is to develop 6/25 building east through 8/3 with weak west anomalies in the KWGA. A weak Inactive Phase is to follow 7/24 through the end of the model run on 8/20 with weak west anomalies fading out but not east anomalies forecast. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias with 2 contour lines is in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to California. The second contour line is to fade on 6/27 and the remaining single remaining contour line is to fade on 8/8 and move to the Indian Ocean. It looks like La Nina is trying to develop in the Fall. This model indicates that a tendency towards El Nino was previously in control during the Fall of 2018, but has been steadily fading since then and is to continue a steady decline into mid-August, then possibly shifting to the Indian Ocean then. Basically we are moving from a pattern biased towards El Nino to one biased towards ENSO neutral if not La Nina.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (5/23) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs over a small area reaching east to 157E while the 29 degs isotherm was creeping east to 157W today. The 28 deg isotherm line had retrograded west to 160W mid-Nov into late Feb. But it made a major push east starting 3/16 from 150W and reached Ecuador on 5/5, but started retrograding after that and today was steady at 140W. It appears Kelvin Wave #3 was nearly done erupting in the East Pacific. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador 30 meters down. Anomaly wise, gentle warm anomalies are filling the entire subsurface Pacific at +1 degs from the surface to 150 meters down. There was no embedded stronger/warmer pockets in that flow. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 5/18 indicates warm water from Kelvin Wave #3 was filling the equatorial Pacific from 155E eastward at +1 degs reaching east to 115W. A small pocket of cool water was drawing up from depth to the surface in the east at 110W. There was a stream of warm water flowing into the far West Pacific at 140E attributable to a WWB currently occurring. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (5/18) Positive anomalies were all but gone over the equatorial Pacific except with one 1 small area at 150E to 170W (West Pacific) attributable to the WWB occurring there. From this data it looks like the Kelvin Wave #3 was dissipating and maybe Kelvin Wave #4 was developing.

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: (5/22) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate warm temps were building solidly from 10S to 20N on the equator from Ecuador to the dateline. Warming was pronounced from Peru up to Ecuador west to 105W. Otherwise temps on the equator were slightly warmer than normal compared to recent days west of there. There is some weak indication of a El Nino but nothing strong.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (5/22): A previous cooling trend was fading from Peru tracking northwest to the Galapagos. Warming was from 100W to 105W then weaker out to 140W on the equator. Otherwise weak warming was over the Central equatorial Pacific.
Hi-res Overview: (5/22) Warmer than normal water was from just off Peru up to Central America west over the Galapagos 20 degrees north and south of the equator continuing west of there to the dateline. It was holding compared to days past.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (5/23) Today's temps were rising fast at +0.854. Overall the trend is steady.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(5/23) Today temps were steady today at +0.414 today. Temps have been generally steady the last week.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (5/21) The model indicates temps were +0.75 degs in early May and are to be rising to +1.00 degrees in early June then fading to +0.6 in July and holding into October, then fading to +0.2 in Dec 1 then rising to +0.45 degs on Fed 1, 2020. A weak El Nino like pattern is to hold into early Fall, then slowly fading through the later Fall and Winter of 2019/20 with no more Kelvin Waves forecast. A multiyear warming event is in progress as suggested by this model.
IRI Consensus Plume: The April 2019 Plume depicts temps are at +0.82 degs today, and are to hold in the +0.75 range into October, then fading to +0.70 through Dec 2019. See chart here - link.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad) (5/23): The daily index was negative today at -19.44, falling over the past 5 days. The 30 day average was falling some at -3.96 today suggesting a steady Active MJO. The 90 day average was rising some at -4.95, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern biased towards El Nino (for now).
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (4/23) There has been no update recently. At that time the index was neutral at -0.01 on 2/14 but has been rising ever since and pushed up to +0.99 on 3/3 (the highest its been in years), then fell some but started rising again and was up to +1.10 today. It is approaching El Nino territory but still indicted mostly ENSO neutral conditions.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly positive, even though La Nina is in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values: June 2017 +0.21, July -0.50, Aug -0.62, Sept -0.25, Oct -0.61, Nov -0.45, Dec -0.13, Jan 2018 +0.29, Feb -0.19, Mar -0.61, April -0.89, May -0.69, June -0.85, July -0.09, Aug -0.43, Sept -0.46, Oct -0.75, Nov -0.78, Dec -0.12, Jan -0.23, Feb -0.55 This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO, even with La Nina, because the warm PDO appears to be dampening the effects of La Nina. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): June 2017 +0.79, July +0.10, Aug +0.09, Sept +0.32, Oct +0.05, Nov +0.15, Dec +0.50, Jan +0.70. Feb +0.37, Mar -0.05, April +0.11, May +0.11, June -0.04, July +0.11, Aug +0.18, Sept +0.09. No real negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data strongly suggests that could be a possibility. By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 

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


Powerlinessurf Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest

Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for the week starting Sunday (5/19):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XS-Ni1rlMkA&feature=youtu.be&hd=1
For automatic notification of forecast updates, subscribe to the Stormsurf001 YouTube channel - just click the 'Subscribe' button below the video.

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

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

Time Zone Converter By popular demand we've built and easy to use time convert that transposes GMT time to whatever time zone you are located. It's ion left hand column on every page on the site near the link to the swell calculator.

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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