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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, May 26, 2020 5:39 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
3.9 - California & 2.1 - 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 5/25 thru Sun 5/31

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   

Small S. Hemi Swell Hitting CA
Many More to Follow

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Tuesday, May 26, 2020 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 2.6 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 13.5 secs from 199 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.2 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 2.3 ft @ 10.9 secs from 331 degrees. Water temp 78.1 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.2 ft @ 18.9 secs with swell 1.2 ft @ 19.3 secs from 198 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southeast at 4-8 kts. Water temperature 64.4 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 2.7 ft @ 12.6 secs from 298 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.4 ft @ 19.6 secs from 215 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.8 ft @ 19.6 secs from 204 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 1.3 ft @ 19.9 secs from 192 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 9.1 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 6.4 ft @ 7.9 secs from 312 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 8-12 kts. Water temp 49.5 degs (013), 52.5 degs (012) and 55.2 degs (042).

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

Swell Classification Guidelines

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

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

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
Current Conditions
On Tuesday (5/26) in North and Central CA locally generated northwest windswell and minimal southern hemi swell were hitting producing waves at waist to maybe chest high and clean and soft. Protected breaks were waist to maybe chest high and lined up and clean but soft and crumbled. All parking lots closed. At Santa Cruz new southern hemi swell was hitting making for occasional sets producing waves at shoulder high or so and clean and lined up and peeling. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist high or so and lined up and clean with some light fog early. Central Orange County had waves to waist high and clean and pretty soft and unremarkable. South Orange County's best breaks had sets in the 1-2 ft overhead range and clean and lined up and peeling when it came. North San Diego had waves at thigh to maybe waist high and clean and weak. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was getting some sets in the waist high range and lined up when they came and clean. The East Shore was getting tiny east windswell with waves maybe thigh high and a little bumpy but not chopped from light easterly trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (5/26) in California local northwesterly windswell was hitting exposed breaks in North and Central CA making for some waist to maybe chest high waves at best locations. And swell from the southern hemisphere was starting to hit California originating from a gale/storm that formed southeast of New Zealand on Sat-Sun (5/17) tracking east with up to 53 ft seas aimed east then faded over the Central South Pacific Mon (5/18) with seas fading from 30 ft. Small sideband swell from this system was also still producing some small rideable waves along Hawaii's South Shore. Looking ahead for the North Pacific a gale is forecast forming in the Northeastern Gulf on late Tues-Wed (5/27) producing up to 29 ft seas aimed east. And another gale is forecast behind that in the Northwestern Gulf on Sun-Mon (6/1) producing 25 ft seas aimed east. Down south another gale tracked east under New Zealand on Thurs-Fri (5/22) producing up to 37 ft seas aimed east. Later Tues into Wed (5/27) another gale is to develop under New Zealand lifting northeast with up to 35 ft seas aimed northeast. And a stronger one is forecast under New Zealand lifting northeast Fri-Mon (6/1) producing up to 45 ft seas aimed northeast. A nice little run of surf looks possible.

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 Tuesday (5/26) no swell of interest was hitting California or Hawaii other than locally produced windswell.

Over the next 72 hours a gale is forecast developing lifting northeast over the Eastern Gulf Tuesday evening (5/26) with 40-45 kt northwest winds and seas building to 21 ft at 43N 150.5W aimed east. The gale is to slowly track northeast on Wed AM (5/27) producing northwest winds at 40 kts and seas building to 29 ft at 45.5N 147.5W aimed east (308 degs NCal). From there the gale is to be drift north off the Pacific Northwest on Wed PM (5/27) with 35-40 kt west winds and seas fading from 27 ft at 47N 145W targeting mainly the Pacific Northwest. This system is to be gone after that. Something to monitor.

 

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 (5/26) local northwest winds were 20-25 kts for Cape Mendocino to Pt Arena but 10 kts or less from the northwest south of there all day. Wed (5/27) a weak eddy flow (south winds) is forecast for Central CA but north at 20+ kts north of Bodega Bay. Thurs (5/28) a weak northwest flow is forecast for Central CA all day but with northwest winds forecast for the Cape Mendocino area down to Bodega Bay at 20 kts all day. Friday (5/29) northwest winds to build to 25 kts early for Cape Mendocino up to Oregon fading to 20 kts later and mainly off the coast there but with a weak eddy flow (south winds) from Pt Arena southward all day. On Sat (5/30) an eddy flow is forecast for the whole state at 5 kts. Light rain possible along the coast of all of Central and North CA in the morning. Sunday (5/31) a light northwest flow is forecast early, but with a gradient and north winds setting up in the afternoon at 15+ kts for all of California. Monday (6/1) north winds are forecast at 20 kts for Central CA early and 25 kts for North CA holding all day. Tues (6/2) north winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for North Ca early and 15 kts for Central CA fading to 20 kts up north later and 10-15 kts over Central CA later.

Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 0, 0, 0 and 0 inches respectively.

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

 

South Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Tuesday (5/26) the jetstream was split over the entirety of the South Pacific with the southern branch lifting northeast some just southeast of New Zealand forming a weak trough being fed by 130 kts winds and almost reaching up the northern branch of the jet at 48S providing some support for gale development. East of there the jet was falling southeast some forming a weak ridge and offering no support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours the trough southeast of New Zealand is to slowly ease east and building progressively into Wed (5/27), eventually reaching up to 45S over the Central South Pacific and pretty decent looking from a gale development perspective continuing on an eastward track but starting to lose energy and then fading out on Fri PM (5/29) no longer supporting gale development. Beyond 72 hours starting on on Sat (5/30) southwest winds to start building again under New Zealand to 130 kts lifting northeast while pushing east again digging out a brood trough over the Central South Pacific on Sun (5/31) being fed by 110-120 kt winds offering good support for gale development into Mon (6/1), then pinching off. Beyond a big ridge is to start building over the Southwest and Central Pacific being fed by 130 kts winds offering no support for gale development.

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday (5/26) swell from a gale that tracked under New Zealand was starting to hit California (see New Zealand Gale #1 below). And swell from a gale that developed in the Eastern Pacific was radiating north towards California (see Central South Pacific Gale below). And another swell from a gale that tracked under New Zealand was starting to make it's journey northeastward but behind the two previous swells (see New Zealand Gale #2 below). And yet another New Zealand gale is developing today (possible New Zealand Gale #3 directly below).

Over the next 72 hours starting Tues PM (5/26) a new gale is to be developing south-southeast of New Zealand with southwest winds forecast at 45 kts and seas 34 ft at 59S 177E aimed northeast. On Wed AM (5/27) the fetch is to be over the Central South Pacific at 40-45 kts from the southwest with seas 33 ft at 51.5S 165W aimed northeast. The gale is to track northeast in the evening with fetch fading from 35-40 kts from the south over a broad area with seas 32 ft at 45S 157W aimed northeast over a solid area. The gale is to start fading Thurs AM (5/28) with a broad area of 30-35 kt southwest winds and seas 29 ft at 42.5S 148S pushing solidly northeast. In the evening the gale is to start fading with 30-35 kt southwest winds over a large area and seas fading from 27ft at 41.5S 140W aimed northeast. Fetch is to be fading Fri AM (5/29) from 30-35 kts from the southwest over a fading area in the Southeast Pacific with seas 29 ft at 48S 143W aimed east-northeast. The gale is to fade from there. Something to monitor. This will be labeled New Zealand Gale #3 if it materializes).

 

New Zealand Gale #1
A gale developed under New Zealand on Sat PM (5/16) pushing east with 5055 kt west winds producing 53 ft seas aimed east at 59.5S 164.5E. The storm faded to gale status pushing east on Sun AM (5/17) with 45 kt west winds over a solid area and seas 48 ft at 60S 177E aimed east. In the evening the gale continued tracking east with 35-40 kt west winds and seas fading from 39 ft at 61.5S 170.5W aimed east. Fetch held coverage Mon AM (5/18) at 35-40 kts starting to lift northeast some with seas 29-30 ft over a large area at 58S 164W aimed east-northeast. The gale was fading in the evening with 30-35 kt southwest winds over a small area and 27 ft seas fading at 59S 160W aimed northeast. On Tues AM (5/19) the gale is to be gone. Something to monitor.

Southern CA: Swell building on Tues (5/26) to 2.5 ft @ 18-19 secs and holding (4.5 ft). Swell building some on Wed (5/27) pushing 3.0 ft @ 16-17 secs (4.5-5.0 ft). Swell fading some on Thurs (5/28) from 2.9 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 209-212 degrees and mostly shadowed by Tahiti

North CA: Swell building on Tues (5/26) to 2.1 ft @ 19 secs and holding (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell building some on Wed (5/27) pushing 2.5 ft @ 17 secs (4.0 ft). Swell fading some on Thurs (5/28) from 2.3 ft @ 16 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 209-212 degrees and partially shadowed by Tahiti

 

New Zealand Gale #2
A gale developed under New Zealand on Thurs AM (5/21) producing a broad area of 40 kt west winds and seas to 37 ft at 55S 155.5E aimed east but partially shadowed by Auckland Island and Macquarie Island. Fetch faded some while tracking east in the evening at 35-40 kts from the west with seas 36 ft over a decent area at 54S 167E aimed east and no longer shadowed. The gale tracked east and southeast some Fri AM (5/22) with 35-40 kt west to southwest winds and seas 33 ft at 55S 177E aimed east. In the evening the gale was fading in coverage with with 35-40 kt southwest winds and seas rebuilding to 35 ft at 59.5S 178.5W aimed east. Fetch was fading Sat AM (5/23) from 30-35 kts over a broad area from the southwest with seas fading from 33 ft at 57S 164.5W. 30-35 kt west winds to linger into the evening with 32 ft seas over a modest area at 57S 158W aimed east. The gale faded from there.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival via the Tasman Sea starting Thurs (5/28) building to 1.5 ft @ 17-18 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell continue on Fri (5/29) at 1.6 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.5 ft). Swell fading as the fetch became shadowed by New Zealand after that. Swell Direction: 210 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (5/30) building to 1.6 ft @ 20 secs later (3.0 ft). Swell building on Sun (5/31) to 2.1 ft @ 18-19 secs (3.5-4.0 ft) later. Swell holding Mon AM (6/1) at 2.4 ft @ 17 secs (4.0 ft). Swell fading Tues (6/2) from 2.2 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 209-214 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (5/30) building to 1.3 ft @ 20-21 secs later (2.5 ft). Swell building on Sun (5/31) to 1.6 ft @ 19 secs (3.0 ft). Swell holding Mon AM (6/1) at 2.0 ft @ 17 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell fading Tues (6/2) from 1.6 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 207-213 degrees

 

Central South Pacific Gale
A small gale started developing in the Central South Pacific Thurs PM (5/21) producing 40 kt south winds and 25 ft seas lifting north at 48S 141W aimed north. Fetch built Fri AM (5/22) to 40 kts from the south in the northern reaches of the Southeast Pacific with seas 28 ft at 40S 134W aimed north. Fetch was fading in the evening at 35-40 kts over a tiny area aimed north with 30 ft seas at 39S 132W aimed north. Fetch was fading Sat AM (5/23) from 35 kts with seas fading from 28-30 ft over a tiny area at 32S 125W aimed north. The gale is to fade from there. Possible small southern hemi swell to be radiating north towards CA, Mexico and Central America.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (5/28) building to 1.7 ft @ 19 secs late (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell building on Fri (5/29) steadily through the day pushing 3.3 ft @ 17 secs mid-day (5.5 ft). Swell holding on Sat (5/30) at 3.6 ft @ 15-16 secs early (5.5 ft). Swell fading Sun (5/31) from 3.0 ft @ 14 secs (4.0 ft). Dribbles on Mon (6/1) fading from 2.1 ft @ 13 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 192 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (5/28) building to 1.6 ft @ 20 secs late (3.0 ft). Swell building on Fri (5/29) steadily through the day pushing 3.3 ft @ 17 secs late (5.5 ft). Swell holding on Sat (5/30) at 3.4 ft @ 16 secs early (5.5 ft). Swell fading Sun (5/31) from 3.0 ft @ 14 secs (4.0 ft). Dribbles on Mon (6/1) fading from 2.1 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 188 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 another gale is forecast developing in the Western Gulf on Sun AM (5/31) with 40 kt west winds and seas building from 22 ft at 45N 160.5W aimed east. The gale is to track east in the evening with 35 kt west winds and seas 24 ft at 46.5N 153.3W aimed east. Fetch is to be fading Mon AM (6/1) with 30-35 kts west winds and seas 21 ft at 47.5N 155W aimed east. The gale is to fade from there. Something to monitor

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours yet another solid gale is forecast developing under New Zealand on Fri PM (5/29) producing 45 kt southwest winds over an impressive area aimed northeast with 39 ft seas at 58S 165E aimed northeast. On Sat AM (5/30) 50 kt southwest winds are forecast just southeast of New Zealand producing 49 ft seas at 58.5S 174.5E aimed east-northeast. The gale is to track east-northeast in the evening with 45 kts southwest winds and seas 48 ft at 57S 173W aimed northeast. The gale is to continue east-northeast on Sun AM (5/31) with 45 kt southwest winds and seas 43 ft over a solid area aimed northeast at 54S 161W. The gale is to be fading in the evening with 35 kts southwest winds over a solid area and seas fading from 39 ft at 50S 153.5W aimed northeast. Fetch rebuilding Mon AM (6/1) to 40 kt over a tiny area aimed north with seas 35 ft at 45S 149W aimed northeast. Fetch is to be fading in the evening from 35 kts aimed north with seas fading from 32 ft at 39.5N 145W aimed north. Something to monitor.

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

La Nina Cool Pool Building

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: A double dip La Nina was in control 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. In January 2019, those warm waters were fading, but then rebuilt late in Feb associated with Kelvin Wave (#3). But as of early June 2019 warm water was fading and by August a tongue of cool water was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos reaching to a point nearly south of Hawaii. El Nino was dead. A bit of a recovery occurred during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water held in a pool off Peru and had not changed until March 2020. By April the cool pool had collapsed with warm water starting to build on the equator.

LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Fall/Winter 2019/2020 = 5.0/4.0 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)

Rationale: It is assumed the PDO has moved to the warm phase in 2014 and that a weak borderline El Nino from 2018 faded out in the Fall of 2019. A La Nina like ocean temperature pattern developed in the equatorial East Pacific in the summer of 2019, then faded and returned to a neutral if not weak warm status during the Winter of 2019-2020. We have been suspecting a turn towards a La Nina like atmospheric pattern to develop in the late Winter/early Spring of 2020. Our best hope is that moderation from the warm phase of the PDO might tamp down development of a full blown La Nina as we move into 2020. Given all that, for 2020 there is decent probability for development of La Nina meaning a reduced number of storm days and storm intensity during the summer season, resulting in a below normal level of swell, with swell being below normal duration and period. And by the Fall and early Winter of 2020, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should fade even more, resulting in depressed swell production. This pattern is expected to hold through the end of 2020 if not longer.

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 (5/25) 5 day average winds were solid from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific and continuing unchanged over the Dateline and KWGA. Anomalies were light easterly over the far East equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific then building to moderately easterly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (5/26) weak east anomalies were in pockets over the KWGA. The forecast calls for easterly anomalies holding unchanged in the KWGA through the end of the model run on 6/2.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (5/25) A weak Active MJO pattern was weakly filling the KWGA. The statistic model indicates the Active MJO is to be fading a weak over the KWGA at day 5 fading more on day 10 and then gone on day 15 while a weak Inactive Phase builds in the Indian Ocean moving to the Maritime Continent and pushing in to the far West Pacific. The dynamic model indicates essentially the same thing initially but with the Active signal fading fast on day 5 and all but gone on day 10 with the Inactive Phase building in strong over the West Pacific and then filling it on day 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (5/26) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the West Pacific today and is to slowly ease east and weaken and all but gone over North Africa at day. The GEFS model suggests the Active Phase is to track east and build over North Africa at day 10, then stalling there and fading to weak status at day 15 there.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (5/26) This model depicts the Active Phase was modest over the East Pacific today. The Active Phase is to track east pushing into Central America 6/5. A fairly strong Inactive Phase is supposed to start building in the West Pacific on 6/5 moving to the East Pacific and over Central America on 6/25. A weak Active MJO is forecast developing over the far West Pacific 6/20 pushing slowly east to the east and over the East Pacific at the model run on 7/5.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/25) This model depicts no cohesive MJO signal anywhere today but with a weak tendency towards a weak Active Phase moving over the KWGA with a few pockets of westerly anomalies mixed with east anomalies over the KWG. The forecast indicates a neutral MJO is to follow starting 5/27 with weak east anomalies developing in the KWGA starting 6/1 and continuing through the end of the model run on 6/22.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/26 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a neutral MJO was over the KWGA but no east or west anomalies indicated. The forecast depict a neutral MJO forecast through 6/26 with weak west anomalies possible in pockets and solid east anomalies setting up on the dateline and points east of there starting 6/11. An Active MJO is forecast after that from 6/27-7/15 with weak west anomalies filling the KWGA while east anomalies hold solid from the dateline eastward. The Inactive Phase is forecast starting 7/14 holding through 8/8 with east anomalies solid in the KWGA and extending over the whole of the equatorial Pacific through the 8/14. A building Active Phase is to set up in the Western KWGA 8/1 holding through end of the model run on 8/23 with weak west anomalies in the far West KWGA with east anomalies locked over the dateline. No decent west anomalies are forecast in the core of the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates no low or high pressure bias present in either the Indian Ocean or the Pacific for the moment. A high pressure bias is to appear over the East Pacific on 6/12 building in coverage through the end of the model run with a second contour setting up on 8/1 filling the eastern KWGA starting on 8/1. And at the same time the low pressure bias is to reappear over the Indian Ocean starting 7/26 building through the end of the model run. East anomalies that have been previously solid in the Indian Ocean are migrating east today into the Pacific are to set up on the dateline and points east of there by 6/17 and continuing if not building there for the foreseeable future. Based on this model it appears a clear transition to La Nina is starting today and is to become entrenched by mid-June.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (5/26) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm was fading reaching east to 158E. The 29 deg isotherm was steady at 178W. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 160W today. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador but very shallow east of 120W. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies 0-1 deg C were isolated to the West Pacific reaching east to 155W. There were no warm anomalies east of there. Cool anomalies were upwelling to the surface from a large subsurface pocket of cool water -3 degs 150 meters deep from 150W to 100W. It is likely poised to continue pushing to the surface over the coming weeks. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 5/18 indicates the same thing with warm anomalies now gone in the East Pacific to reaching east of 175W and with cool water at depth erupting in the east to the surface between 105W-165W at -5 degs C. 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) Negative anomalies at -5 to -10 cms were over the equatorial Pacific between Ecuador and 170W and building in coverage, suggestive of a cool subsurface pool developing below the equator and growing in coverage. Negative anomalies were also now building along and down the coast of Peru. Positive anomalies at +5 cms were isolated in the far West Pacific reaching east to 180W in a horseshoe pattern indicative of cool water encroaching upon it from the east on the equator.

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: (5/25) The latest images indicate cold water was building solidly over the equator from the Galapagos the whole way west to the dateline, looking like the start of a La Nina pattern. Warm anomalies were modest along the coast of Chile up into Peru continuing up off Ecuador up into Central America reaching west to 100W. But some pockets of cool anomalies were starting to show along Peru and building. And warmer water was steady aligned just north of the equator from Central America out to 165W, remnants of a fading El Nino like pattern. A broad pocket of cool anomalies was all but gone off California and Baja. Overall the Cool pool on the equator was unmistakable.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (5/25): A stream of cooling water was fading some on the equator from just west of Ecuador out to 140W but building from Peru northwest up to the equator. There no real warming anywhere in the equatorial Pacific. The short term trend is looking like a push towards the development of La Nina.
Hi-res Overview: (5/25) A stream of cool water was holding on the equator from 85W west to the dateline. Warmer than normal temps were along the coast of South and Central America but fading. Warmer than normal temps were stable north of the equator with cooler than normal water building on and south of the equator. Overall the data suggests a fading El Nino and a building La Nina.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (5/26) Today's temps were dropping down to -0.649, definitely trending down from a warmer range near +0.6 degs between 2/25-3/26.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(5/26) Temps were falling steadily down to -0.502, appearing to be on a firm downward trajectory. The trend appears to be falling after previously being in the +0.3 degree range in Feb., and up to the +0.5-+0.6 degree range 3/12-4/8.

Click for Full Sized Image Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (5/26) Actual's indicate temperatures were in the +0.65 deg range Jan 1 2020 through April 1 then started falling hard to 0.0 mid-May. The forecast depicts temps continuing to fall, down to -0.50 July 1, then stabilizing somewhat but continuing on a far slower downward trajectory into late Oct, down to -1.00 and holding there to Dec, then starting to rebound in early 2021. According to this model sea surface temps should be falling strongly moving towards La Nina as Summer develops.
IRI Consensus Plume: The May 20, 2020 Plume depicts temps are at +0.20 degs, and are to slow fade to neutral +0.00 in July 2020, then holding there through December 2020. The outliers are the dynamic models (NCEP CFS, NASA GMAO and the COLA CCSM4) all suggesting solid La Nina. 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) (5/26): The daily index was negative today at -6.34. The 30 day average was rising at +1.60. The 90 day average was falling slightly to -1.90, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was in control.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): April 2020 -0.62, March -0.11, Feb +0.69, Jan +0.42, Dec 2019 +0.46, Nov +1.03, Oct +0.27 Sept +1.11, August +0.60, July +0.75, June -0.32, May +1.10, April +0.30, March +1.0, Feb +1.29, Jan +0.193. This index has been steadily positive but still indicates mostly ENSO neutral conditions (not El Nino).

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
Per NOAAs index recent values: 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 2019 -0.18, Feb -0.50 Mar -0.23, April +0.10, May +0.14, June -0.11, July +0.44, Aug -0.14, Sept +0.05, Oct -0.96, Nov -0.28, Dec +0.01, Jan 2020 -1.17, This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2018 +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 (5/24):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zYWFIuDBC0&feature=youtu.be&hd=1
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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing: https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/climate-change-good-surfing-other-sports-not-so-much-ncna1017131

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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