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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Sunday, April 22, 2018 1:53 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 & 2.2 - 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 4/23 thru Sun 4/29

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   

Another NPac Swell on the Way
More S. Hemi Swell Pushing North

BUOY ROUNDUP

On Sunday, April 22, 2018 :

  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.7 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 2.9 ft @ 11.6 secs from 331 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.5 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 2.1 ft @ 15.4 secs from 182 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southeast at 6-8 kts. Water temperature NA. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.5 ft @ 15.5 secs from 198 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.9 ft @ 15.3 secs from 203 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 2.1 ft @ 15.4 secs from 216 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 4.0 ft @ 15.0 secs from 205 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 10.7 ft @ 10.0 secs with swell 7.9 ft @ 10.2 secs from 313 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 16-18 kts. Water temp 53.4 degs.

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

Swell Classification Guidelines

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

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

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
Current Conditions
On Sunday (4/22) in North and Central CA local windswell was intermixing with North Dateline swell to produce waves at 1-2 ft overhead on the sets at best breaks and reasonably clean but with a fair amount of warble in the water. Protected breaks were chest to head high and clean but warbled. At Santa Cruz surf was chest to shoulder high on the sets and clean and lined up. In Southern California up north surf was about waist high and clean and lined up. In North Orange Co southern hemi swell was producing waves in the 1-2 ft overhead range and clean and lined up but a bit closed out. South Orange Country's best breaks were head high or so on the sets and clean and lined up. In North San Diego surf was waist to chest high on the sets and clean butt weak and crumbly. Hawaii's North Shore was small with waves waist high or so and clean but weak. The South Shore was thigh to maybe waist high on the sets and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell at thigh to waist high and chopped from east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Sunday (4/22) swell was still hitting California from a small gale that tracked over the North Dateline region on Tues (4/17) with 29 ft seas aimed east and then faded Wed (4/18) in the Northwestern Gulf. Another slightly better system tracked from the dateline into the Northwestern Gulf on Fri-Sat (4/21) with up to 31 ft seas aimed east, then faded in the Western Gulf Sunday (4/22) with seas fading from 25 ft. After that, another gale is forecast moving east over the North Dateline region Mon-Tues (4/24) producing up to 28 ft seas aimed east. And maybe a cutoff low is to produce up to 26 ft seas just north of Hawaii aimed well at the Islands next Sat-Sun (4/29). Down south a gale developed in the Southeast Pacific on Wed (4/11) with 32 ft seas aimed east. That swell is hitting California now. A weaker system developed in the same area on Mon-Wed (4/18) with 26-28 ft seas aimed northeast. And a small gale is forecast lifting northeast from under New Zealand on Tues-Wed (4/25) producing a tiny area of 32 ft seas. So there's some limited hope.

 

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

North Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Sunday AM (4/22) the jetstream was split over the West Pacific with weak energy pushing off the Philippines lifting northeast and joining the main flow on the dateline which was pushing off North Japan with winds up to 140 kts. From there the jet fell southeast forming a weak trough in the Western Gulf with winds falling into it at 120-130 kts then lifting gently northeast and pushing into the Pacific Northwest. There was some limited support for gale development in that trough. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to push east and start pinching off Mon (4/23) while deepening more with it's apex off Central CA later Tues (4/24) fully cutoff on Wed (5/25) and holding position off Central CA. Back to the west the jet is hold decently pushing off the Southern Kurils on Mon (4/23) with winds 150 kts forming a weak trough just off the Kuril Islands and that trough is to push east to the dateline on Wed (4/25) offering limited support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours starting Wed (4/25) that trough is to be pushing east and deepening into Thurs (4/26) with it's apex falling south reaching a point 450 nmiles north of Hawaii offering some support for gale development with that trough becoming totally cutoff on Sat (4/28) but still circulating there into Sun (4/29). Meanwhile the cutoff low off Central CA is to continue circulating off Central CA into Fri (4/27) then moving inland there 24 hours later. By Sun (4/29) the jet is to be weakly consolidated pushing east off the Southern Kurils with winds in one pocket to 130 kts pushing east to a point just south of the Eastern Aleutians before disintegrating. No obvious support for gale development seems likely.

Surface Analysis
On Sunday AM (4/22) swell from a gale that tracking over the North Dateline region is still hitting California but somewhat buried in locally generated north windswell (see North Dateline Gale below). Also swell from another gale that tracked over the Dateline was pushing east (see Dateline Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours another gale is forecast developing Sun AM (4/22) in the far Northwest Pacific producing a small area of 35-40 kt west winds starting to get traction on the oceans surface. In the evening the gale is to be approaching the dateline with a broader area of 40 kts west wind and seas building to 28 ft at 50N 172E. On Mon AM (4/23) the gale is to fade some and fall southeast while moving over the North Dateline Region producing a modest area of 35 kt west winds and 26 ft seas at 50N 178E aimed east. The gale is to be fading in the evening with 30-35 kt west winds over the North Dateline region and 23 ft seas at 49N 177W aimed east. The gale is to stall and fade Tues AM (4/24) with 30-35 kt west winds and 23 ft seas at 48N 172W. The gale is to hold in the evening with 30 kt west winds and seas fading from 22 ft at 49N 165W. This system is to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.

 

North Dateline Gale
A gale formed off the Southern Kuril Islands on Mon AM (4/16) tracking east-northeast producing 40 kt west winds over a small area with seas up to 29 ft at 46N 163E. In the evening the gale raced east with 40 kt west winds over the North Dateline region producing 29 ft seas at 48N 175E. On Tues AM (4/17) the gale was over the Central Aleutians with 40 kt west winds just south of there over a small area aimed east producing 29 ft seas at 50N 177W. In the evening west fetch faded from 35 kts with seas fading from 26 ft at 51N 171W. On Wed AM (4/18) west fetch was fading from 30 kts and seas fading from 21 ft at 51N 167W. Some small swell to push east targeting mainly the US West Coast by the weekend.

North CA: Swell fading Sun (4/22) from 4.8 ft @ 14 secs (6.5 ft) with much local windswell intermixed. Residuals on Mon (4/23) fading from 4.5 ft @ 12-13 secs (5.5 ft). Swell Direction: 304-306 degrees.

Hawaii: Dribbles on Sun (4/22) fading from 2.7 ft @ 11 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 320 degrees

 

Dateline Gale
Another small gale developed Thurs PM (4/19) just west of the Central Dateline region producing a tiny area of 40-45 kt northwest winds and 27 ft seas at 41N 171E. The gale faded some while passing over the dateline Fri AM (4/20) producing 40 kt northwest winds over a broader area and 29 ft seas at 42N 178E aimed east. In the evening the gale tracked east ad redeveloped some with a solid area of 40 kt west winds and 28 ft seas at 44N 175W. Sat AM (4/21) the gale continued east with 40 kt west winds and 32 ft seas at 45N 168W. The gale faded in the evening in the Western Gulf with 35 kt west winds and 28 ft seas at 45N 160W. On Sun AM (4/22) the gale was all but gone with 21 ft seas fading at 45N 155W aimed east. Swell is pushing towards the US West Coast with limited sideband energy at Hawaii.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Sun (4/22) building at sunset to 2.8 ft @ 16-17 secs (4.5 ft). Swell to peak Mon AM (4/23) at 4.0 ft @ 14 secs (5.5 ft). Swell fading Tues AM (4/24) from 3.0 ft @ 12 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 320 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival Tues (4/24) building steadily to 4.8 ft @ 16 secs (7.5 ft). Swell holding overnight and then slowly fading Wed AM (4/25) from 5.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (8.0 ft). Residuals fading Thurs AM (4/26) from 4.2 ft @ 12 secs (5.0 ft). Swell Direction: 296 degrees

 

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Sunday AM (4/22) high pressure was ridging inland over British Columbia forming a pressure gradient over North CA resulting in north winds at 30+ kts with lighter north winds 10 kts from Pt Reyes southward and down into Central CA. Mon (4/23) the gradient is to be fading with north winds 15 kts for Cape Mendocino and 10 kts or less south of Pt Arena and fading from there. More of the same on Tues (4/24) with light northwest winds 10 kts for all of North and Central CA. Wednesday and Thursday (4/26) more of the same is expected. Friday weak low pressure is to be off Cape Mendocino with light south winds there and light winds down into Central CA early with high pressure trying to get a toe in the door late afternoon and north winds 15-20 kts for Southern CA late afternoon. Light rain possible for North CA from the Golden Gate northward mainly in the late afternoon. Maybe light snow for upper elevations of Tahoe overnight. Saturday (4/28) High pressure is to be holding offshore with northwest winds 15 kts mainly away from nearshore waters early for North and Central CA. Sunday (4/29) northwest winds are to be 15 kts early for all of Central CA but less for North CA and Southern CA and building all locations in the afternoon. Light rain possible for North CA.

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis  
On Sunday (4/22) swell from a pair of gales developed in the far Southeast Pacific last week with swell pushing north towards California and South-Central America (see Southeast Pacific Gale below). And another gale developed in the Southeast Pacific on Mon (4/16) with swell pushing north towards California (see Another Southeast Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a tiny gale is forecast developing under New Zealand on Mon PM (4/23) with 40 kt southwest winds lifting north producing a small area of 28 ft seas at 61S 162E. The fetch is to lift northeast at 40 kts with 32 ft seas at 57S 171E. The gale is to fade in the evening with winds dropping from 35 kts and seas fading from 28 ft at 53S 177W. Will monitor.

 

Southeast Pacific Gale
On Tues AM (4/10) a gale was building in the Southeast Pacific producing 45 kt south winds and 28-30 ft seas over a tiny area at 64S 148W aimed north. In the evening 40 kt southwest winds are to build in coverage over a decent sized area with seas building to 29-30 ft at 65S 139W. The gale built Wed AM (4/11) with 40 kt west-southwest winds with seas building to 33 ft at 65S 128W targeting mainly Chile with sideband energy perhaps pushing north. In the evening the gale tracked east with 40 kt west winds on the eastern edge of California swell window with 32 ft seas at 64S 118W and moving out of the CA swell window. No additional fetch of interest is forecast. Low odds of swell to radiate north into the SCal swell window.

Another gale developed right behind in the far Southeast Pacific on Thurs AM (4/12) with 30+ kt southwest winds over a large area and seas building. In the evening a broad fetch of 35-40 kt southwest winds were lifting northeast on the edge of the California swell window with a small area of 28 ft seas at 58S 122W aimed northeast. Fri AM (4/13) 35-40 kt south-southwest winds were lifting northeast over a solid area with 29 ft seas at 51S 115W and moving out of the Southern CA swell window targeting mainly Mexico, Central America and Peru. The gale faded from there. Stronger swell to radiate north towards Southern CA, Mexico and Central America.

South CA: Swell fading some on Sun (4/22) fading from 2.4 ft @ 15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Residuals on Mon (4/23) fading from 2.2 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.0 ft). Little to nothing left on Tues (4/24). Swell Direction: 179 degrees

North CA: Swell fading some on Sun (4/22) fading from 2.2 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft). Residuals on Mon (4/23) fading from 2.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 176 degrees

 

Another Southeast Pacific Gale
Another gale developed in the far Southeast Pacific on Mon AM (4/16) with a large area of 30-35 kt southwest winds and seas building from 26 ft at 65S 128W. In the evening additional 30-35 kt south fetch built over the same area with seas building to 26 ft at 57S 132W aimed due north. On Tues AM (4/17) 30-35 kt south-southwest fetch continued over a large area aimed north with 28 ft seas at 52S 120W aimed north-northeast. 30-35 kt southwest fetch continued in the evening with 23 ft seas at 50S 119W aimed northeast. Southwest fetch built in coverage Wed AM (4/18) at 30-35 kts with 23 ft seas at 59S 121W aimed northeast. This is not enough energy to make it to California without significant size decay. In the evening fetch lifted northeast at 30-35 kts with seas 26 ft at 51S 117W aimed northeast and barely in the SCal swell window. The fetch moved out of the Southern CA swell window from there but still targeting Peru and Chile. Something to monitor.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (4/25) with swell building steadily to 2.0 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell continues on Thurs (4/26) at 2.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Fri (4/27) from 1.6 ft @ 14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Also swell from the second gale to arrive building to 2.2 ft @ 16-17 secs early (3.5 ft). Swell continues on Sat (4/28) at 2.5 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5 ft). Residuals fading on Sun (4/29) fading from 2.2 ft @ 14 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 176 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (4/25) with swell building steadily to 1.8 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.0 ft). Swell continues on Thurs (4/26) at 2.2 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell holding on Fri (4/27) at 2.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0 ft). Also swell from the second gale to arrive building to 2.0 ft @ 17 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell continues on Sat (4/28) at 2.1 ft @ 15 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Residuals fading on Sun (4/29) fading from 2.2 ft @ 14 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 173 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 starting Fri PM (4/27) a gale is to start developing 900 nmiles north of Hawaii with 40 kt north winds and seas building from 20 ft at 37N 160W aimed south. On Sat AM (4/28) 35 kt north winds to build in coverage with 24 ft seas over a small area aimed south at 34N 163W. In the evening 40 kt north winds to be falling south with seas 26 ft at 32N 162W aimed south. The gale is to fade while falling south Sun AM (4/29) with 35 kt north winds and seas fading from 20 ft at 30N 163W targeting Hawaii well. Something to monitor.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.

More details to follow...

 

ESPI Continues Rising

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

Overview: La Nina started developing in early 2016, but westward displaced and generally weak. And by March 2017, it was gone with suspicious warming developing along South America and over the Galapagos to a point south of Hawaii. By May the atmosphere returned to a neutral configuration but then in July east anomalies started building in the KWGA and have not stopped, with cold water upwelling over the the Nino1.2 and 3.4 areas, indicative of La Nina. A double dip La Nina was in control and continued through the Winter of 2017-2018. But warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018 associated with 2 Upwelling Kelvin Waves, suggesting the demise of La Nina was at hand.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Saturday (4/21) 5 day average winds were from the east over the bulk of the equatorial Pacific and light westerly over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were light easterly over the equatorial East Pacific and light westerly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (4/22) Modest west anomalies were over the whole of the KWGA with stronger east anomalies east of the dateline to Ecuador. This pattern is to hold for the coming week. Not a bad pattern with persistent weak westerly now locked from the dateline and points west of there.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (4/21) The Inactive/Dry Phase of the MJO was very weak over the West Pacific in the core of the KWGA. The statistical model depicts the weak Inactive/Dry MJO signal holding in the KWGA for 5 days then gone over the dateline at day 8 and holding through the end of the 15 day run with the Active Phase of the MJO making solid inroads into the West Pacific reaching almost to the dateline at day 15. The dynamic model depicts the same thing initially but with the Inactive Phase weaker and gone at day 5 with a neutral pattern after that. A weak Inactive/Dry pattern is to appear over the far West Pacific at day 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/22) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was very weak and fading over the Maritime Continent. It is to track east steadily while remaining weak over the next 15 days eventually moving into the West Pacific and exceedingly weak at the end of the model run. The GEFS model depicts the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model: (4/22) This model depicts a weak Inactive Phase over the East Pacific and fading over Central America through 4/29. At the same time a weak Active Phase is moving through the West Pacific and is to be easing east to the East Pacific and into Central America on 5/10. A weak Inactive Phase is to follow in the West Pacific starting 5/14 moving to the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 7/1 while a new Active Phase builds in the West Pacific. This model runs about 1-2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (4/22) This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO is peaking over the Central KWGA but weak west anomalies are indicated in the heart of the KWGA with east anomalies east of the dateline. Beyond the Inactive Phase is to hold over the KWGA through 5/1 but with weak west anomalies in control of the KWGA. This is an interesting and positive development - No east anomalies forecast even during an Inactive Phase. A modest Active Phase is to follow starting 5/2 with weak west anomalies continuing in control in the KWGA. This Active Phase is to fade 5/14 but neutral to weak west anomalies are to continue over the entirety of the KWGA. A broad weak Inactive Phase is to track over the KWGA 5/16-6/9 with neutral to weak west winds anomalies forecast. Perhaps a stronger Active Phase to develop 6/10 holding through the end of the model run on 7/20 with west anomalies strengthening and solid in the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates the low pressure bias over the bulk of the KWGA has reached the dateline and is to push east steadily from here moving east of the KWGA on 5/8 with the high pressure bias already east of the KWGA. This is hugely good news. Basically the La Nina bias is to be gone in 1-2 weeks. The expectation is that the atmosphere and ocean will begin to be coupled in over the next 3 months in a more favorable configuration towards storm production in the Pacific. And the low pressure bias is to only strengthen steadily over the KWGA into July.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/22) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 29-30 degs at 160E. The 28 deg isotherm line is steady at 180W and steep but also showing signs of trying to ease east at the surface moving to 174W. The 24 deg isotherm was building in thickness while making significant eastward progress at 100 meters deep at 140W and now to 75 meters deep at 120W rising to 35 meters into Ecuador. Anomaly wise in the East Pacific negative temperatures are gone as warm waters from a Kelvin Wave are building in from the west at depth. Warm anomalies were holding in the West at +3.0 degs at 175W down 150 meters pushing east with +2 deg anomalies reaching east to 110W down 75 meters and starting to erupt at the surface from 95W to 130W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/18 depicts warm water in the west at +4.0 degs at 170W with less warm water pushing east to 105W with the leading edge of that mass starting to touch the surface near 105W. The last of the La Nina cool pool was holding in one shallow pocket in the East Pacific along the coast of Ecuador and being squeezed to the surface by the large approaching Kelvin Wave. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data.
Sea Level Anomalies: (4/18) Positive anomalies were over the West equatorial Pacific at +5-10 cms centered at 180W with continuous +5 cm anomalies reaching east under the equator to 100W. Neutral anomalies were east of there except for negative anomalies at -5 cms along the coast of Peru and Ecuador reaching west over the Galapagos. The La Nina cool pool is all but gone.

Surface Water Temps: The more warm water in the equatorial East Pacific means more storm production in the North Pacific during winter months (roughly speaking). Cold water in that area has a dampening effect. Regardless of what the atmospheric models and surface winds suggest, actual water temperatures are a ground-truth indicator of what is occurring in the ocean. All data is from blended infrared and microwave sensors.
Satellite Imagery
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4: (4/21) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a pocket of cool anomalies holding along the immediate coast of Peru reaching northwest up to Ecuador and out to the Galapagos. Of much interest is an area of warm anomalies on the oceans surface on and just south of the equator from just off Peru out to 115W with neutral anomalies west of there. This is likely the start of a defined eruption point for a large Kevin Wave directly below. Warm anomalies were also stable along the immediate coast of Central America and Mexico reaching west to the dateline aligned along and north of the equator. There was no clear indication of La Nina anymore in the oceans surface.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/21): A weak pocket of cooling was fading between Ecuador and the Galapagos on the equator with another pocket just west of the Galapagos. Weak warming was holding well off Peru and starting to appear over a broad area south of the equator east of there to the dateline. Weak warming was also indicated north of the equator from just off Central America and just north of the Galapagos out to the dateline. The breach point for a large Kelvin Wave was estimated near 90W on the equator with a small pocket of warming indicated there.
Hi-res Overview: (4/21) A tiny pocket of cool water was holding off the immediate coast of Peru up to Ecuador reaching west to the Galapagos and ending there. Weak warming was further off the coast of Peru and reaching north to the equator at 100W. Warming was also along Ecuador and Central America filling the area north of the equator up into Mexico and east over the entirety of the equatorial Pacific. The La Nina core cool pocket was shrinking now mainly south of the equator from 115W to barely the dateline looking like a Modoki La Nina (meaning the core of La Nina is advecting west and dissipating). Overall the cooling pattern is steadily loosing density and drifting west.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/22) Today's temps were falling slightly at -1.426 and have otherwise been slowly rising the past 1.5 weeks. Previously temps rose to -0.069 on 4/3 but crashed the week after that to -1.9 degs on 4/10. Prior to that temps had fallen hard to -2.364 degs on 3/25, the coldest of any point in this La Nina. Previous cool peaks were on 3/12 at -1.5 degs retreating from the peak of the first Kelvin Wave hitting at +0.898 degrees on 2/28. Overall temps had been steadily marching upwards since late December. Temps in this area bottomed out on 12/23 at -2.1 degs, a third near peak negative reading. The lowest point so far in this La Nina was -2.248 degs reached on 11/5. And that low point was lower than the previous coldest point reached on 10/11 at -1.9 degs.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/22) Today temps were stable at -0.448. Temps have been steadily rising since 3/27 when they were about -1.2 degs. A weak surge in temps occurred 1/12-1/28 reaching up to -0.600 deg range. But since then temps backed off some. Previously a peak low was observed on 1/10-1/12 to -1.577. On (12/7) temps hit a previous record low at -1.219, just below the previous coldest peak so far this La Nina on 11/22 at -1.156. And the third previous low peak was reached at -1.1 on 11/23. The long arc suggests perhaps a rising pattern. La Nina is in control, but it's taking a hit.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/22) The forecast depicts temps bottomed out at -0.75 in Nov 2017 and have been slowly rising since, up to -0.5 in mid-March and -0.35 in early April. They are forecast to continue a steady increase from here forward to neutral in early June, hovering there then starting to rise into the late Fall to +0.3 degs in late Dec. This suggests the peak of La Nina occurred in 2017 and is to continue to fade through the Summer of 2018 before turning weakly positive in the late Fall. This model is now falling inline with all the others suggesting La Nina is to die this Spring.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-April Plume depicts temps at -0.2 degs and are to slowly rise, to +0.0 in May and +0.4 in August and +0.8 in November. See chart here - link. It looks like La Nina is fading out and a weak El Nino might develop. The CFSv2 is in the low end of that pack.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (4/22): The daily index was falling at -2.89. The 30 day average was falling some at 9.35 suggesting the Inactive Phase of the MJO was in control. The 90 day average was falling some at 4.10 suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern biased towards La Nina.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (4/22) Today the index has risen to -0.46 up from -1.02 on 4/5 and up from -1.13 on 3/27. Still, today's value is down some from -0.33 in late Feb, but was up from -1.11 on 1/29. The trend suggests La Nina is not gone, but possibly also reflects the last of the cool subsurface water being squeezed to the surface from an approaching large Kelvin Wave. Last years La Nina reached -1.94 on 11/2/16 and then fell to -2.20 on 6/28/17. It held pretty negative through Jan 2018. This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina events. The goal is to have it rise to at least -0.5 before a significant change could be suggested.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly positive, even though La Nina is in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values: April 2017=+0.53, May=+0.29, June=+0.21, July= -0.50, Aug= -0.62, Sept = -0.25, Oct= -0.61, Nov = -0.45, Dec= -0.13, Jan 2018=+0.29, Feb= -0.10, Mar= -0.51. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO, even with La Nina, because the warm PDO appears to be dampening the effects of La Nina. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington EDU index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.77, Feb = +0.70, Mar = +0.74, April=+1.12, May=+0.88, June=+0.79, July=+0.10, Aug=+0.09, Sept = +0.32, Oct=+0.05, Nov = +0.15, Dec = +0.50, Jan +0.70. Feb +0.37. No negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data strongly suggests that could be a possibility. By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool

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

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