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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Saturday, May 30, 2020 5:50 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 & 2.3 - 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 6/1 thru Sun 6/7

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   

Southeast Pacific Swell Hitting CA
3 New Zealand Swells To Follow

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Saturday, May 30, 2020 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 2.5 ft @ 16.7 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 16.4 secs from 188 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.6 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 1.8 ft @ 11.5 secs from 51 degrees. Water temp 78.3 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.5 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 2.2 ft @ 14.1 secs from 213 degrees. Wind at the buoy was west-southwest at 10-12 kts. Water temperature 65.7 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 5.0 ft @ 12.6 secs from 293 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.9 ft @ 14.9 secs from 194 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.5 ft @ 14.9 secs from 190 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 3.8 ft @ 14.9 secs from 200 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 8.2 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 5.4 ft @ 11.6 secs from 301 degrees and 3.8 ft @ 15.2 secs from 200 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was southeast at 6-8 kts. Water temp 51.3 degs (013), 54.7 degs (012) and 56.7 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 Saturday (5/30) in North and Central CA swell from the Gulf of Alaska was hitting producing waves at 1-2 ft overhead and moderately textured from southerly wind. Protected breaks were chest to maybe head high and clean and lined up but soft. At Santa Cruz southern hemi swell was hitting making for sets producing waves at head high or so but pretty torn up and crossed up from Gulf swell and southwest winds making whitecaps outside the kelp. In Southern California/Ventura waves were chest to shoulder high and lined up but pretty ragged from westerly wind. Central Orange County had waves to head high but blown out and trashed from northwest wind. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets in the 2 ft overhead range and fairly clean and lined up and peeling. North San Diego had waves at chest high and lined up and closed out with a fair amount of bump and lump intermixed with onshore winds. Hawaii's North Shore was near flat and clean. The South Shore was getting some sets in the waist to chest high range and lined up when they came and clean. The East Shore was flat and lightly chopped from modest easterly trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Saturday (5/30) in California was getting swell from a gale that formed in the Northeastern Gulf on late Tues-Wed (5/27) producing up to 29 ft seas aimed east. And it was also getting swell from a gale that formed in the South Central Pacific on Fri (5/22) producing 31 ft seas aimed north. Hawaii was getting no real swell of interest. More southern hemi swell is on the way for both locations from the second in a series of gales that tracked east under New Zealand on Thurs-Fri (5/22) producing up to 37 ft seas aimed east. That swell is tracking northeast. And on Tues into Wed (5/27) the third gale in the series developed under New Zealand lifting northeast with up to 33 ft seas aimed northeast. And a 4th stronger one is forecast under New Zealand lifting northeast Sat-Mon (6/1) producing up to 46 ft seas aimed northeast. So a nice little run of surf looks likely.

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 Saturday (5/30) swell from a gale that formed in the Gulf of Alaska was hitting California (see Gulf Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.

Gulf Gale
A gale developed while lifting northeast over the Eastern Gulf Tuesday evening (5/26) with 40-45 kt northwest winds and seas building to 20 ft at 43N 150W aimed east. The gale slowly tracked 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 drifted north off the Pacific Northwest on Wed PM (5/27) with 35-40 kt west winds and seas fading from 29 ft at 48N 143W targeting mainly the Pacific Northwest. This system was fading after that with all fetch gone Thurs AM (5/28) and seas fading from 23 ft at 49.5N 140W targeting only Oregon northward. Swell is pushing east.

North CA: Swell fading on Sat (5/30) from 4.9 ft @ 12-13 secs early (6.0 ft) and still shadowed in the SF Bay Area. Residuals on Sun (5/31) fading from 3.9 ft @ 10-11 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 298-303 degrees

 

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Saturday (5/30) southerly winds were occurring from Pt Conception northward at 10 kts but stronger in some showers. Wind to turn light northwest in North and Central CA at sunset. Light rain was falling at times along the coast of all of Central and North CA in the morning to mid-afternoon and over the Sierra southward to maybe Yosemite but is to be clearing out along the coast at sunset and in the Sierra overnight. Sunday (5/31) a light northwesterly flow is forecast early for North and Central CA at 5-10 kts holding all day but up to 20 kts for Cape Mendocino late. Monday (6/1) north winds are forecast at 20 kts early for North CA down to Pt Reyes but 10-15 kts south of there building to 15 kts over all of Central CA later and building to 20-25 kts for most of North CA. Tues (6/2) the usual summertime pressure gradient is forecast with north winds 25 kts for Cape Mendocino with light winds south of there if not becoming a light eddy flow (south winds) holding all day. Wednesday (6/3) north winds are to be 20-25 kts for Cape Mendocino with a light eddy flow south of there turning and building to 10+ kts from the northwest later. Thurs (6/4) north winds are forecast at 20 kts for North CA early and 10 kts for Central CA building to 20 kts down to Monterey bay later. Fri (6/5) north winds are forecast at 20 kts early for North and Central CA early fading to 10-15 kts later. Sat (6/6) light winds are forecast early turning north at 20-25 kts for Central CA south of Monterey Bay 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 Saturday (5/30) the jetstream was split over most of the South Pacific with winds to 140 kts pushing southeast under New Zealand forming a ridge, but with a trough starting to build in front/east of that area offering some support for gale development. East of the there fading remnants of another trough were fading/dissipating in the far Southeast Pacific offering nothing. Over the next 72 hours the trough southeast of New Zealand is to build being fed by 120 kt winds lifting northeast and sweeping east into early Mon (6/1) offering more support for gale development, then starting to pinch off and weaken late Mon (6/1) no longer offering support for gale development. after that a zonal wind pattern is to set up with the southern branch running generally west to east on the 62S latitude line with no troughs forecast. Beyond 72 hours that trend is to hold if not getting more entrenched with a weak trough falling south in the flow over the Central South Pacific reaching nearly Antarctica Fri-Sat (6/6) offering no support for gale development. Perhaps a weak trough is to form under New Zealand late on Sat (6/6) offering a glimmer of hope.

Surface Analysis
On Saturday (5/30) swell from a gale that developed in the Eastern Pacific was hitting California (see Central South Pacific Gale below). And another swell from a gale that tracked under New Zealand was starting to hit California (see New Zealand Gale #2 below). And yet another New Zealand gale developed under New Zealand lifting northeast (see New Zealand Gale #3 below).

Over the next 72 hours yet another solid gale started building under New Zealand on Fri PM (5/29) producing 40-45 kt southwest winds over a solid area aimed northeast with 29 ft seas building at 58S 166E aimed east. On Sat AM (5/30) a solid area of 50 kt southwest winds were building south of New Zealand producing 43 ft seas at 60.5S 173E aimed east. The gale is to track east-northeast in the evening with 45-50 kts southwest winds over a solid area and seas 45 ft at 58.5S 171.5W aimed northeast. The gale is to continue east-northeast on Sun AM (5/31) with 40 kt southwest winds and seas 40 ft over a solid area aimed northeast at 56S 159W. The gale is to be fading in the evening with 35-40 kt southwest winds over a solid area aimed well northeast and seas fading from 33 ft at 54S 150W aimed northeast. Fetch to fade Mon AM (6/1) from 30-35 kts over a modest area aimed north with seas 29 ft at 52S 142W aimed northeast. Fetch is to be gone in the evening. Something to monitor. If this materializes it will be labeled New Zealand Gale #4.

 

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 dissipated from there. Possible small southern hemi swell to be radiating north towards CA, Mexico and Central America.

Southern CA: 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 2.3 ft @ 13 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 192 degrees

North CA: Swell holding on Sat (5/30) at 3.5 ft @ 16 secs early (5.5 ft). Swell fading Sun (5/31) from 3.1 ft @ 14 secs (4.0 ft). Dribbles on Mon (6/1) fading from 2.4 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 188 degrees

 

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). Residuals on Wed (6/3) fading from 1.7 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 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 fading Wed (6/3) from 1.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 207-213 degrees

 

New Zealand Gale #3
On Tues PM (5/26) a new gale started developing south-southeast of New Zealand with southwest winds at 40-45 kts and seas 33 ft at 59.5S 176.5E aimed northeast. On Wed AM (5/27) the fetch was lifting northeast over the Central South Pacific at 40 kts from the southwest with seas 33 ft at 51S 165W aimed northeast. The gale tracked northeast in the evening with fetch fading from 35 kts from the south over a broad area with seas 31 ft at 46S 158W aimed northeast over a solid area. The gale started fading Thurs AM (5/28) with a broad area of 30-35 kt southwest winds and seas 27 ft at 41S 149W pushing solidly northeast. In the evening the gale was fading with 30-35 kt southwest winds over a large area and seas fading from 27 ft at 49S 155W 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 28 ft at 46S 141W aimed east-northeast. The gale is to fade from there. Something to monitor.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (6/3) building to 1.6 ft @ 19 secs late (3.0 ft). Swell building on Thurs (6/4) to 3.1 ft @ 17 secs later (5.0-5.5 ft). Swell continues on Fri (6/5) holding at 3.3 ft @ 15-16 secs (5.0 ft). Swell fading on Sat (6/6) from 3.0 ft @ 16 secs (4.5-5.0 ft). Swell Direction: 203 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (6/3) building to 1.3 ft @ 19-20 secs late (2.5 ft). Swell building on Thurs (6/4) to 2.6 ft @ 17 secs later (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell continues on Fri (6/5) holding at 2.9 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell fading on Sat (6/6) from 2.7 ft @ 16 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 201 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 fetch of interest is forecast.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a small gael is to form in the far Southeast Pacific on Wed PM (6/3) producing no swell producing a broad area of 35- kt southwest winds aimed well northeast with seas 31 ft at 56S 125W. Fetch is to be building Thurs AM (6/4) at 40 kts from the southwest lifting northeast with seas 31 ft at 52S 123W aimed northeast. The gale is to continue lifting northeast in the evening with 35-40 kt southerly winds but outside the CA swell window with seas 31 ft at 50.5S 115.5W targeting mainly Peru and Central America. The gale is to continue targeting Peru after that while fading. Something to monitor.

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

La Nina Development Continues

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 (5/29) 5 day average winds were solid from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific the still easterly but weaker at moderate strength over the Dateline and KWGA. Anomalies were weak westerly over the East equatorial Pacific turning neutral over the Central Pacific and neutral over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (5/30) weak to modest east anomalies were mostly filling the KWGA. The forecast calls for easterly anomalies holding unchanged in the KWGA through the end of the model run on 6/6. Solid west anomalies are over the East Pacific today and are forecast to retrograde (drift west) into the far East KWGA at the end of the model run.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (5/29) A neutral MJO pattern was in the KWGA today. The statistic model indicates the Inactive Phase is to be building into the far West Pacific on day 5 and in control there on day 10 and continuing to fill it through day 15 but weakening. The dynamic model indicates exactly the same thing initially but with the Inactive Phase rock solid on day 10 and building to strong status on day 15 filling the KWGA.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (5/30) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the atlantic today and is to slowly ease east and weaken and all but gone over the Central Indian Ocean at day 15. The GEFS model suggests the same with the Active Phase modest in strength over North Africa at day 15.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (5/30) This model depicts the Inactive Phase was building strong over the West Pacific today and is to push east and into Central America 6/24. A modest Active MJO is forecast developing over the far West Pacific 6/19 pushing slowly east and over the East Pacific at the model run on 7/9. A modest Inactive Phase is to start building in the far West Pacific at that time.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/29) This model depicts a weak Active MJO signal was pushing over the KWGA today with a mix of weak west and east anomalies over the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Active MJO exiting east of the KWGA by 6/3 with a neutral MJO following but with weak to modest east anomalies developing and then filling the KWGA starting 6/7 and continuing through the end of the model run on 6/26.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/30 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a weak Inactive MJO was over the KWGA today with mostly weak east anomalies indicated. The forecast depict the Inactive MJO is to continue easing east through 6/15 with weak east anomalies forecast over the balance of the KWGA with a neutral MJO following into 7/8 with east anomalies filling the East Pacific starting 6/9 and forecast holding through the end of the model run. An Active MJO is forecast after that starting 7/1-8/8 with weak west anomalies in pockets filling the KWGA while east anomalies hold solid from the dateline eastward. A weak Inactive Phase is forecast to follow starting 8/9 holding through the end of the model run on 8/27 with east anomalies east of 165E (over the Eastern KWGA) and extending over the whole of the equatorial Pacific with weak west anomalies in the western 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 6/10 building in coverage through the end of the model run with a second contour setting up on 8/15 filling the bulk of the KWGA starting on 7/5. And at the same time the low pressure bias is to reappear over the Indian Ocean starting 7/28 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 6/23 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: (5/30) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm was fading reaching east to 157E. The 29 deg isotherm was steady at 177E. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 162W today. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador but very shallow east of 120W if not almost gone. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies 0-1 deg C were isolated to the West Pacific reaching east to 160W. 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 160W to 100W. It is likely poised to continue upwelling to the surface over the coming weeks. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 5/23 indicates the same thing with warm anomalies now gone in the East Pacific and with cool water at depth erupting in the east to the surface between 85W-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: (5/23) Negative anomalies at -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 and up the coast of Central America to south Mexico. Positive anomalies at +5 cms were isolated in the far West Pacific reaching east to 175E 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: (5/29) The latest images indicate cold water was building solidly over the equator from the Galapagos and now just off Ecuador the whole way west to the dateline, looking like the start of a La Nina pattern. Warm anomalies were modest off the coast of Chile up into Peru continuing up off Ecuador up into Central America reaching west to 100W. But pockets of cool anomalies were starting to show along Peru and building slowly in coverage. 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 (5/29): A stream of cooling water was on the equator from Ecuador out to 160W with weak warming off Peru. There was no warming anywhere in the equatorial Pacific. The short term trend is looking like a push firmly towards the development of La Nina. A mirror image of it was extending west off Africa reaching half way to the Caribbean.
Hi-res Overview: (5/29) A stream of cool water was holding on the equator from Ecuador 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: (5/30) Today's temps were rising to -0.218 toady after falling to -0.810 on 5/27. Overall the trend is from a warmer range near +0.6 degs between 2/25-3/26.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(5/30) Temps were rising slightly to -0.438 after bottoming out at -0.595 on 5/27. Overall the trend is on a firm downward trajectory 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 (5/30) Actual's indicate temperatures were in the +0.65 deg range 1/1/2020 through 4/1/2020 then started falling hard down to 0.0 mid-May. The forecast depicts temps continuing to fall, down to -0.50 July 1, then stabilizing somewhat into late July then continuing on a far slower downward trajectory into late Oct, reaching 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. All objective evidence indicates this is in-fact occurring.
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) (5/30): The daily index was positive today at 17.79. The 30 day average was rising to +1.99. The 90 day average was rising to -1.47, 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 (5/31):
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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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