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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, April 1, 2021 3:05 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
1.5 - California & 1.5 - 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 3/22 thru Sun 3/28

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 HI & CA
1 More For CA

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Thursday, April 1, 2021 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 3.6 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 2.4 ft @ 14.4 secs from 204 degrees. Water temp 76.5 degs (Pearl Harbor 233).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.7 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 2.5 ft @ 13.8 secs from 312 degrees. Water temp 75.7 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.1 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 1.2 ft @ 16.3 secs from 213 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 10-12 kts. Water temperature 57.9 degs, 58.1 (Topanga 103), 58.5 degs (Long Beach 215), 60.1 (Del Mar 153). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 2.6 ft @ 16.1 secs from 195 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.8 ft @ 16.0 secs from 214 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.2 ft @ 15.8 secs from 202 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 2.1 ft @ 16.4 secs from 196 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.5 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 2.6 ft @ 17.3 secs from 205 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was north at 0-2 kts. Water temp 52.7 (029), 52.2 degs (SF Bar) and 54.7 degs (Santa Cruz).

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

Swell Classification Guidelines

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

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

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
Current Conditions
On Thursday (4/1) North and Central CA was getting local north windswell with waves at waist to chest high and clean and lined up and peeling when they came. Protected breaks were waist high and clean but very weak. At Santa Cruz surf was waist to chest high on the sets and clean and peeling but pretty rare. In Southern California/Ventura waves were thigh to waist high with some bigger peaks and clean and peeling with no wind or warble early. Central Orange County had set waves at chest high plus coming from the south and lined up running down the beach with no wind early. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets near head high and lined up coming from the south with clean conditions and no wind or warble. North San Diego had sets at waist high and and lined up and pretty weak but clean and pretty. Hawaii's North Shore was getting a few head high sets at top breaks and lined up and clean when they came. The South Shore was getting fading southern hemi swell with waves chest to shoulder high and lined up and peeling when they came and clean. The East Shore was getting minimal easterly windswell with waves up to waist high and heavily textured from modest east-northeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (4/1) Hawaii's South Shore was getting fading swell from a broad gale that previously tracked northeast from under New Zealand Sun-Wed (3/24) with 26-30 ft seas aimed northeast. That swell was also hitting California and near its peak. And one more gale followed in the Southeast Pacific on Fri-Sat (3/27) producing 35 ft seas aimed northeast targeting California. But after that nothing is forecast either north or south. The area under New Zealand is to be active, but all of it is to be falling southeast allowing for no real energy to radiate towards our forecast areas.

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
Jetstream
On Thursday (4/1) the jet was heavily split with the split point inland from Japan. The northern branch was tracking northeast over the Kuril Islands forming a weak trough just east of there offering nothing then ridging hard to the north tracking well up into the North Bering Sea before falling southeast forming a broad weak trough over the Northern Gulf of Alaska offering weak support for gale development. The southern branch was falling southeast to 15N then tracking east before rising northeast slightly and pushing over Baja Mexico and very weak. Over the next 72 hours more of the same is forecast with the Kuril Island trough pushing gently northeast pushing north of the dateline on Sat (4/3) offering little hope for gale development while the Gulf trough quickly pinches off on Sat (4/3) just off British Columbia but with a portion of the jet falling south to a point well off Pt Conception perhaps trying to support low pressure development there, but with that trough quickly pinching off and gone and inland later on Sun (4/4) offering no hope. Beyond 72 hours the jet is to be well split with the split point over Japan and the northern branch tracking northeast over the Aleutian Islands through the Bering Sea through Tues (4/6) offering no support for gale development. But on Wed (4/7) a new trough is forecast developing in the Northern Gulf being fed by 140 kts winds on Thurs (4/8) perhaps offering some support for gale development, but looking to pinch off quickly after that.

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (4/1) no swell of interest (other than windswell) was hitting Hawaii or California originating in the Northern Hemisphere.

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

A low pressure system is to form in a pinched trough well off Pt Conception on Sat PM (4/3) generating a tiny area of 40+ kt north winds aimed more at Hawaii that the mainland with seas trying to develop. On Sun AM (4/4) north winds are to be fading from 35 kts over a tiny area with seas fading from 18 ft at 32.5N 144W aimed south. No swell expected to result.

 

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical weather system of interest were being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Fri (4/2) northwest winds are forecast at 10 kts for North CA early pushing towards 15 kts for Cape Mendocino and 5-10 kts for Central CA early fading to 5-10 kts everywhere later.
  • Sat (4/3) northwest winds are forecast at 5-10 kts early for all of North and Central CA though possibly southwest 5 kts for Cape Mendocino early and pretty much holding like that in the afternoon.
  • Sun (4/4) northwest winds are forecast at 5-10 kts for North CA early reaching down to Monterey CA and 15 kts south of there to Pt Conception and holding like that in the afternoon.
  • Mon (4/5) the wind machine is to wake up with north winds 15-20 kts for North and Central CA early but 10 kts in the SF Bay Area building to 20 kts everywhere in the afternoon including Southern CA. Raw northwest windswell expected in the afternoon at exposed breaks. Rain developing for Cape Mendocino and falling south down the Sierra through the day. Snow for higher elevations down to the Southern Sierra.
  • Tues (4/6) northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts from Pt Arena to Pt Conception and holding all day. More windswell expected.
  • Wed (4/7) northwest winds are forecast at 20+ kts from Pt Arena south to Pt Conception holding all day resulting in more short period windswell at exposed breaks.
  • Thurs (4/8) northwest wind is forecast at 15-20 kts for North and Central CA early producing limited northwest windswell at exposed breaks.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 3 inches, 3 inches, 3 inches, and 1 inches all on 4/5.

Freezing level is at 10,500 ft and to hold through 4/4, dropping to 2,000 ft late on 4/5, then building back to about 10.000 ft on 4/8 and holding if not building more by 4/10.

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

 

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis
On Thursday (4/1)
Hawaii was getting fading swell and California building swell from another small gale that developed under New Zealand (see 3rd New Zealand Gale below). And yet a third small swell is radiating north towards California from a gale previously in the far Southeast Pacific (see Southeast Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.

 

3rd New Zealand Gale
On Sun AM (3/22) a gale developed south of New Zealand producing a broad area of 35-40 kt southwest winds with seas building from 30 ft at 60S 173E aimed northeast. In the evening a more consolidated and broader area of 30-35 kt southwest winds was pushing east-northeast with seas 27 ft at 55S 173W aimed northeast. On Mon AM (3/22) a secondary fetch was pushing under New Zealand with 40-45 kt southwest winds and seas building from 28-32 ft over an elongated area with it's leading edge at 58S 170WE aimed east-northeast. In the evening fetch was pushing east-northeast at 35 kts over a broad area with seas 26-28 ft at 56.5S 154W aimed east-northeast. On Tues AM (3/23) fetch was fading from 30-35 kts over a broad area aimed east-northeast with seas fading from 24-26 ft at 51.5S 149.75W aimed east-northeast. This system was gone after that. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Dribbles on Thurs (4/1) fading from 1.5 ft @ 14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 190 degrees

Southern CA: On Thurs (4/1) swell is to build to 2.3 ft @ 16 secs later (3.5 ft). Swell holding on Fri (4/2) at 2.2 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft). Swell fading on Sat (4/3) from 2.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Dribbles on Sun (4/4) fading from 1.6 ft @ 14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 200 degrees

North CA: Swell building on Thurs (4/1) to 2.2 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.5-4.0 ft) later. Swell fading on Fri (4/2) from 2.0 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft). Sat (4/3) swell is to pulse at 2.1 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Sun (4/4) from 1.8 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 198 degrees

 

Southeast Pacific Gale
A final gale developed in the Central South Pacific on Fri AM (3/26) with 45-50 kt southwest winds over a solid area and seas building from 35 ft at 59S 157.5W aimed east-northeast. In the evening 40-45 kt southwest winds moved over the Southeast Pacific with 34 ft seas at 54.5S 140.25W aimed east. On Sat AM (3/27) 40-45 kt southwest winds were over the far Southeast Pacific with seas 32 ft at 55S 127W aimed east-northeast. After that the gale fell southeast and moved east of even the Southern CA swell window.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (4/4) building to 2.3 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell fading on Mon (4/5) from 2.2 ft @ 15 secs early (3.0-3.5 ft). Residuals fading on Tues (4/6) from 1.6 ft @ 14-15 secs early (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 194 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival later on Sun (4/4) building to 1.9 ft @ 17-18 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Mon (4/5) from 2.2 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Residuals fading on Tues (4/6) from 1.7 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 193 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 the model are suggesting a fetch developing in the Northern Gulf of Alaska on Thurs AM (4/8) driven more by a 1048 mb high pressure system over the North Dateline and it's interaction with a weak low pressure system at 1004 mbs over the Northern Gulf producing north winds at 30-35 kts and seas 22 ft at 52.5N 154.5W aimed southeast. Something to monitor.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.

A gale is forecast developing southeast of New Zealand on Sat PM (4/3) producing 45 kt northwest winds producing 38 ft seas at 53S 178E Sun AM (4/4) but falling southeast offering nothing at Hawaii and the US West Coast.

Another gale is to be in the same place on Mon (4/5) again falling southeast from 52S 174.5W in also offering nothing.

A few weaker system are to follow but also aimed east to southeast offering nothing.

 

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

Solid Active MJO to Build Over KWGA Soon
Summary - A Kevin Wave continues pushing east squeezing the cold remains of La Nina from depth to the surface in the East Pacific

MJO/ENSO Discussion
The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) 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.
And the El Nino/La Nino cycle (collectively know as ENSO - El Nino Southern Oscillation) is a less frequent (about once every 7 years) but more impactful cycle that affects world wide weather. Specifically, strong El Nino events promote storm production in the Pacific while La Nina events suppress storm production. These therefore have a significant impact on the production of swell and surf. The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO and ENSO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for upcoming activity (or inactivity depending on the state and interaction of these two oscillations).

Overview: A double dip La Nina occurred through the Winter of 2017-2018. 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 2019, those warm waters were 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. A bit of a recovery tried to occur during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water held in a pool off Peru. By April 2020 a cool pool was starting to build, forming a well defined cool tongue that looked like the start of La Nina, with it fully developing into La Nina in July 2020. We continue in the place in March 2021, but with a Kelvin Wave sweeping east late in March possibly signaling the demise of La Nina.

LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Winter/Spring 2020/2021 = 3.0/3.5 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)

Rationale: 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 only to return stronger in the Summer of 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. But at this time that does not appear likely. Given all that, for the 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 2020/21, 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 Spring of 2021.

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 (3/31) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing strong east over the Central Pacific and moderate east over the KWGA. Anomalies were light to modest east over the East equatorial Pacific then neutral over the Central Pacific then modest easterly over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, so they lag what is happening today by about 2 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (4/1) east anomalies were moderate over the East KWGA. West anomalies were trying to build into the West KWGA. The forecast calls for east anomalies holding at moderate status but moving progressively east isolated to the dateline at the end of the forecast period (4/8) with west anomalies moderate pushing east almost to to the dateline, poised to take over the KWGA.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (3/31) A weak Inactive MJO pattern was over the dateline with the Active Phase trying to build into the far West Pacific. The statistic model projects the Inactive MJO gone at day 5 of the model run with a moderate Active Phase building and filling the KWGA from the west, building on day 10 and still filling the KWGA at day 15 of the model run while a strong Inactive Phase builds over the Maritime Continent. The dynamic model is corrupt.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/1) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the Maritime Continent today and is to track east into the West Pacific by day 15 of the model run and still weak. The dynamic model suggests the Active Phase pushing to the West Pacific in 7 days at modest status then collapsing to weak status.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (3/15) No Update - This model depicts a modest Inactive MJO pattern (dry air) over the East Pacific and it is to track east while slowly losing strength moving over Central America on 3/30. A weak Active (wet) Phase is to develop over the West Pacific on 3/20 tracking east while slowly building and pushing into Central America on 4/14. A weak Inactive Phase (dry air) is to push east 3/30-4/24. And a weak Active Phase (wet air) is to push east from the West Pacific 4/9 through the end of the model run on 4/24 over the Central Pacific then.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (3/31) This model depicts a coherent Inactive MJO signal covering the KWGA today with moderate plus strength east anomalies in the KWGA. Solid west anomalies were moving into the Western KWGA. The forecast indicates the Inactive MJO pushing east through the KWGA and on the dateline and nearly out of the KWGA by 4/14 with east anomalies holding at moderate strength pushing east to the dateline during that window. After that a coherent Active Phase is to build from the West KWGA today moving to the dateline at the end of the model at near strong status. Theoretically this is to be the first real Active Phase of the MJO in a year.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/1 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a weak Inactive MJO moving east and almost out of the KWGA today and forecast to be out of it by 4/9 with modest east anomalies following that pattern. A moderate to strong Active MJO signal is forecast to follow tracking east through the KWGA 4/5-5/19 producing moderate to strong west anomalies filling the KWGA. This is to be the first real Active Phase in a year or more. A strong Inactive MJO is to follow 5/3-6/12 but with mostly weak to modest west anomalies filling the KWGA but with interspersed pockets of east anomalies. A new moderate Active Phase is to start building in the west on 6/5 pushing east through the end of the model run on 6/29 with strong west anomalies taking control of the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias is firmly in control over the dateline today with 4 contour lines reaching east to a point south of California. The forth contour line is to fade on 4/15. The 3rd contour line is to fade on 5/4. The second contour line is to fade 5/18. The remaining 1 is to be shifting hard east starting 4/25 and losing coverage and no longer in the KWGA after 6/14. A single contour low pressure bias is over the Indian Ocean today. It is to theoretically start shrinking in coverage from the west on 5/3 while tracking east to 180W and filling the KWGA by 6/11 while building to 3 contour lines. The strong Active Phase forecast in April is to be the tipping point, and has been on this model for nearly 2 months. Still, it should only be strong enough to start pushing us to a neutral position long term. East anomalies that were previously solid in the Indian Ocean for over a year migrated east into the West Pacific on 10/1/20 and stabilized there, but are theoretically starting a slow fade while migrating east moving to the a point south of California by 4/17 as the Active Phase builds over the KWGA then. Theoretically the end of La Nina is near (starting on 4/15).

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/1) Today in the far West Pacific the 28 deg isotherm line was easing east to 174E. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing the whole way across the equatorial Pacific and building in coverage and depth as compared to weeks prior in the East Pacific. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +2 deg C have moved east with the dividing line today at 120W and almost reaching the surface. A previous broad cool pool under the East Pacific was fading fast getting squeezed to the surface by the approaching Kelvin Wave limited to the area east of 115W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 3/24 indicates a dramatic improvement with warm anomalies moving east subsurface to 105W indicative of a Kelvin Wave moving east. Negative anomalies in the East Pacific were the least negative at any time in months and getting shallower. They were getting squeezed to the surface. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (3/24) A dramatic improvement was occurring with sea heights near neutral (0 to -5 cms) over the entire equatorial Pacific with a pocket of positive anomalies building west from the far west Pacific over the dateline from there to 120W and almost continuous over that area. Negative anomalies were less than -5 cms along the coast of Peru and along the coast of Mexico and then down to -5 cms from Central Mexico up into California. Looking at the big picture, negative anomalies were forming a massive triangle from Cape Mendocino to the intersection of the dateline and equator then into Southern Chile. But it was much weaker than weeks and months past and was dramatically collapsing in it's heart over the equator. The end seems near for La Nina.

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: (3/31) The latest images indicate a stream of cool water was tracking west on the equator originating along Peru then west from Ecuador out to 145W indicative of an upwelling event. Weak warm water was further off Peru and Central America. Cool anomalies were streaming from Chile west-northwest to the dateline also feeding the main cool pool but far weaker and over a smaller area than even a few days ago. Overall this seems to indicate the collapse of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (3/31): Cooling was occurring along Ecuador and west over the Galapagos, but rapidly shrinking compared to a few days earlier. In the absence of strong east anomalies, we suspect this might be upwelling of cool subsurface waters at depth being forced up by an approaching Kelvin Wave. Otherwise a neutral temperature trend was occurring on the equator.
Hi-res Overview: (3/31) A generic area of warm water was west of Peru and Central America. But cold water was evident along the immediate Peru streaming up to Ecuador then tracking west on the equator coast over the Galapagos and out to 140W. Also a faint area of cool water was extending from off Chile tracking northwest to the equator out to the dateline and west to New Guinea but appears to be losing definition. A similar stream was migrating southwest from off Baja Mexico and pretty solid. The remaining cool core of La Nina is pushing west on the equator from 120W over the dateline but warmer than days past. La Nina appears to be in retreat.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/1) Today's temps were still falling at -0.737 after peaking at +0.714 on 3/16. Temp previously peaked at +0.601 on 3/9 and that after a recent high of +0.100 on 2/1. Temps previously were -0.604 on 1/24. A previous peak of -0.595 occurred on 12/11. This area has been on a seesaw rising trend since early October. Temps were previously down to -2.138 on 8/13. The longterm trend has been on a slow but steady increase.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(4/1) Temps were falling slightly at -0.371 after a recent peak of -0.185 on 3/27 after falling to-0.404 on 3/20 and that after peaking at -0.170 on 3/10, the highest in a year. Temps bottomed out at -1.654 on 11/3, rising to to -0.982 on 1/21. The previous low before that was -0.733 on 9/10. Temps were on a steady decline since 7/25 then bottomed out in late October and have been on a slow increase since.

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 (4/1) - Actuals per the model indicates temps bottomed out in early Nov at -1.25 degs then rose to -0.65 degs mid-Jan and up to -0.15 degs in March. The forecast depicts temps rising slightly to near normal 0.0 degs into June then starting a slow fade falling to -0.45 degs in early Aug and holding there into Dec. This model seems biased towards a return of cooling water temps but not quite making weak La Nina status in the Fall. Of course we're still in the Spring Unpredictability Barrier, so no outcome is certain.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Feb 20, 2021 Plume depicts temps are at -0.64 degs today, and are to rise to -0.37 in April and stabilizing in May at -0.26 maybe easing up to -0.24 degs in Oct. Most models are suggesting a moderate La Nina returning to Neutral in the late Spring of 2021.
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 - this is a lagging indicator) (4/1): The daily index was falling at -4.83. The 30 day average was rising slightly at -0.25 and negative the last 9 days after peaking at +19.51 on 1/14. The 90 day average was falling slightly at +9.25 after peaking at +15.75 on 2/23 and clearly indicative of La Nina. This index is a lagging indicator.

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 


Powerlinessurf Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest
Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for this week. See it Here
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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

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

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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