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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, April 6, 2021 4:21 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 & 1.2 - 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 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   

S. Hemi Swell Pushing Northeast
Nothing Else Forecast North or South

On Tuesday, April 6, 2021 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 3.0 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 11.9 secs from 184 degrees. Water temp 76.6 degs (Pearl Harbor 233).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 8.9 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 5.1 ft @ 11.3 secs from 20 degrees. Water temp 75.2 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.7 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 1.7 ft @ 14.1 secs from 202 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north at 10-12 kts. Water temperature 59.5 degs, 57.9 (Topanga 103), 59.0 degs (Long Beach 215), 62.2 (Del Mar 153). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.3 ft @ 11.0 secs from 300 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.5 ft @ 14.7 secs from 214 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.6 ft @ 13.8 secs from 200 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 4.1 ft @ 7.6 secs from 287 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 8.7 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 7.1 ft @ 9.8 secs from 315 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 8-14 kts. Water temp 51.4 (029), 51.3 degs (SF Bar) and 52.7 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).
- 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).
- 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.
- up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.

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

Current Conditions
On Tuesday (4/6) North and Central CA was getting northwest windswell with waves shoulder to maybe head high and textured from northwesterly wind and lined up but pretty soft and crumbled. Protected breaks were waist to almost chest high on the bigger sets and clean and somewhat lined up but weak. At Santa Cruz surf was waist to chest high and lined up and clean but getting softer. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist high with some bigger peaks and lined up but pretty warbled and hacked from northwest wind even early. Central Orange County had set waves at chest to shoulder high and sometimes more and lined up coming from the south but pretty textured early from northwest winds. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets to head high and lined up but pretty ruffled from southerly wind. North San Diego had sets waves at waist to chest high and lined up but unremarkable and a bit textured early. Hawaii's North Shore was head high with sets up to 2 ft overhead and lined up and peeling but pretty raw from northeast wind. The South Shore was small with sets to waist high and clean. The East Shore was getting easterly windswell with waves 1-2 ft overhead and fully chopped from strong east-northeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (4/6) California was getting the last of the early season southern hemi swell from a gale that developed in the Southeast Pacific on Fri-Sat (3/27) producing 35 ft seas aimed northeast. The area under New Zealand produced a gale on Sun (4/4) resulting in 35 ft seas into Tues (4/6) but falling southeast. Low odds for meaningful swell to result. And after that no swell producing weather systems are forecast. Up north a gale is forecast developing in the far Northern Gulf on Fri (4/9) producing up to 22 ft seas aimed southeast. Something to monitor.

See all the details below...


Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

On Tuesday (4/6) the jet was heavily split with the split point just off Japan. The northern branch was tracking northeast over the Kuril Islands then up into the North Bering Sea before falling over West Alaska and barely over the northern Gulf with no troughs indicated. A cutoff trough was still circulating northeast of Hawaii and weak offering only support for weak low pressure. The southern branch was falling southeast to the equator south of Hawaii then rising northeast feeding the weak trough northeast of Hawaii then pushing into Central and South CA. Over the next 72 hours no change is forecast with the trough and weak surface low continuing northeast of Hawaii into Fri (4/9). A trough is forecast building off North Japan on Wed (4/7) but pretty pinched not offering much odds to support gale development. Perhaps on Thurs (4/8) the jet is to start falling southeast over the Northern Gulf of Alaska with winds to 140 kts offering very limited support for gale development there. The trough is to fall southeast on Fri (4/9) with winds to 120 kts before pushing into North Canada offering limited support for gale development. After that there some suggestion the jet might start falling well south off the Kuril Islands and south of the Aleutians on the dateline Sat-Sun (4/11) with winds to 180 kts not quite forming a trough but perhaps offering a little window to support low pressure development there with that area moving east into Tues (4/13) just south of the Eastern Aleutians offering some support for low pressure development. Something to monitor. But at the marco level it seems the season is all but over.

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday (4/6) no swell of interest (other than windswell) was hitting Hawaii or California originating in the Northern Hemisphere. But decent windswell was hitting Hawaii (see Local HI Low below).

Over the next 72 hours the model are suggesting a fetch developing in the Northern Gulf of Alaska on Thurs AM (4/8) driven more by a 1040 mb high pressure system in the Bering Sea falling southeast and it's interaction with a weak low pressure system at 994 mbs over the Northern Gulf producing northwest winds at 30-35 kts and seas building. In the evening northwest winds are forecast at 35-45 kts in pockets over the Northern Gulf producing seas of 20 ft at 55N 145W aimed southeast and mostly east of the NCal swell window. On Fri AM (4/9) a building fetch of northwest winds at 35-40 kts is to hold in the Northern Gulf with seas building to 22 ft at 56N 146W aimed southeast and again mostly east of the NCal swell window. Fetch is to be fading fast in the evening from 30 kts from the northwest with 20 ft seas at 53N 140W aimed southeast and only targeting Cape Mendocino northward. Fetch is to collapse on Sat AM (4/10) with seas gone. Something to monitor but it looks like no swell of interest is to result south of maybe Pt Arena.


Local HI Low
On Sat PM (4/3) a low pressure system formed in a pinched trough well off Pt Conception and 900 nmiles north east of Hawaii generating a small area of 35+ kt north winds aimed well at the Hawaiian Islands with seas trying to develop. On Sun AM (4/4) northeast winds were holding at 35 kts with seas 19 ft at 34N 144W aimed southwest. In the evening fetch was fading from 30-35 kts from the north and northeast with seas 19 ft at 36.5N 144W aimed south-southwest. Northeast fetch held at 25-30 kts northeast of the Islands through the day Mon (4/5) with 16 ft seas at 35N 145W aimed southwest at Hawaii. 25 kt northeast fetch is to continue into early Thurs (4/8) with seas slowly fading to 13 ft at late Wed at 32N 148W targeting Hawaii well.

Oahu: Expect small windswell arriving on Tues (4/6) building to 5.1 ft @ 11 secs later (5.5 ft). Swell holding on Wed (4/7) at 4.6 ft @ 11-12 secs (5.0 ft). Swell continues of Thurs (4/8) at 4.9 ft @ 11 secs (5.0 ft). Dribbles on Fri (4/9) fading from 4.0 ft @ 10-11 secs (4.0 ft). Swell gone after that. Swell Direction: 30 degrees


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

  • Wed (4/7) northwest winds are forecast at 15+ kts for all of North and Central CA and 20 kts near Pt Conception early holding all day. Limited short period windswell at exposed breaks.
  • Thurs (4/8) northwest wind is forecast at 15-20 kts for North and Central CA early building to 20 kts over that entire area later and 25 kts solid for Central CA later producing limited northwest windswell at exposed breaks.
  • Fri (4/9) no real change is forecast with northwest winds 20-25 kts for North and 25 kts for Central CA early and holding all day. Building short period raw windswell possible.
  • Sat (4/10) northwest winds are forecast at 25-30 kts all day from Pt Arena southward to Pt Conception. Light winds for Cape Mendocino early building to 25 kts later. Raw local windswell expected.
  • Sun (4/11) northwest winds are forecast at 30-35 kts early for Cape Mendocino and 25 kts south of there to Pt Conception early holding all day. Building windswell expected.
  • Mon (4/12) northwest winds are forecast at 30 kts for Pt arena northward early and 20 kts south of there fading fro Central CA to 15 kts later. Windswell production continuing but raw.
  • Tues (4/13) northwest winds are forecast at 25-30 kts for North CA early and 20 kts for Central CA fading to 25 kt later limited to Pt Arena northward and 10-15 kts south of there. Windswell fading some. Perhaps a backdoor front to provide some light precipitation for the Tahoe area

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 6 inches, 3 inches, 4 inches, and 2 inches all around 4/13-14.

Freezing level is at 9,000 ft and holding till 4/10 rising to 10,500 ft through 4/12, then falling to 7,500 ft on 4/13 and holding there.

Snow Models: (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts).


South Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday (4/6)
California was getting the fading remnants of swell that originated from a gale previously in the far Southeast Pacific (see Southeast Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a gale developed south of New Zealand on Sun AM (4/4) producing 40-45 kt west winds generating seas of 32 ft at 5S 176W. In the evening a new fetch fetch developed from the old one with 45-50 kt west winds over a tiny area with seas 35 ft at 52S 170E aimed east. On Mon AM (4/5) a solid but small fetch of 45 kt southwest winds were southeast of New Zealand with seas 32 ft at 53S 172.5W aimed east. In the evening 50 kt west winds were pushing east with seas 37 ft at 59.5S 163.5W aimed east. Fetch is to be be collapsing and fading from 40 kts on Tues AM (4/6) over the deep South Central Pacific with seas fading from 33 ft at 62.5S 152.5W aimed east with 26-30 ft seas lingering back to the northwest to 54.5S 180W. This system was gone after that. Possible small swell for the US West Coast starting 4/14 but most energy aimed at South America.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Sun (4/11) building to 1.2 ft @ 18 secs later (2.0 ft). Swell building on Mon (4/12) to 1.5 ft @ 16-17 secs early (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell continues on Tues (4/13) at 1.4 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0 ft). Swell fading slowly on Wed (4/14) from 1.5 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Dribbles on Thurs (4/15) fading from 1.3 ft @ 14 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 196 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (4/13) building to 1.3 ft @ 16 secs later (2.0 ft). Swell building Wed (4/14) to 1.4 ft @ 18 secs mid-day (2.5 ft). Swell getting more solid on Thurs (4/15) pushing 2.1 ft @ 17 secs late AM (3.5 ft). Swell continues on Fri (4/16) at 2.1 ft @ 16 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell fading some on Sat (4/17) from 2.1 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell continues on Sun (4/18) at 2.0 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Mon (4/19) from 1.9 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell fading Tues (4/20) from 1.8 ft @ 14 secs (2.5 ft). Less on Wed (4/21) fading from 1.6 ft @ 14 secs early (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 206 degrees moving to 193 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (4/13) building to 1.3 ft @ 16 secs later (2.0 ft). Swell building Wed (4/14) to 1.9 ft @ 17-18 secs mid-day (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell getting more solid on Thurs (4/15) pushing 2.0 ft @ 16-17 secs mid-day (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell continues on Fri (4/16) at 1.9 ft @ 16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading some on Sat (4/17) from 1.9 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell continues on Sun (4/18) at 2.0 ft @ 16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Mon (4/19) from 2.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell fading Tues (4/20) from 1.8 ft @ 14 secs (2.5 ft). Less on Wed (4/21) fading from 1.6 ft @ 14 secs early (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 204 degrees moving to 190 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: 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: 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




Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.



MJO/ENSO Forecast


Solid Active MJO Moving Over KWGA
Summary - A Kevin Wave continues pushing east nearly done 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.

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 (4/5) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing strong east over the Central Pacific and moderate to strong east over the KWGA. Anomalies were moderate 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 (4/6) east anomalies were moderate over the East KWGA. West anomalies were light over the West KWGA with the dividing line at 165E. The forecast calls for east anomalies holding at moderate status but moving progressively east positioned well east of the dateline at the end of the model run on 4/13. Strong west anomalies are to start building on 4/7 at 150E and building stronger still through the end of the model run moving only slightly east to 160E.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (4/5) A moderate Active MJO pattern was filling the KWGA. The statistic model projects a moderate Active MJO holding and filling the KWGA through day 15 of the model run though losing some coverage over that window. The dynamic model is corrupt.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/6) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the far East Maritime Continent today and is to track east into the East Pacific by day 15 of the model run and weaker still. The dynamic model suggests the Active Phase pushing to the West Pacific in 7 days at modest status then holding at that position and strength through day 15 of the model run.
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
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/5) This model depicts a coherent Active Phase of the MJO producing solid west anomalies filling the Western KWGA today. The forecast indicates the Active Phase is to continue building in from the west by 4/12 moving to the dateline at near strong status and slowly easing east from there almost out of the KWGA at the end of the model run on 5/3. Solid to strong west anomalies to hold in the KWGA through 4/24 then fading but still present at modest status through the end of the model run. Theoretically this is to be the first real Active Phase of the MJO in a year.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/6 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a moderate Active MJO signal building over the Western KWGA with modest west anomalies in play there. The forecast indicates it is to track east through the KWGA on 5/18 producing moderate to occasionally 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 5/8-6/18 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 7/4 with modest 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 4/13. The 3rd contour line is to fade on 5/5. 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 6/1. A single contour low pressure bias is over the Indian Ocean today. It is to theoretically start shrinking in coverage from the west on 4/30 while tracking east to 180W and filling the KWGA by 6/8 while building to 2 contour lines. The strong Active Phase forecast in April is to be the tipping point, and has been on this model for nearly 3 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 4/14 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: (4/6) Today in the far West Pacific the 28 deg isotherm line was easing east to 177E. 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 reaching across the Pacific today and starting to reaching the surface near 115W and pushing into Ecuador. A previous broad cool pool under the East Pacific was gone getting squeezed to the surface by an approaching Kelvin Wave limited to a little bubble at 105W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 3/29 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 while 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: (3/29) 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 extending from the far West Pacific over the dateline from there to 110W and almost continuous over that area. Negative anomalies were less than -5 cms along the coast of Peru and along the coast of 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 as building ocean surface heights there. 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: (4/5) The latest images indicate a stream of cool water was tracking west on the equator originating along Peru then west from Ecuador out to the Galapagos indicative of an upwelling event. Then far weaker cool waters continue west on the equator from the Galapagos to 160W, weakening the further west one goes. 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 and static in strength. Overall this seems to indicate the collapse of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/5): Cooling has dramatically faded limited to the area between Ecuador west to the Galapagos and that even almost gone. 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 but with slightly warming from 120W to the dateline.
Hi-res Overview: (4/5) A generic area of warm water was west of Peru and Central America. But cold water was still evident along the immediate Peru streaming up to Ecuador then tracking west on the equator coast over the Galapagos and out to 140W. But that flow was warming some compared to days past. 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 holding 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: (4/6) Today's temps were rising just barely at -0.852 after bottoming out at -0.950 on 4/5, 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:
(4/6) Temps were rising slightly at -0.274 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 (4/6) - 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 to 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 now suggests a complete demise of La Nina starting now and continuing into Fall and early Winter. There is no sense of El Nino developing through. 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) (4/6): The daily index was falling at -0.58. The 30 day average was steady rising slightly at +0.59and more or less steady the last 10 days. It peaked at +19.51 on 1/14. The 90 day average was falling slightly at +7.27 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
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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