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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Saturday, April 7, 2018 6:29 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 & 3.4 - Hawaii
Using the 'Winter' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

Probability for presence of largest swells in near-shore waters of NCal, SCal or Hawaii.    

Issued for Week of Monday 4/9 thru Sun 4/15

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   

Local Gale Builds Off NCal
Multiple Stronger Gales Forecast to Follow

BUOY ROUNDUP

On Saturday, April 7, 2018 :

  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 6.9 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 4.5 ft @ 11.7 secs from 325 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.4 ft @ 4.3 secs with swell 1.2 ft @ 13.4 secs from 200 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north-northeast at 4-6 kts. Water temperature NA. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.4 ft @ 9.3 secs from 269 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.2 ft @ 14.2 secs from 199 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.4 ft @ 13.5 secs from 217 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.1 ft @ 14.1 secs from 187 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 7.3 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 4.7 ft @ 9.9 secs from 279 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southwest at 6-8 kts. Water temp 54.1 degs.

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

Swell Classification Guidelines

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

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

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
Current Conditions
On Saturday (4/7) in North and Central CA local northwest windswell was producing set waves in the head high range and warbled from the west-southwest and weak and mushy. Protected breaks were waist to maybe chest high at best and soft and a bit warbled. At Santa Cruz surf was up to chest high and reasonably lined up with light winds but pretty warbled and not good looking. In Southern California up north surf was maybe thigh high on the sets and clean but gutless. In North Orange Co southern hemi swell was still hitting with sets to chest high and clean but with some sideshore warble running through it. South Orange Country's best breaks were waist to maybe chest high and clean and lined up but slow. In North San Diego surf was thigh to waist high on the sets at top breaks and lined up with some warble intermixed. Hawaii's North Shore was starting to get new windswell with waves head high at top breaks and clean and lined up. The South Shore was flat and plate glass. The East Shore was getting northwest windswell wrap around at waist high and pretty warbled from modest east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Saturday (4/7) small southern hemi swell was fading in California. For Hawaii small windswell was starting to hit from a low previously northwest of the Islands on Thurs-Fri (4/6) producing up to 17 ft seas. That same low was redeveloping just off North CA early Sat (4/7) with 26-28 ft seas expected mid-day producing raw local swell beyond. At the same time another gale was falling southeast from Kamchatka Fri-Sat (4/7) producing a short lived area of 32 ft seas almost fading out before reaching the dateline on Sat (4/7) then trying to reorganize in the Gulf of Alaska Sun-Mon (4/9) with 24-26 ft seas aimed east at California. All the while another system to track east over the North Dateline region on Sun-Tues (4/10) with up to 36 ft seas aimed east then moving into the Central Gulf on Wed (4/11) producing a decent sized area of 26 ft seas aimed east. And maybe a stronger system is forecast behind that tracking east over the Central Dateline on Wed-Thurs (4/12) with up to 50 ft seas aimed east then fading while pushing into the Gulf Fri (4/13) with 28 ft seas. So a far more active pattern is forecast up north. Down south a small gale is forecast Sun-Mon (4/9) under New Zealand with 32 ft seas aimed north.

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

North Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Saturday AM (4/7) the jetstream was mostly consolidated ridging northeast off Japan with winds 160 kts reaching the Western Aleutians then falling southeast forming a trough in the Western Gulf near 170W offering good support for gale development. From there the jet tracked east on the 38N latitude line and was joined by weak energy streaming up from the southern dateline region with the cojoined streams pushing into North California with winds again building to 150 kts. The entirety of the Gulf of Alaska looks primed to support gale development. Over the next 72 hours through Tues (4/10) the trough in the Gulf is to steadily push east peaking on Sun (4/8) being fed by 150 kts offering good support for gale development then starting to pinch off into Mon (4/9) and later in the day. Still at that time a solid pocket of wind energy is to be pushing through the Western Gulf on Tues (4/10) with winds at 160 kts falling somewhat southeast beginning to offer support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours a new trough is to be developing in the Eastern Gulf on Wed (4/11) from that wind pocket with winds 130+ kts offering support for gale development and moving inland over North CA 24 hours later. A consolidated jet is to remain in play over the entirety of the North Pacific by Fri (4/13) running east on the 40N latitude line with a new trough setting up in the Gulf being fed by 120 kts winds offering a little support for gale development with a stronger trough building just west of the dateline being fed by 170 kts pushing over the dateline on Sat (4/14) holding it's configuration and offering good support for gale development. An interesting and favorable late season pattern appears to be setting up.

Surface Analysis
On Saturday AM (4/7) swell from a low pressure system previously northwest of Hawaii was hitting the Islands (see Hawaiian Low below). And windswell from another low that was previously off the Pacific Northwest was weakly hitting California (see Pacific NW Low below).

Over the next 72 hours two new systems are being monitored (see details below under heading North CA Gale and Northwest Pacific Gale-Hawaii).

Also remnant energy from the Northwest Pacific Gale is to push east and redevelop Sun AM (4/8) in the Western Gulf of Alaska with 40-45 kt northwest winds over a tiny area and 27 ft seas at 40N 164W aimed southeast. The gale is to track southeast in the evening with northwest winds 35-40 kts and 25 ft seas at 37N 158W targeting Hawaii and the US West Coast. On Mon AM (4/9) the gale is to be turning on a more easterly track in the Eastern Gulf with 35 kt westerly winds and 24-25 ft seas at 34N 150W targeting Central CA. In the evening fetch is to fade with seas fading from 20 ft at 33N 145W targeting Southern CA. The gael is to fade from there. Small swell is possible pushing into Southern CA if all goes as forecast.

 

North CA Gale
The remnants of the Hawaiian Low tracked rapidly east Fri PM (4/6) and were redeveloping while merging with remnants of the Pacific Northwest Low in the Northeastern Gulf off San Francisco. The low was lifting northeast producing a fetch of 35+ kt west winds 450 nmiles off SF with 22 ft seas building fast at 38N 139W. On Sat AM (4/7) a broader fetch of 45 kt west winds was in place just off the Southern Oregon/North CA coast with 28 ft seas at 43N 131W and 24 ft seas at 40N 132W (296 degs NCal). This system is to be pushing inland over Oregon in the evening with 27 ft seas along the coast there and 24 ft seas still at 42N 130W (319 degs NCal). This is an upgrade from 2 days ago. Swell at buoy 46002 at 11Z on Sat (4/7) was 18.5 ft @ 11.6 secs with seas to 22.9 ft.

North CA: Rough data suggest raw local swell building in North CA later Saturday evening (4/7) under cover of darkness peaking near sunrise Sun AM (4/8) at 10 ft @ 13 secs (12 ft). Swell Direction 285-295 degrees

 

Northwest Pacific Gale (Hawaii)
Also on Friday AM (4/6) another broader gale started developing off Kamchatka and the Northern Kurils with 45-50 kt northwest winds and seas to 32 ft at 48N 164E. The gale fell southeast rapidly by evening with 40 kt northwest winds over a small area and seas 31 ft at 45N 171E targeting Hawaii. By Sat AM (4/7) residual 30-35 kt northwest winds were fading in coverage a bit east of the dateline with seas fading from 29 ft at 43N 175EW targeting Hawaii. Fetch is to fade and track rapidly east in the evening at 30 kts with seas from previous fetch fading from 22 ft over a broad area at 41N 173W aimed a bit east of Hawaii. The gale is to be rebuilding Sun AM (4/8) with a tiny area of 40-45 kt northwest winds and seas 26 ft at 40N 163W targeting Hawaii tangentially. The gale is to move east of the Hawaiian swell window beyond. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Rough data suggests swell arrival expected in Hawaii on Mon AM (4/9) building to 9.0 ft @ 16 secs mid-day (13.0 ft) holding through sunset. Residuals fading on Tues AM (4/10) from 6.4 ft @ 13-14 secs (8.5 ft). Dribbles on Wed AM (4/11) 3.2 ft @ 11 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 335 degrees

 

Pacific NW Low
A broadish low pressure system developed in the Central Gulf on Wed AM (4/4) with 30 kt northwest winds and seas building. In the evening west winds were 30 kts over a broader area targeting North CA with seas building to 16 ft at 39N 148W. The gale lifted northeast on Thurs AM (4/5) with 30 kt west winds and seas 17 ft at 42N 143W. The gale is to fade from there. Low odds of small 10-11 sec period windswell for North and Central CA.

North CA: Expect windswell building Fri (4/6) through the day pushing 5 ft @ 10 secs (5.0 ft). Windswell continue Sat AM (4/7) at 5.8 ft @ 10 secs (5.5-6.0 ft). Swell Direction: 260-270 degrees

 

Hawaiian Low
On Wed PM (4/4) a low pressure system developed just east of the dateline with 35 kt northwest winds over a tiny area and 18 ft seas at 38N 172W targeting Hawaii. The gale built Thurs AM (4/5) with a broader area of 30 kt northwest winds targeting Hawaii with 15 ft seas at 36N 168W. In the evening 30 kt northwest winds to be north of Hawaii with 16 ft seas at 35N 163W again targeting Hawaii. On Fri AM (4/6) the gale is to track east with 30 kt west winds and no seas of interest. Small windswell is to possibly result for Hawaii.

Oahu: Expect north windswell arriving at Sat AM (4/7) building to 5.5 ft @ 12 secs (6.5 ft) mid-day. Residuals fading Sun AM (4/8) from 4.0 ft @ 10-11 secs early (4/5 ft). Swell Direction: 340 degrees

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Saturday AM (4/7) a gale low was holding off Oregon with west winds 15 kts over North CA down to Pt Arena and 10 kts from the west down to the Golden Gate and northwest 10 kts down to PT Conception. Those winds are to be fading over all of North and Central CA by the evening except building from the north at 15-20 kts for Pt Conception. Light rain fading mainly for Central CA through the day. For Tahoe snow levels supposedly 6600 falling to lake level at sunset. Anywhere from 0 inches to 1 ft of accumulation possible at resorts on the crest at Tahoe. Sunday (4/8) weak high pressure is to set up off the Central Coast ridging into the North Coast with north winds 20 kts from Big Sur southward to Pt Conception and light north 5-10 kts for all of North CA down to Monterey Bay and north winds building to 15 kts over all of North CA later and 25 kts to Pt Conception. Light precipitation fading for Cape Mendocino. Monday (4/9) north winds are forecast at 15 kts for all of North and Central CA early but turning calm for North CA later and north 10 kts for Central CA as another front approaches the coast. Tues (4/10) the front impacts North CA with south winds 20 kts for Cape Mendocino and 10 kts to the Golden Gate and light north winds 10 kts for Central CA. Rain early from Bodega Bay northward early pushing south to maybe Monterey Bay late afternoon and fading up north. Snow levels 11000-1200 ft for Tahoe with light rain expected. Wednesday the next front is to be queued up off the North Coast with south winds 15+ kts building south to the Golden Gate late afternoon. Rain building south to Morro Bay in the evening. Snow for Tahoe in the evening with snow levels at lake level and 6 inches of accumulation. Thursday (4/12) high pressure and north winds to be 15 kts for all of North CA, and 20 kts into Central and South CA building to 25 kts for Southern CA later. Light rain mainly from Monterey Bay northward and light snow for Tahoe into the the Southern Sierra. Friday (4/13) high pressure is to ridging into North CA with north winds 15-20 kts from Big Sur southward but 10 kts for North CA. More of the same on Saturday (4/14) but with low pressure off the Pacific Northwest Coast and a front impacting Cape Mendocino with rain there later.

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis  
On Saturday (4/7) swell from a gale that developed in the Southeast Pacific mid-last week and produced swell that hit California earlier this week is to be gone by Sun AM (4/8). Also a gale developed south of New Zealand last weekend (see New Zealand Gale below) and has producing miniscule swell pushing northeast towards California.

Over the next 72 hours a small gale is forecast building south of New Zealand on Sun AM (4/8) producing 45 kt south winds and 30 ft seas over a tiny area at 56S 170E. In the evening 40-45 kt south winds to hold with seas 31 ft at 54S 172E aimed due north. 40 kt south winds to hold Mon AM (4/9) with seas 30 ft at 53S 171E aimed north. The gale is to fade in the evening with winds dying from 30-35 kts from the south and seas 25 ft at 50S 170E. Something to monitor for Tahiti, Hawaii and the US West Coast.

 

New Zealand Gale
A gale started building just south of New Zealand on Fri PM (3/30) with 45 kt southwest winds and seas building from 30 ft over a tiny area at 52S 167E. On Sat AM (4/1) the gale fell southeast slightly with southwest winds 45 kts and seas 33 ft over a tiny area at 52S 174E. The gale faded some while tracking east in the evening with 40 kt southwest winds and 33 ft seas at 53S 180W. On Sun AM (4/1) southwest winds were fading from barely 35 kts with 29 ft seas fading at 53S 173W aimed northeast. In the evening the gale was gone. No swell expected for Hawaii and only minimal southwest swell to result for the US West Coast.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (4/10) pushing 1.0 ft @ 16-17 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Residuals fading Wed (4/11) from 1.1 ft @ 15-16 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 219 degree

 

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

And yet another gale is to develop west of the Northern Dateline region just off Kamchatka on Sun AM (4/8) producing 45 kt west winds and seas building. By evening the gale is to be decently broad approaching the North Dateline region with 45 kt west winds and seas building from 33 ft at 50N 168E just barely south of the Western Aleutians. The gale is to move over the Northern Dateline Mon AM (4/9) with 45 kt northwest winds and seas 36 ft at 50N 176E aimed east at the US West Coast. Fetch is to push east at 40 kts over a broader area in the evening on the dateline with 33 ft seas at 50N 180W just barely south of the Central Aleutians. Fetch is to fade Tues AM (4/10) from 35 kts just east of the dateline with a growing area of 30-35 kt west winds building east of there with 29 ft seas fading at 50N 172W targeting the US West Coast. The core of the original gale is to fade in the evening but with a broad area of 30-35 kt northwest winds and seas 26 ft at 46N 160W aimed at the US West Coast. Wed AM (4/11) the gale is to move east with winds fading from 30 kts and a broad area of 25 ft seas at 45N 150W. In the evening the gale is to dissipate with seas fading from 22 ft filling the Gulf at 45N 144W. Possible solid swell for the US West Coast if all goes as forecast.

And yet another stronger system is forecast building off the North Kuril Islands on Tues AM (4/10) with 45 kt northwest winds over a small area and seas building. In the evening the gale is to build to storm status while tracking east with 55 kt west winds and 38 ft seas at 48N 166E. The storm is to continue east on Wed AM (4/11) with 50 kt west winds and 48 ft seas at 45N 174E. The gale is to be fading in the evening just east of the dateline with 45 kt west winds over a diminishing area aimed east and seas fading from 46 ft at 44N 176W. The gale to fade Thurs AM (4/12) in the Western Gulf with west winds 45 kts and seas 40 ft at 45N 166W targeting the US West Coast well. In the evening the gale is to fade with northwest winds 35 kts and seas 35 ft at 42N 159W. On Fri AM (4/13) fetch is to fade from 30 kts and seas 29 ft at 43N 152W. The gale to fade from there. Something to monitor.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.

More details to follow...

Large Kelvin Wave Set to Erupt Near Galapagos

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

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

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Friday (4/6) 5 day average winds were from the east over the bulk of the equatorial Pacific but weaker over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral over the equatorial East Pacific and over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (4/7) Weak east anomalies were from 170E and points west of there covering the KWGA with weak west anomalies on the dateline. This pattern is to hold for the foreseeable future (through the end of the model run on 4/14) with west anomalies on the dateline collapsing by 4/12. This suggests a pattern change.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (4/6) A fading Active/Wet signal was over the dateline with the Inactive/Dry Phase over the Maritime Continent and pushing solidly in to the West Pacific. The statistical model depicts the Active signal fading steadily over the next 3 days with a moderate Inactive/Dry MJO signal building in the West Pacific at day 5 and filling the KWGA 10 days out and holding if not building through the end of the 15 day run. The dynamic model depicts the same thing but then with the Inactive Phase fading 10 days out and a weak Active Phase over the KWGA 15 days out.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/7) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO fairly strong in strength over the far East Pacific. It is to track east steadily over the next 15 days moving into the Indian Ocean 7 days out and weak the to the Maritime Continent at the end of the model run. The GEFS model depicts the same track and speed but with the Active Phase moving to the West Pacific 15 days out.
40 day Upper Level Model: (4/7) This model depicts a new moderate Inactive Phase developing in the far West Pacific migrating east to the East Pacific through 5/1. After that a moderate Active Phase is forecast moving into the West Pacific 4/23 easing east to the East Pacific and into Central America at the end of the model run on 5/17. This model runs about 1-2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (4/7) This model depicted a weak Active Phase was just past it's peak on the dateline with weak west anomalies from the KWGA over the dateline and eastward to Central America. Beyond a modest Inactive Phase is to set up in the KWGA 4/13-5/5 but with neutral to weak west anomalies in control in the KWGA. No east anomalies are forecast. A weak pattern to follow with weak west anomalies still in control. Perhaps a stronger Active Phase to develop 5/25 holding through the end of the model run on 7/5 with west anomalies strengthening in the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates a modest low pressure bias over the bulk of the KWGA at 170E and is to push east steadily from here forward reaching the dateline 4/15 with the high pressure bias already east of the dateline and out of the KWGA. This is hugely good news. Basically the La Nina bias is to be gone in 1 weeks. The expectation is that the atmosphere and ocean will begin to be coupled in over the next 3 months in a more favorable configuration towards storm production in the Pacific.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/7) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 29-30 degs at 160E. The 28 deg isotherm line is steady at 180W and steep but also showing signs of trying to east east with the surface line moving to 178W. The 24 deg isotherm was building in thickness while making significant eastward progress at 95 meters deep at 140W and now to 75 meters deep at 120W dropping to 25 meters into Ecuador. Anomaly wise in the East Pacific negative temperatures are effectively gone and what is left is steadily loosing coverage as warm waters from a Kelvin Wave are building in from the west at depth. Warm anomalies were holding in the West at +3.0 degs at 165E down 150 meters pushing east with +2 deg anomalies reaching east to 120W down 75 meters and starting to erupt at the surface near 110W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/3 depicts warm water in the west at +4.0 degs at 165W reaching east to 115W pushing up to 50 m deep the trying to breach the surface near 105W. Cool water was holding in one shallow pocket in the East Pacific off Ecuador near 100W but otherwise isolated and cutoff by the approaching Kelvin Wave. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data.
Sea Level Anomalies: (4/3) Positive anomalies were over the West equatorial Pacific at +5-10 cms centered at 160W reaching east to 115W. Neutral anomalies were east of there except for negative anomalies at -5 cms over the Galapagos and extending east to Peru. The La Nina cool pool is all but gone.

Surface Water Temps: The more warm water in the equatorial East Pacific means more storm production in the North Pacific during winter months (roughly speaking). Cold water in that area has a dampening effect. Regardless of what the atmospheric models and surface winds suggest, actual water temperatures are a ground-truth indicator of what is occurring in the ocean. All data is from blended infrared and microwave sensors.
Satellite Imagery
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4: (4/6) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a pocket of cool anomalies was along the immediate coast of Peru reaching northwest up to the Galapagos and ending there and continuing to fade. Of much interest is a building pool of warm anomalies developing on the oceans surface on and just south of the equator near 100W reaching almost to Peru. This is likely the start of a defined eruption point for a large Kevin Wave directly below. Warm anomalies were also along the immediate coast of Central America and Mexico reaching to the dateline filling south to 1-2N along the equator. Cool anomalies on the equator were limited to points west of 120W mainly south of the equator - the last of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/6): A previous pocket of cooling near the Galapagos is gone. Strong warming was building along the equator from off Ecuador over the Galapagos out to 120W, then weaker but warming from there to the dateline. The breach point for a large Kelvin Wave was estimated near 100W-115W.
Hi-res Overview: (4/6) A pocket of cool water is along the immediate coast of Peru reaching up to the Galapagos but covering less area than days past. Weak warming was further off the coast of Peru and reaching north to the equator at 100W. Warming was also along Ecuador and Central America filling the area north of the equator up into Mexico and east over the entirety of the equatorial Pacific. The La Nina core cool pocket was shrinking now mainly on the equator and south of there from 125W to barely the dateline looking like a Modoki La Nina (meaning the core of La Nina is advecting west and dissipating). Overall the cooling pattern is steadily loosing density and drifting west.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/7) Today's temps were falling some to -0.922 after rising 4/3 to -0.069. Prior to that temp had fallen hard to -2.364 degs on 3/25, the coldest of any point in this La Nina. Previous cool peaks were on 3/12 at -1.5 degs retreating from the peak of the first Kelvin Wave hitting at +0.898 degrees on 2/28. Overall temps had been steadily marching upwards since late December. Temps in this area bottomed out on 12/23 at -2.1 degs, a third near peak negative reading. The lowest point so far in this La Nina was -2.248 degs reached on 11/5. And that low point was lower than the previous coldest point reached on 10/11 at -1.9 degs.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/7) Today temps were rising some at -0.431 degs, part of a steady 2 week increase. A weak surge in temps occurred 1/12-1/28 reaching up to -0.600 deg range. But since then temps backed off some. Previously a peak low was observed on 1/10-1/12 to -1.577. On (12/7) temps hit a previous record low at -1.219, just below the previous coldest peak so far this La Nina on 11/22 at -1.156. And the third previous low peak was reached at -1.1 on 11/23. The long arc suggests perhaps a rising pattern. La Nina is in control, but it's taking a hit.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/7) The forecast depicts temps bottomed out at -0.75 in Nov 2017 and have been slowly rebounding since, up to -0.55 in early Feb. In mid-March a sharp increase developed rising to -0.25 in early April. The model indicates temps steadily rising from here forward to neutral in early June, hovering there then starting to rise into the Fall to +0.25 degs in Oct and to +0.5 degs later in Nov. This suggests the peak of La Nina occurred in 2017 and is to fade out in the early Summer of 2018 before turning weakly positive in the Fall. The odds of a 3 year La Nina developing are rare (3 year La Ninas 17%, 2 year La Ninas 50%, 1 year La Ninas 33% 1951-2017). This model is now falling inline with all the others suggesting La Nina is to die this Spring.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-March Plume depicts temps at -0.5 degs and are to slowly rise, to +0.0 in May and +0.2 in August and +0.5 in November. See chart here - link. It looks like La Nina is fading out. The CFSv2 is in the low end of that pack.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (4/7): The daily index was steady at 16.65. The 30 day average was rising to 11.73 suggesting the Inactive Phase of the MJO was building. The 90 day average was rising some at 5.46 suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern biased towards La Nina.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (4/5) This index was rising slightly at -1.02 down from -1.13 on 3/27. Still this is down from -0.33 in late Feb, but was up from -1.11 on 1/29. The trend suggests La Nina is not gone, but possibly also reflects the last of the cool subsurface water being squeezed to the surface from an approaching large Kelvin Wave. Last years La Nina reached -1.94 on 11/2/16 and then fell to -2.20 on 6/28/17. It held pretty negative through Jan 2018. This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina events. The goal is to have it rise to at least -0.5 before a significant change could be suggested.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly positive, even though La Nina is in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.12, Feb = +0.05, March = +0.14, April=+0.53, May=+0.29, June=+0.21, July= -0.50, Aug= -0.62, Sept = -0.25, Oct= -0.61, Nov = -0.45, Dec= -0.13, Jan=+0.29, Feb=-0.10. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO, even with La Nina, because the warm PDO appears to be dampening the effects of La Nina. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington EDU index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.77, Feb = +0.70, Mar = +0.74, April=+1.12, May=+0.88, June=+0.79, July=+0.10, Aug=+0.09, Sept = +0.32, Oct=+0.05, Nov = +0.15, Dec = +0.50, Jan +0.70. Feb +0.37. No negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data strongly suggests that could be a possibility. By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool

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

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