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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, April 14, 2020 5:12 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 & 2.5 - Hawaii
Using the 'Summer' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

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

Issued for Week of Monday 4/13 thru Sun 4/19

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   

Second NPac Gale Developing
Multiple SPac Swells Radiating North

On Tuesday, April 14, 2020 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 2.5 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 1.7 ft @ 10.3 secs from 223 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 5.1 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 3.7 ft @ 9.1 secs from 324 degrees. Water temp 76.8 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.2 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 0.8 ft @ 15.4 secs from 182 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 8-10 kts. Water temperature 60.1 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 2.9 ft @ 8.1 secs from 296 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 0.9 ft @ 16.2 secs from 205 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 0.7 ft @ 16.8 secs from 198 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 1.3 ft @ 16.2 secs from 185 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 4.9 ft @ 7.7 secs with swell 4.0 ft @ 6.8 secs from 315 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was north at 6-8 kts. Water temp 52.0 degs (013), 54.7 degs (012) and 56.3 degs (042).

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

Swell Classification Guidelines

Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
- 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 (4/14) in North and Central CA local windswell was producing surf at thigh high on the sets and clean but very weak. Protected breaks were thigh high and soft but clean. All parking lots closed. At Santa Cruz waves were flat to knee high and clean. Beaches are closed. In Southern California/Ventura waves were maybe thigh high and and soft and crumbled with a light northerly flow producing modest texture. In North Orange Co waves were waist high or so and soft and inconsistent but clean with no winds early. Orange Country's best summertime breaks were thigh high on the sets and pretty heavily textured from northwest winds early. Beaches were closed. North San Diego was flat and clean. All beaches closed. Hawaii's North Shore had set waves to chest high and clean and lined up and occasionally rideable at select breaks. The South Shore was near thigh high and tattered from south winds. The East Shore was getting east windswell with waves waist high and clean with light southeast wind.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (4/14) in California and Hawaii no swell of interest was hitting either location. Looking forward up north a gale is developed just west of the dateline Sun-Mon (4/13) producing up to 32 ft seas aimed east. Swell is radiating east towards Hawaii and the US West Coast. And another gale is developing right behind it forecast tracking northeast from Japan to the dateline Tues-Thurs (4/16) producing up to 34 ft seas aimed east. Nothing else to follow. Down south a small gale developed on the eastern edge of the CA swell window on Tues (4/7) producing up to 29-30 ft seas aimed northeast. Some tiny swell is tracking north. A small storm formed south of the Tasman Sea tracking east Thurs-Sat (4/11) producing a small area of up to 50 ft seas aimed east then faded as it moved into the exposed Southwest Pacific. Low odds of small swell radiating northeast. The Tasman Sea storm then tracked east and weakly regrouped in the far Southeast Pacific on Mon (4/13) producing only 25 ft seas aimed mostly northeast. Nothing likely to result. And another small gale spun up just east of New Zealand on Mon-Tues (4/14) generating a tiny area of up to 38 ft seas aimed well northeast. More swell seems likely favoring Hawaii this time. But beyond literally no swell producing weather systems are forecast.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday (4/14) small swell from a gale that racked towards the dateline was radiating east and southeast (see Dateline Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours another small gale started building while pushing east off South Japan on Mon AM (4/13) with 35 kt west winds and seas on the increase. In the evening west winds built some at 35-40 kts over a small area with seas 26 ft at 33N 148E aimed east. The gale started lifting east-northeast on Tues AM (4/14) with 35-40 kt west winds over a small area and seas 27 ft at 34N 153E aimed east. The gale is to track east in the evening with 35-40 kt west winds and seas 31 ft at 35.5N 159E aimed east. On Wed AM (4/15) the gale is to continue east with a decent sized area of west winds at 35-40 kts with seas 32 ft at 37N 165E aimed east. In the evening the gael is to build some producing a solid area of 40+ kt west winds and seas 33 ft at 40.5N 165.5E aimed east. On Thurs AM (4/16) the gale is to be approaching the dateline with 40 kt west winds and seas to 36 ft at 40.5N 171.5E aimed east. Fetch is to be dissipating in the evening on the dateline with west winds 30-35 kts and seas fading from 33 ft at 41.5N 179E aimed east. The gale to dissipate from there no longer producing seas of interest. Something to monitor.

Oahu: Swell arrival targeted for Sat (4/18) with swell building to 4.2 ft @ 16 secs later (6.5 ft). Swell Direction: 298-313 degrees with most energy from 312 degrees


Dateline Gale
On Sat AM (4/11) a gale developed mid-way to the dateline off North Japan producing west winds at 35-40 kts with seas building aimed east. In the evening the gale held position with 35-40 kt west winds and seas to 24 ft over a small area at 40N 171.5E aimed east. On Sun AM (4/12) the gale built some while easing east with 45 kt west winds and seas 29 ft at 44N 171E aimed east over a small area. Fetch was fading from 40 kts while easing east in the evening still not reaching even the dateline with seas 32 ft at 38N 170.5E aimed east. The gale was dissipating Mon AM (4/13) with west winds fading from 30-35 kts and seas 28 ft at 37.5N 176E aimed east. In the evening fetch is to fade from 30 kts from the northwest on the dateline with seas fading from 26 ft at 37N 178W. The gale dissipated from there. Possible small swell is to be radiating east targeting mainly Hawaii. Something to monitor.

Oahu: Expect swell arrival on Wed AM (4/15) reaching 6.3 ft @ 15-16 secs (9.5 ft ) late. Swell fading Thurs AM (4/16) from 5.6 ft @ 14 secs (8.0 ft) early. Residuals fading Fri AM (4/17) from 3.4 ft @ 12 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 307-310 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (4/17) building to 3.5 ft @ 16-17 secs later (5.5 ft) and very inconsistent. Swell peaking Sat AM (4/18) pushing 4.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (5.5 ft). and still pretty inconsistent. Swell fading Sun AM (4/19) from 2.8 ft @ 13 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 290-298 degrees


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


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Tues (4/14) a weak pressure gradient was along the CA coast producing north winds at 15-20 kts off North CA and 15 kts well off Central CA and forecast to hold all day. On Wed (4/15) the gradient is to build some with north winds 20-25 kts over and off North CA and 10 kts over Central CA. Thurs (4/16) the gradient is to build in coverage with north winds 20+ kts for North CA and down to Monterey Bay early and 10-15 kts south of there fading to 20 kts over CApe Mendocino later and 10+ kts south of there to Pt Conception. Fri (4/17) generally light winds from the northwest are forecast for the entire coast holding all day. Light snow possible for the Central Sierra late afternoon and overnight. No change on Sat or Sun (4/19) with light winds in control. Light rain possible for the Sierra Saturday afternoon and early evening and with snow developing over higher elevations Sun during the day and early evening. Mon (4/20) weak low pressure is to be just off Central CA producing a weak southerly flow over Central CA and east at 1-5 kts for North CA. Light rain developing Monday afternoon with snow for the Central Sierra in the afternoon and evening. On Tues (4/21) light winds are forecast for all of CA early but building to 15 kts from the north late afternoon. Light rain for Cape Mendocino starting mid-day.

Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 2, 2, 4 and 3 inches respectively.

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


South Pacific

On Tuesday (4/14) the southern branch of the jetstream was forming a cutoff trough reaching up just east of New Zealand being fed by 110 kt winds offering some support for gale development. But south of there the main body of the jet was tracking east down at 70S and over the northern edge of Antarctic Ice and the jet continued east from there to the Southeast Pacific before falling south into Antarctica at 125W. The remnants of a previous trough were still lifting north at 125W being fed by 120 kt south winds perhaps offering some support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours the ridge down at 70S is to hold while the trough east of New Zealand fades out later Wed (4/15) and the trough in the far Southeast Pacific tracks east out of the CA swell window resulting in no support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours the southern branch of the jet is to continue ridging zonally (west to east) down at 70S offering no support for gale development into late Sun (4/19). Then starting starting Mon (4/20) a ridge is to be building southeast of New Zealand pushing up to 53S but being fed by only 80-90 kts winds offering some weak support for gale development till the end of the model run on Tues (4/21) evening. At least the ridge is to be gone.


Surface Analysis
Small swell is radiating north from a gale that developed previously in the far Southeast Pacific (see Southeast Pacific Gale below). Another swell is right behind from a gale that tracked east under New Zealand (see New Zealand Gale below). Reinforcing swell is radiating north from the Southeast Pacific (see Another Southeast Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours starting Mon AM (4/13) a storm started building just southeast of the southern tip of New Zealand producing a small area of 45-50 kt south winds and seas building from 33 ft at 525S 174.5E aimed north. In the evening winds were 45 kts from the south over a small area producing 38 ft seas at 50.5S 172.5E aimed north. On Tues AM (4/14) southwest winds were lifting north fast at 40 kts with seas 36 ft over a tiny area at 46.5S 175.5E aimed northeast. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 35-40 kts over a small area aimed northeast with seas fading from 34 ft at 42S 179.5W aimed northeast. The gale is to be gone after that. Something to monitor.


Southeast Pacific Gale
On Mon PM (4/7) a small gale started building in the Southeast Pacific lifting hard northeast with 40+ kt south winds and seas building from 20 ft at 66S 142W aimed northeast. On Tues AM (4/7) the gael built to storm status with 45-50 kts south winds over a small area and seas building to 29 ft at 60S 130W lifting north-northeast. In the evening the gale was racing northeast with 40-45 kt south winds and seas 29-30 ft at 51S 120W aimed northeast. On Wed AM (4/8) the gael tracked hard northeast out of the CA swell window with 40-45 kt southwest winds and seas 32 ft at 44S 107W targeting Peru up into Central Amerrica.and no longer of interest to our forecast area. Swell is radiating north towards CA.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (4/14) building to 2.2 ft @ 16 secs (3.5 ft). Wed (4/15) building to 1.6 ft @ 17 secs later (2.5 ft). Swell building Thurs (4/16) to 2.6 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.0 ft). Swell to continue on Fri (4/17) at 2.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5 ft) holding all day. Swell fading on Sat (4/18) from 2.3 ft @ 13 secs (3.0 ft). Dribbles on Sun (4/19) fading from 1.6 ft @ 12 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 180-185 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (4/14) building to 2.0 ft @ 16-17 secs late (3.0 ft). Wed (4/15) swell is to be building to 2.3 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft). Swell building Thurs (4/16) to 2.3 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft). Swell to continue on Fri (4/17) at 2.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5 ft) holding all day. Swell fading on Sat (4/18) from 2.3 ft @ 13 secs (3.0 ft). Dribbles on Sun (4/19) fading from 1.8 ft @ 12-13 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 175-180 degrees


New Zealand Gale
On Thurs PM (4/9) a storm started developing in a trough well south of the Tasman Sea producing 50-55 kt west winds over a modest sized area and seas building to 50 ft at 57.5S 148E aimed due east and on the 218 degree track to CA. The gale faded some on Fri (4/10) with west winds 45 kts and seas 46 ft at 59S 160E aimed east (214-216 degs CA). In the evening 40 kt west winds continued tracking east over a solid area with 42 ft seas fading at 60S 172E aimed east (209-210 degs CA). The gale was dissipating Sat AM (4/11) with 35 kt west winds and seas fading from 40 ft at 60S 177.5E aimed east. Remnants of this gale are to be racing east from there. At best some tiny southwest swell could possibly result but this system is a very long ways away meaning much swell decay should be expected. Something to monitor.

Southern CA: Expect tiny indications of swell starting on Sat (4/18) late building to 1 ft @ 22 secs (2.0 ft). Swell building Sun (4/19) to 1.6 ft @ 20 secs mid-AM (3.0 ft). Swell building on Mon (4/20) to 1.9 ft @ 17-18 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell continues Tues (4/21) building to 2.3 ft @ 16-17 secs later (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 219 degrees

North CA: Expect tiny indications of swell starting on Sat (4/18) late building to 1 ft @ 22 secs (2.0 ft). Swell building Sun (4/19) to 1.5 ft @ 20-21 secs (3.0 ft). Swell building on Mon (4/20) to 1.9 ft @ 17-18 secs (3.0-3.5 ft) later. Swell continues Tues (4/21) building to 2.1 ft @ 16-17 secs later (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 218 degrees


Another Southeast Pacific Gale
Remnants of the New Zealand Gale (see above) started reorganizing over the Southeast Pacific on Sun AM (4/12) producing a broad fetch of 30+ kts southwest winds with seas building from 26 ft at 61S 151W aimed east. In the evening fetch built to 30-35 kts from the southwest with seas 27 ft at 65S 140W aimed east-northeast. On Mon AM (4/13) 30 kt southwest winds were lifting northeast with seas 25 ft at 60S 132W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch was tracking northeast and fading at 30 kts with seas fading from 23 ft at 55S 127W aimed northeast. On Tues AM (4/14) this system was gone. Small swell to radiate northeast. This swell to mix with the previous Southeast Pacific swell (see above) for California.


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 fetch of interest is forecast.


South Pacific

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


MJO/ENSO Forecast


Inactive MJO Developing

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

Overview: A double dip La Nina was in control through the Winter of 2017-2018. But warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018 associated with two upwelling Kelvin Waves, and continued trying to build over equatorial waters over the Summer and Fall, but not enough to declare El Nino and not coupled with the atmosphere. In January 2019, those warm waters were fading, but then rebuilt late in Feb associated with Kelvin Wave (#3). But as of early June 2019 warm water was fading and by August a tongue of cool water was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos reaching to a point nearly south of Hawaii. El Nino was dead. A bit of a recovery occurred during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water hold in a pool off Peru and has not changed as of late Jan 2020.

Fall/Winter 2019/2020 = 5.0/4.0 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)

Rationale: It is assumed the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that a weak borderline El Nino from 2018 is fading out, but not yet completely gone, especially in the atmosphere. Likewise it looks like a La Nina ocean temperature pattern is developing in the equatorial East Pacific, with cooler than normal waters tracking west on the equator. We assumed El Nino like momentum will hold for a while in the atmosphere will take a while to sense that the ocean temperature pattern has changed. But once it does, a turn towards a La Nina like atmospheric pattern will start to develop. that transition is expected in the late Nov-early Dec timeframe. Even so, moderation from the PDO might prevent La Nina from fully developing. Given all that, there is decent probability for a normal start to the Fall surf season (in the Northern Hemisphere) meaning a normal amount of number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in a normal levels of swell, with normal duration and normal period. But by mid-Dec 2019, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start fading and as a result, swell production should fade slightly as well. This pattern is expected to hold through April 2020.

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 (4/13) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific and then solid east over the Dateline and KWGA. Anomalies were moderately easterly over the far East equatorial Pacific fading to neutral over the Central Pacific continuing over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (4/14) modest to moderate east anomalies were over the KWGA. The forecast calls for east anomalies holding unchanged if not solidifying filling the KWGA through the end of the model run on 4/21.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (4/13) A weak Active MJO was fading over the dateline today with a moderate Inactive Phase building over the Western KWGA. The statistic model indicates the Inactive Phase is to track east filling the KWGA for the next 15 days and possibly building at the end of the model run on day 15. The dynamic model indicates the same thing but with the Inactive Phase starting to fade to weak status at day 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/14) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over North Africa today and is to track steadily east while holding strength over the Central Indian Ocean at day 15. The GEFS model suggests the same thing initially but with the Active Phase pushing faster east and a little stronger reaching the West to Central Maritime Continent at day 15 at weak strength.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (4/14) This model depicts a fading Active Phase was pushing into Central America today with the Inactive Phase filling the western 2/3rds of the equatorial Pacific. The Inactive Phase is to track east while holding strength pushing into Central America on 4/9. The Active Phase is to move east over the West Pacific starting 5/9 tracking to the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 5/24. A moderate Inactive Phase is supposed to start building in the West Pacific at that time.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/13) This model depicts a modest Active MJO pattern was over the KWGA today but with no west anomalies indicated and instead east anomalies were filling the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Active Phase is to be racing east and out of the KWGA on 4/15 with east anomalies building in coverage over the core of the KWGA. A neutral MJO pattern is forecast to follow but with east anomalies filling the KWGA in pockets getting pretty solid 4/22-4/31 then weaker but still holding through the end of the model run on 5/11.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/9 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a weak Active MJO pattern was over the KWGA today but with weak east anomalies in-play. Beyond the Active Phase is forecast fading on 4/23 but with weak west anomalies developing in the KWGA starting 4/26. A modest Inactive Phase/Pattern is to develop 4/25 holding through 6/5 but with weak west anomalies forecast and no east anomalies indicated. The Active Phase is to start building 5/27 in the far West KWGA slowly building east and filling the KWGA and holding till 6/17 with modest west anomalies developing. A weak Inactive Phase is forecast 6/18-6/28 with east anomalies building, then followed directly by a strong Active Phase 6/26 through the end of the model run on 7/12 with west anomalies in control. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias with 1 contour line in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to the California coast. This contour line is to hold till 5/17, then collapse to nothing and holding that way through the end of the model run. A high pressure bias previously that has been over the Indian Ocean since last Fall is to hold till May 15, then dissipate. East anomalies set up in the Indian Ocean last Fall and held through Jan 10, 2020, then started to become more episodic and are to continue that way, then fading on 5/20 while a more regular and stronger oscillation of the Active and Inactive Phases sets up in the Indian Ocean pushing into the West Pacific. East anomalies are to start building solidly over the East Pacific mid-May reaching west to the the dateline and even into the core of the KWGA by the end of the model run.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/14) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm was shallow with remnants reaching east to 165E. The 29 deg isotherm was steady at 179W today. The 28 deg isotherm line was back to being a brick wall aligned and steady at 160W today. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador. Anomaly wise, Kelvin Wave #6 was fading while pushing into the East Equatorial Pacific at +1.0 degs but with other nondescript warm water tracking from the Maritime Continent under the dateline merging with the tail of Kelvin Wave #6. The net effect was warm water was filling the entire equatorial subsurface Pacific but getting progressively shallower at 105 meters deep on the dateline and lifting shallower east of there today. A large pocket of cool water at -2 degs was deep at 160W today tracking east with it's leading edge at 95W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/8 indicates warm water had formed a Kelvin Wave with warm water falling from 120E down into the dateline at 110 m deep peaking in the East Pacific at +2-3 degrees then pushing and rising east to 100W and likely now stationary. A pocket of cool water was east of there associated with the upwelling phase of the previous Kelvin Wave Cycle. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (4/8) No positive or negative anomalies were indicated on the equatorial Pacific, suggestive of no Kelvin Waves in flight.

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: (4/13) The latest images indicate warm anomalies were modest along the coast of Chile up into Peru and fading in intensity from days past with warm anomalies continuing up off Ecuador up into Central America. A pocket of cool water was embedded pushing from north from Peru up to a point off Ecuador and from Panama south to Ecuador and then west approaching but not reaching the Galapagos and weaker than days past. Markedly warmer water was aligned on the equator from there to the dateline. A broad pocket of cool anomalies was still south of the equator off Peru with a mirror image of it off California and Baja.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/13): Weak cooling was along Chile and Peru streaming north to a point just east of the Galapagos. Warming was confined to a pocket on the equator from 110W to 150W. The short term trend is looking like a mix of warming and cooling with cooling taking limited control.
Hi-res Overview: (4/13) A pocket of cool anomalies is fading fast well off Peru. A stronger pocket of cooling was off California and Baja Mexico out to 140W. Warm anomalies were building along Chile and Peru then stronger off Ecuador and Central America up to Mainland Mexico out over the Galapagos. A cool pocket was building streaming north from Peru to a point just east of the Galapagos. Warmer than normal water were tracking from the Galapagos out to the dateline and beyond. Water temps appear to be stable and if anything looking more like El Nino that anything previous over the past few months. But the cool tongue remains of concern especially given it's occasional bursts of periodic strengthening. Overall the data suggests a mixture of fading El Nino and possible building La Nina.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/14) Today's temps were falling today at +0.006, down from a warmer range near +0.6 degs between 2/25-3/26. Previously temps had been toggling near neutral. It appears we were in a rising or at least warmer trend, but that is now fading.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(4/14) Temps were rising today at +0.620. Temps previously were in the +0.3 degree range but rose to the +0.5-+0.6 degree range 3/12-4/8.

Click for Full Sized Image Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/14) Actual's indicate temperatures were steady at +0.65 degs Jan 1 2020 till April 1. The forecast depicts temps falling starting April 1, down to 0.0 in early May then diving negative appearing to be moving strongly to La Nina down at -1.25 in early Oct dropping to -1.50 degs Dec 1. According to this model a neutral sea surface temperature pattern biased slightly warm is forecast for Spring of 2020 but falling strongly towards La Nina in the core of Summer.
IRI Consensus Plume: The March 19, 2020 Plume depicts temps are at +0.30 degs, and are to slow fade to neutral +0.00 in June 2020, then falling some to -0.15 degs in the October 2020 timeframe. 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) (4/14): The daily index was positive today at +7.21 and positive the last 7 days, but was negative for 24 days previous. The 30 day average was rising at -5.56. The 90 day average was rising some at -2.98, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was developing.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): Feb 2020 +0.69, Jan +0.44, Dec 2019 +0.46, Nov +1.03, Oct +0.27 Sept +1.11, August +0.60, July +0.75, June -0.32, May +1.10, April +0.30, March +1.0, Feb +1.29, Jan +0.193. This index has been steadily positive but still indicates mostly ENSO neutral conditions (not El Nino).

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
Per NOAAs index recent values: Jan 2018 +0.29, Feb -0.19, Mar -0.61, April -0.89, May -0.69, June -0.85, July -0.09, Aug -0.43, Sept -0.46, Oct -0.75, Nov -0.78, Dec -0.12, Jan 2019 -0.18, Feb -0.50 Mar -0.23, April +0.10, May +0.14, June -0.11, July +0.44, Aug -0.14, Sept +0.05, Oct -0.96, Nov -0.28, Dec +0.01, Jan 2020 -1.17, This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2018 +0.70. Feb +0.37, Mar -0.05, April +0.11, May +0.11, June -0.04, July +0.11, Aug +0.18, Sept +0.09. No real negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data strongly suggests that could be a possibility. By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 


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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