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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, April 21, 2020 5:39 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
2.5 - California & 3.0 - 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   

Japan Swell Hitting CA
Small New Zealand Swell Pushing into CA

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Tuesday, April 21, 2020 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 3.7 ft @ 16.7 secs with swell 2.5 ft @ 16.4 secs from 196 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.6 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 2.9 ft @ 12.2 secs from 313 degrees. Water temp 76.8 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.9 ft @ 5.9 secs with swell 1.6 ft @ 16.7 secs from 201 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 16-21 kts. Water temperature 60.4 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 4.8 ft @ 16.8 secs from 282 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.9 ft @ 17.1 secs from 233 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.2 ft @ 17.2 secs from 205 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 1.9 ft @ 17.3 secs from 237 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 9.2 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 6.4 ft @ 15.8 secs from 287 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 18-21 kts. Water temp 52.2 degs (013), 55.0 degs (012) and 56.8 degs (042).

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

Swell Classification Guidelines

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

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

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
Current Conditions
On Tuesday (4/21) in North and Central CA Japan swell was hitting with sets in the head high range and occasionally a little more and pretty warbled if not nearly whitecapped from northwest wind. Protected breaks were waist to maybe chest high and really warbled from northwest winds and hardly rideable. All parking lots closed. At Santa Cruz waves were 1-2 ft overhead and lined up but a bit funky from tide with reasonably clean surface conditions but alot of warble outside the kelp. In Southern California/Ventura waves were maybe waist high but heavily textured and warbled though local wind was near calm. In North Orange Co waves were waist to chest high coming from the north and junky and soft with light northwest wind early. Orange Country's best summertime breaks were chest high and fairly clean and lined up but with some northerly texture on top. Beaches were closed. North San Diego was thigh to waist high on the sets and fairly clean but not real rideable. All beaches closed. Hawaii's North Shore was getting the tail end of swell coming from Japan with waves head high to 1 ft overhead and clean and lined up but a little inconsistent. The South Shore was chest high or so and clean and peeling but a bit inconsistent. The East Shore was flat and fairly clean with light southeast winds.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (4/21) in California swell was showing originating from a gale that developed tracking northeast from Japan to the dateline Tues-Thurs (4/16) producing up to 35 ft seas aimed east. In Hawaii the remnants of that swell was fading but still rideable. Another gale developed in the far Northwestern Gulf Sun-Mon (4/2) producing 25 ft seas aimed southeast. And another is falling southeast on the dateline Mon-Tues (4/121) with up to 28 ft seas. So there's still some swell to come. Down south 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. Small swell is starting to hit California. And another small gale spun up just east of New Zealand on Mon-Tues (4/14) generating a tiny area of 36-38 ft seas aimed well northeast. Swell is poised to hit Hawaii. But beyond no swell producing weather systems are forecast.

See all the details below...

 

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

North Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis
On Tuesday (4/21) swell from a gale that pushed off Japan was hitting California (see Japan Gale below). Also swell from a gale that developed over the dateline falling southeast was pushing towards Hawaii and CA (see Dateline Gale below).

 

Over the next 72 hours another small gale started falling southeast on Mon PM (4/20) over the dateline producing northwest winds at 30-35 kts producing a small area of 25 ft seas at 44N 178E aimed southeast. On Tues AM (4/21) the gale was falling southeast fast producing northwest winds at 35-40 kts with seas 28 ft at 41N 177.5W aimed southeast. Fetch is to be fading in the evening from 30-35 kts with the gale tracking more easterly with seas 25 ft at 39N 174W targeting primarily Hawaii. Fetch is to be fading out on Wed AM (4/22) with seas from previous fetch fading from 21 ft at 37N 167W aimed southeast.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (4/23) with swell 8.4 ft @ 14-15 secs mid-day (12 ft) and holding. Swell fading on Fri (4/24) fading from .6.2 ft @ 13 secs (8.0 ft). Residuals on Sat (4/25) fading from 4.1 ft @ 11 secs (4.5 ft). Dribbles on Sun (4/26) fading from 3.0 ft @ 10 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 335 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on later on Sat (4/25) building to 2.8 ft @ 15 secs (4.0 ft). Swell peaking on Sun (4/26) at 3.9 ft @ 12-13 secs (5.0 ft) and being overridden by local windswell. Swell Direction: 290 degrees

 

Japan Gale
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 tracked 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 continued east with a decent sized area of west winds at 35-40 kts with seas 32 ft at 36.5N 164E aimed east. In the evening the gale built some while lifting northeast producing a solid area of 40+ kt west winds and seas 32 ft at 40N 166E aimed east. On Thurs AM (4/16) the gale was approaching the dateline with 40 kt west winds and seas to 34 ft at 40.5N 171.5E aimed east. Fetch is to be dissipating in the evening on the dateline with west winds 35 kts and seas fading from 31 ft at 41N 177.5E aimed east. The gale to be dissipating Fri AM (4/17) producing 35 kt west winds and seas fading from 26 ft at 42.5N 179.5E. After that the gale is to be gone. Possible swell radiating towards Hawaii and the US West Coast.

Oahu: Maybe some lingering energy on Tues AM (4/21) fading from 5.6 ft @ 11-12 secs (6.0 ft). Swell Direction: 298-313 degrees with most energy from 312 degrees

North CA: Swell peaking on Tues (4/21) at 5.0 ft @ 16 secs early (8.0 ft). Swell fading on Wed (4/22) from 3.8 ft @ 14 secs (5.0 ft). Swell Direction: 293-296 degrees

 

Dateline Gale
A small gale developed Sun AM (4/19) in the far Northwestern Gulf of Alaska producing a moderate size area of northwest winds at 30-35 kts aimed southeast with seas building from 20 ft at 44N 172W aimed southeast. In the evening the gale built producing a modest area of 30-35 kt northwest winds with seas building to 22 ft at 41N 173.5W aimed southeast. Fetch expanded some on Mon AM (4/20) at 30-35 kts from the northwest with 25 ft seas at 41.5N 174W aimed southeast. The gale was fading in the evening with 30 kts west winds and seas 23 ft at 42N 166W aimed east. The gale faded from there. Small swell has been generated tracking southeast towards Hawaii and the US West Coast.

Oahu: Expect swell arrival late on Wed (4/22) building to 7.3 ft @ 13 secs (9.0 ft) midday. Swell fading slowly on Thurs AM (4/23) but being overridden by another swell. from 7.3 ft @ 12-13 secs (9.0 ft) and being overrun by new swell. Swell Direction: 320 degrees.

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (4/24) building to 4.7 ft @ 14 secs early (6.5 ft). Swell fading on Sat (4/25) fading from 3.2 ft @ 12 secs (3.5). Swell gone after that. Swell Direction: 290 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 (4/21) a gradient is to weakly build with northwest winds 15 kts over North CA and 15-20 kts from Big Sur southward building to 15-20 kts up north and 20+ kts over Central CA. On Wed (4/22) no real change is forecast with northwest winds 15 kts for North CA early and 20 kts for Central CA holding all day. Rain expected for Cape Mendocino during the day. Thurs (4/23) the gradient is to build solidly with north winds 20 kts for all of North CA and 20-25 kts for Central CA pushing near 30 kts in the afternoon. No precip forecast. Fri (4/24) northwest winds to be 20-25 kts for all of North and Central CA holding all day. On Sat (4/25) northwest winds to be 20 kts for all of North and Central CA fading to 10-15 kts for North CA later. On Sun (4/26) northwest winds are to continue at 15+ kts for North CA and 20+ kts for Central CA early and 20+ kts for both location later in the afternoon. No change on Monday (4/27). On Tues (4/28) the gradient is to lift north over North CA with northwest winds 20 kts there and only 10 kts for Central CA.

Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 0, 0, 0 and 0 inches respectively.

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

 

South Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Tuesday (4/21) the southern branch of the jetstream was tracking zonally west to east well south of New Zealand down at 65S continuing the whole way across the width of the South Pacific and very weak with no trough indicated suggesting there was no upper level support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours a very weak trough is forecast forming over the Central South Pacific on Thurs (4/23), but with winds so weak feeding up into it so as to offer no support for gale development. And even that trough is to be fading and falling south by Fri (4/24). Beyond 72 hours the jet is to be again displaced well south down at 70S over the bulk of the South Pacific through Mon (4/27) and then starting to ridge even further south over the Central South Pacific with a new ridge pushing hard south from Tasmania under New Zealand with winds at 110 kts bound for Antarctica. There no real hope for gale development given the MJO situation (see MJO forecast below).

 

Surface Analysis
Small swell is building in California 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). And another swell is radiating north from a gale previously along New Zealand (See New Zealand Gale below).

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

 

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: Swell continues Tues (4/21) building to 2.2 ft @ 16-17 secs later (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell fading some on Wed (4/22) from 2.0 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Thurs (4/23) from 1.7 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 219 degrees

North CA: Swell continues Tues (4/21) building to 2.1 ft @ 16-17 secs later (3.5 ft). Swell fading some on Wed (4/22) from 1.6-2.0 ft @ 15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell fading on Thurs (4/23) from 1.4 ft @ 14 secs (2.0 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.

 

New Zealand Gale
Starting Mon AM (4/13) a storm developed 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.

Hawaii: On Tues (4/21) swell peaking at 2.3 ft @ 16 secs early (3.5 ft). Swell fading on Wed (4/22) from 2.0 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft). Dribbles on Thurs (4/23) fading from 1.6 ft @ 13 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 200 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival late on Thurs (4/23) building to 1.0 ft @ 17-18 secs late (1.5 ft). Swell holding on Fri (4/24) at 1.2 ft @ 16 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell fading Sat (4/25) from 1.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (1.5 ft). Swell Direction: 222 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival late on Thurs (4/23) building to 1.0 ft @ 17-18 secs late (1.5 ft). Swell fading Fri (4/24) from 1.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (1.5 ft). Swell Direction: 220 degrees

 

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

 

QuikCAST's

 

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

North Pacific

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

 

South Pacific

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

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

Inactive MJO Building - Warm Anomalies Remain Solid on Equator

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.

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

Rationale: It is assumed the PDO has moved to the warm phase in 2014 and that a weak borderline El Nino from 2018 faded out in the Fall of 2019. A La Nina like ocean temperature pattern developed in the equatorial East Pacific in the summer of 2019, then faded and returned to a neutral if not weak warm status during the Winter of 2019-2020. We have been suspecting a turn towards a La Nina like atmospheric pattern to develop in the late Winter/early Spring of 2020. Our best hope is that moderation from the warm phase of the PDO might tamp down development of a full blown La Nina as we move into 2020. Given all that, for 2020 there is decent probability for development of La Nina meaning a reduced number of storm days and storm intensity during the summer season, resulting in a below normal level of swell, with swell being below normal duration and period. And by the Fall and early Winter of 2020, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should fade even more, resulting in depressed swell production. This pattern is expected to hold through the end of 2020 if not longer.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (4/20) 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 weak westerly over the far East equatorial Pacific fading to neutral over the Central Pacific then neutral over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (4/21) modest to moderate east anomalies were over the KWGA. The forecast calls for east anomalies holding unchanged filling the KWGA through the end of the model run on 4/28.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (4/20) A moderate Inactive Phase of the MJO was filling the West Pacific/KWGA today. The statistic model indicates the Inactive Phase is to track slightly east then stall in the core of the KWGA on day 5 building slowly through day 15 to strong status while a massive and strong Active Phase builds over the Indian Ocean. The dynamic model indicates the same thing initially but with the Inactive Phase starting to weaken at day 10 and then rapidly dissipating on day 15 of the model run with no MJO signal in the Indian Ocean. The two model are polar opposites of each other.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/21) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over Northeast Africa today and is to track slowly east while losing strength over the far East Indian Ocean at day 15. The GEFS model suggests the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (4/21) This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO was weakly filling the equatorial Pacific. The Inactive Phase is to track east while losing strength pushing into Central America on 4/26. A second pulse of the Inactive Phase is to develop right behind over the West Pacific 4/26 tracking east and into the Central America on 5/16. The Active Phase is to move east over the West Pacific starting 5/11 tracking to the East Pacific and into Central America on 5/26 and moderately strong. A strong Inactive Phase is supposed to start building in the West Pacific on 5/26.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/20) This model depicts no MJO signal in the KWGA today but with east anomalies present over the whole of the KWGA. The forecast indicates a weak Inactive MJO is to be building into the KWGA 4/25-5/7 with east anomalies steady in the modest to moderate range and building in coverage filling the KWGA during that window. At the end of the model run on 5/18 east anomalies are to have turned to neutral with hints of the Active Phase and west anomalies poised to move into the far West KWGA.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/21 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a building Inactive Phase of the MJO over the KWGA today with weak east anomalies in-play. Beyond the Inactive Phase/Pattern is to build holding through 5/16 with east anomalies forecast. The Active Phase is to start building 5/12 in the far West KWGA slowly building east and weakly filling the KWGA till 6/24 with weak to modest west anomalies developing. Another weak Active Pulse is to follow 7/2 through the end of the model run with weak west anomalies in control through the end of the model run on 7/19. 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 5/15, 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 16, 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 5/10, After that west anomalies are to start building in the core of the Indian Ocean holding into the end of the model run. East anomalies are to start building solidly over the East Pacific mid-May but now not migrating west, remaining stationary while west anomalies hold in the KWGA through the end of the model run.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/21) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm was less shallow reaching east to 158E. The 29 deg isotherm was reaching east to 178W today. The 28 deg isotherm line was easing east to 140W 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 down to 105 meters deep on the dateline getting progressively shallower east of there today. A large pocket of cool water at -3 degs was 150 meters deep at 150W today tracking east with it's leading edge at 106W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/13 indicates warm water had formed a Kelvin Wave with warm water falling from 120E down into the dateline at 100 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: (4/13) 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: (4/20) 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 stream of cool water was embedded pushing north from Peru up to a point off Ecuador and weaker than days past. Markedly warmer water was building solidly aligned on the equator from the Galapagos out to 140W and looking exactly like El Nino. A broad pocket of cool anomalies was all but gone south of the equator off Peru but with a solid but not unusual pocket of cool water off California and Baja.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/20): A neutral pattern was along Chile and Peru streaming north to a point just east of the Galapagos. Warming was on the equator from the Galapagos out to 150W but weaker than days past. The short term trend is looking like a fading warming pattern tracking west on the equator west of the Galapagos.
Hi-res Overview: (4/20) A previous pocket of cool anomalies is all but gone off Peru. A stronger pocket of cooling was off California and Baja Mexico out to 145W. Warm anomalies were building along Chile and Peru then stronger off Ecuador and Central America up to Mainland Mexico and markedly strong on the equator from the Galapagos out to 145W. Water temps appear to be stable and if anything looking almost like El Nino that anything previous over the past few months. Overall the data suggests a El Nino trend today.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/21) Today's temps were falling today at +0.310, but overall 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:
(4/21) Temps were falling today at +0.544. 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 (4/21) Actual's indicate temperatures were steady at +0.65 degs Jan 1 2020 through April 1 then falling in early April. The forecast depicts temps falling steadily from here forward, down to 0.0 in early May then diving negative down to -0,75 July 1 and moving strongly to La Nina down at -1.25 in early Oct dropping to -1.40 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 as Summer develops.
IRI Consensus Plume: The April 21, 2020 Plume depicts temps are at +0.30 degs, and are to slow fade to neutral +0.00 in August 2020, then holding there through December 2020. 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) (4/21): The daily index was positive today at +0.14. The 30 day average was rising at -3.77. The 90 day average was rising some at -2.37, 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): March 2020 -0.11, Feb +0.69, Jan +0.42, Dec 2019 +0.46, Nov +1.03, Oct +0.27 Sept +1.11, August +0.60, July +0.75, June -0.32, May +1.10, April +0.30, March +1.0, Feb +1.29, Jan +0.193. This index has been steadily positive but still indicates mostly ENSO neutral conditions (not El Nino).

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

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 

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


Powerlinessurf Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest

Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for the week starting Sunday (4/19):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqYUfFDm35U&feature=youtu.be&hd=1
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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing: https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/climate-change-good-surfing-other-sports-not-so-much-ncna1017131

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

Mavericks Invitational Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:
http://www.bloomberg.com/video/how-to-predict-the-best-surfing-waves-EsNiR~0xR5yXGOlOq2MqfA.html
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/surfs-up-for-mavericks-invitational-in-calif/

Time Zone Converter By popular demand we've built and easy to use time convert that transposes GMT time to whatever time zone you are located. It's ion left hand column on every page on the site near the link to the swell calculator.

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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