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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Sunday, April 25, 2021 3:21 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
2.5 - California & 2.0 - 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 4/26 thru Sun 5/2

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   

South Swell Fading in CA
Small New Zealand Swell Pushing Northeast

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Sunday, April 25, 2021 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 3.3 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 1.4 ft @ 14.5 secs from 204 degrees. Water temp 76.5 degs (Pearl Harbor 233), 77.4 (Lani 239)..
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.2 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 3.0 ft @ 8.8 secs from 161 degrees. Water temp 76.3 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.4 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 2.2 ft @ 16.1 secs from 179 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 4-6 kts. Water temperature 59.9 degs, 59.0 (Topanga 103), 59.5 degs (Long Beach 215), 61.9 (Del Mar 153). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.6 ft @ 16.4 secs from 186 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.7 ft @ 16.1 secs from 194 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 3.3 ft @ 16.2 secs from 182 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 3.3 ft @ 16.2 secs from 180 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 6.0 ft @ 18.2 secs with swell 3.9 ft @ 17.1 secs from 181 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was south at 8 kts. Water temp 50.0 (029), 52.5 degs (SF Bar) and 54.3 degs (Santa Cruz).

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

Swell Classification Guidelines

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

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

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
Current Conditions
On Sunday (4/25) North and Central CA had waves at waist to chest high and lightly warbled with moderate textured on top and mushed. Protected breaks were rarely thigh to maybe waist high and clean and soft. At Santa Cruz surf was chest high on the rare sets and lined up and clean. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist to chest high on the sets and lined up when they came and lightly textured but very inconsistent. Central Orange County had set waves at head high with long lines coming from the south but pretty textured and crumbled from northwest wind. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets from head high to maybe 2 ft overhead and lined up but pretty warbled and crumbled from northwest wind. North San Diego had sets waves at head high to 1 ft overhead and lined up but pretty warbled and nearly closed out. Hawaii's North Shore was flat with rare wrap around windswell peaks at waist to chest high and pretty lumpy. The South Shore had waist high sets and clean but with some sideshore warbled running through it. The East Shore was getting waist high easterly windswell and nearly chopped with moderate east trades blowing.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Sunday (4/25) California was getting southern hemi swell originating from the second of two systems that formed in the deep South Central Pacific Wed-Fri (4/16) producing up to 40 ft seas aimed northeast. But the solid south angle was not favorable north of Pt Conception and even south of there set consistency left much to be desired. Beyond a small gale developed under New Zealand on Tues PM (4/20) tracking east into Fri (4/23) over the Southeast Pacific with seas initially 33 ft fading then rebuilding to to 29 ft. Longer term a gale is forecast developing under New Zealand Sat-Sun (5/2) tracking northeast producing up to 34 ft seas. Up north in the far West Pacific a gale developed tracking off Japan Fri-Sat (4/23) with up to 24 ft seas aimed east. A tropical system behind it produced nothing targeting our forecast area. The models suggest a broader gale is to develop in the West Pacific on Tues-Wed (4/28) producing up to 38 ft seas aimed east but not reaching even the dateline. Otherwise no meaningful local northwest windswell is expected for CA or east windswell for HI during the workweek.

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 Sunday (4/25) no swell of interest was hitting Hawaii or California originating in the Northern Hemisphere.

A gale developed off Japan on Thurs PM (4/22) with 35-40 kt northwest winds and seas building from 24 ft over a tiny area at 34N 149E aimed southeast. On Fri AM (4/23) the gale was fading with 35 kt northwest winds and seas 21 ft near 30N 157E aimed southeast. The gale rebuilt briefly while tracking east in the evening with 35 kt northwest winds and seas 24 ft at 31N 161E aimed east. On Sat AM (4/24) the gale fell apart while tracking northeast fairly quickly with seas from previous fetch fading from 20 ft at 32N 168E.

Oahu: Expect swell arrival on Tues (4/27) building to 1.7 ft @ 15 secs later (2.5 ft). Swell peaking on Wed (4/28) at 2.1 ft @ 12-13 secs (2.5 ft). Swell fading on Thurs (4/29) but with local windswell intermixed pushing 3.2 ft @ 10-11 secs (3.0 ft). More windswell to follow (see QuikCASTs for details). Swell Direction: 300 degrees

Over the next 72 hours the remnants of Typhoon Surigae are supposed to redevelop turning extratropical resulting in Extratropical Storm Surigae half way between Japan and the dateline starting Mon PM (4/26) generating 50 kt northwest winds and seas building from 29 ft at 39N 155E aimed southeast. On Tues AM (4/27) west winds are to briefly hit 55 kts with 38 ft seas building over a decent sized area at 42N 162W aimed east. In the evening 40 kt west winds are forecast pushing east with seas 33 ft at 41N 167.5E aimed east. On Wed AM (4/28) west winds are to be fading from 35 kts approaching the dateline with 28 ft seas fading at 41N 168E aimed east. In the evening the gale is to be fading with seas fading from 23 ft at 40.5N 170.5 aimed east. Will believe it when it happens. Something to monitor.

 

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

 

Tropical Update
Typhoon Surigae was 180 nmiles east of the Central Philippines on Sun AM (4/18) producing 125 kt winds (143 mph) tracking slowly north-northwest after peaking Sat PM (3/17) with winds at 150 kts (172 mph). This is a testament to the warm ocean waters in the far West Pacific early this season and typical of La Nina. Surigae continued on as north-northwest track on Tues (4/20) 220 nmiles east of the Northern Philippines with winds to 110 kts. By Thurs (4/22) Surigae was 300 nmiles west of South Taiwan tracking northeast with winds 85 kts then turned east on Fri (4/23) with winds down to 60 kts continuing east-northeast and fading late Sat (4/24) with winds 40-45 kts and no longer of interest. On Sun AM (4/25) Surigae was 1000 nmiles east of Taiwan with winds 45 kts and forecast to redevelop while turning extratropical (see Extratropical Storm Surigae above). Something to monitor through no swell production is suggested for our forecast area. This system is all attributable to the Active Phase of the MJO over the KWGA (West Pacific) driving a Westerly Wind Burst (WWB).

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Mon (4/26) northwest winds are forecast at 10 kts early for North and Central CA early building to near 15 kts from Pt Reyes southward to Pt Conception in the afternoon. No meaningful windswell forecast. Light rain for Cape Mendocino early and scattered showers for the coast of Central CA early clearing everywhere in the afternoon. Inconsistent snow through the day for the Sierra.
  • Tues (4/27) northwest winds are forecast at 10 kts early for Cape Mendocino and then 15+ kts from Pt Arena southward early at 15+ kts for all of north and Central CA in the afternoon. No precip forecast. Maybe some scattered snow showers for the Southern Sierra
  • Wed (4/28) northwest winds are forecast at 15+ for North CA early and 10-15 kts from the Golden Gate down to Big Sur then 15-20 kts to Pt Conception early. In the late afternoon northwest winds are to be 15 kts for North and Central CA through 10 kts for Cape Mendocino. No precip forecast moving forward.
  • Thurs (4/29) northwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for North Ca and 15-20 kts for Central CA early holding at 15-20 kts from Pt Arena southward to Pt Conception in the afternoon.
  • Fri (4/30) northwest winds are forecast at 10 kts for Cape Mendocino early and 15-20 kts south of there to Pt Conception early holding all day.
  • Sat (5/1) No change forecast early but with northwest winds building to 20+ kts for all of North and Central CA later.
  • Sun (5/2) northwest winds are forecast at 25-30 kts from Pt Arena southward early with windswell starting to develop.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 11 inches, 11 inches, 11 inches, and 3 inches mostly on Sunday (4/25).

Freezing level unknown given problems with the models. As of 4/20 snow level to be rising to 10,500 ft on 4/23. Snow level falling again to 5,000 ft on 4/25-4/26 and even 3,000 ft on 4/27, quickly rising to 10,500 ft on 4/27 holding through 4/29.

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

 

South Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
No Jetstream Data Available. We're trying to work with NOAA to address the issue. On Tuesday (4/20) the jet was somewhat split pushing over New Zealand with the influential southern branch pushing east on the 60S latitude line starting to form at trough over the Southeast Pacific at 140W being fed by 120 kts winds offering some support for gale development there then falling southeast from there. Over the next 72 hours the trough in the east is to quickly cut off on Wed (4/21) no longer supporting gale development. But a new trough is to be right behind developing southeast of New Zealand on Wed (4/21) tracking east to the Southeast Pacific on Thurs (4/22) being fed by 150 kts winds and racing east and nearly out of the SCal swell window late. At that time a solid ridge is to be pushing over the Ross Ice Shelf offering nothing. Beyond 72 hours the ridge is to build over the entire South Pacific holding through Mon (4/26) offering nothing with remnants continuing on Tues (4/27). A small pinched trough is forecast pushing under New Zealand Sat-Sun (4/25) but winds feeding it are to be weak offering little in terms of support for gale development, and then pinching off on Mon (4/26) offering nothing. In general a weak and unfavorable jetstream pattern is forecast.


Surface Analysis
On Sunday (4/25) swell was hitting California from the second of 2 gales that formed in the Southeast Pacific (see Another Southeast Pacific Gale below). And maybe tiny swell is radiating northeast from a gale that previous formed under New Zealand traversing the South Pacific (see New Zealand Gale below).

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

 

Another Southeast Pacific Gale - Swell #1S for SCal
A new gale started developing in the deep South Central Pacific on Wed AM (4/14) producing a decent sized fetch of 40 kt southwest winds and seas building to 25 ft at 65S 152W aimed east. In the evening a solid fetch of 40 kt southwest winds were pushing northeast with seas building in coverage at 27 ft at 63.5S 140W aimed east-northeast. On Thurs AM (4/15) south to southwest winds were building in coverage at 40-45 kts over the Southeast Pacific with seas 31 ft lifting northeast at 61S 132W. In the evening fetch built to 45-50 kts coming well from the south with seas 37 ft at 63S 127W aimed north with its leading edge at 56S 123W aimed north-northeast. On Fri AM (4/16) 40 kt south winds were over a solid area aimed north with 38 ft seas at 57.25S 120W and still in the CA swell window aimed north. In the evening this system was easing east of the swell window with 35-40 kt south winds and seas 34 ft at 53S 114W with 33 ft seas at 53S 118W in the SCal swell window aimed north. This system was fading and east of the CA swell window after that. Swell is radiating north towards South and Central America and up into Mexico and the US West Coast.

Southern CA: Swell fading some on Sun (4/25) at 3.0 ft @ 16 secs early (4.5-5.0 ft with sets to 6.0 ft). Residuals on Mon (4/26) fading from 2.5 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5 ft) early. Dribbles on Tues (4/27) fading from 2.1 ft @ 13-14 secs early (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 185 degrees

North CA: Swell peaking on Sun (4/25) mid-day at 3.1 ft @ 16 secs (5.0 ft with sets to 6.0 ft). Swell fading some on Mon (4/26) at 2.8 ft @ 15 secs early (4.0 ft with sets to 5.0 ft). Residuals on Tues (4/27) fading from 2.3 ft @ 14 secs (3.0 ft) early. Swell Direction: 184 degrees

 

New Zealand Gale
Another gale developed southeast of New Zealand on Tues PM (4/20) producing a tiny area of 45-50 kt west winds and seas 33 ft at 62.5S 175W aimed east. On Wed AM (4/21) fetch was lifting gently east-northeast at 45 kts from the west with seas 32 ft over a small area at 60S 163W aimed east. In the evening fetch was pushing northeast at 35-40 kts with seas 30 ft at 59S 152W aimed east-northeast. Fetch was fading Thurs AM (5/22) from 35 kts but over a larger area aimed northeast with seas 26 ft at 58S 143W aimed east-northeast. In the evening fetch was holding at 35 kts from the southwest over a solid area with seas building to 27 ft at 56.5S 133.5W aimed northeast. On Fri AM (4/23) south to southwest winds continued at 35-40 kts over the Southeast Pacific with 29 ft seas at 53.5S 126W aimed northeast. In the evening south winds continued at 35-40 kts with seas 29 ft at 52S 124W aimed northeast. On Sat (4/24) south winds were 35 kts with seas fading from 27 ft at 54.5S 122.5W aimed northeast. The gale faded and moved east of the California swell window after that. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Expect small swell arrival on Thurs (4/29) building to 1 ft @ 18-19 secs later (1.5 ft). Swell building some on Fri (4/30) pushing 1.3 ft @ 17 secs later (2.0 ft). On Sat (5/1) swell holding at 1.4 ft @ 16 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell fading on Sun (5/2) from 1.1 ft @ 15-16 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell gone after that. Swell Direction: 215 moving to 185 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (4/28) building to 1.2 ft @ 18 secs later (2.0 ft). Swell building on Thurs (4/29) pushing 1.8 ft @ 16 secs later (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell fading on Fri (4/30) from 1.8 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 ft). Additional energy is to start building from the south on Sat (5/1) at 2.6 ft @ 16 secs late (4.0 ft). Swell continues on Sun (5/2) at 2.6 ft @ 15 secs early (4.0 ft). Swell fading from 2.5 ft @ 15 secs (3.5 ft) early Mon (5/3). Dribbles on Tues (5/4) fading from 2.1 ft @ 14 secs(2.5-3.0 ft). Swell dissipating on Wed (5/5) from 1.7 ft @ 13 secs (2.0-2.5 ft) early. Swell DIrection: 202 degrees initially then redeveloping from 188 degrees moving to 186 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (4/28) building to 1.0 ft @ 18 secs late (1.5 ft). Swell building on Thurs (4/29) pushing 1.6 ft @ 16 secs later (2.5 ft). Swell fading on Fri (4/30) from 1.8 ft @ 15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Additional energy is to start building from the south on Sat (5/1) at 1.8 ft @ 16-17 secs late (3.0 ft). Swell continues on Sun (5/2) at 2.5 ft @ 15-16 secs early (3.5 ft). Swell fading from 2.2 ft @ 16 secs (3.5 ft) early Mon (5/3). Dribbles on Tues (5/4) fading from 2.1 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell dissipating on Wed (5/5) from 1.8 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft) early. Swell DIrection: 199 degrees initially then redeveloping from 187 degrees moving to 184 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 a gale is forecast developing south of New Zealand on Fri PM (4/30) with 45-50 kt southwest winds and seas 35 ft at 55.5S 172.5E aimed northeast. On Sat AM (5/1) southwest winds to track east at 45 kts with seas 35 ft at 53.25S 177.5W aimed northeast. Fetch is to be fading in the evening from 35-40 kts from the southwest with seas 31 ft at 50.75S 171W aimed northeast. Secondary fetch to develop Sun AM (5/2) south of the original fetch at 45 kts from seas 26 ft at 51S 162W aimed northeast. Something to monitor.

 

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

La Nina Collapsing
Summary - A legit Active MJO was fading over the KWGA, the first in a year. A Kevin Wave was pushing east across the Equatorial Pacific squeezing the cold remains of La Nina from depth to the surface in the far E Pac, We're waiting for it to erupt south of Mainland Mexico. West anomalies to control the KWGA for the next 3 months.

MJO/ENSO Discussion
The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.
And the El Nino/La Nino cycle (collectively know as ENSO - El Nino Southern Oscillation) is a less frequent (about once every 7 years) but more impactful cycle that affects world wide weather. Specifically, strong El Nino events promote storm production in the Pacific while La Nina events suppress storm production. These therefore have a significant impact on the production of swell and surf. The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO and ENSO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for upcoming activity (or inactivity depending on the state and interaction of these two oscillations).

Overview: A double dip La Nina occurred through the Winter of 2017-2018. Warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018 associated with two upwelling Kelvin Waves, and continued trying to build over equatorial waters over the Summer and Fall, but not enough to declare El Nino and not coupled with the atmosphere. In 2019, those warm waters were fading, and by August a tongue of cool water was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos reaching to a point nearly south of Hawaii. A bit of a recovery tried to occur during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water held in a pool off Peru. By April 2020 a cool pool was starting to build, forming a well defined cool tongue that looked like the start of La Nina, with it fully developing into La Nina in July 2020. We continue in the place in March 2021, but with a Kelvin Wave sweeping east late in March possibly signaling the demise of La Nina.

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

Rationale: It is assumed the PDO has moved to the warm phase in 2014 and that a weak borderline El Nino from 2018 faded out in the Fall of 2019. A La Nina like ocean temperature pattern developed in the equatorial East Pacific in the summer of 2019, then faded and returned to a neutral if not weak warm status during the Winter of 2019-2020 only to return stronger in the Summer of 2020. We have been suspecting a turn towards a La Nina like atmospheric pattern to develop in the late Winter/early Spring of 2020. Our best hope is that moderation from the warm phase of the PDO might tamp down development of a full blown La Nina as we move into 2020. But at this time that does not appear likely. Given all that, for the 2020 there is decent probability for development of La Nina meaning a reduced number of storm days and storm intensity during the summer season, resulting in a below normal level of swell, with swell being below normal duration and period. And by the Fall and early Winter of 2020/21, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should fade even more, resulting in depressed swell production. This pattern is expected to hold through the Spring of 2021.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (4/24) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing moderate east over the Central Pacific and moderate east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and neutral over the Central Pacific and light west over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, so they lag what is happening today by about 2 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): It's Back!! On (4/25) light to modest west anomalies were filling the KWGA. The forecast calls for light to weak west anomalies traveling east through the KWGA and still filling it and the end of the model run on 5/2 but getting progressively weaker and spottier in coverage.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (4/24) A moderate Active MJO pattern was filling the KWGA. The statistic model projects the Active signal holding on day 5 at modest strength on the dateline then weakening if not all but gone on the dateline on day 10 as a solid Inactive pattern builds over the western KWGA, taking over the KWGA on the last day of the model run (day 15). The dynamic model indicates the same thing but with the Inactive Phase fading dramatically to near nothing on day 15 of the model run.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/25) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was moderate over the Central Pacific today and is to track east over the Central Indian Ocean by day 15 of the model run and weak. The dynamic model suggests the Active Phase is to race east reaching the East Indian Ocean at weak status on day 15 of the model run.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (4/24) The Active Phase (wet air) was weak over the Central Pacific today and is to push east over Central America on 5/9. A strong Inactive Phase (dry air) is to move over the KWGA on 5/1 tracking east and moving over Central America on 5/24. A moderate Active Phase (wet air) is to push over the KWGA on 5/14 tracking east to Central America at the end of the model run on 6/3. A new weak Inactive MJO (dry air) is to be building in the West Pacific at that time.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/24) This model depicts a coherent Active Phase of the MJO was tracking through the East KWGA producing modest west anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Active Phase is to track east through the KWGA exiting it on 5/1 with west anomalies holding at modest status through 5/7. Beyond west anomalies are to hold at weak status over the West KWGA through the end of the model run on 5/22 while weak east appear on the dateline driven by a weak Inactive MJO quickly traversing east through the KWGA 5/7-5/14. We are in the final week of the first real Active Phase of the MJO in over a year.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/25 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): A moderate Active MJO signal was fading while moving east out of the KWGA with modest west anomalies still controlling the KWGA. The forecast indicates it is to track east through the KWGA and gone on 4/30 producing modest to weak west anomalies filling the KWGA. This is the first real Active Phase in a year or more. A weak Inactive MJO is to follow 4/25-5/27but with weak west anomalies filling the KWGA with a few stray pockets of light east anomalies in the mix over that duration. A new modest Active Phase is to start building in the west on 5/24 pushing east then stalling over the KWGA and holding through the end of the model run on 7/23 with moderate to occasionally strong west anomalies controlling the KWGA. Literally no significant east anomalies are forecast in the KWGA from here forward. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias is in control over the Central Pacific filling the eastern KWGA but a low pressure bias was building over the West KWGA. The high pressure bias has 3 contour lines reaching east to a point south of the Southwest US. The 3rd contour line is to fade on 5/5. The second contour line is to fade 5/29. The remaining 1 is to be shifting steadily east and losing coverage and no longer in the KWGA after 6/6. A single contour low pressure bias is over the Maritime Continent with it's leading edge half way through the KWGA (at 150E) today. The east edge of the low pressure bias is to track east to nearly the dateline (180W) and filling the KWGA by 6/28 while building to 2 contour lines. Theoretically the strong active Phase that is fading now should be strong enough to start pushing us to a neutral ENSO position. East anomalies that have been solid over the KWGA since 10/1/20 are starting a slow fade and have now migrating east of the KWGA with no return in sight, instead focused over the East Pacific (from the dateline east to a point south of California). Theoretically the end of La Nina is near (starting on 4/16).

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/25) Today in the far West Pacific the 28 deg isotherm line has moved east from 177W in mid April to 171W today and is stable there. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing the whole way across the equatorial Pacific and solid in coverage and depth. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +3 deg C are in the West Pacific with 1 deg anomalies reaching across the Pacific today pushing to the surface at 125W and reaching into Ecuador. No cool anomalies were indicated. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/18 indicates a dramatic improvement with warm anomalies moving east subsurface to 95W indicative of a Kelvin Wave poised to impact the far East Pacific and lurking just 5M below the surface at 100W. Negative anomalies in the East Pacific were all but gone with residuals getting squeezed to the surface by the Kelvin Wave near Peru. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (4/18) A dramatic improvement was occurring with sea heights near neutral (0 to -5 cms) over the entire equatorial Pacific with pockets of positive anomalies extending from the far West Pacific over the dateline and other pockets at 150W, 110W, 90W and along the coast of Ecuador. Negative anomalies were near neutral along the coast of Peru and weakly positive and along the coast of Mexico. Only California was substantially negative at -5 cms. Looking at the big picture, negative anomalies had previously formed a massive triangle from Cape Mendocino to the intersection of the dateline and equator then into Southern Chile. But it was all but gone now with the triangle barely discernible. The end of La Nina seems to be occurring now.

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: (4/24) The latest images indicate slightly warm was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos to 130W. But cool anomalies were centered just south of equator (-2S) from Ecuador west to the dateline. A solid upwelling (cool anomalies) pattern was still present but isolated to the immediate cost of Peru. Weak warm water was off Ecuador and Central America up to southern Baja. Cool anomalies were off of Peru tracking west to the dateline. Overall this seems to indicate the late stages of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/24): No clear warming or cooling temps were indicated over the equatorial Pacific.
Hi-res Overview: (4/24) A generic area of warm water was west of Central America. But cold water was still evident along the immediate coast of Peru. Faint warming was on the equator from Ecuador out to 120W. A weak area of cool water was extending from off Peru to 160W and appears to be losing definition. La Nina appears to be in retreat.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/25) Today's temps were steady at -0.738 after previously bottoming out at -0.950 on 4/5. Before that temps peaked at +0.714 on 3/16. Temp previously peaked at +0.601 on 3/9 and that after a recent high of +0.100 on 2/1. Temps previously were -0.604 on 1/24. A previous peak of -0.595 occurred on 12/11. This area has been on a seesaw rising trend since early October. Temps were previously down to -2.138 on 8/13. The longterm trend has been on a slow but steady increase.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(4/25) Temps were steady today at -0.277 after peaking on 4/15 at -0.157 beating the recent peak of -0.185 on 3/27, after falling to-0.404 on 3/20 and that after peaking at -0.170 on 3/10, the highest in a year. Temps bottomed out at -1.654 on 11/3, rising to to -0.982 on 1/21. The previous low before that was -0.733 on 9/10. Temps were on a steady decline since 7/25 then bottomed out in late October and have been on a slow increase since.

Click for Full Sized Image Click for Full Sized Image

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

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/25) - Actuals per the model indicate temps bottomed out in early Nov at -1.25 degs then rose steadily to -0.15 degs in mid-April. The forecast depicts temps rising slightly to neutral at +0.00 degs in June holding into July, then starting a slow fade falling to -0.40 degs in Oct then bottoming out at -0.5 in Nov and holding there into Jan 2022. This model now suggests a demise of La Nina starting now but then fading to a weak negative but neutral trend beyond. There is no sense that El Nino will develop. Instead a return to ENSO neutral is forecast. Of course we're still in the Spring Unpredictability Barrier, so no outcome is certain.
IRI Consensus Plume: The March 20, 2021 Plume depicts temps are at -0.50 degs today, and are to rise to -0.15 in June and stabilizing there through Nov. Most models are suggesting a moderate La Nina returning to Neutral in the late Spring of 2021.
See chart here - link.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad - this is a lagging indicator) (4/25): The daily index was falling some today at -13.27 today. The 30 day average was falling at +0.20 after peaking at +19.51 on 1/14. The 90 day average was falling slightly at +4.43 after peaking at +15.75 on 2/23 and clearly indicative of La Nina. This index is a lagging indicator.

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

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 


Powerlinessurf Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest
Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for this week. See it Here
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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing: https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/climate-change-good-surfing-other-sports-not-so-much-ncna1017131

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

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

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

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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