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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 4:16 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 4/29 thru Sun 5/5

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   

Small S. Hemi Swell Hitting CA
Stronger Gale Forecast Beyond

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Tuesday, April 30, 2019 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/ Buoy 239 (Lanai) seas were 2.8 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 1.2 ft @ 15.2 secs from 180 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.4 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 3.0 ft @ 10.3 secs from 328 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.9 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 2.3 ft @ 14.0 secs from 180 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southwest at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 59.9 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.2 ft @ 14.9 secs from 195 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.3 ft @ 14.8 secs from 199 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.5 ft @ 15.7 secs from 214 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.0 ft @ 14.8 secs from 200 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 8.6 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 6.1 ft @ 9.8 secs from 319 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 10-14 kts. Water temp 55.0 degs (042) and 52.0 (013).

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 (4/30) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing waves at thigh to waist high and pretty warbled from southwest wind but not yet whitecapped. Protected breaks were waist high with luck and soft but clean. At Santa Cruz southern hemi swell was producing sets at waist to maybe chest high and clean but a little funky from tide. In Southern California/Ventura surf was thigh to maybe waist high and clean and weak. In North Orange Co surf was waist to maybe chest high on the sets and warbled and soft with light north wind. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were getting southern hemi swell with waves waist to maybe chest high on the peak and clean but with some local northerly lump intermixed. North San Diego had surf at waist high and lined up and clean but pretty closed out. Hawaii's North Shore was getting fading northwest swell with waves chest high and clean and lined up at the more focused breaks. The South Shore was thigh high on the sets and clean and soft. The East Shore was getting east windswell with waves thigh high and heavily textured from northeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (4/30) in California small local northerly windswell was producing barely rideable surf at exposed breaks. And minimal southern hemi swell was starting to show at south facing breaks. Leftover swell was hitting Hawaii from a small cutoff low that produced 22-23 ft seas northwest of Hawaii on Fri (4/26). Another gale developed approaching the Northern Dateline region on Sun-Mon (4/30) producing up to 26 ft seas aimed east.Not much to result from it. And possibly another gale to track off Japan on Thurs (5/2) producing 23 ft seas aimed east but of no interest. In the Southern Hemisphere a weak gale formed in the Central Pacific Fri-Mon (4/22) producing seas to barely 30 ft seas lifting northeast. That swell is lapping into California now. On Wed-Fri (5/3) a stronger gale is to develop south of New Zealand with seas to 43 ft lifting gently east-northeast with secondary fetch producing 34-36 ft seas pushing east across the South Pacific through Sun (5/5). And maybe a weaker on to follow.

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
Jetstream
On Tuesday (4/30) the jetstream was mostly consolidated tracking east off Japan forming a trough halfway to the dateline and being fed by up to 140 kts winds offering some support for gale development there. East of there the jet split with some energy tracking north up over the Bering Sea with most energy falling into a small pinched trough in the Central Gulf offering support for low pressure development but dissipating from there. Given the change in season the jet looks unlikely to provide much energy from here forward. Over the next 72 hours the West Pacific trough is to build while moving to the dateline later Wed (5/1) being fed by 120-130 kts winds building to 150 kts on Thurs (5/2) while starting to pinch off offering some support for gale development. East of there the jet is to lift hard north pushing up into Alaska offering only support for high pressure development in the Gulf of Alaska. Beyond 72 hours the northern branch is to build but lifting north generally tracking off Japan lifting northeast and continuing east just south of the Aleutians Fri (5/3) through Tues (5/7) offering no support for gale development. We will be starting to focus on the southern hemisphere jetstream for future forecasts.

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday (4/30) small swell from a gale that developed northwest of Hawaii was fading in the Islands (see Hawaiian Gale below).

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

 

Hawaiian Gale
On Thursday AM (4/25) a low pressure system was starting to build just east of the dateline producing a tiny area of 25-30 kt south winds targeting the Aleutians. In the evening fetch is to wrap into the gales northwest quadrant building to 35 kts over a small area starting to fall south with 18-20 ft seas over tiny area at 45N 177W falling south targeting the West Pacific. Fetch is fall south on Fri AM (4/26) at 30 kts with 22 ft seas at 40N 17W targeting Hawaii well. This system to dissipate in the evening with 25-30 kt north winds and seas fading from 18 ft at 37.5N 172W targeting Hawaii. Low odds of small 12 sec period swell resulting for Hawaii.

Oahu: Residuals fading Tues AM (4/30) fading from 3.3 ft @ 10 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 325 degrees

 

West Dateline Gale
A small gale developed mid-way between the Kuril's and the dateline on Sun AM (4/28) with 35 kt west winds and seas building from 23 ft at 41.5N 163E aimed east. In the evening 35 kt west winds were lifting northeast with 25 ft seas at 44.5N 170E aimed east. On Mon AM (4/29) the gale held together with 30 kt west winds still lifting northeast over the North Dateline region with seas 22 ft at 47.5N 171.5E aimed east. In the evening the gale is to move over the Aleutians on the North Dateline region and fade with barely 30 kt west winds and seas fading from 21 ft just south of the Central Aleutians at 51N 177E aimed east. Nothing else to follow. Maybe some small swell is to be pushing east.

Oahu: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (5/2) building to 2.4 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.0 ft). Swell continues on Fri (5/3) at 2.5 ft @ 12 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Sat (5/4) dropping from 2.5 ft @ 11 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 315 degrees

 

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical weather systems of interest are forecast.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Tues (4/30) north winds are 20-25 kts early over all of North CA still producing windswell with south winds 5 kts for all of Central CA. Theoretically it's supposed to snow over the Tahoe region in the afternoon to early evening. Wednesday (5/1) the gradient is to collapse with north winds fading from 20 kts over North CA early and dropping from there with north winds over Central CA at 5-10 kts with windswell gone. Low pressure is to be circulating 600 nmiles west of Central CA cutting the legs out of high pressure to the north. Thursday (5/2) the low is to approaching Central CA with a light northwest flow 15 kts along the North CA coast and 5-10 kts for Central CA. Friday (5/3) the low is to be hold off Central CA with northwest winds 10-15 kts early fading to 5-10 kts later. Saturday (5/4) weak high pressure is to build offshore as the low moves south over open ocean and fades with north winds 15-20 kts for Cape Mendocino and north winds 10 kts south of the to Pt Conception. No windswell expected From Thursday onward. Sunday (5/5) light winds from the northwest 5-10 kts are forecast for all of North and Central CA. No change on Monday (5/6). Tuesday (5/7) high pressure returns with north winds 20-25 kts for North CA early and building with windswell redeveloping for North and Central CA.

2-3 inches of snow for Tahoe on Tues (4/30) and 1-2 inchs for Mammoth on Sun (5/5). Not believable.

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

 

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis  
A weak gale traversed the Central South Pacific pushing swell to the northeast (see Central South Pacific Gale below). Another gale developed in the Southeast Pacific behind that producing swell pushing north (see Southeast Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours the models suggest a gale is to develop just south of New Zealand on Thurs AM (5/2) with 40-45 kt southwest winds pushing east-northeast with seas building from 30 ft at 58S 177E aimed east-northeast. In the evening fetch is to build to 50 kts from the southwest moving towards the Central South Pacific with 40 ft seas over a tiny area and 38 ft seas over a broader area at 58S 174.5W aimed east-northeast. On Fri AM (5/3) a somewhat consolidated fetch of 45-50 kt southwest winds are to be tracking northeast with seas 44 ft over a small area aimed northeast at 53.5S 165W. In the evening fetch is to fade from 45 kts in pockets with seas 39 ft at 49S 152W aimed northeast. On Sat AM (5/4) south fetch is to be at 45 kts aimed north with seas 37 ft at 51.5S 142W aimed northeast. In the evening the gale is to be in the far Southeast Pacific with 45 kts south winds over a small area and 37 ft seas at 51.5S 128W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (5/5) 40 kt south fetch is to be on the eastern edge of the Southern CA swell window with 35 ft seas at 54S 121.5W aimed northeast. By evening this system is to be gone. Something to monitor.

 

Central South Pacific Gale
A gale started developing southeast of New Zealand Thurs PM (4/18) with 30-35 kt southwest winds building and lifting northeast with seas building to 24 ft at 61S 170W. On Fri AM (4/19) fetch was lifting hard northeast with a broader fetch of 35 kt southwest winds and seas 24 ft at 55N 158W aimed northeast. 35 kt southwest fetch continued in the evening with 23 ft seas at 52S 149W aimed northeast. So far no real swell was being produced that could survive the journey to the North Pacific.

But on Sat AM (4/20) winds were 30-35 kts over a broad area with seas 26 ft over a tiny area at 53S 149W aimed east-northeast. In the evening 40 kt mostly westerly fetch was tracking east with seas 27 ft at 54.5S 156W aimed east-northeast. On Sun AM (4/21) fetch was fading from 30-35 kts over a moderate sized area aimed east with 27 ft seas at 51S 152W aimed east-northeast. In the evening fetch and seas faded.

But on Sun PM (4/21) ar new fetch of 40 kt southwest winds were building southeast of New Zealand with seas building from 25 ft at 56S 168W aimed northeast. On Mon AM (4/22) 40 kt west winds were lifting northeast with seas building to 30 ft at 52S 149W aimed east-northeast. The gale was tracking fast east to southeast with winds 45 kts aimed east with seas 28 ft over a tiny area falling southeast at 54S 131W. The gale to continue falling southeast from there and no longer of any interest. Something to monitor. But to manage expectations, minimal swell is likely to radiate northeast mainly for California.

Southern CA: Swell solid on Tues (4/30) to 2.5 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell holding on Wed (5/1) at 2.8 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.0-4.5 ft with sets to 5.5 ft). Swell fading some on Thurs (5/2) from 2.5 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction 200 degrees

North CA: Swell solid on Tues (4/30) to 1.9 ft @ 16 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell holding on Wed (5/1) at 1.8 ft @ 16 secs (2.5-3.0 ft with sets to 3.5 ft). Swell fading some on Thurs (5/2) from 2.2 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction 198 degrees

 

Southeast Pacific Gale
A gale developed in the Southeast Pacific on Sat PM (4/27) with 45 kt south winds and seas 29 ft at 51.5S 133.5W aimed north. Fetch faded Sun AM (4/28) from 35 kts tracking north with seas fading from 28 ft at 48S 130W aimed north. In the evening the gale continued tracking north but weak. On Mon AM (4/29) the gale redeveloped with 40 kt south winds and seas building to 28 ft over a tiny area at 37S 126W aimed north. Fetch held stationary in the evening with seas 30 ft over a tiny area aimed north at 37S 126W. Fetch faded from there. Small but decent swell to arrive in CA given this storms relative close/north position.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (5/5) building to 2.3 ft @ 17 secs later(4.0 ft). Swell solid on Mon (5/6) building to 3.1 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.5-5.0 ft). Swell holding on Tues (5/7) at 3.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 192 degrees

North CA: expect swell arrival on Sun (5/5) building to 2.0 ft @ 18 secs late (3.5 ft). Swell solid on Mon (5/6) building to 3.0 ft @ 16 secs later (4.8 ft). Swell holding on Tues (5/7) 3.1 ft @ 14-15 secs (4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 187 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 weather systems are forecast.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours another broad but gale is to develop under New Zealand on Sat AM (5/4) with 50+ kt west winds and seas 32 ft at 60S 164E aimed east. In the evening fetch is to fade from 40-45 kts aimed east with 34 ft seas at 63S 172E aimed east. On Sun AM (5/5) 35-40 kt southwest fetch is to be tracking east with seas 31 ft at 60S 180W aimed east-northeast. In the evening southwest fetch to be fading in coverage at 35-40 kts with seas 35 ft at 58.5W 169W aimed east-northeast. The gale is to be fading Mon AM (5/6) with fetch dropping to 30 kts and seas fading from 31 ft at 55S 165W aimed northeast. This system is to dissipate from there.

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

Kelvin Wave #3 Holding Below EPac

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

Overview: La Nina started developing in early 2016, but westward displaced and generally weak. And by March 2017, it was gone with suspicious warming developing along South America and over the Galapagos to a point south of Hawaii. By May the atmosphere returned to a neutral configuration but then in July east anomalies started building in the KWGA and did not stop, with cold water upwelling over the the Nino1.2 and 3.4 areas, indicative of La Nina. A double dip La Nina was in control and continued through the Winter of 2017-2018. But warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018 associated with 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. As of January 2019, those warm waters were fading, but then started building some late in Feb associated with another Kelvin Wave (#3).

LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Summer 2019 = 5.5 (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: Assuming the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that weak borderline El Nino condition continue , and assuming a weak ocean-atmospheric coupling holds and ocean temperature anomalies in Nino3.4 hold in the +0.8 deg range, there is good probability for slightly enhanced storm production in the South Pacific during the Northern Hemisphere Summer time months. There is slightly increased intensity in number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in slightly increased odds for larger than normal swell, with increased duration and higher than normal period. This should be significantly better than the past 2 Summer seasons.

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 (4/29) 5 day average winds were from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific to the dateline, then continuing east over the KWGA. Anomalies were light east over the East equatorial Pacific turning neutral over the Central Pacific and then moderate east over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (4/30) moderate east anomalies were controlling the KWGA and the whole of the equatorial Pacific. But west anomalies were building in the far West Pacific. The forecast is for east anomalies easing east and almost out of the KWGA moving over the entirety of the equatorial Central and Eastern Pacific through the end of the model run on 5/7. West anomalies are to be building east from the far west KWGA filling 65% of the KWGA at the end of the model run. There is to continue to be a marked decrease in support for storm development into about 5/2, then storm production potential is to start building in the West Pacific.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (4/29) A moderate Inactive MJO pattern was over the KWGA. The statistic model indicates a moderate Inactive MJO signal is to be fading fast at day 5 of the model run then quickly disintegrating with the Active Phase building into the West Pacific at day 10 and filling the West Pacific at day 15. The dynamic model indicates almost the exact same thing but with the footprint of the Active Phase smaller than the statistic model. The 2 models are generally in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/30) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was moderate in the West Maritime Continent, and is forecast to push east into the West Pacific through day 15 at weak strength. The GEFS model suggests the Active Phase moderate in strength and pushing east, while fading to weak or less status in the Western Pacific at day 15.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (4/30) This model depicts a solid Active Phase pushing into the West Pacific today tracking east into Central America on 5/22. A modest Inactive Phase is to develop in the West Pacific on 5/17 pushing east into Central America at the end of the model run on 6/6. A weak MJO signal is to build over the West Pacific at that time.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/29) This model depicts a modest Inactive Phase fading in the core of the KWGA today with east anomalies in control. East anomalies and the Inactive Phase are to track east and out of the KWGA by 5/3 while moderate west anomalies start developing in the West KWGA pushing east. Stronger west anomalies associated with the Active Phase of the MJO are to build into the Central KWGA 5/6 tracking east and moving almost east of the KWGA at the end of the model run on 5/27. At that time weak east anomalies are to be developing in the far West KWGA. There is no active support for storm development for the next 5 days, but that to change once the Active Phase takes over and holding through 5/20.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/30) This model depicts a weak Inactive MJO fading in the KWGA today with modest east anomalies in control holding till 5/2. After that weak to modest west anomalies are to develop in the core of the KWGA as the Active Phase builds 5/3 through 5/25 with west anomalies holding if not building to moderate strength near 5/16. After that weak west anomalies are to hold even though a moderate Inactive Phase of the MJO is to set up 5/24-7/7. Another modest Active Phase is to develop 7/9 holding through the end of the model run on 7/28 with stronger west anomalies forecast. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias with 2 contour lines is fully in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to California but not inland and forecast to hold steady position wise to the end of the model run on 7/25. The second contour line was to fade on 7/19. This model indicates that a tendency towards El Nino was previously in control during the Fall of 2018, but has been steadily fading since then and is to continue a slow decline for the foreseeable future, but not turning to La Nina. Basically we are moving to a ENSO neutral pattern bias slightly towards El Nino.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/30) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 29 deg temps reaching east to 170W but retracting some at the surface. The 28 deg isotherm line had retrograded west to 160W mid-Nov into late Feb. But it made a major push east starting 3/16 from 150W to 140W on 3/20, and to 130W on 4/10 and to 121W on 4/14, and 4/22 pushing into Ecuador, then back to 115W on 4/25 and holding today. It appears Kelvin Wave #3 was erupting in the East Pacific. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador 30 meters down. Anomaly wise, gentle warm anomalies are filling the entire subsurface Pacific at +1 degs or greater from the surface to 150 meters down. Embedded in that flow is a pocket of warmer water centered in the East Pacific at 120W at +3 degs (Kelvin Wave #3) almost reaching Ecuador and west to 139W. This Kelvin Wave is the warmest of any Kelvin Wave so far since La Nina faded into early 2018 and is to adding warmth moving into 2019. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/23 indicates warm water from Kelvin Wave #3 was filling the equatorial Pacific from 155E eastward, weaker in the West Pacific at +2 degs and stronger over the East Pacific at +3 degs from 140W to Ecuador (attributable to a Westerly Wind Burst 12/30-1/16 and another 2/12-2/24). And there was a hint of more warm water dribbling from the Maritime Continent into the far West Pacific at 135E falling into the pre-existing warm pool near 160E. There is a river of very warm water traversing the width of the equatorial Pacific. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (4/23) Positive anomalies were gone from the interior Maritime Continent with weak negative anomalies there now. Positive anomalies were tracking east from 160E pushing over the dateline to a point east of the Galapagos (110W) but pretty unfocused at 0-5 cms above normal. And pockets of neutral heights were building on the equator at 160W and 100W indicating the density of the warm pool was fading.

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: (4/29) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate temps were modestly warm straddling 20 degrees north and south of the equator from just west of the Galapagos near 100W and continuing west to the dateline and stronger warming from the Galapagos to 100W right on the equator. These temps continue fading compared to days past mainly off and along the Central and South America Coast. Cool water previously along the coast of Peru And Ecuador was collapsing. There is some weak indication of a El Nino but nothing strong.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/29): A weak warming trend was over the equatorial Central Pacific with a pocket of stronger warming near the Galapagos. Weak cooling water as along the coast of Peru.
Hi-res Overview: (4/29) Warmer than normal water was from just off Peru up to Central America west over the Galapagos 20 degrees north and south of the equator continuing west of there to the dateline. It was holding compared to days past.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/30) Today's temps were steady at +0.129. Overall trend is falling in spurts for the last 3 months except for a recent uptick in mid-April.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(4/30) Today temps were steadily trickling down at +0.512 today. Temps have been generally steady the last 6 weeks.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/30) The model indicates temps were +0.90 degs through April forecast building to +1.35 degrees in early June then fading slowly to +1.30 degs on July 1, fading slightly through the Fall then holding at +1.05 degs in Sept and Oct then down to +0.80 in Dec 1
and steady into Jan. A weak El Nino like pattern is to hold if not build into July associated with the eruption of Kelvin Wave #3, then slowly fading through the Fall and Winter of 2019/20 with no more Kelvin Waves forecast. A multiyear warming event is in progress as suggested by this model.
IRI Consensus Plume: The March 2019 Plume depicts temps are at +0.65 degs today, and are to hold in the +0.75 range into July, then holding at +0.75 through Nov 2019. 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) (4/30): The daily index was negative today at -1.66 and has been generally negative the previous 21 days, then positive for 7 days before that, and negative for 57 days before that (Feb 4-4/2 other than 3/23 & 3/24). The 30 day average was rising some at -2.43 suggesting a fading Active MJO. The 90 day average was rising some at -7.59, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern biased towards El Nino (for now).
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (4/23) The index was neutral at -0.01 on 2/14 but has been rising ever since and pushed up to +0.99 on 3/3 (the highest its been in years), then fell some but started rising again and was up to +1.10 today. It is approaching El Nino territory but still indicted mostly ENSO neutral conditions.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly positive, even though La Nina is in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values: June 2017 +0.21, July -0.50, Aug -0.62, Sept -0.25, Oct -0.61, Nov -0.45, Dec -0.13, 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 -0.23, Feb -0.55 This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO, even with La Nina, because the warm PDO appears to be dampening the effects of La Nina. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): June 2017 +0.79, July +0.10, Aug +0.09, Sept +0.32, Oct +0.05, Nov +0.15, Dec +0.50, Jan +0.70. Feb +0.37, 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


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Local Interest

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http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/surfs-up-for-mavericks-invitational-in-calif/

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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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