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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Saturday, May 1, 2021 4:43 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
2.7 - California & 2.2 - 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 5/3 thru Sun 5/9

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   

Decent West Swell Hitting HI
Southern Hemi to be Marginally but Steadily Active

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Saturday, May 1, 2021 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 3.7 ft @ 16.7 secs with swell 2.8 ft @ 16.2 secs from 251 degrees. Water temp 76.5 degs (Pearl Harbor 233), 77.9 (Lani 239)..
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 6.5 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 4.8 ft @ 15.7 secs from 310 degrees. Water temp 76.5 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.1 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 1.6 ft @ 15.1 secs from 217 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northeast at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 62.1 degs, 63.5 (Topanga 103), 56.3 degs (Long Beach 215), 62.6 (Del Mar 153), 64.4 (Pt Loma 191). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 6.3 ft @ 6.5 secs from 313 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.4 ft @ 16.9 secs from 211 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.5 ft @ 16.8 secs from 191 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 1.9 ft @ 17.0 secs from 192 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 7.7 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 4.3 ft @ 13.1 secs from 279 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 14-16 kts. Water temp 50.2 (029), 53.4 degs (SF Bar) and 55.9 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 Saturday (5/1) North and Central CA had waves at head high and warbled and sloppy with moderate northwest winds and fog. Protected breaks were waist to chest high and mushed and warbled and soft and mostly foggy. At Santa Cruz surf was chest high on the sets and lined up and clean with decent form but very inconsistent. In Southern California/Ventura waves were thigh high to maybe waist high on the sets and broken up and mushed with much warble in the water but with no local wind. Central Orange County had set waves at chest high or a little more and lined up coming from the south but pretty tattered from south wind. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at head high or so and lined up and peeling but with warbled conditions driven by south wind. North San Diego had sets waves at chest to shoulder high and lined up but again pretty warbled and not great. Hawaii's North Shore was getting solid late season swell with waves 3 ft overhead and lined up and clean and peeling at better breaks. The South Shore was thigh to maybe waist high and clean and lined up but pretty weak with moderate easterly winds. The East Shore report was not available.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Saturday (5/1) Hawaii was getting a decent pulse of late season swell from what previously was Extratropical Storm Surigae. California was getting small swell originating from a gale that 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 was developing under New Zealand Sat-Sun (5/2) tracking northeast producing up to 30 ft seas. And maybe a stronger one is to form tracking east from under New Zealand Tues-Thurs (5/6) producing up to 37 ft seas aimed east over a small area. Local northwest windswell was building for CA starting today (Sat 5/1). Maybe a local gael is to form off North CA on Wed-Fri (5/7) producing 22 ft seas aimed southeast.

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 Saturday (5/1) swell was hitting Hawaii from what previously was Extratropical Storm Surigae (see Extratropical Storm Surigae below).

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

 

Extratropical Storm Surigae
The remnants of Typhoon Surigae turned extratropical resulting in Extratropical Storm Surigae half way between Japan and the dateline on 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 were 45 kts with 39 ft seas building over a small sized area at 43.25N 163E aimed east. In the evening 35-40 kt west winds were pushing east with seas 31 ft at 42N 168E aimed east. On Wed AM (4/28) west winds were fading from 30-35 kts approaching the dateline with 26 ft seas fading at 41N 168E aimed east. In the evening the gale was fading with 30 kt west winds and seas fading from 21 ft at 41N 173E aimed east. This system was gone after that.

Oahu: Swell stable on Sat (5/1) at 3.9 ft @ 15 secs (5.5 ft). Swell fading on Sun (5/2) from 3.4 ft @ 13-14 secs (4.5 ft). Dribbles on Mon (5/3) fading from 2.8 ft @ 12-13 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell DIrection: 310-315 degrees

California: Swell is to be buried in local windswell and not independently recognizable.

 

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are occurring nor forecast.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Sun (5/2) northwest winds are forecast at 25-30 kts from Pt Arena southward early and 25 kts from Monterey Bay south to Pt Conception holding all day while building over Cape Mendocino later. Windswell building.
  • Mon (5/3) northwest winds are forecast at 25-30 kts for North CA and 15-20 kts for Central CA early holding up north if not building to near 30 kts and holding at 20 kts for Central CA later. Windswell mostly steady.
  • Tues (5/4) northwest winds are forecast at 25-30 kts for North CA and 20-25 kts for Central CA off the coast and 15+ kts nearshore early. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast for North CA at 25 kts and 20 kts solid for Central CA down to Big Sur and 15 kts south of there. Windswell steady.
  • Wed (5/5) northwest winds are to be fading from 15-20 kts for North CA early and 10 kts for Central CA fading to 10 kts later both for North and Central CA as low pressure builds off the coast. Windswell collapsing.
  • Thurs (5/6) low pressure is to be falling southeast off the Pacific Northwest generating south winds at 10-15 kts for Cape Mendocino early and calm down to Monterey Bay then northwest 10 kts down to Pt Conception early. In the afternoon west winds are forecast at 10 kts for North CA and northwest 15 kts for Central CA. No windswell forecast. Light rain building south to Pt Reyes mid morning, then clearing but holding for Cape Mendocino.
  • Fri (5/7) the low is to be moving into the Pacific Northwest. Northwest winds are forecast at 10 kts for North CA early and 15 kts for Central CA but up to 20 kts south of Monterey Bay early building in the afternoon to 20-25 kts for all of Central CA and northwest 10-15 kts for North CA. Light rain holding for Cape Mendocino
  • Sat (5/8) high pressure returns with northwest winds 20 kts for North CA south of Cape mendocino and 25-30 kts for Central CA early. Rain clearing for Cape Mendocino mid-day

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 0 inches, 0 inches, 0 inches, and 0 inches.

Freezing level falling to 8,500 ft on 5/1 then slowly rebuilding to 12,500 ft on 5/3-5/5 then falling to 4,000 ft on 5/7 before building back to 8,500 on 5/8 and holding there through the end of the model run on 5/10.

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are occurring nor forecast.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Fri (4/30) northwest winds are forecast at 10 kts for Cape Mendocino early and 15 kts south of there building to 20 kts for Pt Conception early holding all day. No precip modeled over the forecast duration.
  • Sat (5/1) northwest winds are to be on the increase forecast at 20 kts early for North CA and 15-20 kts for Central CA early building to 25+ kts for all of North CA and 20-25 kts for Central CA later. Windswell starting to build.
  • Sun (5/2) northwest winds are forecast at 25-30 kts from Pt Arena southward early and 25+ kts from Monterey Bay south to Pt Conception holding all day while building over Cape Mendocino later. Windswell building.
  • Mon (5/3) northwest winds are forecast at 25-30 kts for North CA and 15-20 kts for Central CA early holding up north if not building to near 35 kts and holding at 20 kts for Central CA later. Windswell mostly steady.
  • Tues (5/4) northwest winds are forecast at 30-35 kts for North CA and 20-25 kts for Central CA off the coast early. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast for North CA at 25-30 kts and 20 kts solid for Central CA. Windswell steady.
  • Wed (5/5) northwest winds are to be fading from 20 kts for NOrth Ca early and 10 kts for Central CA fading up north to 10-15 kts and 5 kts for Central CA in the afternoon. Windswell collapsing.
  • Thurs (5/6) northwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for North CA early and 5 kts for Central CA early building in the afternoon to 15-20 kts everywhere north of Pt Conception. Windswell building late.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 0 inches, 0 inches, 0 inches, and 0 inches.

Freezing level 14,000+ ft through 4/30 falling to 8500 ft on 5/1 then slowly rebuilding to 12,500 ft on 5/3 and holding through the end of the model run on 5/8.

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

 

South Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Saturday (5/1) the jet was rising south to nearly Antarctica directly south of New Zealand but forming a trough southeast of New Zealand lifting northeast being fed by 110 kts winds offering some support for gale development. But east of there the jet was falling south reaching down to 72S on the edge of Antarctic Ice continuing that way east to a point outside the SCal swell window offering no support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours the trough in the west is to continue lifting northeast while tracking east into Mon (5/3) over the Southeast Pacific but slowly weakening offering limited support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours a pocket of winds energy is to push under New Zealand on Wed (5/5) producing 140 kt west winds decent far to the north near 55S offering some support for gale development. A certified trough is to build from that on Thurs PM (5/6) over the Central South Pacific with 150 kt winds lifting northeast and holding stationary over the South Central Pacific into Sat (5/8) offering good support for gale development. Something to monitor.


Surface Analysis
On Saturday (5/1) tiny swell was hitting California from a gale that previously formed under New Zealand traversing the South Pacific (see New Zealand Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a gale was developing south of New Zealand on Fri PM (4/30) with 40-45 kt west winds over a broad area and seas 30 ft at 60.25S 172E aimed east. On Sat AM (5/1) southwest winds were tracking east at 35 kts with seas 29 ft at 57.5S 180W aimed northeast. Fetch is to be building in coverage in the evening coming from the south at 30-35 kts with seas 25 ft at 58S 170W aimed northeast. Fetch is to continue but weaker Sun AM (5/2) from the south at 30 kts with seas 23 ft at 55S 160W aimed northeast. In the evening south to southwest winds to continue at 30-35 kts over a decent sized area with seas fading to 22 ft at 51S 151W aimed northeast. On Mon AM (5/3) fetch is to be regenerating some at 40-45 kts over a small area aimed northeast with seas 26 ft at 53S 139W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch is to hold at 40 kts from the south over a smaller area with seas 30 ft at 55S 132W aimed east. The gael is to fade from there. Something to monitor.

 

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: 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: 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: 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 a gale is forecast developing off the Pacific Northwest on Wed PM (5/5) producing 30-35 kts northwest winds over a building area starting to get traction. On Thurs AM (5/6) northwest winds to build to 40 kts over a small area with 30 kt northwest winds over a broader area with 20 ft seas building at 40N 132W aimed southeast. In the evening a solid area of northwest winds at 35-40 kts are forecast off North Oregon with seas building to 22 ft at 44.5N 135.5W aimed southeast. Fetch is to fall southeast on Fri AM (5/7) nudging up to the OR-CA border with seas fading from 20 ft at 42.5N 131W aimed southeast. The gale is to move inland after that. Something to monitor.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours another gale is forecast developing under New Zealand on Tues PM (5/4) producing 45 kt west winds and seas building from 31 ft at 56S 170E aimed east. On Wed AM (5/5) 50-55 kt southwest winds are forecast pushing east with seas 36 ft at 55.5S 170.5W aimed east. In the evening fetch is to push east-northeast at 45-50 kts with seas 37 ft at 54.25S 156.5W aimed east. On Thurs AM (5/6) west winds to be 40 kts over a broad area timed east-northeast with seas 34 ft at 53S 140W aimed east. This system is to fall southeast from there. Something to monitor.

Possible another gale to follow over the South Central Pacific on Sat (5/8).

 

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

La Nina Continues Dissipating
Summary - 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, A second Kelvin Wave is in flight behind the first. West anomalies forecast over 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
Spring/Summer 2021 = 4.0/3.5 (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 that the moderate La Nina from the Winter of 2020/2021 is on the wane and that a return to neutral ENSO state will set up over the Pacific Basin through the summer of 2021. But lingering effects of La Nina are forecast to continue over the Pacific for some time as the upper atmospheric circulation slowly transitions to an ENSO neutral state. This scenario tend to favor the Southeast Pacific, therefore favoring California over Hawaii. To counter that is the forecasted movement of the low pressure bias currently in-flight from the Maritime Continent to the West Pacific over the next 3 months. Still it will take some time for the atmosphere to fully respond, resulting in a slightly less than normal swell production forecast. A somewhat reduced number of storm days and storm intensity is expected as compared to normal over the South Pacific during the early summer season, resulting in a below normal level of swells, with swell being below normal duration and period. But by the Fall and early Winter of 2021/22, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start improving as La Nina fades out. The status of the PDO is not known, though it appears to be returning to at least a neutral state, rather than the warm phase as previously projected thereby having no significant positive or negative effect on the long term outlook.

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 (4/30) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific then moderate east over the Central Pacific and moderate east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and weak west over the Central Pacific and light to moderate 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): On (5/1) light to modest west anomalies were filling the KWGA. The forecast calls for light to weak west anomalies fading through 5/4 then giving way to moderate east anomalies building from west to east over and filling the KWGA 5/5 through the end of the model run on 5/8.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (4/30 A modest Active MJO pattern was fading over the dateline today with a strong Inactive Phase building over the West KWGA. The statistic model projects the Active signal gone on day 5 with the Inactive Phase building and filling the KWGA, holding steadily through the end of the model run on day 15 and filling the KWGA. The dynamic model indicates the same thing but with the Inactive Phase fading dramatically to moderate status on day 10 and gone by day 15 of the model run.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (5/1) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was strong over North Africa today and is to track east to the Central Indian Ocean by day 15 of the model run and modest in strength. The dynamic model suggests the Active Phase is to race east reaching the Maritime Continent and very weak 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): (4/30) A strong Inactive Phase (dry air) is over the KWGA today. It is to track east and is to move over Central America on 5/13. A moderately strong Active Phase (wet air) is to push over the KWGA on 5/20 tracking east to East equatorial Pacific while holding strength reaching Central America at the end of the model run on 6/9. A new strong Inactive MJO (dry air) is to be building over the West Pacific at that time.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/30) This model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO all but gone over the KWGA producing modest west anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast indicates west anomalies holding at modest status through 5/4. A weak Inactive Phase is to push over the West KWGA 5/2 then tracking east fading before reaching the dateline on 5/15 producing weak east anomalies in the KWGA 5/5-5/10 then building over the dateline and holding through the end of the model run on 5/28. A neutral wind pattern is forecast from 5/10 over the Western KWGA holding through the end of the model run if not building weakly from the west the last day of the model run.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/1 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): An Active MJO signal was all but gone moving east out of the KWGA with modest west anomalies still controlling the KWGA. The forecast indicates modest to weak west anomalies filling the KWGA into 5/5. A weak Inactive MJO is starting to push over the far West KWGA today and is to hold over the KWGA through 6/10 but with neutral to weak west anomalies holding over the core of the KWGA and light east anomalies over the dateline. A new moderate Active Phase is to start building in the west on 5/27 pushing east then stalling over the KWGA and holding through the end of the model run on 7/29 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 filling the western half of it to 150E. 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 5/3. The second contour line is to fade 6/5. The remaining 1 is to be shifting steadily east and losing coverage and no longer in the KWGA after 6/30. 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 170E not quite reaching the dateline (180W) while building to 2 contour lines. We are moving to a neutral ENSO position. East anomalies that have been solid over the KWGA since 10/1/20 are fading 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 5/1).

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (5/1) Today in the far West Pacific the 28 deg isotherm line was easing east to 169W. 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 indicative of a new Kelvin Wave building with 1 deg anomalies reaching across the Pacific today with +2 degs anomalies pushing to the surface at 125W and reaching into Ecuador indicative of a previous Kelvin Wave poised to impact Ecuador. No cool anomalies were indicated. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/23 indicates a dramatic improvement with warm anomalies moving east subsurface to 90W indicative of a Kelvin Wave poised to impact the far East Pacific and barely reaching the surface at 105W. 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: (4/23) A dramatic improvement continues with sea heights slightly above neutral (0 to +5 cms) over nearly the entire equatorial Pacific. No negative anomalies were present on the equator on along the coasts of Chile, Peru, Central America and up to Baja Mexico. Only California was measurably negative at -5 cms and that appears to be fading fast. The massive cold triangle that had previously formed over the equator is gone. The demise of La Nina is 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: (4/30) The latest images indicate slightly warm water was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos out to almost the dateline in pockets but only reaching 2 degs south of the equator. Cool anomalies were south of equator (-2S) from Peru west to the dateline. A solid upwelling (cool anomalies) pattern was still present but isolated to the immediate cost of Peru, and even that appeared to be breaking up. Weak warm water was off Ecuador and Central America up to Southern Baja. Overall this seems to indicate the late stages of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/30): No clear warming or cooling temps were indicated over the equatorial Pacific.
Hi-res Overview: (4/30) A generic area of warm water was west of Central America. Generic cool water was west of Peru. A weak area of cool water was along the immediate coast of Peru. La Nina appears to be in retreat but not gone.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (5/1) Today's temps were steady at -0.794 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:
(5/1) Temps were rising steadily to -0.068 today, a new peak high, the highest in over a year. They had been steady near -0.222 for 2 weeks previous and peaking on 4/15 at -0.157, beating the recent peak of -0.185 on 3/27. The previous peak was -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 (5/1) - Actuals per the model indicate temps bottomed out in early Nov at -1.25 degs then rose steadily to -0.50 degs in mid-April. The forecast indicates temps rising slightly to -0.20 degs in late July, then starting a weak fade falling to -0.45 degs in Oct and rising slightly to -0.4 degs in Dec and early Jan 2022. This model now suggests a demise of La Nina with an ENSO neutral trend beyond biased slightly negative. There is no sense that El Nino will develop. 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) (5/1): The daily index was falling today at -14.00. The 30 day average was falling to +0.28 after peaking at +19.51 on 1/14. The 90 day average was falling slightly at +3.40 indicating near neutral after peaking at +15.75 on 2/23 (clearly indicative of La Nina then). 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
For automatic notification of forecast updates, subscribe to the Stormsurf001 YouTube channel - just click the 'Subscribe' button below the video.

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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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