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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, May 7, 2020 4:37 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 & 1.8 - 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 5/4 thru Sun 5/10

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   

Weak Gulf Gale Fading
Solid Southern Hemi Swell Pushing North - Another To Follow

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Thursday, May 7, 2020 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 3.1 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 2.0 ft @ 13.2 secs from 202 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.9 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 3.0 ft @ 9.2 secs from 303 degrees. Water temp 77.4 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 5.1 ft @ 11.4 secs with swell 3.6 ft @ 10.2 secs from 270 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northeast at 2-4 kts. Water temperature 62.2 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 7.7 ft @ 10.0 secs from 295 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 3.2 ft @ 8.7 secs from 258 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.1 ft @ 10.2 secs from 270 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 3.6 ft @ 9.8 secs from 280 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 9.1 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 6.3 ft @ 9.2 secs from 300 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 14-16 kts. Water temp 50.0 degs (013), 52.2 degs (012) and 52.9 degs (042).

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

Swell Classification Guidelines

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

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

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
Current Conditions
On Thursday (5/7) in North and Central CA local windswell was mixing with fading Gulf swell to produce waves at head high but pretty warbled and soft and uneven with light local wind early. Protected breaks were chest high and cleaner but still a little warbled and soft. All parking lots closed. At Santa Cruz waves were waist to chest high at top breaks and soft and weak but clean and a bit lined up. In Southern California/Ventura waves were coming form the northwest at chest to maybe head high on the sets and soft with decent form and clean. In North Orange Co waves were waist to maybe chest high on the sets coming from the northwest and fairly clean but with some intermixed warble making them soft. Orange Country's best summertime breaks had sets in the thigh to maybe waist high range and clean but weak with no real form. Beaches were closed. North San Diego had waves at thigh to maybe waist high on the sets and clean but soft and weak with fog early. Hawaii's North Shore was flat to thigh high and clean but with some northerly warble intermixed. The South Shore was flat to thigh high and clean. The East Shore was getting easterly windswell at thigh high and chopped from northeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (5/7) no really rideable surf was hitting Hawaii. Windswell mixed with lingering Gulf windswell was hitting California making for barely rideable surf at select breaks. A low pressure system developed in the Western Gulf on Wed (5/6) producing a short lived area of 20 ft seas targeting mid-way between Hawaii and CA. Maybe some swell to result for Hawaii and CA. And maybe another to form off Japan on Fri (5/8) producing up to 30 ft seas aimed east but not even making it to the dateline. Down south a small gale developed in the Southeastern Pacific Sat-Mon (5/4) producing up to 40 ft seas aimed well northeast. Swell is radiating north for Hawaii and CA. And another was pushing under New Zealand on Wed-Fri (5/8) producing up to 39 ft seas aimed east then is to redevelop over the Central South Pacific Sat-Sun (5/10) producing 36-38 ft seas aimed northeast. So there's decent hope there too. Beyond nothing is forecast.

See all the details below...

 

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

North Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis
On Thursday (5/7) local windswell was hitting California but of no particular interest.

Over the next 72 hours swell from a low pressure system previously in the Gulf is to hit Hawaii (see Another Gulf Low Pressure System below).

And yet another gale is to form Thurs PM (5/7) just off North Japan producing 45 kt northwest winds and seas building from 26 ft at 42.5N 155.5E. The gale is to build in coverage Fri AM (5/8) with winds fading from 40 kts from the west and seas 28 ft at 43N 163E. The gale is to be lifting northeast fast after that in the evening with 35 kts west winds and seas fading from 29 ft at 45N 170E aimed east. On Sat AM (5/9) the gael is to be lifting north into the Bering Sea with 35 kts west fetch just south of the Aleutians producing 25 ft sea aimed east at 48N 175E aimed east. This system to be gone after that. Small swell expected to radiate into Hawaii on Tues (5/12) likely the last of the Winter season.

 

Another Gulf Low Pressure System
Another gale started developing in the Western Gulf on Wed AM (5/6) producing 30-35 kt north-northwest winds targeting Hawaii slightly with seas building to 19 ft at 44N 159W aimed southeast. The gale was easing east in the evening with 35 kts north winds and seas building to 21 ft at 43N 154W aimed southeast. The gale faded after that with residual seas fading from 18 ft Thurs AM (5/7) at 43.5N 148W aimed east. The gale is to be gone after that. Maybe some swell to result for Hawaii.

Oahu: Expect swell arrival on Fri (5/8) with swell building to 4.2 ft @ 11-12 secs mid-day (4.5-5.0 ft). Residuals fading on Sat (5/9) from 4.1 ft @ 11 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 350 degrees

 

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday (5/7) high pressure is to be pushing into British Columbia extending south along the US West Coast driving north winds at 20 kts for North and Central CA early fading to 15-20 kts everywhere later. Fri (5/8) northwest winds to be 15-20 kts nearshore for North CA and 10-15 kts for Central CA early fading to 10-15 kts later for North CA and 10 kts for Central CA. Sat (5/9) a weak pressure pattern is forecast with north winds 15 kts over Pt Arena but 5-10 kts everywhere else and fading to 10 kts everywhere but Cape Mendocino at 15 kts in the afternoon. On Sun (5/10) light winds are forecast with low pressure building off the coast. On Mon (5/11) low pressure is to be nudging up to the North CA coast with south winds 15 kts from Bodega Bay northward and light winds south of there early with south winds building to 15 kts mid-day down to Big Sur briefly, then fading from the west at 10 kts south of the Golden Gate. Rain developing for the Golden Gate northward early reaching south to Monterey in the late afternoon and Pt Conception in the evening. Tues (5/12) the low is to be fading off the Oregon Coast producing south winds at 10-15 kts for Pt Arena northward early and slowly fading some and northwest 10 kts for Central CA later. Rain for the Golden Gate northward all day then fading over the evening. Wed (5/13) south winds are forecast at 10-15 kts from Pt Reyes northward and north 10 kts for Central CA. Rain forecast building south to Pt Reyes in the afternoon. Thurs (5/14) light winds are forecast all day except north at 15 kts from Morro Bay southward. No precip forecast.

Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 1, 1, 0 and 0 inches respectively.

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

 

South Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Thursday (5/7) the southern branch of the jetstream was forming a trough southeast of New Zealand being fed by 100 kts winds lifting north to 51S and weakly supporting gale development. East of there the jet was falling southeast into a ridging pattern offering no support for gale development with that ridge extending east over the entirety of the Southeast Pacific. Over the next 72 hours the trough is to hold together decently while moving east over the Central South Pacific on Fri (5/8) reaching far enough north to tap into energy from the northern branch of the jet with 110 kt winds flowing up from the south fueling more potential for gale development and holding in that configuration into Sun (5/10) while moving over the Southeast Pacific. Beyond 72 hours the trough is to continue to hold together though weaker into Mon (5/11), then fading out. Back to the west a new ridge is to start building over the entirety of the Southwest Pacific starting Sat (5/9) pushing down at 75S and sweeping east behind the aforementioned trough and eliminating support for gale development into Tues (5/12) . But on Wed (5/13) the ridge is to fade leaving behind a weak jetsream pattern with the southern branch at 58S with winds 80 kts offering no support for gale development, but not suppressing it either. Just weak and hapless and holding that way into Thurs (5/14).

 

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (5/7) swell from a gale previously in the Southeast Pacific was pushing north (see Southeast Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a gale is to start building under New Zealand (see New Zealand - Central Pacific Gale below). Otherwise no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.

 

Southeast Pacific Gale
A gale started developing in a building trough over the Central South Pacific on Fri AM (5/1) producing south winds at 30+ kts producing 24 ft seas at 42S 158W aimed north-northeast. 30-35 kts southwest winds were lifting northeast producing 15 ft seas at 40S 150W aimed northeast. On Sat AM fetch was building well to the north at 35 kts at 35S producing seas at 26 ft at 38S 142.5W aimed northeast. On Sat PM (5/2) a broad area of 30-35 kts southwest winds continued with a core developing at 45-50 kt aimed almost north with 24-28 ft seas at 37.5S 133.5W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (5/3) south winds are to be 45 kts over a small area aimed northeast with seas building to 36 ft at 44.5S 125W aimed northeast. In the evening a broad fetch of 40-45 kt southwest winds were blowing with 39 ft seas at 43.5S 122W aimed northeast. On Mon AM (5/4) south winds were fading at 35-40 kts with seas fading from 35 ft at 42.5S 120W aimed northeast and moving out of the CA swell window. This gale was gone after that. Swell is radiating north.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (5/8) with swell building to 2.0 ft @ 19 secs late (3.5 ft). Swell building on Sat (5/9) to 3.1 ft @ 16-17 secs later (5.0 ft). Swell fading on Sun (5/10) from 2.9 ft @ 15 secs (4.0 ft) but with secondary swell building to 3.3 ft @ 18-19 secs mid-day (6.0 ft). Swell building on Mon (5/11) building to 4.1 ft @ 16 secs (6.5 ft). Swell fading on Tues (5/12) from 3.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (5.0-5.5 ft). Swell Direction: 200 moving to 185 degrees.

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (5/9) with swell building to 2.4 ft @ 17 secs later (4.0 ft). Swell building on Sun (5/10) to 2.3 ft @ 15-16 secs later (3.5 ft) but with secondary swell building to 2.8 ft @ 18 secs (5.0 ft). Swell building on Mon (5/11) to 3.8 ft @ 17 secs (6.5 ft). Swell fading on Tues (5/12) from 3.6 ft @ 15-16 secs (5.5 ft). Swell Direction: 195 moving to 180 degrees

 

New Zealand - Central Pacific Gale
A gale started tracking east through the Southern Tasman Sea on Wed AM (5/6) with 40 kt west winds and seas 34 ft at 53.5S 157E aimed east. In the evening the fetch built in coverage with winds to 45 kts from the southwest and seas 37 ft at 57S 159E aimed east. The gale eased east on Thurs AM (5/7) producing 40 kt southwest winds over a solid area and seas to 36 ft at 52.5S 173E aimed northeast. The gale is to start lifting northeast in the evening with 35-40 kt southwest winds lifting northeast and seas 29-31 ft over a solid area at 50.5S 180W aimed northeast. On Fri AM (5/8) the gale is to be covering a large area but weaker with 30-35 kts southwest winds and seas 29-33 ft at 57S 170W aimed northeast. In the evening the gale is to continue in the large category with 35-40 kt southwest winds with 33 ft seas at 51S 167W aimed northeast. Fetch is to continue easing east on Sat AM (5/9) but growing in coverage at 35-40 kts over a large area from the south with seas 37 ft over a solid area at 45.5S 158.5W aimed northeast. In the evening the gale is to be large in coverage with a new building fetch of 45 kts south winds developing south of the previous core and seas 34-38 ft aligned north south from 43S to 55S 152.5W aimed north. On Sun AM (5/10) south to southwest fetch to be fading at up to 40 kts lifting north with seas 37 ft at 52.5S 152W with secondary seas fading from 32 ft at 42S 141W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch is to be fading in coverage from 35-40 kts tracking north with seas fading from 31 ft at 48S 151W aimed north. On Mon AM (5/11) fetch is to be fading from 35 kts with seas 29 ft at 43.5S 143W aimed north. This system is to be gone after that. Good odds of swell resulting. Something to monitor.

 

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 is forecast.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

Solid Equatorial Cool Pool Building

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

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

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

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

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (5/6) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific and then solid east over the Dateline and KWGA. Anomalies were weak easterly over the far East equatorial Pacific building to modest over the Central Pacific building to moderate over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (5/7) weak west anomalies were over the western half of the KWGA with weak east anomalies over the far eastern KWGA. The forecast calls for a continuation of this pattern in the KWGA until 5/12, with strong east anomalies starting to build over the dateline at that time through the end of the model run on 5/14.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (5/6) A weak Active Phase of the MJO was over the KWGA today. The statistic model indicates the Active Phase is to hold weakly in the KWGA on day 5, 10 and then then fading out on day 15 with a neutral MJO signal forecast then. The dynamic model indicates essentially the same thing but with the Active Phase weakening fairly quickly and on day 5 and gone on day 10 only to return very weakly on day 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (5/7) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the West Pacific today and is to track slowly east while losing strength over the East Pacific at day 15. The GEFS model suggests the Active Phase racing while collapsing only to reappear weak in the West Pacific exactly where it started 15 days from now.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (5/7) This model depicts a weak Active Phase of the MJO over the West Pacific. The Active Phase is to track east fast and weak pushing into Central America on 5/25. A modest Inactive Phase is supposed to start building in the West Pacific on 5/12 moving to the East Pacific and Central America on 6/1. A weak Active MJO is forecast developing over the far West Pacific 6/1 pushing east slowly through the end of the model run on 6/16.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/6) This model depicts a weak Active MJO signal in the core of the KWGA today with weak west anomalies present over the bulk of the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Active Phase and west anomalies holding till 5/13. After that a neutral MJO pattern is forecast with modest east anomalies filling the KWGA 5/14 through the end of the model run on 6/3.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/7 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts an Inactive Phase of the MJO fading over the KWGA today with weak west anomalies in-play. The forecast indicates the Inactive Phase/Pattern is to hold through 5/12 with weak west anomalies holding. A weak Active Phase is to start building 5/9 in the far West KWGA slowly building east and weakly filling the KWGA till 5/23 with mainly neutral anomalies in play. A weak Inactive Phase is forecast 5/23-6/10 with a mix of weak east and west anomalies holding. A broad Active Pulse is to follow 6/11 building in the west and filling the KWGA through 7/11 with weak west anomalies mostly filling the KWGA but with east anomalies east of the dateline. A very weak Inactive Phase is to set up on 7/11 through the end of the model run on 8/4 with a mix of weak east and west anomalies in the KWGA and with more defined east anomalies east of the dateline. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias with 1 contour line over the KWGA fading out today (5/7). A high pressure bias that has been over the Indian Ocean since last Fall is all but gone today too. The high pressure bias is to reappear over the Northeast Pacific on 6/25 holding through the end of the model run but not reaching west to the KWGA. And at the same time the low pressure bias is to reappear briefly over the KWGA 7/7 to 7/23 and very thin. East anomalies set up in the Indian Ocean last Fall and held through Jan 10, 2020, then started to become more episodic and are to continue that way while moving into the Pacific on 5/31. After that west anomalies are to start building in the core of the Indian Ocean eventually reaching east to 180W 6/24. Based on this model it appears the long term outlook is in a state of flux but becoming increasingly biased towards potentially La Nina.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (5/7) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm was gone. The 29 deg isotherm was steady at 180W today. The 28 deg isotherm line was retrograding to 163W today. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador but getting shallower. Anomaly wise, Kelvin Wave #6 was fading while pushing into the East Equatorial Pacific at +2.0 degs. Neutral anomalies were pushing to the surface from 110-120W. Other nondescript warm water is tracking from the Maritime Continent under the dateline reaching east to 120W. The net effect was warm water was filling the entire equatorial subsurface Pacific down to 100 meters deep on the dateline getting progressively shallower east of there today with a gap at 110-120W. A large pocket of cool water at -3 degs was 150 meters deep at 150W today tracking east with it's leading edge at 95W and possibly poised to push to the surface at the gap. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 5/3 indicates warm water had formed a Kelvin Wave with warm water falling from 120E down into the dateline at 100m deep peaking in the East Pacific at +2-3 degrees then pushing and rising east to 100W and getting progressively shallower. A pocket of cool water east of there associated with the upwelling phase of the previous Kelvin Wave Cycle was all but gone. But a cool pool at depth under the Central Pacific was poised to push to the surface at 90W. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (5/3) Negative anomalies at -5 to -10 cms were indicated in the equatorial Pacific between ecuador and 170W, suggestive of a cool subsurface pool developing below the equator.

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: (5/4) The latest images indicate warm anomalies were modest along the coast of Chile up into Peru and steady in intensity from days past with warm anomalies continuing up off Ecuador up into Central America. But, cool water was building on and just south of the equator from just west of the Galapagos the whole way out to the dateline and building looking like the thin start of a La Nina pattern. Otherwise warmer water was steady aligned just north of the equator from the Galapagos out to 165W, remnants of a fading El nino like pattern. A broad pocket of cool anomalies was off California and Baja but weaker than week past.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (5/6): A building solid cooling pattern was on the equator from just west of Ecuador out to 160W. The short term trend is looking like a developing cooling trend/La Nina.
Hi-res Overview: (5/6) A previous pocket of cool anomalies is gone off Peru. A stronger pocket of cooling was off California and Baja Mexico out to 145W but losing coverage. Warm anomalies were steady along Chile and Peru continuing off Ecuador and Central America up to Mainland Mexico. But a stream of cool water has developed on the equator from 100W west to the dateline. Water temps appear to be stable north of the equator and cool water building on and south of the equator. Overall the data suggests a fading El Nino and a possible building La Nina.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (5/7) Today's temps were steady at -0.209, overall trending down from a warmer range near +0.6 degs between 2/25-3/26. Previously temps had been toggling near neutral. It appears we were in a rising or at least warmer trend, but that is now fading.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(5/7) Temps were falling steadily today down to +0.046, nearly neutral and appearing to be on a firm downward trajectory. The trend appears to be falling after previously being in the +0.3 degree range in Feb, and up to the +0.5-+0.6 degree range 3/12-4/8.

Click for Full Sized Image Click for Full Sized Image

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

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (5/7) Actual's indicate temperatures were generally +0.65 degs Jan 1 2020 through April 1. The forecast depicts temps falling steadily from there, down to 0.0 in early May then diving negative down to -0.50 July 1 and moving to La Nina down at -0.85 in early Sept dropping slowly to -1.0 in Dec and holding there into Jan 2021. According to this model sea surface temps should be falling strongly moving towards La Nina as Summer develops.
IRI Consensus Plume: The April 21, 2020 Plume depicts temps are at +0.30 degs, and are to slow fade to neutral +0.00 in August 2020, then holding there through December 2020. See chart here - link.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad) (5/7): The daily index was solid negative today at -11.24. The 30 day average was rising at +0.69. The 90 day average was falling at -2.93, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was developing.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): March 2020 -0.11, Feb +0.69, Jan +0.42, Dec 2019 +0.46, Nov +1.03, Oct +0.27 Sept +1.11, August +0.60, July +0.75, June -0.32, May +1.10, April +0.30, March +1.0, Feb +1.29, Jan +0.193. This index has been steadily positive but still indicates mostly ENSO neutral conditions (not El Nino).

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

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 

****

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

Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for the week starting Sunday (5/3):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUisyxx_X7M&feature=youtu.be&hd=1
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

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

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

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

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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