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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Sunday, May 9, 2021 4:24 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
3.0 - California & 2.5 - 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 5/10 thru Sun 5/16

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   

2 Small S Hemi Swells In-Flight
Two More Substantial One Forecast

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Sunday, May 9, 2021 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 3.1 ft @ 16.7 secs with swell 1.4 ft @ 16.3 secs from 190 degrees. Water temp 77.2 degs (Pearl Harbor 233), 77.5 (Lani 239).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.7 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 14.5 secs from 307 degrees. Water temp 77.4 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.3 ft @ 11.4 secs with swell 2.2 ft @ 10.3 secs from 214 degrees. Wind at the buoy was east at 10-12 kts. Water temperature 63.5 degs, 63.0 (Topanga 103), 63.7 degs (Long Beach 215), 65.3 (Del Mar 153), 62.6 (Pt Loma 191). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 7.4 ft @ 10.3 secs from 309 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.1 ft @ 7.3 secs from 260 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.3 ft @ 10.4 secs from 250 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 2.3 ft @ 11.6 secs from 262 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 14.1 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 11.9 ft @ 9.5 secs from 313 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 21-27 kts. Water temp 48.2 (029), 52.3 degs (SF Bar 142) and 55.2 degs (Santa Cruz).

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

Swell Classification Guidelines

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

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

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
Current Conditions
On Sunday (5/9) North and Central CA had waves at 2-3 ft overhead and somewhat lined up coming from the north but warbled and nearly chopped early. Protected breaks were up to 1 ft overhead and somewhat warbled but with calm wind early and rideable. At Santa Cruz surf was waist high or so on the sets and clean but weak and broken up. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist high on the sets and clean and somewhat lined up with decent form when the sets appeared. Central Orange County had set waves at waist high and warbled and uneven and crumbled with south winds on it early. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at waist high and somewhat lined up and heavily textured and crumbled. North San Diego had sets waves at waist high and semi-lined up but soft and weak with some intermixed warble. Hawaii's North Shore had a few sets at waist high or so and fairly clean but inconsistent and weak. The South Shore had some waist high sets and clean and weak. 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 Sunday (5/9) Hawaii was getting small swell that originated from under New Zealand on Sat-Sun (5/2) tracking northeast producing up to barely 30 ft seas. California was getting only locally generated northerly windswell. Down south another gale formed tracking east from under New Zealand Tues-Thurs (5/6) producing up to 34 ft seas aimed east over a small area. Another gale followed in the Central South Pacific Fri-Mon (5/10) producing 39 ft seas aimed north. And another is to push southeast of New Zealand Mon-Tues (5/11) producing 39 ft seas aimed east-northeast. And possibly another is to traverse the South Pacific Wed-Fri (5/14) producing 30 ft seas initially building to 38 ft seas in the Southeast Pacific. In North and Central CA, local northwest windswell is to continue indefinitely.

See all the details below...

 

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

North Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis
On Sunday (5/9) no swell of interest was hitting the coast and no swell producing weather systems were occurring.

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather system are forecast other than local windswell.

 

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

  • Mon (5/10) northwest winds are forecast at 30 kts for North CA early and 10 kts for Central CA nearshore but 20-25 kts well off the coast holding all day. The coverage of the 30 kt winds are to fade up north some in the afternoon. Windswell fading but still solid.
  • Tues (5/11) northwest winds are forecast at 25-30 kts for North CA north of Bodega Bay early and calm south of there early. Northwest winds in the afternoon are to be fading fast at 20-25 kts limited to Cape Mendocino and calm south of Pt Arena. Windswell fading steadily.
  • Wed (5/12) northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts early for Cape Mendocino and calm to light northwest south of Pt Arena pretty much holding that way all day. Limited windswell.
  • Thurs (5/13) high pressure is to hold steady producing a limited fetch of northwest winds at 20-25 kts for Cape Mendocino early and 5 kts for south of there holding all day. Windswell small and fading.
  • Fri (5/14) northwest winds to be 20-25 kts for most of North CA early but 10 kts south of the Golden Gate early building some in coverage up north in the afternoon and building to 15 kts down to Monterey bay and 10 kts south of there with windswell building slightly through the day.
  • Sat (5/15) northwest winds to build at 20-30 kts over all of North CA and 15-20 kts for Central CA early and holding up north in the afternoon but building to 20 kts for Central CA later. Windswell building some.
  • Sun (5/16) the gradient is to again become focused on Cape Mendocino with northwest winds 25-30 kts there and 5-10 kts south of there holding all day. Windswell dropping some.

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 10,500 ft today rising to 12,000 ft on 5/10 and holding only to dip to maybe 9,000 ft on 5/15, rebuilding to 12k ft on 5/17 and holding.

Freezing level falling to 10,500 ft 5/6-5/10 then building up to 11,000-12,000+ ft after that.

 

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

 

Overview
Jetstream
On Sunday (5/9) the jet was ridging south under New Zealand down to the Ross Ice Shelf then starting lifting northeast over the Southeast Pacific forming a trough being fed by 140 kts winds and offering good support for gale development there. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to push east out of the California swell window while collapsing on Mon (5/10) no longer supporting gale development. Wind energy is to be pushing southeast of New Zealand Tues (5/11) but falling southeast developing into ridge with 170 kts winds pushing hard east while lifting northeast on it's leading edge forming a trough moving over the Southeast Pacific on Thurs (5/13) offering some support for gale development and holding there into Fri (5/14). Beyond 72 hours the ridge is to hold over the Southwest Pacific on Fri (5/14) and continuing through Sun (5/16) offering no support for gale development. And the trough over the Southeast Pacific is to build some into Sat (5/15) still being fed by up to 160 kts southwest winds offering more support for gale development, but is to move east of the California swell window on Sun (5/16) with support for gale development dissipating.


Surface Analysis
On Sunday (5/9) swell from a weak gale that pushed under New Zealand was weakly hitting Hawaii and bound for the US West Coast (see Weak New Zealand Gale below). And a second swell was behind that originating just southeast of New Zealand (see Another New Zealand Gale below). And another smaller gale was developing in the upper reaches of the Central South Pacific (see Central South Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a storm was developing south of New Zealand Sun AM (5/9) producing 50 kt southwest winds and seas building from 33 ft at 61S 178W aimed northeast. In the evening the storm is to be producing a solid area of 45-50 kt southwest winds with seas building from 38 ft at 61.5S 173W aimed northeast. The gale is to track rapidly east-northeast Mon AM (5/10) producing 40-45 kt west winds and seas building to 39 ft at 60.5S 159.5W aimed northeast. In the evening a broad area of 40 kts southwest winds are to be lifting northeast with seas 35 ft at 56.5S 137.5W aimed east. On Tues AM (5/11) a broad fetch of southwest winds are to be lifting northwest at 40 kts solid and seas forecast at 36 ft over a solid area centered at 54.5S 128.5W aimed east-northeast. In the evening fetch is to continue lifting northeast at 40 kts over a solid area aimed east-northeast with 37 ft seas at 51.5S 119.5W aimed northeast and on the eastern edge of the Southern CA swell window. Fetch fading Wed AM (5/12) from 35 kts with seas 33 ft and east of the Ca swell window. This system to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.

 

Weak New Zealand Gale
A gale developed 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 but fading to 30-35 kts with seas 29 ft at 57.5S 1179.5E aimed northeast. Fetch built in coverage in the evening coming from the south at 30-35 kts with seas 26 ft at 58S 169W aimed northeast. Fetch was fading Sun AM (5/2) from the south at 30 kts with seas 23-24 ft at 55S 162W aimed northeast. In the evening south to southwest winds continued at 30-35 kts over a smaller area with seas fading to 23 ft at 51S 151W aimed northeast. On Mon AM (5/3) fetch regenerated some at 40 kts over a small area aimed northeast with seas 25 ft at 56S 140W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch built to 45 kts from the southwest over a smaller area with seas 31 ft at 56S 136.5W aimed east. The gale faded out after that. Small swell is radiating northeast.

Hawaii: Swell steady on Sun (5/9) at 1.2 ft @ 16 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell dissipating on Mon (5/10) from 1.1 ft @ 14 secs early (1.5 ft). Swell Direction: 190 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon (5/10) building to maybe 1.0 ft @ 18 secs late (1.5 ft). Swell building on Tues (5/11) to 1.7 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell steady on Wed (5/12) at 2.3 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft). Swell holding on Thurs (5/13) at 2.4 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell fading on Fri (5/14) from 2.0 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 205 moving to 195 degrees

Northern CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon (5/10) building to maybe 1.0 ft @ 18 secs late (1.5 ft). Swell building on Tues (5/11) to 1.5 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.5 ft). Swell steady on Wed (5/12) at 2.1 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell holding on Thurs (5/13) at 2.2 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Fri (5/14) from 2.1 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 202 moving to 192 degrees

 

Another Weak New Zealand Gale
On Tues PM (5/4) a small gale pushed east under New Zealand producing a small area of 45-50 kt west winds with seas building to 32 ft at 53.5S 164.5E aimed east. On Wed AM (5/5) southwest winds continued east at 45-50 kts with seas 34 ft at 53.5S 175.5W aimed east. In the evening southwest winds continued at 45-50 kts over a small area aimed east with seas 34 ft at 51.5S 159W aimed east. On Thurs AM (5/6) fetch was fading from 40 kts over the Central South Pacific with seas fading from 32 ft at 50S 145W aimed east. The gale is to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Wed (5/12) building to 1.3 ft @ 17 secs (2.0 ft) mid-day. Swell holding on Thurs (5/13) at 1.5 ft @ 15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell fading on Fri (5/14) from 1.3 ft @ 14 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 195 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on late on Thurs (5/13) building to 1.3 ft @ 19 secs (2.0 ft). Swell building some on Fri (5/14) pushing 1.7 ft @ 17 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell holding on Sat (5/15) at 2.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell being overtaken by another swell after that. Swell Direction: 205 degrees

Northern CA: Expect swell arrival on late on Thurs (5/13) building to 1.1 ft @ 19 secs (2.0 ft). Swell building some on Fri (5/14) pushing 1.7 ft @ 17 secs (2.5-3.0 ft) later. Swell holding on Sat (5/15) at 2.0 ft @ 16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Sun (5/16) from 1.8 ft @ 15 secs(2.5 ft) while being overtaken by another swell after that. Swell Direction: 205 degrees

 

Central South Pacific Gale
On Fri PM (5/7) a new but weak gale formed in the Central South Pacific producing 35 kt southwest winds tracking northeast with 25 ft seas at 49S 158.5W aimed northeast. On Sat AM (5/8) fetch built to 35-40+ kts over a building area from the south with seas 27 ft at 42S 150.5W aimed northeast. A broader fetch built in the evening over the same area at 40-45 kts from the south with seas 27 ft solid at 40S 143W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (5/9) south to southwest winds were building at 45-50 kts with seas 39 ft over a small area at 41S 136.5W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 35-40 kts from the southwest with seas 33 ft over a small area at 39S 129W aimed northeast. Fetch is to be fading Mon AM (5/10) at 35 kts from the southwest with seas 27 ft at 40S 124W aimed northeast. This system is to fade out after that. Small swell is being generated mainly for California. 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 of interest is forecast.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a new fetch is to be developing under New Zealand on Wed AM (5/12) producing a large area of 40 kt northwest winds and seas building from 30 ft at 60S 160E aimed mostly at the Ross Ice Shelf. In the evening fetch is to push east and turn more westerly at 40 kts over a large area southeast of New Zealand producing 31 ft seas at 61.5S 177W aimed east. On Thurs AM (5/13) a more classical gale low is to build over the Central South Pacific producing 35-45 kt southwest winds with seas building from 32 ft at 60S 149W aimed east. And additional fetch is to be building west of it. the main fetch is to have 45 kt southwest winds over the Southeast Pacific with 31 ft seas over a solid area at 60S 130W aimed east-northeast with secondary seas of 32 ft building west of it at 62S 162W aimed east. On Fri AM (5/14) the original fetch is to be east of the CA swell window with the secondary fetch lifting northeast at 45-50 kts producing seas of 34 ft at 59S 138W aimed east-northeast. In the evening southwest winds to be 40-45 kts over the Southeast Pacific with 39 ft seas at 53.5S 119W on the edge of the SCal swell window. Something to monitor.

 

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

Neutral Pattern Taking Hold
Summary - Kevin Wave #1 was pushing east across the Equatorial Pacific poised to erupt along Ecuador. Kelvin Wave #2 was half way across the Pacific. The forecast suggests continued west anomalies in 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 (5/8) 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 light east over the East equatorial Pacific and light east over the Central Pacific and light to modest east over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, versus realtime, so they lag what is happening today (by about 2 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (5/9) moderate east anomalies were mostly filling the KWGA and building into the Central and East Pacific. The forecast calls for mostly moderate east anomalies filling the KWGA and tracking east filling the KWGA and the whole equatorial Pacific for the next week through the end of the model run on 5/16.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (5/8) A weak Inactive MJO pattern filling the KWGA today. The statistic model projects the Inactive Phase all but gone on day 5 of the model run and hold that way through day 15. The dynamic model indicates much the same thing with perhaps a weak Active Pattern trying to set up over the Western KWGA on day 15 of the model run.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (5/9) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the Central Indian Ocean today and is to track slowly east to the Central Maritime Continent by day 15 of the model run and weak. The dynamic model suggests the Active Phase is to steadily plod east reaching the East Maritime Continent at modest strength 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): (5/8) A strong Inactive Phase (dry air) was over the East Pacific today and is to be over Central America on 5/15. A modest Active Phase (wet air) is to push over the KWGA on 5/13 tracking east to the East equatorial Pacific and reaching Central America on 5/28 A new moderate Inactive MJO (dry air) is to be building over the West Pacific on 6/7 filling the Pacific at the end of the model run on 6/17.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/8) This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO was tracking through the KWGA with weak to modest east anomalies in control. The forecast indicates the Inactive Phase is to exit the KWGA on 5/11 with west anomalies returning to the KWGA on 5/10 filling the bulk of it and holding through the end of the model run. But east anomalies are to hold on the dateline starting 5/15 through the end of the model run on 6/5 in a few weak pockets but with no Active MJO depicted and instead a neutral MJO is forecast beyond.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/9 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): The Inactive Phase of the MJO was about 50% of the way through traversing the KWGA today with weak east anomalies in control. The forecast indicates that east anomalies are to hold over the KWGA through 5/11 giving way to weak west anomalies but with the Inactive Phase of the MJO still traversing the KWGA through 5/24. Interesting. A new moderate Active Phase is to start building in the west on 5/26 pushing east and holding through 7/12 with modest to moderate west anomalies controlling the KWGA. Literally no significant east anomalies are forecast in the KWGA starting from a day or two from today forward. A weak Inactive MJO is to try and set up 6/26-7/20 but only make it half way through the KWGA and fading with west anomalies still in control. The beginning of another Active Phase of the MJO are suggested 7/25 through the end of the model run on 8/6 with modest west anomalies in control of the KWGA. But solid east anomalies are forecast from the dateline eastward filling the East Pacific from 7/15 onward. The RRR is well modeled. 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 building over the West KWGA filling the western half of it to 150E. The high pressure bias has 2 contour lines reaching east to a point south of the Southwest US. The second contour line is to fade 6/3. The remaining 1 is to be shifting steadily east and losing coverage and no longer in the KWGA after 6/27. 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 reaching 170W then stalling 7/20, then retrograding some. 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: (5/9) Today in the far West Pacific the 28 deg isotherm line was pushing east to 161W. 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 to 140W today with a second Kelvin Wave with +2 degs anomalies in the East Pacific pushing to the surface at 110W and reaching into Ecuador. No cool anomalies were indicated. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 5/3 indicates a dramatic improvement with warm anomalies moving east subsurface to 90W just off Ecuador indicative of a Kelvin Wave poised to impact the far East Pacific and barely reaching the surface from 110W and points east of there. 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: (5/3) A dramatic improvement continues with sea heights slightly above neutral (0 to +5 cms) over the entire equatorial Pacific. No negative anomalies were present on the equator or along the coasts of Chile, Peru, Central America and up to Baja Mexico or California. 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: (5/8) The latest images indicate near neutral water temps on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos out to almost the dateline with weakly warm water north of it and weakly cool water south of it. A previous upwelling event (cool anomalies) along Peru was all but gone. 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 (5/8): a neutral temperature trend was Peru and Ecuador out to the Galapagos and over the equator.
Hi-res Overview: (5/8) A generic area of warm water was west of Central America. Generic cool water was west of Peru. A very 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: (5/9) Today's temps were steady -0.550 after rising to -0.471 on 5/3. Temps recently bottomed out at -0.950 on 4/5. Before that temps peaked at +0.714 on 3/16. Temps previously were -0.604 on 1/24. 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:
(5/6) Temps peaking recently at +0.040 on 5/3, the highest in a year and barely positive Today temps were weakly falling at -0.065 . Temps previously 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 (5/9) - Actuals per the model indicate temps bottomed out in early Nov at -1.25 degs then rose steadily to -0.55 degs in mid-April. The forecast indicates temps rising slightly to -0.25 degs in early July and holding till mid-August, then starting a weak fade falling to -0.50 degs in Oct and holding there in Dec and 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) (5/9): The daily index was falling at +5.15. The 30 day average was rising to +2.77 after peaking at +19.51 on 1/14. The 90 day average was falling slightly at +3.07 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
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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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