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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, May 31, 2018 2:25 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
1.5 - California & 3.0 - Hawaii
Using the 'Summer' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

Probability for presence of largest swells in near-shore waters of NCal, SCal or Hawaii.    

Issued for Week of Monday 5/28 thru Sun 6/3

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   

Last Tasman Pulse Hitting Hawaii
Solid Gale Remains Forecast for South Pacific


On Thursday, May 31, 2018 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance): This buoy is Live now!. Seas were 3.7 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 1.1 ft @ 17.2 secs from 177 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.0 ft @ 6.2 secs with swell 3.1 ft @ 6.1 secs from 248 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 6-10 kts. Water temperature 62.1 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 2.0 ft @ 6.2 secs from 268 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.3 ft @ 13.3 secs from 195 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.5 ft @ 13.1 secs from 208 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.7 ft @ 13.0 secs from 197 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 8.7 ft @ 9.1 secs with northwest windswell 7.1 ft @ 8.1 secs from 322 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 18-21 kts. Water temp 52.9 degs.

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).
- 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).
- 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.
- up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.

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

Current Conditions
On Thursday (5/31) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing surf at chest high and completely chopped and white capped with hard northwest winds nearshore. Protected breaks were waist to chest high and cleaner but still warbled and wonky. At Santa Cruz there was no surf and conditions were semi clean inside the kelp but nearly white capped outside. In Southern California up north surf was thigh high and chopped and soft and mostly unrideable. In North Orange Co northwest windswell was producing waves at waist high or so and soft and clean with some light south texture. South Orange Country's best breaks had some shoulder high peaks and clean and lined up, but slow. In North San Diego surf was waist to maybe chest high and clean and lined up. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was getting Tasman Sea swell with set waves head high to 1 ft over head and clean and lined up. The East Shore was getting east windswell at waist to chest high and chopped by east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (5/31) decent south swell was hitting Hawaii after previously hitting Fiji from a storm that tracked north through the Tasman Sea. Local windswell was impacting exposed breaks in North and Central CA but unremarkable. A small cutoff gale formed southeast of New Zealand on Mon (5/28) producing a short lived and small area of 30 ft seas aimed north. but the models have upgraded and now a decent system is forecast to develop in the deep Central South Pacific Fri-Sun (6/3) with seas to 38 ft aimed well to the north. That is to be followed directly by another system producing 36-37 ft aimed northeast. So there is some hope.


Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Thursday AM (5/31) local windswell was the only energy generated in the North Pacific hitting breaks limited to North and Central CA. Otherwise a weak wind and pressure pattern was in control of the greater North Pacific generating no swell relative to Hawaii or California, typical of a normal summer pattern.

Over the next 72 hours the models are teasing concerning a gale supposedly forecast to form just west of the North Dateline region on Fri PM (6/1) with 40 kt west winds over a small area aimed east and seas building from 20 ft at 48.5N 171E. The gale is to impact the Aleutians on the dateline Sat AM (6/2) with 35-40 kt west winds and seas to 28 ft over a tiny area at 51N 178E, then quickly fading. Small swell is possible radiating mainly east towards the US West Coast.

Otherwise no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.

Windswell Forecast
On Thursday (6/1) local windswell is being generated for North/Central California courtesy of a gradient/fetch over the Central CA coast driven by high pressure at 1028 mbs 900 nmiles north of Hawaii ridging east. This gradient is producing 20-25 kts north winds over North and Central California early but expected to be fading in coverage by the late afternoon and dropping to 15 kts on Fri AM (6/1) offering little in terms of windswell production then.

But by Sat (6/2) high pressure is to pulse a little with north winds again on the increase at 20+ kts mainly over North CA and off the coast of Central CA and expected to build some into Sun (6/3) with 25 kt north winds extending from Cape Mendocino to Pt Reyes and 20 kt north winds down to Morro Bay. Raw local windswell production is likely. See QuikCASTs for details.

On Thurs (6/1) east fetch was also in control east of Hawaii associated with the same high pressure system (above) pushing into the Islands at 15 kts with a decent sized footprint but expected to start fading on Fri (6/1) with easterly windswell production fading out relative to Hawaii. But on Sun (6/3) there suggestions the fetch could rebuild over a shallow area limited to within 600 nmiles east of the Islands perhaps enabling a little more easterly windswell to result. See QuikCASTs for details.


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


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday AM (5/31) high pressure was ridging into Central CA generating north winds at 20+ kts along the North and Central CA coast making a mess of the ocean. Fri (6/1) high pressure is to be held back some as low pressure moves into Central Canada with north winds down to 15 kts for all of North and Central California and up to 20 kts off Pt Conception. Sat (6/2) the low is to be fading and lifting north with new high pressure at 1028 mbs within 600 nmiles off North CA with north winds on the rise again at 20+ kts for the North and Central Coasts building to 25 kts over North CA later. The gradient builds some Sun (6/3) with high pressure up to 1034 mbs northeast of Hawaii ridging east towards Oregon with north winds 25 kts over North CA and 20 kts just off the Central Coast. The gradient and north winds to build Mon (6/4) at 25+ kts over all of Central CA and up to Pt Arena in North CA then fading some on Tues (6/5) at 20-25 kts fading to 20 kts on Wed (6/6). On Thurs (6/7) 20 kts north winds to be limited to Cape Mendocino and 15 kts along the entire Central CA coast.

South Pacific

On Thursday AM (5/31) the southern branch of the jetstream was ridging south under Tasmania at 66S pushing east under New Zealand and the tracking east from there over the entirety of the South Pacific other than a small break near 140W where there was perhaps signs of a trough starting to develop. Over the next 72 hours winds in that proto-trough are to start increasing, building to 110 kts lifting northeast on Fri (6/1) over the Central South Pacific reaching north to 47S late Sat (6/2) then significantly weakening down to 90-100 kts. There is some support for gale development during that period. even then the trough is to hold into Sunday but generally weak and infective at supporting gale development. Beyond 72 hours starting Mon (6/4) a new weak ridge is to start building under New Zealand with winds 90 kts sweeping east while building with winds to 150 kts down at 63S over everywhere but the far Southeast Pacific, and then even there by Wed (6/6) and holding while consolidating into Thurs (6/7). No support for gale development is indicated.

Surface Analysis  
On Thursday (5/31) no real southern hemi swell was hitting California. Background energy from the Tasman Sea (Gale #2) was fading in Hawaii now (see 2nd Tasman Sea Gale below) and being overrun by new energy from the Tasman Sea (see 3rd Tasman Sea Gale below). Also swell from a gale Southeast of New Zealand is supposedly radiating north (See New Zealand Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a new gale is to develop in the deep central South Pacific on Fri AM (6/1) generating a decent sized area of 45 kt south winds with seas building from 30 ft at 62.5S 162W. In the evening the fetch is to lift north with a broader core of 45 kt south winds with 37 ft seas over a building area at 58S 157W. On Sat AM (6/2) 40-45 kt south winds to continue lifting north with seas 39 ft at 53.5S 150.5W. In the evening south fetch is to rebuild at 45 kts over a tiny area with 37 ft seas over a smaller area at 50S 142W aimed northeast. The gale to fade rapidly from there with it's remnants being absorbed into a new gale developing right west of there (see Long Term Forecast below). Something to monitor.


2nd Tasman Sea Gale
Another gale developed southwest of Tasmania on Mon AM GMT (5/21) producing up to 35-40 kt southwest winds aimed up the Tasman Sea with seas building to 30 ft at 52S 140E. The gale built while pushing up into the Tasman Sea in the evening with 40 kt southwest winds and 31 ft seas at 42S 155E. On Tues AM (5/22) fetch is to be well up in the Tasman Sea at 30-35 kts from the southwest with seas 31 ft at 39S 158E aimed northeast. By evening the gale is to be fading with 30 kt south winds off Northwest New Zealand and seas fading from 27 ft at 37S 165E.

Hawaii: Swell fading Thurs (5/31) from 1.5 ft @ 14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 217 degrees


3rd Tasman Sea Gale
A stronger storm started developing on Wed AM (5/23) under Tasmania with a broad area of 45 kt southwest winds aimed northeast and seas 39 ft at 51S 149E aimed northeast. In the evening 40-45 kt southwest winds continued lifting northeast with 41 ft seas at 49S 152.5E. On Thurs AM (5/24) fetch regenerated some while lifting north into the core of the Tasman Sea at 45 kts and 41 ft seas at 44.5S 159E. The gale is to lift north on the evening with 35-40 kt south winds and seas 37 ft at 39S 163E aimed north. South fetch is to be fading in the evening from 30 kts and seas fading from 31 ft at 33S 168E just off the northwest most point of New Zealand. The gale to be gone after that. Large swell is expected for Fiji on Sun (5/27) (local time) with filtered swell radiating northeast towards Hawaii.

Hawaii: Swell building through the day Thurs (5/31) to 1.5 ft @ 17 secs (2.5 ft). Swell just past it's peak early Fri (6/1) at 1.5 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell fading Sat (6/2) from 1.2 ft @ 14 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell gone after that. Swell Direction: 215 degrees

Southern CA: Small swell possible starting on Sat (6/2) pushing 1 ft @ 19 secs late (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell building on Sun (6/3) to 1.3 ft @ 16-17 secs later (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Peaking on Mon (6/4) at 1.5 ft @ 16 secs early (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell fading on Tues (6/5) from 1.2 ft @ 15 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 231 degrees

Northern CA: Small swell possible starting on Sun (6/3) to 1.0 ft @ 17-18 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Peaking on Mon (6/4) at 1.2 ft @ 16 secs early (2.0 ft). Swell fading on Tues (6/5) from 1.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (1.5 ft). Swell Direction: 229 degrees


New Zealand Gale
A gale developed southeast of New Zealand Sun PM (5/27) generating south winds at 40-45 kts over a small area aimed north with seas building from 28 ft over a small area at 47S 172W. By Mon AM (5/28) south winds continued at 40-45 kts with seas building to 29 ft at 47.5S 168W. South fetch faded some in the evening at 40 kts with seas holding at 29-30 ft at 46.5S 164W. On Tues AM (5/29) south fetch faded from 30 kts with seas fading from 25 ft over a small area at 44.5S 165W. Some limited south swell could reach Tahiti and Hawaii. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Sun (6/3) building to 1.6 ft @ 17 secs later (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell to build more on Mon (6/4) pushing 2.3 ft @ 15 secs (3.5 ft) later. Swell fading some on Tues (6/5) dropping from 2.3 ft @ 14-15 secs early (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 195 degrees

South CA: Possible small swell arriving on Wed (6/6). Swell Direction 213 degrees


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




Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.

But windswell is to again build for California. On Mon (6/4) high pressure is to rebuild north of Hawaii at 1032 mbs ridging east into North CA resulting in north winds at 25 kts over most of North CA and all of Central CA down to Pt Conception. The gradient is to start fading and over a smaller footprint on early Tues (6/5) with north winds 20 kts with some pockets to 25 kts hugging the North and Central coasts. Wednesday windswell generation potential is to fade as winds drop to 15 kts over the entire North and Central coasts continuing on Thurs (6/7). .

Relative to Hawaii starting on Mon (6/4) 15 kt east winds to continue over a shallow area 600 nmiles east of the Islands and holding into Tues (6/5) then fading some and patchy after that. Limited odds for east windswell possible.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a new gale is to start building south-southeast of New Zealand with 40 kt southwest winds and seas building from 26 ft. In the evening 50-55 kt south winds are to develop pushing northeast with seas building from 34 ft at 58S 167W. By Sun AM (6/3) a broad fetch of 45 kt south-southwest winds are to be taking shape lifting northeast with 35 ft seas over a solid area at 55S 155W. In the evening the fetch is to track east and start fading from 40-45 kts from the south with seas 36 ft at 54.4S 145W aimed northeast. the fetch is to fragment Mon AM (6/4) with a new small fetch of 45-50 kt south winds developing south of the old fetch and 33 ft seas at 58S 140W. In the evening a new gale is to form producing a tiny area of 45 kt south winds and seas 39 ft over a infinitesimal sized area at 53.5S 138W. That fetch to slowly fade while tracking northeast from there.

Otherwise no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast for the greater South Pacific.

More details to follow...


Large Kelvin Wave Appears To Be Moving Towards Ecuador

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

Overview: La Nina started developing in early 2016, but westward displaced and generally weak. And by March 2017, it was gone with suspicious warming developing along South America and over the Galapagos to a point south of Hawaii. By May the atmosphere returned to a neutral configuration but then in July east anomalies started building in the KWGA and have not stopped, with cold water upwelling over the the Nino1.2 and 3.4 areas, indicative of La Nina. A double dip La Nina was in control and continued through the Winter of 2017-2018. But warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018 associated with two upwelling Kelvin Waves, suggesting the demise of La Nina.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Wed (5/30) 5 day average winds were from the east over the bulk of the equatorial Pacific and also over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were light east over the equatorial East Pacific and modest southeast over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (5/31) Modest east anomalies were over the eastern half of the KWGA with light west anomalies west of there. Moving forward east anomalies are forecast to build while migrating steadily east and centered on the dateline at the end of the model run at 6/7 with neutral anomalies west of there. This Inactive Phase of the MJO is stronger than expected but fortunately moving east. Of note - A westerly wind burst is currently occurring in the Indian Ocean associated with the Active Phase of the MJO there and is forecast to dissipate by 6/5.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (5/28) The Inactive/Dry Phase of the MJO was very weak over the KWGA. The statistical model depicts the Inactive/Dry Phase is to track east while weakening in the KWGA and all but gone by day 3 while the Active Phase builds in from the west and filling the KWGA at day 8 and holding while easing east into day 15. The dynamic model depicts the same thing initially but with the Inactive Phase of the MJO pulsing/rebuilding in the West Pacific at day 3 and holding while fading over the West KWGA through day 15. So the 2 models remain very divergent in their forecasts but the dynamic model seems likely to be in error.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (5/31) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was moderate over the Western Maritime Continent. It is to track east steadily while holding strength moving over the Maritime Continent and into the far West Pacific at day 7, stalling there and weakening to almost nothing at day 15. The GEFS model depicts the same thing but with the stall occurring at bit further west with the Active phase retrograding there after to the Western Maritime Continent the last 5 days of the run.
40 day Upper Level Model: (5/30) This model depicts a moderate Inactive Phase is over the East Pacific and is to be moving east over Central America on 6/6 while a new very weak Active Phase builds in the West Pacific starting 6/3 and moving through the Pacific into Central America on 6/26. A weak Inactive Phase is to be developing over the West Pacific on 6/18 pushing to the East Pacific and Central America at the end of the model run on 7/9. This model runs about 1-2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/29) East anomalies to hold from 150E and points east of there through 6/19.
West anomalies to be held to a point not reaching east of 150E through that same time period. But then east anomalies to dissipate with west anomalies build in the west and east KWGA from 6/23 onward.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/31) This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO was peaking over the KWGA with modest east anomalies in control of the KWGA from 160E and points east of there. The Inactive Phase is to hold through 6/6 with east anomalies moving east to the dateline and west anomalies starting to build in from the west on 6/2. The Active Phase is to be in control on 6/6 in the West Pacific pushing east with weak west anomalies building in the KWGA and is to hold into 7/8 with west anomalies in control of the KWGA. The Inactive Phase of the MJO is to develop after that starting 7/8 holding through 7/25 but with west anomalies holding in the KWGA. After that another weak Active Phase is to set up on 7/28 with west anomalies holding in the entirety of the KWGA through the end of the model run on 8/28. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias is fully in control of the KWGA reaching east to 145W and forecast to hold for the foreseeable future if not building from 2 contour lines to 3 starting 7/2. This is good news for the coming Fall-Winter season. The high pressure bias is limited to an area south of California and shrinking at the end of the model run and inland over California. The La Nina bias is gone. The expectation is that the atmosphere and ocean will begin to be coupled 3 months after the start of the transition or on 8/8 (low pressure bias officially filled the KWGA starting on 5/8) in a more favorable configuration to support storm production in the Pacific.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (5/31) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs reaching east to 165E. The 28 deg isotherm line is stabilizing after moving eastward from the dateline last winter to 165W on 5/15 to 160W 5/22 and to 159W today from the surface to 75 meters deep. The 24 deg isotherm was thickening at 115 meters deep at 140W and 75 meters deep at 120W deepening to 40 meters into Ecuador. Anomaly wise in the East Pacific negative temperatures are gone as warm waters from a Kelvin Wave are building in from the west at depth. Warm anomalies at depth were easing east +3.0 degs at 145W down 150 meters pushing east now with +4 degs anomalies building in the east at 105W and reaching east to the Galapagos. We're waiting for these warm anomalies to erupt to the surface. It appears the Kelvin Wave is gaining eastward momentum. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 5/23 depicts warm water in the west at +4.0 degs at 165W with a river of warm water at +2 degs pushing continuously east to 110W with pockets reaching east from there to the Ecuadorian coast. The last of the La Nina cool pool has evaporated. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (5/23) This image has upgraded significantly. Positive anomalies were solid from the West equatorial Pacific to the east at +5-10 cms reaching from New Guinea to 120W with continuous 0-5 cm anomalies reaching east to 100W and pockets to the Galapagos. No negative anomalies were indicated including along the coast of Peru. The La Nina cool pool is gone.

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: (5/30) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate very weak localized cool anomalies along the immediate coast of Peru and very shallow. Otherwise defined pockets of warm anomalies were building strung along along the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos and out to 140W and starting to fill-in between the pockets. A broad area of warming was also filling the area south of Mexico and out to the dateline. Also warm water was also off Peru (85W) down to 15S aligned along the equator west out to 110W. The remnants of the La Nina cool pool were south of the equator starting at 3S from 110W to 170W.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (5/30): A neutral trend was indicated other than a pocket of warming over the equatorial Pacific from the Galapagos west to 115W and weaker out to the dateline. No pockets of cooling are indicated anywhere near the equator.
Hi-res Overview: (5/30) A few pixels of cool water was indicated along the immediate coast of Peru. Otherwise warm water was building from Ecuador west on the equator over the Galapagos and west from there to the dateline from 3S up to 20N and building in coherence. Weak warming was also further off the coast of Peru to 105W and reaching north to the equator. The only cool water was in the fading remnant pocket from La Nina limited to an area south of the equator from 110W barely to the dateline and south of 3S. Overall the cooling pattern is steadily loosing density and drifting west.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (5/31) Today's temps were steady at -0.681, up from -0.819 on 5/22, and that down from a recent peak rising to +0.459 on 5/13. This is part of a larger rising trend stat started 4/10 indicative of the collapse of La Nina. Overall temps had been steadily marching upwards since late December. Peak low temps in this area occurred on 12/23/17 at -2.1 degs, -2.248 degs on 11/5/17, and -1.9 degs on 10/11/17.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (5/31) Today temps were falling slightly to -0.205, up from -0.427 on 5/12 after having reached up to -0.254 degs on 5/1. Temps have been steadily rising since 3/27 when they were down at -1.2 degs. Previous peak lows were observed on 1/10-1/12 to -1.577, -1.219 on 12/7, -1.156 on 11/22/17, and -1.1 on 11/23. The long arc suggests a rising pattern.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (5/30) The forecast depicts temps bottomed out at -0.75 in Nov 2017 and have been slowly rising since, up to -0.5 in mid-March and -0.30 in early April. The forecast calls for a steady increase from here forward with neutral temps now, pushing up to +0.50 degs in early June and rising July-Oct to +0.80 degs and +1.00 degs in late Dec and holding there into Feb 2019. This suggests La Nina is gone and that perhaps El Nino is to build through the Summer and Fall of 2018. Most other models are also suggesting a possible turn to minimal weak El Nino conditions by late Fall.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-May Plume depicts temps at 0.0 degs as of 5/18 and are to slowly rise from here forward, to +0.4 in August and +0.7 in November and +0.8 in December hold there. See chart here - link. It looks like La Nina is fading out and a weak El Nino might develop. The CFSv2 is in the low end of that pack.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (negative is good, positive bad) (5/31): The daily index was steady today at +4.54. The 30 day average was rising some at +2.77 suggesting the Inactive Phase of the MJO was building some. The 90 day average was falling some at 5.02 suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was holding in the atmosphere biased towards La Nina. This is expected for a month or two more.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (5/31) Today the index was falling more at -0.78, down from -0.70 on 5/20 and -0.60 on 5/17, and the high of -0.36 on Fri (5/11) and -0.38 on Thurs (5/10), down from -0.35 on 4/26, but up from -1.02 on 4/5 and up from -1.13 on 3/27. The trend is upward but still less than the -0.33 reading in late Feb. That was was up from -1.11 on 1/29. The trend suggests La Nina is not gone, but fading steadily. Last years La Nina reached -1.94 on 11/2/16 and then fell to -2.20 on 6/28/17. It held pretty negative through Jan 2018. This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina events. The goal is to have it rise to at least -0.5 before a significant change could be suggested.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly positive, even though La Nina is in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values: April 2017=+0.53, May=+0.29, June=+0.21, July= -0.50, Aug= -0.62, Sept = -0.25, Oct= -0.61, Nov = -0.45, Dec= -0.13, Jan 2018=+0.29, Feb= -0.10, Mar= -0.51. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO, even with La Nina, because the warm PDO appears to be dampening the effects of La Nina. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.77, Feb = +0.70, Mar = +0.74, April=+1.12, May=+0.88, June=+0.79, July=+0.10, Aug=+0.09, Sept = +0.32, Oct=+0.05, Nov = +0.15, Dec = +0.50, Jan +0.70. Feb +0.37, Mar = -0.05. No 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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Powerlinessurf Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest

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Stormsurf and Mavericks on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel

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Mavericks Invitational Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:

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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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