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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Sunday, April 23, 2017 2:51 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
2.2 - California & 1.5 - Hawaii
Using the 'Winter' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

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

Issued for Week of Monday 4/24 thru Sun 4/30

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   

Possible Final NPAC Swell Hitting CA
3 S. Hemi Swells Queued Up

BUOY ROUNDUP

On Sunday, April 23, 2017 :

  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 6.4 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 4.1 ft @ 11.2 secs from 340 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.9 ft @ 6.7 secs with swell 1.9 ft @ 15.4 secs from 238 degrees. Wind north 10-14 kts. Water temperature 59.2 degs. At Ventura swell was 1.4 ft @ 15.5 secs from 212 degrees. At Santa Monica swell was 2.0 ft @ 15.8 secs from 205 degrees. At Camp Pendleton swell was 2.1 ft @ 15.7 secs from 211 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma swell was 2.6 ft @ 15.0 secs from 200 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 7.8 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 5.5 ft @ 13.4 secs from 266 degrees. Wind northwest 14-18 kts at the buoy. Water temp 56.7 degs.
    Notes

    46006, 46059, New! Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (at the 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 (4/23) in North and Central CA new Gulf swell was hitting with surf was 2 ft overhead on the sets at top breaks but unorganized and blown out with northwest winds and chop in control. Protected breaks were head high and lined up but nearly chopped. At Santa Cruz surf was 2 ft overhead on the sets and and lined up but raw and warbled from chop just outside the kelp. In Southern California up north southern hemi swell and Gulf was hitting producing waves in the chest high range but a bit raw and warbled and mushed even though winds were light. In North Orange Co surf was chest high coming from the south but heavily textured and slow. In south Orange Co southern hemi swell was producing waves to 1 ft overhead and reasonably clean but with some texture and slow. In San Diego surf was chest high and clean but weak. Hawaii's North Shore was getting north windswell with waves chest to head high at top breaks and reasonably clean early. The South Shore was getting some southern hemi sideband swell with waves to chest high at top breaks and clean. The East Shore was getting north windswell too flat and chopped from east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Sunday (4/23) swell from a gale that developed northwest of Hawaii on Thurs (4/20) with 24 ft seas targeting the Islands then tracked east into Fri (4/21) with 19-20 ft seas was fading in Hawaii and starting to hit the mainland. Looking at the charts no swell production is forecast in the Northern Hemi for the next week unless the models change. But in the Southern Hemi swell from a decent system was hitting California with swell from a smaller one behind that and yet another behind that from a gale that produced 38 ft seas southeast of New Zealand on Thurs-Fri (4/21) tracking northeast. And maybe another gale is to develop in the Central South Pacific on Tues-Wed (4/26) with up to 34 ft seas. The transition to a summer is well underway.

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

North Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Sunday AM (4/23) the jetstream was flowing east off Japan consolidated the whole way across the Pacific tracking roughly on the 38N latitude line eventually pushing over North CA. Winds were 150-160 kts over a good portion of the distance. Unfortunately no troughs were present offering no support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours more of the same is forecast but with a trough slowly developing just west of the dateline by Wed (4/26) while a gentle ridge builds over the Gulf with most winds supporting the ridge with the jet eventually pushing into North Oregon. Limited support for gale development is possible in that trough. Beyond 72 hours this pattern is to amplify with the trough getting steeper and pinching off on Fri (4/28) just east of the dateline and no longer supporting gale development. The ridge is to build as well reaching up into the Northern Gulf supporting only high pressure there. no support for gale development is indicated. Beyond into Sun (4/30) winds energy is to fade in the jet with it still consolidated flowing off Japan at up to 140 kts over the dateline then falling into a weak trough north of Hawaii, splitting with most energy continuing while ridging east at 110 kts pushing over Vancouver Island.

Surface Analysis
On Sunday (4/23) swell from a gale that developed north of Hawaii was hitting California and fading in Hawaii (see Hawaiian Gale below).

Otherwise generic low pressure was centered over the Central Aleutians at 984 mbs with high pressure at 1024 mbs between Hawaii and North CA. A small fetch of 30 kt west winds was developing between the two and expected to track east for the next 24 hours and fade off the Pacific Northwest Coast late Monday offering no real swell generation potential of interest.

Over the next 72 hours the same general pressure pattern is to hold while swell from the Hawaiian Gale fades along the US West Coast. Otherwise no swell production of interest is forecast.

 

Hawaiian Gale
Another broader gale started forming on Tues AM (4/18) just east of the dateline producing 30-35 kts northwest winds and seas building. In the evening northwest winds were falling southeast at 35 kts over a decent area targeting Hawaii well and just 1100 nmiles away with seas to 19 ft at 40N 179W. Wed AM (4/19) 35-40 kt northwest winds built positioned north of Hawaii with seas 22 ft at 37N 165W aimed well at Hawaii. The gale tracked east in the evening with winds fading from 30-35 kts from the northwest with seas 23 ft moving to 36N 160W still targeting Hawaii but also starting to take aim on the US West Coast. Thurs AM (4/20) the gale was holding stationary north of Hawaii with 30 kt northwest winds starting to take aim on California too with seas 20 ft at 36N 156W. In the evening the gale moved east with winds fading from 30 kts from the west with seas 19-20 ft at 35N 154W. The gale held Fri AM (4/21) while easing east with northwest winds 30 kts and seas 20 ft at 38N 150W. The gale dissipated in the evening with residual sea fading from 18 ft at 38N 145W. Possible swell for Hawaii and the US West Coast. Something to monitor.

North CA: Swell to start fading on Mon (4/24) from 5.6 ft @ 12 secs early (6.5 ft). Still on Tues (4/25) residual windswell is to still be present at 5.6 ft @ 10-11 secs (5.5 ft). Swell Direction: 280 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 Sunday (4/23) high pressure was in control off the California coast driving north winds at 15+ kts from Bodega bay southward to Pt Conception and up to 25 kts from Big Sur southward. Light rain for Cape Mendocino with more expected overnight. More of the same on Monday but with the bulk of the north winds falling to 15 kts or greater south of Monterey Bay with heavier rain for Cape Mendocino reaching south to the Golden Gate late afternoon. Snow starting in the morning for Tahoe falling south and holding through the evening with up to 6-8 inches of accumulation for resorts on the crest in Tahoe. Tuesday high pressure rebuilds with north winds 20+ kts from Big Sur southward to Pt Conception but 10-15 kts from Santa Cruz northward and light for Bodega Bay northward. Light rain maybe down to Bodega Bay. Wednesday more of the same is forecast but with high pressure building in solid in the afternoon with north winds 15+ kts for all of North and Central CA. Light rain continues for North CA. Thurs (4/27) high pressure and north winds to be in total control at 20-25 kts over all of North and Central CA and 30 kts in the afternoon for Southern CA. More of the same on Friday even for SCal then lightening up on Saturday, but still 20 kts then fading Sunday.

 

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis  
Swell is hitting California from a respectable gale that tracked across the South Pacific (see New Zealand Gale below). Another swell was right behind it (see Another New Zealand Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours another small gale is to form in the Central South Pacific on Tues AM (4/25) with 45 kt southwest winds over a tiny area and seas building from 28 ft at 57S 156W. Fetch is to build in coverage some in the evening at 45 kts with seas building from 35 ft at 53S 144W and unshadowed relative to CA. Fetch is to fade from 40 kts over a broader area aimed northeast Wed AM (4/26) with seas 35 ft at 50S 133W. Fetch to fade from 30-35 kts in the evening with seas with seas 34 ft at 48S 125W. The gale to dissipate from there.

 

New Zealand Gale
A storm started developing well south of New Zealand starting Tues PM (4/11) with a small area of 40 kts west winds and seas starting to develop from 27 ft at 61S 172E. On Wed AM (4/12) that fetch built to 45 kts lifting northeast with seas to 30 ft at 58S 174W. In the evening winds built to 45 kts from the south-southwest over a solid area with seas building to 33 ft at 56S 161W. The gale reached storm status while lifting northeast with winds 50 kts Thurs AM (4/13) with seas 39 ft at 52S 151W (200 degs SCal and 196 degs NCal and both unshadowed, 171 degs HI). Winds faded from 45 kts in the evening lifting northeast with seas 35 ft at 48S 143W (195 degs SCal, 193 degs NCal). More fetch developed to the south on Fri AM (4/14) at 50 kts over a tiny area aimed north with 30 ft seas from the original fetch fading at 46S 136W aimed north. The gale is to start fading and falling south in the evening with winds in the new fetch fading from 45 kts over a tiny area aimed north and seas fading from 32 ft at 53S 127W. This system to fade from there.

Southern CA: Swell still decent on Sun (4/23) at 2.7 ft @ 15 secs (4.0 ft). Swell fading on Mon (4/24) from 2.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Residuals on Tues (4/25) fading from 2.3 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 198 degrees

North CA: Swell still decent on Sun (4/23) at 2.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.0 ft). Swell fading on Mon (4/24) from 2.0 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Tues (4/25) from 2.0 ft @ 14 secs early (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 196 degrees

 

Another New Zealand Gale
Another gale formed in the deep Southwest Pacific on Sun AM (4/16) with a small area of 45 kt southwest winds building and seas 30 ft over a small area at 65S 173W. With Antarctic Sea Ice seasonally depressed, there is lots of open ocean for gales to get traction. Winds faded while tracking east in the evening at 40 kts from the southwest with seas fading to 28 ft at 66S 161W. The gale reorganized while lifting northeast Mon AM (4/17) with 45 kt southwest winds and seas 24 ft at 63S 151W. In the evening 45-50 kt southwest winds continued northeast with seas building to 32 ft at 52S 130W aimed at California down to Central America and Peru. The gale raced east from there Tues AM (4/18) with 45 kt southwest winds and seas 31 ft at 49S 120W and on the edge of the California swell window. Small short lived swell possible. Something to monitor.

South CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (4/25) with swell building to 1.8 ft @ 17-18 secs late (3.0 ft). Swell building on Wed (4/26) to 2.6 ft @ 15-16 secs late (4.0 ft with sets to 5.0 ft). Swell continue on Thurs (4/27) at 2.3 ft @ 14-15 secs early (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 187 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (4/25) with swell building to 1.5 ft @ 18 secs late (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell building on Wed (4/26) to 2.3 ft @ 16-17 secs mid-day (3.5-4.0 ft with sets to 4.5 ft). Swell continue on Thurs (4/27) at 2.4 ft @ 15 secs early (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 185 degrees

 

Third New Zealand Gale
Another third small storm built south of New Zealand on Thurs AM (4/20) with 50 kt southwest winds and seas building from 32 ft at 61S 170E. In the evening the storm was pushing east-northeast with winds still 45-50 kts and seas 39 ft over a tiny area at 61S 178E aimed east-northeast (202 degs SCal and 200 degs NCal and unshadowed for both, and 190 degs HI). Fetch tracked east-northeast Fri AM (4/21) fading from the southwest at 40 kts and seas 35 ft at 59S 170W. The gale faded from there in the evening but grew in coverage with 35 kt southwest winds and seas 28-30 ft over a large area at 49S 171W (211 degs SCal and 209 degs NCal and both shadowed,187 degs HI). Fetch continued lifting northeast Sat AM (4/22) with 26 ft seas at 44S 162W. In the evening fetch is to continue lifting northeast with winds up to 45 kts over a tiny area from the southwest and seas 27 ft at 45S 155W (194 degs SCal and 193 degs NCal and unshadowed). The gale faded from there Sun AM (4/23) with 40 kt south winds and 33 ft seas over a tiny area at 47S 139W. The gale to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (4/29) building from 1.3 ft @ 20 secs late (2.5 ft). Swell building Sun (4/30) to 2.6 ft @ 17-18 secs (4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 203 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (4/29) building from 1.3 ft @ 20 secs late (2.5 ft). Swell building Sun (4/30) to 2.2 ft @ 18 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 200 degrees

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

 

QuikCAST's

 

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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell production is forecast. High pressure is to take control with low pressure trying to fall into the gaps but not significantly developing with no seas resulting.

 
South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours another small gale is forecast in the deep Central South Pacific Thurs AM (4/27) producing 45 kt southwest winds and 29 ft seas at 64S 167W. In the evening winds to hold at 45 kts from the southwest with 34 ft seas at 64S 159W. Fetch to fade Fri AM (4/28) from 35 kts with seas fading from 30 ft at 60S 148W. Something to monitor.

More details to follow...

 

28 Deg Isotherm Continues Tracking East

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. Still, the atmosphere is in a La Nina configuration.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Sat (4/22) east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific but a little lighter over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were dead neutral everywhere including the KWGA. The Inactive Phase of the MJO and La Nina appear to have backed off.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): Light west anomalies were over the west KWGA and light east anomalies over the east KWGA per the model. The forecast suggests light east anomalies retrograding west and weakening for the coming week (through 4/30) and all but gone by the end of the forecast period with solid west anomalies building over the East KWGA. This suggests the Inactive Phase of the MJO and La Nina are weakening and a neutral pattern is trying to set up for the KWGA.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: As of 4/22 a neutral to weak Active MJO pattern was in effect over the KWGA. The statistic model projects it fading and gone 2 weeks out with a weak Inactive Phase fading over the Maritime Continent and not tracking east. The dynamic model depicts the weakly Active pattern holding for the next 15 days if not building some with the Inactive Phase building in the Indian Ocean but confined there. All this suggest that the previous pattern of the Inactive Phase of the MJO constructively integrating with the remains of La Nina appears to be faded out and a neutral to weakly Active Pattern is taking hold.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/23) The ECMF model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO was very weak over the East Pacific and is forecast to generally hold there maybe building some over the next 2 weeks. The GEFS model depicts the same thing but rebuilding stronger in the East Pacific. This model runs about a week ahead of what occurs down at the surface.
40 day Upper Level Model: (4/23) This model depicts a weak Active Pattern was over the West Pacific. The Active Phase is to remain weak tracking east into Central America 5/10. A weak Inactive Phase to set up in the west 4/30 and is to drift east to Central America 5/23. A weak Active pattern to follow in the West Pacific 5/12 tracking east to the East Pacific through 6/2 and beyond. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (4/20) This model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was centered over the KWGA with neutral anomalies in play. Beyond the Active Phase is to ease east with neutral anomalies in control of the KWGA until weak west anomalies start to develop by 4/28 as the Active Phase starts moving out of the area and the Inactive Phase moves in. The Inactive Phase is to hold till 6/15, but west anomalies are to hold control of the KWGA throughout. After that the Active Phase is to start taking control on 6/20 with solid west anomalies well entrenched and building. The low pass filter indicates La Nina is to be gone on 5/8 (previously 5/6-5/8) with El Nino taking hold 5/25, (previously 5/16-5/22). Projected west anomalies are dependent upon the evolution of El Nino and the date of that development appears to be stable (holding for 2+ weeks now).
Confidence is building on this forecast.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/23) Actual temperatures remain stratified with warm water in the West Pacific at 30 degs C retrograding west and no longer on the chart. But the 28 deg isotherm line continues to make significant eastward progress moving from 176W (4/10) to 174W (4/16) to 154W (4/19) and holding if not building further east with a pocket at 120W today. This is a big deal. 26 deg anomalies continue easing to the east reaching to the Galapagos with 24 degs anomalies over a modest pool down 25 meters (75 meters at 140W) and holding. Anomaly wise warm anomalies at +0-1 degs rule the entire upper reaches of the equatorial East Pacific from 65 meters upward. A pocket of -2 degs anomalies is shrinking at depth between 110-150W down 100 meters reaching up to 50 meters but appears to be loosing coverage. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/18 depicts that warm water is covering the East Pac at +2-3 degs and trying to ease west to about 130W. Cool water at -1-2 degs is at depth at 150W with warm water confined in the West Pacific at +2 degs reaching east to 170W. La Nina has lost control of the ocean at depth with something that almost resembles a warm pattern taking shape. The concern is there is not much warm water in the far West Pacific to feed any sort of a progressive Kelvin Wave pattern, but somehow more warm waters is present in the east. And the cool pocket appears to be blocking any westward flow of such warm water.
Sea Level Anomalies: (4/18) Positive anomalies at 0-+5 cms are on the equator from Ecuador west to 95W, retrograding from 110W a week ago. 5+ cm anomalies remain along the coast of Peru and Ecuador. La Nina is gone in the East Pacific with a neutral to warm trend building in.

Surface Water Temps: The more warm water in the equatorial East Pacific means more storm production in the North Pacific during winter months (roughly speaking). Cold water in that area has a dampening effect. Regardless of what the atmospheric models and surface winds suggest, actual water temperatures are a ground-truth indicator of what is occurring in the ocean. All data is from blended infrared and microwave sensors.
Satellite Imagery
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4: (4/22) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate warm water is off Northern Chile and Peru north to Ecuador then extending west over the Galapagos reaching west to 120W at +1.5 degs with warm anomalies out to 160W but mainly south of the equator. But these warm waters have gotten significantly eroded by cool waters upwelling along the immediate coast of Peru and North Chile, so much so that the massive warming indicated 2 weeks (+4 degs) ago has completely diffused (to +1.5 degs). But, starting 4/19 that upwelling appears to have lost it's footing. Looking at the large picture, warming in the southern hemi extends east thousands of miles off the coast of South America as far south as 20S. La Nina is gone and it looks like an El Nino like pattern is returning, though that seems hard to believe given the limited volume of subsurface warm water in the West equatorial Pacific.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/21): A neutral trend is along immediate Chile and Peru. A pronounced cooling trend is quickly fading off Ecuador over the Galapagos and out to 110W. A moderate warming trend continues west from 110W out to the dateline. A warming trend is also present in the Northern Hemi modesty from Baja to Hawaii reaching west to the Philippines.
Hi-res Overview:
(4/14) There is no sign of La Nina anymore anywhere on the equator. A solid warm regime holds from Ecuador west to 140W and less energetic out to the dateline. Remnants of La Nina are gone in the ocean and it looks like El Nino is trying to develop and making headway into the Nino3.4 region.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/23) Today's temps were steady and neutral at +0.188, down from the peak of +3.0 degs on 3/18.  
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (4/23) temps were steady at +0.577 degs in weak El nino territory.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies



SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/23) The forecast has temps rising to +0.85 degs late May holding into early July then fading late summer to +0.7 degs only to rebuild some to +0.9 degs in late Oct holding into Jan 2018 suggesting a return of El Nino, but weak. La Nina is over and a return to at least normal temps is expected in Spring. The change in the atmosphere will be slower. And a turn to weak El Nino conditions is possible late summer into Fall. Still, there is no source for greater warming with the warm pool in the far West Pacific pretty weak.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-April Plume updated (4/19) depicts temps are warming and are now at +0.4 degs. A slow increase in temps is forecast thereafter to +0.8 degs in July and up to +0.9 degs through the Fall into Winter. This is +0.3 degs warmer than the Feb forecast and +0.6 degs warmer than the January forecast and +0.1 degs since the March forecast suggesting La Nina is over and a warmer regime is setting up. See chart here - link. 

Atmospheric Decoupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (4/23): The daily index was still negative at -3.46 and was strong negative mid-month. It has been negative for 11 days. The 30 day average was falling at -5.33. The 90 day average was rising at -1.29 or effectively neutral. This suggests a return to at least a neutral ENSO conditions has taken hold.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (4/23) Today's value was steady at -1.06, still pretty negative given the other oceanic signals. A peak low was reached on 11/2 at -1.94 the deepest it had been in this La Nina event. This measures atmospheric response, not oceanic. The atmosphere lags behind changes in the ocean. The expectation is this index will rise to 0.0 three months after the oceanic change occurred (Oceanic change occurred approx Jan 20 2017).

Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO continues positive, though much weaker lately (as expected with La Nina setting in).
Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.12, Feb = +0.04, March = +0.08. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO. No consistently negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington EDU index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.77, Feb = +0.70, Mar = +0.74. 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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Local Interest

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Mavericks Invitational Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:
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http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/surfs-up-for-mavericks-invitational-in-calif/

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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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