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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 7:59 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
Swell Potential Rating = 2.0 - California & 2.0- 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 5/18 thru Sun 5/24

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   

Solid Storm Develops Under New Zealand
Gale Swell Pushing North From the Southeast Pacific

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.

On Tuesday, May 19, 2015 :

  • Buoy 51201 (Waimea): Seas were 3.8 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 13.2 secs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.9 ft @ 13 secs with swell 1.7 ft @ 14.5 secs. Wind northwest 4-8 kts. In Santa Barbara swell was 1.7 ft @ 13.6 secs from 260 degrees. At Santa Monica swell was 1.8 ft @ 14.1 secs from 223 degrees. Southward from Orange County to San Diego swell was 1.9 ft @ 14.0 secs from 216 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 & 029 (Half Moon Bay): Seas were 6.9 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 3.8 ft @ 11.8 secs. Wind west 8-10 kts nearshore. Water temp 55.2 degs.

Current Conditions
On Tuesday (5/19) in North and Central CA Gulf swell/windswell combo was producing surf at head high, crumbled with small whitecaps on top. Down in Santa Cruz southern hemi residual swell was producing surf at waist high with maybe a stray chest high set and lightly chopped with whitecaps outside the kelp.  In Southern California up north windswell was producing waves at waist high and weak and heavily textured with north wind in effect. Down south southern hemi residual swell was producing waves at waist to chest high and heavily textured if not chopped. Hawaii's North Shore was getting leftover dateline swell with waves waist to maybe chest high on the sets at top breaks and clean with trades from the east. The South Shore was near flat with waves thigh high and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell at waist high and chopped from easterly trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
For the North Pacific relative to Hawaii perhaps some swell to result from what was Super Typhoon Dolphin, now tracking northeast off Southern Japan. But Dolphin is to dissipate  before making it to the dateline Thurs (5/21). Otherwise generic tradewind generated east windswell is expected to fade out on Wed (5/20) with no return in sight. Relative to the US West Coast, no real windswell is in the forecast for the next 7 days. From the southern hemisphere a small gale passed under New Zealand on Fri (5/16) generating 34 ft seas aimed east. Small swell to result for HI and CA. Also a small gale developed on the edge of the South CA swell window on Sat-Sun (5/17) producing 26-28 ft seas aimed well north.  Small swell possible late in the Memorial Day weekend. Then another gale developed pushing under New Zealand on Mon (5/18) with seas to 44 ft, but quickly fading. More swell for HI and CA. And the models suggest another small system developing Southeast of New Zealand on Sat-Sun (5/24) perhaps generating 36 ft seas aimed north-northeast. So more but smaller swell is possible.  

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

North Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday (5/19) a weak high pressure system was off California at 1024 mbs producing no gradient and no winds capable of generating windswell relative to California. This same high pressure system was generating 15 kt easterly trades relative to Hawaii but mostly positioned south of Hawaii, providing only minimal support for windswell development along east facing shores. Otherwise weak low pressure as over the intersection of the dateline and the Aleutians but with no winds strong enough to produce windswell. Another weaker low was trying to organize over and pushing off Japan. And Typhoon Dolphin was in the far tropical West Pacific (see Tropical Update below) tracking northeast well off southeast Japan. But overall no swell production was occurring.

Over the next 72 hours high pressure in the Northeast Pacific is to fade to 1020 mbs by Thurs (5/21) offering no potential for producing windswell relative to either California or Hawaii. Winds in both locations to be less than 15 kts. And the remnants of Dolphin are to get absorbed by the low over Japan, building but racing northeast and into the Bering Sea, with no swell production expected in the greater North Pacific.  No other weather systems of interest are forecast, typical for this time of year.  

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


Tropical Update
Super Typhoon Dolphin had sustained winds up to 140 kts on Sat AM (5/16) tracking northwest positioned 900 nmiles south of Tokyo Japan. Dolphin held into the evening with winds to 140 kts (161 mph) turning north.  By Sun AM (5/17) winds were down to 125 kts tracking north and then northeast by Mon AM (5/18) with winds fading from 90 kts and seas 42 ft at 23N 139E. Dolphin started accelerating in the evening with winds getting less traction and seas fading from 35.9 ft @ 24N 140W. Dolphin is to steadily become absorbed by a broad low pressure system tracking off the Kuril Islands and North Japan on Wed (5/20) and loosing identity 24 hours later about half way to the dateline. There is some odds of small swell pushing towards Hawaii from a very westerly direction. But by Fri (5/22) this system is to be in the Bering Sea and fully shadowed by the Aleutian Islands and eventually fading out there.

Hawaii: Perhaps small swell to result starting Sun (5/24) with swell 2 ft @ 17-18 secs (3.5 ft faces) but shadowed at only the most exposed breaks from 294 degrees.  Swell Peaking on Mon (5/25) at 3 ft @ 15 secs (4.5 ft).   

North CA:  Swell swell to start arriving on Tues (5/26) at 1.6 ft @ 17-18 secs (2.5 ft faces) from 294 degree

California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday (5/19) weak high pressure at 1026 mbs was well off the North and Central CA coast generating northwest winds at 10-15 kts nearshore. Those winds to consolidate more at 15 kts over North CA on Wed (5/20) but only 10 kts for Central CA. Those winds to fade to 10 kts or less for the entire state on Thursday the high fade, only to get a little better organized on Fri (5/22) with north winds 15 kts for all of North and parts of Central CA, building to 15-20 kts for all of North and central CA on Saturday. A minimal fade is forecast on Sunday (15 kts) and then dissipating Monday as another low builds well off the California coast easing east. Perhaps south winds on Tues (5/26) from San Francisco northward as the low starts nosing into North CA.   


South Pacific

On Tuesday AM (5/19) the jet was well .cgiit with the southern branch ridging south under New Zealand pushing hard into Antarctica over the far West Pacific tracking over land the whole way into the far Southeast Pacific, finally lifting north over ice free waters just off the southern tip of South America. The northern branch was tracking east and positioned north of New Zealand on the 25S latitude line then .cgiitting again but with the bulk of the energy tracking east before falling south just off South America. The short of it was the jet was providing no support for gale development in lower levels of the atmosphere. Over the next 72 hours much the same pattern is to persist but with a trough opening up south of New Zealand on Thurs (5/21) but with only 110 kt winds pushing up into it offering limited support for gale development down in lower levels of the atmosphere and slowly easing east into Friday. Beyond 72 hours this trough is to hold into Sun (5/25) but progressively loosing wind energy feeding into it, offering less support for gale development. By Tues (5/26) the big ridge over the South Pacific is to be clearing out with a generally clear pattern forecast over the South Pacific with the two stream merging just east of Northern New Zealand and tracking east- to east-southeast. And some remnants of the New Zealand trough are to persist. No clear support for gale development is indicated, but there's no signs of the jet actively hampering development either. 

Surface Analysis  
On Tuesday (5/19) swell from a previous gale in the Tasman Sea was tracking towards Hawaii (see Tasman Sea Gale below). Swell from a weak gale previously under New Zealand was tracking towards HI and CA (see Small New Zealand gale below).  Swell from a broad but weak gale that previously was in the Southeast Pacific was tracking towards CA (see Southeast Pacific Gale below). Also swell from a stronger storm previously south of New Zealand was pushing towards Hawaii and California (see Stronger New Zealand Storm below). Otherwise southwest fetch at 30-35 kts was east of Northern New Zealand producing a tiny area of 30 ft seas at 38S 155W but whatever swell was being produced will be lost in larger swell already in the water pushing northeast. 

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast. 

Tasman Sea Gale
In the Tasman Sea on Wed AM (5/13) a modest sized gale developed with 40 kt south-southwest winds aimed northeast generating 30 ft seas at 45S 151E targeting Fiji. Winds held at 40 kts aimed north-northeast in the evening with 28 ft seas over a tiny area at 46S 158E. Thurs AM (5/14) 40 kt south winds were pushing due north with seas 30 ft at 42S 159E. And yet more 40 kt south winds held into the evening pushing north with 32 ft seas fading at 37S 163E. Fetch faded from 40 kts Fri AM (5/15) with seas fading from 26 ft at 32S 169E targeting Fiji well and only 750 nmiles away. 

Hawaii:  Swell to arrive starting Thurs (5/21) building to 2 ft @ 15-16 secs late (3 ft). Swell to continue on Fri (5/22) at 2.1 ft @ 15 secs early (3 ft). fading some later. Swell gone by Sat (5/23). Swell Direction: 215 degrees 

Small New Zealand Gale
On Fri AM (5/15) a small gale developed southwest of New Zealand producing 50 kt west winds with seas building from 32 ft at 58S 151E (218 degs CA but shadowed by New Zealand relative to HI). In the evening the gale was fading fast with winds down to 45 kts from the west-southwest winds seas peaking at 35 ft at 58S 164E (215 degs CA and unshadowed, 200 degs HI). Very small and inconsistent swell to result from HI and CA. 

Hawaii: Swell arrival expected on Sat PM (5/23) with swell to 1.6 ft @ 17 secs (2.5 ft). Swell continues on Sun (5/24) at 2.3 ft @ 16 secs (3.5 ft). Residuals fading on Mon (5/25) from 2.5 ft @ 14 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 190-200 degrees

California:  Expect swell arrival on Tues AM (5/26) pushing 1.6 ft @ 17 secs by noon (2.5-3.0 ft).  A little more size expected on Wed (5/27).  Swell Direction: 215-216 degrees

Southeast Pacific Gale
On Fri PM (5/15) a broad gale started building in the far Southeast Pacific as it interacted with strong high pressure at 1036 mbs located over the upper reaches of the Central South Pacific producing a gradient. 35-40 kt southwest winds were indicated with seas on the increase from 25 ft at 60S 130W.  35-40 kt southwest winds continued on Sat AM (5/16) with 28 ft sea indicated at 58S 123W aimed north-northeast. Fetch fading from 30-35 kts over a broad area aimed north in the evening with 26-28 ft seas lifting north from 53S 119W (barely in the SCal swell window at 180 degrees, 176 degs relative to NCal). 35 kt south winds continued Sun AM (5/17) producing 25 ft seas at 43S 115W (mainly targeting Southern CA 177 degs). Fetch started fading from 35 kts but aimed north and tracking due north with 27 ft seas at 42S 110W. A quick fade followed. 

SCal: Expect swell arrival on  Sun AM (5/24) building through the day to 2.6 ft @ 16-17 secs late (4 ft). Swell to peak on Mon (5/25) at 2.9 ft @ 15 secs (4.5 ft). Swell fading on Tues (5/26) from 2.5 ft @ 14 secs early (3.5 ft).  Swell Direction: 173-181 degrees

NCal: Expect swell arrival only at the most exposed breaks starting Sun AM (5/24) building through the day to 2.0 ft @ 18 secs late (3.5 ft) and likely overstated. Swell to peak on Mon (5/25) at 2.6 ft @ 16 secs (4.0 ft). Swell fading on Tues (5/26) from 2.6 ft @ 14-15 secs early (3.5 ft).  Swell Direction: 171-180 degree     

Stronger New Zealand Storm
A gale started developing south of the Tasman Sea Sun AM (5/17) producing 50 kt west winds and 35 ft seas at 55S 156E (shadowed relative to HI by New Zealand, 221 degs CA). In the evening winds were up to 55 kts out of the southwest aimed northeast with seas building to 44 ft at 55S 166E (201 degs HI, 215 degs CA and unshadowed by Tahiti). By Mon AM (5/18) winds were fading fast but aimed well north-northeast at 40-45 kts with 39 ft seas at 52S 174E (196 degs HI, 215 degs NCal/SCal and unshadowed). Fetch was gone in the evening with seas from previous fetch fading from 32 ft at 52S 178W. 

Hawaii:  Swell expected arriving in Hawaii on Sun (5/24) building through the day, perhaps reaching 1.6 ft @ 18 secs late (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell building some on Mon (5/25) pushing 2.3 ft @ 16 secs late (3.5 ft). On Tues AM (5/27) swell holding at 2.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft), then fading. Swell Direction: 195-200 degrees. 

California:  Expect swell arrival late on Tues (5/26) with period 20 secs and size tiny if even rideable (1.2 ft @ 20 secs - 2.0-2.5 ft). Swell building on Wed AM (5/27) with period slowly dropping to 18 secs by 2 PM. Swell peaking over night into Thurs AM (5/28) as period hits 17 secs.  Swell Direction: 215 degrees (218 degs SCal)      


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 generation is forecast. Trades to remain suppressed in Hawaii and no north winds exceeding 15 kts are forecast along the California Coast suggesting a decided lack of high pressure. Interestingly by Sat (5/23) a series of weak low pressure systems are forecast to be migrating east over the North Pacific, with one just east of North Japan, one on the dateline and another in the Southern Gulf.  None are to produce seas of interest but they clearly delineate a favorable storm track for so late in the season. 

Note: 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 equatorial Pacific it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slack if not an outright reversal of trade winds and enhanced 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.cgianet. 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. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to .cgiit resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. 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).

(1st paragraph in each section is new/recent data. 2nd paragraph where present is analysis data and is updated only as required).
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) As of Tues (5/19) the daily SOI was still well negative at -23.50. The 30 day average was falling at -16.02 (the most negative in years) and the 90 day average was falling from -9.18. The near term trend based on the daily and 30 day average was indicative of steady Active Phase of the MJO. The longer term pattern was indicative of a steady state Active Phase of the MJO or a building El Nino. A neutral pressure pattern was over Tahiti with stronger high pressure forecast building over Southeastern Australia by Fri (5/22) and holding into Mon (5/25). A falling SOI is possible then. No change is forecast relative to Tahiti until weak high pressure starts building south of Tahiti on Mon (5/25), possible sending the SOI back towards neutral.  This is starting to looks like the typical El Nino setup relative to Australia (drought and wild fires) as high pressure digs in there. This high also sets up a gradient and steady west winds under New Zealand making for steady swell production relative to the US West Coast from the Southwest Pacific (typical of the later phases of El Nino). The SOI tends to be a lagging indicator.   

Current equatorial surface wind analysis indicated weak to modest westerly anomalies in.cgiay over the Maritime Continent reaching to the dateline then fading to neutral south of Hawaii and continuing that way into the Galapagos. Down at the surface the TOA array indicated modest westerly winds (not just anomalies but a reversal of trades) over the Western Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies held to a point south of Hawaii. A week from now (5/27) a weak westerly wind anomaly pattern is to set up be over the Eastern Maritime Continent reaching over dateline and continuing to a point a bit east of south of Hawaii. This suggests the Active Phase (or at least continued westerly anomalies) are to redevelop. We've had a huge WWB in March followed by a second smaller one (9 day duration) in early May and more west anomalies are now forecast. There has been zero easterly anomalies so far this year. This is a good sign. But more is needed.  

See our new Kelvin Wave Generation Area monitoring model here.

The longer range Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR) models (dynamic and statistical) run on 5/18 suggests a dead MJO signal was in.cgiay. No anomalies were occurring over the Pacific (or just minimal indications of an Active Phase pattern over the dateline). The Statistic model suggests a continuation of the same for the next 15 days with a modest Inactive Phase bottled up in the Indian Ocean trying to ease east, making limited headway 12 days out. The Dynamic model suggests the exact same thing except the Inactive Phase in the Indian Ocean is to ease east and dissipate 15 days out.  For now the models are generally in sync. The ultra long range upper level model run on 5/19 depicts a weak Active MJO pattern fading over the extreme East Pacific. A moderate Inactive Phase is building in the far West Pacific and forecast pushing steadily east and fading as if hits Central America on 6/13.  A weak Active pattern is to track east starting 6/13 reaching the East Pacific on 6/28. The upper level model tends to be a leading indicator, with surface level anomalies lagging behind 1 week or more.    

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.  

As of the most recent low-res imagery (5/18) a modest but more defined warm water/El Nino-like regime continues building over the entire equatorial Pacific, getting a better grasp with each update. Warmer water is building over Ecuador and the Galapagos, steadily per the last 4 updates. This is the likely result of a new strong Kelvin Wave impacting the coast there. But it's development is still not striking. Warm water is also holding along the Chilean and Peruvian coasts pushing north up to the equator. Warmer water extends west from the Galapagos along the equator but only reaching 2-3 degrees south of the equator until it reaches the dateline, then expanding in areal coverage. In reviewing last years data at this same time, the warming is looking stronger, but not over the top.   In comparison to '97, it is similar if not slightly warmer near the Galapagos. TAO data indicates +1.0 anomalies are in control over the entire equatorial Pacific, the warmest in years. +1.5 deg anomalies are depicted advecting west from the Galapagos. The CDAS NINO 3.4 Index suggest water temps are.cgiunging, up to +1.25 degs on 5/16 and now down to 0.9 degs. One would expect this area to start warming markedly as the big Spring Kelvin Wave starts erupting and advecting west, starting about 5/28. Will be monitoring for this. 

Subsurface Waters Temps on the equator are starting to show some signs of warming again under the dateline, but most anomalies are under the equatorial East Pacific pushing east into Ecuador. As of 5/19 a +2.0 C anomaly flow was in control under the equatorial Pacific from 150 meters up. And a large pocket of +5-6 deg anomalies was impacting the Galapagos Islands driven by the extended WWB that occurred 1/15-2/20 and additional strong westerly anomalies in March, feeding even more warm water into that Kelvin Wave. This Kelvin Wave was expected to start erupting over the Galapagos on roughly 5/1 peaking on 6/10. Actual data suggests it hit on 4/28 and started to erupt on the surface (5/7). Peak water temps still extend westward to 138W, meaning there is 3-4 weeks of peak warm water still in the pipe. Also of interest is the apparent downwelling of more warm water on the dateline , the result of non-stop westerly anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Satellite data from 5/13 depicts 0-+5 cm anomalies over the entire equatorial Pacific east of 160E (expanding west some) with a core to +10 cm from 140W to the Galapagos but with 2 small breaks, indicative of an open pipe with an embedded solid Kelvin Wave. The latest chart of upper Ocean Heat Content (5/13) indicates +0.5-1.0 deg anomalies are tracking east between 170E and the Ecuador coast (expanding some) with +1.0-1.5 degs from 155W eastward and +1.5 deg anomalies from 147W eastward. And a core of 2 deg anomalies are indicated from 95W eastward with a small pocket of 2.5 degs anomalies at 92W. This also suggests the peak of the Kelvin Wave is just offshore. In short, a strong Kelvin Wave is in flight and  impacting the Galapagos, and likely to peak in the next 2 weeks. See current Upper Oceanic Heat Content chart here

It is do or die time. Either the ocean temps will warm significantly enough to kick off some degree of real El Nino, or it's more Modoki El Nino. We'll know more by June 1. The good news is more westerly anomalies are building over the dateline, complete with associated tropical development north of the equator, suggestive perhaps of developing co.cgiing between the ocean and the atmosphere (in the classic El Nino sense). Two tropical system in the West Pacific  (Noul and Dolphin) have recurved northeast, and early in the season.    

Pacific Counter Current data as of 5/17 continues to improve. The current is pushing moderately west to east over the entire equatorial Pacific with strongest velocity in the heart of the Kelvin Wave generation Area. Weaker velocities extended from the dateline to 110W, turning neutral near the Galapagos. A very weak easterly current was positioned 2-3 degrees south of the equator. Anomaly wise - moderate to strong west anomalies were in control on the equator over the West Pacific reaching to the equator, then moving just north of the equator and continuing modestly to 110W. A pocket of easterly anomalies was present on and just south of the equator from 145W-170W. This continues to look like El Nino is setting up.

This data suggests a general west to east bias in the current suggesting warm water transport to the east. 

Projections from the monthly CFSv2 model run 5/19 for the Nino 3.4 region remain off the chart but have settled down slightly. It suggests water temps are at +1.1 deg C and are to steadily warm into July reaching +2.0 degs C, and continuing to +2.65 degs by Oct and +2.9 degs by late Nov, then dropping off. This suggests that perhaps we are moving from a multi-year steady state Modoki event to perhaps a full blown El Nino, and strong at that. But it is too early to believe just yet. The same thing happened last year. The model is likely just picking up on the Kelvin Wave in flight, and will settle back down after it erupts over the Galapagos. Much more warm water would need to be transported east over the coming 6 months for a legit El Nino to develop (including surface warm water currently locked over the dateline), especially of the magnitude projected by the model (rivaling the all time great '97 El Nino). The mid-March consensus Plume suggests a continuation of Modoki ENSO, though some models are now suggesting something more. See the chart based version here - link. 

Analysis: Mult.cgie downwelling Kelvin Waves generated by suppressed trades and occasional Westerly Wind Bursts occurring late 2013 though 2014 in the West Pacific. Those Kelvin Waves warmed waters over the Eastern equatorial Pacific, but not sufficiently to declare an official El Nino until Feb 2015, and then very weak at that. Still some degree of teleconnection or feedback loop between the ocean and the atmosphere was in.cgiay with some greater force dictating the pattern (possibly the PDO).  The focus now becomes whether this warming and resulting teleconnection will persist if not strengthen in 2015. We are in the Spring Unpredictability Barrier (March-May). The real teller will be during the month of June. Water temps in the Nino 1.2 region are expected to be quite warm due to the arrival of a large Kelvin Wave currently in flight (see details above). If that warming is sufficient to start the classic El Nino feedback loop, then continued westerly anomalies and WWBs should continue through July-Sept and beyond, with a full scale El Nino developing. But if the cool upwelling Phase of the Kelvin Wave cycle develops in mid-June, then it will likely be another year of the Modoki El Nino cycle. The real interesting thing is westerly anomalies and a certified WWB developed in early to mid May over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area indicating another Kelvin Wave is in development, much different than what occurred last year. The June to early July timeframe will either make or break development of a legit El Nino. Perhaps a true El Nino teleconnection is developing. But again, the real indicator will occur in June (see above).    

We continue monitoring Westerly Wind Bursts and Kelvin Wave development, suggestive of continued warming East Pacific equatorial waters for the 2015 (meaning enhanced support for the jetstream and storm development in Fall/Winter 2015-2016). 

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool and more details in the  El Nino Update Updated 12/4/13 


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a fetch is forecast setting up under New Zealand starting Fri (5/22) generating 35-40 kt west winds but having a hard time getting traction. But by Sat AM (5/23) that fetch is to become more defined with a small area of 55 kt south winds developing generating 31 ft seas aimed northeast over a modest sized area at 54S 169E. 50 kt south winds to continue in the evening lifting north with seas building to 36 ft over a tiny area at 55S 172E. On Sun AM (5/24) fetch is to be fading from 45 kts aimed due north with 35 ft seas at 52S 180W. Fetch is to turning easterly in the evening fading from 45 kts with seas 36 ft at 50S 174W aimed more northeast than north.  This is to be a small system but it's travel path and wind heading are favorable. Something to monitor.     

Details to follow...


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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