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.
On Tuesday (5/20) in North and Central CA southern hemi swell was hitting a bit stronger than expected with waves chest high mixed with local north windswell in the chest high range. Conditions were heavily textured at exposed breaks with modest northwest winds in effect. In Southern California up north had windswell in the thigh to waist high range and blown out. Down south southern hemi swell was producing waves in the chest high plus range on the sets but chopped with northwest wind in effect. It was cleaner in Southern Orange County. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was still getting some southern hemi swell with waves waist to maybe chest high on the sets and clean. Exposed breaks on the East Shore were flat with no real easterly windswell in the water and trades light.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
No swell producing fetch is occurring or forecast for the North Pacific other than local windswell. Down south another gale developed south of New Zealand early Wed (5/14) with seas to 39 ft aimed east then quickly faded. More small swell for Tahiti, Hawaii (Wed 5/21) and the US West Coast (Sat 5/24). Another small system developed under New Zealand on Sun (5/18) with 40 ft seas aimed east. Swell for CA starting Tues (5/27). Another very weak gale developed in the same area Tues (5/20) with 36 ft seas over a tiny area and then things settle down some. Lot's of small swell for Hawaii over to the mainland, with bigger surf for the South Pacific and down into Central and South America.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Surface Analysis - On Tuesday (5/20) no swell producing weather systems were occurring. Trades were below 15 kts east of Hawaii with no windswell of interest occurring. North winds and high pressure was trying to get a foothold over the Central California coast but it was a bit too early yet. Minimal windswell was resulting. Over the next 72 hours high pressure is to start organizing off Central California with north winds and the usual gradient taking hold over Cape Mendocino at 25 kts on Wed (5/21) holding into early Thursday, then fading. Modest local windswell to result. Trades to remain light for Hawaii.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored or forecast.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday AM (5/20) high pressure at 1028 mbs was building off Central CA with 15 kt north winds in control of outer waters and up to 20 kts near Cape Mendocino. The southern half of Southern CA was protected. On Wednesday north winds to built to 25 kts over Cape Mendocino reaching south to San Francisco (outer waters only) then retreating north again on Thursday and fading to 20 kts with light winds nearshore south of Pt Arena. By Friday (5/23) the gradient is to start sinking south and building covering all of Central and North CA with 15-20 kt northwest winds, then building in strength and coverage on Sat (5/24) at 25 kts centered near San Francisco. SCal to remain protected. more of the same Sunday and Monday building to 30 kts on Tues (5/27) with 25 kt winds covering all of North and Central CA. SCal to remain protected.
Jetstream - On Tuesday (5/20) the jetstream was split with the two streams running parallel across the South Pacific, both falling gently to the southeast over the far Southeastern Pacific. The southern branch was running more or less flat under New Zealand with winds 110 kts then ridging/falling southeast over the Southeast Pacific starting at 140W crashing into Antarctica southwest of the southern tip of South America. Something that could almost be called a trough was present under New Zealand offering some support for gale development there. Over the next 72 hours the same pattern is to hold but with the trough slowly becoming more organized under New Zealand into late Thurs (5/22) with winds building to 120 kts offering better odds for gale development there. To the east the jet is to continue ridging southeast pushing into Antarctica offering no support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours new wind energy is to start building southwest of New Zealand Sat (5/24) pushing due north at 150 kts possibly fueling gale development there into Sun (5/25) then quickly washing out. But yet another burst of southerly winds is to build on Tues (5/27) but only at 110 kts setting up yet another trough possibly supporting gale development at lower levels of the the atmosphere. The ridge is to hold in the east. So the focus is to remain the Southwest Pacific.
Surface Analysis - On Tuesday (5/20) swell from the 1st Southwest Pacific Gale of the summer season was hitting California and all but gone in Hawaii (see details below). Another gale formed under New Zealand on Wed (5/14) (see 2nd New Zealand Gale below) with swell from it pushing towards Hawaii and California. And yet a third system is forecast over the next 72 hours (see 3rd New Zealand Storm below). The issue all are generally small with fetch pushing mainly east rather than northeast.
Over the next 72 hours another small gale developed just south of New Zealand on Mon PM (5/19) with 40 kt west winds over a small area and seas building from 30 ft at 57S 170E. On Tues AM (5/20) 45 kt west winds were blowing with seas peaking at 36 ft over a small area at 59S 180W. Fetch is to be fading from 40 kts over a tiny area in the evening with seas fading from 36 ft at 59S 172W. A quick fade to follow. Minimal sideband energy is possible for Hawaii with shadowed tiny swell for the US West Coast.
No other respectable swell producing weather systems are forecast even thought he jetstream configuration looks reasonably favorable.
1st Southwest Pacific Gale
On Thurs PM (5/8) a storm started developing under New Zealand with 50 kt southwest winds pushing east with 32 ft seas building at at 59S 179E (192 degs HI, 208 degs NCal and in the core Tahitian shadow, 209 degs SCal and about to move east of the shadow). The storm faded to gale status Fri AM (5/9) with winds down to 40-45 kts in the west quadrant and seas fading from 34 ft at 60S 174W aimed more east than up into our forecast area (188 degs HI, 204 degs NCal and almost east of the shadow, 205 degs SCal and unshadowed). Of more interest was a secondary fetch of 40 kt southwest winds that developed just southeast of New Zealand Friday evening with 28-30 ft seas building over a moderate area with the north most extent near 50S 177W (192 degs HI, 212 degs NCal and unshadowed, 213 degs SCal and shadowed) and aimed decently to the northeast. 40 kt southwest winds held into Sat AM (5/10) with 30-32 ft seas at 46S 170W (188 degs HI, 210 degs NCal and just barely shadowed, 212 degs SCal and shadowed) with 31 ft seas south of it at 58S 170W (186 degs HI, 204 degs NCal and still barely shadowed, 206 degs SCal and clear). 35-40 kt southwest winds continued in the evening with seas fading but still 32 ft and covering a solid area with its core at 57S 160W (181 degs HI, 202 degs NCal, 203 degs SCal). This system was fading after that with perhaps 32+ ft seas Sun AM (5/11) at 53S 153W and bypassing any route to Hawaii and on the 198 degree path to NCal and the 199 degree path to SCal. This system dissipated after that. A modest and long lasting pulse of the first southwest swell of the season could result for Tahiti, Hawaii and the US West Coast.
Southern CA: Residuals on Wed (5/21) at 2 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 204-210 degrees
North CA: Residuals on Wed (5/21) at 1.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 203-209 degrees
2nd New Zealand Gale
On Tues PM (5/13) a gale quickly developed under New Zealand generating a solid area of 45 kt west winds with seas responding quickly pushing up to 36 ft at 59S 170E (196 degs HI, 212 degree SCal and shadowed, 211 degs NCal and not quite shadowed). By Wed AM (5/14) winds were fading from 45 kts but lifting a bit to the northeast with seas 38 ft at 57S 178E (193 degs HI, 210 degs SCal and shadowed by Tahiti, 209 degs NCal and shadowed. By evening fetch was fading from 35 kts with seas fading from 32 ft at 54S 172W (189 degs HI, 208 degs SCal and shadowed, 207 degs NCal and shadowed). Small southwest swell is in the water having already passed Tahiti, poised for Hawaii but not aimed ideally. A better angle is expected for California but distance/decay and the Tahitian swell shadow will take it's toll.
Hawaii: Expect swell arrival in the early hours of Wed (5/21) with swell building through the day pushing 1.4 ft @ 17-18 secs later (2.5 ft with some bigger sets). Swell fading on Thurs (5/22) from 1.3 ft @ 16 secs (2 ft). Swell Direction 190-194 degrees
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri AM (5/23) with period 19 secs early building to 1.8 ft @ 18 secs later (3.0 ft with 4 ft sets) building slightly into Sat (5/24) at 2.2 ft @ 17 secs (3.5-4.0 ft with sets to 4.5 ft) early. Swell fading Sun from 2.1 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0-3.5 ft) with residual energy to 2.3 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0-3.5 ft) on Mon (5/26). Swell Direction: 209-211 degrees
Northern CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (5/23) with swell 1.5 ft @ 19 secs (2.5 ft) building slightly into Sat (5/24) at 2.0 ft @ 17 secs (3.0-3.5 ft with sets to 4 ft). Swell continues Sun (5/25) at 1.8 ft @ 15-16 secs (3 ft with sets to 3.5 ft). Residuals 1.6 ft @ 15 secs (2.5 ft) on Mon (5/26) Swell Direction: 207-211 degrees
3rd New Zealand Storm
Another small storm tracked under the southern tip of New Zealand on Sat PM (5/17) with west winds 55 kt over a small area aimed slightly northeasterly with seas building to 40 ft at 52S 168E (HI - shadowed by New Zealand, 218 degs SCal and unshadowed, 217 degs NCal and unshadowed). 50 kt southwest winds held into Sun AM (5/18) with 40 ft seas at 54S 178E (HI 196 degs, SCal 213 degs, NCal 212 degs and not shadowed). 45 kt southwest winds held into the evening with 40 ft seas holding at 54S 172W and aimed decently northeastward (190 degs HI, 208 degs SCal and 207 degs NCal and becoming shadowed). 35-40 kt southwest winds were fading into Mon AM (5/19) with seas fading from 36 ft at 53S 163W (HI 182 degs, 205 degs SCal, 204 degs NCal and shadowed). This system dissipated quickly in the evening with winds barely 35 kts.
A decent pulse of swell is possible for Hawaii arriving late Sat (5/24) with period 19 secs and the US West Coast arriving Mon PM (5/26) with period 20 secs.
Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Sat afternoon pushing 1.6 ft @ 19 secs late (3 ft). Swell to peak on Sun AM (5/25) at 1.8 ft @ 17 secs (3 ft with sets to 4 ft). Swell to be fading by Mon AM (5/26) at 1.6 ft @ 15 secs (2.5 ft with sets to 3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 191-193 degrees
South CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon (5/26) late pushing 1.4 ft @ 20 secs (2.5 ft). Swell to building into Tues (5/27) at 1.8 ft @ 17-18 secs (3 ft with sets to 4 ft). Swell Direction: 206-218 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon (5/26) late pushing 1.3 ft @ 20 secs (2.5 ft). Swell to building into Tues (5/27) at 2.1 ft @ 17-18 secs (3.5-4.0 ft with sets to 5 ft). Swell Direction: 205-217 degrees
South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Beyond 72 hours high pressure is to again surge some off the Central CA coast with the usual summer-time pressure gradient developing but dislocated south some over Pt Arena on Saturday (5/24) at 25 kts producing rideable north windswell, then falling south to Pt Reyes on Sunday holding at 25 kts. The gradient to back off some on Monday Am rebuilding late pushing 30 kts and holding into Tues (5/27) centered near Pt Reyes. North short period windswell to be the result from San Francisco southward for exposed breaks but with poor conditions. Nothing remarkable.
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 planet. 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 split 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).
As of Tuesday (5/20) the daily Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) was up slightly at 17.25. The 30 day average was up some at 2.37 and the 90 day average was rising slightly at -2.95. The near term trend based on the 30 day SOI was indicative of a neutral Phase of the MJO. The longer term pattern was indicative of a neutral Phase of the MJO turning slightly Active. The SOI tends to be a lagging indicator running a week behind surface level weather trends.
Current equatorial surface wind analysis indicated that weak to modest west anomalies continued over the Eastern Maritime Continent reaching to the dateline. Light west anomalies continued east of there extending to a point south of Hawaii, then turned neutral if not slightly easterly over the Galapagos Islands. A week from now (5/28) light east anomalies are forecast just north of Australia with weak west anomalies between there and the dateline, then turning neutral reaching south of Hawaii and continuing neutral on into the Galapagos and Central America. In all this suggests the Inactive Phase of the MJO was gone over the dateline with a neutral pattern trending slightly Active developing in that location. The issue with this past Inactive Phase is that it's easterly anomalies presumably shut down the transport mechanism to move warm water to the east. This was the first supposed stoppage of warm water transport since the beginning of the year, which in and of itself is remarkable (4 solid months of westerly anomalies). So there's a concern that this break in westerly anomalies will cut the legs off the evolving warm water pool in the East Pacific. Westerly anomalies need to redevelop in the West Pacific. Interestingly, the most recent TAO array data (from 5/19) suggests that in-fact solid westerly anomalies are in play near 160E, much stronger than what the GFS 850 mb data (which is actually well above surface level) would suggest. The sensors on the buoys are 'hard data' from literally the oceans surface. And the buoys in this region are in good health. This is a good sign.
A previous WWB created a large Kelvin Wave tracking towards South America in January (starting 1/8, peaking 1/28 then fading the first week of Feb) followed by a second strong WWB in Feb-Mar (as strong as the first one starting 2/15 and peaking 2/20-3/2 then fading 3/10) setting up and offering yet more reinforcing transport warm water east. And then a third weak westerly wind burst developed (starting 3/12 and faded out by 3/28). And a fourth weaker one started 4/7 and held through 4/20, and was strong enough to be considered a minimal Westerly Wind Burst WWB. As of right now all this does not mean El Nino is in-play. Still the pattern is something more than coincidental and strongly suggests some degree of pattern change has developed for the tropics. Of historical note: The big El Nino's of '82/32 and '97/98 both started forming in the February timeframe and progressed non-stop through the Summer and Fall months. A article presenting a Comparison between the genesis of the 1997 El Nino and this 2014 WWB event has been posted here.
The longer range models (dynamic and statistical) run on 5/19 are in sync. They both suggest a weak Inactive Phase of the MJO was barely present north of New Guinea. Looking forward an effective dead neutral pattern is to set up and hold for the next 2 weeks or perhaps a slight tendency towards the Inactive Phase. The ultra long range upper level model suggests the Inactive Phase was gone (much earlier than expected) but is to perhaps redevelop slightly over the West Pacific and is to push east into 6/9, but never reach the East Pacific. Beyond a very weak Active pattern is to take over starting 6/9 and pushing east into June 29. A very weak MJO pattern is what one would expect if an El Nino were to develop - namely that the MJO would all but disappear. That is the hallmark of El Nino, a very weak MJO signal. Seeing how by early June (10 days from now) we'll be moving out of the Spring Unpredictability Barrier, the development of a weak to non-existent MJO pattern would be right on-time and expected. So as of right now there is to be effectively only one Inactive Phase for the whole first 6 months of 2014, before we push out of the Spring Unpredictability Barrier and into a weak summer time MJO pattern. Interesting. The upper level model tends to be a leading indicator, with surface level anomalies lagging behind 1 week or more.
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 imagery (5/19), a markedly warm water regime is building from Ecuador west over the Galapagos and drifting west from there peaking at 2.7-2.8 deg C above normal with a more modest warm pool ranging in the +0.5-1.0 deg C range extending west from there to the dateline and reaching 5 degrees north and south of the equator. There are embedded warmer pockets in the +1.5 deg C range. Of notice is markedly warmer water now building down into Peru and up into Southern Central America with its core between the Galapagos and Ecuador. The signature warm triangle bound by Peru, Costa Rica and the Galapagos is developing. This pattern only became more pronounced as of the 5/19 update. Still, no waters reaching 3 deg above normal are reported, but it appears we are right on the cusp of that occurring. This area first appeared about 5/1 and is the 'breech point' of a large Kelvin Wave that has been lurking just below the surface for a month now and built by consecutive Westerly Wind burst Jan-April. The larger equatorial warming pattern started in earnest on 3/29 and has been solidifying it's grasp every since, and is being fed by the Galapagos warm pool. Comparing water temp anomalies for this event to the '97 El Nino event, Galapagos waters reached a similar state on 4/25/97 or about 10 days earlier than water temps on 5/5/14. And by 5/10/97 the footprint was marked with +3.5 deg C anomalies. So by 5/20 this 2014 event will have to rapidly deepen to be considered similar (+3.5 deg C anomalies required, or another +0.7 deg C warmer). That did not happen. Since the Galapagos warm pool did not reach that critical 3.5 deg C anomaly point, then there are doubts about how strong this 2014 event will become (as compared to the so called 'Super El Nino' '97 event). But that was the strongest El Nino in recorded history.
We did a quick water temp anomaly comparison to all other El Nino's from '82 to present for the month of April. Only the '82 and '97 El Ninos even had a footprint in the April timeframe, with the exception of the long running '90-'95 event. So to have any warmer than normal water in the Nino 3.4 region in April (the Spring preceding when El Nino is declared) puts this event is an outlier category, presumably meaning some degree of a significant event is developing. There is much variability between El Nino events, and not all are configured identical.That becomes apparent just inspecting the April '82 and '97 data. 2 Super El Ninos, resulted, but with 2 different signatures early on. The theory being the earlier the signature warm pool develops, the stronger it will become. This is a theory that will be put to the test over the next 5 months. But even if it doesn't reach 'super' status, a solid El Nino still looks likely.
Elsewhere the entire North Pacific Ocean is full of warmer than normal water as is the West Pacific (north and south). There is only the weakest signs of high pressure induced upwelling streaming southwest off California, as would be expected for this time of year. This is significant. And the only cool water present is streaming off Southern Chile pushing west almost reaching up to the equator, but getting shunted south by the warm water on the equator. Overall the total amount of warmer than normal water in the North Pacific is impressive. But all eyes remain on the developing breech of warm water along the western coast of Ecuador as a gauge of what's to come atmospherically.
Subsurface waters temps on the equator remain solid. Of great interest is a large area of warm +3-4 deg C above normal water in-place and tracking east with it's core 150 meters down somewhere near 115W. As best as can be identified this Kelvin Wave covers the area from 180W to Ecuador with the core between 140 and 90W. The leading edge is impacting Ecuador and the Galapagos. We've expecting surface water temps to rise rapidly and over a larger area than is currently the case (5/15), but we believe it's just a matter of time with the cutoff date set at 5/20. Given the lack of sensors between 155W and 110W, exact details concerning the core of the Kelvin Wave remain sketchy, but the leading edge waters temps are not in doubt. The Kelvin Wave has also been confirmed via satellite in the form of increased surface water heights at +10 cm from the Galapagos to Ecuador (5/3), with +5 cm anomalies extending west of the dateline. This suggests warm water at depth is displacing the surface upwards. Also data from the TOA array suggests warm water is again building just west of the dateline at 155W at +3 degs C, likely the result of the 4th WWB in April. So another pulse of warm water is en-route to reinforce the existing warm water currently erupting off Ecuador. And some westerly anomalies are now being reported by the TOA array west of the dateline (see above).
Based on previous history the evolution pattern would follow this general pattern: A large Kelvin Wave will erupt along the South American coast, and the increase in water temps should reduce trades above it (by reducing surface air pressure), which in turn could support yet more warm water build-up (heated by the sun and through reduced upwelling). Aided by yet another WWB in the West Pacific fueled by warm water tracking west from the initial eruption site over the Galapagos) and more eastward moving warm subsurface water, a feedback loop could develop, reinforcing the warm water flow and buildup off Central America into the Fall. But we're a long ways from that occurring just yet. What is needed is another Westerly Wind burst or at least continued westerly anomalies. Anything that reduces or suppresses trades in the equatorial West Pacific will suffice to continue the transport mechanism. So out-and-out west surface winds are not required. Anything that reduced trades in the east (like increasing water temps) will continue to stabilize the warm pool that is hopefully evolving there.
Projections from the CFSv2 model run 5/20 have notched upwards. The model had been continuously suggesting some form of warming starting in March 2014 (which did occur) with temps reaching +0.5 in the Nino 3.4 zone by April 1 (also occurred). It now suggests water temps building to +1.0 deg C by early August peaking at +1.6 deg C by Nov 2014 (up from previous highs near +1.45). Our guess is that some form of El Nino warning could be declared in the late May/early June timeframe if all stays on track. For reference, the big El Nino of '82/83 was at +2.0 degs and '97/98 was +2.2 degs at their respective peaks). The El Nino of 09/10 was +1.4 degs.
Previously a pattern of multiple strong Westerly Wind Bursts occurred Jan-March 2014, but then moderated in late March, but never gave way to a fully Inactive Phase (with no hint of easterly anomalies west of the dateline) till early May. Then weak eastern anomalies developed May 5 and are to hold through May 15th, then returning to a neutral if not weak westerly flow. This is great news with westerly anomalies in play for 4 full months and forecast to give way for only 10 day for the first 6 months of 2014. Longterm this signal (suppressed trades in the far equatorial West Pacific) will have to hold into at least August with warm water building greater than 0.5 deg C over the tropical East and Central Pacific (120W to 170W) before one could declare the development of El Nino, though that already appears to be the case. There remains much unknown as we traverse the Spring 'Unpredictability Pattern" (mid-March through early June), though any sort of a total collapse is looking much less likely. But the further into the unpredictability barrier we get with west anomalies continuing, and then into Summer, the lower the likelihood of a total collapse becomes.
Overall the immediate outlook remains unchanged, but potentially trending towards something that would be considered warm by June-July 2014, assuming one is to believe the models and the subsurface water configuration. At a minimum the ocean is in recharge mode, with cold water from the 2010-2011 La Nina dispersed and temperatures on the rise in fit's-and-starts. Regardless of the WWBs etc, we are in a neutral ENSO atmospheric pattern at this time with neither any form of El Nino or La Nina present or imminent. Given all current signs, warming could start developing by May in earnest over the equatorial Pacific possibly increasing during the summer, intensifying into Fall. Monitoring the affects when and if the Kelvin Wave arrives along the equatorial East Pacific will be key to the potential evolution of a warm event. Still there remains 6 months ahead where any number of hazards could derail this event. But this is a better place than previous years (2010-2011, 2011-2012 and 2012-2013) under the direct influence of La Nina. And it seems apparent we've finally recovered from the 2009-2010 El Nino. In a normal situation one would expect there to be at least one or two years of neutral temperatures ultimately converging in a stronger warmer pattern and possible El Nino 2-3 years out (2015 or 2016). Historically, this is the 'normal' pattern (a few years of false starts post La Nina before a legit El Nino forms). We've turned the corner, but it is still unknown what impact it will have on the atmosphere especially in light of what appears to be a decadal bias towards a cooler regime (since 1998).
See imagery in the ENSO Powertool and more details in the El Nino Update Updated 12/4/13
See a 'Comparison between the genesis of the 1997 El Nino and the 2014 WWB Event' Here (posted 4/5/2014)
Beyond 72 hours a series of weather system are forecast forming southwest of New Zealand. The first on Fri (5/23) is to fall southeast into the Ross Ice Shelf with little fetch aimed north and never getting good traction on the oceans surface. A much larger system is forecast on Sat-Sun (5/25) but is to impact southern New Zealand directly with no energy reaching into the greater South Pacific. Fiji might get targeted with 45 kt winds and 34 ft seas though. And yet another system is to develop on Mon (5/26) with 40 kt west winds and 30 ft seas over a small area, but not aimed much to the north. In all, a scale back of the swell production machine is expected unless the troughs under New Zealand form a bit further to the east.
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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