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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, April 20, 2017 6:40 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
3.0 - California & 3.0 - 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 4/17 thru Sun 4/23

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   

Decent Gale North of Hawaii
S. Hemi Continues Active for Now

BUOY ROUNDUP

On Thursday, April 20, 2017 :

  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.5 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 2.2 ft @ 11.1 secs from 340 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 5.8 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 3.2 ft @ 10.1 secs from 272 degrees. Wind northeast 12-14 kts. Water temperature 58.1 degs. At Ventura swell was 3.2 ft @ 12.2 secs from 266 degrees. At Santa Monica swell was 2.0 ft @ 12.6 secs from 247 degrees. At Camp Pendleton swell was 1.0 ft @ 21.3 secs from 219 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma swell was 3.8 ft @ 13.6 secs from 272 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 7.9 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 5.5 ft @ 13.4 secs from 274 degrees. Wind north 10-12 kts at the buoy. Water temp 55.6 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 Thursday (4/20) in North and Central CA Gulf swell was 3-4 ft overhead on the sets at top breaks and a bit unorganized but clean. Protected breaks were chest to head high and clean but a little slow. At Santa Cruz surf was 2 ft overhead on the sets and and lined up and clean but a tad soft. In Southern California up north Gulf swell was hitting producing waves in the chest high range and clean and lined up but a little soft. In North Orange Co surf was head high or so and lined up and clean but with some texture on it. In San Diego surf was head high and a bit jumbled but clean. Hawaii's North Shore was getting northwest windswell with waves waist to maybe chest high at top breaks and raw early with rain and southwest wind. The South Shore was waist high or so but pretty chopped from southwest wind. The East Shore was flat and clean from southwest winds.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (4/20) swell from a gale that developed in the Gulf on Tues (4/18) with seas mostly in the 20-21 ft range was hitting California. On Wed (4/19) another gale formed northwest of Hawaii with 24 ft seas targeting the Islands well and relatively nearby then is expected to track east into Fri (4/21) with 19-20 ft seas starting to target the mainland while fading. After that things to settle down some with maybe a gale in the Northeastern Gulf on Tues (4/25) producing 22 ft seas and another right behind it with 20 ft seas. But in the Southern Hemi a decent small system is forecast producing 40 ft seas southeast of New Zealand later Thurs (4/20) tracking northeast and swell from a previous system poised to hit California. The transition to a summer like pattern is underway.

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

North Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Thursday AM (4/20) the jetstream was flowing flat east off Japan and consolidated the whole way across the Pacific tracking on the 38N latitude line with a weak trough just west of the dateline and a broader and steeper on north of Hawaii with winds to 150 kts feeding it. There was good support for gale development in this trough. the jet was moving inland over Cape Mendocino CA. Over the next 72 hours the Hawaiian trough is to move east and pinch off just off North CA on early Sat (4/22) with support for gale development and therefore swell development fading. Back to the west winds to build in the jet to 150 kts streaming off Japan reaching to the dateline and then to the Central Gulf into Sun (4/23) but no troughs are forecast with a zonal flow in play. For late April in a supposed La Nina year, it's pretty impressive. Beyond 72 hours this same pattern is to hold into early Wed (4/26) moving east. At that time a bit of weakness in wind speeds is to develop over Japan with winds down to 110 kts there moving to the dateline by Thurs (4/27). But by Thurs (4/27) another pocket of 160 kts winds is to be developing and pushing off Japan. No clear cut signs of any trough development is forecast suggesting no support for gale production. Still wind speeds and consolidation are suggestive of a good foundation to support gale development if a trough were to develop.

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (4/20) swell from a gale in the gulf was hitting California (see Gulf Gale below) and another gale was in-flight north of Hawaii (see Hawaiian Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours the Hawaiian Gale is to be the only system of interest.

 

Gulf Gale
On Monday AM (4/17) a gale was developing in the Central Gulf of Alaska with 35-40 kt west winds generating a small area of 23 ft seas at 42N 149 targeting California well. By Mon PM (4/17) winds were 30-35 kts from the west and seas 22 ft at 42N 145W. By Tues AM (4/18) winds continued at 30-35 kts in the Central Gulf from the west with seas 21 ft at 39N 1481W. Fetch held into the evening at 30-35 kts inching closer to California with 21 ft seas at 39N 144W targeting California well (285 degs NCal, 294 SCal). Fetch faded rapidly Wed AM (4/19) lifting northeast winds seas fading from 19 ft at 39N 139W targeting North and Central CA well. Fetch and seas dissipated from there. Possible swell for California if all goes as forecast.

North CA: Swell supposedly peaking on later Thurs (4/20) at 7.7 ft @ 13-14 secs (10 ft) but that is likely overstated. Swell fading Fri AM (4/21) from 6.2 ft @ 12 secs (7.5 ft). Swell to be gone on Sat (4/22). Swell Direction 285 degrees

 

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 is to move east with winds fading from 30 kts from the west with seas 19 ft at 35N 152W. The gale is to hold Fri AM (4/21) while easing east with northwest winds 30 kts and seas 20 ft at 38N 150W. The gale is to dissipate in the evening with residual sea fading from 18 ft at 37N 145W. Possible swell for Hawaii and the US West Coast. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Fri (4/21) early peaking at sunrise at 7.2 ft @ 12-13 secs (9.0 ft). Swell fading through the day. On Sat (4/22) swell to fade from 4.2 ft @ 11-12 secs (5.0 ft) and dissipating through the day. Swell Direction: 330 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Saturday at sunset (4/22) with swell building to 2.4 ft @ 15 secs (3.5 ft) and building overnight. Swell to peak on Sun (4/23) at 7.0 ft @ 13 secs (9.0 ft). 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 Thursday (4/20) high pressure was taking control with winds building from the north to 20 kts from Monterey Bay south to Pt Conception and 15 kts to Cape Mendocino. Friday north winds to remain in control for North and Central CA at 15-20 kts through the day then fading some near sunset but still 20 kts near Pt Conception. Saturday (4/22) winds to remain light early from Monterey bay northward but north at 15-20 kts from Monterey Bay south to Pt Conception. Light rain for Cape Mendocino. Sunday more high pressure moves in with north winds 15-20 kts from Pt Arena south to Pt Conception. Still light rain for Cape Mendocino. More of the same on Monday with heavier rain for Cape Mendocino down to Pt Arena. Maybe light snow later afternoon into the evening for highest elevation of Lake Tahoe. Tuesday north winds to be 20+ kts from Big Sur southward to Pt Conception but light from Santa Cruz northward. Light rain maybe down to Pt Reyes late. Wednesday a weak front moves into Cape Mendocino with west winds 10-15 kts early there, turning northwest 15 kts later and building to near 30 kts over Pt Conception later. Thurs (4/27) high pressure and north winds again to be in control at 20 kts over all of North and Central CA. Light rain for Cape Mendocino. The storm track over the next week is to cut off south of a line over the north end of Pt Arena.

 

South Pacific

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

Over the next 72 hours another small storm was building south of New Zealand on Thurs AM (4/20) with 50 kt southwest winds and seas building from 32 ft at 60.5S 170E. In the evening the storm is to push east-northeast with winds still 45-50 kts and seas 40 ft over a tiny area at 61S 178E aimed east-northeast. Fetch is to track east-northeast Fri AM (4/21) fading from the southwest at 40 kts and seas 36 ft at 59S 170W. The gale is to fade from there in the evening but grow in coverage with 35-40 kt southwest winds and seas 28-30 ft over a large area at 49S 171W. Fetch to continue lifting northeast Sat AM (4/22) with 28 ft seas at 47S 163W. In the evening fetch is to continue lifting northeast with winds 30-35 kts from the southwest and seas 28 ft at 45S 155W. The gale is to fade from there. Something to monitor.

 

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: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (4/20) building to 2.0 ft @ 19 secs at sunset (3.5 ft). Swell to continue upwards on Fri (4/21) building to 2.5 ft @ 17-18 secs (4.5 ft). Swell continues Sat (4/22) at 2.6 ft @ 16 secs early (4.0 ft). 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: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (4/20) building to 1.3 ft @ 20 secs at sunset (2.5 ft). Swell to continue upwards on Fri (4/21) building to 2.0 ft @ 17-18 secs (3.5 ft). Swell continues Sat (4/22) at 2.3 ft @ 16-17 secs early (3.5-4.0 ft). 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

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 a small gale is forecast developing in the Eastern Gulf starting Tues AM (4/25) with up to 40 kt west winds over a small area with seas 20 ft at 44N 145W. In the evening that gale is to push east just off the South Oregon Coast with winds 35-40 kts from the northwest and seas 23 ft at 44N 137W. After that the gale is to fade and move inland. Small swell possible for North and Central CA.

Another small gale is to be directly behind on Wed (4/26) with 35 kts west winds ands seas 20 ft at 46N 155W. The gale is to fade from there while moving east. Something to monitor.

 
South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no additional solid swell producing weather systems are forecast.

More details to follow...

 

28 Deg Isotherm Moves 1200 nmiles East in 1 Week

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 fading 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 Wed (4/19) east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific but a little lighter over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were modest westerly south of the equator over the Central Pacific but light easterly over 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 4/26). 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 4/19 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): (4/20) The ECMF model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO was very weak over the East Pacific and is forecast to collapse some, retrograde west and then rebuild over the West Pacific 2 weeks out. The GEFS model depicts the same thing but rebuilding stronger in the West Pacific. This model runs about a week ahead of what occurs down at the surface.
40 day Upper Level Model: (4/20) This model depicts a weak Active Pattern was over the West Pacific and the Inactive Phase over the East 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 5/20. A weak Active pattern to follow in the West Pacific 5/12 tracking east to the East Pacific through 5/30 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: (4/20) 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 is starting to make significant eastward progress moving from 176W a week ago to 174W 4 days ago and now 154W 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 steady at depth between 110-170W down 100 meters reaching up to 50 meters. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/13 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: (4/13) Positive anomalies at 0-+5 cms are on the equator from Ecuador west to 100W, 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: (4/19) 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, today it looks like that upwelling is loosing 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 (4/19): A neutral trend is along immediate Chile and Peru. A pronounced cooling trend persists off Ecuador over the Galapagos and out to 110W. A moderate warming trend extends 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 east of 160W. A solid warm regime holds from Ecuador west to 120W and less energetic out to 160W. Remnants of La Nina have significantly eroded with only weak signs from the dateline to 160E. It looks like El Nino is trying to develop and making headway into the Nino3.4 region.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/20) Today's temps were rising but still neutral at +0.197, down from the peak of +3.0 degs on 3/18.  
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (4/20) temps were steady at +0.525 degs.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies



SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/20) The forecast has temps rising to +0.85 degs late May building to +1.0 in June then fading to + 0.75 degs in July only to rebuild some to +1.0 degs in Oct and +1.15 degs in Nov/Dec suggesting a return of El Nino. 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 (4/20): The daily index was still negative at -17.67 and has been strong negative for 8 days mainly due to tropical low pressure near Tahiti. The 30 day average was falling at -4.25. The 90 day average was steady at -2.04 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): (4/20) 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). So on March 20 the index should be neutral. That seems like a reach.

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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Mavericks Invitational Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:
http://www.bloomberg.com/video/how-to-predict-the-best-surfing-waves-EsNiR~0xR5yXGOlOq2MqfA.html
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/surfs-up-for-mavericks-invitational-in-calif/

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