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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, April 6, 2017 3:41 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
3.3 - California & 2.2 - 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 4/3 thru Sun 4/9

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   

Series Of Small Gales To Target California
SHemi To Start Producing - Winter Returns to Sierras


On Thursday, April 6, 2017 :

  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 5.0 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 3.6 ft @ 9.8 secs from 326 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.5 ft @ 12.0 secs with swell 1.7 ft @ 13.5 secs from 199 degrees. Wind west 4-6 kts. Water temperature 60.8 degs. At Ventura swell was 1.0 ft @ 16.5 secs from 231 degrees. At Santa Monica swell was 1.8 ft @ 15.1 secs from 218 degrees. At Camp Pendleton swell was 1.5 ft @ 12.9 secs from 218 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma swell was 2.5 ft @ 15.5 secs from 231 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 10.5 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 8.0 ft @ 13.0 secs from 296 degrees. Wind southeast 12-14 kts at the buoy. Water temp 53.2 degs.

    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).
- Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
- Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
- up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.

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


Current Conditions
On Thursday (4/6) in North and Central CA Gulf swell was 9-10 ft on the face and clean but with south lump running through it with light but building southeast winds. Protected breaks were up to 2 ft overhead and clean. At Santa Cruz surf was up to 1 ft overhead and clean but with some south lump starting to appear. In Southern California up north background swell was producing surf at maybe waist high and clean with some form - small fun surf. In North Orange Co surf was shoulder high and clean but a little soft but fun looking. In San Diego surf was thigh high at most breaks but up to chest high at top break and clean but a bit closed out. Hawaii's North Shore was chest to head high at top breaks and reasonably clean with a little north texture on it early. The South Shore was flat 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
On Thursday (4/6) small swell from a gale that tracked through the Gulf Sun-Mon (4/3) producing up to 31 ft seas over a small area with secondary fetch on Tues-Wed (4/5) producing 22-24 ft seas in the Eastern Gulf was starting to hit the California coast. Another gale is to develop just off Central CA on Thurs-Fri (4/7) with up to 28 ft seas impacting the North Coast directly. Another gale is to develop while tracking east through the Gulf on Sat-Mon (4/10) with up to 24 ft seas while another tracks through the Northwest Pacific Sat-Sun (4/9) with up to 29 ft seas. And maybe another to follow in the Gulf on Wed-Thurs (4/13) with 22 ft seas moving close to California. A modestly productive pattern is projected.

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

North Pacific

On Thursday AM (4/6) the jetstream was split over the far West Pacific but them became consolidated pushing over the dateline fueled by a pocket of wind building to 180 kts in the Gulf with a trough developing on the eastern edge of that wind energy, just off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and providing support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours that wind energy is to continue to fuel the trough in the Eastern Gulf until Sat AM (4/8)when it moves onshore over Oregon. Continued support for gale development until then. But even after that the jet is to be weakly consolidated in the Eastern Gulf with winds 120 kts into Sunday still offering some weak support for low pressure development. Beyond 72 hours the jet is to be well split by Mon (4/10) with the widest split point on the dateline but with a solid flow of 130 kts winds in the northern portion of that split falling southeast into the Gulf and starting to form yet another trough. That trough is to build into Tues (4/11) moving closer to the California coast while weakening some into Wed (4/12) with winds down to 110 kts and getting steeper as the split to the west becomes well exaggerated, pushing up into Alaska then falling south through the Eastern Gulf digging to a point off Central CA by Thurs (4/13) and continuing to support gale development off California. Another trough is to develop too off Kamchatka on Tues (4/11) being fed by winds in the northern branch of the jet to 140 kts 24 hrs later offering support for gale development, then getting shunted north on the dateline by Thurs (4/13). A very jumbled and ill formed jet is expected at that time, but still, winds to 150 kts are to be building over Japan offering continued hope for gale development long term.

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (4/6) swell from a recursive gale in the Gulf was starting to hit California (see Gulf Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours stating Thurs AM (4/6) a gale is to be developing 800 nmiles west of California with 30-35 kt west winds and seas starting to rebuild. In the evening the gale is to be well organized off North CA with 45 kt west winds and seas building to 22 ft at 38N 133W. The gale to migrate just off Oregon Fri AM (4/7) with 35 kt northwest winds and seas 28 ft at 41N 127W. The gale is to move over Oregon Fri PM with 20-25 kt west winds off California and 16 ft seas moving into the North and Central Coasts. Possible raw larger swell to result targeting mainly North and Central CA (see Gulf Gale below - the swell forecast is included there).

Also a gale is to develop in the Gulf on Fri PM (4/7) with 35-40 kt northwest winds and seas building. On Sat AM (3/8) winds to build to 40 kt from the northwest with seas 22 ft at 45N 157W targeting mainly the US West Coast. Fetch is to fade from 35 kts in the evening over a modest area tracking east with seas to 24 ft at 44N 148W. On Sun AM (3/9) the gale is to track east with winds fading to 30-35 kts from the west just off Oregon with seas 24 ft at 45N 143W. The gale is to fade in the evening though seas are to hold at 26 ft at 44N 140W. The gale is to dissipate after that. Possible swell for Oregon and California (late Monday into Tues).

And another gale is to develop over the Northern Kurils on Fri PM (4/7) with 40 kt west winds and seas building from 24 ft at 48N 161E. The gale is to track east over the West Aleutians Sat Am (4/8) with 40 kts wes winds and seas building to 29 ft just south of the Aleutians. In the evening winds to be fading from 35 kts approaching the North Dateline region with 27 ft seas at 49N 175E. The gale is to fade Sun AM (4/9) on the dateline with 30 kt west winds and seas fading from 24 ft at 50N 177E. The gael to dissipate from there. Possible small swell to result with sideband energy for Hawaii and well decayed small energy for the US West Coast. Something to monitor.


Gulf Gale (Part 1 and 2)
A small gale developed in the Western Gulf on Sun AM (4/2) with 40-45 kt west winds and seas building from 21 ft at 43N 164W. In the evening winds built to 45 kts over a small area with 32 ft seas building at 45N 159W. The gale faded while tracking east Mon AM (4/3) with winds 40 kts from the west over a small area in the Northern Gulf with seas 29 ft at 46N 153W. The gale faded from there. Small swell possible mainly for Central CA up into the Pacific Northwest.

On Mon PM (4/3) secondary fetch developed in the Gulf producing northwest winds at 35 kts with seas on the increase. On Tues AM (4/4) the fetch built in coverage at 30-35 kts over a broad area filling the Gulf targeting Oregon down into California with seas 20 ft and building at 42N 145W. In the evening winds faded in coverage from 30 kts with 22 ft seas at 45N 139W. The fetch faded while lifting north Wed AM (4/5) with 18-20 ft seas fading at 45-48N 130-138W. Swell from this system to combine and overlap with swell from the previous one.

North CA: Swell continues on Thurs (4/6) at 7.3 ft @ 13 secs (9.0 ft) holding through the day. Swell builds on on Fri (4/7) to 11.3 ft @ 13 secs (14.5 ft) including energy from a new gale forecast in the 72 hr discussion above). Swell fades on Sat (4/8) from 7.5 ft @ 11-12 secs (8.5 ft). Windswell fades slowly Sun (4/9) from 6.5 ft @ 10-11 secs (6.5 ft). Swell Direction: 298 degrees migrating to 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 AM (4/6) a gale low was starting to develop 750 nmiles off the Central CA coast lifting northeast fast with south winds 10-15 kts building south to Pt Conception later in the afternoon and up to 35 kts for Cape Mendocino pushing 30 kts down to Monterey Bay by 10 PM. Light rain was falling south to Half Moon Bay mid-day and expected to get progressively more solid by mid-evening. Light snow for Tahoe during the day and getting heavy by 10 PM. 22 inches of accumulation by 8 AM Fri (4/7). Friday the front is to have already blown through along the coast with southwest winds 10-15 kts for all of North and Central CA down to Pt Conception with light rain down to Santa Barbara and getting thinner midday. Another pulse of rain moving in during the evening. Snow for the Sierra through the day with 8 inches of accumulation on the crest at Tahoe through the day and snow levels falling by evening with another 6 inches of accumulation overnight. Total accumulation Sat AM for Tahoe 36 inches but up to 48 at Kirkwood. Saturday (4/8) winds turn northwest at 15 kts and fading some late afternoon but building for Southern CA late afternoon from the northwest at 20+ kts. Scattered rain for the entire state to San Diego drying out later in the day. Solid snow for the Sierra in the morning fading some later fading some later with 5 inches of accumulation on the crest at Tahoe. No precip in the evening on the coast or in the mountains. Total accumulations 43-51 inches for the Crest at North Lake Tahoe and up to 52-58 inches Kirkwood. 47-53 inches for Mammoth. Sunday (3/9) weak high pressure is to be in control with northwest winds 10-15 kts and up to 20 kts for Pt Conception but light in Southern CA. Dry conditions south of San Francisco but light rain north of there. On Monday (3/10) high pressure fades some but northwest winds still 20 kts for most of Central CA but only 10 kts or less from Monterey Bay northward. More of the same on Tuesday then another low nestles up to the coast Wed (4/12) with south winds building to 20+ kts for all of North and Central CA and rain developing through the day for Pt Conception northward. Snow for higher elevations of the Sierra by evening getting heavy overnight. Thursday (4/13) southwest winds continue at 15-20 kts for all of North and Central Ca with the low just off Cape Mendocino. Light rain continues along the coast with solid snow mainly for the Southern Sierra.


South Pacific

Surface Analysis  
A storm is forecast tracking east under New Zealand on Fri AM (4/7) with winds 45 kts from the southwest and seas building to 40 ft at 60S 180S but most energy tracking towards the east. 45 kt southwest winds to continue in the evening with 39 ft seas starting to lift northeast at 58S 170W aimed decently to the northeast. Sat AM (4/8) southwest winds to fade from 40 kts over a decent sized area with seas fading from 36 ft at 57.5 161W. Fetch is to dissipate from 35 kts in the evening with seas 30 ft at 55S 152W. Maybe some decent swell to result.

Central Pacific Gale
A gale developed in the West South Pacific Thurs PM (3/30) with 40 kt southwest winds and seas building 35 ft at 62S 175W aimed east. The gale tracked east Fri AM (3/31) to the Central South Pacific with 45 kt southwest winds lifting northeast and seas 34 ft over a small area at 60S 166W. In the evening 40 kt southwest winds lifted northeast with seas 33 ft at 58S 157W. Sat AM (4/1) fetch was fading from 35 kts from the south with seas fading from 30 ft at 55S 150W. In the evening winds built to 40 kts from the south with 29 ft seas at 53S 147W aimed north. South fetch faded Sun AM (4/2) from 35 kt and seas 27 ft at 50S 143W. 35 kt south winds continued fading in coverage in the evening with seas 25 ft at 50S 140W. A nice little pulse of southerly swell is possible for Tahiti, Hawaii and up into the US West Coast. Something to monitor.

Southern CA: Swell arrives on Sat (4/9) building to 1.8 ft @ 18 secs (3.0 ft). Swell peaks on Sun (4/10) at 2.2 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.5 ft) holding through the day. Swell continues on Mon (4/11) at 2.3 ft @ 15-16 secs early (3.5 ft), then starts fading. Residuals on Tues (4/12) fading from 1.8 ft @ 14 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 200 degrees.


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




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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours another ill defined gale is forecast off the North Kurils Islands on Mon (4/10) with winds building to 40 kts in the evening and seas building to 20 ft at 45N 170E. The gael is to migrate east Tues AM (4/11) with winds 35-40 kts from the west and moving over the North Dateline region with 24 ft seas at 47N 175E. The gael is to lift northeast in the evening with residual 35 kt northwest winds south of the Aleutians with 23 ft seas at 48N 176E. The gale is to fade from there. Something to monitor mainly for Hawaii.

Also a local gale is forecast building in the Gulf of Alaska on Wed (4/12) with 30-35 kt northwest winds targeting the coast well with seas 22 ft at 41N 140W. The models are mixed on whether this system will strengthen or fade out. In the evening seas possibly building to 23 ft at 37N 137W, then fading beyond. Low confidence in any of this. Will monitor.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours another storm is forecast developing well south of New Zealand on Wed PM (4/12) with 55 kt southwest winds and seas building from 30 ft at 64S 180W. The storm is to lifting east-northeast with winds 45 kts Thurs AM (4/13) with seas 35 ft at 61S 162W. Winds to fade while lifting northeast in the evening from 35 kts with seas fading from 30 ft at 53S 150W. Something to monitor.

More details to follow...


Inactive MJO is Finally Dead

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 (4/5) east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific and the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were northerly over the equatorial East Pacific (opposite of normal) and dead neutral over the KWGA. The inactive Phase of the MJO over the KWGA appears to be dead.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): East anomalies are limited to the dateline and points east of there with modest west anomalies from 170E and points west of there. The forecast suggests this pattern is to hold for the next week. This suggests the Inactive Phase of the MJO and La Nina are to be loosing control of the KWGA.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: As of 4/5 a neutral MJO pattern was in effect over the KWGA. The statistic model projects a neutral pattern holding for the next 2 weeks. The dynamic model depicts the neutral pattern holding till day 5, then turning modestly Active and holding out to 15 days,. That is good news. All this suggest the Inactive Phase of the MJO constructively integrating with the remains of La Nina might finally be fading out.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/6) The ECMF model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO was indiscernible over the Maritime Continent but is now forecast to start making some eastern headway, weakly in the West Pacific 6 days out and holding for 2 weeks. The GEFS model depicts the same thing. This model runs about a week ahead of what occurs down at the surface.
40 day Upper Level Model: (4/6) This model depicts a weak Active Pattern was over the dateline and is to ease east into Central America 5/1. A weak Inactive Phase is to follow in the West 4/21 drifting east to Central America 5/11. A weak Active pattern to follow in the West Pacific 5/1 tracking east to the East Pacific through 5/16. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (4/6) This model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was over the Western KWGA today but with weak east anomalies still in control over the dateline. The core of the Active Phase was still centered over the Maritime continent reaching east to the dateline. Beyond the Active Phase is to stall on the dateline through 4/10 with east anomalies in control of the KWGA (attributable to La Nina) then finally giving way to a neutral wind trend on 4/10. The Active Phase is to finally push east 4/13 with west anomalies developing by 4/14 and building solid from there as the Active Phase of the MJO builds and moves east centered over the dateline 4/18 and not fading for the foreseeable future with nary a hint of east anomalies. La Nina is to be gone per the low pass filter on 5/8 (previously 5/6 5/2 and 4/28 before that) with El Nino taking hold 5/21, (previously 5/16, 5/22 and before that 5/8). Projected west anomalies are dependent upon the evolution of El Nino and the date of that development had been continuously slipping but appears to be coming more stable with today update (4/6).
Confidence still low on this forecast for now. We'll see what happens.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/6) Actual temperatures remain stratified with warm water in the West Pacific at 30 degs C retrograding west and no longer on the chart. The 28 deg isotherm line is steady at 175E and steep still suggesting a hard break between warm water in the west and cool water in the east at depth. But 26 deg anomalies continue building 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 +1 degs rule the entire upper reaches of the equatorial East Pacific from 75 meters upward reaching west to 170W with neutral anomalies west of there. A pocket of -2 degs anomalies is steady at depth between 110-170W down 125 meters. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 3/29 depicts that warm water has built in the east at +2-3 degs and trying to ease west to about 130W. Otherwise warm water is confined to the West Pacific at +1-2 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 more warm waters appears to be building in the west.
Sea Level Anomalies: (3/29) A previous pool of positive anomalies at 0-+5 cms on the equator from Ecuador west to 130W has backtracked, reaching only to 100W now. 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: (4/5) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate warm water dominating the region extending from Northern Chile over Peru and north to Ecuador then extending west over the Galapagos with the warmest anomalies reaching west to 110W at +1.0 degs but with warm anomalies out to 160W but mainly south of the equator. Warm waters are building a little today just off the North Peru Coast up over the Galapagos. But cool waters continue to hold along the immediate coast of South Peru and North Chile and appear to be building some up into North Peru today. Looking at the large picture, warming in the southern hemi extends east thousands of miles off the coast as far south as 15S. 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 (4/5): A cooling trend is along immediate Chile, Peru and Ecuador, but it really cant get much warmer there, so this is understandable. A warming trend extends west from the Columbia and Ecuador out to the dateline. A warming trend is also present in the Northern Hemi strongly from well off California out over Hawaii and reaching to the Philippines and also off Mexico southwest to a point south of Hawaii.
Hi-res Overview:
(3/30) 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 continue from 160W-160E. It almost looks like El Nino is trying to develop and making headway into the Nino3.4 region.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/6) Today's temps were stable at +1.302, down from the peak of +3.0 degs on 3/18.  
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (4/6) temps were stable at +0.282 degs, not remarkable like Nino1.2 is.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/6) The forecast is down slightly again with temps projected at +0.55 degs April 1 building to +0.85 degs later in April holding at 0.8 degs in July and holding, building some to +0.95 degs in Oct and to +1.1 degs in Nov 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-March Plume just updated today (3/16) and depicts temps are warming and are now at +0.3 degs. A slow increase in temps is forecast thereafter to +0.8 degs in July holding into the Fall. This is +0.3 degs warmer than the Feb forecast and +0.6 degs warmer than the January forecast and suggests 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 (4/6): The daily index was rising slightly at +1.87 coming off a negative 7 day run. The 30 day average was falling some at +0.70. The 90 day average was falling at -1.10 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): (4/6) Today's value was falling slightly 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 = +0.21, Feb = +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. 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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