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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, April 8, 2021 4:51 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
1.5 - California & 1.2 - 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 3/22 thru Sun 3/28

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   

S. Hemi Swell Continues Pushing NE
Weak Gale forecast for North Gulf

On Thursday, April 8, 2021 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 2.6 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 12.6 secs from 204 degrees. Water temp 75.9 degs (Pearl Harbor 233).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 7.7 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 5.1 ft @ 9.5 secs from 20 degrees. Water temp 75.0 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.5 ft @ 6.7 secs with swell 3.8 ft @ 6.4 secs from 264 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 12-14 kts. Water temperature 60.6 degs, 59.2 (Topanga 103), 59.7 degs (Long Beach 215), 62.6 (Del Mar 153). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 5.9 ft @ 7.5 secs from 318 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 4.1 ft @ 6.4 secs from 270 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.6 ft @ 14.9 secs from 194 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 1.4 ft @ 15.1 secs from 192 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 10.5 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 8.8 ft @ 7.7 secs from 329 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 20-23 kts. Water temp 49.6 (029), 49.3 degs (SF Bar) and 54.5 degs (Santa Cruz).

See Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (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 (4/8) North and Central CA was getting northwest windswell with waves waist to maybe chest high and textured and warbled from northwesterly wind and pretty soft and crumbled. Protected breaks were chest high on the bigger sets and warbled and mushed and nearly chopped. At Santa Cruz surf was flat to knee high and clean. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist high or so and somewhat lined up but pretty warbled and crumbled though local wind was calm. Central Orange County had set waves at waist to chest high and lined up coming from the south but pretty textured early from light northwest winds. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at near chest high and weakly lined up and soft but clean with no wind. North San Diego had sets waves at waist high or so and lined up but soft with just a light texture in the water. Hawaii's North Shore was small with windswell generated sets at waist to chest high and a bit warbled but rideable. The South Shore was small with sets to thigh high and clean. The East Shore was getting easterly windswell with waves head high or so and chopped from moderate east-northeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (4/8) California and Hawaii were getting no real swell of interest. Some background southern hemi swell was lapping into exposed breaks in Southern CA but that was it. The area under New Zealand produced a gale tracking east to southeast Sun-Tues (4/6) resulting in 35 ft seas. Some minimal sideband swell to result. And after that no swell producing weather systems are forecast. Up north a gale is forecast developing in the far Northern Gulf on Fri (4/9) producing up to 22 ft seas aimed southeast. Something to monitor. Nothing is forecast down south.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Thursday (4/8) the jet was pushing solidly off Japan with winds to 150 kts almost forming a trough just off the Kuril Islands offering some support for gale development in lower levels of the atmosphere, then turning hard north and pushing well up into the Bering Sea, tracking east-southeast eventually falling over the extreme Northern Gulf of Alaska with winds at 140 kts forming a small trough offering limited support for low pressure development before pushing inland over British Columbia. Over the next 72 hours the trough off the Kurils is to slowly push east and weaken over the North Dateline region on Sun (4/11) offering little in terms of support for gale development. The North Gulf trough is to hold through Fri (4/9) then push inland. In all no clear support for gale development indicated. Beyond 72 hours a new trough is forecast developing over the Northwestern Gulf of Alaska on Mon (4/12) pushing east into Tues (4/13) but starting to pinch off and becoming cutoff 900 nmiles north of Hawaii on Thurs (4/15) offering some limited support for low pressure development. Back to the west the jet is to be completely split just off Japan with the northern branch tracking through the Bering Sea and pushing into Alaska offering nothing. The season is over.

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (4/8) no swell of interest (other than windswell) was hitting Hawaii or California originating in the Northern Hemisphere. Fetch from a low pressure system northeast of Hawaii was still generating some limited windswell pushing into Hawaii (see Local HI Low).

Over the next 72 hours the models indicate a fetch developing in the Northern Gulf of Alaska on Thurs AM (4/8) driven more by a 1040 mb high pressure system in the Bering Sea falling southeast and it's interaction with a weak low pressure system at 994 mbs over the Northern Gulf producing northwest winds at 30-35 kts and seas building. In the evening northwest winds are forecast at 35-45 kts in pockets over the Northern Gulf producing seas of 19 ft at 56N 145W aimed southeast and mostly east of the NCal swell window. On Fri AM (4/9) a building fetch of northwest winds at 35-40 kts is to hold in the Northern Gulf with seas building to 22 ft at 56N 146W aimed southeast and again mostly east of the NCal swell window. Fetch is to be fading fast in the evening from 30 kts from the northwest with 21 ft seas at 53N 140W aimed southeast and only targeting Cape Mendocino northward. Fetch is to collapse on Sat AM (4/10) with seas gone. Something to monitor but it looks like no swell of interest is to result south of maybe Pt Arena.


Local HI Low
On Sat PM (4/3) a low pressure system formed in a pinched trough well off Pt Conception and 900 nmiles north east of Hawaii generating a small area of 35+ kt north winds aimed well at the Hawaiian Islands with seas trying to develop. On Sun AM (4/4) northeast winds were holding at 35 kts with seas 19 ft at 34N 144W aimed southwest. In the evening fetch was fading from 30-35 kts from the north and northeast with seas 19 ft at 36.5N 144W aimed south-southwest. Northeast fetch held at 25-30 kts northeast of the Islands through the day Mon (4/5) with 16 ft seas at 35N 145W aimed southwest at Hawaii. 25 kt northeast fetch is to continue into early Thurs (4/8) with seas slowly fading to 13 ft at late Wed at 32N 148W targeting Hawaii well. This system is to be gone late Thurs PM (4/8).

Oahu: Swell continues of Thurs (4/8) at 4.9 ft @ 11 secs (5.0 ft). Dribbles on Fri (4/9) fading from 3.8 ft @ 10 secs (3.5 ft). Swell gone after that. Swell Direction: 30 degrees


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


Tropical Update
No tropical weather system of interest were being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Fri (4/9) northwest winds 20-25 kts for North and Central CA early holding all day. Building short period raw windswell possible.
  • Sat (4/10) northwest winds are forecast at 25+ kts all day from Pt Arena southward to Pt Conception. Light winds for Cape Mendocino early building to 25 kts later. Raw local windswell expected.
  • Sun (4/11) northwest winds are forecast at 30 kts early for Cape Mendocino and 25 kts south of there to Pt Conception early building to 30-35 kts up north later and 20 kts from the Golden Gate southward later. Building windswell expected.
  • Mon (4/12) northwest winds are forecast at 30 kts for Pt Arena northward early and 20 kts south of there fading over Central CA to 15 kts later. Windswell production continuing but raw.
  • Tues (4/13) northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for North CA early and 20 kts well off for Central CA but 5 kts nearshore early and holding all day. Windswell fading some. Perhaps some snow for the Sierra from a backdoor front over Nevada.
  • Wed (4/14) northwest winds are forecast at 20 kts near Cape Mendocino but 10 kts nearshore south of there and fading up north later. Low odds for rideable windswell resulting.
  • Thurs (4/15) northwest winds are forecast at 10 kts all day offering no windswell production potential.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 6 inches, 6 inches, 4 inches, and 14 inches all on 4/13-14 and then 4/16.

Freezing level is at 9,000 ft rising to 10,500 ft 4/8 through 4/12, then falling to 7,000-8,000 ft on 4/14 and cycling down to 4,000 ft in the evenings through 4/17.

Snow Models: (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts).


South Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (4/8)
no swell of interest from the southern hemi was hitting CA or HI. But swell was radiating northeast from a gale previously under and east of New Zealand (see small New Zealand Gale below).

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

Small New Zealand Gale
A gale developed south of New Zealand on Sun AM (4/4) producing 40-45 kt west winds generating seas of 32 ft at 5S 176W. In the evening a new fetch fetch developed from the old one with 45-50 kt west winds over a tiny area with seas 35 ft at 52S 170E aimed east. On Mon AM (4/5) a solid but small fetch of 45 kt southwest winds were southeast of New Zealand with seas 32 ft at 53S 172.5W aimed east. In the evening 50 kt west winds were pushing east with seas 37 ft at 59.5S 163.5W aimed east. Fetch was collapsing and fading from 40 kts on Tues AM (4/6) over the deep South Central Pacific with seas fading from 33 ft at 62.5S 152.5W aimed east with 26-30 ft seas lingering back to the northwest to 54.5S 180W. This system was gone after that. Possible small swell for the US West Coast starting 4/14 but most energy aimed at South America.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Sun (4/11) building to 1.2 ft @ 18 secs later (2.0 ft). Swell building on Mon (4/12) to 1.6 ft @ 16-17 secs early (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell continues on Tues (4/13) at 1.4 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0 ft). Swell fading on Wed (4/14) from 1.8 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.5 ft). Dribbles on Thurs (4/15) fading from 1.3 ft @ 14 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 196 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (4/13) building to 1.3 ft @ 16-19 secs later (2.0 ft). Swell building Wed (4/14) to 1.4 ft @ 18 secs mid-day (2.5 ft). Swell getting more solid on Thurs (4/15) pushing 2.1 ft @ 17 secs late AM (3.5 ft). Swell continues on Fri (4/16) at 2.0 ft @ 16 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell fading some on Sat (4/17) from 2.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell continues on Sun (4/18) at 2.0 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Mon (4/19) from 2.1 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading Tues (4/20) from 1.8 ft @ 14 secs (2.5 ft). Less swell on Wed (4/21) fading from 1.8 ft @ 14-15 secs early (2.0-2.5 ft). Dribbles on Thurs (4/22) fading from 1.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 206 degrees moving to 195 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (4/13) building to 1.5 ft @ 16-18 secs later (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell building Wed (4/14) to 1.9 ft @ 17-18 secs mid-day (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell getting more solid on Thurs (4/15) pushing 2.0 ft @ 16-17 secs mid-day (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell continues on Fri (4/16) at 1.8 ft @ 16 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell fading some on Sat (4/17) from 1.9 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell continues on Sun (4/18) at 2.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Mon (4/19) from 1.8 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 ft). Swell fading Tues (4/20) from 1.8 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 ft). Less on Wed (4/21) fading from 1.6 ft @ 14 secs early (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 204 degrees moving to 190 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 no swell producing weather systems are forecast.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.



MJO/ENSO Forecast


Strong Active MJO Building Over KWGA
Summary - A Kevin Wave continues pushing east nearly done squeezing the cold remains of La Nina from depth to the surface in the East Pacific. CFS Model indicates solid west anomalies over KWGA for the next 3 months.

MJO/ENSO Discussion
The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) 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.
And the El Nino/La Nino cycle (collectively know as ENSO - El Nino Southern Oscillation) is a less frequent (about once every 7 years) but more impactful cycle that affects world wide weather. Specifically, strong El Nino events promote storm production in the Pacific while La Nina events suppress storm production. These therefore have a significant impact on the production of swell and surf. The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO and ENSO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for upcoming activity (or inactivity depending on the state and interaction of these two oscillations).

Overview: A double dip La Nina occurred through the Winter of 2017-2018. Warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018 associated with two upwelling Kelvin Waves, and continued trying to build over equatorial waters over the Summer and Fall, but not enough to declare El Nino and not coupled with the atmosphere. In 2019, those warm waters were fading, and by August a tongue of cool water was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos reaching to a point nearly south of Hawaii. A bit of a recovery tried to occur during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water held in a pool off Peru. By April 2020 a cool pool was starting to build, forming a well defined cool tongue that looked like the start of La Nina, with it fully developing into La Nina in July 2020. We continue in the place in March 2021, but with a Kelvin Wave sweeping east late in March possibly signaling the demise of La Nina.

Winter/Spring 2020/2021 = 3.0/3.5 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)

Rationale: It is assumed the PDO has moved to the warm phase in 2014 and that a weak borderline El Nino from 2018 faded out in the Fall of 2019. A La Nina like ocean temperature pattern developed in the equatorial East Pacific in the summer of 2019, then faded and returned to a neutral if not weak warm status during the Winter of 2019-2020 only to return stronger in the Summer of 2020. We have been suspecting a turn towards a La Nina like atmospheric pattern to develop in the late Winter/early Spring of 2020. Our best hope is that moderation from the warm phase of the PDO might tamp down development of a full blown La Nina as we move into 2020. But at this time that does not appear likely. Given all that, for the 2020 there is decent probability for development of La Nina meaning a reduced number of storm days and storm intensity during the summer season, resulting in a below normal level of swell, with swell being below normal duration and period. And by the Fall and early Winter of 2020/21, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should fade even more, resulting in depressed swell production. This pattern is expected to hold through the Spring of 2021.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (4/7) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing strong east over the Central Pacific and moderate east over the KWGA. Anomalies were moderate east over the East equatorial Pacific then neutral over the Central Pacific then modest easterly over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, so they lag what is happening today by about 2 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (4/6) east anomalies were moderate over the dateline. West anomalies were light over the West KWGA with the dividing line at 170E. The forecast calls for east anomalies holding at moderate status and not moving until 4/11, then moving progressively east positioned well east of the dateline at the end of the model run on 4/13. Strong west anomalies are to start building on 4/7 at 150E and building stronger still through the end of the model run moving only slightly east to 160E.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (4/7) A moderate Active MJO pattern was filling the KWGA. The statistic model projects a moderate Active MJO holding and filling the KWGA through day 10 of the model run though losing some coverage over that window and then moving east of the KWGA on day 15 with the Inactive Phase taking control over the West KWGA. The dynamic model is corrupt.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/8) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was moderate over the West Pacific today and is to track east into the East Atlantic by day 15 of the model run and weak. The dynamic model suggests the Active Phase was over the West Pacific today at moderate strength and holding that position while slowly fading to weak status through day 15 of the model run.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (4/7) The Active Phase (wet anomalies) was over the West Pacific today and is to push east over Central America on 4/22. A solid Inactive Phase (dry air) is to move over the KWGA on 4/22 tracking east and moving over Central America on 5/7. A weak Active (wet airmass) is to push over the KWGA on 5/7 filling the Pacific at the end of the model run on 5/17.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/7) This model depicts a coherent Active Phase of the MJO almost filling the KWGA producing solid west anomalies filling the KWGA east to 170E today. The forecast indicates the Active Phase is to continue building in from the west 4/8 through 4/18 moving to the dateline at near strong status and holding there filling the KWGA through 4/25. And even after that west anomalies are to take root over the KWGA filling it at moderate status through the end of the model run on 5/5. Theoretically we are at the start of the first real Active Phase of the MJO in a year.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/8 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): A dramatic upgrade is forecast for the KWGA starting today. This model depicts a moderate Active MJO signal building over the Western KWGA with modest west anomalies in play there. The forecast indicates it is to track east through the KWGA on 5/13 producing moderate to occasionally strong west anomalies filling the KWGA. This is to be the first real Active Phase in a year or more. A weak Inactive MJO is to follow 4/23-5/28 but with mostly modest to moderate west anomalies filling the KWGA. A new modest Active Phase is to start building in the west on 5/25 pushing east through the end of the model run on 7/6 with modest to moderate west anomalies and sometimes strong anomalies controlling the KWGA. Literally no east anomalies are forecast in the KWGA from here forward. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias is in control over the dateline for the moment with 4 contour lines reaching east to a point south of California. The forth contour line is to fade on 4/11. The 3rd contour line is to fade on 5/3. The second contour line is to fade 5/18. The remaining 1 is to be shifting hard east starting 4/25 and losing coverage and no longer in the KWGA after 5/26. A single contour low pressure bias is over the Indian Ocean today. It is to theoretically start shrinking in coverage from the west on 4/30 while tracking east to 180W and filling the KWGA by 6/10 while building to 2 contour lines. The strong Active Phase forecast in April is to be the tipping point, and has been on this model for nearly 3 months. Still, it should only be strong enough to start pushing us to a neutral position long term though today's run of the model suggests something more favorable. East anomalies that were previously solid in the Indian Ocean for over a year migrated east into the West Pacific on 10/1/20 and stabilized there, but are theoretically starting a slow fade while migrating east moving to the a point south of California by 4/16 as the Active Phase dislodges then and builds over the KWGA. Theoretically the end of La Nina is near (starting on 4/16).

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/8) Today in the far West Pacific the 28 deg isotherm line was easing east to 180W. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing the whole way across the equatorial Pacific and building in coverage and depth as compared to weeks prior in the East Pacific. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +102 deg C have moved east reaching across the Pacific today and reaching the surface near 120W and pushing into Ecuador. A previous broad cool pool under the East Pacific was gone. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/3 indicates a dramatic improvement with warm anomalies moving east subsurface to 105W indicative of a Kelvin Wave poised to impact the far East Pacific and lurking just 30M below the surface at 110W. Negative anomalies in the East Pacific were the least negative at any time in months and getting shallower while getting squeezed to the surface by the Kelvin Wave. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (4/3) A dramatic improvement was occurring with sea heights near neutral (0 to -5 cms) over the entire equatorial Pacific with a pocket of positive anomalies extending from the far West Pacific over the dateline from there to 110W and almost continuous over that area. Negative anomalies were less than -5 cms along the coast of Peru and along the coast of Mexico up into California but neutral or even weakly positive from Ecuador to South Mexico. Looking at the big picture, negative anomalies had formed a massive triangle from Cape Mendocino to the intersection of the dateline and equator then into Southern Chile. But it was much weaker and much less defined and obvious than weeks and months past and was dramatically collapsing in it's heart over the equator as building ocean surface heights there. The end seems near for La Nina.

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: (4/7) The latest images indicate a stream of cool water was tracking west on the equator originating fairly solid along Peru then pushing west from Ecuador out to the Galapagos indicative of an upwelling event. Then a far weaker cool stream continued west on the equator from the Galapagos to 160W, weakening the further west one goes. Weak warm water was further off Peru and Central America. Cool anomalies were streaming from Chile west-northwest to the dateline also feeding the main cool pool and static in strength or maybe building slightly. Overall this seems to indicate the collapse of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/7): Warming temps are indicated along Peru and Ecuador then fading to neutral over the Galapagos, only to rebuild to a warming pattern from just west of the Galapagos west to a point south of Hawaii on the equator. We suspect upwelling of cool subsurface waters at depth being forced up by an approaching Kelvin Wave might nearly be over. Otherwise a neutral temperature trend was occurring on the equator but with slightly warming from 120W to the dateline.
Hi-res Overview: (4/7) A generic area of warm water was west of Peru and Central America. But cold water was still evident along the immediate Peru streaming up to Ecuador then tracking west on the equator coast to the Galapagos. But that flow was warming some compared to days past. Also a faint area of cool water was extending from off Chile tracking northwest to the equator out to the dateline and west to New Guinea but appears to be losing definition. A similar stream was migrating southwest from off Baja Mexico and holding solid. The remaining cool core of La Nina is pushing west on the equator from 120W over the dateline but warmer than days past. La Nina appears to be in retreat.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/8) Today's temps were rising slowly to -0.677 after bottoming out at -0.950 on 4/5, after peaking at +0.714 on 3/16. Temp previously peaked at +0.601 on 3/9 and that after a recent high of +0.100 on 2/1. Temps previously were -0.604 on 1/24. A previous peak of -0.595 occurred on 12/11. This area has been on a seesaw rising trend since early October. Temps were previously down to -2.138 on 8/13. The longterm trend has been on a slow but steady increase.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(4/8) Temps were steady today at -0.2294 after a recent peak of -0.185 on 3/27 after falling to-0.404 on 3/20 and that after peaking at -0.170 on 3/10, the highest in a year. Temps bottomed out at -1.654 on 11/3, rising to to -0.982 on 1/21. The previous low before that was -0.733 on 9/10. Temps were on a steady decline since 7/25 then bottomed out in late October and have been on a slow increase since.

Click for Full Sized Image Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/8) - Actuals per the model indicate temps bottomed out in early Nov at -1.25 degs then rose to -0.65 degs mid-Jan and up to -0.15 degs in March. The forecast depicts temps rising to normal +0.0 degs into June if not a little more, then starting a slow fade falling to -0.50 degs in early Aug falling steadily to -0.70 in Dec. This model now suggests a complete demise of La Nina starting now and continuing into Fall and early Winter. There is no sense of El Nino developing through. Of course we're still in the Spring Unpredictability Barrier, so no outcome is certain.
IRI Consensus Plume: The March 20, 2021 Plume depicts temps are at -0.50 degs today, and are to rise to -0.15 in June and stabilizing there through Nov. Most models are suggesting a moderate La Nina returning to Neutral in the late Spring of 2021.
See chart here - link.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad - this is a lagging indicator) (4/8): The daily index was near steady at +0.50. The 30 day average was rising slightly at +0.75 and more or less steady the last 10 days. It peaked at +19.51 on 1/14. The 90 day average was falling slightly at +6.73 after peaking at +15.75 on 2/23 and clearly indicative of La Nina. This index is a lagging indicator.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
Per NOAAs index recent values: Jan 2018 +0.29, Feb -0.19, Mar -0.61, April -0.89, May -0.69, June -0.85, July -0.09, Aug -0.43, Sept -0.46, Oct -0.75, Nov -0.78, Dec -0.12, Jan 2019 -0.18, Feb -0.50 Mar -0.23, April +0.10, May +0.14, June -0.11, July +0.44, Aug -0.14, Sept +0.05, Oct -0.96, Nov -0.28, Dec +0.01, Jan 2020 -1.17, This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2018 +0.70. Feb +0.37, Mar -0.05, April +0.11, May +0.11, June -0.04, July +0.11, Aug +0.18, Sept +0.09. No real 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 

Powerlinessurf Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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