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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 5:42 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
3.9 - California & 3.4 - 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 4/9 thru Sun 4/15

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   

2 Solid Gales Forecast for N. Pacific
Weaker Swell Pattern Beyond


On Tuesday, April 10, 2018 :

  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 11.7 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 8.2 ft @ 14.9 secs from 313 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.5 ft @ 10.8 secs with swell 1.9 ft @ 10.7 secs from 253 degrees. Wind at the buoy was south at 2 kts. Water temperature NA. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.4 ft @ 10.3 secs from 263 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.2 ft @ 11.2 secs from 267 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.7 ft @ 11.6 secs from 250 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 3.6 ft @ 11.6 secs from 280 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.0 ft @ 10.8 secs with swell 4.0 ft @ 10.4 secs from 294 degrees. Wind at the buoy was south at 2-4 kts. Water temp 53.4 degs.

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 Tuesday (4/10) in North and Central CA local northwest swell was fading producing set waves in the chest to shoulder high range and soft with some warble in the water and mostly mushed. Protected breaks were waist to maybe chest high and soft and clean. At Santa Cruz surf was waist high with some slightly bigger sets and clean and pretty looking. In Southern California up north surf was thigh high on the sets and clean but weak. In North Orange Co northwest swell was hitting with sets to head high and clean and lined up with some decent sections at top breaks. South Orange Country's best breaks were waist high or so and super clean but weak. In North San Diego surf was shoulder high on the sets and lined up and clean but mostly closed except at top breaks. Hawaii's North Shore was still getting solid swell from a gale previously in the Northwestern Pacific with waves 8 ft Hawaiian and reasonably clean but with some northerly warbled running through it. The South Shore was flat and plate glass again. The East Shore was getting northwest wrap around swell at waist to chest high and chopped from east-northeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (4/10) residual local northwest swell was fading in California but still rideable. For Hawaii swell originating form the Northwest Pacific was hitting producing well rideable size. That gale fell southeast from Kamchatka Fri-Sat (4/7) producing a short lived area of 32 ft seas almost fading before reaching the dateline on Sat (4/7) then reorganized in the Gulf of Alaska Sun-Mon (4/9) with 21 ft seas aimed east at California. Swell from that system is pushing towards the CA coast now. All the while another system tracked east over the North Dateline region on Sun-Tues (4/10) with 30-34 ft seas aimed east then is to fall southeast into the Central Gulf on Wed (4/11) producing a decent sized area of 28 ft seas aimed east. And maybe a stronger system is forecast behind that tracking east over the Central Dateline on Wed-Thurs (4/12) with up to 45 ft seas aimed east then fading while falling southeast through the Gulf Fri (4/13) with seas fading from 25 ft. So a far more active pattern is underway in the North Pacific. But after that no seas of interest are forecast. Down south a tiny gale developed on Sun-Mon (4/9) under New Zealand with 28-30 ft seas aimed north. A persistent pattern of 30-34 ft seas is forecast on the southeastern edge of the CA swell window over the coming week but all aimed east.

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

North Pacific

On Tuesday AM (4/10) the jetstream was weak and split over Japan but the two streams merged just west of the dateline with winds building to 170 kts at 43N on the dateline pushing east-southeast and forming a trough in the Gulf of Alaska with the leading edge of that trough just off the coast of Oregon and offering decent support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours through Fri (4/13) that trough is to push into British Columbia early Wed (4/11) into Thursday. Another trough is to build in the Western Gulf starting Thurs (4/12) building and steepening with winds building to 150 kts pushing down into the trough Fri (4/13) offering good support for gale development. Back to the west a ridge is to be building on the dateline pushing up into the Bering Sea shutting down gale generation potential there. Beyond 72 hours the Gulf trough is to push east still providing support for gale development then start pinching off later on Sat (4/14) ultimately pushing inland over North CA on Mon AM (4/16). Back to the west the jet is to still be consolidated pushing off Japan arching over the North Dateline region then falling southeast eventually moving over North CA. No troughs are forecast with winds in the 130-140 kts range over the North Dateline region. But by early Tues (4/17) yet another small local trough is forecast building in the jet over the Central Gulf of Alaska tracking east towards California offering some support for gale development. An interesting and favorable late season pattern is setting up. Take what you can get.

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday AM (4/10) swell from a gale previously northwest of Hawaii was still hitting (see Northwest Pacific Gale - Hawaii below). Also swell from remnants of that gale which redeveloped weakly in the Gulf was pushing towards California (see Gulf Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours two new systems are forecast to develop. The first is to be a gale tracking over the North Dateline Region into the Gulf and another is forecast developing on the dateline tracking east (details directly below).

North Dateline/Gulf Gale
And yet another gale developed west of the Northern Dateline region just off Kamchatka on Sun AM (4/8) producing 40 kt west winds and seas building. By evening the gale was decently broad approaching the North Dateline region with 40 kt west winds and seas building from 33 ft at 51N 170E just barely south of the Western Aleutians. The gale moved over the Northern Dateline Mon AM (4/9) with 40 kt northwest winds south of the Aleutians and 33 ft seas at 51N 177E aimed east at the US West Coast. Fetch pushed east at 40 kts over a broader area in the evening on the dateline with 32 ft seas at 50N 180W just barely south of the Central Aleutians. Fetch faded Tues AM (4/10) from 35 kts on the dateline but grew in coverage at 30-35 kt from the west nearly filling the Gulf with 27 ft seas fading at 50N 172W targeting the US West Coast and sideband energy at Hawaii. The core of the original gale is to be gone in the evening but the new center is to be stalled in the Central Gulf producing a broad area of 35-40 kt northwest winds and seas 27 ft at 47N 157W aimed at the US West Coast. Wed AM (4/11) the gale is to move east with winds fading from 35 kts with a broad area of 28 ft seas at 48N 150W. In the evening the gale is to dissipate with seas fading from 26 ft in the Northeastern Gulf at 47N 143W. Possible solid swell for the US West Coast if all goes as forecast but shadowed in the SF Bay Area.

Hawaii: Small swell mainly from when the gale was on the North Dateline Region arriving Thurs (4/12) peaking at sunset at 4.6 ft @ 15-16 secs (7.0 ft). Swell fading Fri AM (4/13) fading from 3.6 ft @ 13 secs(4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 330 degrees

North CA: Swell building to 4.8 ft @ 15 secs late Wed (4/11). Swell Direction: 302-308 degrees


Possible Dateline Gale
And yet another stronger system is forecast building off the North Kuril Islands on Tues AM (4/10) with 40 kt northwest winds over a small area and seas building. In the evening the gale is to build to storm status while tracking east approaching the dateline with 55 kt west winds over a small area and 25 ft seas at 46N 169E. The storm is to continue east on Wed AM (4/11) with 55 kt west winds and 45 ft seas at 46N 175E. The gale is to be fading in the evening and falling southeast just east of the dateline with 45 kt west winds over a diminishing area aimed east and seas fading from 43 ft at 44N 176W. The gale to fade Thurs AM (4/12) in the Western Gulf with west winds 35-40 kts and seas 36 ft at 43N 168W targeting the US West Coast well. In the evening the gale is to fade with northwest winds 30-35 kts and seas 30 ft at 41N 160W. On Fri AM (4/13) fetch is to fade from 30 kts and seas 25 ft at 46N 153W. The gale to fade from there. Something to monitor.


Northwest Pacific Gale (Hawaii)
Also on Friday AM (4/6) another broader gale started developing off Kamchatka and the Northern Kurils with 45-50 kt northwest winds and seas to 32 ft at 48N 164E. The gale fell southeast rapidly by evening with 40 kt northwest winds over a small area and seas 31 ft at 45N 171E targeting Hawaii. By Sat AM (4/7) residual 30-35 kt northwest winds were fading in coverage a bit east of the dateline with seas fading from 29 ft at 43N 175EW targeting Hawaii. Fetch is to fade and track rapidly east in the evening at 30 kts with seas from previous fetch fading from 22 ft over a broad area at 41N 173W aimed a bit east of Hawaii. The gale is to be rebuilding Sun AM (4/8) with a tiny area of 40-45 kt northwest winds and seas 26 ft at 40N 163W targeting Hawaii tangentially. The gale is to move east of the Hawaiian swell window beyond. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Residuals fading on Tues AM (4/10) from 6.4 ft @ 13-14 secs (8.5 ft). Dribbles fading on Wed AM (4/11) from 3.9 ft @ 12-13 secs (5.0 ft). Swell Direction: 335 degrees


Weak Gulf Gale
Remnant energy from the Northwest Pacific Gale (above) pushed east and weakly tried to redevelop Sun AM (4/8) in the Western Gulf of Alaska with 30 kt northwest winds over a tiny area and 21 ft seas at 40N 165W aimed southeast. The gale tracked east in the evening and formed a new fetch of 30 kt west winds north of the original centered with 18 ft seas from the original fetch fading at 37N 161W targeting Hawaii and the US West Coast. On Mon AM (4/9) the new fetch had 30 kts west winds in the Eastern Gulf and 21 ft seas at 43N 150W targeting Central CA. In the evening fetch was fading from barely 30 kts and seas fading from 20 ft at 43N 145W targeting North and Central CA. The gale dissipated from there. Small sideband swell is possible for Hawaii and more northwesterly swell pushing into North and Central CA.

Hawaii: This swell to be imbedded with swell from the Northwest Pacific (see above).

North CA: Expect swell arrival Tuesday at sunset pushing 5.5 ft @ 12 secs (6.5 ft). Swell holding overnight into Wed AM (4/11) pushing 6.2 ft @ 11 secs (6.5 ft). Swell Direction: 295 degrees

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


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday AM (4/10) a weak sold front was impacting Cape Mendocino with south winds 20 kts there and 10 kts down to Pt Reyes early turning light northwest later and light north winds 10 kts for Central CA building to 15 kts later. Rain early from Bodega Bay northward early pushing south to maybe the Golden Gate late afternoon while fading up north. Snow levels 10000-11000 ft for Tahoe early with light rain expected falling to 8000 ft later. Wednesday the next front is to be queued up off the North Coast with south winds 15-20 kts building south to the Golden Gate late afternoon. North winds 20 kts for Pt Conception all day. Rain building south to Morro Bay in the evening. Snow developing for Tahoe in the evening with snow levels 7000 ft in the Am falling to lake level at 5 PM with up to 8-13 inches of accumulation possible. Thursday (4/12) high pressure and north winds to be in control at 15 kts for all of North CA, and 20 kts into Central and South CA building to 25 kts for Southern CA later. Light rain mainly for Pt Arena northward and light snow for Tahoe into the the Southern Sierra early. Friday (4/13) high pressure is to ridging into North CA with north winds 15-20 kts from Big Sur southward but 10-15 kts for North CA. Saturday (4/14) high pressure is to fade with north winds 10 kts for the entire state through the day. No precipitation is forecast. Sunday (4/15) light northwest winds are forecast for the state building to 15 kts in the afternoon. A weak front is to be pushing down the coast reaching Monterey Bay in the evening. Monday (4/16) high pressure to move in with north winds 20 kts for the North and Central Coast and building to 25 kts for Southern CA later. Light rain for Central and Southern CA very early fading quickly. A possible short but solid burst of snow for the Sierra early. Tuesday (4/17) light winds are forecast with another front just off the North Coast and south winds for Cape Mendocino at 15-20 kts. Rain for North CA early.

South Pacific

Surface Analysis  
On Tuesday (4/10) miniscule swell from a gale that developed south of New Zealand last weekend (see New Zealand Gale below) was pushing northeast towards California. Another equally small gale developed south of New Zealand on Sun (4/8) with tiny swell radiating towards Hawaii (see Another New Zealand Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours starting Tues PM (4/10) a gale is to be building in the Southeast Pacific producing 40 kt southwest winds over a decent sized area with seas building from 29 ft at 65S 139W. The gale is to build Wed AM (4/11) with 45 kt west-southwest winds with seas building to 37 ft at 65S 128W targeting mainly Chile. In the evening the gale is to be tracking east with 40 kt west winds on the eastern edge of California swell window with 38 ft seas at 64S 116W and effectively out of the CA swell window. Something to monitor.

Another gale is to develop in the far Southeast Pacific on Thurs AM (4/12) wit 35+ kt southwest winds and seas building. In the evening a broad fetch of 35-40 kt southwest winds are to be lifting northeast with 28 ft seas at 56S 121W aimed northeast. Fri AM (4/13) 35 kt south-southwest winds to be lifting northeast with 29 ft seas at 52S 115W and moving out of the Southern CA swell window targeting mainly Central America. The gale is to fade from there.


New Zealand Gale
A gale started building just south of New Zealand on Fri PM (3/30) with 45 kt southwest winds and seas building from 30 ft over a tiny area at 52S 167E. On Sat AM (4/1) the gale fell southeast slightly with southwest winds 45 kts and seas 33 ft over a tiny area at 52S 174E. The gale faded some while tracking east in the evening with 40 kt southwest winds and 33 ft seas at 53S 180W. On Sun AM (4/1) southwest winds were fading from barely 35 kts with 29 ft seas fading at 53S 173W aimed northeast. In the evening the gale was gone. No swell expected for Hawaii and only minimal southwest swell to result for the US West Coast.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (4/10) pushing 1.0 ft @ 16-17 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Residuals fading Wed (4/11) from 1.1 ft @ 15-16 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 219 degree


Another New Zealand Gale
A small gale developed south of New Zealand on Sun AM (4/8) producing 40-45 kt south winds and 30 ft seas over a tiny area at 55S 170E. In the evening 40 kt south winds held with seas 29 ft at 53S 172E aimed due north. 40 kt south winds to hold Mon AM (4/9) with seas 27 ft at 53S 173E aimed north. The gale is to fade in the evening with winds dying from 30 kts from the south and seas 22 ft at 51S 172E. Something to monitor for Tahiti and Hawaii.

Hawaii: Swell building to 1.1 ft @ 15 secs on Tues (3/17). 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 a gale is to form off north Japan on Sun (4/15) lifting fast northeast producing up to 24 ft seas at 40N 161E targeting mainly the Aleutians and continuing on the track into early Tues (4/17) moving over the Central Aleutians at that time. Seas mainly in the 20-22 ft range. No swell of interest expected to result.

Also a tiny gale is to develop in the northern Gulf on Mon (4/16) producing 35 kt west winds and 22 ft seas falling southeast and fading 24 hours later. Nothing of interest to result.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours another gael is to build in the far Southeast Pacific on Mon-Tues (4/17) with seas to 32 ft at 51S 121W aimed northeast. Something to monitor.

More details to follow...


Kelvin Wave Breach Point Suspected Just West of Galapagos

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 gone with suspicious warming developing along South America and over the Galapagos to a point south of Hawaii. By May the atmosphere returned to a neutral configuration but then in July east anomalies started building in the KWGA and have not stopped, with cold water upwelling over the the Nino1.2 and 3.4 areas, indicative of La Nina. A double dip La Nina was in control and continued through the Winter of 2017-2018. But warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018 associated with 2 Upwelling Kelvin Waves, suggesting the demise of La Nina was at hand.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Monday (4/9) 5 day average winds were from the east over the bulk of the equatorial Pacific and also over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral over the equatorial East Pacific and light easterly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (4/10) Weak east anomalies were in the KWGA with a small area of west anomalies on the dateline. The dateline anomalies are to fade 24 hours out with weak east anomalies over the KWGA for the next week through 4/17. This suggests a pattern change.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (4/9) A fading Active/Wet signal was over the dateline with the Inactive/Dry Phase over the Maritime Continent and covering a good portion of the West Pacific. The statistical model depicts the Active signal gone in 3 days with a moderate Inactive/Dry MJO signal covering the West Pacific and filling the KWGA and holding if not building while easing east through the end of the 15 day run. The dynamic model depicts the same thing but then with the Inactive Phase fading 10 days out and a weak Active Phase over the KWGA 15 days out.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/10) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO fairly strong in strength over the Atlantic. It is to track east steadily over the next 15 days moving into the Indian Ocean 4 days out and weak over the Maritime Continent at the end of the model run and stalling. The GEFS model depicts the same track and speed but with the Active Phase moving to the West Pacific 15 days out but very weak.
40 day Upper Level Model: (4/10) This model depicts a modest Inactive Phase over the far West Pacific migrating east to the East Pacific through 4/30. After that a modest Active Phase is forecast moving into the West Pacific 4/25 easing east to the East Pacific and into Central America at the end of the model run on 5/20. A weak Inactive Phase is to follow in the West Pacific starting 5/15. This model runs about 1-2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (4/10) This model depicts a fading weak Active Phase nearly gone on the dateline with neutral anomalies on the KWGA. Beyond a modest Inactive Phase is to set up in the KWGA 4/13-5/5 but with neutral to weak west anomalies in control in the KWGA. No east anomalies are forecast. A weak pattern to follow with weak west anomalies still in control in the KWGA. Perhaps a stronger Active Phase to develop 5/25 holding through the end of the model run on 7/7 with west anomalies strengthening in the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates a modest low pressure bias over the bulk of the KWGA at 170E and is to push east steadily from here forward reaching the dateline 4/16 and out of the KWGA on 4/26 with the high pressure bias already east of the dateline and out of the KWGA. This is hugely good news. Basically the La Nina bias is to be gone in 1-2 weeks. The expectation is that the atmosphere and ocean will begin to be coupled in over the next 3 months in a more favorable configuration towards storm production in the Pacific.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/9) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 29-30 degs at 160E. The 28 deg isotherm line is steady at 180W and steep but also showing signs of trying to east east with the surface line moving to 178W. The 24 deg isotherm was building in thickness while making significant eastward progress at 100 meters deep at 140W and now to 75 meters deep at 120W dropping to 35 meters into Ecuador. Anomaly wise in the East Pacific negative temperatures are effectively gone and what is left is steadily loosing coverage as warm waters from a Kelvin Wave are building in from the west at depth. Warm anomalies were holding in the West at +3.0 degs at 165E down 150 meters pushing east with +2 deg anomalies reaching east to 120W down 75 meters and starting to erupt at the surface near 110W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/3 depicts warm water in the west at +4.0 degs at 165W reaching east to 110W pushing up to 50 m deep the trying to breach the surface near 110W. Cool water was holding in one shallow pocket in the East Pacific off Ecuador near 100W but otherwise isolated and cutoff by the approaching Kelvin Wave. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data.
Sea Level Anomalies: (4/3) Positive anomalies were over the West equatorial Pacific at +5-10 cms centered at 160W reaching east to 115W and now in pockets to 100W. Neutral anomalies were east of there except for negative anomalies at -5 cms over the Galapagos and extending east to Peru. The La Nina cool pool is all but gone.

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: (4/9) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a pocket of cool anomalies was along the immediate coast of Peru reaching northwest just barely up to the Galapagos and ending there and continually fading. Of much interest is a building pool of warm anomalies developing on the oceans surface on and just south of the equator near 100W reaching almost to Peru. This is likely the start of a defined eruption point for a large Kevin Wave directly below. Warm anomalies were also along the immediate coast of Central America and Mexico reaching west to the dateline south to 1-2N along the equator. Cool anomalies on the equator were limited to points west of 120W mainly south of the equator - the last of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/9): A previous pocket of cooling near the Galapagos is gone. Strong warming was building along the equator from off Ecuador over the Galapagos out to 100W, then weaker but warming from there to the dateline. The breach point for a large Kelvin Wave was estimated near 100W-115W.
Hi-res Overview: (4/9) A pocket of cool water is along the immediate coast of Peru reaching up to the Galapagos but covering less area than days past and still loosing coverage. Weak warming was further off the coast of Peru and reaching north to the equator at 100W. Warming was also along Ecuador and Central America filling the area north of the equator up into Mexico and east over the entirety of the equatorial Pacific. The La Nina core cool pocket was shrinking now mainly on the equator and south of there from 125W to barely the dateline looking like a Modoki La Nina (meaning the core of La Nina is advecting west and dissipating). Overall the cooling pattern is steadily loosing density and drifting west.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/10) Today's temps were falling more to -1.890 after rising 4/3 to -0.069. Prior to that temp had fallen hard to -2.364 degs on 3/25, the coldest of any point in this La Nina. Previous cool peaks were on 3/12 at -1.5 degs retreating from the peak of the first Kelvin Wave hitting at +0.898 degrees on 2/28. Overall temps had been steadily marching upwards since late December. Temps in this area bottomed out on 12/23 at -2.1 degs, a third near peak negative reading. The lowest point so far in this La Nina was -2.248 degs reached on 11/5. And that low point was lower than the previous coldest point reached on 10/11 at -1.9 degs.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/10) Today temps were falling some at -0.589 after rising to -0.431 degs on 4/7, part of a steady 2 week increase. A weak surge in temps occurred 1/12-1/28 reaching up to -0.600 deg range. But since then temps backed off some. Previously a peak low was observed on 1/10-1/12 to -1.577. On (12/7) temps hit a previous record low at -1.219, just below the previous coldest peak so far this La Nina on 11/22 at -1.156. And the third previous low peak was reached at -1.1 on 11/23. The long arc suggests perhaps a rising pattern. La Nina is in control, but it's taking a hit.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/9) The forecast depicts temps bottomed out at -0.75 in Nov 2017 and have been slowly rebounding since, up to -0.55 in early Feb. In mid-March a sharp temperature increase developed rising to -0.25 in early April. The model indicates temps steadily rising from here forward to neutral in early June, hovering there then starting to rise into the Fall to +0.25 degs in Oct and to +0.5 degs later in Nov. This suggests the peak of La Nina occurred in 2017 and is to fade out in the early Summer of 2018 before turning weakly positive in the Fall. The odds of a 3 year La Nina developing are rare (3 year La Ninas 17%, 2 year La Ninas 50%, 1 year La Ninas 33% 1951-2017). This model is now falling inline with all the others suggesting La Nina is to die this Spring.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-March Plume depicts temps at -0.5 degs and are to slowly rise, to +0.0 in May and +0.2 in August and +0.5 in November. See chart here - link. It looks like La Nina is fading out. The CFSv2 is in the low end of that pack.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (4/10): The daily index was falling at -7.28. The 30 day average was falling at 10.87 suggesting the Inactive Phase of the MJO was in control. The 90 day average was rising some at 5.64 suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern biased towards La Nina.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (4/5) This site has not update since 4/5. At that time the index was rising slightly at -1.02 down from -1.13 on 3/27. Still this is down from -0.33 in late Feb, but was up from -1.11 on 1/29. The trend suggests La Nina is not gone, but possibly also reflects the last of the cool subsurface water being squeezed to the surface from an approaching large Kelvin Wave. Last years La Nina reached -1.94 on 11/2/16 and then fell to -2.20 on 6/28/17. It held pretty negative through Jan 2018. This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina events. The goal is to have it rise to at least -0.5 before a significant change could be suggested.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly positive, even though La Nina is in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.12, Feb = +0.05, March = +0.14, April=+0.53, May=+0.29, June=+0.21, July= -0.50, Aug= -0.62, Sept = -0.25, Oct= -0.61, Nov = -0.45, Dec= -0.13, Jan=+0.29, Feb=-0.10. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO, even with La Nina, because the warm PDO appears to be dampening the effects of La Nina. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington EDU index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.77, Feb = +0.70, Mar = +0.74, April=+1.12, May=+0.88, June=+0.79, July=+0.10, Aug=+0.09, Sept = +0.32, Oct=+0.05, Nov = +0.15, Dec = +0.50, Jan +0.70. Feb +0.37. 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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