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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Saturday, April 11, 2020 12:44 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 & 2.5 - Hawaii
Using the 'Summer' 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 4/13 thru Sun 4/19

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   

North Pacific Trying to Stir
More Southern Hemi Activity Forecast

On Saturday, April 11, 2020 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 2.7 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 14.8 secs from 188 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 5.1 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 2.7 ft @ 12.8 secs from 3343 degrees. Water temp 76.8 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.9 ft @ 5.6 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 13.5 secs from 196 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 10-12 kts. Water temperature 59.4 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 2.0 ft @ 14.1 secs from 212 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.6 ft @ 13.7 secs from 203 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.8 ft @ 13.8 secs from 196 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 1.9 ft @ 13.6 secs from 208 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.3 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 2.4 ft @ 14.5 secs from 196 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 4-6 kts. Water temp 52.2 degs (013), 55.0 degs (012) and 55.6 degs (042).

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 Saturday (4/11) in North and Central CA local windswell was producing surf at thigh high on the sets and fairly clean but with some surface lump intermixed. Protected breaks were thigh high and soft but clean. All parking lots closed. At Santa Cruz waves were knee to thigh high and clean but weak. Beaches are closed. In Southern California/Ventura waves were thigh high or so and and soft and clean with some wind lump intermixed. In North Orange Co waves were waist high and soft and pretty bumpy from moderate south wind. Orange Country's best summertime breaks were thigh high on occasional and clean with light winds but soft. Beaches were closed. North San Diego had surf at knee to thigh high and clean but weak. All beaches closed. Hawaii's North Shore had set waves to maybe head high and somewhat lined up with light winds but with a fair amount of wind lump in the water. The South Shore was near flat and jumbled with wind lump. The East Shore was getting minimal windswell with waves waist high and clean with light west wind.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Saturday (4/11) the last little remnants of southern hemi swell were fading in California originating from a gale that formed in the Central South Pacific on Sun (3/29) lifting northeast to the Southeast Pacific through Tues (3/31) producing 35 ft seas aimed northeast. And secondary swell as intermixed from a fetch associated with the previous gale in the Southeast Pacific that produced up to 38 ft seas on the eastern edge of the California swell window late Tues (3/31) aimed well northeast. In Hawaii the remnants of swell were fading from a cutoff low pressure system previously northwest of the Islands on Tues-Wed (4/8) producing up to 22 ft seas. Looking forward up north a gale is forecast developing just west of the dateline Sun-Mon (4/13) producing up to 32 ft seas aimed east. And another gale is to be right behind it tracking northeast from Japan to the dateline Tues-Thurs (4/16) producing up to 29 ft seas aimed east. Down south on Tues (4/7) a small gale developed on the eastern edge of the CA swell window producing up to 29 ft seas aimed northeast. Some tiny swell is tracking north. A small storm formed south of the Tasman Sea tracking east Thurs-Sat (4/11) producing a small area of up to 50 ft seas aimed east but faded as it moved into the exposed Southwest Pacific. Low odds of swell resulting. The Tasman Sea storm is to track east and weakly regroup in the far Southeast Pacific on Mon (4/13) producing up to 30 ft seas aimed mostly east. Maybe something to result from it for California. And another gale is to spin up just east of New Zealand on Mon-Tues (4/14) generating a tiny area of up to 40 ft seas aimed well northeast. Something to monitor but nothing significant.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Saturday (4/11) small swell from a cutoff low previously northwest of Hawaii had produced windswell that is fading in Hawaii (see Another Cutoff Low below).

Over the next 72 hours starting Sat AM (4/11) a gale was developing mid-way to the dateline off North Japan producing west winds at 35-40 kts with seas building aimed east. In the evening the gale is to hold position with 35-40 kt west winds and seas to 24 ft over a small area at 40N 171.5E aimed east. On Sun AM (4/12) the gale is to build while easing east with 45 kt west winds and seas 30 ft at 44N 170E aimed east. Fetch is to be fading from 40 kts while easing east in the evening still not reaching even the dateline with seas 33 ft at 38.5N 171E aimed east. The gale is to be dissipating Mon AM (4/13) with west winds fading from 30-35 kts and seas 30 ft at 40N 176.5E aimed east. In the evening fetch is to fade from 30 kts from the northwest on the dateline with seas fading from 27 ft at 39N 177W. The gale to dissipate from there. Possible small swell is to be radiating east targeting mainly Hawaii. Something to monitor.


Another Cutoff Low
On Tues PM (4/7) a low pressure system developed 1200 nmiles north of Hawaii producing 30-35 kt north-northeast wind and seas building from 19 ft at 43N 162.5W aimed southwest. Fetch held on Wed AM (4/8) producing 22 ft seas at 42N 162.5W aimed south-southwest. Fetch was fading in the evening from 30 kts with seas fading from 17 ft at 43.5N 160.5W aimed southwest. Some small sideband swell might result arriving from the north-northeast.

Oahu: Swell fading on Sat (4/11) from 3.6 ft @ 11 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 340-350 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 Saturday (4/11) weak high pressure is to be off the North CA coast generating northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts from Pt Arena northward and north 10-15 kts south of there holding all day. No precip is forecast. Sunday (4/12) the gradient holds with north winds 20+ kts for North CA and 10+ kts for Central CA. Monday north winds are forecast at 15-20 kts for Pt Arena northward and 10 kts south of there. No change on Tues (4/14). Wed (4/15) the gradient is to build some with north winds 20-25 kts over and off North CA and 10 kts over Central CA. Thurs (4/16) north winds are to be 20 kts for North CA north of Pt Arena and 10-15 kts south of there. Fri (4/17) generally light winds from the northwest are forecast for the entire coast but for 15 kts north winds for North Cape Mendocino holding all day. Light snow possible for the Sierra during the day and overnight. No change on Sat (4/18). No precip forecast (other than what is previously mentioned) except for scattered showers over the Sierra at times during the week.

Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 5, 4, 6 and 4 inches respectively.

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


South Pacific

On Saturday (4/11) the southern branch of the jetstream was forming a trough reaching up to the southern end of the Tasman Sea being fed by 160 kt winds offering good support for gale development. East of there the jet was ridging weakly south some southeast of New Zealand reaching down to 60S then starting to lift northeast at 135W starting to offer some support for gale development there. Over the next 72 hours the trough in the Tasman Sea is to push east to the southern tip of New Zealand on Sun (4/12) and pinching off no longer offering support for gale development. But to the east the trough over the Southeast Pacific is to be lifting northeast being fed by 120 kts winds and building to 140 kts late Mon (4/13) turning purely from the south at 130W offering good support for gale development till Tues AM (4/14) when the trough moves east of the CA swell window and fades out. Also on Mon (4/13) the cutoff trough is to push just east of New Zealand offering a small window to support gale development before weakening 24 hours later. Beyond 72 hours starting Tues (4/14) a ridge is to be building under New Zealand down at 70S suppressing support for gale development and building east over the entirety of the South Pacific. That situation is to hold through the end of the model run.


Surface Analysis
Swell from a gale that developed in the far Southeast Pacific is radiating north and hitting California. (see Another Southeast Pacific Gale - Swell #1S below). Also small swell is radiating northeast from a gale that developed under New Zealand (see New Zealand Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours remnants from the New Zealand Gale (see below) are to start reorganizing over the Southeast Pacific on Sun AM (4/12) producing a broad fetch of 30-35 kts southwest winds with seas building from 26 ft at 62S 151W aimed east. In the evening fetch is to build to 35-40 kts from the southwest with seas 29 ft at 65S 141W aimed east-northeast. On Mon AM (4/13) 30-35 kt southwest winds are to be lifting northeast with seas 27 ft at 61.5S 133W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch is to be tracking north at 30 kts with seas fading from 25 ft at 55S 126W aimed northeast. On Tues AM (4/14) this system is to be gone. Something to monitor.

Also on Mon PM (4/13) a storm is forecast building just southeast of the southern tip of New Zealand producing a small area of 45-50 kt south winds and seas building from 36 ft at 525S 174.5E aimed north. On Tues AM (4/14) southwest winds are to be lifting north fast at 45 kts with seas 42 ft over a tiny area at 47.5S 177.5E aimed northeast. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 35-40 kts over a small area aimed northeast with seas fading from 41 ft at 44.5S 177W aimed northeast. The gale is to be gone after that.


Another Southeast Pacific Gale - Swell #1S
A gale developed well south of New Zealand and just off Antarctica on Sun AM (3/29) producing 40-45 kts southwest winds over a modest sized area and seas building from 30 ft at 68S 162.5W. In the evening winds built to 45-50 kts from the southwest aimed well northeast with seas building 34 ft at 64S 154W aimed northeast. The gale lifted northeast on Mon AM (3/30) with south winds at 40-45 kts and seas 36 ft over a decent sized area at 59S 143.5W aimed northeast. In the evening the gale was starting to fade while tracking northeast with 35-40 kt southwest winds in pockets and seas dissipating from 33 ft at 55.5S 132W aimed northeast. Southwest fetch was fading Tues AM (3/31) from 30-35 kts over a solid area with seas from previous fetch fading from 29 ft over a broad area at 55S 122W aimed northeast. Swell is radiating northeast.

Secondary fetch developed in the Southeast Pacific on Tues AM (3/31) at 40 kts aimed well northeast with 25 ft seas developing over a small area at 64S 141W aimed northeast. In the evening a small fetch of south winds is to be pushing north-northeast at 45-50 kts with 36 ft seas over a modest sized area at 56.5S 129W aimed northeast. Fetch is to be rapidly fading in coverage Wed AM (4/1) and racing east and out of the Scal swell window from 45-50 kts with seas 39 ft at 52S 116W aimed northeast. This system is to fade and push well out of the SCal swell window.

Southern CA: Swell continues on Thurs (4/9) fading from 3.3 ft @ 15-16 secs (5.0 ft with sets to 6.5 ft). Swell fading Fri (4/10) from 2.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell dissipating Sat (4/11) from 2.0 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 190 degrees

North CA: Swell continues on Thurs (4/9) at 3.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (5.0 ft with sets to 6.5 ft). Swell fading Fri (4/10) from 2.8 ft @ 15 secs (4.0 ft). Swell dissipating Sat (4/11) from 2.2 ft @ 14 secs early (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 188 degrees


New Zealand Gale
On Thurs PM (4/9) a storm started developing in a trough well south of the Tasman Sea producing 50-55 kt west winds over a modest sized area and seas building to 50 ft at 57.5S 148E aimed due east and on the 218 degree track to CA. The gale faded some on Fri (4/10) with west winds 45 kts and seas 46 ft at 59S 160E aimed east (214-216 degs CA). In the evening 40 kt west winds continued tracking east over a solid area with 42 ft seas fading at 60S 172E aimed east (209-210 degs CA). The gale was dissipating Sat AM (4/11) with 35 kt west winds and seas fading from 40 ft at 60S 177.5E aimed east. Remnants of this gale are to be racing east from there. At best some tiny southwest swell could possibly result but this system is a very long ways away meaning much swell decay should be expected. Something to monitor.

Southern CA: Expect tiny indications of swell starting on Sat (4/18) late building to 1 ft @ 22 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 213 degrees

North CA: Expect tiny indications of swell starting on Sat (4/18) late building to 1 ft @ 22 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 216 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 yet another small gale is to start building while pushing east off South Japan on Mon AM (4/13) with 35 kt west winds and seas on the increase. In the evening west winds to building some at 35-40 kts over a tiny area with seas 27 ft at 33N 146.5E aimed east. The gale is to start lifting east-northeast on Tues AM (4/14) with 35-40 kt west winds over a small area and seas 27 ft at 34N 153E aimed east. The gale is to track east in the evening with 35-40 kt west winds and seas 29 ft at 36.5N 159E aimed east. while racing northeast. On Wed AM (4/15) the gale is to continue east with a decent sized area of west winds at 35 kts with seas 29 ft at 37N 165.5E aimed east. In the evening more of the same is expected with seas 28 ft at 40N 168.5E aimed east. On Thurs AM (4/16) the gale is to be approaching the dateline with 35 kt west winds and seas 29 ft at 41.5N 171.5E aimed east. Fetch is to be dissipating in the evening on the dateline with west winds 30-35 kts and seas fading from 27 ft at 43.5N 177E aimed east. The gale to fade from there. Something to monitor.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.


MJO/ENSO Forecast


Active MJO Fading

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: A double dip La Nina was in control through the Winter of 2017-2018. But 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 January 2019, those warm waters were fading, but then rebuilt late in Feb associated with Kelvin Wave (#3). But as of early June 2019 warm water was 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. El Nino was dead. A bit of a recovery occurred during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water hold in a pool off Peru and has not changed as of late Jan 2020.

Fall/Winter 2019/2020 = 5.0/4.0 (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 and that a weak borderline El Nino from 2018 is fading out, but not yet completely gone, especially in the atmosphere. Likewise it looks like a La Nina ocean temperature pattern is developing in the equatorial East Pacific, with cooler than normal waters tracking west on the equator. We assumed El Nino like momentum will hold for a while in the atmosphere will take a while to sense that the ocean temperature pattern has changed. But once it does, a turn towards a La Nina like atmospheric pattern will start to develop. that transition is expected in the late Nov-early Dec timeframe. Even so, moderation from the PDO might prevent La Nina from fully developing. Given all that, there is decent probability for a normal start to the Fall surf season (in the Northern Hemisphere) meaning a normal amount of number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in a normal levels of swell, with normal duration and normal period. But by mid-Dec 2019, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start fading and as a result, swell production should fade slightly as well. This pattern is expected to hold through April 2020.

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 (4/10) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific and then solid east over the Dateline and the Northern KWGA but with west winds building over the Southern KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the far East equatorial Pacific and the Central Pacific and then modest westerly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (4/11) weak to modest west anomalies were over the KWGA. The forecast calls for west anomalies fading quickly and turning easterly on 4/13 building to strong status and holding for 2 days, then slowly weakening but still moderately easterly through the end of the model run on 4/18 in the core of the KWGA.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (4/10) A modest Active MJO was over the KWGA today. The statistic model indicates the Active Phase is to weaken on day 5 over the dateline, with a strong Inactive Phase developing over the Maritime Continent and pushing into the far West KWGA sweeping east and filling the KWGA at day 10, losing energy at day 15 but still in control. The dynamic model indicates the same thing.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/11) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the far East Pacific today and is to track steadily east while holding strength over the Indian Ocean at day 15. The GEFS model suggests the same thing initially but with the Active Phase pushing faster east and a little stronger reaching the West Maritime Continent at day 15 at modest strength.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (4/11) This model depicts a strong Active Phase was over the far East Pacific. The Active Phase is to track east and is to push into Central America on 4/16. A strong Inactive Phase is to start building in the West Pacific on 4/14 moving east over the West Pacific reaching Central America on 5/1 and still pretty strong. A modest Active Phase is supposed to start building in the West Pacific 5/1 building to strong status pushing over the East Pacific and into Central America at the end of the model run on 5/21.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/10) This model depicts a modest Active MJO pattern was over the core of the KWGA today with modest west anomalies in the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Active Phase and modest west anomalies associated with it racing east and out of the KWGA on 4/15 with east anomalies developing in the core of the KWGA on 4/13. A neutral MJO pattern is forecast to follow but with weak east anomalies filling the KWGA in pockets through the end of the model run on 5/8.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/9 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a weak Active MJO pattern was over the KWGA today with weak west anomalies in-play. Beyond the Active Phase is forecast holding through 4/23 but with east anomalies building modestly in the KWGA starting 4/13. A modest Inactive Phase/Pattern is to develop 4/23 holding through 5/13 but with weak west anomalies forecast and no east anomalies indicated. Another Inactive Phase is to develop 5/23 through 6/10 but with weak east anomalies indicated in the KWGA. A stronger Active Phase is to start building 6/5 in the far West KWGA slowly building east and filling the KWGA 6/11 and holding through the end of the model run on 7/9 with moderate to occasionally strong west anomalies developing. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias with 1 contour line in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to the California coast. This contour line is to hold till 6/4, then collapse to nothing holding through the end of the model run. A high pressure bias previously built in the Indian Ocean last Fall and is to hold till June 5 then dissipate. East anomalies set up in the Indian Ocean starting 10/22/19 and held through Jan 10, 2020, then started to become more episodic and are to continue that way, then fading on 6/5 while west anomalies build over the entire Indian Ocean then push east to the West Pacific but not making it east of the dateline. It looks like the high pressure bias/blocking pattern in the Indian Ocean is fading and the effect of the low pressure bias in the Pacific is to start fading too, with La Nina building by early Summer. In fact east anomalies are to start building solidly over the East Pacific reaching west to the the dateline 6/12 through the end of the model run.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/11) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm was all but gone with remnants reaching east to 165E and very shallow. The 29 deg isotherm was retrograding to 180W today. The 28 deg isotherm line was back to being a brick wall aligned and steady at 160W today. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador. Anomaly wise, Kelvin Wave #6 was fading while pushing into the East Equatorial Pacific at +1.0 degs but with other nondescript warm water tracking from the Maritime Continent under the dateline merging with the tail of Kelvin Wave #6. The net effect was warm water was filling the entire equatorial subsurface Pacific but getting progressively shallower at 105 meters deep on the dateline and lifting shallower east of there today. A large pocket of cool water at -3 degs was deep at 160W today tracking east. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/3 indicates warm water had formed a Kelvin Wave with warm water falling from 120E down into the dateline at 110 m deep peaking in the East Pacific at +2-3 degrees then pushing and rising east to 100W. A pocket of cool water was east of there associated with the upwelling phase of the previous Kelvin Wave Cycle. 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 previously broad pocket of +1-5 cm anomalies was all but gone with one warm pocket remaining at roughly 120W.

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: (4/10) The latest images indicate warm anomalies were modest along the coast of Chile up into Peru and fading in intensity from days past with warm anomalies continuing up off Ecuador up into Central America. A pocket of cool water was embedded pushing from north from Peru up to Ecuador and from Panama south to Ecuador and then west approaching but not reaching the Galapagos and weaker than days past. Markedly warmer water was aligned on the equator from there to the dateline. A broad pocket of cool anomalies was still south of the equator off Peru with a mirror image of it off California and Baja.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/10): Weak cooling was along Chile and Peru. And weak cooling was setting up along and off Ecuador tracking west and then markedly warmer from the Galapagos west to 135W. Warming was off Central America and Mexico. The short term trend is looking like a mix of warming and cooling with warming now taking firmer control.
Hi-res Overview: (4/10) A pocket of cool anomalies is trying to hold well off Peru but losing coverage and intensity compared to days past. A mirror image of it was also off California and Baja Mexico out to 160W but far stronger. Warm anomalies were building along Chile and Peru then stronger off Ecuador and Central America up to Mainland Mexico out over the Galapagos. A cool pocket was stumped along Panama down to Ecuador and stalled just east of the Galapagos but fading. Warmer than normal water were tracking from the Galapagos out to the dateline and beyond. Water temps appear to be stable and if anything looking more like El Nino that anything previous over the past few months. But the cool tongue remains of concern even if it was fading some today indicating a weak mixture of both El Nino and La Nina.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/11) Today's temps were falling today at +0.443, down from a warmer range near +0.6 degs between 2/25-3/26. Previously temps had been toggling near neutral. It appears we were in a rising or at least warmer trend, but that is now fading.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(4/11) Temps were steady today at +0.420. Temps previously were in the +0.3 degree range but rose to the +0.5-+0.6 degree range 3/12-4/8.

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 (4/11) Actual's indicate temperatures started rising in early Oct to +0.25 degs holding to Dec 1 then rising again to +0.65 degs Jan 1 2020 holding well into March in the +0.6 range. The forecast depicts temps falling starting April 1, down to 0.0 in mid-May then diving negative appearing to be moving strongly to La Nina down at -1.25 in early Oct dropping to -1.40 degs into Nov. According to this model a neutral sea surface temperature pattern biased slightly warm is forecast for Spring of 2020 but falling strongly towards La Nina in the core of Summer.
IRI Consensus Plume: The March 19, 2020 Plume depicts temps are at +0.30 degs, and are to slow fade to neutral +0.00 in June 2020, then falling some to -0.15 degs in the October 2020 timeframe. 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) (4/11): The daily index was positive today at +5.19 and positive the last 4 days, but had previously been negative for 24 days. The 30 day average was rising at -6.74. The 90 day average was rising some at -3.70, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was developing.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): Feb 2020 +0.69, Jan +0.44, Dec 2019 +0.46, Nov +1.03, Oct +0.27 Sept +1.11, August +0.60, July +0.75, June -0.32, May +1.10, April +0.30, March +1.0, Feb +1.29, Jan +0.193. This index has been steadily positive but still indicates mostly ENSO neutral conditions (not El Nino).

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 


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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