Tuesday, April 13, 2021
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 2.6 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 2.0 ft @ 14.8 secs from 223 degrees. Water temp 75.6 degs (Pearl Harbor 233).
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 5.2 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 3.4 ft @ 13.7 secs from 315 degrees. Water temp 75.7 degs.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.0 ft @ 5.9 secs with swell 2.2 ft @ 6.3 secs from 250 degrees. Wind at the buoy was west at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 61.2 degs, 62.1 (Topanga 103), 61.0 degs (Long Beach 215), 64.2 (Del Mar 153). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.3 ft @ 11.7 secs from 312 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.9 ft @ 6.2 secs from 269 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.1 ft @ 6.4 secs from 271 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 2.2 ft @ 9.9 secs from 293 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 12.7 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 9.8 ft @ 10.2 secs from 325 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 16-20 kts. Water temp 48.9 (029), 52.0 degs (SF Bar) and 54.0 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).
Summer - Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
Summer - Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
Summer - up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.
Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.
On Tuesday (4/13) North and Central CA was getting raw northwest windswell with waves 1-2 ft overhead and chopped and not really rideable. Protected breaks were head high to 1 ft overhead on the bigger sets and warbled and mushed and mostly closed out. At Santa Cruz surf was waist to chest high or so on the sets at best breaks and clean but a little uneven. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist high on the sets and warbled bordering on chopped with northwest wind blowing. Central Orange County had set waves at waist to barely chest high and warbled and sloppy but lined up and somewhat rideable. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at thigh high or so and a bit warbled and soft. North San Diego had sets waves at thigh to waist high and lined up but soft and moderately warbled. Hawaii's North Shore was getting some swell with waves head high to 1 ft overhead at top spots and lined up when they came but a little uneven with some modest warble in the water. The South Shore was getting some background swell with waves chest high or so and clean and lined up. The East Shore was getting no meaningful easterly windswell with waves unrideable and moderately textured from weak northeast trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Tuesday (4/13) California and Hawaii were getting swell from a gale previously under New Zealand tracking east to southeast Sun-Tues (4/6) resulting in 35 ft seas. Intermixed in California was local northwest windswell. A small storm is to form in the deep Southeast Pacific on Tues (4/13) lifting northeast and producing up to 41 ft seas aimed northeast before moving east of the CA swell window. A second storm is to form right behind it in the deep South Central Pacific on Wed-Fri (4/16) producing up to 36 ft seas aimed northeast. Possibly 2 swells to result for South and Central America pushing up into Mexico and the US West Coast. And after that maybe another system is to track under New Zealand on Tues (4/20). Up north low pressure is to form in the Northwestern Gulf on Wed (4/14) producing 18 ft seas aimed southeast with another in the Central Gulf on Sat-Sun (4/18) again producing 18 ft sea aimed southeast. Otherwise only local northwest windswell is projected, and even that is to fade by early Thurs (4/15).
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Tuesday (4/13) the jet was split over Japan with the influential northern branch tracking north over the Kuril Islands then east through the Bering Sea before falling southeast some into the extreme Northwestern Gulf of Alaska forming a weak trough there offering nothing, then tracking northeast and up into North Canada. Over the next 72 hours the trough in the Northwestern Gulf is to build some while falling southeast getting decent on Thurs (4/15) being fed by 140 kt north winds offering some support for gale development but then starting to get pinched on Fri (4/16) though still being fed by 130 kts winds offering some hope. The jet is to be a mess west of there. Beyond 72 hours that trough is to slowly degenerate and become almost cutoff on Sat (5/17) offering nothing of interest. But it is to get reinforced on Sun-Tues (4/20) but 130 kt west and northwest winds regenerating some and offering limited support for gale development. Otherwise the jet is to be irregular and non-productive.
On Tuesday (4/13) no swell of interest (other than windswell) was hitting Hawaii or California originating in the Northern Hemisphere.
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch other than local windswell is forecast. That said a small low pressure system is to be developing in the Northwestern Gulf in Tues PM (4/13) producing 30-35 kts northwest winds over a small area resulting in 18 ft seas at 48.5N 170W aimed southeast. Fetch is to move into the Northwestern Gulf on Wed AM (4/14) at 30 kts from the northwest with seas 18 ft at 45N 162W aimed southeast. The fetch and seas to dissipate from there. Low odds of any swell resulting.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical weather system of interest were being monitored. The model suggest a tropical system forming in the far West Tropical Pacific on Fri (4/16) 600 nmiles east of the Philippines. It is to slowly lift north and north-northeast into Tues (4/20) off the Northern Philippines. This system, if it materializes, is all attributable to the Active Phase of the MJO there driving a potential Westerly Wind Burst (WWB). Something to monitor.
California Nearshore Forecast
- Wed (4/14) northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts near Cape Mendocino but 10 kts nearshore south of there and fading up north later to the 15-20 kts range and holding at 10 kts south of there. Low odds for rideable windswell resulting. rain and snow showers possible for the Sierra fading overnight.
- Thurs (4/15) northwest winds are forecast at 20 kts early off Cape Mendocino and 10 kts from the northwest south of there. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 10 kts for all of North and Central CA. No windswell production is forecast.
- Fri (4/16) northwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts early for all of North and Central CA and building to near 15 kts in the afternoon. No windswell production forecast.
- Sat (4/17) northwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts early for all of North and Central CA early building to 15 kts later. No windswell resulting.
- Sun (4/18) northwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for North CA and 10 kts for Central CA early holding all day.
- Mon (4/19) northwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for early for North and Central CA building to 15+ kts later.
- Tues (4/20) northwest winds are forecast at 15-20 kts early for all of North and Central CA.
Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 2-3 inches, 1-2 inches, 3 inches, and 2-3 inches all on 4/14.
Freezing level falling to 7,000 ft late on 4/13 holding into 4/14 then rising to 10,500 ft by 4/16 holding through 4/20, then falling to 7,000 ft on 4/21 and holding.
Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!
On Tuesday (4/13) swell was hitting Hawaii and expected to arrive in CA originating from a gale previously under and east of New Zealand (see small New Zealand Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours another gale was developing in the deep Southeast Pacific starting Tues AM (4/13) producing 50 kt southwest winds and seas building from 36 ft at 62.5S 133.5W aimed northeast. In the evening southwest winds are to be 45 kts lifting northeast with seas 41 ft over a small area at 59.5S 125W aimed northeast. On Wed AM (4/14) the gale is to start racing northeast with 40 kt southwest winds and mostly east of even the Southern CA swell window with seas fading from 36 ft at 55S 115W moving out of the SCal swell window. Assuming all goes as forecast, a decent pulse of south angled swell could result for South and Central America with energy pushing up into the US Mainland at exposed south facing breaks. Will monitor.
Also a gale is forecast developing in the deep South Central Pacific on Wed AM (4/14) producing a decent sized fetch of 40 kt southwest winds and seas building to 28 ft at 65S 152W aimed east. In the evening a solid fetch of 40 kt southwest winds are to be pushing northeast with seas building in coverage at 29 ft at 63.5S 140W aimed east-northeast. On Thurs AM (4/15) south to southwest winds are to build in coverage at 40-45 kts over the Southeast Pacific with seas 31 ft lifting northeast at 61S 130W. In the evening fetch is to build to 45 kts coming well from the south with seas 35 ft at 60S 128W aimed north with its leading edge at 55S 123W aimed north-northeast. On Fri AM (4/16) 40-45 kt south winds are to be over a solid area aimed north with 36 ft seas at 121W 58S and still in the CA swell window aimed north. in the evening this system is to start easing east east of the swell window with 35-40 kt south winds and seas 38 ft at 51.25S 113.25W with 32 ft seas at 55S 119W in the Scal swell window aimed north. This system is to fade and be out of the CA swell window after that. Something to monitor.
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: 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
Beyond 72 hours starting Fri PM (4/16) a small gale is forecast developing in an upper trough just 800 nmiles north of Hawaii producing 30 kt north winds and seas building from 14 ft at 34N 162W aimed south. Fetch is to build to 30+ kts over a broader area on Sat AM (4/17) from the northwest with seas 16 ft at 32.5N 155W aimed southeast. Fetch is to be lifting north fast in the evening at 35 kts well off Central CA producing 15-16 ft seas at 35N 150W aimed east. This system is to continue lifting north on Sun AM (4/18) producing 35-40 kt southwest winds well off Cape Mendocino CA producing 22 ft seas at 42N 144W aimed mostly north and no longer of interest to anyone by North Canada. Maybe some windswell to result for HI and CA. Will monitor.
Beyond 72 hours starting Mon PM (4/19) a storm is to be falling southeast under New Zealand with 50-55 kt west winds and seas 39 ft at 53S 162 E aimed east. On Tues AM (4/20) the gale is to be fading while falling southeast with 45 kt west winds and seas 37 ft at 55.5S 174.4E aimed west. Something to monitor.
Strong Active MJO Building Over KWGA - West Anomalies in Control
Summary - At the same time a Kevin Wave is pushing east into the far East Equatorial Pacific squeezing the cold remains of La Nina from depth to the surface in the East Pacific. West anomalies to control the KWGA for the next 3 months.
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.
LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
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 (4/12) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing moderate east over the Central Pacific and moderate east over the KWGA. Anomalies were light east over the East equatorial Pacific then neutral over the Central Pacific and light east 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): No update - 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: (4/12) A moderate Active MJO pattern was filling the KWGA. The statistic model projects a moderate Active MJO holding and filling the KWGA through day 5 of the model run, then losing alot of coverage while moving over the dateline on day 10 and gone on day 15 with the Inactive Phase moving over the core of the KWGA. The dynamic model has the Active Phase building over the KWGA and strong centered in the middle of it on days 10 and 15 of the model run.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/13) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was moderate over the West Pacific today and is to track east over North Africa 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 and strength the next 5 days then starting to migrate east to the Western Atlantic at modest strength on 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): (4/12) The Active Phase (wet air) was over the West Pacific today and is to push east over Central America on 4/27. A solid Inactive Phase (dry air) is to move over the KWGA on 4/22 tracking east and moving over Central America on 5/12. A modest Active (wet air) is to push over the KWGA on 5/4 filling the Pacific at the end of the model run on 5/22.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/12) This model depicts a coherent Active Phase of the MJO effectively filling the KWGA producing strong west anomalies at 150E filling the KWGA east to 170E today. The forecast indicates the Active Phase is to continue building in from the west with west anomalies holding at strong status through 4/22 at 150E then starting to fade as the Active Phase moves east of the KWGA on 5/4. But even after that west anomalies are to hold weakly over the KWGA filling it at modest status then fading with weak east anomalies developing in the far West KWGA on 5/6 as the Inactive Phase of the MJO starts developing on 5/7 and holding through the end of the model run on 5/10. 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): (4/13 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): A dramatic upgrade is occurring in the KWGA 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 5/5 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 4/23-6/6 but with mostly modest to moderate west anomalies filling the KWGA. A new weak Active Phase is to start building in the west on 5/31 pushing east through the end of the model run on 7/11 with modest to moderate west anomalies and sometimes strong anomalies controlling the KWGA. Literally no significant 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 filling the eastern KWGA but a low pressure bias was building over the West KWGA. The high pressure bias has 3 contour lines reaching east to a point south of California. The forth contour line faded on 4/11. The 3rd contour line is to fade on 5/4. The second contour line is to fade 5/20. The remaining 1 is to be shifting hard east starting 4/25 and losing coverage and no longer in the KWGA after 5/29. A single contour low pressure bias is over the Maritime Continent with it's leading edge pushing into the West KWGA today. It is to theoretically start shrinking in coverage from the west on 5/2 while the east edge tracks east to 180W and filling the KWGA by 6/10 while building to 2 contour lines. The strong Active Phase occurring now 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 them and then 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: (4/13) Today in the far West Pacific the 28 deg isotherm line was easing east moving from 180W to 179W today. 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 +1-2 deg C have moved east reaching across the Pacific today and reaching the surface near 120W while pushing into Ecuador. A previous broad cool pool under the East Pacific was gone. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/8 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: (4/8) A dramatic improvement was occurring with sea heights near neutral (0 to -5 cms) over the entire equatorial Pacific with 3 pockets of positive anomalies extending from the far West Pacific over the dateline and then again at 150W and 120W but in reality almost continuous over the entire equator. 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 previously 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.
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4: (4/12) The latest images indicate a stream of weak cool water was tracking west on the equator from the Galapagos westward. But strong cool anomalies were present solid along Peru then pushing west from Ecuador out to the Galapagos indicative of an upwelling event. 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 (4/12): Weakly cooling temps were along the coast of Chile and Peru pushing west to the Galapagos. No warming temps were indicated over the equatorial Pacific. 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: (4/12) 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 but holding. 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: (4/13) Today's temps were noodling around at -0.764 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: (4/13) Temps were steady today at -0.261 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.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/13) - 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 +0.1 degs, then starting a slow fade falling to -0.50 degs in early Aug falling steadily to -0.85 in Dec. This model now suggests a complete demise of La Nina starting now but then it resurging into Fall and early Winter. That seem highly unlikely at this point. But there is no sense of El Nino developing either. 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) (4/13): The daily index was falling hard at -25.60. The 30 day average was falling slightly to +0.83 after falling to -2.15 on 3/24. It peaked at +19.51 on 1/14. The 90 day average was falling slightly at +5.90 after falling to 6.73 on 4/8. It peaked 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
Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for this week. See it Here
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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing: https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/climate-change-good-surfing-other-sports-not-so-much-ncna1017131
Mavericks & Stormsurf on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luQSYf5sKjQ
Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:
Time Zone Converter By popular demand we've built and easy to use time convert that transposes GMT time to whatever time zone you are located. It's ion left hand column on every page on the site near the link to the swell calculator.
Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table