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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Wednesday, April 20, 2022 2:01 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
2.9 - California & 2.2 - Hawaii
Using the 'Winter' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

Probability for presence of largest swells in near-shore waters of NCal, SCal or Hawaii.    

Issued for Week of Monday 4/18 thru Sun 4/24

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   

Remnants of ET Storm Rebuilding
Multiple Southern Hemi Swells Tracking North

 

BUOY ROUNDUP
Wednesday, April 20, 2022 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor)/Buoy 239 (Lanai) NA/Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt) NA: Seas were 3.0 ft @ 6.9 secs with swell 2.2 ft @ 6.3 secs from 144 degrees. Water temp 77.0 degs (Barbers Pt), NA (Lani 239), 76.5 (Pearl Harbor 233).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 5.4 ft @ 18.2 secs with swell 1.8 ft @ 17.5 secs from 304 degrees. Water temp 76.6 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.0 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 14.1 secs from 259 degrees. Wind northwest at 10-12 kts. Water temperature 59.5 degs, 58.1 (Topanga 103), 57.2 degs (Long Beach 215), 61.3 (Del Mar 153), 57.9 (Imperial Beach 155). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 4.2 ft @ 10.4 secs from 293 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.3 ft @ 15.6 secs from 217 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.8 ft @ 15.5 secs from 208 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.0 ft @ 14.9 secs from 209 degrees. Water temp 61.7 degs.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 7.8 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 5.1 ft @ 12.4 secs from 283 degrees. Wind at buoy 46012 was southeast at 14-18 kts. Water temp 50.9 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 53.2 (46026), 53.4 (SF Bar 142), and 53.4 (Santa Cruz 254).

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.

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
Current Conditions
On Wednesday (4/20) North and Central CA had set waves at 1-2 ft overhead and lined up but with pretty wonky form but fairly clean. Protected breaks were chest high or so and lined up and clean but closed out from too low a tide. At Santa Cruz surf was chest to head high and lined up with decent form and glassy but soft. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist high and soft but somewhat lined up with warble running through it and textured conditions from light south wind. Central Orange County had sets at chest to maybe shoulder high and somewhat lined up with decent form but soft and crumbled from light southerly wind. South Orange County's best summertime breaks were waist to chest high and lined up but soft and mushed with warbled from south wind. North San Diego had some sets at waist to chest high and lined up but somewhat closed out and warbled from south wind. Hawaii's North Shore had sets to head high on the peak and lined up with decent form but with some sideshore northeast lump running through it. The South Shore was thigh to waist high with some rare chest high waves and clean. The East Shore was waist high and chopped from moderate northeasterly trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Wednesday (4/20) California was getting small Southern Hemi swell from a weak gale that developed over the Southwest Pacific tracking east Sat-Mon (4/11) producing 25-26 ft seas aimed northeast. This swell had already passed Hawaii. Up north a tropical system has recurved northeast and then turned east over the North Dateline region on the weekend (4/17) with seas to 41 ft and has rebuilt some while falling southeast into the Gulf of Alaska on Tues-Wed (4/20) with 25-26 ft seas aimed southeast. Swell is to start hitting Hawaii later today then bound for the US West Coast. Down south a gale formed in the Southeast Pacific Sat-Sun (4/17) lifting gently east-northeast producing up to 38 ft seas. Swell arrival late in the weekend for CA but bypassing HI. And another developed just east of New Zealand on Sat-Sun (4/17) with 29-30 ft seas aimed well northeast before fading on Tues (4/19) well north in the Central South Pacific. Swell bound for Hawaii over the weekend and into the Mainland early next week. Beyond another small gale was tracking across the Central South Pacific Tues-Thurs (4/21) lifting well northeast with seas to 29 ft. Swell arrival later next week focused on the Mainland. And another is forecast under New Zealand on Sat (4/23) producing 37 ft seas aimed east-northeast but making little east headway. And maybe another system to follow early next week under New Zealand. And up north perhaps one more gale is to develop over the North Dateline Region on Thurs (4/21) tracking east into the Gulf on Fri (4/22) with seas to 34 ft. So a mix of both north and south swells to continue for a while longer. Spring is here.

See all the details below...

 

SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Wednesday (4/20) the jet was split over Japan but then consolidating over the North Dateline region forming a trough there being fed by 130 kt winds offering some limited support for gale development. The jet ridged north some over the extreme Northwestern Gulf then fell into a developing and broad trough off the US West Coast being fed by 140 kts winds offering more support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours the Gulf trough is to push east and into the US West Coast reaching down over Central CA early Fri (4/22) producing some weather there and likely supporting gale formation. The Dateline trough is to to push east to the Northwestern Gulf on Fri-Sat (4/23) and fading with support for gale formation fading. Beyond 72 hour the jet is to be fragmented, unorganized and weak over the West Pacific with that pattern shifting steadily east through Mon (4/25) with a large split in the jet forecast developing over the Central North Pacific offering no support for gale development. And no positive change is forecast beyond. The North Pacific appears to be shutting down.

Surface Analysis
On Wednesday (4/20) swell from a tropical system that pushed over the dateline is supposedly poised to Hit Hawaii (see Extratropical Storm Malakas below).

Over the next 72 hours another gale is forecast developing over the North Dateline region on Wed PM (4/20) producing 35-40 kt northwest winds over a small area with seas building from 25 ft at 47N 173E aimed southeast. On Thurs AM (4/21) northwest winds to be 45 kts solid with seas 34 ft at 46.75N 177W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to be in the Northwestern Gulf with 40 kts west winds and seas 32 ft at 45,75N 170W aimed east. On Fri AM (4/22) the gale is to be fading with 35 kts west winds in the Northwestern Gulf with seas 29 ft at 46N 161.25W aimed east. Fetch is to be fading in the evening with 30 kts west winds and seas fading from 24 ft at 46.75N 152.75W aimed east. The gale is to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.

 

Extratropical Storm Malakas
On Tues AM (4/12) Typhoon Malakas was tracking north 600 nmiles off the Central Philippines on Tues AM (4/12) with winds 85 kts. Malakas continued on a north-northeast heading through Friday (4/15) peaking Tues PM with winds 125 kts then slowly fading from there with winds down to 50 kts late Fri PM (4/15) positioned 700 nmiles west of Tokyo Japan. From there Malakas turned extratropical on Sun AM (4/17) off the North Kuril Islands tracking east with winds building to 50 kts and seas 41 ft at 46.5N 170.5E aimed east. In the evening ET Malakas was over the North Dateline region with 40-45 kts northwest winds and seas 37 ft at 47.25N 179.5W aimed east. On Monday AM (4/18) northwest winds are 35-40 kts over the Northwestern Gulf with seas 32 ft at 48.25N 171.5W aimed east. In the evening northwest winds to hold at 40 kts over and south of the Eastern Aleutians with seas 29 ft at 49.75N 166.25W aimed southeast. On Tues AM (4/19) Malakas is to be holding with 40 kts northwest winds in the Northwestern Gulf with seas 30 ft at 51N 163.5W aimed southeast. In the evening the gale is to be fading with 35-40 kt northwest winds over a broad area aimed southeast with seas 26 ft at 47.5N 158W aimed southeast. On Wed AM (4/20) the gale is to be in the Central Gulf with 30-35 kts northwest winds and seas 25 ft over a broad area at 41.75N 146W aimed southeast. Fetch is to be fading in the evening from 30 kts off Central CA with seas 23 ft at 40N 140W aimed southeast. Fetch is to be fading Thurs AM (4/21) from barely 309 kts with seas fading from 21 ft at 40N 138W aimed southeast.

Hawaii: Sideband swell is expected to arrive on Wed afternoon (4/20) building to 2.8 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell continues on Thurs AM (4/21) at 3.3 ft @ 13-14 secs (4.5 ft) holding through the day. Swell is to hold on Fri (4/22) 3.5 ft @ 12 secs (4.0 ft) and turning more northerly. Swell fading on Sat (4/23) from 2.8 ft @ 11 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 320 degrees moving to 345 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (4/21) building to 5.6 ft @ 17 secs later (9.5 ft). Swell building on Fri (4/22) to 8.5 ft @ 15 secs (13.0 ft) with much windswell and lesser period energy intermixed and pretty raw. Mixed swell fading on Sat (4/23) from 7.3 ft @ 13-14 secs (9.5 ft). Swell fading on Sun (4/24) from 3.6 ft @ 11-12 secs early (4.0 ft) with local windswell intermixed. Swell Direction: 297 falling to 285 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

  • Thurs (4/21) morning southwest winds are forecast at 10 kts for all of North CA and south at 5-10 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon south to southwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for North CA and southwest at 10 kts for Central CA. Rain and a front are to be pushing south from Big Sur early to Point Conception and into Santa Barbara County in the afternoon and to LA County overnight. Solid snow for Tahoe early and building south holding through the night.
  • Fri (4/22) morning northwest winds are forecast at 10+ kts for all of North CA and 10-15 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 10 kts for North CA and building to 15 kts for the lower half of Central CA. Rain early for all of North and Central CA maybe reaching down to LA County. Snow for all the Sierra early fading out through the day. Rain drying up in the afternoon.
  • Sat (4/23) high pressure take control with northwest winds 15 kts for North and Central CA early. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 20 kts for all of North and Central CA. No precip forecast. A dry-out to begin.
  • Sun (4/24) north to northwest winds are forecast at 15-20 kts for all of North CA and 10-15 kts for Central CA early fading some to 15 kts in the afternoon for both. .
  • Mon (4/25) northwest winds are forecast at 15 kts early for all of North and Central CA holding all day.
  • Tues (4/26) northwest winds are forecast at 15 kts 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 44, 47, 40, and 17 inches all on 4/20-4/21.

Freezing level falling from 7,000 ft today to 5,000 ft on 4/21 generally holding there before building steadily from 4/23 to 4/25 to 10.500 ft and then 12,000 ft on 4/27.

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Tioga Pass/Pacific Crest Trail intersection forecast: Temps - Freeze Level (more here - scroll down to 'Resort Snow Forecasts>Central CA or North CA Caltrans & Backcountry')

Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!

 

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis
Swell from a small gale that tracked east from a point southeast of New Zealand was fading in Hawaii and starting to hit California (see Weaker New Zealand Gale below). Swell from a gale over the Southeast Pacific was pushing north towards California (see Southeast Pacific Gale below). Another swell from a gale that pushed north from New Zealand was behind that (see New Zealand Gale Aimed Well North below).

Over the next 72 hours starting Tues AM (4/19) a tiny gale started developing over the deep Central South Pacific with 40 kt south winds lifting northeast with seas 24 ft at 55S 164W aimed northeast. In the evening the gale was lifting northeast with 45-50 kt south winds and seas 29 ft at 52.25S 150.25W aimed northeast. On Wed AM (4/20) south winds were 40-45 kts from the south over the Central South Pacific with seas 29 ft at 51S 141.7W aimed north. In the evening the gale is to be over the Southeast Pacific with 40-45 kt south winds and 29 ft seas at 49.5S 136.5W aimed northeast. The gale is to be fading on Thurs AM (4/21) with 35 kt south winds over a tiny area and seas 27 ft at 49S 132.25W aimed northeast. The gale is to dissipate after that. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: This system was east of the Hawaiian swell window.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (4/28) building to 1.3 ft @ 17 secs (2.0 ft) late. Swell building on Fri (4/29) to 1.5 ft @ 15-16 secs later (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell fading on Sat (4/30) from 1.7 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Dribbles on Sun (5/1) fading from 1.3 ft @ 13-14 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 197 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (4/28) building to 1.2 ft @ 17-18 secs (2.0 ft) late. Swell building on Fri (4/29) to 1.5 ft @ 15-16 secs later (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell fading on Sat (4/30) from 1.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Dribbles on Sun (5/1) fading from 1.5 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 195 degrees

 

Weaker New Zealand Gale
A new system started building east of New Zealand on Sat PM (4/9) generating 35-40 kts southwest winds with seas building from 26 ft at 50S 174W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (4/10) a broad area of 30-35 kt southwest winds were pushing east with seas 26 ft at 46S 167W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch was pushing east at 30-35 kts with 25 ft seas at 47S 158W aimed northeast. On Mon AM (4/11) the gale was fading some with 30-35 kt southwest winds and seas 24 ft at 47S 143W aimed east. In the evening fetch was fading from 30-35 kts from the west with seas 26 ft over a small area at 51S 142W. The gale faded from there.

Southern CA: Swell continues on Wed (4/20) at 2.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Thurs (4/21) from 1.8 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 ft). Residuals on Fri (4/22) fading from 1.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 210 degrees

North CA: Swell continues on Wed (4/20) at 2.1 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Thurs (4/21) from 2.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Residuals on Fri (4/22) fading from 1.7 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 210 degrees

 

Southeast Pacific Gale
On Fri PM (4/15) a gale started building over the deep Central South Pacific with 40-45 kts southwest winds and seas building from 29 ft at 59.25S 141.75W aimed east-northeast. On Sat AM (4/16) southwest winds were 45-50 kts in the Southeast Pacific with 35 ft seas at 57S 132.5W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch was fading from 40-45 kts from the southwest and aimed more northeasterly than before with seas 36 ft at 54.75S 124.25W aimed northeast. After that fetch moved northeast and east of even the Southern CA swell window.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (4/24) building to 1.5 ft @ 17-18 secs later (2.5 ft). On Monday (4/25) swell to build some to 1.6 ft @ 16 secs later (2.5 ft). Tues (4/26) swell to be fading from 1.5 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell gone after that. Swell Direction: 195 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (4/24) building to 1.2 ft @ 18-19 secs later (2.0-2.5 ft). On Monday (4/25) swell to build some to 1.7 ft @ 16-17 secs later (2.5-3.0 ft). Tues (4/26) swell to be fading from 1.5 ft @ 15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell gone after that. Swell Direction: 195 degrees

 

New Zealand Gale Aimed Well North
On Sat AM (4/16) a gale started developing southeast of New Zealand with 45-50 kt southwest winds and seas building from 28 ft at 53S 180W aimed northeast. In the evening 40 kt south winds were pushing northeast with seas 31 ft at 52S 172W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (4/17) south winds were 40 kts aimed well north over a decent sized area with seas 29 ft at 48N 164W aimed northeast. In the evening 40 kt south winds were lifting northeast with seas 30 ft at 45S 160W aimed north and northeast. On Mon AM (4/18) 40-45 kt south winds were continuing to lift north with seas 31 ft at 50.25S 153.25W aimed north. The gale is to be fading in the evening with 35 kt south winds and seas fading from 28 ft at 43S 152W aimed north. The gale is to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Sat (4/23) building to 1.4 ft @ 18 secs late (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell building on Sun (4/24) to 2.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Mon (4/25) from 1.8 ft @ 14 secs (2.5 ft). Residuals on Tues (4/26) fading from 1.5 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 185-189 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon (4/25) building to 1.0 ft @ 18 secs late (1.5 ft). Swell building on Tues (4/26) to 1.3 ft @ 17 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell building on Wed (4/27) to 1.9 ft @ 15-16 secs early (3.0 ft) and holding. Swell fading on Thurs (4/28) from 1.6 ft @ 14-15 secs early (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 202-211 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon (4/25) building to 0.9 ft @ 18 secs late (1.5 ft). Swell building on Tues (4/26) to 1.3 ft @ 17 secs (2.0-2.5 ft) later. Swell building on Wed (4/27) to 1.9 ft @ 15-16 secs early (3.0 ft) and holding. Swell fading on Thurs (4/28) from 1.6 ft @ 14-15 secs early (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 201-210 degrees

 

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

 

QuikCAST's

 

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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a reasonably solid and broad storm is forecast under New Zealand on Fri PM (4/22) with 45 kts southwest winds and seas 27 ft at 58S 164E aimed northeast. On Sat AM (4/23) 45-50 kt southwest winds are to tracking east with 37 ft seas at 61.25S 173E aimed northeast. In the evening the gale is to start falling southeast with 40-45 kts west winds and seas 31 ft at 62S 180E aimed east. Something to monitor.

And possibly more similar fetch to follow in the same area Sun-Tues (4/26).

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

La Nina Weakening - But Not Out
Summary - Cool subsurface water volume peaked under the equatorial Pacific on 10/15/21 and is now fading. A stronger than expected Active Phase of the MJO in Dec produced a Kelvin Wave that erupted over the Galapagos in March, but still solidly in La Nina territory over the Central Pacific. A much hoped for Active Phase of the MJO (and westerly anomalies) is done with possibly a weak Kelvin Wave pushing east. It seemed the peak of La Nina was behind us. But a 3rd year of La Nina is projected by the CFS model and cool waters are upwelling off Peru now, suggesting an uncertain future. West anomalies are forecast from here forward in the West Pacific. The outlook is unclear but seems biased towards another year of La Nina.

MJO/ENSO Discussion
The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.
And the El Nino/La Nino cycle (collectively know as ENSO - El Nino Southern Oscillation) is a less frequent (about once every 7 years) but more impactful cycle that affects world wide weather. Specifically, strong El Nino events promote storm production in the Pacific while La Nina events suppress storm production. These therefore have a significant impact on the production of swell and surf. The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO and ENSO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for upcoming activity (or inactivity depending on the state and interaction of these two oscillations).

Overview: In 2019 warm equatorial 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 evolved into La Nina, with it fully developing through July 2020. A slow dissolving of La Nina started in March 2021 with 2 Kelvin Waves sweeping east and arriving over the Galapagos in June. Weak warming set up over the equator with no cool waters present. NOAA declared La Nina dead. But cold water returned in July 2021 and a second pulse of La Nina developed and is continuing today, though possibly weaker with its foundation appearing to be in decline.

LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Fall /Winter 2021-2022 = 1.5 (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 was assumed that the moderate La Nina from the Winter of 2020/2021 was on the wane and that a return to neutral ENSO state would set up over the Pacific Basin through the summer of 2021. But La Nina made a strong return by the end of Sept much like what the CFS model suggested would happen. A full double dip La Nina pattern took hold as we moved into November with this second La Nina dip being nearly as strong as the previous one. But a quick fade is forecast as we move into late December with the CFS predicting a return to a neutral wind anomaly pattern at that time and the low pressure bias making headway in to the KWGA in early Jan. Still it will take some time for the atmosphere to fully respond, resulting in a less than normal swell production forecast especially for Fall into early Winter. But by later in Feb 2022 perhaps a return to a more normal pattern might take hold. But it will be too little too late. As a result a significantly reduced number of storm days and storm intensity is expected Oct-Feb 2022, resulting in a below normal level of swells, with swell being below normal duration and period. But by March 2022, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start improving as La Nina fades out. The status of the PDO is not known, though it appears to be returning to at least a neutral state, rather than the warm phase as previously projected thereby having no significant positive or negative effect on the long term outlook.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (4/19) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific and moderate east over the KWGA. Anomalies were modest east over the East equatorial Pacific and weak east over the Central Pacific and weak to modest east over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, versus realtime, so they lag what is happening today (by about 2.5 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (4/20) east anomalies were modest filling the KWGA. The 7 day forecast calls for modest east anomalies holding and filling the KWGA for the next week through 4/27, possibly building to moderate to strong status 4/22-4/24. No west anomalies are forecast.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (4/19) A weak Inactive MJO signal was indicated today over the far West KWGA. The statistical model indicates the Inactive Phase tracking east slightly and weakly filling the KWGA through the end of the model run 15 days out. The dynamic model projects a weak Inactive Phase holding through day 5 of the model run then a weak Active Phase sets up on day 10 filling the KWGA through day 15 of the model run. The 2 models are out of sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS):
(4/20) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was very weak over Africa and is forecast to track east and over East Indian Ocean and very weak 2 weeks out. The dynamic model suggests the same thing but with the Active Phase moving over the Maritime Continent and very weak.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (4/19) A weak Inactive MJO signal (dry air) was over the West Pacific today. The forecast depicts the Inactive Phase (dry air) moving east while slowly fading moving to the Central Pacific and into Central America on 5/9. A weak Active Phase (wet air) is to follow over the KWGA on 5/9 moving east to the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 5/29.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/17) Not Updated - A weak Inactive Phase was depicted over the KWGA today with modest east anomalies filling the KWGA. East anomalies are to hold through the end of the model run on 5/15 with west anomalies trying to poke into the KWGA 4/22-5/2 but then getting rebuffed.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/19 - using the 5th ensemble member - the mean of the 4 individual members which are all from the 00Z run - 1 run per day):
Today the Active Phase of the MJO was fading over the KWGA and near its end with east anomalies on the dateline. The forecast depicts the Active Phase to exit the KWGA on 4/22 with west anomalies supposedly developing and filling the entirety of the KWGA starting 4/26. A weak Inactive MJO signal is to follow 4/23 through 6/4 but with light west anomalies trying to take control. Beyond a weak MJO signal is forecast with west anomalies filling the entirety of the KWGA from 5/29 onward. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias with 2 contour lines was centered east of the dateline at 150W with its western perimeter at 170E today and forecast slowly easing east trying to reach the dateline at the end of the model run but not quite there with the second contour fading away on 6/25. A broad single contour low pressure bias is established centered over the Maritime Continent at 110E with it's leading edge at 150E filling half the KWGA and is forecast moving slowly but steadily east from now on reaching 170E at the end of the model run on 7/17. A second contour line is to appear at 120E on 6/29 centered at 120E. Of note, the leading edge of the low pressure bias has been stalled at 150E since 1/31, but finally started moving east on 3/25 and is still doing that today, but incredibly slowly. Something to monitor. Today a solid east anomaly pattern that had been in control of KWGA since early July 2021 is done. East anomalies are to recenter themselves at 135W starting 5/4 and holding for the foreseeable future. All this suggest the demise of La Nina proper if this occurs as forecast. but lingering effects will continue over the US West Coast into at least Fall. And no meaningful Active MJO pulses are forecast from here forward. The model had been constantly slipping later the velocity of the arrival of the low pressure bias deeper into the KWGA. So the future remains uncertain but cautiously optimistic. The demise of La Nina all hinges on the eastward progress of the low pressure bias.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/20) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was present at 162E. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 172E. The 24 deg isotherm was steady across the East Pacific. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +3-4 deg C were in a pocket in the far West Pacific down 150m with it's leading edge easing east to 148W with a previous Kelvin Wave in the East Pacific all but gone there. A broad area of -2C cool anomalies were in between the two centered at 125W and fading fast. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/13 indicates the same pocket of cool anomalies between 150W-80W at -3 degs C and appears to be now be shifting east and weakening while the remnants of the Kelvin Wave in the east area all but gone. And perhaps a new Kelvin Wave is starting to push east from the West Pacific from 155W to 150W. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (4/13) Sea heights were rising some over the Equatorial Pacific. A string of weakly positive anomaly pockets were north of the equator pushing from the dateline up to the Galapagos along the 5N latitude line. And a broad area of negative anomalies at -5 cms were over the equator from Ecuador to 155W with a previously imbedded pocket at -15 cms now gone. Otherwise positive anomalies were mostly locked from the dateline and points west of there. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram the previous Kelvin Wave was gone but with a pocket of cool anomalies fading from -1.0 degs between Ecuador and 147W. And it almost looks like a Kelvin Wave is trying to push east from 161W. It is unknown whether cool anomalies will return in earnest moving forward or whether another Kelvin Wave is developing.

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 Qualitative Analysis: (4/19) The latest images depict a broad generic pool of cool water on the equator extending west to the dateline extending well south of the equator with pockets of warm water on the equator from Ecuador to 135W. A broad pocket of strong cold water was along the coast of Peru reaching to the Galapagos on the equator indicative of strong upwelling there. A weak area of warm water was present north of the equator (1 deg N) across the entire North Pacific. Overall this indicates the late stages of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/19): A strong area of cold water was centered over the Galapagos reaching south to Peru up to Ecuador. Otherwise a neutral trend was occurring.
Hi-res Overview: (4/19) Persistent residual cool waters were covering a large area from Ecuador to 160E on the equator and from South America down at 20S. Warmer than normal waters were aligned from 1N and above over the entire North Pacific. La Nina is solid and now appears to be surging over the far East Equatorial Pacific.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/19) Today's temps were down hard at -1.938 and have steadily been fading after peaking at +0.760 on 3/18. Temps had been moving upwards since 2/20, and beat a previous high of -0.650 degs on 1/9 and that after being down at -1.871 on 1/3 and -1.954 on 12/18, the lowest this year so far. Previously temps dropped on 11/24 at -1.700, the lowest in months after previously toggling steady at about -0.6 degs from mid Aug to Oct 6, then falling from there. Last year temps bottomed out at -2.138 on 8/13/20. The longterm trend has been steadily downward.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(4/19) Today's temps were steady at -0.870 after rising to -0.704 on 3/27 and had been on a gentle rising trend since falling to -1.012 on 3/8. Previously temp were rising slightly to -0.505 on 2/2 and that after reaching a peak low of -1.096 on 1/3 beating the previous low of -1.080 on 11/2, the lowest in a year. Prior to that temps had been in a freefall starting from the -0.175 range in early Sept. Before that temps peaked up at 7/1 +0.332, the highest in a year. Temps previously had been steady near -0.222 since early March. Temps bottomed out at -1.654 on 11/3/2020.

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
Previous - Temps rose in early Nov 2020 after bottoming out at -1.25 degs, up to -0.01 degs in mid-June 2021 then fading to -1.05 degs in mid-Nov then rebuilding to -0.7 in mid Feb 2022 then fading some after that.
Forecast (4/20) - T
emps are to continue falling to -1.35 degs in early May and then slowly rising to about -1.00 degs in July more or less holding there into Nov, then rising more directly beyond. This model suggests we are at going to fall into a third year of La Nina. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps falling to -1.45 degs in May then rising to about -0.75 degs in July then slowly falling to -0.85 degs in Nov, then rising beyond. Still, neither of these forecasts are consistent with the IRI forecast (see IRI Consensus forecast below).
IRI Consensus Plume: The April 18, 2022 Plume depicts temps are -0.705 degs today and have bottomed out. They are to warm to -0.601 degs in May (previously -0.315 degrees last month), then rising to -0.449 in July (previously -0.287 degs) and hovering there through November then rising to -0.351 degs (previously 0.0 degs) after that. This model now suggest a continuation of weak La Nina conditions through the Fall.
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):
Today (4/20) the daily index was positive at +27.69 after peaking at +31.80 on 4/6, +27.33 on 1/31/22 and +46.71 on 12/26. The trend of late has been solidly positive. Previous other notable peaks were +30.98 on 11/26, +36.90 on 9/28, +27.75 on 9/13 and +37.86 on 7/15.
The 30 day average was rising some at +15.03 and the highest in a year beating the last high of +13.46 on 3/27, after falling to +0.83 on 1/27 then peaking at +13.07 on 12/31 after previously falling to +6.06 on 11/6 after peaking at +11.58 on 10/22. Before that it fell to -3.36 on 6/22, the lowest in a year. It peaked at +19.51 on 1/14.
The 90 day average was rising some at +12.96 today beating the previous peak of +9.36 on 3/22 and +10.90 on 12/26, falling to +7.10 on 11/1. It previously peaking on 9/21 at +9.80 after falling to it's lowest point in a year on 6/9 at +1.06. The 90 day average peaked at +15.75 on 2/23 (clearly indicative of La Nina then). This index is a lagging indicator but suggest La Nina is returning.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
The PDO theoretically turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and was positive till Dec 2019, but has been negative ever since, driven by recent La Nina conditions. In May-July 2021 it was the most negative its been in the -1.80 to -2.04 range since Sept 2012 (-2.99) and then fell to -3.16 in Oct 2021 (the lowest since July 1933) then settled at -2.72 in Nov and Dec 2021. Looking at the long term record, it seems likely we are still in the Cool Phase of the PDO (La Nina 'like') with no signs of moving to the positive/warm phase (El Nino 'like').

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 


Powerlines Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest
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:
http://www.bloomberg.com/video/how-to-predict-the-best-surfing-waves-EsNiR~0xR5yXGOlOq2MqfA.html
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/surfs-up-for-mavericks-invitational-in-calif/

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

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