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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, April 22, 2021 2:39 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
4.0 - California & 1.5 - 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 4/19 thru Sun 4/25

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   

Tiny South Swell Hitting CA
Stronger One Right Behind

On Thursday, April 22, 2021 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 2.8 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 10.5 secs from 268 degrees. Water temp 76.8 degs (Pearl Harbor 233), 77.5 (Lani 239)..
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 5.8 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 4.7 ft @ 10.3 secs from 335 degrees. Water temp 76.5 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.8 ft @ 10.8 secs with swell 2.5 ft @ 10.3 secs from 255 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north at 4-6 kts. Water temperature 59.9 degs, 61.0 (Topanga 103), 60.3 degs (Long Beach 215), 61.2 (Del Mar 153). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 7.3 ft @ 10.4 secs from 311 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.2 ft @ 18.0 secs from 190 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.2 ft @ 17.2 secs from 193 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 3.1 ft @ 10.4 secs from 272 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 11.0 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 10.6 ft @ 9.8 secs from 322 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 10-14 kts. Water temp 48.7 (029), 49.6 degs (SF Bar) and 53.8 degs (Santa Cruz).

See Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (bottom of the page)

Swell Classification Guidelines

Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
- Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
- Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
- up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.

Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.

Current Conditions
On Thursday (4/22) North and Central CA had waves at head high or so and warbled and mushed with small whitecaps coming from the northwest and foggy. Protected breaks were waist to chest high and pretty warbled and mushed but rideable with heavy overcast. At Santa Cruz surf was waist high or so and clean but a little warbled and uneven and ill formed. In Southern California/Ventura waves were thigh to waist high on the sets and somewhat lined up but heavily textured with some light warble intermixed and not very good. Central Orange County had set waves at waist chest high or so on the sets and heavily textured and gutless coming from the northwest with some degree of westerly wind in play. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at shoulder high and lined up with clean surface conditions but with some intermixed lump messing it up. North San Diego had sets waves at chest high and lined up but a bit warbled though still rideable. Hawaii's North Shore was getting decent swell with waves occasionally 2 ft overhead and lined up and clean with light offshores. The South Shore was near flat and pretty warbled from sideshore wind. The East Shore was getting waist high easterly windswell and nearly chopped with modest east trades blowing.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (4/22) California was getting local north windswell. A small storm formed in the deep Southeast Pacific on Tues (4/13) lifting northeast producing up to 41 ft seas aimed northeast before moving east of the CA swell window. That swell is just starting to hit exposed breaks in California but small. A second stronger storm formed right behind it in the deep South Central Pacific Wed-Fri (4/16) producing up to 40 ft seas aimed northeast. Solid swell is pushing north. After that a small gale developed under New Zealand on Tues PM (4/20) tracking east into Fri (4/23) over the Southeast Pacific with seas initially 33 ft fading then rebuilding to to 31 ft. Up north in the far West Pacific a gale is forecast tracking off Japan Fri-Sat (4/23) with 23 ft seas aimed east and a tropical system behind it. But no meaningful swell is to result. And maybe a broader gael is to develop in the West Pacific on Tues-Wed (4/28) producing 30 ft seas aimed east. Otherwise local northwest windswell is to be fading along the North and Central CA coast on Fri (4/23) with no return forecast.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (4/22) 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 weather systems of interest are forecast.


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


Tropical Update
Typhoon Surigae was 180 nmiles east of the Central Philippines on Sun AM (4/18) producing 125 kt winds (143 mph) tracking slowly north-northwest after peaking Sat PM (3/17) with winds at 150 kts (172 mph). This is a testament to the warm ocean waters in the far West Pacific early this season and typical of La Nina. Surigae continued on as north-northwest track on Tues (4/20) 220 nmiles east of the Northern Philippines with winds to 110 kts. By Thurs (4/22) Surigae was 300 nmiles west of South Taiwan tracking northeast with winds 85 kts and forecast to turn east on Fri (4/23) and winds down to 60 kts and then continuing east-northeast and fading late Sat (4/24) with winds 40-45 kts and no longer of interest. Something to monitor through no swell production is suggested for our forecast area. This system is all attributable to the Active Phase of the MJO over the KWGA (West Pacific) driving a Westerly Wind Burst (WWB).

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Fri (4/23) north winds are forecast at 15-20 kts early for North CA and 10 kts for Central CA fading to 10-15 kts up north later and 10 kts over Central CA.
  • Sat (4/24) northwest winds are forecast at 5-10 kts all day but south at 10-15 kts for Cape Mendocino starting late morning. Rain likely for Cape Mendocino with showers later down to Pt Arena. Light snow for the Sierra south to maybe Yosemite.
  • Sun (4/25) light west to northwest winds are forecast at 10 kts early for North Ca and 5-10 kts for Central CA early holding all day. Rain over all of North CA down to the Golden Gate early pushing south to Pt Conception late afternoon. Solid snow the entire Sierra through the day and into the evening.
  • Mon (4/26) northwest winds are forecast at 5-10 kts early for North and Central CA early building to near 15 kts from Pt Reyes southward in the afternoon and 20 kts for Pt Conception in the afternoon. Light rain for Cape Mendocino early. Rain for Central Ca early clearing in the afternoon. Maybe some snow showers early and late for the Sierra but turning to rain during the day.
  • Tues (4/27) northwest winds are forecast at 5-10 kts early for Monterey Bay northward to Pt Arena with south winds 5-10 kts for Cape Mendocino late AM and northwest 15-20 kts from Monterey Bay southward to Pt Conception all day. No precip forecast.
  • Wed (4/28) south winds are forecast at 10 kts for Cape Mendocino early and northwest 5-10 kts south to Monterey Bay and northwest 10-15 kts down to Pt Conception early. South winds to hold for Cape Mendocino at 5-10 kts later with west winds 10 kts south of there to the Golden Gate build to 10-15 kts from the northwest south to Pt Conception. A few scattered showers for Cape Mendocino.
  • Thurs (4/29) northwest winds are forecast at 5 kts for Cape Mendocino early and 10 kts south of Monterey Bay and 15 kts southward to Pt Conception. Widely scattered showers for Cape Mendocino.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 17 inches, 20 inches, 20 inches, and 8 inches mostly on Sunday (4/25).

Freezing level 10,500 ft on 4/19 falling to 9,000 ft 4/20-4/21, then rising to 10,500 ft on 4/23. Snow level falling again to 5,000 ft on 4/25-4/26 and even 3,000 ft on 4/27, quickly rising to 10,500 ft on 4/27 holding through 4/29.

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


South Pacific

On Tuesday (4/20) the jet was somewhat split pushing over New Zealand with the influential southern branch pushing east on the 60S latitude line starting to form at trough over the Southeast Pacific at 140W being fed by 120 kts winds offering some support for gale development there then falling southeast from there. Over the next 72 hours the trough in the east is to quickly cut off on Wed (4/21) no longer supporting gale development. But a new trough is to be right behind developing southeast of New Zealand on Wed (4/21) tracking east to the Southeast Pacific on Thurs (4/22) being fed by 150 kts winds and racing east and nearly out of the SCal swell window late. At that time a solid ridge is to be pushing over the Ross Ice Shelf offering nothing. Beyond 72 hours the ridge is to build over the entire South Pacific holding through Mon (4/26) offering nothing with remnants continuing on Tues (4/27). A small pinched trough is forecast pushing under New Zealand Sat-Sun (4/25) but winds feeding it are to be weak offering little in terms of support for gale development, and then pinching off on Mon (4/26) offering nothing. In general a weak and unfavorable jetstream pattern is forecast.

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (4/22) swell was hitting California from the first of 2 gales in the Southeast Pacific (see Southeast Pacific Gale). Stronger swell was right behind originating from the second gale in the Southeast Pacific (see Another Southeast Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours another gale started developing southeast of New Zealand on Tues PM (4/20) producing a tiny area of 45-50 kt west winds and seas 33 ft at 62.5S 175W aimed east. On Wed AM (4/21) fetch was lifting gently east-northeast at 45 kts from the west with seas 32 ft over a small area at 60S 163W aimed east. In the evening fetch was pushing northeast at 35-40 kts with seas 30 ft at 59S 152W aimed east-northeast. Fetch is to be fading Thurs AM (5/22) from 35 kts but over a larger area aimed northeast with seas 26 ft at 58S 143W aimed east-northeast. In the evening fetch is to hold at 35-40 kts from the southwest with seas building to barely 28 ft at 56.5S 133.25W aimed northeast. On Fri AM (4/23) south to southwest winds to continue at 40 kts over the Southeast Pacific with 31 ft seas at 53.5S 125W aimed northeast. In the evening south winds to continue at 35-40 kts with seas 29 ft at 52S 124W aimed northeast. On Sat (4/24) south winds are to be 35 kts with seas fading from 28 ft at 54.5S 122W aimed northeast. The gale is to fade out after that. Something to monitor.


Southeast Pacific Gale
A gale developed 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 were 45 kts lifting northeast with seas 40 ft over a small area at 59.5S 125W aimed northeast. On Wed AM (4/14) the gale was starting to race northeast with 40 kt southwest winds and mostly east of even the Southern CA swell window with seas fading from 35 ft at 55S 116W moving out of the SCal swell window. A decent pulse of south angled swell is expected to result for South and Central America with energy pushing up into the US Mainland at exposed south facing breaks.

Southern CA: Swell building on Thurs (4/22) to 1.6 ft @ 16-17 secs later (2.5 ft). Swell fading on Fri (4/23) from 1.6 ft @ 15-16 secs early (2.0-2.5 ft) and being overrun by new swell from the South Central Pacific. Swell Direction: 188-192 degrees

North CA: Swell building on Thurs (4/22) to 1.5 ft @ 17 secs later (2.5 ft). Swell fading on Fri (4/23) from 1.6 ft @ 16 secs early (2.5 ft) and being overrun by new swell from the South Central Pacific. 186-190 degrees


Another Southeast Pacific Gale - Swell #1S for SCal
A new gale started 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 25 ft at 65S 152W aimed east. In the evening a solid fetch of 40 kt southwest winds were pushing northeast with seas building in coverage at 27 ft at 63.5S 140W aimed east-northeast. On Thurs AM (4/15) south to southwest winds were building in coverage at 40-45 kts over the Southeast Pacific with seas 31 ft lifting northeast at 61S 132W. In the evening fetch built to 45-50 kts coming well from the south with seas 37 ft at 63S 127W aimed north with its leading edge at 56S 123W aimed north-northeast. On Fri AM (4/16) 40 kt south winds were over a solid area aimed north with 38 ft seas at 57.25S 120W and still in the CA swell window aimed north. In the evening this system was easing east of the swell window with 35-40 kt south winds and seas 34 ft at 53S 114W with 33 ft seas at 53S 118W in the SCal swell window aimed north. This system was fading and east of the CA swell window after that. Swell is radiating north towards South and Central America and up into Mexico and the US West Coast.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (4/22) building to 1.2 ft @ 21 secs later (2.0 ft). Swell building on Fri (4/23) reaching 2.4 ft @ 19 secs late (4.5 ft with sets to 5.5 ft). Swell peaking on Sat (4/24) mid-day at 3.2 ft @ 17 secs (5.5 ft with sets to 7 ft). Swell fading some on Sun (4/25) at 3.0 ft @ 16 secs early (4.5-5.0 ft with sets to 6.0 ft). Residuals on Mon (4/26) fading from 2.5 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5 ft) early. Dribbles on Tues (4/27) fading from 2.1 ft @ 13-14 secs early (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 185 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (4/23) building to 2.1 ft @ 20 secs later (4.0 ft). Swell building on Sat (4/24) reaching 2.8 ft @ 18-19 secs later (5.2 ft with sets to 6.5 ft). Swell peaking on Sun (4/25) mid-day at 3.1 ft @ 16 secs (5.0 ft with sets to 6.0 ft). Swell fading some on Mon (4/26) at 2.8 ft @ 15 secs early (4.0 ft with sets to 5.0 ft). Residuals on Tues (4/27) fading from 2.3 ft @ 14 secs (3.0 ft) early. Swell Direction: 184 degrees


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




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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a gale is theoretically forecast developing off Japan on Thurs PM (4/22) with 35-40 kt northwest winds and seas building from 24 ft over a tiny area at 34N 149E aimed southeast. On Fri AM (4/23) the gael is to be fading with 35 kt northwest winds and seas 22 ft near 29N 155E aimed southeast. The gale is to continue east in the evening with 35 kt northwest winds and seas 21 ft at 31N 160E aimed southeast. On Sat AM (4/24) the gael is to fall apart while tracking northeast fairly quickly with no meaningful sea production forecast.

Hard to believe but a new system is supposed to develop half way between Japan and the dateline on Tues AM (4/27) producing 55kt west winds with 30 ft seas building over a decent sized area at 38N 167W aimed east. In the evening 40 kt west winds are forecast pushing east with seas 31 ft at 41.5N 172.5E aimed east. On Wed AM (4/28) west winds at 40 kts are to be approaching the dateline with 25 ft seas at 39N 175E aimed east. In the evening the gale is to be fading with seas fading from 22 ft at 38N 178E aimed east. Will believe it when it happens. Something to monitor.


South Pacific

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



MJO/ENSO Forecast


La Nina Collapsing
Summary - A legit Active MJO was fading over the KWGA, the first in a year. A Kevin Wave was pushing east across the Equatorial Pacific squeezing the cold remains of La Nina from depth to the surface in the far E Pac and poised to erupt south of Mainland Mexico. West anomalies to control the KWGA for the next 3 months.

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

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

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

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

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (4/21) 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 neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and light east over the Central Pacific and light east to neutral 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): It's Back!! On (4/22) light to moderate west anomalies were filling the KWGA. The forecast calls for more of the same through the end of the model run on 4/29 with light to moderate west anomalies in control of the KWGA.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (4/21) A moderate Active MJO pattern was filling the KWGA. The statistic model projects the Active signal holding on day 5 at modest strength on the dateline then weakening on the dateline on day 10 as a solid Inactive pattern builds over the western KWGA, taking over the KWGA on the last day of the model run (day 15). The dynamic model has the Active Phase holding steady over the KWGA at moderate strength through day 10 of the model run then fading to weak strength at day 15 as the Inactive Phase takes over the Western KWGA.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/22) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was modest over the Central Pacific today and is to track east over the East Indian Ocean by day 15 of the model run and weak. The dynamic model suggests the Active Phase is to hold position for the next 3 days then starting to migrate steadily east to the East Indian Ocean Atlantic at weak status 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): (4/21) The Active Phase (wet air) was weak over the Central Pacific today and is to push east over Central America on 5/8. A strong Inactive Phase (dry air) is to move over the KWGA on 5/1 tracking east and moving over Central America on 5/21. A moderate Active Phase (wet air) is to push over the KWGA on 5/11 pushing to the Central America at the end of the model run on 5/31. A new weak Inactive MJO (dry air) is to be building in the West Pacific at that time.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/21) This model depicts a coherent Active Phase of the MJO was filling the KWGA producing moderate west anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Active Phase is to track east through the KWGA exiting it on 5/1 with west anomalies holding at moderate status through 5/7. But west anomalies are to hold at weak status though 5/17 in the Western KWGA while east anomalies build weakly on the dateline and points east of there starting 5/2 and holding through the end on the model run on 5/19 while a neutral wind pattern takes control of the far west KWGA 5/17 and beyond. Theoretically we are 2/3rds of the way through the first real Active Phase of the MJO in over a year.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/22 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): A moderate Active MJO signal was in control of the KWGA with modest west anomalies blowing there. The forecast indicates it is to track east through the KWGA and gone on 4/30 producing moderate west anomalies filling the KWGA. This is the first real Active Phase in a year or more. A weak Inactive MJO is to follow 4/24-6/1 but with weak west anomalies filling the KWGA and occasional pockets of light east anomalies in the mix over that duration. A new solid Active Phase is to start building in the west on 5/24 pushing east through the end of the model run on 7/20 with moderate to strong west 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 3rd contour line is to fade on 5/5. The second contour line is to fade 5/28. The remaining 1 is to be shifting steadily east starting 4/25 and losing coverage and no longer in the KWGA after 6/9. A single contour low pressure bias is over the Maritime Continent with it's leading edge half way through the KWGA (at 150E) today. the high pressure bias is to theoretically start shrinking in coverage from the west from here forward while the east edge of the low pressure bias tracks east to nearly the dateline (180W) and filling the KWGA by 6/1 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 5/12 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: (4/22) Today in the far West Pacific the 28 deg isotherm line has moved east from 177W in mid April to 171W today and is stable there. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing the whole way across the equatorial Pacific and building in coverage and depth. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +2 deg C are in the West Pacific with 1 deg anomalies reaching across the Pacific today pushing to the surface near 125W and reaching into Ecuador. No cool anomalies were indicated. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/18 indicates a dramatic improvement with warm anomalies moving east subsurface to 95W indicative of a Kelvin Wave poised to impact the far East Pacific and lurking just 5M below the surface at 100W. Negative anomalies in the East Pacific were all but gone with residuals getting squeezed to the surface by the Kelvin Wave near Peru. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (4/18) A dramatic improvement was occurring with sea heights near neutral (0 to -5 cms) over the entire equatorial Pacific with pockets of positive anomalies extending from the far West Pacific over the dateline and other pockets at 150W and 110W and along the coast of Ecuador. Negative anomalies were 0 to 5 cms negative along the coast of Peru but weakly positive and along the coast of Mexico. Only California was substantially negative at -5 cms. 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 all but gone now with the triangle barely discernible. The end of La Nina seems to be occurring now.

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: (4/21) The latest images indicate a mix of slightly warm and slightly cool water was tracking west on the equator from the Galapagos to 130W. But cool anomalies were centered on the equator from Ecuador west to the dateline. Solid cool anomalies still present along the immediate cost of Peru. 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. Overall this seems to indicate the collapse of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/21): Warming temps were indicated from Ecuador over the Galapagos out to 120W, perhaps signaling the beginning of the eruption of Kelvin Wave #1. Otherwise a neutral temperature trend was occurring on the equator.
Hi-res Overview: (4/21) A generic area of warm water was west of Peru and Central America. But cold water was still evident along the immediate coast of Peru streaming up to Ecuador though smaller in coverage than days past. Also a faint area of cool water was extending from off Chile tracking west out to 140W and appears to be losing definition. A similar stream was migrating southwest from off Baja Mexico and not fading but building. 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: (4/22) Today's temps were rising slightly to -0.656 after previously bottoming out at -0.950 on 4/5. Before that temps peaked 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:
(4/22) Temps were steady today at -0.221 after peaking on 4/15 at -0.157 beating the 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.

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

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/22) - Actuals per the model indicate temps bottomed out in early Nov at -1.25 degs then rose steadily to -0.15 degs in mid-April and near neutral today. The forecast depicts temps rising to +0.05 degs in June, then starting a slow fade falling to -0.35 degs in Oct then bottoming out at -0.55 in Dec before rising slightly in Jan (-0.50 degs). This model now suggests a complete demise of La Nina starting now but then it trying to resurge in he Fall and early Winter but not making it. There is no sense that El Nino will develop. Instead a return to ENSO neutral is forecast. 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) (4/22): The daily index was falling some today at 7.21 today. The 30 day average was steady at +1.12 after peaking at +19.51 on 1/14. The 90 day average was rising slightly at +4.68 after peaking at +15.75 on 2/23 and clearly indicative of La Nina. This index is a lagging indicator.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
Per NOAAs index recent values: Jan 2018 +0.29, Feb -0.19, Mar -0.61, April -0.89, May -0.69, June -0.85, July -0.09, Aug -0.43, Sept -0.46, Oct -0.75, Nov -0.78, Dec -0.12, Jan 2019 -0.18, Feb -0.50 Mar -0.23, April +0.10, May +0.14, June -0.11, July +0.44, Aug -0.14, Sept +0.05, Oct -0.96, Nov -0.28, Dec +0.01, Jan 2020 -1.17, This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2018 +0.70. Feb +0.37, Mar -0.05, April +0.11, May +0.11, June -0.04, July +0.11, Aug +0.18, Sept +0.09. No real negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data strongly suggests that could be a possibility. By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 

Powerlinessurf Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest
Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for this week. See it Here
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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing:

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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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