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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Saturday, April 23, 2022 3:00 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
2.2 - 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 4/25 thru Sun 5/1

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   

One More NPac Swell Coming
Southern Hemi Coming Fully Online

 

BUOY ROUNDUP
Saturday, April 23, 2022 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor)/Buoy 239 (Lanai) NA/Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt) NA: Seas were 3.2 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 0.8 ft @ 18.4 secs from 168 degrees. Water temp 77.4 degs (Barbers Pt), NA (Lani 239), 76.6 (Pearl Harbor 233).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 5.3 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 3.6 ft @ 11.9 secs from 174 degrees. Water temp 77.0 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 5.7 ft @ 12.8 secs with swell 2.9 ft @ 13.5 secs from 262 degrees. Wind northeast at 8-10 kts. Water temperature 57.4 degs, 55.6 (Topanga 103), 54.0 degs (Long Beach 215), 58.8 (Del Mar 153), 56.7 (Imperial Beach 155). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 7.4 ft @ 15.4 secs from 301 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 3.3 ft @ 10.3 secs from 264 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 3.0 ft @ 8.4 secs from 270 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 3.5 ft @ 15.8 secs from 277 degrees. Water temp 59.9 degs.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 10.8 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 6.8 ft @ 14.4 secs from 292 degrees. Wind at buoy 46012 was north at 14-18 kts. Water temp 51.4 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 51.6 (46026), 54.0 (SF Bar 142), and 54.3 (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 Saturday (4/23) North and Central CA had set waves at 3-4 ft overhead and lined up but pretty warbled though wind was fairly light early. Protected breaks were 1-2 ft overhead and well lined up and clean but with intermixed warble and closed out. At Santa Cruz surf was 1-2 ft overhead on the bigger sets and lined up with decent form and glassy. In Southern California/Ventura waves were chest to maybe head high on the bigger sets and reasonably lined up and clean with decent form but with some warble running through it. Central Orange County had sets at chest to shoulder high and lined up if not closed out and fairly clean with a light onshore flow. South Orange County's best summertime breaks were up to waist high and somewhat lined up and clean but soft and unfocused. North San Diego had some sets at chest to shoulder high and lined up and somewhat closed out but clean with light wind early. Hawaii's North Shore had some sets still at head high to 1 ft overhead on the peak and lined up with decent form and no wind early. The South Shore had some sets at head high and lined up and fairly clean but inconsistent. The East Shore was waist to chest high and chopped from moderate east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Saturday (4/23) California was primarily getting swell from a tropical system that recurved northeast off Japan and then turned east over the North Dateline region on the weekend (4/17) with seas to 41 ft and then rebuilt some while falling southeast into the Gulf of Alaska on Tues-Wed (4/20) with 25-26 ft seas aimed southeast. Swell from it was fading on Sat AM (4/23). 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 on Sun (4/24) 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 is starting to show in Hawaii today and is to arrive on the Mainland early next week. Beyond another small gale was tracked 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 Mon (4/25) producing 40 ft seas aimed east-northeast and tracking across the South Pacific through the coming week. And up north perhaps one more gale is to develop off Kamchatka on Thurs (4/21) with 33 ft seas tracking east but fading quickly. So a mix of both north and south swells to continue for a little bit longer but the Southern Hemi is poised to take over. Summer is setting up.

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 Saturday (4/23) the jet was split over Japan band the Kuril Islands then consolidating over the Central Gulf forming a trough there being fed by a tiny pockets of 120 kt winds offering at best only very limited support for gale development before splitting while pushing onshore over the US West Cost. No very inspirational. Over the next 72 hours the Gulf trough is to push east and into the US West Coast reaching down over South Oregon on Tues (4/26) offering only weather there. A bit of a trough is forecast setting up off the North Kuril Islands on Mon-Tues (4/26) being fed by 130 kts winds offering decent support for gale development. Beyond 72 hour the Kuril Island trough is to push east into the Western Gulf on Wed (4/27) still being fed by 140 kts winds offering potential. And then on Sat (4/30) 160 kts winds are to rebuild over the dateline feeding into the Gulf trough offering yet more potential. Maybe the North Pacific has one more punch left in it.

Surface Analysis
On Saturday (4/23) swell from a tropical system that pushed over the dateline was fading in Hawaii and California (see Extratropical Storm Malakas below). And swell from a gael that developed over the far Northwestern Gulf was tracking towards Hawaii and CA.

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.

 

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: 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: 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.

 

Northwest Gulf Gale
Another gale developed 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 46.75N 173.25E aimed southeast. On Thurs AM (4/21) northwest winds were 45 kts solid with seas 34 ft at 46.75N 177W aimed east. In the evening the gale was in the Northwestern Gulf with 40 kts west winds and seas 32 ft at 46.25N 167.25W aimed east. On Fri AM (4/22) the gale was fading with 35 kt west winds in the Northwestern Gulf with seas 27 ft at 46.25N 162.5W aimed east. Fetch was fading in the evening with 30 kts west winds and seas fading from 25 ft at 46.5N 157.5W aimed east. The gale dissipated from there.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Sun (4/24) building to 4.4 ft @ 15 secs fairly early (6.5 ft). Swell fading on Mon (4/25) from 3.4 ft @ 12-13 secs (4.0 ft) then dissipating overnight. Swell Direction: 332 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon (4/25) building to 6.7 ft @ 15 secs (10 ft). Swell fading on Tues (4/26) from 5.1 ft @ 13 secs (6.5 ft). Residuals on Wed (4/27) fading while being overrun by local windswell. Swell Direction: 298 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

  • Sun (4/24) north to northwest winds are forecast at 15-20 kts for all of North CA and Central CA early fading some more to the 15 kt range in the afternoon for both. No precip is forecast for the coming week.
  • 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 20 kts for all of North and Central CA early building to 20-25 kts in the afternoon.
  • Wed (4/27) northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for all of North and Central CA early fading to 20+ kts in the afternoon.
  • Thurs (4/28) northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for all of North and Central CA early and holding in the afternoon.
  • Fri (4/29) northwest winds are forecast at 20 kts early for all of North and Central CA holding in the afternoon.
  • Sat (4/30) northwest winds are forecast at 25 kts for all of North and Central CA early and holding in the afternoon.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 0, 0, 0, and 0 inches.

Water Assessment: It's assumed no more precipitation will fall this rain season. A total of 86 inches of snow has fallen at Olympic Valley between 4/11 and 4/22. Impressive. Effectively all of California's frozen precip has fallen between 3 events - on Oct 18-26 (42 inches), Dec 9-Jan 5 (215 inches), and then this April Event (86 inches). Total accumulation is 394 inches at 8,000 ft. Normal total seasonal accumulation is 400 inches (Olympic Valley). Rainfall is at about 87% in that same corridor (San Francisco-Sacramento and Tahoe). But north and south of there it's in about the 70% range (total season accumulation). All this speaks to the power of the jetstream moving onshore and it's laser like focus on the SF-SAC-Tahoe area. Without those 3 events, California would be in very deep trouble.

Freezing level about 9,000 ft on Sun (4/24) generally holding there before building to 10.500 ft on 4/29 and then 12,000 ft on 5/1.

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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 gale previously 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). And a small gale in the Southeast Pacific has produced small swell radiating north towards CA (see Small Southeast Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a reasonably solid and broad storm is forecast under New Zealand on Sun PM (4/24) with 40-45 kt southwest winds over a solid area aimed northeast with seas 29-30 ft at 53S 165E aimed northeast. On Mon AM (4/25) 45 kt southwest winds are to tracking east with 35 ft seas at 54.5S 169E aimed northeast. In the evening the gale is to redevelop a bit further south with a solid fetch of 45 kts south winds and seas 34 ft at 52S 178W aimed northeast. On Tues AM (4/26) a solid fetch of south winds is forecast at 45-50 kts with seas 39 ft at 55S 171.75W aimed north and northeast. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 40+ kts from the southwest with seas 33 ft at 53S 175W aimed northeast. Something to monitor.

On Wed AM (4/27) secondary fetch is to develop just west of the main fetch at 50-55 kts aimed northeast with seas building from 34 ft at 61.5S 178E aimed northeast. In the evening 50 kt southwest winds are to be lifting northeast with seas 40 ft over a tiny area at 57.5S 170.25W aimed northeast. On Thurs AM (4/28) fetch is to be 40+ kts over a broad area aimed northeast over the Central South Pacific with seas 35 ft at 55.25S 158.75W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 35-40 kts aimed northeast over a broad area with seas fading from 29-33 ft at 53.3S 150.5W aimed northeast. Fetch fading Fri AM (4/29) from 30-35 kts over a broad area with seas 31 ft at 55.25S 139.5W aimed northeast. the gael is to fade from there.

 

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

 

Small Southeast Pacific Gale
On 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 was over the Southeast Pacific with 40-45 kt south winds and 29 ft seas at 49.5S 136W aimed northeast. The gale was fading on Thurs AM (4/21) with 35 kt south winds over a tiny area and seas 27 ft at 49S 131.25W aimed northeast. The gale dissipated 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

 

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 a gale is forecast developing just off the extreme North Kuril Islands with 45 kts west winds and seas building to 32 ft at 48.25N 158E aimed east. In the evening winds are to fade from 30-35 kts over a broad area aimed east reaching almost to the dateline with seas 30 ft at 49.75N 167.5E aimed east. Fetch fading from 30 kts on Fri AM (4/29) with seas fading from 24 ft at 48N 173.75E aimed east. The gale to dissipate from there with its remnants pushing east towards the Gulf beyond. Something to monitor.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.

 

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

La Nina Weakening But Not Out - Another Kelvin Wave Developing
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) in April has resulted in another 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, suggesting an uncertain future. West anomalies are forecast filling half the KWGA from here forward. The outlook is unclear but seems like ENSO neutral is trying to set up.

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 (4/22) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific and strong east over the KWGA. Anomalies were modest east over the East equatorial Pacific and modest east over the Central Pacific and 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 (4/23) east anomalies were moderate filling the KWGA. The 7 day forecast calls for modest east anomalies holding filling the KWGA for the next week through 4/29, possibly fading to neutral on the last day of the model run on 4/30 with weak west anomalies pushing east to 150E.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (4/22) 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, a little stronger the last day of the run. The dynamic model projects a weak Inactive Phase dissipating on 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):
(4/23) 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 building to modest strength. The dynamic model suggests the same thing but with the Active Phase moving over the East 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): (4/22) A weak Inactive MJO signal (dry air) was over the Central and East Pacific today. The forecast depicts the Inactive Phase (dry air) moving east while slowly fading moving into Central America on 5/2. A weak Active Phase (wet air) is to follow over the KWGA on 5/12 moving east to the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 6/1.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/22) A neutral MJO Phase was depicted over the KWGA today with moderate east anomalies filling the KWGA. East anomalies are to fade on 4/29 with weak west anomalies moving about half way through the KWGA holding till 5/7, then retreating. No MJO signal is forecast beyond but east anomalies are to rebuild filling the KWGA modestly 5/8 through the end of the model run on 5/20.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/23 - 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 likely on its last day but with east anomalies on the dateline. The forecast depicts a weak Inactive signal developing now with west anomalies supposedly developing and filling the entirety of the KWGA 4/29-5/9. A weak Inactive MJO signal is to follow 4/23 through 6/9 but with light west anomalies trying to take control in 2 more separate spurts on 5/17-5/23 and 5/26-6/10r. Beyond a weak MJO active signal is forecast starting 6/2 holding through the end of the model run on 7/21 with west anomalies in control to 165E-170E filling 70% of the KWGA. 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 unchanged in strength and position. 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 165E at the end of the model run on 7/21. A second contour line is to appear at 120E on 6/26. 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: (4/23) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was present at 162E. The 28 deg isotherm line was easing east at 173E. 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 147W 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 4/18 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 a new Kelvin Wave is starting to push east from the West Pacific from 155W to 148W. 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) 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 to 110W along the 5N latitude line and stronger than days previous. 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 a new Kelvin Wave is trying to push east from 157W. So it looks like the most recent cool bout was just the upwelling phase of the Kelvin Wave cycle and a new downwelling Kelvin Wave is developing while pushing east.

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: (4/22) 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 (4/22): A strong area of cold water centered over the Galapagos was fading fast. Warming was developing on the equator from 110W to 140W.
Hi-res Overview: (4/22) Persistent residual cool waters covered 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 remains in play over the East Equatorial Pacific.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/23) Today's temps were still falling but with less vigor down to -2.069 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:
(4/23) Today's temps were steady at -0.836 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 (4/23) the daily index was positive at +18.60 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 +16.29 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 +13.27 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 2/23/21 (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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