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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 4:58 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
3.0 - 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 4/23 thru Sun 4/29

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   

Dateline Swell Poised for CA
Small S. Hemi Swell Pushing North


On Tuesday, April 24, 2018 :

  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 5.8 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 3.7 ft @ 12.2 secs from 317 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.4 ft @ 12.0 secs with swell 1.7 ft @ 12.6 secs from 217 degrees. Wind at the buoy was east at 4-8 kts. Water temperature NA. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.4 ft @ 13.0 secs from 219 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.6 ft @ 12.8 secs from 215 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.5 ft @ 13.4 secs from 214 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 3.0 ft @ 13.2 secs from 244 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.3 ft @ 12.0 secs with swell 3.8 ft @ 10.4 secs from 298 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southwest at 4-6 kts. Water temp 55.4 degs.

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 Tuesday (4/24) in North and Central CA local windswell was intermixing with fading background North Pacific swell was producing waves at chest to head high on the biggest sets and textured from southwest breeze. Protected breaks were waist to chest high and clean. At Santa Cruz surf was waist high on the sets and clean and weak. In Southern California up north surf was thigh to waist high and clean and soft. In North Orange Co southern hemi swell was producing waves in the chest high range and clean and lined up but weaker than days past. South Orange Country's best breaks were chest high on the sets and clean and lined up. In North San Diego surf was waist to chest high on the sets and clean but formless. Hawaii's North Shore was small with waves waist high or so and pretty textured from northeast trades. The South Shore was flat and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell at waist to chest high and chopped from east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (4/24) another swell was pushing towards California from a decent gale that tracked from the dateline into the Northwestern Gulf on Fri-Sat (4/21) with up to 31 ft seas aimed east then faded in the Western Gulf Sunday (4/22) with seas fading from 25 ft. After that, another far weaker gale developed moving east over the North Dateline region Sun-Tues (4/24) producing up to 28 ft seas aimed east. And maybe a cutoff low is to produce up to 30 ft seas just north of Hawaii aimed well at the Islands next Sat-Sun (4/29). Down south a relatively weak system developed in the Southeast Pacific on Mon-Wed (4/18) with 26-28 ft seas aimed northeast. And a small gale was lifting northeast from under New Zealand on Tues-Wed (4/25) producing a tiny area of 32 ft seas. Perhaps a stronger system to develop in the deep Southeast Pacific on Sun (4/29) with 37 ft seas aimed east. So there's some hope.


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

North Pacific

On Tuesday AM (4/24) the jetstream was split over the West Pacific with weak energy pushing off the Philippines lifting northeast while the main flow was pushing east off the South Kurils. They joined on the dateline with winds building there to 150 kts forming a bit of a trough offering limited support for low pressure development. From there the jet ridged northeast pushing up to the South Alaska coast then fell hard south forming a steep almost pinched trough with it 's apex reaching south to a point well off Pt Conception. This trough was offering some support for low pressure development. From there the jet lifted hard north pushing inland over British Columbia. Over the next 72 hours the dateline trough is to be pushing east and deepening Thurs-Fri (4/27) with it's apex falling south reaching a point 450 nmiles north of Hawaii offering some support for gale development. Meanwhile the trough off California is to totally become cutoff from the main flow and then reconnect on Fri (4/27) while sweeping southeast over California offering mainly just the opportunity for light rain. Beyond 72 hours the trough north of Hawaii is to become totally cutoff on Sat (4/28) but still circulating there into Sun (4/29) continuing to offering diminishing support for gale development. By Mon (4/30) the jet is to be pushing off the north Kuril Islands tracking east just south of the Aleutians with winds 100-110 kts then splitting on the dateline with the northern branch continuing east into the Canadian Coast while the southern branch meanders southeast tracking just north of Hawaii and then east into Southern CA. No support for gale development indicated.

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday AM (4/24) swell from a gale that tracked over the Dateline was all but gone in Hawaii and poised to hit California (see Dateline Gale below). And another far weaker gale was tracking east over the North Dateline region (see North Dateline Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours starting Fri PM (4/27) a gale is to start developing 900 nmiles north of Hawaii with 40 kt north winds and seas building from 22 ft at 34N 160W aimed south. On Sat AM (4/28) 45 kt north winds to build in coverage aimed directly at Hawaii with 30 ft seas over a small area aimed south at 32N 162W. In the evening 35-40 kt north winds to be falling south with seas 26 ft at 30N 162W aimed south and a bit west of the Islands. The gale is to fade while falling south Sun AM (4/29) with 30-35 kt northeast winds and seas fading from 21 ft at 30N 163W targeting location mainly west of Hawaii. Something to monitor.


Dateline Gale
Another small gale developed Thurs PM (4/19) just west of the Central Dateline region producing a tiny area of 40-45 kt northwest winds and 27 ft seas at 41N 171E. The gale faded some while passing over the dateline Fri AM (4/20) producing 40 kt northwest winds over a broader area and 29 ft seas at 42N 178E aimed east. In the evening the gale tracked east ad redeveloped some with a solid area of 40 kt west winds and 28 ft seas at 44N 175W. Sat AM (4/21) the gale continued east with 40 kt west winds and 32 ft seas at 45N 168W. The gale faded in the evening in the Western Gulf with 35 kt west winds and 28 ft seas at 45N 160W. On Sun AM (4/22) the gale was all but gone with 21 ft seas fading at 45N 155W aimed east. Swell is pushing towards the US West Coast with limited sideband energy at Hawaii.

Hawaii: Swell fading Tues AM (4/24) from 3.0 ft @ 12 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 320 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival Tues (4/24) building steadily to 4.8 ft @ 16 secs (7.5 ft). Swell holding overnight and then slowly fading Wed AM (4/25) from 5.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (8.0 ft). Residuals fading Thurs AM (4/26) from 4.2 ft @ 12 secs (5.0 ft). Swell Direction: 296 degrees


North Dateline Gale
Another gale developed Sun AM (4/22) in the far Northwest Pacific just south of the Western Aleutians producing a small area of 35-40 kt west winds starting to get traction on the oceans surface. In the evening the gale was approaching the dateline with a broader area of 40 kts west wind and seas building to 28 ft at 50N 172E. On Mon AM (4/23) the gale was fading some while falling southeast moving over the North Dateline Region producing a modest area of 30-35 kt west winds and 27 ft seas at 50N 178E aimed east. The gale is to be fading in the evening with 30-35 kt west winds over the North Dateline region and 23 ft seas at 49N 177W aimed east. The gale is to stall and fade Tues AM (4/24) with 30-35 kt west winds over a broader area and 21 ft seas at 48N 171W. The gale is to hold in the evening with 30-35 kt west winds and seas 22 ft at 50N 172W. This system is to dissipate from there.

Hawaii: Small swell to arrive on Fri (4/27) building to 4.0 ft @ 13-14 secs (5.0-5.5 ft). Swell fading Sat (4/28) from 3.4 ft @ 11-12 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 325 degrees

North CA: Swell building late Fri (4/27) pushing to 3.4 ft @ 15 secs late (5.0 ft). Swell continues on Sat (4/28) at 4.8 ft @ 13-14 secs (6.5 ft). Swell fading Sun (4/29) from 3.9 ft @ 12-13 secs (5.0 ft). Swell Direction: 305 degrees


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


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday AM (4/24) a relatively weak pressure pattern was in control with variable winds along the entire California coast early. Wednesday and Thursday (4/26) more of the same is expected. Friday weak low pressure is to be off Cape Mendocino with light south winds there and light winds down into Central CA early with high pressure trying to get a toe in the door late afternoon and north winds 15-20 kts for Pt Conception and into Southern CA late afternoon. Light rain possible for North CA from the Golden Gate northward mainly in the late afternoon. Saturday (4/28) high pressure is to be holding offshore with northwest winds 15-20 kts mainly for Pt Conception with light winds from Big Sur northward early but building over the entire state late afternoon and winds to 20 kts for Southern CA. Sunday (4/29) northwest winds are to be 15 kts early for all of North and Central CA but less for Southern CA and building all locations in the afternoon. Light rain possible for North CA. Monday (4/30) a summer time pressure gradient is to be in effect with north winds 30 kts for North CA and 20+ kts down to Pt Conception. More of the same on Tues (5/1).

South Pacific

Surface Analysis  
On Tuesday (4/24) swell from a gale that developed in the Southeast Pacific on Mon (4/16) was pushing north towards California (see Another Southeast Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a tiny gale developed well south of New Zealand on Mon AM (4/23) starting to generate 40 kt southwest winds. In the evening 40 kt southwest winds were lifting northeast producing a small area of 28 ft seas at 60S 162E. On Tues AM (4/24) the fetch continued lifting northeast at 35-40 kts with 30 ft seas at 57S 172E. The gale is to fade in the evening with winds dropping from 35 kts and seas fading from 28 ft at 55S 179W. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Possible small swell pushing northeast arriving late on Tues (5/1) at 1.0 ft @ 17-18 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 197 degrees.


Another Southeast Pacific Gale
Another gale developed in the far Southeast Pacific on Mon AM (4/16) with a large area of 30-35 kt southwest winds and seas building from 26 ft at 65S 128W. In the evening additional 30-35 kt south fetch built over the same area with seas building to 26 ft at 57S 132W aimed due north. On Tues AM (4/17) 30-35 kt south-southwest fetch continued over a large area aimed north with 28 ft seas at 52S 120W aimed north-northeast. 30-35 kt southwest fetch continued in the evening with 23 ft seas at 50S 119W aimed northeast. Southwest fetch built in coverage Wed AM (4/18) at 30-35 kts with 23 ft seas at 59S 121W aimed northeast. This is not enough energy to make it to California without significant size decay. In the evening fetch lifted northeast at 30-35 kts with seas 26 ft at 51S 117W aimed northeast and barely in the SCal swell window. The fetch moved out of the Southern CA swell window from there but still targeting Peru and Chile. Something to monitor.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (4/25) with swell building steadily to 2.0 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell continues on Thurs (4/26) at 2.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Fri (4/27) from 1.6 ft @ 14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Also swell from the second gale to arrive building to 2.2 ft @ 16-17 secs early (3.5 ft). Swell continues on Sat (4/28) at 2.5 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5 ft). Residuals fading on Sun (4/29) fading from 2.2 ft @ 14 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 176 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (4/25) with swell building steadily to 1.8 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.0 ft). Swell continues on Thurs (4/26) at 2.2 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell holding on Fri (4/27) at 2.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0 ft). Also swell from the second gale to arrive building to 2.0 ft @ 17 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell continues on Sat (4/28) at 2.1 ft @ 15 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Residuals fading on Sun (4/29) fading from 2.2 ft @ 14 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 173 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 no swell producing fetch is forecast.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a new gale is to be developing in the deep Central South Pacific on Sat AM (4/28) with 50 kt west-southwest winds and seas building from 40 ft at 65S 156W. In the evening 45-50 kt southwest winds are forecast pushing east fast with 39 ft seas at 65S 140W. The gale is to be fading Sun AM (4/29) with 45 kt west-southwest winds and 40 ft seas at 66S 124W. In the evening the gale is to be east of the California swell window with 35 kt southwest winds and 37 ft seas at 65S 110W and 30 ft seas in the window at 63S 120W. Something to monitor.

More details to follow...


ESPI Continues Upward

The Madden Julian Oscillation is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for MJO activity (which directly relate to the potential for swell production).

Overview: La Nina started developing in early 2016, but westward displaced and generally weak. And by March 2017, it was gone with suspicious warming developing along South America and over the Galapagos to a point south of Hawaii. By May the atmosphere returned to a neutral configuration but then in July east anomalies started building in the KWGA and have not stopped, with cold water upwelling over the the Nino1.2 and 3.4 areas, indicative of La Nina. A double dip La Nina was in control and continued through the Winter of 2017-2018. But warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018 associated with 2 Upwelling Kelvin Waves, suggesting the demise of La Nina was at hand.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Monday (4/23) 5 day average winds were from the east over the bulk of the equatorial Pacific and moderate westerly over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were light easterly over the equatorial East Pacific and moderate westerly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (4/24) Modest west anomalies were over the whole of the KWGA with stronger east anomalies east of the dateline to Ecuador and not in the KWGA. This pattern is to hold for the coming week but with west anomalies building to the moderate category starting 4/28 and holding through the end of the model run on 5/1. Not a bad pattern with persistent weak westerly now locked from the dateline and points west of there.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (4/23) The dead neutral MJO pattern was over the West Pacific in the core of the KWGA. The statistical model depicts a weak Active/Wet MJO signal building in the KWGA 5 days out easing east to the dateline through the end of the model run 15 days out. The dynamic model depicts the same thing initially but with a neutral pattern holding until day 12 when a weak Inactive/Dry pattern is to appear over the far West Pacific holding into day 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/24) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was very weak over the Maritime Continent. It is to track east steadily while remaining weak over the next 15 days eventually moving to the dateline and exceedingly weak at the end of the model run. The GEFS model depicts the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model: (4/24) This model depicts a weak Inactive Phase over the East Pacific and fading over Central America through 5/4. At the same time a weak Active Phase is moving through the West Pacific and is to be easing east to the East Pacific and into Central America on 5/16. A weak Inactive Phase is to follow in the West Pacific starting 5/9 moving to the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 6/3 while a new very weak Active Phase builds in the West Pacific. This model runs about 1-2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (4/22) This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO is fading over the Central KWGA but weak west anomalies are indicated in the heart of the KWGA. Beyond the Inactive Phase is to hold over the KWGA through 5/1 but with weak west anomalies in control of the KWGA. This is an interesting and positive development - No east anomalies forecast even during an Inactive Phase. A modest Active Phase is to follow starting 5/2 with weak to modest west anomalies continuing in control in the KWGA. This Active Phase is to fade 5/16 but neutral to weak west anomalies are to continue over the entirety of the KWGA. A broad weak Inactive Phase is to track over the KWGA 5/18-6/6 with neutral to weak east wind anomalies forecast. Perhaps a stronger Active Phase to develop 6/10 holding through the end of the model run on 7/22 with west anomalies strengthening and solid in the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates the low pressure bias over the bulk of the KWGA has reached the dateline and is to push east steadily from here moving east of the KWGA on 5/9 with the high pressure bias already east of the KWGA. This is hugely good news. Basically the La Nina bias is to be gone in 2 weeks. The expectation is that the atmosphere and ocean will begin to be coupled in over the next 3 months in a more favorable configuration towards storm production in the Pacific. And the low pressure bias is to only strengthen steadily over the KWGA into July.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/24) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 29-30 degs at 160E. The 28 deg isotherm line is steady at 180W and steep but also trying to push east at the surface moving to 170W. The 24 deg isotherm was building in thickness while making significant eastward progress at 100 meters deep at 140W and now to 75 meters deep at 120W rising to 25 meters into Ecuador. Anomaly wise in the East Pacific negative temperatures are gone as warm waters from a Kelvin Wave are building in from the west at depth. Warm anomalies were holding in the West at +3.0 degs at 165W down 150 meters pushing east with +2 deg anomalies reaching east to 140W down 100 meters and +1 degs at 100W down 25 meters. We suspect these warm waters are starting to erupt at the surface from 100W to 130W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/18 depicts warm water in the west at +4.0 degs at 170W with +2 degs anomalies pushing east to 105W with the leading edge of that mass starting to touch the surface near 105W. The last of the La Nina cool pool was holding in one shallow pocket in the East Pacific along the coast of Ecuador and being squeezed to the surface by the large approaching Kelvin Wave. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data.
Sea Level Anomalies: (4/18) Positive anomalies were over the West equatorial Pacific at +5-10 cms centered at 180W with continuous +5 cm anomalies reaching east under the equator to 100W. Neutral anomalies were east of there except for negative anomalies at -5 cms along the coast of Peru and Ecuador reaching west over the Galapagos. The La Nina cool pool is all but gone.

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: (4/22) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a pocket of cool anomalies holding along the immediate coast of Peru reaching northwest up to Ecuador and out to the Galapagos but not further. Of much interest is an area of warm anomalies on the oceans surface on and just south of the equator from just off Peru out to 115W with neutral anomalies west of there. This is likely the start of a defined eruption point for a large Kevin Wave directly below. Warm anomalies were also stable along the immediate coast of Central America and Mexico reaching west to the dateline aligned along and north of the equator. There was no clear indication of La Nina anymore in the oceans surface.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/23): A neutral trend was generally in control of the equatorial Pacific other than a pocket of warming over and just west of the Galapagos. Weak warming was north and south of the equator in pockets from 100W to the dateline. The breach point for a large Kelvin Wave was estimated near 90W on the equator with a small pocket of warming indicated there (the Galapagos).
Hi-res Overview: (4/23) A tiny pocket of cool water was holding off the immediate coast of Peru up to Ecuador reaching west to the Galapagos and ending there. Weak warming was further off the coast of Peru and reaching north to the equator at 100W. Warming was also along Ecuador and Central America filling the area north of the equator up into Mexico and east over the entirety of the equatorial Pacific. The La Nina core cool pocket was shrinking and warming some now mainly south of the equator from 105W to barely the dateline looking like a Modoki La Nina (meaning the core of La Nina is advecting west and dissipating). Overall the cooling pattern is steadily loosing density and drifting west.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/24) Today's temps were rising slightly at -1.375 and have otherwise been slowly rising the past 2 weeks. Previously temps rose to -0.069 on 4/3 but crashed the week after that to -1.9 degs on 4/10. Prior to that temps had fallen hard to -2.364 degs on 3/25, the coldest of any point in this La Nina. Previous cool peaks were on 3/12 at -1.5 degs retreating from the peak of the first Kelvin Wave hitting at +0.898 degrees on 2/28. Overall temps had been steadily marching upwards since late December. Temps in this area bottomed out on 12/23 at -2.1 degs, a third near peak negative reading. The lowest point so far in this La Nina was -2.248 degs reached on 11/5. And that low point was lower than the previous coldest point reached on 10/11 at -1.9 degs.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/24) Today temps were falling some from -0.448 on 4/22 to -0.723 today (4/24). Temps have been steadily rising since 3/27 when they were about -1.2 degs. A weak surge in temps occurred 1/12-1/28 reaching up to -0.600 deg range. But since then temps backed off some. Previously a peak low was observed on 1/10-1/12 to -1.577. On (12/7) temps hit a previous record low at -1.219, just below the previous coldest peak so far this La Nina on 11/22 at -1.156. And the third previous low peak was reached at -1.1 on 11/23. The long arc suggests perhaps a rising pattern. La Nina is in control, but it's taking a hit.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/24) The forecast depicts temps bottomed out at -0.75 in Nov 2017 and have been slowly rising since, up to -0.5 in mid-March and -0.35 in early April. They are forecast to continue a steady increase from here forward to neutral in early June, hovering there then starting to rise into the late Fall to +0.2 degs in late Dec. This suggests the peak of La Nina occurred in 2017 and is to continue to fade through the Summer of 2018 before turning weakly positive in the late Fall. This model is now falling inline with all the others suggesting La Nina is to die this Spring.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-April Plume depicts temps at -0.2 degs and are to slowly rise, to +0.0 in May and +0.4 in August and +0.8 in November. See chart here - link. It looks like La Nina is fading out and a weak El Nino might develop. The CFSv2 is in the low end of that pack.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (4/24): The daily index was falling at -14.21. The 30 day average was falling some at 7.55 suggesting the Inactive Phase of the MJO was in control. The 90 day average was falling some at 3.41 suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern biased towards La Nina.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (4/24) Today the index has risen to -0.39 up from -1.02 on 4/5 and up from -1.13 on 3/27. Still, today's value is down some from a -0.33 reading in late Feb, but was up from -1.11 on 1/29. The trend suggests La Nina is not gone, but possibly also reflects the last of the cool subsurface water being squeezed to the surface from an approaching large Kelvin Wave. Last years La Nina reached -1.94 on 11/2/16 and then fell to -2.20 on 6/28/17. It held pretty negative through Jan 2018. This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina events. The goal is to have it rise to at least -0.5 before a significant change could be suggested.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly positive, even though La Nina is in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values: April 2017=+0.53, May=+0.29, June=+0.21, July= -0.50, Aug= -0.62, Sept = -0.25, Oct= -0.61, Nov = -0.45, Dec= -0.13, Jan 2018=+0.29, Feb= -0.10, Mar= -0.51. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO, even with La Nina, because the warm PDO appears to be dampening the effects of La Nina. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington EDU index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.77, Feb = +0.70, Mar = +0.74, April=+1.12, May=+0.88, June=+0.79, July=+0.10, Aug=+0.09, Sept = +0.32, Oct=+0.05, Nov = +0.15, Dec = +0.50, Jan +0.70. Feb +0.37. No negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data strongly suggests that could be a possibility. By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool


External Reference Material: El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), Kelvin Wave

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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.

Read all the latest news and happenings on our News Page here

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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