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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, April 25, 2019 4:17 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
1.5 - California & 1.0 - 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 4/22 thru Sun 4/28

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   

Small S. Pac Swell Pushing Northeast
Gale Developing North of HI

On Thursday, April 25, 2019 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/ Buoy 239 (Lanai) seas were 2.7 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 1.6 ft @ 12.4 secs from 182 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.9 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 4.0 ft @ 9.6 secs from 342 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 1.9 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 1.0 ft @ 13.7 secs from 169 degrees. Wind at the buoy was east at 6-10 kts. Water temperature 59.4 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.5 ft @ 11.7 secs from 267 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.1 ft @ 12.4 secs from 226 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 0.7 ft @ 15.7 secs from 221 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.2 ft @ 11.3 secs from 254 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 8.5 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 5.7 ft @ 9.5 secs from 313 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was north at 18-23 kts. Water temp 53.2 degs (042) and 48.4 (013).

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 (4/25) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing waves at waist to maybe chest high and lined up but soft and warbled but with reasonably clean local surface conditions early. Protected breaks were waist to chest high and soft and clean. At Santa Cruz surf was waist high and clean and occasionally somewhat lined up. In Southern California/Ventura local windswell was producing waves at thigh to waist high and soft but clean and lined up. In North Orange Co surf was waist to chest high on the peak of the sets and clean and somewhat lined up but soft. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were waist to chest high on the peak and clean coming from the south but inconsistent and weak. North San Diego had surf at knee to thigh high on the sets and clean and soft. Hawaii's North Shore was getting local north windswell with waves chest high or so and relatively clean but still a little warbled. The South Shore was thigh to waist high on the sets and clean and lined up. The East Shore was getting east windswell with waves waist high and chopped early from moderate east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (4/25) in California local northerly windswell was producing rideable surf but nothing great. Local easterly windswell was hitting Hawaii. For the most part the North Pacific is asleep now. A small cut off low is forecast to produce 22 ft seas northwest of Hawaii on Fri (4/26) possibly producing windswell there. Another gale is to develop over the Northern Dateline region on Sun-Tues (4/30) producing 22-23 ft seas aimed east. In the Southern Hemisphere a weak gale formed in the Central Pacific Fri-Mon (4/22) producing seas to barely 30 ft seas lifting northeast. Otherwise nothing solid or believable is on the forecast charts for the next week.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Thursday (4/25) the jetstream was consolidated over Japan but split just off the coast with most energy tracking northeast towards the Bering Sea over the Kuril Islands then fell south into a trough over the dateline being fed by 100 kt winds offering some support for gale development. From there the jet tracked east pushing into British Columbia with some energy falling south off in into a cutoff trough 800 nmiles east of California. The southern branch tracked east over the dateline and south of Hawaii and then into Mainland Mexico. Over the next 72 hours the trough over the dateline is to push east and weaken fading over the Western Gulf on Sun (4/28) offering no support for even low pressure development. Perhaps another trough is to start building over the Kuril Islands. Beyond 72 hours the Kuril trough is to push east and build some being fed by up to 140 kts winds on Wed (5/1) possibly providing some support for gale development then pushing east while getting somewhat pinched off into Thurs (5/2). In the east the jet is to be weak and unfocused. Spring is building and the jet is weakening typical of this time of year.

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (4/25) no swell was in the water targeting either Hawaii or the US West Coast.

Over the next 72 hours a gale is forecast building north of Hawaii (See Hawaiian Gale below).

Hawaiian Gale
On Thursday AM (4/25) a low pressure system was starting to build just east of the dateline producing a tiny area of 25-30 kt south winds targeting the Aleutians. In the evening fetch is to wrap into the gales northwest quadrant building to 35 kts over a small area starting to fall south with 18-20 ft seas over tiny area at 45N 177W falling south targeting the West Pacific. Fetch is fall south on Fri AM (4/26) at 30 kts with 22 ft seas at 40N 17W targeting Hawaii well. This system to dissipate in the evening with 25-30 kt north winds and seas fading from 18 ft at 37.5N 172W targeting Hawaii. Low odds of small 12 sec period swell resulting for Hawaii.


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


Tropical Update
No tropical weather systems of interest are forecast.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday (4/25) north winds were fading from 20 kts limited to the coast along North CA with 10 kt or less north winds south of there with windswell production fading some. Fri (4/26) high pressure is to be building off Oregon at 1030 mbs with north winds building to 20-25 kts along the North CA coast with windswell starting to build some but with northwest winds 10 kts over the Central CA coast. Sat (4/27) north winds to build to 30 kts over Cape Mendocino with windswell building some while northwest winds hold at 10 kts down over all of Central CA. Sun (4/28) north winds to be 30-35 kts over most of North CA waters with windswell building and a summer time eddy flow of south winds developing at 10 kts for Central CA nearshore waters. By Mon (4/29) high pressure is to hold at 1034 mbs in the Gulf with north winds 25-30 kts early for North CA and south winds 5-10 kts for Central CA and up into just south of Pt Arena holding through the day. Windswell fading some. Tues (4/30) north winds to be 25 kts early over all of North CA still producing windswell with south winds 5 kts for all of Central CA. Wednesday (5/1) north winds to be fading from 25 kts over North CA dropping to 20 kts later with windswell fading some. Light south winds at 5 kts are forecast for Central CA up to Pt Reyes. Thursday (5/2) north winds to be 15-20 kts for North CA and 15 kts over outer waters for all of Central CA with windswell fading.

No more snow is forecast for CA. Summer has arrived.

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


South Pacific

Surface Analysis  
A weak gale traversed the Central South Pacific pushing swell to the northeast (see Central South Pacific Gale below).

Otherwise no swell producing weather systems of interest were occurring.

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


Central South Pacific Gale
A gale started developing southeast of New Zealand Thurs PM (4/18) with 30-35 kt southwest winds building and lifting northeast with seas building to 24 ft at 61S 170W. On Fri AM (4/19) fetch was lifting hard northeast with a broader fetch of 35 kt southwest winds and seas 24 ft at 55N 158W aimed northeast. 35 kt southwest fetch continued in the evening with 23 ft seas at 52S 149W aimed northeast. So far no real swell was being produced that could survive the journey to the North Pacific.

But on Sat AM (4/20) winds were 30-35 kts over a broad area with seas 26 ft over a tiny area at 53S 149W aimed east-northeast. In the evening 40 kt mostly westerly fetch was tracking east with seas 27 ft at 54.5S 156W aimed east-northeast. On Sun AM (4/21) fetch was fading from 30-35 kts over a moderate sized area aimed east with 27 ft seas at 51S 152W aimed east-northeast. In the evening fetch and seas faded.

But on Sun PM (4/21) ar new fetch of 40 kt southwest winds were building southeast of New Zealand with seas building from 25 ft at 56S 168W aimed northeast. On Mon AM (4/22) 40 kt west winds were lifting northeast with seas building to 30 ft at 52S 149W aimed east-northeast. The gale was tracking fast east to southeast with winds 45 kts aimed east with seas 28 ft over a tiny area falling southeast at 54S 131W. The gale to continue falling southeast from there and no longer of any interest. Something to monitor. But to manage expectations, minimal swell is likely to radiate northeast mainly for California.

Hawaii: Expect small arrival on Fri (4/26) building to 1.2 ft @ 16 secs (2.0 ft). Swell holding Sat AM (4/27) 1.3 ft @ 14-15 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell fading Sun (4/28) from 1.3 ft @ 13 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). A second small pulse of swell to hit on Mon (4/29) building to 1.1 ft @ 16-17 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell peaking on Tues (4/30) at (1.3 ft @ 14-15 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell dissipating from there. Swell Direction: 185 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (4/26) with pure swell building to 1.2 ft @ 16 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). On Sat AM (4/27) swell building to 1.5 ft @ 15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft) then holding through the day. Swell fading Sun (4/28) from 1.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Secondary swell to arrive also on Sunday building to 2.0 ft @ 16 secs later (3.0 ft). Swell continues on Mon (4/29) at 2.3 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Additional swell arriving on Mon with period 17 secs building underneath. Swell solid on Tues (4/30) to 2.5 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell holding on Wed (5/1) at 2.8 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.0-4.5 ft with sets to 5.5 ft). Swell fading some on Thurs (5/2) from 2.5 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction 200 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat AM (4/27) swell building to 1.2 ft @ 15 secs (1.5-2.0 ft) and holding through the day. Swell fading Sun (4/28) from 1.3 ft @ 14 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Secondary swell to arrive also on Sunday building to 1.4 ft @ 16-17 secs later (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell continues on Mon (4/29) at 1.8 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Additional swell arriving on Mon with period 17 secs building underneath. Swell solid on Tues (4/30) to 1.9 ft @ 16 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell holding on Wed (5/1) at 1.8 ft @ 16 secs (2.5-3.0 ft with sets to 3.5 ft). Swell fading some on Thurs (5/2) from 2.2 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction 198 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 small gale is forecast developing mid-way between the Kuril's and the dateline on Sun PM (4/28) producing 35 kt west winds and 21 ft seas at 42N 168E aimed east. On Mon AM (4/29) the gale is to hold together with 35 kt west winds and seas 22 ft at 46N 169E aimed east. In the evening the gale is to move to the North Dateline region with 35 kt west winds and seas 24 ft just south of the Central Aleutians at 48N 177E aimed east. The gale to fade Tues AM (4/30) with seas fading from 21 ft at 50N 179W aimed east. maybe some small swell is to be pushing east.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.

The models do hint at a gale developing on Thurs (5/2) in the deep South Central Pacific with seas building to 35 ft moving to the edge of the SCal swell window. But at 180 hours out, that is not believable.


MJO/ENSO Forecast


ESPI Rising Solid- Kelvin Wave #3 Starting to Erupt

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 did not stop, 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 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. As of January 2019, those warm waters were fading, but then started building some late in Feb associated with another Kelvin Wave (#3).

Summer 2019 = 5.5 (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: Assuming the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that weak borderline El Nino condition continue , and assuming a weak ocean-atmospheric coupling holds and ocean temperature anomalies in Nino3.4 hold in the +0.8 deg range, there is good probability for slightly enhanced storm production in the South Pacific during the Northern Hemisphere Summer time months. There is slightly increased intensity in number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in slightly increased odds for larger than normal swell, with increased duration and higher than normal period. This should be significantly better than the past 2 Summer seasons.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (4/24) 5 day average winds were from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific to the dateline, then continuing east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the entire Pacific except very light west over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (4/25) solid east anomalies were controlling the KWGA and the whole of the equatorial Pacific. The forecast is for solid east anomalies holding and easing east over the KWGA and over the entirety of the equatorial Pacific through the end of the model run on 5/2. Maybe some west anomalies are to build in the far west KWGA at that time. There is to be a marked decrease in support for storm development and no real change is forecast.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (4/24) A moderate plus Inactive MJO pattern was over the KWGA. The statistic model indicates a moderate Inactive MJO signal is to continue through day 5 of the model run then quickly disintegrating turning towards the Active Phase at day 10 as the Active Phase moves from the Indian Ocean to the Maritime Continent and then filling the West Pacific at day 15. The dynamic model indicates almost the exact same thing. The 2 models are in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/25) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was strong in the Indian Ocean, and forecast to start pushing east over the Maritime Continent if not to the West Pacific through day 15. The GEFS model suggests the Active Phase building to moderate strength while pushing east, then fading to weak status in the Western Pacific at day 15.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (4/25) This model depicts a solid Inactive Phase in the East Pacific and forecast pushing east into Central America on 5/5. The Active Phase is strong in the Indian Ocean and forecast to start pushing into the West Pacific on 5/5 tracking east into Central America on 5/25. A moderate Inactive Phase is to develop in the West Pacific on 5/17 pushing east to the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 6/4.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/24) This model depicts a modest Inactive Phase in control of the KWGA today with east anomalies in control. East anomalies are forecast to continue holding in the core of the KWGA through 5/1 while weak west anomalies try to develop in the far West KWGA pushing east. stronger west anomalies associated with the Active Phase of the MJO are to build into the Central KWGA 5/3 tracking east and moving east of the KWGA at the end of the model run on 5/22. At that time weak east anomalies are to be building in the far West KWGA. There is no active support for storm development for the next 5 days, but that to change once the Active Phase takes over.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/25) This model depicts a weak Inactive MJO building in the KWGA with modest east anomalies in control holding till 4/29. After that weak west anomalies are to develop in the core of the KWGA as the Active Phase builds 5/3 through 5/25 with west anomalies holding. After that weak west anomalies and to hold even though a moderate Inactive Phase of the MJO is to set up 5/24-6/10. Another moderate Active Phase is to develop 6/14 holding through the end of the model run on 7/23 with stronger west anomalies forecast. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias with 2 contour lines is fully in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to California but not inland and forecast to hold steady position wise to the end of the model run on 7/20. The second contour line is to fade on 7/7 with only one contour line remaining. This model indicates that a tendency towards El Nino was previously in control during the Fall of 2018, but has been steadily fading since then and is to continue a slow decline for the foreseeable future, but not turning to La Nina. Basically we are moving to a ENSO neutral pattern bias slightly towards El Nino.

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 water temps are 29 deg temps reaching east to 170W even at the surface and stable. The 28 deg isotherm line had retrograded west to 160W mid-Nov into late Feb. But it made a major push east starting 3/16 from 150W to 140W on 3/20, and to 130W on 4/10 and to 121W on 4/14, and 4/22 pushing into Ecuador, then back to 115W today. It appears Kelvin Wave 33 was erupting in the East Pacific. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador 30 meters down. Anomaly wise, gentle warm anomalies are filling the entire subsurface Pacific at +1 degs or greater from the surface to 150 meters down. Embedded in that flow is a pocket of warmer water centered in the East Pacific at 120W at +2-3 degs (Kelvin Wave #3) almost reaching Ecuador and west to 139W. This Kelvin Wave is the warmest of any Kelvin Wave so far since La Nina faded into early 2018 and is to adding warmth moving into 2019. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/18 indicates cool water associated with the upwelling phase of the Kelvin Wave cycle just east of Ecuador were gone. Instead now warm water from Kelvin Wave #3 was filling the equatorial Pacific, weaker in the West Pacific at +2 degs and stronger over the East Pacific at +3-4 degs from 140W to 90W (attributable to a Westerly Wind Burst 12/30-1/16 and another 2/12-2/24). And there was a hint of more warm water dribbling from the Maritime Continent into the far West Pacific at 135E falling into the pre-existing warm pool near 160E. There is a river of very warm water traversing the width of the equatorial Pacific. 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) Positive anomalies were gone from the interior Maritime Continent with weak negative anomalies there now. But positive anomalies were solid tracking east from 160E pushing over the dateline to a point east of the Galapagos (110W) at 0-5 cms above normal with one imbedded pocket of +5 cms anomalies at 120W. But also pockets of neutral heights were developing north and south of the equator at 160W and 120W indicating the density of the warm pool was fading.

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: (4/24) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate temps were modestly warm straddling 20 degrees north and south of the equator from just west of the Galapagos west to the dateline. These temps continue fading compared to days past. Cool water previously was along the coast of Peru had collapsed and instead warm water was building off Ecuador, Columbia and Peru. There is some weak indication of a El Nino but nothing strong.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/24): A weak warming trend was over the equatorial Central Pacific with a pockets of stronger warming along the coast of Central and South America.
Hi-res Overview: (4/24) Warmer than normal water was from just off Peru up to Central America west over the Galapagos 20 degrees north and south of the equator continuing west of there to the dateline. It was holding compared to days past.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/25) Today's temps were steady at +0.476. Perhaps this is to start of a warming trend. But the overall trend is falling in spurts for the last 3 months.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(4/25) Today temps were falling at +0.529 today. Temps have been generally steady the last 6 weeks, but up some over the past 3 months.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/25) The model indicates temps were at +1.00 degs on April 1 and are forecast building to +1.25 degrees in early June then fading slowly to +1.15 degs on July 1, fading slightly through the Fall to +0.80 degs in Sept, down to +0.75 degs in Oct and +0.6 in Dec 1
and steady into Jan. A weak El Nino like pattern is to hold if not build into July associated with the eruption of Kelvin Wave #3, then slowly fading through the Fall and Winter of 2019/20 with no more Kelvin Waves forecast. A multiyear warming event is in progress as suggested by this model.
IRI Consensus Plume: The March 2019 Plume depicts temps are at +0.65 degs today, and are to hold in the +0.75 range into July, then holding at +0.75 through Nov 2019. 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) (4/25): The daily index was negative today at -1.80 and has been negative the last 16 days but was positive for 7 days before that, and was negative for 57 days before that (Feb 4-4/2 other than 3/23 & 3/24). The 30 day average was falling some at -3.79 suggesting a fading Active MJO. The 90 day average was falling at -7.60, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern biased towards El Nino (for now).
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (4/23) The index was neutral at -0.01 on 2/14 but has been rising ever since and pushed up to +0.99 on 3/3 (the highest its been in years), then fell some but started rising again and was up to +1.10 today. It is approaching El Nino territory but still indicted mostly ENSO neutral conditions.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly positive, even though La Nina is in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values: June 2017 +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 -0.19, 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 -0.23, Feb -0.55 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/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): June 2017 +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, 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 


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

Powerlinessurf Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest

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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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