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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, April 25, 2023 12:41 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 4/24 thru Sun 4/30
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. Hemi Swell Tracking NE
Gales Forecast North and South

 

BUOY ROUNDUP
Tuesday, April 25, 2023 :

  • Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt)/Buoy 239 (Lani): Seas were 4.3 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 2.9 ft @ 11.8 secs from 268 degrees. Water temp 79.0 degs (Barbers Pt), 77.9 (Pearl Harbor 233), 77.7 (Lani 239).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Out of Service Buoy 202 (Hanalei) Seas were 6.3 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 4.7 ft @ 9.6 secs from 312 degrees. Water temp 76.6 degs
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.9 ft @ 12.0 secs with swell 2.1 ft @ 11.6 secs from 243 degrees. Wind south at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 58.8 degs, 60.0 (Topanga 103), 60.8 degs (Long Beach 215), 60.0 (Oceanside Offshore 045), 60.0 (Del Mar 153), 61.0 (Torrey Pines Outer 100). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 4.6 ft @ 13.4 secs from 297 degrees. At E. Santa Barbara (46053) swell was 3.3 ft @ 10.5 secs from 271 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.5 ft @ 15.6 secs from 212 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.5 ft @ 16.2 secs from 201 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.3 ft @ 15.8 secs from 220 degrees. Water temperature was 60.3 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay) Out of Service /029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 9.0 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 5.3 ft @ 11.0 secs from 298 degrees. Wind northwest at 6-10 kts (46026). Water temp 49.1 (Bodega Bay 46013), 50.2 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 48.2 (San Francisco 46026), 52.0 (SF Bar 142), 55.6 (Pt Santa Cruz 254) and 50.4 (Monterey Bay 46042).

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 Tuesday (4/25) North and Central CA had sets at head high and fairly lined up with decent form but warbled and junky but not chopped. Protected breaks were head high and lined up if not closed out and clean. At Santa Cruz surf was head high and line dup and clean with decent form but soft. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist to chest high and lined up with decent form and clean but soft. Central Orange County had sets at waist to chest high on the peak and somewhat lined up and soft but clean with just some light surface texture. South Orange County's best summertime breaks were waist to chest high and lined with decent form and clean but with some underlying lump. North San Diego had sets to chest high and lined up but a but warbled from south winds. Hawaii's North Shore had sets 1-2 ft overhead and lined up with good form but pretty warbled from northeast trades. The South Shore had chest high sets and lined up and real clean with good form. The East Shore was thigh high and chopped from moderate northeast wind.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (4/25) California was getting locally generated northwest windswell with some Gulf swell intermixed from a gale that developed over the Northern Gulf on Fri-Sat (4/22) producing 20 ft seas aimed east. Hawaii was still getting swell from a low pressure system previously over the dateline Fri-Sat (4/22) with up to 20 ft seas aimed east. A gael is forecast developing off the Kuril Islands pushing east to the dateline Fri-Sat (4/29) with up to 33 ft seas aimed east. And another is forecast developing off the PAcific Northwest Sat-Sun (4/30) with 30 ft seas aimed east. Down south a gale developed southeast of New Zealand Tues-Wed (4/19) producing up to 39 ft seas aimed northeast. Swell is tracking northeast. And another gale is projected developing east of New Zealand Thurs-Sat (4/29) producing up to 39 ft seas aimed well north. So there's some hope.

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 Tuesday (4/25) the jetstream was consolidated pushing east off the Kuril ISlands traversing the North Pacific just south of the the Aleutians forming a trough just west of the dateline being fed by 140 kts winds offering some support for gale development then dissipating a bit west of Vancouver Island. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to dig out deeper Wed (4/26) just east of the dateline continuing to a point in the Central Gulf on Fri (4/28) before pinching there. A ridge is to hold over the US West Coast. Beyond 72 the trough is to rebuild off Oregon on Sun (4/30) and moving onshore over North CA on Mon (5/1) possibly setting up some weather there. And another trough is to start building just west of the dateline on Sat (4/29) pushing east before fading over the Northwestern Gulf on Mon (5/1) perhaps offering some hope for gale development. A somewhat better pattern is forecast.


Surface Analysis
On Tuesday (4/25) small swell was still hitting Hawaii from a tiny short-lived gale previously northwest of the Islands on Fri PM (4/21) generating 20 ft seas aimed east. And some swell was intermixed with windswell along the California coast originating from a weak gale in the Northern Gulf on Thurs-Sat (4/22) producing 20 ft seas aimed southeast.

Over the next 72 hours a small gael is forecast developing over the Northwestern Gulf on Wed AM (4/26) producing 35 kt west winds with seas building to 22 ft at 47.25N 167W aimed east. Fetch is to race northeast in the evening at 35 kts with seas 20 ft at 52.25N 154.5W aimed east. Fetch is to be fading Thurs AM (4/27) in the Northern Gulf from 30 kts with seas fading from 19 ft at 54.5N 148W aimed east. Maybe some small sideband swell to result for North CA.

On Thurs AM (4/27) a gale is to be building just off the Kuril Islands producing 45 kt west winds and seas building from 21 ft at 42N 162.75E aimed east. IN the evening 45 kts west winds are to be pushing east with seas building to 32 ft over a tiny area at 46N 157.5E aimed east and a long ways from Hawaii. On Fri AM (4/28) west winds to be 40 kts about half way to the dateline with seas 31 ft at 45.5N 164.25E aimed east. In the evening northwest winds to be fading from 35 kts with seas 25 ft at 40.75N 167E approaching the dateline. On Sat AM (4/29) northwest winds to be 35 kts just west of the dateline with seas 25 ft at 39.75N 168.75E aimed southeast. In the evening the gale is to be fading over the dateline with 30 kts northwest winds and seas fading from 22 ft at 37N 175E aimed southeast. Something to monitor for Hawaii.

 

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored at this time.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Wed AM (4/26) northwest winds to be 20 kts just off for Cape Mendocino with northwest winds 10 kts for the rest of North CA and 10 kts for Central CA early but up to 15 kts well offshore. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 20 kts for Cape Mendocino and northwest 5-10 kts from Pt Arena southward. No precip forecast.
  • Thurs AM (4/27) northwest winds are forecast at 20 kts for Cape Mendocino and northwest 5-10 kts south of there and continuing over Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 15 kts for Cape Mendocino and northwest 10 kts for the rest of North CA and northwest 5 kts for Central CA.
  • Fri AM (4/28) northwest winds are forecast at 5 kts for Cape Mendocino and southwest 1-5 kts for the rest of North CA early and northwest 1-5 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon west winds are forecast at 5 kts for Cape Mendocino and northwest 5-10 kts for North CA and northwest at 5-10 kts for Central CA.
  • Sat AM (4/29) northwest winds are forecast at 5-10 kts for North CA and 5-10 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 15 kts for North and Central CA.
  • Sun (4/30) high pressure returns with northwest winds 20-30 kts for North CA and 20+ kts for Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 30+ kts for North and Central CA. No precip continuing.
  • Mon (5/1) northwest winds to be 25-30 kts for North and Central CA early. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 25-30 kts for North CA and 20-25 kts for Central CA and 20 kts for Southern CA.
  • Tues (5/2) northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for North and Central CA early and 15 kts for Southern CA. Rain for North CA and perhaps for the coast of Central CA early.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth are projected at 3, 4, 7, and 5 inches all on 5/3-5/4.

Freezing level for Lake Tahoe is 12,000 ft today forecast holding through 4/30 before dropping to 5,000 ft on 5/2 and holding.

- - -

Tioga Pass/Pacific Crest Trail intersection forecast: Temps - Freeze Level
More locations 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).

 

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis
A gale developed in the Southwestern Pacific offering some hope (see Southwestern Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a gale is forecast developing east of New Zealand on Thurs AM (4/27) with 35-40 kt south winds and seas 32 ft at 46.75S 166.5W aimed northeast. In the evening south winds to build to 40-45 kts over a solid area with seas 39 ft at 42.75S 163.75W aimed north. Fetch is to be fading Fri AM (4/28) from 35-40 kts from the south with 34 ft seas at 37.25S 157.5W aimed north. In the evening fetch is to be rebuilding some at 35-45 kts from the south with seas 28 ft at 45S 151W aimed north and 28 ft from previous fetch up at 34S 152W aimed northeast. On Sat AM (4/29) south winds to consolidate at 40 kts with seas 33 ft at 43S 151W aimed northeast. Fetch fading in the evening from 35-40 kts with seas fading from 25 ft at 42S 148W aimed northeast. Something to monitor.

 

Southwest Pacific Gale
A gale started developing in the Southwest Pacific on Tues AM (4/18) with 45-50 kt southwest winds and seas building. In the evening southwest winds were 50 kts solid over the Central South Pacific with 34 ft seas at 62S 166W aimed east-northeast. On Wed AM (4/19) southwest winds were 45-50 kts starting to track northeast with seas 39 ft at 59.5S 153.75W aimed northeast. Fetch was fading in the evening from 35-40 kts from the south with seas 34 ft at 55S 145.5W aimed northeast. On Thurs AM (4/20) south winds were fading from 30+ kts moving to the Southeast Pacific with seas fading from 29 ft at 52.75S 139.5W aimed northeast. this system was gone after that. Good odds for swell radiating northeast towards the US West Coast, Central America and South America. Something to monitor.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (4/28) building to 1.7 ft @ 16-17 secs later (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell peaking mid-day Sat (4/29) at 1.8 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell fading on Sun (4/30) from 1.8 ft @ 14 secs early (2.5 ft). Dribbles on Mon (5/1) fading from 1.7 ft @ 13 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 192 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (4/28) building to 1.5 ft @ 17-18 secs later (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell peaking mid-day Sat (4/29) at 1.7 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell fading on Sun (4/30) from 1.7 ft @ 14 secs early (2.5 ft). Dribbles on Mon (5/1) fading from 1.8 ft @ 13 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 191 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 low pressure system is forecast developing in association with trough over the Western Gulf on Fri PM (4/28) producing 25 kts northwest winds and seas building. On Sat AM (4/29) 35-40 kts northwest winds are forecast building with seas 19 ft at 46N 142W aimed southeast. In the evening 45 kt west winds are to be building off the Pacific Northwest with 30 ft seas at 46.5N 137.75.5W aimed east. On Sun AM (4/30) the gale is to be fading off Washington with 35 kt west winds and seas 25 ft at 46.5N 134.25W aimed east targeting Oregon northward. The gale to fade after that. Something to monitor.

 

South Pacific

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

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

Major Global Weather Pattern Change Occurring - El Nino Developing
Kelvin Wave #2 in Flight - Active MJO #3 Strong - Equatorial Sea Surface Temps Rising Fast
1 Kelvin Wave traversed the Pacific in Dec '22 with Kelvin Wave #2 in-flight and Kevin Wave #3 developing now. And Westerly Winds are fully established filling the KWGA and forecast filling the Pacific over the next month. And Sea Surface Temperatures are warming to neutral. The last link in the chain is to see the SOI falling (which it is showing preliminary signs of doing). The outlook is turning optimistic.

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 through the Winter of 2022. But in late Fall 2022 trades started fading a by early 22023 multiple Kelvin Waves were in flight with significant warming developing over the East Equatorial Pacific. La Nina was dead on 3/18/2023 with El Nino apparently developing.

LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Fall/Winter 2022 = 4.0 (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 and a full double dip pattern took hold through the Winter of 21/22. But a quick fade is forecast as we move into late December 2022 with the CFS predicting a return to a neutral wind anomaly pattern 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 2022. But by later in Jan or early Feb 2023 a return to a more normal pattern might take hold. As a result a significantly reduced number of storm days and storm intensity is expected Oct 22-Jan 23, resulting in a below normal level of swells, with swell being below normal duration and period. But by Feb 2023, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start improving as La Nina fades out. The net result is we're currently thinking a near normal number of swells with normal size and duration is to result, but all focused sometime after Jan 2023. The swell pattern will be below normal before Jan and above normal after Jan 23 with the average of the two being 'normal'. Of course this is all highly speculative at this early date.

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 (4/24) 5 day average winds were moderate to strong from the east over the East equatorial Pacific and moderate east over the Central Pacific and moderate east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and neutral over the Central Pacific and a mix of east and west 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): (4/25) Weak east anomalies were filling the KWGA today. The 7 day forecast has weak to moderate east anomalies holding but only west of 150E with modest west anomalies developing on 4/28 west of there and holding through the end of the model run on 5/2.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (4/24) a moderate plus strength Inactive MJO was in control of the KWGA today. The statistical model indicates a moderate Inactive MJO continuing over the the KWGA on day 5 of the model run then starting to push east some on day 10 then pushing east but still mostly filling the KWGA while the Active Phase of the MJO builds over the Maritime Continent and easing into the far West KWGA. The dynamic model indicates the same thing but with a neutral MJO setting up on day 10 and continuing on day 15 of the model run.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (CA and GEFS): (4/25) The statistical model depicts the Active signal was moderate over Africa and is to move to the Central Maritime Continent 2 weeks out and very weak. The dynamic model indicates the Active Phase is to move east fast entering the West Pacific and weak on day 15.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (4/25) A modest Inactive (dry air) pattern was over the KWGA but centered over the East Pacific. The forecast has the Inactive Phase of the MJO (dry air) tracking east of the KWGA by 5/5 and focused over the East Pacific then gone by 5/15. The Active Phase (wet air) is to start developing over the far West Pacific on 5/5 filling the KWGA on 5/10 and easing east over the Pacific through the end of the model run on 6/4. The Inactive Phase (dry air) is to start building over the KWGA starting 5/30 and almost in control at the end of the model run.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/24)
Today a mix of mostly weak east anomalies were over the KWGA with a weak Inactive MJO signal indicated. The forecast indicates the weak Inactive MJO signal moving east and out of the KWGA by 5/1 with a mix of east and west anomalies over the KWGA. The Active Phase is forecast developing over the KWGA 5/3 continuing through 5/19 with solid west anomalies forecast during that period. A neutral MJO and neutral wind anomalies are forecast after that through the end of the model run on 5/22. This is an upgrade.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind):
(4/25) - using the 5th ensemble member - the mean of the 4 individual members which are all from the 00Z run - 1 run per day):
Today a weak Inactive Phase of the MJO was in control over the KWGA with weak east anomalies over the KWGA But west anomalies are to redevelop filling the KWGA on 4/27 and holding if not building to near strong status 5/2-5/11. The Active Phase of the MJO is to traverse the KWGA 5/5 through 5/23 with west anomalies holding. A weak Inactive Phase is to follow 5/19-6/1 but with west anomalies holding. The next Active Phase of the MJO is to follow starting 6/1 with west anomalies building and filling the KWGA reaching strong status 6/12 and holding through the end of the model run on 7/23. A solid El Nino is developing. The shift to El Nino started on 2/15. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias with 1 contour line centered at 120W with its western perimeter at 160W today and east of the KWGA and moving east fast. A broad low pressure bias is established over the West KWGA centered at 130E with 2 contour lines and it's leading edge on the dateline today (it started pushing east on 2/15). A hard push east is occurring and is to continue into June 4 with it's leading edge then stalling at 155W filling most of the Pacific with it's leading edge more slowly moving east to 135W at the end of the model run with it's center at 170E. This is all a big deal and is being repeated in some form consistently from one run of the model to the next since Oct 2022. It appears an El Nino is developing.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/25) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was moving east at 180W (previously 170E). The 28 deg isotherm line was stalled if not retrograding slightly from 156W to 157W today. The 26 degree isotherm has pushed the whole way across the Pacific and getting deeper with pockets of 28 degs temps on the surface. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies at +2 deg C were in a river traversing the Pacific with a building pocket of 3-4 degs anomalies in the far west Pacific at depth and +4 degs anomalies in the far East Pacific. Amazing. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/18 indicates a huge very warm ball of 3+ degs anomalies extending from the far West Pacific east to 100W (leading edge of Kelvin Wave #2) and then upwards from there over the far East Pacific with +4 degs anomalies from Kelvin Wave #1 erupting there into Ecuador. And another pocket of warming waters were in the far West PAcific at 125E at +5 degs. No cool anomalies were indicated. El Nino is developing. The GODAS animation is 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately depicted since its satellite based.
Sea Level Anomalies: (4/18) Sea heights were positive across the equatorial Pacific connected to the East Pacific at +5 cms over the entirety of it's width reaching east to Ecuador and building to +5-10 cms there. This means no cool water was at depth. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram warm water continues building in intensity and coverage in the West to 100W at +1.75 degs connected to a second pocket starting at 94W at at +1.0-1.5 degs reaching east to Ecuador.

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: (4/24) The latest images depict a strong warm signal along the coasts of Peru and Ecuador though fading compared to weeks past with a tongue extending west over the Galapagos and continuing west along the equator reaching to 137W (results of Kelvin Wave #1). Warm temps continued west from there on the equator across the dateline and beyond. This is a clear El Nino signal. And warmer than normal temps were present well off the coasts of Chile and Peru and building in intensity and weaker over the entirety of the deep South Pacific. The last remnants of La Nina are gone on the equator and a clear El Nino signal is building. But, remnants of La Nina are evident along the California and Baja coast with cold temps and the normal La Nina enhanced Springtime upwelling pattern in control.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/24): A neutral trend was along the coasts of Chile and Peru as Kelvin Wave #1 starts fading there. But a solid stream of modestly warming temps were west of there from 100W the whole way across the equatorial Pacific. The pattern of adding energy to the warm surface pool has faded in the east but continues in the west. A warming trend has been well entrenched over the East Pacific since Nov 1 with no cooling waters over the equatorial East Pacific since 12/15 except for the time frame from 4/23 to today.
Hi-res Overview: (4/24) Warming waters are filling the East Pacific off Chile, Peru and Ecuador with strong warming along the immediate cost of Peru and Ecuador. And an El Nino tongue of more intense warming is developing on the equator west to 135W and from there to the dateline and beyond. No cool waters were on the equator anymore. There no sign of La Nina on the oceans surface and everything is now looking like El Nino. The east equatorial Pacific is finally and steadily warming.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/25) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs compared to official sources). Today's temps are fading some today at +2.145 having previously peaked at +2.891 (4/13). Previously temps reached +2.302 degrees on 4/6, +1.732 degs (3/22), up from +0.462 since 2/28. Temps had reached as high as +1.076 on 2/19 and were previously steady at +0.848 since 2/7. Previously they started steadily rising 11/13 when they were around -1.5 degs C.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(4/25) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs). Temps were rising today at +0.218 besting the previous peak at +0.199 on 4/21. Temps have been steadily increasing hitting 0.0 on 4/12 and were then more or less steady the previous 4 weeks. Temps previously rose to -0.402 on 2/23. Temps rose above the La Nina threshold (-0.5 degs) on 2/22 and had been rising slowly since 2/12 when they were about -1.0 degs C. Then had been in the -1.0 deg range since at least Nov 2022.

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 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 to -1.1 degs in May before starting an upward climb peaking in mid-June at -0.65 degs and mid July at -0.55 degs. A steady decline set in after that falling to -1.00 degs in Aug and Sept rising to -0.8 degs mid Oct then falling to -1.0 in Nov but then slowly rising to -0.75 degs in Jan 2023 and up to -0.5 degs above the La Nina threshold on 2/12.
Forecast (4/25) - Temps are slowly climbing above neutral (0.2 degs) and are forecast rising to +1.48 degs in July and +2.45 degs in Nov and solidly into El Nino territory. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps are forecast rising to +1.20 degs in July and +1.95 degs in Nov. According to this version of the model we are building into ENSO neutral in Spring and into El Nino in Summer.
IRI Consensus Plume: The April 19, 2023 Plume depicts temps are +0.434 degs today and it's the second month above the La Nina threshold. Temps to rise steadily from here forward to +0.711 degs in May rising to +1.149 in July and up to +1.269 degrees in Oct then fading from there. This is an upgrade from previous runs. The CFS model is on the upper range of all models. This model suggests a transition to El Nino.
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 - all but the Daily Index was a lagging indicator):
Today (4/25) the Daily Index was negative at -9.52 and has been near neutral to negative the past 15 days, positive the 6 days prior after being mostly negative 25 days before that. It fell to -19.40 on 4/2. -17.44 on 2/22, the beginning of a change from which no return seemed likely. It was up to +21.85 on 2/10 and +55.74 on 12/22 and were in the +20 range the previous 22 days.
The 30 day average was falling to -3.21 after falling to -4.13 on 4/4 (lagging indicator driven by the Active Phase of the MJO) after falling to -0.52 on 3/22 previously falling to +4.18 on 11/27 and peaking at +21.57 (10/16) after supposedly peaking at +19.66 on 9/28. It was down to +6.89 on 7/29. It peaked at +20.34 (5/12) the highest in a year and beating last years high of +19.51 (1/14).
The 90 day average was falling at +2.30 after peaking at +14.63 on 2/20, +15.61 on 10/25 and +12.92 on 8/11 and that after peaking at +18.40 (7/2) beating it's previous peak of +16.86 (5/31), the highest in a year. It previously peaked at +9.80 (9/21) after falling to it's lowest point in a year at +1.06 (6/9). The 90 day average peaked at +15.75 (2/23/21 - clearly indicative of La Nina then). This index is a lagging indicator but suggests that the Active Phase occurring now is starting to drive the index down, hopefully with no upward trend in sight for at least a year.

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
For automatic notification of forecast updates, subscribe to the Stormsurf001 YouTube channel - just click the 'Subscribe' button below the video.

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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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