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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, April 30, 2020 6:04 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 & 1.2 - Hawaii
Using the 'Summer' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

Probability for presence of largest swells in near-shore waters of NCal, SCal or Hawaii.    

Issued for Week of Monday 4/27 thru Sun 5/3

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   

Gulf Swell Hitting CA
Another Gulf Gale Forecast

On Thursday, April 30, 2020 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 1.9 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 1.0 ft @ 14.0 secs from 184 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 6.9 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 4.2 ft @ 10.1 secs from 341 degrees. Water temp 76.5 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.8 ft @ 10.0 secs with swell 1.6 ft @ 9.8 secs from 249 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 4-6 kts. Water temperature 62.6 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 6.7 ft @ 13.7 secs from 292 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.4 ft @ 8.1 secs from 269 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.3 ft @ 9.5 secs from 246 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 1.7 ft @ 12.4 secs from 210 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 10.2 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 8.1 ft @ 12.7 secs from 276 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 18-21 kts. Water temp 49.6 degs (013), 52.3 degs (012) and 55.9 degs (042).

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 (4/30) in North and Central CA swell from the Gulf of Alaska was hitting producing waves at 3 ft overhead and pretty heavily warbled but lined up when the sets come. Protected breaks were head high and warbled but lined up and closed out with the fog deck at 300 ft or so. All parking lots closed. At Santa Cruz waves were head high and sometimes bigger and lined pushing down the points and clean but a bit warbled and more so outside the kelp. In Southern California/Ventura waves were coming form the northwest at waist to shoulder high on the sets and fairly clean and lined up but warbled and foggy. In North Orange Co waves were maybe shoulder high on the sets coming from the northwest with some modest northwest winds on top but with reasonably clean conditions. Orange Country's best summertime breaks were thigh to waist high and soft and textured. Beaches were closed. North San Diego had waves at waist high on the sets and clean and peeling but almost closed out. Some beaches were open but not all. Hawaii's North Shore was getting some chest high windswell and fairly clean. The South Shore had some waist high set and clean but generally weak. The East Shore was getting easterly windswell at up to chest high and heavily chopped from northeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (4/30) in California swell from the Gulf of Alaska was hitting making for some decent sized waves north of Pt Conception but with marginal conditions. That gale developed north of Hawaii on Mon (4/27) and tracked east-northeast Tues-Wed (4/29) producing 25 ft seas targeting the US West Coast well. In Hawaii local windswell was making for some minimally rideable surf at select breaks on the North Shore. Another low pressure system developed again well north of Hawaii on Wed (4/29) tracking east producing up to 20 ft seas, faded but is forecast to redevelop off British Columbia on Sun (5/3) producing 23 ft seas aimed southeast. And yet another gale is to develop north of Hawaii on Tues-Wed (5/6) producing 23 ft seas aimed southeast. So there's still some hope. Down south a small gale is to develop in the Southeastern Pacific Sat-Mon (5/4) producing up to 44 ft seas aimed well northeast. So there's some hope there too.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (4/30) swell from a gale that developed in the Central Gulf was starting to hit California (see Gulf Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours swell from another gale in the Gulf is to be radiating east (see Another Gulf Gale below).


Gulf Gale
On Sun PM (4/26) a new gale started building 1200 nmiles north of Hawaii producing 40 kt north west winds with seas on the increase. On Mon AM (4/27) the gale was tracking east with 40 kt west winds and seas 21 ft at 39N 156W aimed east. In the evening the gale was lifting northeast with 40-45 kt west winds and seas at 24 ft at 42N 151W aimed east. On Tues AM (4/28) the gale was just off British Columbia with 40 kt west winds and seas 25 ft at 46N 142.5W aimed east and still in the CA swell window. In the evening this system is to be impacting British Columbia with no fetch in the CA swell window with 23 ft seas moving east of the swell window and no longer of interest. This system is to be gone after that. Something to monitor.

North CA: Swell building peaking early Thurs (4/30) at 6.3 ft @ 13 secs (8.0 ft) with local windswell intermixed. Swell fading Fri AM (5/1) from 5.4 ft @ 11-12 secs (6.0 ft). Residuals on Sat (5/2) fading from 3.9 ft @ 11-12 secs (4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 302 degrees


Another Gulf Gale
On Wed AM (4/29) a small gale developed 1200 nmiles north of Hawaii again producing 30-35 kts west winds and seas 19 ft at 41N 163W aimed east. That gale tracked east through the day and into the evening producing 30-35 kts west winds and 19 ft seas at 40N 156W aimed east. On Thurs (4/30) the gale weakened and was lifting northeast offering no seas of interest. On Fri AM evening (5/1) the gale is to redevelop off Washington with 35 kt west winds and seas trying to rebuild.On Sat AM (5/2) the gael is to be off Washington producing 35 kt west winds and seas to 21 ft at 46.5N 140W aimed east. In the evening 35 kt west winds are to hold with seas building to 23 ft at 48N 137W aimed east. The gale is to be fading while easing east Sun AM (5/2) with barely 30 kt west winds and 19 ft seas at 46.5N 133.5W aimed east and mostly out of the CA swell window. This system is to move onshore after that and no longer of interest. Something to monitor.

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (5/3) at 5.4 ft @ 11 secs (6.0 ft) and holding through the day. Swell possibly building on Mon (5/4) 7.6 ft @ 12-13 secs early (9.0 ft). Swell fading on Tues (5/5) from 3.9 ft @ 11 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 290 moving to 310+ degrees.


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


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday AM (4/30) a weak pressure gradient was holding over the Central CA coast producing northwest winds 15 kts all day from Pt Arena south to Big Sur and then 20-25 kts from there to Pt Conception. Fri (5/1) low pressure is to be approaching the Pacific Northwest with north winds slowly fading to near calm north of Monterey Bay in the afternoon but north at 20 kts south of there all day. Sat (5/2) south winds at 15 kts are forecast for Cape Mendocino and north at 15-20 kts from Big Sur southward but light in between. Rain possible from Bodega Bay northward in the late afternoon and early evening. Sunday (5/3) light winds are forecast from Monterey Bay northward early but the gradient is to rebuild starting mid-AM with northwest winds 15 kts for all of North later and 20+ kts for Central CA. Monday (5/4) the gradient holds with north winds 15-20 kts over north Ca and 20-25 kts for Central CA holding all day. Tuesday (5/5) no real change is forecast with north winds 15+ kts for all of North CA and 20 kts for Central CA. Wednesday (5/6) north winds take over a 20+ kts all day and building to 25-30 kts over North CA later. Thurs (5/7) north winds continue at 30 kts off Cape Mendocino but 10-15 kts nearshore from Pt Reyes southward. No precip forecast other than what is mentioned above.

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

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


South Pacific

On Thursday (4/30) the southern branch of the jetstream was building in strength and starting to lift northeast under New Zealand forming a trough southeast of there being fed by 140 kts winds and starting to offer some support for gale development. The trough was filling the entire western half of the South Pacific. Over the next 72 hours the trough is to build while tracking east over the South Pacific on Fri (5/1) being fed by 180 kts winds offering great support for gale development, then getting a bit pinched off on Sat (5/2) repositioned over the Southeast Pacific and reaching well to the north up at 40S. The trough is to continue solid, though winds down to 130 kts on Sun (5/3) moving over the far Southeast Pacific but still supporting gale development. Beyond 72 hours the trough is to persist while slowly weakening on the eastern edge of the CA swell window at 118W late Monday (5/4) while a ridge is in control west of it suppressing gale development into Wed (5/6). But on Thurs (5/7) there model suggests a new weak trough trying to build southeast of New Zealand with it's apex up at 53S over the Central South Pacific being fed by 100 kts winds offering only weak support for gale development.


Surface Analysis
On Thurs (4/30) no swell of interest was in the water.

Over the next 72 hours a gale is forecast developing in a building trough over the Southeast Pacific on Sat PM (5/2) producing a broad area of 30-35 kts southwest winds with a core developing at 45 kt aimed almost north with 24-27 ft seas near 44.5S 129.5W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (5/3) south winds are to be 55 kts aimed northeast over a small area with seas building to 44 ft at 43.5W 125W aimed northeast. In the evening a broad fetch of 35-40 kt south winds are forecast with 45 ft seas at 41.5S 120.5W aimed northeast. On Mon AM (5/4) south winds to fade at 30-35 kts with seas fading from 31 ft at 39S 114W aimed north and mostly out of the CA swell window. This gale is to fade from there. Something to monitor.


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 yet another gale is forecast developing in the far Northwestern Gulf on Tues AM (5/5) producing 35 kt northwest winds and seas 21 ft at 43.5N 167W aimed southeast at mainly Hawaii. Fetch is to hold at 35 kts in the evening falling southeast with seas building to 23 ft at 41.5N 164W aimed southeast well at Hawaii. On Wed AM (5/6) the gale is to start fading producing northwest winds at 30-35 kts and seas fading from 21 ft at 40.5N 160.5W aimed southeast. The gale is to be gone in the evening.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.


MJO/ENSO Forecast


Inactive MJO Building - Warm Anomalies Hold on Equator - Mixed Bag

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: A double dip La Nina was in control 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. In January 2019, those warm waters were fading, but then rebuilt late in Feb associated with Kelvin Wave (#3). But as of early June 2019 warm water was 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. El Nino was dead. A bit of a recovery occurred during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water held in a pool off Peru and had not changed until March 2020. By April the cool pool had collapsed with warm water starting to build on the equator.

Fall/Winter 2019/2020 = 5.0/4.0 (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 is assumed the PDO has moved to the warm phase in 2014 and that a weak borderline El Nino from 2018 faded out in the Fall of 2019. A La Nina like ocean temperature pattern developed in the equatorial East Pacific in the summer of 2019, then faded and returned to a neutral if not weak warm status during the Winter of 2019-2020. We have been suspecting a turn towards a La Nina like atmospheric pattern to develop in the late Winter/early Spring of 2020. Our best hope is that moderation from the warm phase of the PDO might tamp down development of a full blown La Nina as we move into 2020. Given all that, for 2020 there is decent probability for development of La Nina meaning a reduced number of storm days and storm intensity during the summer season, resulting in a below normal level of swell, with swell being below normal duration and period. And by the Fall and early Winter of 2020, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should fade even more, resulting in depressed swell production. This pattern is expected to hold through the end of 2020 if not longer.

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 (4/29) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific and then solid east over the Dateline and KWGA. Anomalies were moderate easterly over the far East equatorial Pacific fading to weak over the Central Pacific then rebuilding to moderate easterly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (4/30) Moderate east anomalies were over the KWGA. The forecast calls for east anomalies building to strong status in the KWGA on 5/20 holding till 5/5 and turning neutral at the end of the model run on 5/7. This is the strongest easterly wind burst we've seen in quite a while.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (4/29) A solid Inactive Phase of the MJO was filling the West Pacific/KWGA today. The statistic model indicates the Inactive Phase is to track slightly east and losing strength on day 5 and all but gone on day 10, with a broad Active Phase building from the Maritime Continent into the KWGA and taking over at day 15. The dynamic model indicates the same thing but with the Active Phase weakening to modest strength on day 15. The two model are coming into sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/30) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was modest over the West Maritime Continent today and is to track slowly east while losing strength over the Eastern Maritime Continent at day 15. The GEFS model suggests the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (4/30) This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO was weak over the East Equatorial Pacific. The Inactive Phase is to track east while losing strength pushing into Central America on 5/7. The Active Phase is to move east over the West Pacific starting 5/5 and pretty solid then tracking to the East Pacific and into Central America on 5/23. A modest Inactive Phase is supposed to start building in the West Pacific on 5/12 moving to the East Pacific and over Central America on 6/2. A weak Active MJO is forecast developing over the far West Pacific at the end of the model run on 6/9.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/29) This model depicts a weak Inactive MJO signal in the KWGA today with moderate east anomalies present over the whole of the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Inactive MJO fading fast and gone 1 day out but with east anomalies steady in the moderate range filling the KWGA through 5/6, then weakening but still present in the weak to modest range through the end of the model run on 5/27.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/30 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts an Inactive Phase of the MJO over the KWGA today with weak east anomalies in-play. The forecast indicates the Inactive Phase/Pattern is to hold through 5/12 with east anomalies slowly giving way to weak west anomalies. A weak Active Phase is to start building 5/8 in the far West KWGA slowly building east and weakly filling the KWGA till 5/21 with mainly neutral anomalies in play. A weak Inactive Phase is forecast 5/21-7/4 but with a mix of weak east and west anomalies holding until 6/18 when east anomalies are to take hold. A broad Active Pulse is to follow 6/27 building and filling the KWGA through the end of the model run on 7/27 with modest west anomalies taking root. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias with 1 contour line in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to the California coast. This contour line is to hold till 5/7, then collapsing to nothing. A high pressure bias previously that has been over the Indian Ocean since last Fall is to hold till May 7, then dissipate then reappearing over the Northeast Pacific on 6/28 and filling it through the end of the model run. But at the same time the low pressure bias is to reappear over the Indian Ocean on 7/20. East anomalies set up in the Indian Ocean last Fall and held through Jan 10, 2020, then started to become more episodic and are to continue that way, then fading on 6/1. After that west anomalies are to start building in the core of the Indian Ocean eventually reaching east to 180W and filling the KWGA and stationary holding into the end of the model run. East anomalies are to start building solidly over the East Pacific late-May reaching west to 180W. Based on this model it appears the long term outlook is in a state of flux but becoming biased towards La Nina.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/30) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm was shallow and retracking to the west reaching east to only 155E. The 29 deg isotherm was retrograding west to 178E today. The 28 deg isotherm line was retrograding to 153W today. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador. Anomaly wise, Kelvin Wave #6 was fading while pushing into the East Equatorial Pacific at +2.0 degs but with other nondescript warm water tracking from the Maritime Continent under the dateline merging with the tail of Kelvin Wave #6. The net effect was warm water was filling the entire equatorial subsurface Pacific down to 105 meters deep on the dateline getting progressively shallower east of there today. A large pocket of cool water at -3 degs was 150 meters deep at 150W today tracking east with it's leading edge at 110W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/23 indicates warm water had formed a Kelvin Wave with warm water falling from 120E down into the dateline at 100 m deep peaking in the East Pacific at +2-3 degrees then pushing and rising east to 85W and moving east to just of Ecuador. A pocket of cool water east of there associated with the upwelling phase of the previous Kelvin Wave Cycle was all but gone. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (4/23) Negative anomalies at -0.5 Cms were indicated in the equatorial Pacific between 130-170W, suggestive of a Kelvin Wave blocking pattern setting up. But positive anomalies were building near 160E.

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: (4/29) The latest images indicate warm anomalies were modest along the coast of Chile up into Peru and steady in intensity from days past with warm anomalies continuing up off Ecuador up into Central America. A stream of cool water was fading while moving north along the immediate coast of Peru not pushing north of there. But pockets of cool water were starting to appear along the equator west of the Galapagos. Otherwise warmer water was steady aligned on the equator from the Galapagos out to 145W and looking like a weak El Nino. A broad pocket of cool anomalies was all but gone south of the equator off Peru but with a solid but not unusual pocket of cool water off California and Baja.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/29): A building cool pattern was over and west of the Galapagos continuing west along the equator from out to 130W. The short term trend is looking like a developing cooling trend west of the Galapagos.
Hi-res Overview: (4/29) A previous pocket of cool anomalies is gone off Peru. A stronger pocket of cooling was off California and Baja Mexico out to 145W. Warm anomalies were building along Chile and Peru then stronger off Ecuador and Central America up to Mainland Mexico and markedly strong on the equator from the Galapagos out to 145W. But pockets of cool anomalies were developing at 100 and 110W on the equator. Water temps appear to be stable and if anything looking almost like El Nino that anything previous over the past few months. Overall the data suggests a El Nino trend today.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/30) Today's temps were falling to -0.037, overall down from a warmer range near +0.6 degs between 2/25-3/26. Previously temps had been toggling near neutral. It appears we were in a rising or at least warmer trend, but that is now fading.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(4/30) Temps were falling some today at +0.440. Temps previously were in the +0.3 degree range but rose to the +0.5-+0.6 degree range 3/12-4/8.

Click for Full Sized Image Click for Full Sized Image

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

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/30) Actual's indicate temperatures were steady at +0.65 degs Jan 1 2020 through April 1 then falling in early April. The forecast depicts temps falling steadily from here forward, down to 0.0 in early May then diving negative down to -0.55 July 1 and moving to La Nina down at -1.10 in early Oct holding there into Jan 2021. According to this model sea surface temps should be falling strongly moving towards La Nina as Summer develops. But as of April 30th, we are nowhere near the doom and gloom forecast by this model. Temps should be at 0 and instead they are +0.440
IRI Consensus Plume: The April 21, 2020 Plume depicts temps are at +0.30 degs, and are to slow fade to neutral +0.00 in August 2020, then holding there through December 2020. 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) (4/30): The daily index was neutral today at +0.43 holding neutral. The 30 day average was rising at -0.75. The 90 day average was falling some at -3.16, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was developing.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): March 2020 -0.11, Feb +0.69, Jan +0.42, Dec 2019 +0.46, Nov +1.03, Oct +0.27 Sept +1.11, August +0.60, July +0.75, June -0.32, May +1.10, April +0.30, March +1.0, Feb +1.29, Jan +0.193. This index has been steadily positive but still indicates mostly ENSO neutral conditions (not El Nino).

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

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 


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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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing:

Stormsurf and Mavericks on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel

Mavericks Invitational Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:

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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