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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Saturday, April 30, 2022 4:26 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 5/2 thru Sun 5/8

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   

Final NPac Gale Forecast
Compound New Zealand Swell Pushing North

 

BUOY ROUNDUP
Saturday, April 30, 2022 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor)/Buoy 239 (Lanai) NA/Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt) NA: Seas were 2.8 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 1.1 ft @ 10.9 secs from 165 degrees. Water temp 77.5 degs (Barbers Pt), NA (Lani 239), 77.0 (Pearl Harbor 233).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.7 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 1.4 ft @ 12.2 secs from 319 degrees. Water temp 77.4 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.4 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 1.6 ft @ 14.2 secs from 212 degrees. Wind east at 0-2 kts. Water temperature 59.2 degs, 61.3 (Topanga 103), 58.5 degs (Long Beach 215), 59.9 (Del Mar 153), 60.1 (Imperial Beach 155). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 5.6 ft @ 6.4 secs from 308 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.4 ft @ 14.9 secs from 200 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.5 ft @ 14.8 secs from 194 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 3.3 ft @ 8.6 secs from 280 degrees. Water temp 62.2 degs.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 4.2 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 14.8 secs from 208 degrees. Wind at buoy 46012 was northwest at 18-23 kts. Water temp 51.6 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 48.4 (46026), 53.2 (SF Bar 142), and 54.5 (Santa Cruz 254).

See Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (bottom of the page)

Swell Classification Guidelines

Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
Summer
- Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
Summer
- Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
Summer
- up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.

Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
Current Conditions
On Saturday (4/30) North and Central CA had set waves at waist high and mushed and completely chopped early with whitecaps on top. Protected breaks were thigh to waist waist high on the sets and soft and formless with northwest lump intermixed but not chopped and light fog early. At Santa Cruz surf was thigh to waist high with sets at top peaks to maybe chest high on the rare sets and soft and mushed but somewhat lined up and glassy. In Southern California/Ventura waves were thigh to maybe waist high on the sets and somewhat lined up with decent form and no wind and glassy. Central Orange County had sets at waist high and lined up with decent form and glassy but weak. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had a few sets at 1-2 ft overhead on the peak and lined up with good form and glassy conditions, but those sets were rare. North San Diego had rare sets at chest to shoulder high with most in the waist high range and lined up with decent form and glassy conditions. Hawaii's North Shore was small with sets to maybe waist high at top spots and fairly clean with decent form when the sets came. The South Shore had some sets at waist high but pretty short and soft with some easterly lump in the water. The East Shore was waist high or so and chopped from moderate top strong east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Saturday (4/30) California was getting locally produced northwest windswell mixed with fading swell from a gale that tracked across the Central South Pacific Tues-Thurs (4/21) lifting well northeast with seas to 29 ft. Hawaii was getting no meaningful swell at the moment. Another gale developed under New Zealand on Mon (4/25) producing up to 39 ft seas aimed east-northeast with secondary energy developing on Wed (4/27) producing 36 ft seas aimed well northeast. That swell is pushing northeast bound first for Hawaii and later for CA. Beyond no obvious swell sources are forecast in the South Pacific.

Up north a gale developed while pushing off Kamchatka on Thurs (4/28) with 27 ft seas then faded late Fri (4/29) over the North Dateline region with 23 ft seas but quickly faded with secondary energy forecast to develop west of the dateline Sun (5/1) pushing east with seas building to 41 ft then moving east while fading over the Gulf on Mon (5/2) with seas 26 ft and dissipating Tues (5/3) well off Vancouver Island. So a mix of both north and south swells is expected. But after that the North Pacific is to go to sleep while the focus turns southward.

See all the details below...

 

SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Saturday (4/30) the jet was fairly consolidated tracking east off North Japan forming a trough off the Kuril Islands being fed by 150 kts winds ridging slightly over the North Dateline then falling into another trough over the Northwestern Gulf being fed by 160 kts winds with both troughs offering support for gale development. Residuals from the jet with falling southeast and inland over North California. Over the next 72 hours the Gulf trough is to move over the Pacific Northwest on Mon (5/2) as the Kuril Island trough pushes east to the Northwestern Gulf on Mon (5/2) and then eastward and building some into Tues (5/3) over the Northern Gulf and still offering support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours the Gulf trough is to hold together if not building some on Wed-Thurs (5/5) before pushing inland late in that time period over the Pacific Northwest. Something to monitor. But by Fri (5/6) the jet is to start splitting over the far West Pacific with the split over the dateline on Sat (5/7) offering nothing to support gale development and that pattern is expected to continue east from there shutting the North Pacific storm machine down. The last gasp of Winter looks poised.

Surface Analysis
On Saturday (4/30)small swell from a gale previously off Kamchatka was pushing east towards Hawaii (see Kamchatka Gale below). .

Over the next 72 hours a small gale is forecast pushing off Japan and racing northeast approaching the dateline on Sat PM (4/30) with 45-50 kt west winds and seas building from 41 ft over a small area at 41.75N 167E aimed east. On Sun AM (5/1) the gale is to be just west of the dateline with 45 kt west winds and seas 38 ft at 44.25N 175.5E aimed east. In the evening the gale is to be fading with 40 kt west winds over a decent sized area just east of the dateline with seas 35 ft at 45.25N 176.5W aimed east. On Mon AM (5/2) the gale is to be fading in the Western Gulf with 35 kt west winds over a decent sized area and seas 29 ft at 44.25N 169W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to be fading in the Central Gulf with 30-35 kts west winds and seas fading from 26 ft at 46N 161W aimed east. On Tues AM (5/3) the gale is to be fading with 30 kt west winds and seas fading from 24 ft at 48N 154.75W aimed east. The gale is to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.

 

Kamchatka Gale
On Thurs AM (4/28) a gale developed just over the extreme North Kuril Islands on Thurs AM (4/28) producing 40 kts west winds and seas building from 27 ft at 49N 153.5E aimed east. In the evening west winds were 35-40 kts over a small area aimed east and just clear of the Kuril Islands with seas 27 ft at 48.25N 161.5E aimed east. Fetch was fading from 35 kts on Fri AM (4/29) west of the dateline with seas fading from 26 ft at 46.5N 168E aimed east. The gale dissipated from there with its remnants pushing east towards the Gulf with secondary fetch right behind (see paragraph above).

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Mon (5/2) afternoon building to 2.1 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.5 ft). Swell building Tues (5/3) mid-morning to 3.3 ft @ 14 secs (4.5 ft). Swell fading and being overrun by secondary swell on Wed (5/4). Swell Direction: 325 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (5/4) building to 2.4 ft @ 14-15 secs later (3.0-3,5 ft) and buried in locally produced windswell. Swell building some on Thurs AM (5/5) to 4.6 ft @ 13 secs (6.0 ft) with much local windswell still in the water and being overrun by secondary swell later. Swell Direction: 300 degrees

 

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Sun (5/1) northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for all of North and Central CA holding all day.
  • Mon (5/2) northwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for North CA early and 15-20 kts for Central CA building in the afternoon for North CA at 20-30 kts and -25 kts for Central CA. Light rain for Cape Mendocino early.
  • Tues (5/3) northwest winds are forecast at 25-30 kts for North CA early and 10-15 kts for Central CA nearshore early (but 25 kts off the coast). In the afternoon northwest winds is forecast at 125 kts for North CA and 20 kts for Central CA.
  • Wed (5/4) northwest winds are forecast at 20+ kts for North Ca early and 10-15 kts for Central CA fading to 15-20 kts for North CA later and 10-15 kts for Central CA in the afternoon.
  • Thurs (5/5) northwest winds are forecast at 5 kts for Cape Mendocino early and 15 kts for the remainder of North CA and 15 kts for Central CA early. In the afternoon northwest winds to continue at 10-15 kts for North and 20 kts for Central CA. Rain developing for North CA mid morning reaching south to Monterey Bay late afternoon.
  • Fri (5/6) northwest winds are forecast at 15+ kts for North CA early and 15-20 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for North Ca and 20 kts for Central CA.
  • Sat (5/7) northwest winds are forecast at 10 kts early for North CA and 15-25 kts for Central CA with the strongest focused near Pt Conception. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 20+ kts for North Ca and 25 kts for Central CA. Light rain for Cape Mendocino early

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

Freezing level about 8,500 ft today (4/30) through 5/2 building to 12,000 ft on Tues-Wed (5/4) then falling and generally holding at 9,000 ft 5/6 and beyond.

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

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Tioga Pass/Pacific Crest Trail intersection forecast: Temps - Freeze Level (more here - scroll down to 'Resort Snow Forecasts>Central CA or North CA Caltrans & Backcountry')

Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!

 

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis
Swell from a small gale in the Southeast Pacific has produced small swell that is on the downside in CA (see Small Southeast Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours swell is to start arriving in Hawaii from a two part gale that developed under New Zealand (see Stronger New Zealand Gale below). This swell is to continue propagating towards California too.

Otherwise no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.

 

Small Southeast Pacific Gale
On Tues AM (4/19) a tiny gale started developing over the deep Central South Pacific with 40 kt south winds lifting northeast with seas 24 ft at 55S 164W aimed northeast. In the evening the gale was lifting northeast with 45-50 kt south winds and seas 29 ft at 52.25S 150.25W aimed northeast. On Wed AM (4/20) south winds were 40-45 kts from the south over the Central South Pacific with seas 29 ft at 51S 141.7W aimed north. In the evening the gale was over the Southeast Pacific with 40-45 kt south winds and 29 ft seas at 49.5S 136W aimed northeast. The gale was fading on Thurs AM (4/21) with 35 kt south winds over a tiny area and seas 27 ft at 49S 131.25W aimed northeast. The gale dissipated after that. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: This system was east of the Hawaiian swell window.

Southern CA: Swell fading on Sat (4/30) from 1.7 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Dribbles on Sun (5/1) fading from 1.3 ft @ 13-14 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 197 degrees

North CA: Swell fading on Sat (4/30) from 1.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Dribbles on Sun (5/1) fading from 1.5 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 195 degrees

 

Stronger New Zealand Gale
A reasonably solid and broad storm started building under New Zealand on Sun PM (4/24) with 40-45 kt southwest winds over a solid area aimed northeast with seas 29 ft at 53.75S 166E aimed northeast. On Mon AM (4/25) 40-45 kt southwest winds were tracking east with 32 ft seas at 55.25S 170E aimed northeast. In the evening the gale was redeveloping a bit further south with a solid fetch of 45 kts southwest winds and seas 33 ft at 52S 175.75W aimed northeast. On Tues AM (4/26) a solid fetch of south winds were blowing at 50-55 kts with seas 37 ft at 58.25S 173.5W aimed north and northeast. In the evening fetch was fading from 40-45 kts from the southwest with seas 37 ft at 55S 170.75W aimed northeast. On Wed AM fetch was fading from 30-35 kts with seas fading from 31 ft at 51S 165.25W aimed northeast. Something to monitor.

On Wed AM (4/27) secondary fetch was developing just southwest of the main fetch and south of New Zealand at 45-50 kts aimed northeast with seas building from 27 ft at 62.5S 175E aimed northeast. In the evening 45-50 kt southwest winds were lifting northeast with seas 36 ft over a small area at 58.5S 176.25W aimed northeast. On Thurs AM (4/28) fetch was 40 kts over a broad area aimed northeast over the Central South Pacific with seas 32 ft at 54.25S 165.75W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch was fading from 35-40 kts aimed northeast over a broad area with seas fading from 32 ft at 53.25S 156.5W aimed northeast. Fetch fading Fri AM (4/29) from 30-35 kts over a broad area with seas 27 ft at 49.25S 145W aimed northeast. The gale is to fade from there.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Mon (5/2) building to 2.0 ft @ 17 secs later (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell holding on Tues (5/3) at 2.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell from the secondary gale arriving building to 1.3 ft @ 18 secs late (2.0-2.5 ft). On Wed (5/4) primary swell to hold at 2.1 ft @ 16 secs (3.5 ft) with secondary swell 1.3 ft @ 19 secs (2.5 ft). Swell peaking on Thurs (5/5) at 2.5 ft @ 17 secs early (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell continues on Fri (5/6) fading from 2.5 ft @ 15 secs early (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell fading on Sat (5/7) from 1.9 ft @ 14 secs early (2.5 ft). Dribbles on Sun (5/8) fading from 1.6 ft @ 13 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 191 degrees with secondary energy at 189 degrees becoming focused on 188 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (5/4) building to 1.2 ft @ 19 secs later (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell building on Thurs (5/5) to 2.0 ft @ 17-18 secs later (3.5 ft). Swell building on Fri (5/6) to 2.2 ft @ 16-17 secs early (3.5-4.0 ft). Secondary energy building to 1.3 ft @ 19 secs later (2.0-2.5 ft). More swell to possibly arrive on Sat (5/7) at 2.5 ft @ 16 secs later (4.0 ft). Swell steady early Sun (5/8) at 2.3 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5+ ft) then fading later. Swell fading Mon (5/9) from 2.0 ft @ 14-15 secs early (3.0 ft). Dribbles on Tues (5/10) fading from 1.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). 210 degrees moving to 201 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (5/4) building to 1.3 ft @ 19 secs later (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell building on Thurs (5/5) to 2.2 ft @ 17-18 secs later (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell building on Fri (5/6) to 2.2 ft @ 17 secs early (3.5-4.0 ft). More swell to possibly arrive on Sat (5/7) at 2.4 ft @ 16 secs late (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell steady early Sun (5/8) at 2.2 ft @ 16 secs (3.5 ft) then fading later. Swell fading Mon (5/9) from 1.8 ft @ 15 secs early (2.5-3.0 ft). Dribbles on Tues (5/10) fading from 1.6 ft @ 14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). 210 degrees moving to 201 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 no meaningful swell producing weather systems are forecast.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours another gale is forecast developing in the deep Southwest Pacific Sun AM (5/1) with 45-50 kt west winds over a solid area and seas 33 ft at 61.5S 179.25W aimed southeast only at Antarctica. In the evening west winds to be 50 kts with seas 34 ft at 63.25S 159.5W aimed east. On Mon AM (5/2) west winds to be 35 kts over the Central South Pacific just off Antarctic Ice with seas 29 ft at 63.25S 145W aimed east. The gale is to fade with southwest winds 35 kts in the evening and seas 27 ft at 63S 135W aimed east. The gael to dissipate from there. Doubtful much if any swell to result given the gales southeast and east heading. Something to monitor.

On Fri AM (5/6) a new broad gale is to be developing in the deep Southwest Pacific producing 45 kt southwest winds and seas building from 34 ft at 62S 172.75W aimed east-northeast. In the evening 45 kt southwest winds to continue east over a broad area with seas building from 33 ft at 59.5S 154.75W aimed northeast. On Sat AM (5/7) a broad area of 40-45 kts southwest winds are to be over the Southeast Pacific with seas 35 ft at 57.5S 140.25W. Something to hope for.

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

Cool Water Building - SOI Peaking - Another Kelvin Wave Developing
Summary - Cool subsurface water volume peaked under the equatorial Pacific on 10/15/21 and is now fading. But the SOI is peaking just now, higher than last years peak. A delayed response. A stronger than expected Active Phase of the MJO in Dec produced a Kelvin Wave that erupted over the Galapagos in March, but still solidly in La Nina territory over the Central Pacific. A much hoped for Active Phase of the MJO (and westerly anomalies) in April has resulted in another weak Kelvin Wave pushing east. It seemed the peak of La Nina was behind us. But La Nina conditions are projected by the CFS model until Nov, then fading, suggesting an uncertain future. West anomalies are forecast filling half the KWGA from here forward. The outlook is unclear but seems like ENSO neutral is trying to set up.

MJO/ENSO Discussion
The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.
And the El Nino/La Nino cycle (collectively know as ENSO - El Nino Southern Oscillation) is a less frequent (about once every 7 years) but more impactful cycle that affects world wide weather. Specifically, strong El Nino events promote storm production in the Pacific while La Nina events suppress storm production. These therefore have a significant impact on the production of swell and surf. The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO and ENSO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for upcoming activity (or inactivity depending on the state and interaction of these two oscillations).

Overview: In 2019 warm equatorial waters were fading, and by August a tongue of cool water was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos reaching to a point nearly south of Hawaii. A bit of a recovery tried to occur during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water held in a pool off Peru. By April 2020 a cool pool was starting to build, forming a well defined cool tongue that evolved into La Nina, with it fully developing through July 2020. A slow dissolving of La Nina started in March 2021 with 2 Kelvin Waves sweeping east and arriving over the Galapagos in June. Weak warming set up over the equator with no cool waters present. NOAA declared La Nina dead. But cold water returned in July 2021 and a second pulse of La Nina developed and is continuing today, though possibly weaker with its foundation appearing to be in decline.

LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Fall /Winter 2021-2022 = 1.5 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)

Rationale: It was assumed that the moderate La Nina from the Winter of 2020/2021 was on the wane and that a return to neutral ENSO state would set up over the Pacific Basin through the summer of 2021. But La Nina made a strong return by the end of Sept much like what the CFS model suggested would happen. A full double dip La Nina pattern took hold as we moved into November with this second La Nina dip being nearly as strong as the previous one. But a quick fade is forecast as we move into late December with the CFS predicting a return to a neutral wind anomaly pattern at that time and the low pressure bias making headway in to the KWGA in early Jan. Still it will take some time for the atmosphere to fully respond, resulting in a less than normal swell production forecast especially for Fall into early Winter. But by later in Feb 2022 perhaps a return to a more normal pattern might take hold. But it will be too little too late. As a result a significantly reduced number of storm days and storm intensity is expected Oct-Feb 2022, resulting in a below normal level of swells, with swell being below normal duration and period. But by March 2022, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start improving as La Nina fades out. The status of the PDO is not known, though it appears to be returning to at least a neutral state, rather than the warm phase as previously projected thereby having no significant positive or negative effect on the long term outlook.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (4/29) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific and strong east over the KWGA. Anomalies were modest east over the East equatorial Pacific and modest east over the Central Pacific and modest east over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, versus realtime, so they lag what is happening today (by about 2.5 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (4/30) east anomalies were light over the dateline with weak west anomalies over the bulk of the KWGA. The 7 day forecast calls for weak west anomalies mostly filling the KWGA through 5/4 then east anomalies start rebuilding to near moderate status the last day of the model run on 5/7 filling the KWGA.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (4/29) A neutral MJO signal was indicated today over the KWGA. The statistical model indicates a neutral MJO signal for the next 2 weeks. The dynamic model projects a neutral pattern holding through day 5 then the Inactive Phase is to suddenly build strong over the KWGA on day 10 only to fade dramatically on day 15. This model is screwy.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS):
(4/30) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was very weak over the Maritime Continent and is forecast to noodle around there for the next 2 weeks remaining very weak. The dynamic model suggests the Active Phase racing east to the Indian Ocean then returning to the Maritime Continent in 2 weeks. That is highly unlikely.
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 weak Inactive MJO signal (dry air) was over the East Pacific today. The forecast depicts the Inactive Phase (dry air) moving east while slowly fading moving into Central America on 4/30 while a weak Active Phase (wet air) is to follow over the KWGA on 4/30 moving east to Central America on 5/15. A weak Inactive Phase is to track east from 5/15-5/30 with a very weak pattern beyond through 6/4.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/29) A neutral MJO Phase was depicted over the KWGA today but with moderate west anomalies filling the Western KWGA. West anomalies are to hold over the Western KWGA to 155E through 5/6 then start backtracking west with a strong burst of east anomalies developing on the dateline 5/7-5/14 then rapidly fading with another bout of modest east anomalies setting up on the dateline 5/20 through the end of the model run on 5/27 while west anomalies backtrack in the west KWGA and effectively gone by 5/20.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind):
(4/30 - 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 very weak Inactive MJO signal was moving over the KWGA with modest east anomalies focused mainly on the dateline with weak west anomalies to 155E in the West KWGA. The forecast depicts a weak Inactive signal fading on 5/16 with a pocket of east anomalies over the dateline 5/12-5/16, then dissipating. Otherwise west anomalies are to take over the entirety of the KWGA 5/16 and beyond filling 100% of the KWGA and holding for the foreseeable future. East anomalies are to become focused at 140W starting 5/16 occasionally poking west to the dateline but of no real consequence. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias with 2 contour lines was centered at 150W with its western perimeter at 170E today and forecast slowly easing east to 175E at the end of the model run. The second contour is to dissipate on 7/1. A broad single contour low pressure bias is established centered over the Maritime Continent at 110E with it's leading edge at 150E filling half the KWGA and is forecast moving slowly but steadily east from now on reaching 170E at the end of the model run. A second contour line is to appear at 120E on 6/26. Of note, the leading edge of the low pressure bias has been stalled at 150E since 1/31, but finally started moving east on 3/25 and is still doing that today, but incredibly slow. A quick pace is forecast starting 5/16. Something to monitor. Today a solid east anomaly pattern that had been in control of KWGA since early July 2021 is done. East anomalies are to recenter themselves at 135W starting 5/16 (was 5/4 2 days ago) and holding for the foreseeable future. All this suggest the demise of La Nina proper if this occurs as forecast. But lingering effects will continue over the US West Coast into at least Fall. The model had been constantly slipping later the velocity of the arrival of the low pressure bias deeper into the KWGA. So the future remains uncertain but cautiously optimistic. The full demise of La Nina all hinges on the eastward progress of the low pressure bias.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/30) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was present at 162E. The 28 deg isotherm line was easing east to 174E. The 26 degree isotherm was backtracking from 120W to 135W today. The 24 deg isotherm was steady across the East Pacific. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +3 deg C were in a pocket in the far West Pacific down 150m with it's leading edge easing east to 150W and connecting to a previous Kelvin Wave in the East Pacific. A shrinking area of -1C cool anomalies were below the warm pool at 115W and fading fast. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/23 indicates the same pocket of cool anomalies between 145W-80W at -3 degs C and appears to be now be shifting east and weakening while the remnants of the Kelvin Wave in the east area all but gone. And a new Kelvin Wave is starting to push east from the West Pacific from 155W to 145W. 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) Sea heights were rising some over the Equatorial Pacific. A string of weakly positive anomaly pockets were north of the equator pushing from the dateline to 100W along the 5N latitude line and stronger than days previous and now contiguous at +5 cms with one pocket to +10 cms. A broad area of negative anomalies at -5 cms were over the equator from Ecuador to 150W. Otherwise positive anomalies were mostly locked from the dateline and points west of there reaching east to 160W today. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram the previous Kelvin Wave was gone but with a pocket of cool anomalies fading from -1.0 degs between Ecuador and 148W. And a new Kelvin Wave is trying to push east from 152W. So it looks like the most recent cool bout was just the upwelling phase of the Kelvin Wave cycle and a new downwelling Kelvin Wave is developing while pushing east.

Surface Water Temps
The more warm water in the equatorial East Pacific means more storm production in the North Pacific during winter months (roughly speaking). Cold water in that area has a dampening effect. Regardless of what the atmospheric models and surface winds suggest, actual water temperatures are a ground-truth indicator of what is occurring in the ocean. All data is from blended infrared and microwave sensors.
Satellite Imagery
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4 Qualitative Analysis: (4/29) The latest images depict a broad generic pool of cool water on the equator extending west to the dateline extending well south of the equator. Only a few lingering pockets of warm water remained on the equator from Ecuador to 115W. A broad pocket of strong cold water was along the coast of Peru reaching to the Galapagos on the equator indicative of strong upwelling there. A weak area of warm water was present north of the equator (1 deg N) across the entire North Pacific. Overall this indicates the late stages of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/29): A few pockets of weak cooling were present at 90W 105W and 120W. Warming was developing on the equator along and off Ecuador to 90W.
Hi-res Overview: (4/29) Persistent cool waters cover a large area from Ecuador to 160E on the equator and from South America down at 20S. Warmer than normal waters were aligned from 1N and above over the entire North Pacific. La Nina remains in control over the East Equatorial Pacific.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/30) Today's temps were rising some at -1.807 after falling to -2.057 on 4/23 and had been near there since 4/19. Prior to that they were fading after peaking at +0.760 on 3/18. Temps had been moving upwards since 2/20, and beat a previous high of -0.650 degs on 1/9 and that after being down at -1.871 on 1/3 and -1.954 on 12/18, the lowest this year so far. Previously temps dropped on 11/24 at -1.700, the lowest in months after previously toggling steady at about -0.6 degs from mid Aug to Oct 6, then falling from there. Last year temps bottomed out at -2.138 on 8/13/20. The longterm trend has been steadily downward.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(4/30) Today's temps were fading some down at -1.014 after rising to a peak at -0.704 on 3/27 and had been on a gentle rising trend since falling to -1.012 on 3/8. Previously temp were rising slightly to -0.505 on 2/2 and that after reaching a peak low of -1.096 on 1/3 beating the previous low of -1.080 on 11/2, the lowest in a year. Prior to that temps had been in a freefall starting from the -0.175 range in early Sept. Before that temps peaked up at 7/1 +0.332, the highest in a year. Temps previously had been steady near -0.222 since early March. Temps bottomed out at -1.654 on 11/3/2020.

Click for Full Sized Image Click for Full Sized Image

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

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data
Previous - Temps rose in early Nov 2020 after bottoming out at -1.25 degs, up to -0.01 degs in mid-June 2021 then fading to -1.05 degs in mid-Nov then rebuilding to -0.7 in mid Feb 2022 then fading some after that.
Forecast (4/30) - T
emps are to continue falling to -1.25 degs in early May and then are to slowly rise to about -0.90 degs in July more or less holding there into Nov, then rising more directly beyond. This model suggests we are at going to fall into a third year of La Nina. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps falling to -1.35 degs in May then rising to about -0.70 degs in July then slowly falling to -0.85 degs in Nov, then rising beyond. Still, neither of these forecasts are consistent with the IRI forecast (see IRI Consensus forecast below).
IRI Consensus Plume: The April 18, 2022 Plume depicts temps are -0.705 degs today and have bottomed out. They are to warm to -0.601 degs in May (previously -0.315 degrees last month), then rising to -0.449 in July (previously -0.287 degs) and hovering there through November then rising to -0.351 degs (previously 0.0 degs) after that. This model now suggest a continuation of weak La Nina conditions through the Fall.
See chart here - link.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad - this is a lagging indicator):
Today (4/30) the daily index was positive at +6.49 after peaking at +31.80 on 4/6, +27.33 on 1/31/22 and +46.71 on 12/26. The trend of late has been solidly positive. Previous other notable peaks were +30.98 on 11/26, +36.90 on 9/28, +27.75 on 9/13 and +37.86 on 7/15.
The 30 day average was rising some at +20.01 and the highest in a year beating last years high of +19.51 on 1/14.
The 90 day average was falling some at +13.38 today beating the previous peak of +9.36 on 3/22 and +10.90 on 12/26, falling to +7.10 on 11/1. It previously peaking on 9/21 at +9.80 after falling to it's lowest point in a year on 6/9 at +1.06. The 90 day average peaked at +15.75 on 2/23/21 (clearly indicative of La Nina then). This index is a lagging indicator but suggest La Nina is returning.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
The PDO theoretically turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and was positive till Dec 2019, but has been negative ever since, driven by recent La Nina conditions. In May-July 2021 it was the most negative its been in the -1.80 to -2.04 range since Sept 2012 (-2.99) and then fell to -3.16 in Oct 2021 (the lowest since July 1933) then settled at -2.72 in Nov and Dec 2021. Looking at the long term record, it seems likely we are still in the Cool Phase of the PDO (La Nina 'like') with no signs of moving to the positive/warm phase (El Nino 'like').

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 


Powerlines Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest
Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for this week. See it Here
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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing: https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/climate-change-good-surfing-other-sports-not-so-much-ncna1017131

Mavericks & Stormsurf on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luQSYf5sKjQ

Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:
http://www.bloomberg.com/video/how-to-predict-the-best-surfing-waves-EsNiR~0xR5yXGOlOq2MqfA.html
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/surfs-up-for-mavericks-invitational-in-calif/

Time Zone Converter By popular demand we've built and easy to use time convert that transposes GMT time to whatever time zone you are located. It's ion left hand column on every page on the site near the link to the swell calculator.

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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