Sunday, April 30, 2023
- Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt)/Buoy 239 (Lani): Seas were 3.1 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 1.8 ft @ 9.8 secs from 230 degrees. Water temp 78.3 degs (Barbers Pt), 78.3 (Pearl Harbor 233), 78.4 (Lani 239).
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.7 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 2.2 ft @ 10.0 secs from 337 degrees. Water temp 77.0 degs
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.7 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 1.8 ft @ 14.0 secs from 169 degrees. Wind east at 2-4 kts. Water temperature 58.5 degs, 58.1 (Topanga 103), 57.9 degs (Long Beach 215), 60.4 (Oceanside Offshore 045), 60.8 (Del Mar 153), 61.7 (Torrey Pines Outer 100). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.9 ft @ 13.7 secs from 277 degrees. At E. Santa Barbara (46053) swell was 1.3 ft @ 13.6 secs from 249 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.8 ft @ 14.6 secs from 201 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.8 ft @ 13.7 secs from 193 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.1 ft @ 14.5 secs from 201 degrees. Water temperature was 60.6 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay) Out of Service /029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.9 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 3.7 ft @ 12.6 secs from 284 degrees. Wind northwest at 21-25 kts (46026). Water temp 49.1 (Bodega Bay 46013), 50.2 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 52.0 (San Francisco 46026), 50.9 (SF Bar 142), 55.0 (Pt Santa Cruz 254) and NA (Monterey Bay 46042).
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.
On Sunday (4/30) North and Central CA had sets at chest high and a mushed mess with whitecaps and chop. Protected breaks were waist high and soft and mushed but fairly ragged and warbled. At Santa Cruz surf was chest high and lined up and clean with decent form but pretty soft. In Southern California/Ventura waves were up to waist high and lined up with decent form and clean but soft. Central Orange County had sets at chest high on the peak and lined up with decent form and soft but clean. South Orange County's best summertime breaks were chest high on the sets and lined up and real clean with good form. North San Diego had sets at thigh to waist high and lined up and clean but very soft. Hawaii's North Shore had sets at waist to maybe chest high and lined up and clean when the sets came with decent form but a little soft. The South Shore had sets at waist high and lined up and clean with decent form. The East Shore was thigh high and chopped with moderate east trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Sunday (4/30) California was getting some background northwest swell mixed with fading southwest swell originating from a gale that developed southeast of New Zealand Tues-Wed (4/19) producing up to 39 ft seas aimed northeast. Hawaii was getting no swell of interest. A gale developed tracking east off the Kuril Islands and pushed east to the dateline Fri-Sat (4/29) with up to 32 ft seas aimed east. Swell is tracking towards Hawaii. And another gale developed off the Pacific Northwest Sat-Sun (4/30) with 28 ft seas aimed east. Swell is pushing towards California. But nothing to follow up north. Down south a small gale developed east of New Zealand pushing northeast Thurs-Sat (4/29) producing up to 37 ft seas aimed well north. Swell is tracking north. Another gale is forecast developing in the Southeast Pacific Tues-Thurs (5/4) with up to 30 ft seas aimed north. And another is to follow directly in it's wake Fri-Sun (5/7) with up 40 ft seas aimed north. The transition to Summer is finally starting.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Sunday (4/30) small swell was hitting North CA associated with a gale previously in the Northern Gulf (see Small North Gulf Gale below) but buried in local chop. Background swell was hitting Hawaii from undetermined source.
Over the next 72 hours swell from two weather systems are to be in play (see Kuril Island Gale and Gulf Gale below). Otherwise no swell producing weather systems are forecast).
Small North Gulf Gale
A small started developing over the Northwestern Gulf on Wed AM (4/26) producing 35-40 kt west winds with seas building to 24 ft at 48N 166.75W aimed east. Fetch raced northeast in the evening at 35-40 kts with seas 24 ft at 52N 154W aimed east. Fetch was fading Thurs AM (4/27) in the Northern Gulf from 30 kts with seas fading from 20 ft at 53.5N 148W aimed east. Maybe some small sideband swell to result for North CA.
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (4/30) building to 2.5 ft @ 12-13 secs (3.0 ft) early but quickly getting buried in local northwest windswell. Swell Direction: 302 degrees
Kuril Island Gale
On Thurs AM (4/27) a gale started building just over and just off the Kuril Islands producing 45 kt west winds and seas building from 20 ft at 44N 156E aimed east. In the evening 45 kts west winds were pushing east with seas building to 30 ft over a tiny area at 45.5N 157E aimed east and a long ways from Hawaii. On Fri AM (4/28) west winds were 40 kts about half way to the dateline with seas 31 ft at 43.5N 162.75E aimed east. In the evening northwest winds were fading from 35 kts with seas 27 ft at 39.75N 168E approaching the dateline. On Sat AM (4/29) northwest winds were 30 kts just west of the dateline with seas 23 ft at 39.75N 172.75E aimed southeast. In the evening the gale was fading over the dateline with 25 kt northwest winds and seas fading from 20 ft at 35N 179E aimed southeast. Something to monitor for Hawaii.
Oahu: Expect swell arrival late on Mon (5/1) building to 2.1 ft @ 17 secs right before sunset (3.5 ft). Swell building Tues (5/2) into the mid-afternoon at 3.8 ft @ 14-15 secs (5.5 ft). Swell fading Wed AM (5/3) from 3.2 ft @ 13 secs (4.0 ft). Dribbles Thurs AM (5/4) fading from 3.2 ft @ 11 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 315 degrees
Also on Fri PM (4/28) a low pressure system started developing in association with trough over the Western Gulf producing 30-35 kt northwest winds and seas building. On Sat AM (4/29) 45 kt northwest winds were building well off the Pacific Northwest with seas 25 ft at 44N 143W aimed southeast. In the evening 40 kt northwest winds were off the Pacific Northwest with 27 ft seas at 42.5N 138.5W aimed east. On Sun AM (4/30) the gale was fading off Oregon with 30 kt northwest winds and seas 21 ft at 42.5N 134.5W aimed east targeting Central CA northward. The gale to dissipate after that. Something to monitor.
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon (5/1) at sunrise holding through the day at 8.8 ft @ 13-14 secs (10 ft) and pretty windblown and mostly shadowed in the SF Bay Area. Swell fading Tues (5/2) from 7.0 ft @ 10-11 secs (7.0 ft). Swell Direction: 296-300 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored at this time.
California Nearshore Forecast
- Mon AM (5/1) northwest winds to be 15-20 kts for North and Central CA early. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 15-20 kts for North CA and 15 kts for Central CA and 15-20 kts for Southern CA. Spotty rain for North CA developing in the afternoon and some snow for Tahoe and the Sierra building some in the evening.
- Tues AM (5/2) low pressure is to be falling south over the CA coast with northwest winds forecast at 15 kts for North Ca and southwest winds 10 kts for Central CA early. In the afternoon the low is to be just off San Francisco with southeast winds 10 kts for North CA and south winds 10 kts for Central CA. Rain for North and Central CA early and holding through the day and becoming more focused on Central CA in the afternoon. Snow showers for the Sierra and building more solid in the afternoon and evening.
- Wed AM (5/3) the low is to be just off Central CA and building with with northwest winds 10 kts for Cape Mendocino and east to southeast winds 10 kts for the rest of North CA and southeast winds 10 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 5 kts for North CA and southeast to east winds 10 kts for Central CA. Southwest winds 5-10 kts for Southern CA. Rain for the Central CA coast in the morning and afternoon with showers for North CA. Rain developing for Central and Southern CA over night. Light rain for the Sierra.
- Thurs AM (5/4) the low fade off Southern CA with northwest winds 5-10 kts for North and Central CA and southwest winds 10-15 kts for Southern CA. In the afternoon the low is to move inland over Southern CA with northwest winds 5-10 kts for North and Central CA and southwest 5-10 kts for Southern CA. Rain for Southern CA fading late afternoon. Snow for the Sierra in the afternoon and evening.
- Fri AM (5/5) southwest winds to be 5 kts for North CA and northwest 5 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon southwest winds to be 5-10 kts for North CA and west 5 kts for Central CA. Rain for the Sierra mainly early.
- Sat AM (5/6) low pressure is to be building off North CA with south winds 15 kts there and calm for Central CA. In the afternoon a front is to push inland over Cape Mendocino with west winds 5-10 kts there and west winds 5 kts for the rest of North CA and west 5 kts for Central CA. Rain developing for Cape Mendocino building southward to the Golden Gate in the afternoon and Santa Cruz in the evening. Snow for Tahoe in the evening.
- Sun AM (5/7) northwest winds to be 10 kts for North CA and 5 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 10 kts for North CA and 15 kts for Central CA. Rain for Cape Mendocino . Light snow for Tahoe through the day.
Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth are projected at 33, 33, 27, and 10 inches with a little on 5/2 and a little more on 5/4 and again on 5/6 and 5/9. Amazing. .
Freezing level for Lake Tahoe is falling from 10,000 ft today forecast falling to 5,000 ft on 5/2 building to 6,700 ft on 5/3 and holding then rising on 5/8 to 10,500 ft on 5/9.
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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).
On Sunday (4/30) the jetstream was split over the South Pacific with most energy tracking east over the 55S latitude line under New Zealand falling to 64S over the Southeast Pacific with no troughs indicated offering no support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours a trough is forecast developing over the Central South Pacific on Tues (5/2) being fed by 150 kt winds lifting northeast and then north on Wed (5/3) offering great support for gale development before starting to pinch off on Thurs (5/4) while moving east and out of the Southern CA swell window. Beyond 72 hours another trough is forecast developing over the Southeast Pacific on Fri (5/5) being fed by 130 kt winds and lifting north on Sat (5/6) offering good support for gale development. That trough is to push east of the Southern CA swell window while fading on Sun (5/7). A summertime pattern looks to be setting up.
A gale developed in the Southwestern Pacific with swell from it fading in California (see Southwestern Pacific Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours another gale developed in the South Central Pacific (see South Central Pacific Gale below) and swell from it is radiating northeast. And yet another gale is forecast developing in the Southeast Pacific tracking well northeast (see Southeast Pacific Gale below).
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: Dribbles on Mon (5/1) fading from 1.7 ft @ 13 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 192 degrees
North CA: Dribbles on Mon (5/1) fading from 1.8 ft @ 13 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 191 degrees
South Central Pacific Gale
A gale started developing east of New Zealand on Thurs AM (4/27) with 35-40+ kt south winds and seas 30 ft at 48S 166.25W aimed northeast. In the evening south winds built to 45 kts over a small area lifting fast north with seas 37 ft at 40.75S 162W aimed north. Fetch was fading Fri AM (4/28) from 35-40 kts from the south but stalling while building in coverage with 33 ft seas at 37S 156.5W aimed north. In the evening fetch rebuilt some at 35-45 kts from the south with seas 31 ft at 36.5S 150W aimed north. On Sat AM (4/29) south winds consolidated at 40 kts with seas 30 ft at 39.5S 147W aimed northeast. Fetch was fading in the evening from 35+ kts with seas fading from 26 ft at 47S 150W aimed northeast. This system is to fade from there. Swell is radiating northeast.
Oahu: Expect swell arrival on Wed (5/3) early with period 18 secs building to 2.5 ft @ 16-17 secs later in the day (4.0 ft). Swell continues Thurs (5/4) at 2.6 ft @ 15 secs early (4.0 ft). Swell fading on Fri (5/5) from 2.0 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.5-3.0 ft) early. Residuals continue if not rebuilding slightly later Sat (5/6) at 1.6 ft @ 13 secs (2.0 ft). Swell fading Sun (5/7) from 1.5 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell fading Mon (5/8) from 1.2 ft @ 13 secs (1.5 ft). Swell Direction: 188 degrees
Southern CA: Swell arriving early Fri (5/5) with period 18 secs early building to 1.9 ft @ 17 secs at sunset (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell holding Sat (5/6) at 2.1 ft @ 16 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell holding Sun (5/7) at 2.1 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading some on Mon (5/8) from 1.9 ft @ 14 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell fading Tues (5/9) from 1.4 ft @ 13-14 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 212 moving to 202 degrees and mostly shadowed by Tahiti
North CA: Swell arriving early Fri (5/5) with period 18 secs early building to 1.9 ft @ 17-18 secs at sunset (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell holding Sat (5/6) at 2.2 ft @ 16 secs (3.5 ft). Swell holding Sun (5/7) at 2.2 ft @ 15 secs (3.0-3.5 ft) early. Swell fading some on Mon (5/8) from 2.0 ft @ 14 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell fading Tues (5/9) from 1.7 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 208 moving to 198 degrees and shadowed by Tahiti
Southeast Pacific Gale
Another gale is forecast developing in the deep South Central Pacific on Mon PM (5/1) producing 30 kt southwest winds and seas building. On Tues AM southwest winds to be lifting northeast at 30-35 kts over a solid area with seas 21 ft at 55S 154W aimed northeast. In the evening south winds to be lifting northeast at 35-40 kts with seas 27 ft at 50S 145W aimed northeast. On Wed AM (5/3) fetch is to be solidifying from the south at 35-40 kts with seas 30 ft at 49S 139.5W aimed northeast. South to southwest fetch is to be building in coverage in the evening at 30-35 kts over a large area with seas 29 ft at 44.25S 137.25W aimed northeast. On Thurs AM (5/4) southwest winds to be fading from 35-40 kts with seas 26 ft at 40S 132W aimed northeast. 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
Beyond 72 hours no meaningful swell producing weather systems are forecast.
Beyond 72 hours starting Fri AM (4/5) another gale is to be right behind over the Southeast Pacific with 40-45 kts south winds and seas building from 28 ft at 54.25S 142.25W aimed northeast. In the evening south winds to build to 50 kts with seas 38 ft at 54.75S 137.5W aimed north-northeast. On Sat AM (5/6) south winds to be 40-45 kts with seas 37 ft at 48.75S 132.25W. In the evening fetch is to fading from 35 kts from the south with seas 32 ft at 45.5S 126.75W aimed northeast. Fetch and seas fading quickly after that. Something to monitor.
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.
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 (4/29) 5 day average winds were moderate 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 moderate 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): (4/30) Weak west anomalies were over the far west KWGA with moderate east anomalies filling the bulk of the KWGA. The 7 day forecast has moderate east anomalies holding over the bulk of the KWGA to east of 150E till 5/3 then pushing east with modest west anomalies developing filling most of the KWGA by 5/3 and then getting strong over the for West Pacific on 5/5 wand holding through the last day of the model run on 5/7.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
- MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:
OLR Models: (4/29) A weak Inactive MJO was in control of the KWGA today. The statistical model indicates the weak Inactive MJO continuing over the the KWGA on day 5 of the model run then gone on day 10 with the Active Phase building over the West KWGA and filling it on day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model indicates the same thing.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (CA and GEFS): (4/30) The statistical model depicts the Active signal was weak over the Central Indian Ocean and is to move to the East 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 at moderate strength 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): (4/30) A modest Active (dry) pattern was moving into the far West KWGA with the Inactive (dry air) pattern filling the East Pacific today. The forecast has the Inactive Phase of the MJO (dry air) tracking east and out of the Pacific by 5/10 and then gone by 5/15. The Active Phase (wet air) is to continue developing over the West Pacific on 5/5 filling the KWGA on 5/10 and easing east over the Pacific and east of the KWGA on 5/30 and almost out of the PAcific at the end of the model run on 6/9. The Inactive Phase (dry air) is to start building over the KWGA starting 5/30 and in control at the end of the model run.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/29) 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 5/3 but with west anomalies building and filling the KWGA on 5/3 and pretty strong over the dateline with the Active Phase depicted starting 5/5. The Active Phase and solid west anomalies are to hold over the through 5/18. Regardless west anomalies a weak to modest strength are to be filling the KWGA of not the entire Pacific through the end of the model run on 5/27. This is an upgrade.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/27) - 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 building control over the KWGA with weak east anomalies over the dateline area but with weak west anomalies west of there. West anomalies are to build filling the KWGA on 5/3 and building to near strong status 5/4-5/8 even with the Inactive Phase holding till 5/10. The Active Phase of the MJO is to traverse the KWGA 5/5 through 5/29 with west anomalies holding. A weak Inactive Phase is to follow 5/18-6/1 but with west anomalies holding. A neutral MJO phase is to follow 6/7-6/28 with weak west anomalies solidly filling the KWGA. Then next Active Phase of the MJO is to follow starting 7/1 through the end of the model run on 7/28 with west anomalies building to strong status filling the KWGA. 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 150W today and east of the KWGA and moving east fast. A broad low pressure bias is established over the West KWGA centered at 150E 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 9 with it's leading edge then stalling at 150W 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: (4/30) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was steady if not backtracking slightly from 180W (previously 170E) to 177E. The 28 deg isotherm line was stalled at 159W 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 degs anomalies in the far West Pacific at depth and +4-5 degs anomalies in the far East Pacific. Amazing. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/23 indicates a huge very warm stream 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: (4/23) Sea heights were positive across the equatorial Pacific connected to the East Pacific at +5-10 cms over the entirety of it's width with a pocket of +10 cms in the west and a pocket of +10-20 cms in the east extending north of Panama and south to Chile. 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.
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4 Qualitative Analysis: (4/29) The latest images depict a strong warm signal along the coasts of Peru and Ecuador and rebuilding compared to weeks past with a tongue extending west over the Galapagos continuing along the equator reaching to 138W (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 (4/29): 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 along Ecuador and points west of there out to 160W. The pattern of adding energy to the warm surface pool has restarted. 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: (4/29) 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 building on the equator west to 138W 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: (4/30) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs compared to official sources). Today's temps are rising again at +2.478 after dropping to +2.145 (4/25) 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: (4/30) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs). Temps were rising today at +0.318 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.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
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 (4/30) - Temps are slowly climbing above neutral (0.2 degs today) and are forecast rising to +1.49 degs in July and +2.35 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 +1.85 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 (4/30) the Daily Index was positive at +12.76 and has been near there the last 5 days, but negative the previous 15 days, positive the 6 days prior to that 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 rising at -1.20 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 rising slightly at +2.41 and has not been negative (yet) in a long time, 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
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:
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