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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, May 2, 2019 4:50 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
2.5 - California & 2.0 - 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 4/29 thru Sun 5/5

Swell Potential Rating Categories
5 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Significant swell
4 = Good probability for 1-2 days of Significant swell
3 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Intermediate/Advanced swell
2 = Good probability for  1-2 days of
Intermediate/Advanced swell
1 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Impulse or Windswell
0 = Low probability for 1-2 days of Impulse or Windswell   

Small S. Hemi Swell Fading in CA
2 Strong Gales Forecast for SPac

On Thursday, May 2, 2019 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/ Buoy 239 (Lanai) seas were 2.6 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 1.6 ft @ 13.3 secs from 185 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 5.5 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 4.2 ft @ 6.5 secs from 55 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.6 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 2.0 ft @ 13.7 secs from 189 degrees. Wind at the buoy was south at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 60.1 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.2 ft @ 14.6 secs from 200 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.8 ft @ 14.6 secs from 206 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.9 ft @ 14.6 secs from 216 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.4 ft @ 14.6 secs from 189 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 6.0 ft @ 7.7 secs with swell 4.7 ft @ 6.7 secs from 323 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was north at 6-8 kts. Water temp 55.8 degs (042) and 55.8 (013).

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

Swell Classification Guidelines

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

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

Current Conditions
On Thursday (5/2) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing waves at thigh to waist high and slightly warbled but local wind was calm. Protected breaks were thigh high or so and soft but clean. At Santa Cruz southern hemi swell was producing sets at waist high or so and clean but generally weak. In Southern California/Ventura surf was waist high and clean and lined up but weak. In North Orange Co surf was chest high on the sets and clean and lined up but a bit soft. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were getting southern hemi swell with set waves head high on the peak and clean and lined up. North San Diego had surf at chest to head high and lined up and closed out and reasonably clean but with some texture intermixed. Hawaii's North Shore was getting Northwest Pacific swell with waves head high or so and warbled from east-northeast trades. The South Shore was thigh to waist high on the sets and clean and soft. The East Shore was getting east windswell with waves thigh high and heavily textured from east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (5/2) in California small local northerly windswell was producing barely rideable surf at exposed breaks. And some rideable southern hemi swell was showing at south facing breaks. New swell was hitting Hawaii from a gale that developed approaching the Northern Dateline region on Sun-Mon (4/30) producing up to 26 ft seas aimed east. Possibly another gale to track off Japan on Thurs (5/2) producing 23 ft seas briefly aimed east and rapidly fading out. No other swell producing weather systems to follow. In the Southern Hemisphere a weak gale formed in the Central Pacific Fri-Mon (4/22) producing seas to barely 30 ft seas lifting northeast. That swell is weakly pushing into California now. On Thurs-Fri (5/3) a stronger gale is to develop south of New Zealand with seas to 41 ft lifting gently east-northeast. And another fetch is to produce up to 44 ft seas pushing east from a point south of New Zealand Sun-Mon (5/6).

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 (5/20) small swell from a gale that developed in the Northwest Pacific was starting to show in Hawaii (see West Dateline Gale below). A small gale was just off North Japan on Thurs AM (5/2) producing a small area of 23 ft seas aimed east. But that gale is to be gone by evening. no meaningful swell to result.

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


West Dateline Gale
A small gale developed mid-way between the Kuril's and the dateline on Sun AM (4/28) with 35 kt west winds and seas building from 23 ft at 41.5N 163E aimed east. In the evening 35 kt west winds were lifting northeast with 25 ft seas at 44.5N 170E aimed east. On Mon AM (4/29) the gale held together with 30 kt west winds still lifting northeast over the North Dateline region with seas 22 ft at 47.5N 171.5E aimed east. In the evening the gale is to move over the Aleutians on the North Dateline region and fade with barely 30 kt west winds and seas fading from 21 ft just south of the Central Aleutians at 51N 177E aimed east. Nothing else to follow. Maybe some small swell is to be pushing east.

Oahu: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (5/2) building to 2.4 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.0 ft). Swell continues on Fri (5/3) at 2.5 ft @ 12 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Sat (5/4) dropping from 2.5 ft @ 11 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 315 degrees


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


Tropical Update
No tropical weather systems of interest are forecast.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday (5/2) weak low pressure is approaching Central CA with a northwest flow 15-20 kts along the North CA coast and 5-10 kts for Central CA. Low odds for windswell production. Friday (5/3) the low is to hold off Central CA with northwest winds 10-15 kts early fading to 5-10 kts later but up to 20 kts over Cape Mendocino. Still no real windswell production expected. Saturday (5/4) high pressure is to start building in the Gulf of Alaska at 1030 mbs with the low moving south over open ocean and fading with north winds building along Oregon down to Cape Mendocino at 15-20 kts and north winds 5-10 kts south of the to Pt Conception. No windswell expected. Sunday (5/5) the gradient is to build along Oregon and Cape Mendocino with north winds to 25+ kts near the CA-OR border but with light winds from the northwest 5-10 kts forecast for the remainder of North and Central CA. Maybe some windswell to be developing. Light rain forecast around Pt Conception mid-day building some over the Southern Sierra overnight with snow over highest elevations and holding into Monday AM. On Monday (5/6) north winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for all of North CA and south 5 kts for Central CA. Tuesday (5/7) high pressure returns stronger with north winds 20-25 kts off and along the north portion of North CA and south winds 5 kts for Central CA up to Pt Arena and windswell holding. No real change on Wednesday (5/8) . but on Thurs (5/9) the gradient is to start fading with north winds 15-20 kts off Cape Mendocino early and fading to 15 kts later wit windswell production fading out.

0 inches of snow for Tahoe through Thurs (5/9) and 1-2 inchs for Mammoth.

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


South Pacific

On Thursday (5/2) the southern branch of the jetstream was fairly consolidated tracking east under New Zealand on the 58S latitude line at 160 kts forming a small trough southeast of New Zealand but not offering much in terms of support for gale development. From there the jet tracked east to slightly east-southeast at 130 kts pushing out of the Southern CA swell window. Over the next 72 hours the trough is to start building and getting decently formed on Fri (5/3) in the South Central Pacific and offering good support for gale development while tracking east in the East Pacific and starting to pinch off on Sat (5/4) and fading support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours another weaker but broad trough is to develop under New Zealand on Sun (4/5) being fed by 120-130 kt winds building to 140 kts on Mon (5/6) offering improving support for gale development before moderating in the Central South Pacific on Tues (5/7). By Wed (5/8) a ridge is to start building under New Zealand pushing south to Antarctica and sweeping east to 140W by Thurs (5/9) effectively shutting down upper level support for gale development.

Surface Analysis  
A weak gale traversed the Central South Pacific generating swell that is starting to fade in California (see Central South Pacific Gale below). Another gale developed in the Southeast Pacific behind that producing swell pushing north (see Southeast Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours the models continue to suggest a gale developing just south of New Zealand on Thurs AM (5/2) with 35 kt southwest winds pushing east-northeast with seas building from 24 ft at 58S 177E aimed east-northeast. In the evening fetch is to build to 40 kts from the southwest moving towards the Central South Pacific with 30 ft seas over a tiny area at 54.5S 176W aimed east-northeast. On Fri AM (5/3) a more consolidated fetch of 50 kt south winds are to be building while tracking northeast with seas 31 ft over a building area aimed northeast at 53.5S 165W. In the evening 50-55 kt southwest winds are to be lifting northeast with seas 41 ft at 58S 154.5W aimed northeast. On Sat AM (5/4) southwest fetch is to be fading from 45 kts aimed northeast with seas 42 ft at 53S 144.5W aimed northeast. In the evening the gale is to be in the far Southeast Pacific with 40 kts southwest winds over a modest area and 36 ft seas at 50S 134W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (5/5) 35-40 kt southwest fetch is to be on the eastern edge of the Southern CA swell window with 34 ft seas at 53S 122W aimed northeast. By evening this system is to be gone and out of the California swell window. Something to monitor.


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

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

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

Southern CA: Swell fading some on Thurs (5/2) from 2.5 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction 200 degrees

North CA: Swell fading some on Thurs (5/2) from 2.2 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction 198 degrees


Southeast Pacific Gale
A gale developed in the Southeast Pacific on Sat PM (4/27) with 45 kt south winds and seas 29 ft at 51.5S 133.5W aimed north. Fetch faded Sun AM (4/28) from 35 kts tracking north with seas fading from 28 ft at 48S 130W aimed north. In the evening the gale continued tracking north but weak. On Mon AM (4/29) the gale redeveloped with 40 kt south winds and seas building to 28 ft over a tiny area at 37S 126W aimed north. Fetch held stationary in the evening with seas 30 ft over a tiny area aimed north at 37S 126W. Fetch faded from there. Small but decent swell to arrive in CA given this storms relative close/north position.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (5/5) building to 2.3 ft @ 17 secs later (4.0 ft). Swell solid on Mon (5/6) building to 3.1 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.5-5.0 ft). Swell holding on Tues (5/7) at 3.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell fading on Wed (5/8) from 2.5 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Dribbles on Thurs (5/9) fading from 1.6 ft @ 12-13 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 192 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (5/5) building to 2.0 ft @ 18 secs late (3.5 ft). Swell solid on Mon (5/6) building to 3.0 ft @ 16 secs later (4.8 ft). Swell holding on Tues (5/7) 3.2 ft @ 15 secs (4.5 ft). Swell fading on Wed (5/8) from 2.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.5 ft). Dribbles on Thurs (5/9) fading from 2.0 ft @ 12-13 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 187 degrees


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




Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours another broad gale is to be developing under New Zealand on Sat AM (5/4) with 45-50 kt west winds and seas building from 32 ft over a tiny area at 65S 171E aimed east. In the evening 45 kt south and west fetch is to push east aimed east with 37 ft seas at 57S 170E aimed east. On Sun AM (5/5) 45-50 kt southwest fetch is to be tracking northeast with seas 42 ft at 58.5S 179W aimed northeast. In the evening southwest fetch to be fading in velocity but broad in coverage at 35-40 kts with seas 42 ft at 54.5W 166W aimed northeast. The gale is to be fading Mon AM (5/6) with fetch dropping from 35-40 kts and seas fading from 37 ft at 52.5S 156W aimed northeast. This system is to be fading at 35+ kts aimed northeast with seas 34 ft at 51S 147W aimed northeast. The gael to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.


MJO/ENSO Forecast


Kelvin Wave #3 Erupting In East Equatorial Pacific

The Madden Julian Oscillation is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for MJO activity (which directly relate to the potential for swell production).

Overview: La Nina started developing in early 2016, but westward displaced and generally weak. And by March 2017, it was gone with suspicious warming developing along South America and over the Galapagos to a point south of Hawaii. By May the atmosphere returned to a neutral configuration but then in July east anomalies started building in the KWGA and did not stop, with cold water upwelling over the the Nino1.2 and 3.4 areas, indicative of La Nina. A double dip La Nina was in control and continued through the Winter of 2017-2018. But warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018 associated with two upwelling Kelvin Waves, and continued trying to build over equatorial waters over the Summer and Fall, but not enough to declare El Nino and not coupled with the atmosphere. As of January 2019, those warm waters were fading, but then started building some late in Feb associated with another Kelvin Wave (#3).

Summer 2019 = 5.5 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)

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

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (5/1) 5 day average winds were from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific to the dateline, then continuing east over the KWGA. Anomalies were light east over the East equatorial Pacific turning neutral over the Central Pacific and then light east over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (5/2) moderate east anomalies were fading in the Eastern KWGA with west anomalies building over the Western KWGA. The forecast is for west anomalies easing east and filling the KWGA on 5/7 and holding through the end of the model run on 5/9. There is to be an increase in support for storm development starting 5/5 and continuing thereafter.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (5/1) A weak Inactive MJO pattern was fading fast on the dateline with the Active Phase building in the Western KWGA. The statistic model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO is to be building over the West Pacific at day 50 and nearly filling the West Pacific then fading slowly and almost gone at day 15 with the Inactive Phase building strong over the Indian Ocean. The dynamic model indicates a variation on the same theme. The 2 models are generally in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (5/2) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was moderate in the East Maritime Continent, and is forecast to push east into the West Pacific through day 15 at weak strength. The GEFS model suggests the Active Phase moderate in strength and pushing east while fading to weak or less status in the Western Pacific at day 15.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (5/2) This model depicts a solid Active Phase was pushing into the West Pacific today and is forecast tracking east into Central America on 5/22. A modest Inactive Phase is to develop in the West Pacific on 5/17 pushing east into Central America at the end of the model run on 6/11. A weak MJO signal is to build over the West Pacific 5/27 pushing into the East Pacific on 6/11.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/1) This model depicts a modest Inactive Phase and east anomalies is all but gone in the East KWGA today with east anomalies fading fast. At the same time is solid Active Phase and west anomalies are building in the far West Pacific. The forecast has the Active Phase tracking east and building solid over the KWGA 5/3-5/20 with moderate plus west anomalies in the control of the KWGA pushing east. The Active Phase is to be pushing out of the KWGA at the end of the model run on 5/29 with a weak Inactive Phase following and weak east anomalies building in the far West Pacific.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/10) This model depicts a weak Inactive MJO was all but gone and exiting east out of the KWGA today with weak east anomalies fading in the KWGA. After that modest west anomalies are to develop in the core of the KWGA as the Active Phase builds 5/3 through 5/25 with west anomalies holding if not building to moderate strength near 5/5-5/16. After that weak west anomalies are to fade to neutral as a moderate Inactive Phase of the MJO sets up 5/24-6/16. Another modest Active Phase is to develop 6/13 holding through the end of the model run on 7/30 with modest west anomalies forecast. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias with 2 contour lines is fully in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to California but not inland and forecast to hold steady position wise to the end of the model run on 7/30. The second contour line was to fade on 7/19 but now is to hold through the end of the model run. This model indicates that a tendency towards El Nino was previously in control during the Fall of 2018, but has been steadily fading since then and is to continue a slow decline for the foreseeable future, but not turning to La Nina. Basically we are moving to a ENSO neutral pattern bias slightly towards El Nino.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (5/2) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 29 deg temps reaching east to 169W building some compared to days past. The 28 deg isotherm line had retrograded west to 160W mid-Nov into late Feb. But it made a major push east starting 3/16 from 150W to 140W on 3/20, and to 130W on 4/10 and to 121W on 4/14, and 4/22 pushing into Ecuador, then back to 115W on 4/25 but had pushed east again today to Ecuador. It appears Kelvin Wave #3 was erupting in the East Pacific. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador 30 meters down. Anomaly wise, gentle warm anomalies are filling the entire subsurface Pacific at +1 degs or greater from the surface to 150 meters down. Embedded in that flow is a pocket of warmer water centered in the East Pacific at 115W at +3 degs (Kelvin Wave #3) reaching Ecuador and west to 138W. This Kelvin Wave is the warmest of any Kelvin Wave so far since La Nina faded into early 2018 and is to adding warmth moving into 2019. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/28 indicates warm water from Kelvin Wave #3 was filling the equatorial Pacific from 155E eastward, weaker in the West Pacific at +1 degs and stronger over the East Pacific at +3 degs from 130W to Ecuador (attributable to a Westerly Wind Burst 12/30-1/16 and another 2/12-2/24). There was no indication of any more warm water moving from the Maritime Continent into the far West Pacific. There is a river of very warm water traversing the width of the equatorial Pacific. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (4/28) Positive anomalies were fading fast over the equatorial Pacific positive anomalies over the dateline and another pocket at 120W and very unfocused. Both west at 0-5 cms above normal. Obviously Kelvin Wave #3 was fading out.

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: (5/1) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate temps were building decently right on the equator from Ecuador to 100W, then modestly warm straddling a broader area 20 degrees north and south of the equator from 100W continuing west to the dateline. These temps on teh equator near the Galapagos are building strongly compared to days past and holding west of there. Cool water previously along the coast of Peru and Ecuador was collapsing. There is some weak indication of a El Nino but nothing strong.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (5/1): A weak warming trend was over the equatorial Central Pacific with a pocket of stronger warming near the Galapagos. Weak cooling water as along the coast of Peru and just west of Ecuador.
Hi-res Overview: (5/1) Warmer than normal water was from just off Peru up to Central America west over the Galapagos 20 degrees north and south of the equator continuing west of there to the dateline. It was holding compared to days past.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (5/2) Today's temps were steady at +0.214. Overall trend is falling in spurts for the last 3 months except for a recent uptick in mid-April.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(5/2) Today temps were rising some at +0.729 today. Temps have been generally steady the last 6 weeks.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (5/2) The model indicates temps were +0.90 degs through April forecast building to +1.45 degrees in early June then fading slowly to +1.40 degs on July 1, fading slightly through the Fall then holding at +1.15 degs in Sept and Oct then down to +0.95 in Dec 1
and steady into Jan. A weak El Nino like pattern is to hold if not build into July associated with the eruption of Kelvin Wave #3, then slowly fading through the Fall and Winter of 2019/20 with no more Kelvin Waves forecast. A multiyear warming event is in progress as suggested by this model.
IRI Consensus Plume: The March 2019 Plume depicts temps are at +0.65 degs today, and are to hold in the +0.75 range into July, then holding at +0.75 through Nov 2019. See chart here - link.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad) (5/2): The daily index was positive today at 11.74 but otherwise has been generally negative the previous 21 days, then positive for 7 days before that, and negative for 57 days before that (Feb 4-4/2 other than 3/23 & 3/24). The 30 day average was rising some at -1.32 suggesting a neutral MJO. The 90 day average was rising some at -7.44, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern biased towards El Nino (for now).
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (4/23) The index was neutral at -0.01 on 2/14 but has been rising ever since and pushed up to +0.99 on 3/3 (the highest its been in years), then fell some but started rising again and was up to +1.10 today. It is approaching El Nino territory but still indicted mostly ENSO neutral conditions.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly positive, even though La Nina is in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values: June 2017 +0.21, July -0.50, Aug -0.62, Sept -0.25, Oct -0.61, Nov -0.45, Dec -0.13, Jan 2018 +0.29, Feb -0.19, Mar -0.61, April -0.89, May -0.69, June -0.85, July -0.09, Aug -0.43, Sept -0.46, Oct -0.75, Nov -0.78, Dec -0.12, Jan -0.23, Feb -0.55 This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO, even with La Nina, because the warm PDO appears to be dampening the effects of La Nina. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): June 2017 +0.79, July +0.10, Aug +0.09, Sept +0.32, Oct +0.05, Nov +0.15, Dec +0.50, Jan +0.70. Feb +0.37, Mar -0.05, April +0.11, May +0.11, June -0.04, July +0.11, Aug +0.18, Sept +0.09. No real negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data strongly suggests that could be a possibility. By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 


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

Powerlinessurf Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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