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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, May 5, 2022 3:41 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
2.2 - California & 2.2 - Hawaii
Using the 'Winter' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

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

Issued for Week of Monday 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 Swell Hitting CA
New Zealand Swell Fading in Hi - Building in CA

 

BUOY ROUNDUP
Thursday, May 5, 2022 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor)/Buoy 239 (Lanai) NA/Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt) NA: Seas were 4.6 ft @ 16.7 secs with swell 3.3 ft @ 16.3 secs from 164 degrees. Water temp 77.5 degs (Barbers Pt), NA (Lani 239), 77.2 (Pearl Harbor 233).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 6.0 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 3.8 ft @ 13.5 secs from 316 degrees. Water temp 76.8 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.3 ft @ 17.2 secs with swell 2.0 ft @ 17.6 secs from 213 degrees. Wind southeast at 4-8 kts. Water temperature 60.6 degs, 62.2 (Topanga 103), 61.9 degs (Long Beach 215), 63.0 (Del Mar 153), 62.8 (Imperial Beach 155). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.9 ft @ 15.8 secs from 261 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.6 ft @ 17.4 secs from 218 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.3 ft @ 17.5 secs from 215 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.9 ft @ 17.2 secs from 222 degrees. Water temp 63.9 degs.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 8.7 ft @ 18.2 secs with swell 6.0 ft @ 18.6 secs from 285 degrees. Wind at buoy 46012 was northwest at 6-10 kts. Water temp 50.7 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 48.9 (46026), 52.5 (SF Bar 142), and 51.1 (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 Thursday (5/5) North and Central CA had set waves at 3 ft overhead coming from the northwest with decent energy and decent form with light wind and glassy conditions with some lump intermixed. Protected breaks were chest to head high on the sets and lined up if not closed out and clean. At Santa Cruz surf was 3 ft overhead and lined up and clean with good form. In Southern California/Ventura waves were chest high on the sets and lined up with decent form and no wind and glassy. Central Orange County had sets to head high and lined up with decent form with clean conditions but with some warble in the water making things funky. South Orange County's best summertime breaks were 1 ft overhead and lined up and clean with decent form but inconsistent. North San Diego had sets at head high and lined up and clean but a bit closed out. Hawaii's North Shore was still getting northwest swell with waves double overhead on the peak at top spots and line dup and clean. e head high to 2 ft overhead depending on the break and fairly clean and lined up with decent form. The South Shore was getting solid south swell with set waves 2-3 ft overhead and lined up with energy and clean with good form. The East Shore was getting east windswell at shoulder high and chopped from moderately strong east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (5/5) California was getting the first of two swells from off Kamchatka with southern hemi energy originating from under New Zealand also starting to show. Hawaii was getting fading swell from the second Kamchatka system and solid swell still hitting from the south. The southern hemi swell originated from a gale that 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. The northerly swell originated from a gale that 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 then quickly faded. Secondary swell was right behind it from another gale that developed west of the dateline Sun (5/1) pushing east with seas building to 41 ft then moved 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 to continue for both Hawaii and California. But after that the North Pacific is to go to sleep. The Southern Hemi is to start getting active Sun-Mon (5/9) with a gale forming in the Southeast Pacific producing 33 ft seas aimed northeast. And another is to form in the Central South Pacific Tues-Thurs (5/12) with up to 34 ft seas aimed well to the northeast with secondary energy from a gale developing southeast of New Zealand on Thurs (5/12) producing 35 ft seas aimed northeast. So and uptick in potential focused on the southern hemi is forecast.

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
The Northern hemi jetstream is asleep. Will focus on the Southern Hemi now that we're in a summertime pattern.

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (5/5) swell from a gale previously off Kamchatka was starting to hit the US West Coast (see Kamchatka Gale below). .

Over the next 72 hours swell from a gale previously over the North Dateline is to be fading in Hawaii and building in California (see North Dateline Gale below).

A weak gale is forecast developing northwest of Hawaii on Sat PM (5/7) producing 25-30 kt north winds over the dateline and seas trying to develop. On Sun AM (5/8) north winds are to continue at 25 kts starting to target Hawaii from about 900 nmiles away with seas barely 14 ft at 36N 178E aimed southeast. In the evening the gale is to be building with 30-35 kt north winds with seas building to 17 ft at 41N 179W. Fetch and seas fading from there. Fetch fading Mon AM (5/9) from 25-30 kts with seas fading from 14 ft at 38N 180W aimed south. The gael to fade from there. Low odds of windswell production. Something to monitor.

Otherwise no swell producing weather systems are forecast. The North Pacific is likely done for the season.

 

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).

North CA: Swell building some on Thurs AM (5/5) to 5.4 ft @ 13-14 secs (7.0 ft) with much local windswell still in the water and being overrun by secondary swell later. Swell Direction: 300 degrees

 

North Dateline Gale
A small gale developed while 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 was just west of the dateline with 40-45 kt west winds and seas 37 ft at 45N 175E aimed east. In the evening the gale was fading with 35-40 kt west winds over a decent sized area just east of the dateline with seas 32 ft at 45.25N 176.75W aimed east. On Mon AM (5/2) the gale was fading in the Western Gulf with 35 kt west winds over a decent sized area and seas 27 ft at 44.25N 169W aimed east. In the evening the gale was fading in the Central Gulf with 30-35 kts west winds and seas fading from 25 ft at 47.5N 160,75W aimed east. On Tues AM (5/3) the gale was fading with 30 kt west winds and seas fading from 23 ft at 49.5N 154W aimed east. The gale is to dissipate from there.

Hawaii: Residuals fading on Thurs (5/5) from 3.4 ft @ 13 secs (4.5 ft). Dribbles fading on Fri (5/6) from 2.2 ft @ 11-12 secs (2.5 ft). Swell DIrection: 320-325 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (5/5) building to 4.8 ft @ 16-17 secs later (7.5 ft). Swell continues Fri AM (5/6) at 7.3 ft @ 14 secs early (10 ft) and slowly fading. Residuals on Sat (5/7) fading from 6.2 ft @ 13 secs (8.0 ft). Windswell takes over after that. Swell Direction: 296 degrees

Southern CA: Swell building on Fri (5/6) to 2.0 ft @ 16 secs early (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Sat (5/7) and being overrun by windswell from 3.2 ft @ 14 secs (4.5 ft) and holding. Swell Direction: 300-306 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

  • Fri (5/6) southwest winds are forecast at 5 kts for North CA early and northwest 10 kts for Central CA but up to 15 kts south of Monterey Bay. In the afternoon southwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for North CA and northwest 10 kts for Central CA but 15 kts south of Big Sur. Rain all day for North CA down Bodega Bay.
  • Sat (5/7) northwest winds are forecast at 15+ kts early for North CA and 15-20 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for North CA and 25-30 kts for Central CA. Light rain for Cape Mendocino mainly early.
  • Sun (5/8) morning northwest winds are forecast at 10 kts for Cape Mendocino and 15-20 kts for North CA and 20-25 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 15 kts for all of North and 15-20 kts for Central CA but 30 kts for Pt Conception. Rain building south over North CA to Pt Reyes in the afternoon but no further south.
  • Mon (5/9) northwest winds are forecast at 15 kts for Cape Mendocino early and 10 kts for the remainder of North CA and 10 kts for Central CA but up to 25 kts near Pt Conception. In the afternoon early northwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for North CA and 15 kts for Central CA. Light rain for Cape Mendocino mainly early.
  • Tues (5/10) northwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for North and Central CA early building to 15-20 kts all locations in the afternoon.
  • Wed (5/11) northwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for North CA and 15 kts for Central CA early fading to 10+ kts all locations in the afternoon.
  • Thurs (5/12) northwest winds are forecast at 10 kts for North CA and 10 kts for Central CA early but up to 25 kts for Pt Conception fading to 10 kts all locations in the afternoon.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 16, 17, 13, and 1 inches with 505 on 5/8 and fragments between 5/10-5/12.

Freezing level 10,000 ft today falling steadily to 6.500 ft on Sat (5/17) then down to 4,000-5,000 ft on Mon-Thurs (5/9-5/12), then rising fast and hard to 12,000 ft on 5/14.

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
Jetstream
On Thurs (5/5) the influential southern branch of the jet jet was ridging south to the Ross Ice Shelf southeast of New Zealand then forming a weak trough over the Southeast Pacific being fed by 120-130 kts winds offering some limited support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to push east and be east of the southern CA swell window offering nothing. But another weak but broad trough is forecast developing over the Southeast Pacific on Sun (5/8) starting to offering some hope with winds feeding it building to 150 kts on Mon (5/9) offering decent support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours a new trough is to start building southeast of New Zealand on Tues (5/10) with winds building feeding it on Wed (5/11) to 150 kts offering decent support for gale development while pushing east. And yet more wind energy is to start lifting northeast under New Zealand on Thurs (5/12) at 150 kts perhaps supporting yet more gale development. A somewhat improving pattern is forecast.


Surface Analysis
Swell from a two part gale that developed under New Zealand is still hitting Hawaii and starting to show in California (see Stronger New Zealand Gale below).

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

 

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: 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: 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: 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 swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a gale is forecast developing in the deep Southeast Pacific on Sun AM (5/7) with 35-40 kt southwest winds over a solid area and seas 26 ft at 63.25S 151.5W. In the evening southwest winds are to be building to 40-45 kts with seas 32 ft at 59S 142W aimed east-northeast. Mon AM (5/10) southwest winds are to be 40-45 kts over the far Southeast Pacific with seas 33 ft at 57.25S 130.5W aimed northeast. In the evening southwest winds to be fading from 35-40 kts with seas 32 ft at 54.5S 123.25W aimed northeast and on the edge of the SCal swell window. This system to fade and be east of the CA swell window beyond. Something to monitor.

On Tues AM (5/10) another gales is forecast southeast of New Zealand with 45 kt south winds lifting northeast with seas 32 ft at 56S 163W aimed northeast. In the evening the gale is to be pushing northeast with 35-40 kt southwest winds and seas 33 ft at 53S 155.25W aimed northeast. Additional fetch is to be in the mix Wed AM (5/11) at 35-40 kts with seas 26-29 ft over a broad area roughly at 50S 150W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch fetch is to be pushing east at 35-45 kts with seas 30 ft at 50S 137W aimed east. Something to monitor.

And on Wed AM (5/11) another gael is forecast developing under New Zealand with 45+ kt southwest winds over a small area and seas building from 34 ft at 57.25S 171.5E aimed northeast. The small gael is to be racing northeast in the evening with 45-50 kt southwest winds and seas 35 ft at 53.5S 175W aimed northeast. Fetch fading on Thurs AM (5/12) at 35-40 kts being sucked into remnants of the previous gale with 29 ft seas at 49S 158W aimed northeast. Something to monitor.

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

CFS Model Upgrades
Weak La Nina through Fall then Fading - SOI Peaked Late April
- New Kelvin Wave Trying
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 (5/4) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific and moderate east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and light to modest east over the Central Pacific and light to 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 (5/5) east anomalies were light filling the KWGA, The 7 day forecast calls for east anomalies slowly building and filling the KWGA by 5/8 at strong status holding through 5/11 then starting to fade but still moderate the last day of the model run on 5/12.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (5/4) A weak Inactive MJO signal was indicated today filling the KWGA. The statistical model indicates a neutral MJO signal setting up 5 days out with the Active MJO building on day 10 and filling the KWGA on day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model projects the same thing but the Active MJO on day 15 is to not be as solid.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS):
(5/5) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the West Indian Ocean and is to push steadily east moving to the Maritime Continent and still week 15 days out. The dynamic model suggests the Active Phase racing east to the Atlantic at very weak status.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (4/25) This model has not updated. 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): (5/4) A neutral MJO Phase was depicted over the KWGA today but with modest east anomalies starting to build over the KWGA. East anomalies are to continue building over the KWGA 5/10-5/14, then fading to weak status to 5/15-5/19 then rebuilding to moderate status on 5/20 and holding filling the KWGA through the end of the model run on 6/1 with the Inactive Phase developing weakly on the dateline from 5/19-5/30.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind):
(5/5 - 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 over the KWGA with modest east anomalies focused mainly on the dateline with weak west anomalies to 150E in the West KWGA. The forecast depicts a weak Inactive signal holding through 6/6 with a pocket of east anomalies over the dateline holding through 5/29, then dissipating. Otherwise neutral to weak west anomalies are to take over the entirety of the KWGA 6/4 and beyond filling 100% of the KWGA and holding for the foreseeable future. East anomalies are to become focused at 130W starting 5/22 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 holding for the foreseeable future. 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 holding steady fore the foreseeable future. A second contour line is to appear on 6/20. Of note, the leading edge of the low pressure bias has been stalled at 150E since 1/31, started moving east on 3/25 but appears to have stalled again on 4/25 and is still stalled today and is expected to hold there until 6/6 then moving east incredibly slow. In effect no real change is forecast. All this suggest the continuation of La Nina. This model has been constantly slipping later the velocity of the arrival of the low pressure bias deeper into the KWGA. So it is not to be believed. And the 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: (5/5) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was present at 163E. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 174E. The 26 degree isotherm backtracked from 120W to 135W to 141W on 5/3 and is steady 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 with a thin stream connecting it to the East Pacific. A shrinking area of -1C cool anomalies were below the warm pool at 110W and fading fast. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/28 indicates the same pocket of cool anomalies between 138W-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 140W. 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) 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 weaker than days previous limited to pockets at +5 cms with one to +10 cms. A broad area of negative anomalies at -5 cms were over the equator from Ecuador shrinking from 150W to 140W today. And those negative anomalies were fading in intensity into Ecuador. Otherwise positive anomalies were mostly locked from the dateline and points west of there. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram a previous Kelvin Wave dissipated on 4/1. A pocket of cool anomalies was fading from -1.0 degs between Ecuador and 138W. 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: (5/4) The latest images depict a broad generic pool of cool water extending west from Ecuador 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 (5/4): A few pockets of weak cooling were present between Ecuador and 110W. A few small pockets of warming were west of there.
Hi-res Overview: (5/4) 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: (5/5) Today's temps were falling some at -1.856 degrees 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:
(5/5) Today's temps were rising slightly -0.950 later falling to -0.963 on 5/3 and that 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 (5/5) - T
emps are to fall to -1.05 degs in early May and then are to slowly rise to about -0.60 degs in July more or less holding there into Nov, then rising above the La Nina threshold at -0.4 degrees in Jan. This model suggests we are at going to slowly transition towards ENSO neutral in the coming Winter. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps holding at -1.00 degs in May then rising to -0.50 degs in July then slowly falling to -0.70 degs in Nov, then rising beyond. This is starting to come in line 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 (5/5) the daily index was positive at +14.27 after peaking at +31.44 on 4/27, +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 fading some at +19.54 after rising to +20.07 on 5/2 the highest in a year beating last years high of +19.51 on 1/14.
The 90 day average was falling some at +12.84 today after peaking at +13.69 on 3/28 rising from +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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