Thursday, May 6, 2021
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 1.9 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 1.3 ft @ 13.0 secs from 186 degrees. Water temp 77.0 degs (Pearl Harbor 233), 78.1 (Lani 239).
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.9 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 2.9 ft @ 7.9 secs from 266 degrees. Water temp 76.8 degs.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.6 ft @ 12.8 secs with swell 1.9 ft @ 13.2 secs from 214 degrees. Wind at the buoy was south at 4-6 kts. Water temperature 63.0 degs, 63.3 (Topanga 103), 62.8 degs (Long Beach 215), 65.1 (Del Mar 153), 64.8 (Pt Loma 191). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 2.9 ft @ 12.8 secs from 281 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.5 ft @ 13.3 secs from 221 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.8 ft @ 13.0 secs from 212 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 2.1 ft @ 13.1 secs from 216 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.1 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 3.1 ft @ 12.3 secs from 280 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 14-16 kts. Water temp 48.7 (029), 52.5 degs (SF Bar) and 55.2 degs (Santa Cruz).
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.
On Thursday (5/6) North and Central CA had waves at waist to chest high and chopped with small whitecaps early. Protected breaks were flat to thigh high and somewhat textured but cleaner than up north and gutless if even rideable. At Santa Cruz surf was up to waist high on the sets and lined up and clean. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist high on the sets and fairly clean and lined up with decent form when the sets cane. Central Orange County had set waves at waist to near chest high and lined up coming from the south and real clean and rideable but weak. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at waist to near chest high and lined up and clean but soft and inconsistent. North San Diego had sets waves at waist high or so and semi-lined up but soft and weak but with clean conditions. Hawaii's North Shore had a few sets at waist high or so and clean but inconsistent. The South Shore was thigh thigh at best and clean and weak. The East Shore report was not available.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Thursday (5/6) Hawaii was getting no swell of interest. California was fading background energy from the southern hemi. Beyond a gale developed under New Zealand Sat-Sun (5/2) tracking northeast producing up to barely 30 ft seas. Behind it another gale formed tracking east from under New Zealand Tues-Thurs (5/6) producing up to 34 ft seas aimed east over a small area. Another gale is to follow in the Central South Pacific Fri-Mon (5/10) producing 32 ft seas aimed north. And another is to push southeast of New Zealand Mon-Tues (5/11) producing 38 ft seas aimed east-northeast. And possibly another is to form behind that in the Southeast Pacific aimed well north with 30 ft seas. In North and Central CA local northwest windswell is to rebuild Fri (5/7) holding into Tues (5/11).
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Thursday (5/6) no swell of interest was hitting the coast and no swell producing weather systems were occurring.
Over the next 72 hours windswell will arrive from a low pressure system that developed off Northern CA on Wed AM (5/5) producing 35-40 kts northwest winds over a decent sized area starting to get traction producing 16 ft seas at 40.5N 147W aimed southeast. In the evening fetch was rapidly fading from 25 kts with seas fading from 14 ft at 37N 140W aimed southeast. This system was gone after that. Small windswell was generated but it is to be buried in larger and rawer local windswell along the California Coast when it arrives on Fri (5/7).
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are occurring nor forecast.
California Nearshore Forecast
- Fri (5/7) high pressure is to be taking control of the local weather situation with northwest winds 20-25 kts and nearly 30 kts for North CA and 20+ kts for Central CA early building in the afternoon to 25-30 kts all locations and 35 kts for the southern half of North CA. Windswell building. No precip forecast.
- Sat (5/8) high pressure holds with northwest winds 30 kts for North CA early and 20-25 kts for Central CA early but mainly off the coast. Winds building in the afternoon to 30-35 kts for North CA and 20-25 kts nearshore for Central CA. Windswell holding.
- Sun (5/9) northwest winds are forecast at 30-35 kts for North and 25-30 kts for Central CA early building in coverage at 30-35 kts for all of North CA and 25-30 kts for Central CA in the afternoon. Windswell holding.
- Mon (5/10) northwest winds are forecast at 30 kts for North CA early and 10 kts for Central CA nearshore holding all day but fading in coverage later up north. Windswell fading slightly.
- Tues (5/11) northwest winds are forecast at 20-25+ kts for North CA north of Bodega Bay early and calm south of there early. Northwest winds in the afternoon are to be fading fast at 20-25 kts limited to Cape Mendocino and calm south of Pt Arena. Windswell fading steadily.
- Wed (5/12) northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts early for Cape Mendocino and calm to light northwest south of Pt Arena pretty much holding that way all day. Limited windswell.
- Thurs (5/13) a weak resurgence of high pressure is forecast early with northwest winds 20-25 kts for all of North CA and 10-15 kts for Central CA. Windswell building slightly.
Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 0 inches, 0 inches, 0 inches, and 0 inches.
Freezing level falling to 10,500 ft 5/6-5/10 then building up to 11,000-12,000+ ft after that.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
On Thursday (5/6) the jet was lifting northeast from under New Zealand forming a broad trough centered over the Central South Pacific being fed by 120 kt winds offering some limited support for gale development. East of there the jet was falling southeast under South America offering nothing. Over the next 72 hours additional wind energy is to be feeding into the trough at 140 kts on Fri (5/7) offering good support for gale development into Saturday (5/8), then pinching off some with the apex of the trough falling southeast relocated to the Southeast Pacific and support for gale development fading on Sun (5/9). A ridge is to be building under New Zealand and sweeping east. Beyond 72 hours the ridge is to take over the South Pacific on Mon (5/10) but by Tues (5/11) wind energy is to start building under New Zealand at 140 kts lifting northeast carving out a new trough over the Southeast Pacific on Wed (5/12) and lifting north to 48S on Thurs (5/13) on the eastern edge of the CA swell window possibly supporting gale formation there. But a large ridge is to be pushing over the Ross Ice Shelf back to the west at that time.
On Thursday (5/6) swell from a weak gale that pushed under New Zealand was pushing towards Hawaii and the US West Coast (see Weak New Zealand Gale below). And a second swell was behind that originating just southeast of New Zealand (see Another New Zealand Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours starting Fri PM (5/7) a new secondary gale is to form in the Central South Pacific producing 35-40 kt southwest winds a tracking northeast with 25 ft seas at 49S 158.5W aimed northeast. On Sat AM (5/8) fetch is to hold at 35-40 kts over a building area from the south with seas 27 ft at 42.5S 155W aimed northeast. A broader fetch is to build in the evening over the same area at 40-45 kts from the south with seas 28 ft at 40S 146W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (5/9) south to southwest winds to hold at 40-45 kts with seas 32 ft over a small area at 39.5S 139W aimed northeast. In the evening 35-40 kt south winds are to be fading with seas 30 ft over a tiny area at 39S 132W aimed northeast. Fetch is to be fading Mon AM (5/10) at 35-40 kts from the southwest with seas 27 ft at 43S 125W aimed northeast. This system is to regenerate after that but east of the Southern CA swell window targeting only Chile and Peru. Something to monitor.
Weak New Zealand Gale
A gale developed south of New Zealand on Fri PM (4/30) with 40-45 kt west winds over a broad area and seas 30 ft at 60.25S 172E aimed east. On Sat AM (5/1) southwest winds were tracking east but fading to 30-35 kts with seas 29 ft at 57.5S 1179.5E aimed northeast. Fetch built in coverage in the evening coming from the south at 30-35 kts with seas 26 ft at 58S 169W aimed northeast. Fetch was fading Sun AM (5/2) from the south at 30 kts with seas 23-24 ft at 55S 162W aimed northeast. In the evening south to southwest winds continued at 30-35 kts over a smaller area with seas fading to 23 ft at 51S 151W aimed northeast. On Mon AM (5/3) fetch regenerated some at 40 kts over a small area aimed northeast with seas 25 ft at 56S 140W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch built to 45 kts from the southwest over a smaller area with seas 31 ft at 56S 136.5W aimed east. The gale faded out after that. Small swell is radiating northeast.
Hawaii: Expect swell arrival late on Sat (5/8) pushing maybe 1.0 ft @ 18 secs (1.5 ft). Swell steady on Sun (5/9) at 1.2 ft @ 16 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell dissipating on Mon (5/10) from 1.1 ft @ 14 secs early (1.5 ft). Swell Direction: 190 degrees
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon (5/10) building to maybe 1.0 ft @ 18 secs late (1.5 ft). Swell building on Tues (5/11) to 1.7 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell steady on Wed (5/12) at 2.3 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft). Swell holding on Thurs (5/13) at 2.4 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell fading on Fri (5/14) from 2.0 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 205 moving to 195 degrees
Northern CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon (5/10) building to maybe 1.0 ft @ 18 secs late (1.5 ft). Swell building on Tues (5/11) to 1.5 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.5 ft). Swell steady on Wed (5/12) at 2.1 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell holding on Thurs (5/13) at 2.2 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Fri (5/14) from 2.1 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 202 moving to 192 degrees
Another Weak New Zealand Gale
On Tues PM (5/4) a small gale pushed east under New Zealand producing a small area of 45-50 kt west winds with seas building to 32 ft at 53.5S 164.5E aimed east. On Wed AM (5/5) southwest winds continued east at 45-50 kts with seas 34 ft at 53.5S 175.5W aimed east. In the evening southwest winds continued at 45-50 kts over a small area aimed east with seas 34 ft at 51.5S 159W aimed east. On Thurs AM (5/6) fetch was fading from 40 kts over the Central South Pacific with seas fading from 32 ft at 50S 145W aimed east. The gale is to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.
Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Wed (5/12) building to 1.3 ft @ 17 secs (2.0 ft) mid-day. Swell holding on Thurs (5/13) at 1.5 ft @ 15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell fading on Fri (5/14) from 1.3 ft @ 14 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 195 degrees
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on late on Thurs (5/13) building to 1.3 ft @ 19 secs (2.0 ft). Swell building some on Fri (5/14) pushing 1.7 ft @ 17 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell holding on Sat (5/15) at 2.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell being overtaken by another swell after that. Swell Direction: 205 degrees
Northern CA: Expect swell arrival on late on Thurs (5/13) building to 1.1 ft @ 19 secs (2.0 ft). Swell building some on Fri (5/14) pushing 1.7 ft @ 17 secs (2.5-3.0 ft) later. Swell holding on Sat (5/15) at 2.0 ft @ 16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Sun (5/16) from 1.8 ft @ 15 secs(2.5 ft) while being overtaken by another swell after that. Swell Direction: 205 degrees
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 swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
Beyond 72 hours another storm is forecast developing southeast of New Zealand on Sun PM (5/9) producing a solid area of 45-50 kt southwest winds and seas building from 31 ft at 60S 172.5W aimed northeast. The gael is to lift east-northeast Mon AM (5/10) producing 45-50 kt southwest winds and seas building to 38 ft at 58.5S 158.5W aimed northeast. In the evening a broad area of 40-45 kts southwest winds are to be easing east with seas 35 ft at 53.5S 142W aimed east. On Tues AM (5/11) southwest winds are to be fading from 35 kts but being overtaken by a new fetch right behind it producing 40-45 kt southwest winds and seas forecast at 40-45 kts over a decent sized area with seas 30-33 ft over a solid area centered at 56S 137W aimed east-northeast. In the evening fetch is to merge at 35-40 kts over a solid area aimed east-northeast with 33 ft seas at 52.5S 129W aimed northeast. Fetch fading Wed AM (5/12) from 35 kts with seas 28-29 ft at 50S 125W aimed east-northeast. This system to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.
And yet another gale is possible in the far Southeast Pacific on Wed PM (5/12) producing a large area of 30-40 kt south winds and seas building from 30 ft at 49S 135W aimed north. On Thurs AM (5/13) south winds to be 30 to near 40 kts over a solid area aimed north with seas 26-29 ft at 44S 130W aimed north. Something to monitor.
SOI Neutral - La Nina Fading
Summary - Kevin Wave #1 was pushing east across the Equatorial Pacific poised to erupt along Ecuador. Kelvin Wave #2 was half way across the Pacific. The forecast suggests continued west anomalies in the KWGA for the next 3 months.
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: A double dip La Nina occurred through the Winter of 2017-2018. Warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018 associated with two upwelling Kelvin Waves, and continued trying to build over equatorial waters over the Summer and Fall, but not enough to declare El Nino and not coupled with the atmosphere. In 2019, those warm 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 looked like the start of La Nina, with it fully developing into La Nina in July 2020. We continue in the place in March 2021, but with a Kelvin Wave sweeping east late in March possibly signaling the demise of La Nina.
LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Spring/Summer 2021 = 4.0/3.5 (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 is assumed that the moderate La Nina from the Winter of 2020/2021 is on the wane and that a return to neutral ENSO state will set up over the Pacific Basin through the summer of 2021. But lingering effects of La Nina are forecast to continue over the Pacific for some time as the upper atmospheric circulation slowly transitions to an ENSO neutral state. This scenario tend to favor the Southeast Pacific, therefore favoring California over Hawaii. To counter that is the forecasted movement of the low pressure bias currently in-flight from the Maritime Continent to the West Pacific over the next 3 months. Still it will take some time for the atmosphere to fully respond, resulting in a slightly less than normal swell production forecast. A somewhat reduced number of storm days and storm intensity is expected as compared to normal over the South Pacific during the early summer season, resulting in a below normal level of swells, with swell being below normal duration and period. But by the Fall and early Winter of 2021/22, 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 (5/5) 5 day average winds were moderate to strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific then moderate east over the Central Pacific and modest to moderate east over the KWGA. Anomalies were light east over the East equatorial Pacific and neutral over the Central Pacific and mostly neutral over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, versus realtime, so they lag what is happening today (by about 2 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (5/3) No Update - light west anomalies were fading over the Eastern KWGA with modest east anomalies over the Western KWGA. The forecast calls for mostly moderate east anomalies filling the KWGA tracking west to east over and filling the KWGA 5/5 through the end of the model run on 5/10. Maybe neutral anomalies building over the far West KWGA on the last day of the model run.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
- MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:
OLR Models: (5/5) A moderate Inactive MJO pattern filling the KWGA today. The statistic model projects the Inactive Phase tracking steadily east and slowly fading lingering over the dateline at the end of the model run on day 15 with a new Active Phase building over the West KWGA. The dynamic model indicates the same thing initially but with the Inactive Phase fading dramatically and gone on day 10 of the model run with a neutral pattern taking hold into day 15 of the model run.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (5/6) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was moderate over the West Indian Ocean today and is to track east to the Central Maritime Continent by day 15 of the model run and weak. The dynamic model suggests the Active Phase is to race east reaching the West Pacific and very weak on day 15 of the model run.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (5/5) A strong Inactive Phase (dry air) was filling the entirety of the Pacific today. It is to track east and is to move over Central America on 5/15. A moderate Active Phase (wet air) is to push over the KWGA on 5/20 tracking east to East equatorial Pacific reaching Central America on 6/9. A new strong Inactive MJO (dry air) is to be building over the West Pacific on 6/9 filling the Pacific at the end of the model run on 6/14.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/5) This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO was tracking through the KWGA with weak to modest east anomalies in control. The forecast indicates the Inactive Phase is to exit the KWGA on 5/11 with west anomalies returning to the KWGA on 5/9 filling the bulk of it and holding through the end of the model run. But east anomalies are to hold on the dateline 5/12 through the end of the model run on 6/2 if not retrograding some to 160E on 6/1. A neutral MJO is forecast beyond.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/6 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): The Inactive Phase of the MJO was traversing the KWGA today with weak east in control. The forecast indicates that east anomalies are to hold over the KWGA through 5/10 giving way to weak west anomalies but with the Inactive Phase of the MJO still traversing the KWGA through 6/13. Interesting. A new moderate Active Phase is to start building in the west on 6/7 pushing east and holding through the end of the model run on 8/3 with modest to moderate west anomalies controlling the KWGA. Literally no significant east anomalies are forecast in the KWGA from here forward. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias is in control over the Central Pacific filling the eastern KWGA but a low pressure bias building over the West KWGA filling the western half of it to 150E. The high pressure bias has 2 contour lines reaching east to a point south of the Southwest US. The second contour line is to fade 6/5. The remaining 1 is to be shifting steadily east and losing coverage and no longer in the KWGA after 6/20. A single contour low pressure bias is over the Maritime Continent with it's leading edge half way through the KWGA (at 150E) today. The east edge of the low pressure bias is to track east reaching 170E then stalling 6/20, then retrograding in July back to 150E. We are moving to a neutral ENSO position. East anomalies that have been solid over the KWGA since 10/1/20 are fading and have now migrating east of the KWGA with no return in sight, instead focused over the East Pacific (from the dateline east to a point south of California). Theoretically the end of La Nina is near (starting on 5/1).
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (5/6) Today in the far West Pacific the 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 167W. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing the whole way across the equatorial Pacific and solid in coverage and depth. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +3 deg C are in the West Pacific indicative of a new Kelvin Wave building with 1 deg anomalies reaching across the Pacific to 140W today with a second Kelvin Wave with +2 degs anomalies in the East Pacific pushing to the surface at 110W and reaching into Ecuador. No cool anomalies were indicated. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/28 indicates a dramatic improvement with warm anomalies moving east subsurface to nearly Ecuador indicative of a Kelvin Wave poised to impact the far East Pacific and barely reaching the surface from 110W and points east of there. Negative anomalies in the East Pacific were all but gone with residuals getting squeezed to the surface by the Kelvin Wave near Peru. 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) A dramatic improvement continues with sea heights slightly above neutral (0 to +5 cms) over nearly the entire equatorial Pacific. No negative anomalies were present on the equator or along the coasts of Chile, Peru, Central America and up to Baja Mexico. Only California was measurably negative at -5 cms and that appears to be fading fast. The massive cold triangle that had previously formed over the equator is gone. The demise of La Nina is occurring now.
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: (5/5) The latest images indicate slightly warm water was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos out to almost the dateline in pockets but only reaching 2 degs south of the equator. Cool anomalies were south of equator (-2S) from Peru west to the dateline and were losing their cohesiveness. A weakening upwelling (cool anomalies) pattern was still present but isolated to the immediate cost of Peru, and even that appeared to be breaking up. Weak warm water was off Ecuador and Central America up to Southern Baja. Overall this seems to indicate the late stages of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (5/5): Warming temps were indicated along Peru and Ecuador out to the Galapagos in small scattered pockets. Also broad but weak warming was occurring south and north of the equator from 100W out to nearly the dateline.
Hi-res Overview: (5/5) A generic area of warm water was west of Central America. Generic cool water was west of Peru. A weak area of cool water was along the immediate coast of Peru. La Nina appears to be in retreat but not gone.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (5/6) Today's temps were falling some at -0.553 after rising to -0.471 on 5/3. Temps recently bottomed out at -0.950 on 4/5. Before that temps peaked at +0.714 on 3/16. Temps previously were -0.604 on 1/24. This area has been on a seesaw rising trend since early October. Temps were previously down to -2.138 on 8/13. The longterm trend has been on a slow but steady increase.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (5/6) Temps peaking recently at +0.040 on 5/3, the highest in a year and barely positive Today temps started falling some at -0.001 . Temps previously had been steady near -0.222 for 2 weeks previous and peaking on 4/15 at -0.157, beating the recent peak of -0.185 on 3/27. The previous peak was -0.170 on 3/10, the highest in a year. Temps bottomed out at -1.654 on 11/3, rising to to -0.982 on 1/21. The previous low before that was -0.733 on 9/10. Temps were on a steady decline since 7/25 then bottomed out in late October and have been on a slow increase since.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (5/6) - Actuals per the model indicate temps bottomed out in early Nov at -1.25 degs then rose steadily to -0.55 degs in mid-April. The forecast indicates temps rising slightly to -0.25 degs in late July, then starting a weak fade falling to -0.50 degs in Oct and holding there in Dec and early Jan 2022. This model now suggests a demise of La Nina with an ENSO neutral trend beyond biased slightly negative. There is no sense that El Nino will develop. We're still in the Spring Unpredictability Barrier, so no outcome is certain.
IRI Consensus Plume: The March 20, 2021 Plume depicts temps are at -0.50 degs today, and are to rise to -0.15 in June and stabilizing there through Nov. Most models are suggesting a moderate La Nina returning to Neutral in the late Spring of 2021.
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) (5/6): The daily index was rising hard today to +32.04. The 30 day average was rising to +1.58 after peaking at +19.51 on 1/14. The 90 day average was rising slightly at +3.11 indicating near neutral after peaking at +15.75 on 2/23 (clearly indicative of La Nina then). This index is a lagging indicator.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation
Per NOAAs index recent values: Jan 2018 +0.29, Feb -0.19, Mar -0.61, April -0.89, May -0.69, June -0.85, July -0.09, Aug -0.43, Sept -0.46, Oct -0.75, Nov -0.78, Dec -0.12, Jan 2019 -0.18, Feb -0.50 Mar -0.23, April +0.10, May +0.14, June -0.11, July +0.44, Aug -0.14, Sept +0.05, Oct -0.96, Nov -0.28, Dec +0.01, Jan 2020 -1.17, This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2018 +0.70. Feb +0.37, Mar -0.05, April +0.11, May +0.11, June -0.04, July +0.11, Aug +0.18, Sept +0.09. No real negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data strongly suggests that could be a possibility. By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.
See imagery in the ENSO Powertool
Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for this week. See it Here
For automatic notification of forecast updates, subscribe to the Stormsurf001 YouTube channel - just click the 'Subscribe' button below the video.
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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