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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Friday, May 10, 2019 9:34 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
3.8 - California & 4.0 - 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   

Two SPac Swells Tracking Northeast
First One Poised To Arrive

On Friday, May 10, 2019 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/ Buoy 239 (Lanai) Seas were 3.4 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 2.5 ft @ 10.0 secs from 182 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.9 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 2.6 ft @ 11.6 secs from 318 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 1.7 ft @ 11.4 secs with swell 1.1 ft @ 13.5 secs from 182 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 2-4 kts. Water temperature 62.2 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 0.7 ft @ 13.1 secs from 201 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.1 ft @ 12.8 secs from 210 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.0 ft @ 16.9 secs from 208 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.3 ft @ 16.1 secs from 198 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 4.7 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 3.3 ft @ 8.9 secs from 307 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 12-16 kts. Water temp 59.0 degs (042) and 54.9 (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 Friday (5/10) in North and Central CA minimal northwest windswell was producing waves at maybe waist high and textured from south wind. Protected breaks were thigh high on the rare sets and soft and clean. At Santa Cruz residual southern hemi swell was producing set waves at waist high on the peak and clean. In Southern California/Ventura surf was thigh high and clean and weak. In North Orange Co surf was waist high or so on the sets and lined up and clean. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were getting leftover swell from the Southeast Pacific with set waves maybe chest high on the peak on rare sets and textured from southwest wind. North San Diego had surf at thigh high on the sets and weak and textured. Hawaii's North Shore was getting windswell with waves chest to head high on the sets at best breaks and clean but weak. The South Shore was thigh to waist high and clean and and lined up but soft. The East Shore was getting northeasterly windswell with waves waist high and textured early from light east-northeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Friday (5/10) in California southern hemi swell was fading out originating from a gale that formed in the Southeast Pacific lifting north Sun-Tues (4/30) with seas to 30 ft aimed north. In Hawaii local windswell was producing a few rideable waves on the North Shore and southern hemi swell was making for barely rideable surf on the South Shore and not as big as hoped for. In the Southern Hemisphere a decent gale developed south of New Zealand Fri-Sun (5/5) with seas to 36 ft pushing gently east-northeast. That swell is pushing northeast targeting California by the weekend. And a stronger one formed behind Sat-Tues (5/7) producing up to 42 ft seas pushing northeast from a point south of New Zealand. Behind that a series of gales are now forecast but all are to be pushing due east or falling southeast offering little in terms of direct swell pushing up into our forecast area.

See all the details below...


Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Friday (5/10) small local windswell was hitting exposed north facing breaks on Oahu. Otherwise no swell of interest was in the water.

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


  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 Friday (5/10) weak low pressure was over all of California with light south winds in play and no windswell production forecast. Low pressure is to fade on Sat (5/11) with light winds forecast over all nearshore and offshore coastal waters. On Sun (5/12) a weak pressure pattern is to hold but somewhat higher resulting in a weak northwest flow at 5-10 kts early and building to 15 kts in pockets late for all of the North and Central CA coast. No change on Monday or Tuesday (5/14) as weak low approaches from the northwest but northwest winds to 15 kts over Pt Conception later. Wednesday (5/15) a weak low pressure trough is to be pushing over the North Coast with light winds early except 15 kts over Pt Conception and that area of 15 kt north winds building northward to near Monterey Bay late afternoon. Thurs (5/16) high pressure starts to take control with north winds 20 kts over all of North and Central CA holding all day. Friday (5/17) a broad low is to be building in the Gulf of Alaska with light winds taking root over North CA while north winds build to 20-25 kts for Pt Conception pushing up to near Monterey Bay late.

No snow is forecast for Tahoe and Mammoth for the foreseeable future. Summer is coming.

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


South Pacific

On Friday (5/10) the southern branch of the jetstream was fairly consolidated ridging hard south under New Zealand over Antarctic Ice down at 70S eliminating support for gale development there with that ridge pushing east and covering the entire South Pacific eliminating any odds for gale development. Over the next 72 hours the ridge is to be getting reinforced Sun (5/12) by additional wind energy pushing south at 140+ kts over the Central South Pacific pushing firmly into Antarctica near 140W early Tues (5/14) eliminating support for gale development. A trough is to develop east of the ridge on Mon (5/13) but east of the California swell window at 110W being fed by 140 kt winds offering support for gale development but targeting only Chile and Peru. Beyond 72 hours a weak trough is to start building over the far Southwest Pacific later Tues (5/14) being fed by 140 kts winds lifting gently east-northeast through the Southern Tasman Sea and reaching the West Pacific on Wed (5/15). From there it is to moderate but another burst of 120 kts southwest winds are to start re-feeding the trough under New Zealand on Fri (5/17) perhaps offering some support for gale development. There's some hope.

Surface Analysis  
A gale developed while traversing the Central South Pacific generating swell that is radiating northeast (see Central Pacific Gale below). And yet another stronger storm developed southeast of New Zealand pushing east-northeast (see New Zealand Storm below). Much swell is expected to result from the combination of these two systems.

Over the next 72 hours the models indicate no additional swell producing weather systems are forecast in the greater South Pacific relative to Hawaii and California.

That said, a strong system is forecast developing Sun-Mon (5/12) with 55 kt southwest winds and seas to 37 ft Sun AM (5/12) at 56S 120W on the edge of the Southern CA swell window and tracking east with seas building to 50 ft at 56S 105.5W late Sunday evening but targeting only Chile and Peru/ There's low odds for maybe some minimal sideband swell from early in this systems lifecycle radiating into mainly Southern CA and points south of there.


Central Pacific Gale
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 23 ft at 58S 178E aimed east-northeast. In the evening fetch built to 35-40 kts from the southwest moving towards the Central South Pacific with 29 ft seas over a small area at 54.5S 174W aimed east-northeast. On Fri AM (5/3) a more consolidated fetch of 50 kt south winds started building while tracking northeast with seas 33 ft over a building area aimed northeast at 53.5S 166W (207 degs SCal, 205 degs NCal and shadowed by Tahiti). In the evening 50 kt south winds were lifting northeast with seas 35 ft down at 60.5S 153W over a small area aimed northeast (197 degs SCal, 195 degs NCal and unshadowed by Tahiti). On Sat AM (5/4) south-southwest fetch was lifting northeast at 45-50 kts aimed northeast with seas 38 ft at 54.5S 144W aimed northeast (195 degs SCal, 192 degs NCal). In the evening the gale was in the far Southeast Pacific and fading fast with 40 kts southwest winds over a modest area and 36 ft seas at 51S 134.5W aimed northeast (191 degs NCal, 187 degs NCal). On Sun AM (5/5) 45-50 kt south fetch redeveloped on the eastern edge of the Southern CA swell window with 37 ft seas at 55S 121W aimed northeast (182 degs SCal, 179 degs NCal). By evening this system was out of the California swell window with 45-50 kt southwest winds and 39 ft seas at 52S 111W targeting Chile well.

Hawaii: Swell peaking on Fri (5/10) at 2.1 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.0-3.5 ft) Swell fading on Sat (5/11) from 2.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Sun (5/12) from 1.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft) and buried in stronger swell. Swell Direction: 185 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat AM (5/11) with period 20 secs and size building to 2.6 ft @ 19 secs late afternoon (5.0 ft). Swell steady Sun AM (5/12) at 3.0 ft @ 17 secs (5.0 ft) holding through the day. Swell fading Mon AM (5/13) from 2.6 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 182-206 degs focused on 193 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (5/11) mid-day and size building to 2.3 ft @ 19 secs at sunset (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell getting decent on Sun AM (5/12) noon as period hits 18 secs and holding at 2.6 ft @ 17-18 secs (4.5 ft). Swell steady Mon AM (5/13) at 2.5 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 182-206 degs focused on 190 degrees


New Zealand Storm (Swell #1S)
Another broad gale started developing under New Zealand on Sat AM (5/4) with 35 kt west winds and seas building from 28 ft over a tiny area at 65S 152E aimed east. In the evening 40 kt south west fetch was pushing east aimed east with 35 ft seas building at 57S 170E aimed east (213 degs SCal/212 degs Ncal and unshadowed by Tahiti). On Sun AM (5/5) 45 kt southwest fetch was tracking northeast with seas 39 ft at 58S 174W aimed northeast over a solid area (207 degs SCal/205 degs NCal and shadowed). In the evening southwest fetch held in velocity but lost a little coverage at 45 kts with seas 42 ft at 58S 163W aimed northeast (202 degs SCal and unshadowed/200 degs NCal and shadowed). The gale was fading Mon AM (5/6) with fetch dropping from 35 kts over a large area and seas fading from 38 ft at 56S 154.5W aimed northeast (200 degs SCal/197 degs NCal and unshadowed by Tahiti). In the evening this system is to be fading with 35 kt southwest fetch aimed northeast and seas 34 ft at 52S 147W aimed northeast (198 degs SCal/195 degs NCal). The gale to dissipate from there with 30 kt west winds Tues AM (5/7) and seas fading from 31 ft at 50S 140W aimed northeast. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Sat (5/11) building to 2.5 ft @ 19-20 secs later (4.5-5.0 ft). Swell peaking on Sun (5/12) at 2.9 ft @ 17 secs (5.0 ft). Swell fading on Mon (5/13) from 2.7 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.0 ft). Swell fading on Tues (5/14) from 2.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5 ft). Swell holding on Wed (5/15) from 2.4 ft @ 14 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell fading on Thurs (5/16) from 2.0 ft @ 13 secs (2.5 ft). Dribbles on Fri (5/17) fading from 1.6 ft @ 12 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 188 degrees

Southern CA: Expect Swell #1S arrival on Mon (5/13) with period 22 secs early and and size building as period hits 20 secs at noon pushing 3.0 ft @ 20 secs (6.0 ft) late. Swell building Tues (5/14) peaking near noon as period hits 18 secs with swell 3.3 ft @ 18 secs (6.0 ft with sets to 7.5). Swell still solid Wed AM (5/15) at 3.3 ft @ 16-17 secs (5.5 ft with sets to 7.0 ft). On Thurs (5/16) swell is to start fading from 2.9 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.5 ft with sets to 5.5 ft). Swell slowly fading on Fri (5/17) from 2.3 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 194-207 degrees focused on 202 degrees and mostly unshadowed by Tahiti.

North CA: Expect Swell #1S arrival on Mon (5/13) with period 22 secs early and and size building as period hits 20 secs at 6 PM pushing 2.3 ft @ 20 secs (4.5 ft). Swell building Tues (5/14) peaking near 4 PM as period hits 18 secs with swell 3.0 ft @ 18 secs (5.5 ft with sets to 7.0 ft). Swell still solid Wed AM (5/15) at 3.1 ft @ 16- 17 secs (5.0 ft with sets to 6.5 ft) then starting to fade late afternoon. On Thurs (5/16) swell is to start fading from 3.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.5 ft with sets to 5.5 ft). Swell fading Fri (5/17) from 2.0 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 190-205 degrees focused on 200 degrees and shadowed by Tahiti.

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. Maybe some windswell to develop for North and Central CA on Thurs-Fri (5/16). And the models are teasing concerning a gale developing in the Gulf of Alaska during that same timeframe with 24 ft seas aimed east, but that seems more like a fantasy than reality.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a storm is to build southeast of New Zealand on Mon AM (5/13) with 55 kt south winds and seas building from 32 ft over a tiny area at 50S 174W aimed north. In the evening 50+ kt southwest winds are to be falling southeast over a solid area with seas building to 42 ft at 53S 155.5W aimed northeast. On Tues AM (5/14) the storm is to be falling south with winds 45 kt over a large area aimed east with seas fading from 37 ft at 55S 157W aimed east to southeast. The remnants of the storm to fall south from there and no longer of interest. We suspect there low odds of meaningful swell result attributable mainly to the southward heading of the fetch.

Another small gale is to develop southwest of New Zealand on Mon PM (5/13) with 45 kt southwest winds and seas building from 33 ft at 57S 158E aimed northeast. Fetch is to be fading Tues AM (5/14) from 40 kts with seas 35 ft at 56S 168E aimed east. In the evening additional 40-45 kt southwest fetch is to be pushing east under New Zealand unobscured by Auckland Island with seas 36 ft at 51S 169.5E aimed east-northeast. Fetch to fade Wed AM (5/15) with 32 ft seas fading from 48S 179E aimed northeast and fading out. Something to monitor.


MJO/ENSO Forecast


WWB Occurring In KWGA

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 (5/5) 5 day average winds were from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific. But a data outage has rendered sensors over the Central Pacific inoperable and no data is available. Winds were westerly over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East and unknown over the Central equatorial Pacific but strong westerly in the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (5/10) moderate west anomalies were filling the KWGA. The forecast is for west anomalies holding and filling the KWGA through 5/13, then weakening some but still modestly westerly through the end of the model run on 5/17 still filling the KWGA. There is to be an increase in support for storm development now and continuing thereafter.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (5/9) A modest Active MJO pattern was over the KWGA. The statistic model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO is to be stationary over the KWGA while fading through day 5 then all but gone on day 10 as the Inactive Phase of the MJO moves into the West Pacific and taking over the KWGA at day 15. The dynamic model indicates a variation on the same theme with the Active Phase fading at day 10 but the Inactive Phase far weaker and making limited headway into the far West Pacific at day 15. The 2 models are generally in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (5/10) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was modest over the West Pacific, and is forecast to push east into the Atlantic through day 15. The GEFS model suggests the same but with the Active Phase tracking to the Atlantic too.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (5/10) This model depicts a weak Active Phase in the Central Pacific today and is forecast tracking east into Central America on 5/25. A moderate Inactive Phase is to develop in the West Pacific on 5/16 pushing east into Central America on 6/9. A weak Active MJO signal is to build over the West Pacific 5/30 pushing east to Central America at the end of the model run on 6/19.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/9) This model depicts a solid Active Phase of the MJO peaking over the KWGA today with solid west anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast has the Active Phase tracking east while filling the KWGA through 5/16 with moderate plus west anomalies in the control of the KWGA pushing east. A weak Inactive Phase is to push into the West KWGA on 5/16 and pushing east to 5/30 but not totally filling the KWGA, with west anomalies holding on the dateline non-stop and then retrograding west to 150E at the end of the model run on 6/6.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/10) This model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO building into the KWGA today and is forecast to hold through 5/25 with solid west anomalies holding through 5/15 then weaker but still present after that. A moderate Inactive Phase of the MJO sets up 5/20 in the West Pacific building east and filling the KWGA through 7/2 but with very weak west anomalies in the KWGA. Another modest Active Phase is to develop 6/28 holding through the end of the model run on 8/7 with modest plus 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 and forecast to hold steady till the end of the model run on 8/5. The second contour line is to fade on 7/4. 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 dissipating nor 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: (5/8) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 29 deg temps creeping east but due to a data outage, no data is present from 165E to 165W. 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 and reached Ecuador on 5/5, but started retrograding and today was at 124W. 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 120W at +2 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 5/3 indicates warm water from Kelvin Wave #3 was filling the equatorial Pacific from 155E eastward, weaker in the West Pacific at +1 degs and weakening steadily there and stronger over the East Pacific reaching up to +2 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: (5/3) Positive anomalies were all but gone over the equatorial Pacific with positive anomalies lingering over 1 small area at 120W. From this data it looks like the Kelvin Wave #3 was dissipating if not all but gone.

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: (5/9) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate temps were steady from 10S to 20N on the equator from Ecuador west to the dateline. Temps on the equator from Peru up to Ecuador and out to the Galapagos are slightly warmer than normal but fading compared to recent days but holding west of there. There is some weak indication of a El Nino but nothing strong.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (5/9): A weak warming trend was over the equatorial Central Pacific with a thin weak stream of cooling water on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos out to 125W and building.
Hi-res Overview: (5/9) 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: (5/10) Today's temps were rising at +0.610. 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:
(5/10) Today temps were fading at +0.595 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 (5/10) The model indicates temps were +1.2 degs in early May and rising forecast building to +1.50 degrees in early June then holding in the +1.4 deg range into early October, then fading to +1.2 in Dec 1 and fading from +1.00 degs on Jan 1, 2020. A weak El Nino like pattern is to hold if not build into early Fall associated with the eruption of Kelvin Wave #3, then slowly fading through the later 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 April 2019 Plume depicts temps are at +0.82 degs today, and are to hold in the +0.75 range into October, then fading to +0.70 through Dec 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) (5/10): The daily index was negative today at -4.88, falling over the past week consistent with the Active Phase building there. The 30 day average was falling from -6.71 today suggesting a slightly building Active MJO. The 90 day average was steady at -7.68, 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) There has been no update recently. At that time 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

Local Interest

Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for the week starting Sunday (5/5):
For automatic notification of forecast updates, subscribe to the Stormsurf001 YouTube channel - just click the 'Subscribe' button below the video.

Powerline Productions New Movie Preimer - Next Level - Friday (11/9) at 7 PM. Details here:

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Stormsurf and Mavericks on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel

Mavericks Invitational 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.

Read all the latest news and happenings on our News Page here

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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