Tuesday, May 11, 2021
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 3.1 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 1.6 ft @ 13.1 secs from 186 degrees. Water temp 77.4 degs (Pearl Harbor 233), 77.5 (Lani 239).
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.4 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 2.7 ft @ 10.3 secs from 289 degrees. Water temp 77.4 degs.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.8 ft @ 6.7 secs with swell 1.7 ft @ 9.0 secs from 242 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 8-10 kts. Water temperature 62.8 degs, 64.4 (Topanga 103), 62.4 degs (Long Beach 215), 64.9 (Del Mar 153), 60.8 (Pt Loma 191). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 4.9 ft @ 10.2 secs from 314 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 0.8 ft @ 17.4 secs from 202 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.3 ft @ 17.5 secs from 203 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 1.1 ft @ 17.2 secs from 199 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 8.2 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 6.4 ft @ 10.0 secs from 322 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was west at 2-4 kts. Water temp 48.9 (029), 53.8 degs (SF Bar 142) and NA 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 Tuesday (5/11) North and Central CA had waves at up to head high and somewhat lined up coming from the north and reasonably clean but with some warble intermixed. Protected breaks were up to chest high and clean but soft and mushed with a little intermixed warble. At Santa Cruz surf was waist high on the sets and clean but weak. In Southern California/Ventura waves were knee high with thigh high sets and weak and textured but with no local wind. Central Orange County had set waves at maybe waist high and soft and mushed but real clean early. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at chest high and lined up and real clean but inconsistent. North San Diego had sets waves at thigh to waist high and lined up if not closed out but soft and weak with clean conditions. Hawaii's North Shore had a few sets at waist high but pretty warbled from northeast trades. The South Shore had some waist high sets and clean. The East Shore report was not available.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Tuesday (5/11) California was starting to get some small swell that originated from under New Zealand on Sat-Sun (5/2) tracking northeast producing up to barely 30 ft seas. Hawaii was poised to get another swell from another gale that formed while tracking east from under New Zealand Tues-Thurs (5/6) producing up to 34 ft seas aimed east over a small area. Another gale followed in the Central South Pacific Fri-Mon (5/10) producing 39 ft seas aimed north. And another pushed southeast of New Zealand Mon-Tues (5/11) producing 39 ft seas aimed east-northeast. And possibly another is to traverse the South Pacific starting under New Zealand Wed-Sat (5/15) producing 30 ft seas initially building to 37 ft seas aimed north in the far Southeast Pacific. In North and Central CA, local northwest windswell is to continue through Sun (5/16) then fade.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Tuesday (5/11) no swell of interest was hitting the coast and no swell producing weather systems were occurring.
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather system are forecast other than local windswell.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are occurring nor forecast.
California Nearshore Forecast
- 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) high pressure is to hold steady producing a limited fetch of northwest winds at 20+ kts limited to Cape Mendocino early and 5 kts for south of there holding all day. Windswell small and fading.
- Fri (5/14) northwest winds to be on the increase at 20-25 kts for all of North CA early but 10 kts south of the Golden Gate early building to 30-35 kts up north in the afternoon and building to 15-20 kts down to Big Sur and 15 kts south of there with windswell building steadily through the day.
- Sat (5/15) northwest winds to be 30-35 kts for Cape Mendocino and up to 20-25 kts off the coast down to mid-Central CA but light northwest nearshore early and holding both north and south all day. Windswell building some.
- Sun (5/16) the gradient is to fade some focused on Cape Mendocino with northwest winds 20-25 kts and southerly 5-10 kts south of there and fading through the day, down to 15-20 kts over Cape Mendocino later. Windswell dropping fast.
- Mon (5/17) northwest winds are forecast at 15 kts limited to Cape Mendocino early and 5 kts down into Central CA fading to 5-10 kts everywhere in the afternoon. No windswell generation forecast.
- Tues (5/18) northwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for North and Central CA early building to 15 kts in the afternoon and up to 20 kts south of Monterey CA. No real windswell resulting.
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 12,000 ft on 5/11 and holding only to dip to maybe 10,500 ft on 5/15, rebuilding to 12k ft on 5/16 and holding.
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 Tuesday (5/11) the jet was ridging south under New Zealand then lifting northeast some just east of there forming a weak trough being fed by 140 kts winds and offering some support for gale development over the Central South Pacific. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to push east quickly on Wed (5/12) building some over the far Southeast Pacific on Thurs (5/13) being fed by a good flow of 150 kts winds offering decent support for gale development there into Fri (5/14). Beyond 72 hours that trough is to build more almost east of the SCal swell window being fed by 170 kts winds on Sat (5/15) offering great support for very south angled swell development. But a huge ridge is to be in control of the West and Central South Pacific at that time pushing over the Ross Ice Shelf. By Sun (5/16) the trough is to be gone and the ridge is to be in control of the entirety of the South Pacific suppressing gale formation. On Tues (5/18) theoretically a small trough is forecast building under New Zealand being fed by limited 130 kt winds offering a smidgeon of support for gale development. Otherwise the ridge is to remain in control.
On Tuesday (5/11) swell from a weak gale that pushed under New Zealand was weakly hitting the US West Coast (see Weak New Zealand Gale below). And a second swell was behind that originating just southeast of New Zealand first bound for Hawaii (see Another New Zealand Gale below). And another smaller gale developed in the upper reaches of the Central South Pacific targeting California (see Central South Pacific Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours a storm was developing south of New Zealand Sun AM (5/9) producing 50 kt southwest winds and seas building from 33 ft at 61S 178W aimed northeast. In the evening the storm is to be producing a solid area of 45-50 kt southwest winds with seas building from 38 ft at 61.5S 173W aimed northeast. The gale is to track rapidly east-northeast Mon AM (5/10) producing 40-45 kt west winds and seas building to 39 ft at 60.5S 159.5W aimed northeast. In the evening a broad area of 40 kts southwest winds are to be lifting northeast with seas 35 ft at 56.5S 137.5W aimed east. On Tues AM (5/11) a broad fetch of southwest winds are to be lifting northwest at 40 kts solid and seas forecast at 36 ft over a solid area centered at 54.5S 128.5W aimed east-northeast. In the evening fetch is to continue lifting northeast at 40 kts over a solid area aimed east-northeast with 37 ft seas at 51.5S 119.5W aimed northeast and on the eastern edge of the Southern CA swell window. Fetch fading Wed AM (5/12) from 35 kts with seas 33 ft and east of the California swell window. This system to dissipate from there. 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.
Southern CA: 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: 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
Central South Pacific Gale
On Fri PM (5/7) a new but weak gale formed in the Central South Pacific producing 35 kt southwest winds tracking northeast with 25 ft seas at 49S 158.5W aimed northeast. On Sat AM (5/8) fetch built to 35-40+ kts over a building area from the south with seas 27 ft at 42S 150.5W aimed northeast. A broader fetch built in the evening over the same area at 40-45 kts from the south with seas 27 ft solid at 40S 143W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (5/9) south to southwest winds were building at 45-50 kts with seas 38 ft over a small area at 41S 136.5W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch was fading from 35-40 kts from the southwest with seas 31 ft over a small and shrinking area at 38S 129W aimed northeast. Fetch is to be fading Mon AM (5/10) at 35 kts from the southwest with seas 27 ft at 40S 123W aimed northeast. This system was gone after that. Small swell is being generated mainly for California. Something to monitor.
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (5/15) building to 1.3 ft @ 18-19 secs late (2.0 ft). Swell peaking on Sun (5/16) at 2.7 ft @ 16-17 secs early (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell fading some on Mon (5/17) 2.5 ft @ 15 secs early (3.5 ft). residuals fading on Tues (5/18) from 2.1 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 201 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (5/16) building to 2.7 ft @ 17 secs early (4.5 ft). Swell continues on Mon (5/17) at 2.6 ft @ 15 secs (4.0 ft). Residuals fading on Tues (5/18) fading from 2.1 ft @ 14 secs(2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 198 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 a new fetch is to be developing under New Zealand on Wed AM (5/12) producing a large area of 35-40 kt northwest winds and seas building from 30 ft at 60S 160E aimed mostly at the Ross Ice Shelf. In the evening fetch is to push east and turn more westerly at 40 kts over a large area southeast of New Zealand producing 31 ft seas at 61.5S 177W aimed east. On Thurs AM (5/13) a more classical gale low is to build over the Central South Pacific producing 35-45 kt southwest winds with seas building from 30 ft at 63S 157W aimed east. An additional fetch is to be building west of it. In the evening the main fetch is to have 45 kt southwest winds over the Southeast Pacific with 31 ft seas over a solid area at 58S 131W aimed east-northeast. On Fri AM (5/14) the original fetch is to be east of the CA swell window producing 34 ft seas at 52.5S 118W barely in the SCal swell window with secondary fetch lifting northeast at 40 kts producing seas of 30 ft at 62S 155W aimed east-northeast. In the evening southwest winds to be 40-45 kts over the Southeast Pacific with 33 ft seas at 53.5S 122W on the edge of the SCal swell window. On Sat AM (5/15) south winds to be 40-45 kts over a solid area aimed north with seas 35 ft at 53S 122W aimed north. In the evening south winds to build at 40-45 kts solid aimed due north but mostly east of the SCal swell window with seas 37 ft at 53.5S 115W aimed north. On Sun AM (5/16) south winds to be 45 kts solid easing east with seas 34 ft at 54.5S 107.5W with 28 ft seas back to 52S 119W aimed north. Swell possibly radiating towards California but mainly Mexico. This system is to quickly dissipate from there. Something to monitor.
Neutral Pattern Continues
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 (5/10) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific then moderate plus east over the Central Pacific and moderate plus east over the KWGA. Anomalies were light east over the East equatorial Pacific and light 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 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (5/11) moderate east anomalies were mostly filling the KWGA and building into the Central and East Pacific. The forecast calls for mostly moderate east anomalies filling the KWGA and the whole of the equatorial Pacific for the next week through the end of the model run on 5/18 with a possible pocket of strong easterly anomalies developing in the core of the KWGA 5/15-5/18.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
- MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:
OLR Models: (5/10) A very weak Inactive MJO pattern was over the KWGA today. The statistic model projects the Inactive Phase holding weak over the dateline on day 5 of the model run and holding that way through day 15 while the Active Phase tries to build in the far West KWGA on day 15. The dynamic model indicates much the same thing with perhaps the Active Pattern building to moderate status filling the KWGA on day 15 of the model run.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (5/11) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the East Indian Ocean today and is to track slowly east to the Central Maritime Continent by day 15 of the model run and weak. The dynamic model suggests the Active Phase is to steadily plod east reaching the East Maritime Continent at modest strength 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): (5/10) A moderate Inactive Phase (dry air) was over the East Pacific today and is to be over Central America on 5/15 then gone after that. A strong Active Phase (wet air) was over the west KWGA today. It is to track east to the East equatorial Pacific and reaching Central America on 5/30. A new moderate Inactive MJO (dry air) is to be building over the West Pacific on 6/7 pushing east over the Central Pacific at the end of the model run on 6/19. A new Active Phase (wet air) is to be building over the far West KWGA at that time too.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/10) 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 5/15 with west anomalies trying to return to the KWGA on 5/20 filling the western half of it then and holding through the end of the model run. But east anomalies are to hold on the dateline into 5/30, then fading to neutral as west anomalies starting building from the west with an Active MJO depicted over the Maritime Continent.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/11 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): The Inactive Phase of the MJO was about 50% of the way through traversing the KWGA today with weak east anomalies in control. The forecast indicates that east anomalies are to hold over the East KWGA through 5/13 but already are giving way to weak west anomalies in the West KWGA and are to be nearly filling the KWGA in a few days even as the Inactive Phase of the MJO was still traversing the KWGA through 5/30. Interesting. A new moderate Active Phase is to start building in the west on 5/20 pushing slowly east and holding through almost the end of the model run on 8/3 with modest to moderate west anomalies controlling the KWGA and building to strong status in mid-July. Literally no significant east anomalies are forecast in the KWGA starting from a day or two from today forward. A weak Inactive MJO is to try and set up 7/30 holding through the end of the model run on 8/8. 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 6/3. The remaining 1 is to be shifting steadily east and losing coverage and no longer in the KWGA after 6/12. 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 the dateline on 7/14 and pushing east to 150W at the end of the model run. We are moving to at least 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: (5/11) Today in the far West Pacific the 28 deg isotherm line was pushing east to 160W. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing the whole way across the equatorial Pacific and was 100 meters deep at 140W. 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 5/3 indicates a dramatic improvement with warm anomalies moving east subsurface to 90W just off 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: (5/3) A dramatic improvement continues with sea heights slightly above neutral (0 to +5 cms) over the entire equatorial Pacific and 2 pockets of +5 cm anomalies were embedded in it at 170E and 145W. No negative anomalies were present on the equator or along the coasts of Chile, Peru, Central America and up to Baja Mexico or California. 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: (5/10) The latest images indicate near neutral water temps on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos out to almost the dateline with weakly warm water north of it and weakly cool water south of it. A previous upwelling event (cool anomalies) along Peru was all but gone. 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 (5/10): a neutral temperature trend was along Peru and Ecuador out to the Galapagos. A faint wisp of cooling temps were over the equator between the Galapagos out to 140W.
Hi-res Overview: (5/10) A generic area of warm water was west of Central America. Generic cool water was west of Peru. A very 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: (5/11) Today's temps were falling slightly at -0.673 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: (5/11) Temps peaking recently at +0.040 on 5/3, the highest in a year and barely positive Today temps were weakly rebuilding to -0.074 after weakly falling to -0.065 on 5/9. 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 (5/11) - 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 -0.20 degs in late June holding till mid-August, then starting a weak fade falling to -0.50 degs in Nov into 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) (5/11): The daily index was rising at +8.52. The 30 day average was falling to +2.69 after peaking at +19.51 on 1/14. The 90 day average was falling slightly at +2.68 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
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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