Saturday, May 13, 2023
- Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt)/Buoy 239 (Lani): Seas were 3.2 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 2.6 ft @ 11.7 secs from 214 degrees. Water temp 77.9 degs (Barbers Pt), 77.7 (Pearl Harbor 233), 78.1 (Lani 239).
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 7.9 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 6.0 ft @ 13.0 secs from 344 degrees. Water temp 78.1 degs
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.9 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 2.1 ft @ 13.9 secs from 182 degrees. Wind south at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 61.5 degs, 62.1 (Topanga 103), 58.6 degs (Long Beach 215), 62.4 (Oceanside Offshore 045), 63.0 (Del Mar 153), 62.8 (Torrey Pines Outer 100). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.3 ft @ 13.9 secs from 264 degrees. At E. Santa Barbara (46053) swell was 2.0 ft @ 7.6 secs from 273 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.2 ft @ 14.3 secs from 200 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.3 ft @ 14.8 secs from 193 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.6 ft @ 15.3 secs from 202 degrees. Water temperature was 62.2 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay) Out of Service /029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 8.5 ft @ 7.7 secs with northwest swell 4.3 ft @ 13.5 secs and southern hemi swell 3.0 ft @ 14.7 secs from 201 degrees and northwest windswell 5.3 ft @ 8.3 secs from 308 degrees. Wind west at 2-4 kts (46026). Water temp 49.3 (Bodega Bay 46013), 50.2 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 54.1 (San Francisco 46026), 54.7 (SF Bar 142), 57.0 (Pt Santa Cruz 254) and 54.0 (Monterey Bay 46042).
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 Saturday (5/13) North and Central CA had sets at head high to slightly overhead and fairly lined up and clean with good form and limited underling lump but foggy. Protected breaks were chest high on the sets and lined up with decent form and clean but foggy. At Santa Cruz surf was chest to head high and lined up with decent form and clean with some fog. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist high and reasonably lined up with decent form and fairly clean early. Central Orange County had sets at waist to maybe chest high and somewhat lined up and clean but soft. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had some head high sets and lined up with decent form and clean conditions. North San Diego had sets at waist high plus and lined up with decent form and clean. Hawaii's North Shore was 2 ft overhead and lined up at top spots with good form but a little lumpy from sideshore trades. The South Shore had sets at waist high and real clean and soft. The East Shore was getting wrap around northwest swell with waves head high plus and warbled from light northeast trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Saturday (5/13) California and Hawaii were starting to get swell from a gale that tracked east towards the North Dateline region Tues-Wed (5/10) generating up to 28 ft seas then faded but redeveloped while falling into the Gulf of Alaska Thurs-Sat (5/13) producing up to 21 ft seas aimed southeast. California was also getting southerly swell from a gale that developed in the Southeast Pacific Tues-Thurs (5/4) with up to 29 ft seas aimed north. And another gale developed right behind over the far Southeast Pacific Sun-Mon (5/8) with up 35 ft seas over a small area aimed northeast. After that a small gale developed on the eastern edge of the Southern CA swell window Wed-Thurs (5/11) producing up to 37 ft seas aimed well north. And yet another was developing Fri-Sat (5/13) in the far Southeast Pacific producing up 31 ft seas aimed east-northeast. But after that things quiet down.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Saturday (5/13) in California local northwest windswell was hitting but being overrun by swell generated from a gale over the North Dateline Region that tracked into into the Gulf (see Gulf Gale below). That swell is hitting Hawaii too.
Over the next 72 hours no other swell producing weather systems are forecast.
A gale started developing just east of Kamchatka on Tues AM (5/9) producing 40-45 kts west winds over a small area and seas building from 28 ft at 48.25N 163.25E aimed east. In the evening fetch was fading from 35 kts approaching the dateline with seas 27 ft at 48N 171.5E aimed east. On Wed AM (5/10) fetch was fading from 30 kts over the dateline while falling southeast fast but building in coverage towards the Gulf of Alaska with seas 22 ft at 47N 179E aimed southeast. In the evening fetch was redeveloping in the Central Gulf at 30-35 kts from the northwest with seas 18 ft at 44N 175W aimed southeast. On Thurs AM (5/11) northwest winds were 25-30 kts over a broad area in the Gulf with 16-17 ft seas at 40.25N 159W aimed southeast. In the evening northwest winds built to 30-35 kts with seas 20 ft at 45N 162.75W aimed southeast. On Fri AM (5/12) northwest winds were 30 kts stationary in the Gulf with seas 21 ft at 40.55N 159.25W aimed southeast. Fetch was fading from 24 kts in the evening with seas 18 ft at 45.5N 157W aimed southeast. The gale was fading out after that. Maybe some north angled swell for Hawaii and northwest swell for HI late in the weekend and CA beyond.
Oahu: Expect swell arrival on Sat (5/13) building to 5.1 ft @ 12-13 secs midday (6.0 ft). Swell building on Sun (5/14) to 5.7 ft @ 12 secs (6.5 ft) early but holding fairly steady through the day. Swell fading Mon (5/15) from 4.7 ft @ 11 secs (5.0 ft) early. Residuals on Tues (5/16) fading from 4.2 ft @ 10-11 secs early (4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 345 moving to 360 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival late Sat (5/13) building to 4.6 ft @ 12-13 secs (5.5 ft). Swell continues on Sun (5/14) at 4.9 ft @ 12 secs (5.5 ft). Swell builds on Mon (5/15) at 5.0 ft @ 13-14 secs (6.5 ft) early then fading in the afternoon. Dribbles on Tues (5/16) fading from 3.6 ft @ 11-12 secs (4.0 ft) early. Swell Direction: 298 moving to 290 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored at this time.
California Nearshore Forecast
- Sun AM (5/14) northwest winds to be 5-10 kts for North CA and 5-10 kts for Central CA early with remnants of a gradient fading off North CA producing 20 kts northwest winds. In the afternoon the gradient is to be gone with south winds 10 kts for North CA with an eddy flow setting up for Central CA at 5-10 kt. Maybe some rain and for the Sierra in the afternoon and building in the evening.
- Mon AM (5/15) south winds to be in control at 10 kts for North CA and 5-10 kts for Central CA early. No change in the afternoon. Sierra showers possible in the afternoon. No precip forecast.
- Tues AM (5/16) northwest winds to return at 5-10 kts for North and Central CA early building to near 15 kts in the afternoon.
- Wed AM (5/17) northwest winds to be 15 kts for North and Central early continuing in the afternoon.
- Thurs AM (5/18) northwest winds to be 10 kts for North and Central CA early continuing in the afternoon.
- Fri AM (5/19) northwest winds to be 10 kts for North CA and 15 kts for Central CA south of Monterey Bay early building to 15 kts for North CA in the afternoon.
- Sat AM (5/20) northwest winds to be building again at 15-20 kts for North and Central CA early.
Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth are projected at 0, 0, 0, and 0 inches.
Freezing level for Lake Tahoe is 12,500 ft today maybe falling to 11,000 ft 5/14-15 then building back to 12,500 ft on 5/16 and holding there beyond. the big melt is beginning.
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Tioga Pass/Pacific Crest Trail intersection forecast: Temps - Freeze Level
More locations here (scroll down to 'Resort Snow Forecasts>Central CA or North CA Caltrans & Backcountry')
Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for Resort specific forecasts).
On Saturday (5/13) the jetstream was split over the Southwest Pacific with the southern branch running east on the 63S latitude line at 90 kts and weak forming no troughs and offering no support for gale development. But the jet was consolidate over the far Southeast Pacific with winds to 140 kts forming a trough moving east of the California swell window. Over the next 72 hours the jet is to become heavily split on Mon (5/15) with winds in both branches 130-140 kts with the southern branch running east to southeast down at 62S and zonal offering no troughs or support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours starting Wed (5/17) the split zonal pattern is to hold with the southern branch running flat east down at 64S still offering no troughs or support for gale development through Sat (5/20), and if anything pushing further south.
The first in a series of gales developed in the Southeast Pacific with swell from it fading today in CA (see 1st Southeast Pacific Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours swell from another gale that developed in the Southeast Pacific Sun-Tues (5/9) is bound for California (see 2nd Southeast Pacific Gale below). And swell from yet a third gale in the Southeast Pacific Tues-Thurs (5/11) was right behind it (see 3rd Southeast Pacific Gale below).
And yet another gale started building in the deep Southeast Pacific Fri PM (5/12) producing a broad area of 35-40 kt southwest winds and seas 27 ft at 55S 125W aimed northeast. On Sat AM (5/13) southwest winds were 40+ kts with seas 31 ft at 55S 121W aimed northeast. In the evening south winds to be 35 kts mostly east of the east edge of the SCal swell window with 29 ft seas at 52.25S 117W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (5/14) fetch is to be tracking northeast at 35+ kts and east of the Southern CA swell window with 28 ft seas fading aimed northeast at Peru and Chile. Something to monitor.
1st Southeast Pacific Gale
A gale started developing in the deep South Central Pacific on Mon PM (5/1) producing 30 kt southwest winds and seas building. On Tues AM southwest winds were lifting northeast at 30-35 kts over a solid area with seas 23 ft at 55S 151W aimed northeast. In the evening south winds were lifting northeast at 35-40 kts with seas 25 ft at 50S 145W aimed northeast. On Wed AM (5/3) fetch was solidifying from the south at 35-40 kts with seas 27 ft at 49S 139W aimed northeast. South to southwest fetch was fading in coverage in the evening at 30-35 kts with seas 29 ft at 45.5S 137.75W aimed northeast. On Thurs AM (5/4) southwest winds were fading from 35 kts with seas 28 ft at 39.5S 131W aimed northeast. The gale faded from there. Something to monitor.
Southern CA: Swell fading on Sat AM (5/13) from 2.4 ft @ 14 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Residuals on Sun (5/14) fading from 1.9 ft @ 13-14 secs early (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 191 degrees
North CA: Swell fading on Sat AM (5/13) from 2.8 ft @ 14 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Residuals on Sun (5/14) fading from 2.2 ft @ 13-14 secs early (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 188 degrees
2nd Southeast Pacific Gale
A second gale started developing over the deep South Central Pacific Sun AM (5/7) producing 45 kt southwest winds and seas building from 29 ft at 64.5S 157W aimed northeast. In the evening southwest winds were lifting northeast at 45 kts over the Southeast Pacific with seas 35 ft over a small area at 60.25S 144.25W aimed northeast. On Mon AM (5/8) southwest winds were fading from 35-40 kts with seas 33 ft at 55.75S 136.5W. In the evening fetch was pure south but fading from 35-40 kts with seas 29 ft at 53.25S 128.5W aimed northeast. Fetch and seas fading quickly after that.
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (5/14) building to 1.4 ft @ 16-17 secs later (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell building on Mon (5/15) to 2.3 ft @ 15 secs later (3.5 ft). Swell fading some on Tues (5/16) from 2.2 ft @ 14-15 secs early (3.0 ft). Dribbles fading Wed (5/17) from 2.0 ft @ 13 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 187 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (5/14) building to 1.4 ft @ 17-18 secs later (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell building on Mon (5/15) to 2.7 ft @ 16 secs early (4.0 ft). Swell fading some on Tues (5/16) from 2.7 ft @ 14-15 secs early (3.5-4.0 ft). Dribbles fading Wed (5/17) from 2.5 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 184 degrees
3rd Southeast Pacific Gale
Yet a third gale developed from the remnants of the 2nd Southeast Pacific Gale on Tues AM (5/9) over the deep Southeast Pacific with 30-35 kts south winds and seas building. In the evening south winds were 45 kts over a small area and seas building from 28 ft at 54.5S 128.5W aimed north. On Wed AM (5/10) south winds were pushing north at 45 kts with seas 30 ft at 52.25S 123W on the eastern edge of the CA swell window. In the evening south fetch was losing coverage from 45 kts with seas 36 ft at 49S 121.5W aimed north. On Thurs AM (5/11) south winds were fading from 40 kts tracking due north with seas 35 ft at 43S 120.5W aimed north. In the evening fetch was fading and tracking northeast at 35 kts with seas fading from 31 ft at 38S 117W and no longer in the SCal swell window. Something to monitor.
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (5/17) building to 2.3 ft @ 15-16 secs later (3.5 ft). Swell building on Thurs (5/18) to 3.4 ft @ 16-17 secs early (5.5 ft) and holding. Swell fading on Fri (5/19) from 3.1 ft @ 15 secs (4.5 ft). Residuals on Sat (5/20) fading from 2.4 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 188 moving to 185 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (5/17) building to 2.3 ft @ 16 secs later (3.5 ft). Swell building on Thurs (5/18) to 3.0 ft @ 17 secs mid-day (5.0 ft) and holding. Swell peaking Fri (5/19) at 3.8 ft @ 15-16 secs early (6.0 ft). Residuals on Sat (5/20) fading from 3.1 ft @ 14 secs (4.5 ft). Dribbles Sun (5/21) fading from 2.3 ft @ 13 secs early (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 181 moving to 179.5 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 meaningful swell producing weather systems are forecast.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.
Major Global Weather Pattern Change Occurring - El Nino Developing
Kelvin Wave #3 Poised to Erupt - Active MJO #4 Developing - Equatorial Sea Surface Temps Rising Fast
1 Kelvin Wave traversed the Pacific in Dec '22 with a 2nd in Jan-Feb and a 3rd in Mar-April. And Westerly Winds are fully established filling the KWGA. And Sea Surface Temperatures continue warming. The last link in the chain is to see the SOI falling deep into negative territory. The outlook is optimistic.
The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.And the El Nino/La Nino cycle (collectively know as ENSO - El Nino Southern Oscillation) is a less frequent (about once every 7 years) but more impactful cycle that affects world wide weather. Specifically, strong El Nino events promote storm production in the Pacific while La Nina events suppress storm production. These therefore have a significant impact on the production of swell and surf. The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO and ENSO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for upcoming activity (or inactivity depending on the state and interaction of these two oscillations).
Overview: In 2019 warm equatorial waters were fading, and by August a tongue of cool water was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos reaching to a point nearly south of Hawaii. A bit of a recovery tried to occur during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water held in a pool off Peru. By April 2020 a cool pool was starting to build, forming a well defined cool tongue that evolved into La Nina, with it fully developing through July 2020. That basically continued until late Fall 2022 when trades started fading and by early 2023 multiple Kelvin Waves were in flight with significant warming developing over the East Equatorial Pacific. La Nina was dead on 3/18/2023 with El Nino apparently developing.
LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Summer 2023 = 3.7 (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: A 3 year La Nina started fading in Jan 2023 and was gone by April. 3 Active MJO's produced 3 Kelvin Waves with the 3rd in that series poised to start erupting off Ecuador now (May 2023). The CFS model is predicting steady west anomalies from here forward and the leading edge of the low pressure bias on the dateline and forecast to nearly fill the Pacific during June. We are in a state of transition from ENSO neutral to El Nino during the summer of 2023. As a result we will be moving from a period of reduced number of storm days and storm intensity during the early part of Summer towards a period of enhanced storm production starting Late July and beyond, getting fairly intense come Fall. This should result in a slightly below normal level of swells, with swells being below normal duration and period over early Summer. But by late July 2023, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start improving as El Nino starts getting a solid footprint on the atmosphere. The net result is we're currently thinking a near normal number of swells with normal size and duration is to result, but all focused sometime after late July 2023. The swell pattern will be normal to somewhat below normal before July and above normal after July 23. And By Sept, the El Nino footprint should be solid. Of course this is all highly speculative at this early and based mostly on the CFS model and it's projection of a building ENSO footprint getting solid by Sept.
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 (5/12) 5 day average winds were moderate to strong from the east over the East equatorial Pacific and moderate east over the Central Pacific and moderate east over the KWGA. Anomalies were light west over the East equatorial Pacific and neutral over the Central Pacific and modest east over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, versus realtime, so they lag what is happening today (by about 2.5 days).
2 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (5/13) Modest west anomalies were filling the KWGA except for a pocket of weak east anomalies over the dateline. Over the next 3 days the east anomalies are to be gone with west anomalies building to moderate if not strong status over the West KWGA filling the area from 125E to 160E (with neutral anomalies east of there) and holding for the entire forecast period. It looks like the Active Phase of the MJO is setting up now.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
- MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:
OLR Models: (5/12) a weak Active Phase of the MJO was indicated over the KWGA today. The statistical model indicates the Active MJO is to continue weakly over the the KWGA on day 5 then building to moderate strength and holding on days 10 and 15 of the model run. The dynamic model indicates the Active MJO steadily building through day 15 and stronger than the statistic model.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (CA and GEFS): (5/13) The statistical model depicts the Active signal was very weak over the West Pacific and is to noodle around there the next 15 days split between very weak and moderate in strength. The dynamic model indicates the Active Phase is to noodle around there at weak status through day 15.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (5/13) A modest Active (wet) pattern was filling the KWGA with no Inactive (dry air) signal in the Pacific. The forecast has the Active Phase (wet air) pushing east over the KWGA through 5/28 then easing east over the East Pacific 6/2 and out of the Pacific on 6/12. The Inactive Phase (dry air) is to start building over the KWGA starting 6/2 and in control 6/7 holding through the end of the model run on 6/22 with perhaps some weak signs of the Active Phase building in the far West Pacific.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/12) Today west anomalies and the Active Phase of the MJO were building over the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Active MJO signal is to move east filling the KWGA through 6/7 with west anomalies building and filling the KWGA reaching strong status 5/15-5/22. Even as the Active Signal fades west anomalies are to only solidify their grip on the KWGA filling it through the end of the model run on 6/9. This is an upgrade and much like the GFS model.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/13) - using the 5th ensemble member - the mean of the 4 individual members which are all from the 00Z run - 1 run per day):
Today the Active Phase and weak west anomalies starting to build over the KWGA. The Active Phase of the MJO is to continue building over the KWGA through 6/7 with west anomalies holding steady. A weak Inactive Phase is to follow 5/23-6/18 but with west anomalies holding centered over the dateline. Then next Active Phase of the MJO is to follow starting 6/25 holding through 7/27 with west anomalies building to strong status filling the KWGA 6/14 through 7/16. A solid El Nino is developing. The shift to El Nino started on 2/15. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias with 1 contour line centered at 120W with its western perimeter at 145W today and well east of the KWGA and moving east fast. A broad low pressure bias is established over the West KWGA centered at 150E with 2 contour lines and it's leading edge just east of the dateline today (it started pushing east on 2/15). A hard push east is occurring and is to continue into June 9 with it's leading edge then stalling at 145W filling most of the Pacific with it's leading edge more slowly moving east to 130W at the end of the model run with it's center at 170E. This is all a big deal and is being repeated in some form consistently from one run of the model to the next since Oct 2022. It appears an El Nino is developing.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (5/13) Today in the far West Pacific the leading edge of the 29 degree isotherm was moving east to 178W (previously 170E). The 28 deg isotherm line was running the whole way across Pacific but shallow east of 145W but deeper than days ago. The 26 degree isotherm has pushed the whole way across the Pacific and getting deeper. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies at +2 deg C were in a river traversing the Pacific but with a little break at 165W. A building pocket of 3-5 degs anomalies were in the far East Pacific. Amazing. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 5/8 indicates a huge very warm stream of 3+ degs anomalies extending from the far West Pacific and building while tracking east to 100W (leading edge of Kelvin Wave #2) and then upwards from there over the far East Pacific with +4-5 degs anomalies from Kelvin Wave #1 erupting there into Ecuador. And another pocket of warming waters were in the far West Pacific at 125E at +3 degs. No cool anomalies were indicated. El Nino is developing. The GODAS animation is 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately depicted since its satellite based.
Sea Level Anomalies: (5/8) Sea heights were positive across the equatorial Pacific connected to the East Pacific at +5-10 cms over the entirety of it's width with a pocket of +10 cms in the west and a pocket of +10-15 cms in the east extending north into Central America and south to Chile. This means no cool water was at depth. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram warm water continues building in intensity and coverage at +1.00-1.50 degs over the width of the Pacific connected to a second pocket starting at 110W at at +1.5-2.0 degs reaching east to Ecuador.
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 Qualitative Analysis: (5/12) The latest images depict a strong warm signal along the coasts of Peru and Ecuador and now building up to Mexico almost reaching Baja and a bit weaker along Peru and Ecuador compared to weeks past but with a building tongue extending west over the Galapagos continuing along the equator reaching to 145W if not 150W (results of Kelvin Wave #1). Warm temps continued west from there on the equator across the dateline and beyond. This is a clear El Nino signal. And warmer than normal temps were present well off the coasts of Chile and Peru and now along Central America up to mainland Mexico building in intensity. The classic El Nino triangle was developing. The last remnants of La Nina are gone on the equator and a clear El Nino signal is building. But, remnants of La Nina are still evident along the California and Baja coast with cold temps and the normal La Nina enhanced Springtime upwelling pattern in control but somewhat weeks then weeks past.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (5/12): A weakly cooling trend was along the coasts of Chile and Peru and Ecuador out to 120W on the equator as Kelvin Wave #1 starts fading there. But a broad diffuse stream of warming temps were along the equator from 125W to 165E (New Guinea). The pattern of adding energy to the warm surface pool has moved from Ecuador to the equator west of there. A warming trend had been well entrenched over the East Pacific since Nov 1 with no cooling waters over the equatorial East Pacific since 12/15 except for the time frame from 4/23 to today.
Hi-res Overview: (5/12) Warming waters are filling the East Pacific off Chile, Peru, Ecuador and north up to Mexico with strong warming along the immediate cost of Peru and Ecuador. And the classic El Nino tongue of more intense warming is building considerably on the equator west to 145W and from there to the dateline and beyond. No cool waters were on the equator anymore. There no sign of La Nina on the oceans surface and everything is now looking like El Nino. The east equatorial Pacific is finally and steadily warming.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (5/13) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs compared to official sources). Today's temps are steady at +2.267 having previously peaked at +2.891 (4/13). Previously temps reached +2.302 degrees on 4/6, +1.732 degs (3/22), up from +0.462 since 2/28. Temps had reached as high as +1.076 on 2/19 and were previously steady at +0.848 since 2/7. Previously they started steadily rising 11/13 when they were around -1.5 degs C.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (5/13) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs). Temps were rising today at +0.432, beating the previous peak of +0.318 on 4/30 besting the previous peak at +0.199 on 4/21. Temps have been steadily increasing hitting 0.0 on 4/12 and were then more or less steady the previous 4 weeks. Temps previously rose to -0.402 on 2/23. Temps rose above the La Nina threshold (-0.5 degs) on 2/22 and had been rising slowly since 2/12 when they were about -1.0 degs C. Then had been in the -1.0 deg range since at least Nov 2022.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Data (Nino3.4 Region)
Previous - Temps rose in early Nov 2020 after bottoming out at -1.25 degs, up to -0.01 degs in mid-June 2021 then fading to -1.05 degs in mid-Nov then rebuilding to -0.7 in mid Feb 2022 then fading to -1.1 degs in May before starting an upward climb peaking in mid-June at -0.65 degs and mid July at -0.55 degs. A steady decline set in after that falling to -1.00 degs in Aug and Sept rising to -0.8 degs mid Oct then falling to -1.0 in Nov but then slowly rising to -0.75 degs in Jan 2023 and up to -0.5 degs (above the La Nina threshold) on 2/12. Temps were +0.45 degs today.
Forecast (5/13) - Temps are slowly climbing above neutral and are forecast rising to +1.45 degs in July and +2.60 degs in Nov and solidly into El Nino territory. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps are forecast rising to +1.10 degs in July and +1.90 degs in Nov. According to this version of the model we are building into ENSO neutral in Spring and into El Nino in Summer.
IRI Consensus Plume: The April 19, 2023 Plume depicts temps are +0.434 degs today and it's the second month above the La Nina threshold. Temps to rise steadily from here forward to +0.711 degs in May rising to +1.149 in July and up to +1.269 degrees in Oct then fading from there. This is an upgrade from previous runs. The CFS model is on the upper range of all models. This model suggests a transition to El Nino.
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 - all but the Daily Index was a lagging indicator):
Today (5/13) the Daily Index was hard negative at -28.48 and has been negative the last 5 days. toggling between +10 and -10 the last 13 days, but negative the previous 15 days, positive the 6 days prior to that after being mostly negative 25 days before that. It fell to -19.40 on 4/2. -17.44 on 2/22, the beginning of a change from which no return seemed likely. It was up to +21.85 on 2/10 and +55.74 on 12/22 and were in the +20 range the previous 22 days.
The 30 day average was falling at -5.68 after falling to -4.13 on 4/4 (lagging indicator driven by the Active Phase of the MJO) after falling to -0.52 on 3/22 previously falling to +4.18 on 11/27 and peaking at +21.57 (10/16) after supposedly peaking at +19.66 on 9/28. It was down to +6.89 on 7/29. It peaked at +20.34 (5/12) the highest in a year and beating last years high of +19.51 (1/14).
The 90 day average was falling at -0.79 and turned negative the first time in a very long time on 5/12. It previously peaked at +14.63 on 2/20, +15.61 on 10/25 and +12.92 on 8/11 and that after peaking at +18.40 (7/2) beating it's previous peak of +16.86 (5/31), the highest in a year. It previously peaked at +9.80 (9/21) after falling to it's lowest point in a year at +1.06 (6/9). The 90 day average peaked at +15.75 (2/23/21 - clearly indicative of La Nina then). This index is a lagging indicator but suggests that the Active Phase occurring now is starting to drive the index down, hopefully with no upward trend in sight for at least a year.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation
The PDO theoretically turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and was positive till Dec 2019, but has been negative ever since, driven by recent La Nina conditions. In May-July 2021 it was the most negative its been in the -1.80 to -2.04 range since Sept 2012 (-2.99) and then fell to -3.16 in Oct 2021 (the lowest since July 1933) then settled at -2.72 in Nov and Dec 2021. Looking at the long term record, it seems likely we are still in the Cool Phase of the PDO (La Nina 'like') with no signs of moving to the positive/warm phase (El Nino 'like').
See imagery in the ENSO Powertool
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