Thursday, May 20, 2021
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 3.1 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 1.0 ft @ 14.3 secs from 223 degrees. Water temp 77.0 degs (Pearl Harbor 233), 77.0 (Lani 239).
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.4 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 2.3 ft @ 12.9 secs from 307 degrees. Water temp 76.8 degs.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.6 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 1.4 ft @ 14.0 secs from 205 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 10-12 kts. Water temperature 64.8 degs, 62.1 (Topanga 103), 61.5 degs (Long Beach 215), 65.3 (Del Mar 153), 62.8 (Pt Loma 191). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 9.9 ft @ 9.1 secs from 317 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.7 ft @ 15.9 secs from 195 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.3 ft @ 15.9 secs from 197 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 5.5 ft @ 8.6 secs from 283 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 12.5 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 9.7 ft @ 8.6 secs from 313 with secondary swell 2.5 ft @ 16.4 secs from 187 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 23-29 kts. Water temp 48.9 (029), 48.7 degs (SF Bar 142) and 52.9 degs (Santa Cruz 254).
See Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (bottom of the page)
Swell Classification Guidelines
Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
Summer - Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
Summer - Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
Summer - up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.
Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.
On Thursday (5/20) North and Central CA had waves at head high to 1 ft overhead and warbled and lumpy with whitecaps outside the break. Protected breaks were head high and lined up and closed out and nearly chopped with small whitecaps. At Santa Cruz surf was waist to chest high and lined up and clean but rare early. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist to chest high and mushed but fairly lined up with no local wind but pretty lumpy and warbled. Central Orange County had set waves at head high to 1 ft overhead but completely trashed by strong south winds early. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at head high and warbled and mushed from south wind. North San Diego had sets waves at shoulder to head high and chopped from south wind. Hawaii's North Shore was getting limited northwest windswell with set waves near head high and clean and lined up but infrequent. The South Shore was near flat with rare sets to thigh high and clean but textured. The East Shore report was not available.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Thursday (5/20) California was getting swell from a gale that pushed southeast from under New Zealand Mon-Tues (5/11) producing 39 ft seas aimed east-northeast. It was intermixed with copious northwest windswell. And another swell is radiating north originating from a gale that traversed the South Pacific from under New Zealand Wed-Sat (5/15) producing 30 ft seas initially building to 42 ft aimed north over the far Southeast Pacific. In North and Central CA, local northwest windswell is to continue for a bit, then backoff over the weekend, only to return after that. Beyond a gale developed under New Zealand on Tues (5/18) then tracked slowly east with seas building to 34 ft on Wed (5/19) and is to fade slowly on Thurs (5/20) with seas dropping from 26 ft aimed northeast. Another gale is to develop under New Zealand pushing east Sun-Mon (5/24) with 34 ft seas aimed east. And unrealistically the models suggests a strong system forming in the upper reaches of the Southeast Pacific on Wed-Thurs (5/27) with up to 40 ft seas aimed northeast.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Thursday (5/20) 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
- Fri (5/21) northwest winds to be 25 kts solid for all of North and Central CA early shifting north slightly in the afternoon with 25-30 kt north winds anchored over North CA and 20-25 kt northwest winds over Central CA and 15+ kts northwest winds building over Southern CA later. Windswell production increasing north of Pt Conception. Some additional snow potential for all the high Sierra down to Mammoth through the day into the early evening.
- Sat (5/22) northwest winds to be 20 kts over all of North CA and over outer waters of Central CA early (10-15 kts nearshore) and fading for Central CA in the afternoon at 10 kts. Limited windswell production holding. Maybe some more light snow up high for Tahoe southward in the afternoon.
- Sun (5/23) northwest winds are forecast at 15-20 kts for North CA early and 10 kts nearshore for Central CA early (15 kts just off the coast building to 15 kts nearshore in the afternoon. Very limited windswell production possible.
- Mon (5/24) northwest winds to build in coverage at 20 kts for all of North and Central CA early and holding all day. Very limited windswell to result.
- Tues (5/25) the winds machine starts regenerating with northwest winds 20+ kts for all of North and Central CA early and pushing near 25 kts in the afternoon. Windswell trying to redevelop.
- Wed (5/26) northwest winds are forecast at 25+ kts for all of North CA early and 10-15 kts nearshore for Central CA early and 20 kts off the coast holding all day. Windswell regenerating some more.
- Thurs (5/27) northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for North CA early and 10-15 kts for Central CA holding all day. Windswell holding.
Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 6 inches, 6 inches, 3 inches, and 9 inches all on May 21-22.
Freezing level falling to 4,500 ft on 5/19-20 then slowly building to 7,000 ft on 5/21-22 pushing to 10,500 ft on 5/23 and 12,000 ft on 5/27 rising from there.
Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!
On Thursday (5/20) the jet was ridging south down to the Ross Ice Shelf under New Zealand the lifting northeast over the Central South Pacific forming a somewhat cutoff trough there being fed by 110 kts winds offering some support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours that cutoff trough is to persist and tap the northern branch of the jet generating 160 kts winds on Sat (5/22) perhaps offering some weak support for gale development there. Beyond 72 hours another trough is to try and develop just north of the Ross Ice Shelf (south of New Zealand) on Sun (5/23) being fed by 130 kts lifting slowly northeast on Tues (5/25) again tapping the northern branch of the jet late Tues (5/25) over the upper reaches of the Southeast Pacific and holding while easing east into Thurs (5/27) perhaps offering some support for gale development.
On Thursday (5/20) swell from a a fourth system that developed under New Zealand and tracked east was past it's prime in California (see 4th Storm below). And yet a 5th storm developed in the Southeast Pacific producing swell that is pushing northeast poised for mainly California (see Southeast Pacific Storm below). And swell from a weaker system that tracked under New Zealand was pushing northeast for HI and the US West Coast (see Southwest Pacific Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours a gale is to be developing under New Zealand on Sat PM (5/22) producing 45-50 kt west winds with seas building from 29 ft at 55.75S 171.25E. On Sun AM (5/23) The gale is to produce a decent sized area of 50+ kt south winds with seas building to 34 ft at 58S 177W aimed east. In the evening southwest winds to be fading from 45 kts aimed well northeast with seas 34 ft at 58.5S 171.5W aimed northeast. On Mon AM (5/24) southwest winds are to be fading from 35-40 kts with seas 32 ft at 59S 163.25W aimed northeast. This system is to fade from there. Something to monitor.
Southern CA: Swell holding solid on Thurs (5/20) at 2.5 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell fading on Fri (5/21) from 2.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 193 degrees
A storm started developing south of New Zealand Sun AM (5/9) producing 50 kt southwest winds and seas building from 28 ft at 61S 174E aimed northeast. In the evening the storm tracked east producing a solid area of 45-50 kt southwest winds with seas building from 37 ft at 61.5S 172.5W aimed northeast. The gale tracked rapidly east-northeast Mon AM (5/10) producing 40-45 kt west winds and seas 36 ft at 59.5S 153.5W aimed northeast. In the evening a broad area of 40 kts southwest winds were lifting northeast with seas 34 ft at 57.5S 140.25W aimed east. On Tues AM (5/11) a broad fetch of southwest winds were lifting northwest at 40 kts solid and seas 34 ft over a solid area centered at 53.25S 131.25W aimed east-northeast. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 40 kts aimed east-northeast and almost out of the Southern CA swell window with 32 ft seas at 50.25S 121W aimed northeast. 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. Swell is radiating northeast.
North CA: Swell holding solid on Thurs (5/20) at 2.5 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell fading on Fri (5/21) from 2.1 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 191 degrees
Fetch started developing under New Zealand on Wed AM (5/12) producing a large area of 35-40 kt northwest winds and seas building from 28 ft at 60S 153E aimed entirely at the Ross Ice Shelf. In the evening fetch was pushing east and turning more westerly at 40-45 kts over a large area southeast of New Zealand producing 31 ft seas at 62.5S 177.5W aimed east. On Thurs AM (5/13) a more classical storm was building over the Central South Pacific producing 45-50 kt southwest winds with seas building from 34 ft at 61.75S 151.75W aimed east. In the evening fetch built to 50 kts solid aimed north-northeast over the Southeast Pacific with 35 ft seas over a solid area at 58.5S 131W aimed northeast. On Fri AM (5/14) 50 kt southwest winds were on the eastern edge of the CA swell window producing 42 ft seas at 55S 122.5W in the CA swell window aimed northeast. In the evening southwest winds were 35-40 kts over a broad area half in and half east of the CA swell window with 30-33 ft seas in the swell window at 51S 118-120W aimed northeast. On Sat AM (5/15) secondary fetch built at 40 kts from the south with 28-33 ft seas at 49S 119-121 W aimed due north. In the evening south winds to be 35-40 kts aimed north-northeast but mostly east of the NCal swell window with seas 24-26 ft at 53S 118W aimed north in the Scal swell window with larger seas to 30 ft east of there aimed only at Mexico down to Peru and Chile. On Sun AM (5/16) south winds to be fading from 35 kts stationary with 25 ft seas at 52S 112W and east of the CA swell window. This system is to be entirely east of the CA swell window after that and fading fast.
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (5/20) building to 1.0 ft @ 21-22 secs late (2.0 ft). Swell building on Fri (5/21) 2.5 ft @ 19 secs later (4.5 ft with sets to 6.0 ft). Swell peaking on Sat (5/22) at 2.7 ft @ 17 secs (4.5 ft with sets to 5.8 ft). Swell still decent on Sun (5/23) at 2.7 ft @ 16 secs (4.0-4.5 ft) fading steadily. Residuals on Mon (5/24) fading from 2.2 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Dribbles on Tues (5/25) at 1.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Maybe a slight resurgence on Wed (5/26) pushing 2.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading fast from there. Swell Direction: 186-190 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (5/21) building to 2.1 ft @ 20 secs later (4.0 ft with sets to 5.0 ft). Swell solid on Sat (5/22) at 2.8 ft @ 17-18 secs (5.0 ft with sets to 6.0 ft). Swell still decent on Sun (5/23) at 3.0 ft @ 16-17 secs early (4.8 ft with sets to 6.0 ft) fading steadily. Residuals on Mon (5/24) fading from 2.4 ft @ 15 secs (3.5 ft). Dribbles on Tues (5/25) fading from 1.9 ft @ 14 secs (2.5 ft). Maybe a slight resurgence on Wed (5/26) pushing 2.0 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading fast from there. Swell Direction: 186-190 degrees
Southwest Pacific Gale
A small gale developed just under New Zealand on Mon PM (5/17) producing 35-40 kt southwest winds over a small area and seas 28 ft at 50S 166.5E aimed east but mostly shadowed by Southern New Zealand relative to HI and CA. On Tues AM (5/18) southwest winds were free and clear of New Zealand at 40 kts from the southwest over a small area with 27 ft seas at 49.5S 171E aimed northeast. Fetch was fading in the evening from 35-40 kts from the southwest with seas fading from 28 ft at 47S 179W aimed northeast. On Wed AM (5/19) secondary fetch was building in the same area lifting hard north at 45 kts from the south over a small area with seas 32 ft at 47.5S 170.5W aimed northeast. Fetch to be fading while pushing hard northeast in the evening at 40 kts over a broad area with seas 32 ft at 43.25S 162.5W aimed northeast. On Thurs AM (5/20) fetch is to be fading from 35 kts aimed northeast with seas fading from 27 ft at 42.5S 155W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch is to hold while pushing east at 30-35 kts with seas 25 ft at 42S 150W aimed northeast. On Fri AM (5/21) fetch is to rebuild at 35 kts from the southwest with seas 25 ft at 48S 155W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 35 kts while lifting northeast with seas fading from 25 ft at 42S 151W aimed northeast. The gale is to fade from there. Something to monitor.
Hawaii: Swell arrival expected on Tues (5/25) building to 1.6 ft @ 16 secs later (2.5). Swell holding on Wed (5/26) at 1.8 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 ft). Swell dissipating on Thurs (5/27) from 1.4 ft @ 13-14 sec early (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 196 degrees
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (5/27) building to 1.2 ft @ 17-18 secs later (2.0 ft). Swell building on Fri (5/28) to 1.7 ft @ 16 sec later (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell holding on Sat (5/29) at 2.0 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading some on Sun (5/30) from 1.9 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Dribbles on Mon (5/31) fading from 1.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 200-210 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (5/27) building to 1.2 ft @ 17-18 secs later (2.0 ft). Swell building on Fri (5/28) to 1.7 ft @ 16-17 sec later (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell holding on Sat (5/29) at 2.0 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading some on Sun (5/30) from 2.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Dribbles on Mon (5/31) fading from 1.7 ft @ 14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 198-208 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 gale is forecast developing into he upper latitudes of the Southeast Pacific on Wed AM (5/26) producing 50-55 kt south winds and seas building from 35 ft at 33.8N 136.5W aimed north. 50 kt south to southwest winds to hold in the evening with 38 ft seas at 33S 131.5W aimed north. On Thurs AM (5/27) the gale is to be fading with 40-45 kt south winds falling southeast and seas 43 ft at 33.8S 127W aimed northeast. Will believe it when it happens.
ENSO Neutral Taking Hold - Weakly Warming Temps Cover Equator
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 (5/19) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific then strong east east over the Central Pacific and strong east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and neutral over the Central Pacific but strong 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 (5/20) moderate to strong east anomalies were filling the KWGA and tracking east and filling the entire Central and East equatorial Pacific. The forecast calls for strong east anomalies pushing east focused over the dateline on 5/21 with modest west anomalies start building over the bulk of the KWGA on 5/21 solidifying and building to moderate strength by 5/22 and holding nearly filling the KWGA through the end of the model run on 5/27. East anomalies are to be solid from the dateline eastward fill the Central and East Pacific for the duration of the model run.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
- MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:
OLR Models: (5/19) A modest Inactive MJO pattern was over the KWGA today. The statistic model projects the Inactive Phase gone on day 5 of the model run with a moderate Active Phase building over the KWGA and holding through day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model indicates the same thing but with the Active Phase weaker at modest to weak status on days 5 through 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (5/20) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was modest over the West Maritime Continent today and is to track slowly east to somewhere between the East Maritime Continent or the West Pacific by day 15 of the model run and weak to moderate. The dynamic model suggests the Active Phase is to steadily push east while losing strength and weak over the East Maritime Continent on day 7, then rebuilding to moderate strength over the West Pacific 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): (5/19) A strong Inactive Phase (dry air) was over the East Pacific today. It is to track east pushing into Central America on 5/24 while a moderate Active Phase (wet air) develops over the KWGA on 5/24 pushing east and into Central America on 6/3. A weak Inactive Phase (dry air) is to be building over the KWGA on 6/8 pushing east to the East Pacific and over Central America on 6/23 while a second pulse of the Inactive Phase (dry air) builds over the far West KWGA at the end of the model run on 6/28.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/19) This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO was all but gone and east of the KWGA today with moderate east anomalies losing control. The forecast indicates west anomalies returning to the KWGA on 5/20 building eastward and filling the KWGA by 5/22. The Active Phase is to be traversing the KWGA 5/25-6/4 with possibly strong west anomalies in the KWGA 5/26-6/3. West anomalies to hold over the Western KWGA through the end of the model run on 6/16 but with a bubble of weak east anomalies setting up on the dateline 6/9 through the end of the model run.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/20 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): The Inactive Phase of the MJO was 75% 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 5/20 then give way to weak west anomalies in the West KWGA that are to be filling the KWGA on 5/24 even as the Inactive Phase of the MJO was still traversing the KWGA through 5/29. A new moderate Active Phase is to start building in the west on 5/24 pushing slowly east and filling the KWGA on 5/31 holding through 7/31 with modest to moderate west anomalies controlling the KWGA building to strong status late May/early June. Literally no significant east anomalies are forecast in the KWGA from today forward. A weak Inactive MJO is to try and set up 8/3 holding through the end of the model run on 8/17 but with west anomalies holding in the KWGA. 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 6/4. The remaining 1 is to be shifting steadily east and losing coverage and no longer in the KWGA after 6/22. 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 7/15 and holding into early Aug, then backtracking some. 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 - aka the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge). The end of La Nina is here according to NOAA.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (5/18) Today in the far West Pacific the 28 deg isotherm line was stable after pushing east to 155W. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing the whole way across the equatorial Pacific and was 100 meters deep at 140W. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +2 deg C are in the West Pacific indicative of a new Kelvin Wave building with 2 deg anomalies reaching across the Pacific to 140W today with a second Kelvin Wave with +2 degs anomalies in the East Pacific pushing near the surface at 110W but just 5 meters under it and holding that way into Ecuador. No cool anomalies were indicated. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 5/13 indicates a dramatic improvement with warm anomalies moving east subsurface to 85W just off Ecuador indicative of a Kelvin Wave poised to impact the far East Pacific and just below the surface at 100W 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: (5/13) A dramatic improvement continues with sea heights slightly above neutral (0 to +5 cms) over the entire equatorial Pacific and one large pocket of +5 cm anomalies embedded in it from 150E extending east to 145W. No negative anomalies were present on the equator or along the coasts of Chile, Peru, Central America and up to Baja Mexico or Southern 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: (5/19) The latest images indicate neutral to weakly warm water temps on the equator across the width of the Pacific except one pocket of weakly negative anomalies just west of the Galapagos. A previous upwelling event (cool anomalies) along Peru was dissipating quickly. A pocket of warm water was off Ecuador and Central America up to Southern Baja. Another weak pocket of warm water was off Chile and outer waters off Peru. Overall this seems to indicate the late stages of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (5/19): A neutral temperature trend was along Peru and Ecuador out to the Galapagos. Weakly warming temps were over the equator from 110W out to 170W. There was no sign of an upwelling warm water event (yet).
Hi-res Overview: (5/19) Weakly warmer than normal waters were on the equator from 110W to the dateline and also east of the Galapagos into Ecuador. A generic area of warm water was west of Central America. A mix if generic cool and warm water was west of Peru. A very weak area of cool water was along the immediate coast of Peru and fading fast. La Nina appears to be in retreat but not gone.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (5/20) Today's temps were stable at -0.802 after rising to -0.471 on 5/3. Previous to that temps recently bottomed out at -0.950 on 4/5. Before that temps peaked at +0.714 on 3/16. The longterm trend has been stable.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (5/20) Today temps were rising to to +0.071, beating the previous peak of +0.040 on 5/3, the highest in a year and barely positive. Temps previously had been steady near -0.222 since early March. Temps bottomed out at -1.654 on 11/3, rising to to -0.982 on 1/21. Temps are on a steady increase.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (5/20) - Actuals per the model indicate temps bottomed out in early Nov at -1.25 degs then rose steadily to -0.25 degs in mid-May. The forecast indicates temps rising to -0.05 degs in late June holding till late-Sept, then starting a weak fade, falling to -0.35 degs in Nov and holding to mid-Jan before rising to -0.2 degs in early Feb 2022. This model 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) (5/20): The daily index was rising to 8.14. The 30 day average was falling to +6.97 after falling to +0.02 on 4/26, and that after peaking at +19.51 on 1/14. The 90 day average was falling slightly to +2.38, the lowest in a year. The 90 day average peaked 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