Saturday, May 21, 2022
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor)/Buoy 239 (Lanai) NA/Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt) NA: Seas were 2.7 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 1.4 ft @ 13.1 secs from 171 degrees. Water temp 78.4 degs (Barbers Pt), NA (Lani 239), 78.6 (Pearl Harbor 233).
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.3 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 2.5 ft @ 9.3 secs from 332 degrees. Water temp 78.4 degs.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.3 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 1.6 ft @ 16.0 secs from 157 degrees. Wind east at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 61.3 degs, 61.3 (Topanga 103), 63.1 degs (Long Beach 215), 63.9 (Del Mar 153), 60.4 (Imperial Beach 155). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 7.6 ft @ 10.3 secs from 308 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.2 ft @ 15.5 secs from 204 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.4 ft @ 14.7 secs from 194 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.9 ft @ 15.1 secs from 193 degrees. Water temp 60.8 degs.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 9.5 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 7.6 ft @ 9.3 secs from 321 degrees. Wind at buoy 46012 was northwest at 10-14 kts. Water temp 48.9 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 48.7 (46026), 52.0 (SF Bar 142), and NA (Santa Cruz 254).
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 (5/21) North and Central CA had set waves at chest to shoulder high and soft and warbled but with better but not yet clean conditions early. Protected breaks were waist to chest high and reasonably lined up and relatively clean with some southerly texture. At Santa Cruz surf was waist to maybe chest high on the sets and lightly textured and somewhat lined up but soft. In Southern California/Ventura waves were thigh to maybe waist high and somewhat lined up but crumbled and weak with building northwest wind adding moderate texture on top. Central Orange County had sets at head high to 1 ft overhead on the sets and lined up with decent form and breaking hard with light wind and glassy conditions. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets to head high on the peak and fairly lined up but soft with real clean conditions. North San Diego had sets to chest high and lined up and clean but closed out from low tide. Hawaii's North Shore had a few waist high plus sets at top breaks and clean with good form. The South Shore had set at chest to near head high and lined up and clean with decent form early but weak. The East Shore was near flat and textured from light east trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Saturday (5/19) California was getting the standard summertime northwest windswell at exposed breaks with some southern hemi swell showing better at south facing breaks. Hawaii was getting better than expected but fading southern hemi swell on south shores.
A gale formed in the Central South Pacific on Tues (5/10) with 37 ft seas aimed well northeast then pushed east through Thurs (5/12) with up to 36 ft seas aimed east to northeast. That swell is fading in Hawaii and just at it's peak in California. Beyond a gale formed over the Central South Pacific Tues-Wed (5/18) producing 32 ft seas aimed northeast. Small swell is to arrive on the US West Coast on Thurs (5/26). And another is to form under New Zealand moving northeast just off the coast there Fri-Sun (5/22) producing up to 35 ft seas aimed well north. And another to follow in the same area Mon-Wed (5/25) producing up to 35 ft seas aimed well northeast. And maybe a final tiny system to follow just east of there on Fri-Sat (5/28) with 30 ft seas aimed well northeast. So a possible decent run of swell is projected.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Saturday (5/21) no swell producing weather systems have occurred with no swell in the water or forecast immediately.
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
- Sun (5/22) northwest winds to be 20-25 kts for North CA early and northwest 10 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast holding at 20-25 kts for North CA and building to 20 kts for Central CA except 15 kts from Morro Bay southward.
- Mon (5/23) northwest winds to be 15 kts for Cape Mendocino but 20-30 kts for the remainder of North CA early and 20-25 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast building to 25-30 kts for all of North CA and 20-25 kts for Central CA.
- Tues (5/24) the wind continues in the morning with northwest winds 25+ kts for all of North CA early and 20 kts for Central CA but 15 kts from Monterey Bay southward. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 25-30 kts confined to North CA but fading to 10 kts for Central CA.
- Wed (5/25) the Springtime La Nina enhanced northwest flow is to finally show signs of breaking with northwest winds to be 25 kts limited to Cape Mendocino but with a south eddy flow developing at 5 kts from Bodega Bay southward and up to 10 kts from the south for Central CA. In the afternoon north winds are forecast at 15-20 kts for Cape Mendocino and from the south at 5-10 kts for the remainder of North CA and all of Central CA. Windswell from the perpetual north wind is to fade out later.
- Thurs (5/26) the eddy flow collapses with northwest winds forecast at 5-10 kts for North CA and south winds maybe 5 kts for Central CA turning northwest all locations 5-10 kts in the afternoon. No windswell forecast. Light rain possible for Pt Arena northward in the afternoon and evening.
- Fri (5/27) northwest winds are forecast at 10 kts for all of North and Central CA with no windswell production indicated. Northwest winds building to 15 kts in the afternoon and up to 20 kts south of Monterey Bay. Light rain possible for Cape Mendocino mainly early.
- Sat (5/28) northwest winds continue at 15+ kts for North CA early and 15-25 kts for Central CA focused on Pt Conception.
Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 0, 0, 0, and 0 inches. No more snow is forecast. Summer is here.
Freezing level for the tahoe area 12,500 ft today falling to 10,000 ft on 5/21 building to 12,000 ft 5/22 and then 14,000+ ft 5/24-5/25 then falling to 8,000 ft 5/27 before rebuilding to 12,000 ft on 5/29 and beyond.
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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 (5/21) the influential southern branch of the jet was lifting northeast from under New Zealand with winds about 100 kts forming a tight trough just southeast of New Zealand offering some limited support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours the New Zealand trough is to slowly track east while holding together reaching 150W then being reinforced with more winds energy at 130 kts Mon AM (5/23) offering improved support for gale development.Beyond 72 hours starting Tues (5/24) a new batch of wind energy is to start building pushing north under New Zealand on Tues (5/24) digging out the New Zealand trough again offering decent support for gale development while pushing well north and east through early Fri (5/27) again offering good support for gale development. On Sat (5/28) the trough is to start getting undercut by a building ridge developing under New Zealand and pushing east. Certainly an improving pattern is suggested for the next week.
Swell from a gale that developed over the Central South Pacific is fading in Hawaii and California today (see Central South Pacific Gale below). Swell from another gale that formed over the Central South Pacific is propagate northeastward from its source bound for the US West Coast (see Another Central South Pacific Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours a new gale started developing south of New Zealand on Fri AM (5/20) with 40-45 kts south winds and seas building. In the evening south to southwest winds were still 40-45 kts over a solid area just south-southeast of New Zealand with 32 ft at 52.75S 169.25E aimed northeast. On Sat AM (5/21) southwest winds were 40-45 kts just southeast of New Zealand producing 34 ft at 49.25S 177.5E aimed northeast. In the evening fetch is to start pushing east at 40+ kts over a solid area with seas 35 ft at 46.25S 174.75W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (5/22) winds to fade from the southwest at 30-35 kts with seas 31 ft at 44.25S 167W aimed east-northeast. In the evening fetch is to be dissipated with seas from previous fetch fading from 26 ft at 45.5S 156.75W aimed east. Something to monitor.
Also a new fetch of southwest winds is to develop Sun PM (5/22) south of New Zealand at 35-40 kts getting traction and generating seas of 25 ft at 57.5S 168E aimed east-northeast. On Mon AM 30-35 kt west-southwest winds are forecast over a broad area aimed east-northeast under and southeast of New Zealand with seas 29 ft at 58S 179.5W aimed east-northeast. In the evening southwest winds to be 40 kts over a tiny area southeast of New Zealand fading area with seas 30 ft at 58S 170.25W aimed east-northeast. This is mainly just a preparatory gale for the next system forecast behind (see the Long Term Forecast below).
Central South Pacific Gale
Mon PM (5/9) a small storm developed southeast of New Zealand with 50-55 kt south winds and seas 30 ft at 61S 170W aimed northeast. On Tues AM (5/10) the gale had 45+ kt southwest winds lifting northeast with seas 37 ft at 55.75S 162W aimed northeast. In the evening the gale was pushing northeast with 35-40 kt southwest winds and seas 32 ft at 53.5S 152.75W aimed northeast. The gale pushed east Wed AM (5/11) over the Southeast Pacific with 45 kt west-southwest winds and seas 33 ft over a tiny area at 55S 140.75W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch was pushing east at 35-40 kts with seas 30 ft at 54.5S 129.25W aimed east and on the east edge of the SCal swell window. Secondary fetch was pushing over the same area on Thurs AM (5/12) from the west at 40 kts with seas 31 ft at 49.75S 137.5W aimed east. In the evening 40 kts west winds were pushing to the edge of the SCal swell window with seas 31 ft at 49.25S 126.25W aimed east. This system was east of the SCal swell window beyond.
Hawaii: Residuals on Sat (5/21) fading from 1.7 ft @ 12 secs (2.0 ft). A final pulse to be fading on Sun (5/22) from 1.5 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0 ft). Dribbles on Mon (5/23) fading from 1.5 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 185-190 degrees
Southern CA: Swell continues Sat (5/21) at 2.1 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0 ft). Residuals on Sun (5/22) fading from 1.8 ft @ 14 secs (2.5 ft). Swell fading Mon (5/23) from 1.8 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 185-195 degrees
North CA: Swell continues Sat (5/21) at 2.1 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0 ft). Residuals on Sun (5/22) fading from 1.7 ft @ 14 secs (2.5 ft). Swell fading Mon (5/23) from 1.5 ft @ 14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 184-194 degrees
Another Central South Pacific Gale
A gale formed in the South Central Pacific on Mon PM (5/16) producing a modest sized area of 40-45 kt south winds with seas building from 30 ft at 59.5S 159.5W aimed northeast. On Tues AM (5/17) southwest winds were growing in coverage at 35-40 kts with seas 27 ft over a moderate area at 55S 152W aimed northeast. In the evening southwest winds rebuilt to 40-45 kts solid moving to the Southeast Pacific with seas 32 ft at 55.75S 148W aimed northeast. On Wed AM (5/18) fetch pushed east at 35-40 kts from the southwest with seas 30 ft at 53S 135.25W aimed northeast. Fetch pushed northeast in the evening while fading from 30-35 kts from the southwest and seas fading from 28 ft at at 51.75S 126W. The gale was east of the Southeast CA swell window after that. No swell is to result for Hawaii with all energy focused on the US West Coast and more so for Central America.
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (5/26) building to 1.6 ft @ 16-17 secs mid day (2.5 ft). Swell building on Fri (5/27) to 2.1 ft @ 15 secs later (3.0 ft). Swell continues on Sat (5/28) at 2,0 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading Sun (5/29) from 2.0 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 195 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (5/26) building to 1.5 ft @ 17 secs later (2.5 ft). Swell building on Fri (5/27) to 1.8 ft @ 15-16 secs later (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell continues on Sat (5/28) at 2.2 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading Sun (5/29) from 2.1 ft @ 14 secs (3.0 ft) early. Swell Direction: 195 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 weather systems of interest are forecast.
Beyond 72 hours starting Tues AM (5/24) a stronger secondary fetch of south winds are to build under New Zealand at 45 kts with seas quickly getting traction at 33 ft at 54S 162.25E aimed northeast. In the evening fetch is to build and move clear of South New Zealand to the east at 40-45 kts over a broad area with seas 34 ft at 49.75S 178.5E aimed northeast. Fetch is to be fading some while moving east Wed AM (5/25) from 30-35 kts over a broad area with seas 35 ft at 46.5S 171.25W aimed northeast. Fetch is to be fading in the evening from 30-35 kts with seas 31 ft at 46.25S 170.5W and surrounded by a solid area of 28+ ft seas aimed northeast. Fetch to be gone after that. More hope.
Perhaps a tiny system to develop Fri-Sat (5/28) east of New Zealand with 40+ kts southwest winds and seas to 32 ft at 44S 153W. Something to monitor.
CFS Model Upgrades Again
Weak La Nina through Fall then Fading - SOI Peaked Late April - New Kelvin Wave Stalled
Summary - Cool subsurface water volume peaked under the equatorial Pacific on 10/15/21 and is now fading. The SOI is just past its peak, higher than last years peak. A delayed response. A much hoped for Active Phase of the MJO (and westerly anomalies) in April has resulted in a weak Kelvin Wave but it is stalled mid-way across the Pacific today. La Nina conditions are projected by the CFS and IRI models until Nov, then fading. West anomalies are forecast filling half or more of the KWGA from here forward. The outlook is turning more optimistic with ENSO neutral trying to set up.
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. A slow dissolving of La Nina started in March 2021 with 2 Kelvin Waves sweeping east and arriving over the Galapagos in June. Weak warming set up over the equator with no cool waters present. NOAA declared La Nina dead. But cold water returned in July 2021 and a second pulse of La Nina developed and is continuing today, though possibly weaker with its foundation appearing to be in decline.
LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Summer 2022 = 2.5 (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 was assumed that the moderate La Nina from the Winter of 2020/2021 was on the wane and that a return to neutral ENSO state would set up over the Pacific Basin through the summer of 2021. But La Nina made a strong return by the end of Sept much like what the CFS model suggested would happen. A full double dip La Nina pattern took hold as we moved into November with this second La Nina dip being nearly as strong as the previous one. But a quick fade is forecast as we move into late December with the CFS predicting a return to a neutral wind anomaly pattern at that time and the low pressure bias making headway in to the KWGA in early Jan. Still it will take some time for the atmosphere to fully respond, resulting in a less than normal swell production forecast especially for Fall into early Winter. But by later in Feb 2022 perhaps a return to a more normal pattern might take hold. But it will be too little too late. As a result a significantly reduced number of storm days and storm intensity is expected Oct-Feb 2022, resulting in a below normal level of swells, with swell being below normal duration and period. But by March 2022, 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 (5/20) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific fading to modest east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and neutral over the Central Pacific and neutral over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, versus realtime, so they lag what is happening today (by about 2.5 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (5/21) mostly weak east anomalies were over the KWGA. The 7 day forecast calls for east anomalies building over the KWGA to modest status on 5/22-5/25 then fading some while moving almost east of the dateline and out of the KWGA at the end of the model run on 5/28. Neutral to weak west anomalies are forecast over the KWGA starting 5/26 and beyond.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
- MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:
OLR Models: (5/20) A weak Inactive MJO signal was indicated today over the KWGA. The statistical model indicates the Inactive Phase is to fade some on day 5 of the model run and gone/neutral on day 10 and turning weakly Active on day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model projects the same thing but but with the Active Phase setting up fairly solid on day 10 of the model run and holding solidly on day 15..
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (5/21) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the Atlantic and is to push east moving to the Maritime Continent and still quite weak 15 days out. The dynamic model suggests the Active Phase racing east fast back over the West Pacific at moderate strength on day 9-13 of the model run then moving into the Atlantic 15 days out.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (4/25) This model has not updated. A weak Inactive MJO signal (dry air) was over the East Pacific today. The forecast depicts the Inactive Phase (dry air) moving east while slowly fading moving into Central America on 4/30 while a weak Active Phase (wet air) is to follow over the KWGA on 4/30 moving east to Central America on 5/15. A weak Inactive Phase is to track east from 5/15-5/30 with a very weak pattern beyond through 6/4.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/20) A neutral MJO Phase was depicted over the KWGA today with weak east anomalies in control. Weak to modest east anomalies are to hold over the KWGA through 5/30 with no MJO signal detected then fading. A weak Active Phase of the MJO is to develop over the far West KWGA on 5/29-6/8 with building west anomalies tracking east through the KWGA 6/3-6/11 then gone while tracking east of the dateline. Weak east anomalies and no MJO signal are forecast filling the KWGA 6/12 through the end of the model run on 6/17.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/21 - using the 5th ensemble member - the mean of the 4 individual members which are all from the 00Z run - 1 run per day):
Today a very weak Inactive MJO signal was holding over the KWGA with weak east anomalies over the KWGA. The forecast depicts the weak Inactive signal holding over the KWGA through 6/7 (previously 5/19) with east anomalies slowly dissipating about 6/2 and west anomalies developing 6/3 and holding fore the foreseeable future. A weak MJO signal is to follow except a modest Active Phase developing 7/4 and holding over the KWGA till the end of the model run on 8/18. West anomalies are to prevail over the KWGA but perhaps backtracking to 165E at the end of the model run. The core of east anomalies are to move from the dateline to 135W on 6/4 and holding there beyond. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias with 2 contour lines was centered at 150W with its western perimeter at 170E today and forecast holding for the foreseeable future. The second contour is to fade on 6/22. A broad single contour low pressure bias is established centered over the Maritime Continent at 115E with it's leading edge at 150E filling half the KWGA and is forecast holding more or less steady for the foreseeable future if not easing slightly east. A second contour line is to appear on 7/16 (previously 6/20). Of note, the leading edge of the low pressure bias has been stalled at 150E since 1/31, started moving east on 3/25 but appears to have stalled again on 4/25 and is still stalled today and is expected to hold there. In effect no real change is forecast. All this suggest the continuation of La Nina. This model has been constantly slipping later the velocity of the arrival of the low pressure bias deeper into the KWGA and the subsequent arrival of westerly anomalies over the KWGA. The demise of La Nina all hinges on the eastward progress of the low pressure bias. That said, a slow decay of the east anomaly pattern over the KWGA and its movement to the East Pacific could possibly prepare the Pacific for the final move of the low pressure bias further east. But in a neutral pattern (neither La Nina or La Nina) the low pressure bias we believe is normally centered at 120E which it is forecast to be late in June.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (5/21) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was solidly present at 168E moving from 161E previously. The 28 deg isotherm line was easing east to 178E (previously 175E). The 26 degree isotherm backtracked from 120W to 135W to 141W on 5/3 and is easing east now back to 132W today. The 24 deg isotherm was steady across the East Pacific. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +3 deg C were in a pocket in the far West Pacific down 150m with it's leading edge easing east to 137W with a thin stream connecting it to the East Pacific. A previous pool of -1C cool anomalies below the warm pool at 100W are now gone. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 5/13 indicates the same pocket of cool anomalies between 120W-80W at -3 degs C and appears to be now be shifting east and weakening. A new Kelvin Wave is starting to push east from the West Pacific, stalled about late April, but now is moving east to 135W. 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) Sea heights were steady over the Equatorial Pacific. A string of weakly positive anomaly pockets were north of the equator pushing from the dateline to 100W along the 5N latitude line and holding with pockets at +5 cms with one to +10 cms. A broad but shrinking area of negative anomalies at -5 cms were over the equator from Ecuador to 135W with -10 cms between 85W-105W. Otherwise positive anomalies were mostly locked from the dateline and points west of there. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram a pocket of cool anomalies was fading from -1.0 degs between Ecuador and 120W and shrinking. And a new Kelvin Wave was stalled at 152W. So it looks like the most recent cool bout was just the upwelling phase of the Kelvin Wave cycle and a new downwelling Kelvin Wave is developing while pushing east, but weak and possibly stalled.
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: (5/20) The latest images depict a broad generic pool of cool water extending west from Peru and Ecuador to the dateline and filling well south of the equator. Only a few lingering pockets of warm water remained on the equator from Ecuador to 130W. A pocket of previously stronger cold water was all but fully discharged along the coast of Peru reaching west to the Galapagos and losing density and coverage fast. A weak area of warm water was present north of the equator (1 deg N) across the entire North Pacific. Overall this indicates the late stages of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (5/20): A thin stream of solidly warming waters were developing from Peru up to Ecuador then west over the Galapagos out to the dateline. This is very good news.
Hi-res Overview: (5/20) Persistent cool waters cover a large area from Ecuador to 160E on the equator and from South America down at 20S. Warmer than normal waters were aligned from 1N and above over the entire North Pacific. La Nina remains in control over the East Equatorial Pacific but the density and intensity of the cooling appears to be waning.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (5/21) Today's temps are at -1.506 rising since 5/13 where temps have been hovering at -2.057 peaking on 4/23 and have been near there since 4/19. Prior to that they were fading after peaking at +0.760 on 3/18. Temps had been moving upwards since 2/20, and beat a previous high of -0.650 degs on 1/9 and that after being down at -1.871 on 1/3 and -1.954 on 12/18, the lowest this year so far. Previously temps dropped on 11/24 at -1.700, the lowest in months after previously toggling steady at about -0.6 degs from mid Aug to Oct 6, then falling from there. Last year temps bottomed out at -2.138 on 8/13/20. The longterm trend has been steadily downward.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (5/21) Today's temps were rising slightly to -0.803 have previously been down to -0.929 since 5/2 and that after rising to a peak at -0.704 on 3/27 and had been on a gentle rising trend since falling to -1.012 on 3/8. Previously temp were rising slightly to -0.505 on 2/2 and that after reaching a peak low of -1.096 on 1/3 beating the previous low of -1.080 on 11/2, the lowest in a year. Prior to that temps had been in a freefall starting from the -0.175 range in early Sept. Before that temps peaked up at 7/1 +0.332, the highest in a year. Temps previously had been steady near -0.222 since early March. Temps bottomed out at -1.654 on 11/3/2020.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data
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.
Forecast (5/21) - Temps are to steadily rise moving forward to about -0.30 degs in July falling to -0.65 into Nov, then rising to the La Nina threshold in Dec at -0.5 degrees and up to -0.1 degs in Feb. This is a significant upgrade. This model suggests we are at going to slowly transition towards ENSO neutral in the coming Winter. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps rising to -0.15 degs in July then slowly falling to -0.50 degs in Nov, then rising to -0.15 degs in Feb. This is starting to come in line with the IRI forecast (see IRI Consensus forecast below).
IRI Consensus Plume: The May 19, 2022 Plume depicts temps are -0.762 degs today and have bottomed out. They are to warm to -0.594 in July (previously -0.287 and -0.449 degs the 2 previous updates) then falling slightly to -0.708 in November before rising to -0.275 degs in Jan. This model now suggest a continuation of borderline minimal La Nina temps through Nov. then transitioning to ENSO neutral. This model is now in line with the CFS model.
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):
Today (5/21) the daily index was positive at +6.53 degs today and up to +40.77 on 5/10 previously peaking at +31.44 on 4/27, +31.80 on 4/6, +27.33 on 1/31/22 and +46.71 on 12/26. The trend of late has been solidly positive. Previous other notable peaks were +30.98 on 11/26, +36.90 on 9/28, +27.75 on 9/13 and +37.86 on 7/15.
The 30 day average was falling some to 18.53 today after rising to +20.34 (5/12) the highest in a year and beating last years high of +19.51 on 1/14.
The 90 day average was rising some at +15.99 today the highest in a year. It previously peaked on 9/21 at +9.80 after falling to it's lowest point in a year on 6/9 at +1.06. The 90 day average peaked at +15.75 on 2/23/21 (clearly indicative of La Nina then). This index is a lagging indicator but suggest La Nina is returning.
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