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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Sunday, May 27, 2018 2:28 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
1.5 - California & 3.0 - Hawaii
Using the 'Summer' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

Probability for presence of largest swells in near-shore waters of NCal, SCal or Hawaii.    

Issued for Week of Monday 5/28 thru Sun 6/3

Swell Potential Rating Categories
5 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Significant swell
4 = Good probability for 1-2 days of Significant swell
3 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Intermediate/Advanced swell
2 = Good probability for  1-2 days of
Intermediate/Advanced swell
1 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Impulse or Windswell
0 = Low probability for 1-2 days of Impulse or Windswell   

More Tasman Swell Pushing Towards HI
South Pacific Asleep for Now


On Sunday, May 27, 2018 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance): This buoy is Live now!. Seas were 2.8 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 1.4 ft @ 14.9 secs from 165 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.7 ft @ 5.9 secs with swell 3.3 ft @ 8.0 secs from 258 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northeast at 4-6 kts. Water temperature 59.8 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 3.3 ft @ 8.6 secs from 274 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.2 ft @ 17.9 secs from 2221 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.2 ft @ 18.5 secs from 221 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 3.5 ft @ 8.0 secs from 275 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 6.2 ft @ 7.7 secs with northwest windswell 5.0 ft @ 8.1 secs from 311 degrees and southern hemi swell 1.3 ft @ 17.4 secs from 209 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 10-14 kts. Water temp 53.8 degs.

See Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (bottom of the page)

Swell Classification Guidelines

Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
- Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
- Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
- up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.

Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.

Current Conditions
On Sunday (5/27) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing surf at chest high and pretty warbled and textured with low overcast. Protected breaks were waist high and soft but clean and almost sunny. At Santa Cruz lingering southern hemi energy was producing waves at up to waist high and clean and real slow. In Southern California up north surf was thigh to waist high and clean but with some lump on the surface. In North Orange Co lingering south swell was producing waves at up to chest high and a bit ragged from north winds. South Orange Country's best breaks had surf in the shoulder high range on the bigger sets and clean but slow. In North San Diego surf was waist high or so and clean but a little warbled. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was small at waist high with maybe a few chest high peaks at top spots and clean but slow. The East Shore was getting east windswell at waist high and lightly chopped from east-northeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Sunday (5/27) no real swell of interest was hitting our immediate forecast area. But large swell is still hitting Fiji from a storm that tracked north through the Tasman Sea with filtered pieces of it eventually reaching Hawaii. Local windswell was impacting exposed breaks in North and Central CA and background southern hemi swell was dribbling in at exposed south facing break in both California and Hawaii. For the future a small cutoff gale is forecast forming southeast of New Zealand Mon (5/28) with 30 ft seas aimed north. And a lesser but broader system is forecast to develop in the deep Central South Pacific Fri-Sat (6/2) with 27 ft seas aimed north. But overall a very quiet pattern is forecast other than local windswell.


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

North Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Sunday AM (5/27) local windswell was the only energy generated in the North Pacific hitting breaks limited to North and Central CA. Otherwise a weak wind and pressure pattern was in control of the greater North Pacific. rating no swell nor any windswell relative to Hawaii or California.

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

Local windswell relative to North/Central California is possible from a gradient/fetch forecast developing over Cape Mendocino on Mon (5/28) driven by high pressure at 1036 mbs in the Gulf of Alaska ridging east. This gradient is to produce 30 kt north winds over North California and holding if not building to near 35 kts and increasing areal coverage later Tuesday (5/29) and holding Wed (5/30) before fading out early on Thurs (5/31). Windswell is expected to result. See QuikCASTs for details.

East fetch is also forecast developing east of Hawaii associated with the same high pressure system (above) pushing into the Islands starting Tues (5/29) at 15 kts with a decent sized footprint then building coverage on Wed (5/30) at 15+ kts extending the whole way from North CA to the Islands and continuing into early Thurs (5/31) resulting is easterly windswell relative to Hawaii. Something to monitor.


Last North Pacific Gale
A weak gale developed over the North Dateline region Tues AM (5/22) with 30 kt west winds and 18 ft seas at 48N 170E. In the evening winds built to 35 kts from the west with seas building to 20 ft at 49N 174E aimed east. The gale faded Wed AM (5/23) with 30 kt west winds and seas fading from 20 ft at 50N 180W. The gale dissipated from there.

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon (5/28) with period 13 secs and size building through the day to 3.8 ft @ 12 secs later (4.5 ft). Swell fading overnight and buried in local windswell. Swell Direction: 307 degrees

No other swell production is forecast.


  North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Sunday AM (5/27) high pressure was building 600 nmiles off Central CA generating a developing pressure gradient resulting in north winds at 15-20 kts along the North and Central CA coast. By Monday (5/28) additional high pressure is to be building ridging east from a point north of Hawaii at 1034 mbs with north winds 25-30 kts from Cape Mendocino south to Pt Arena and and eddy flow south of there. Tuesday (5/29) the gradient builds with north winds 30 kts over North CA down to Pt Reyes with the eddy flow evaporating and 15-20 kt north winds over the coast of Central CA. More of the same on Wed (5/30) with north winds to 35 kts. The gradient is to start fading while falling south on Thurs (5/31) with north winds 25 kts off North CA early and 20 kts down to Pt Conception and fading over the whole area to 15-20 kts later. Fri (6/1) high pressure is to continue holding northeast of Hawaii at 1026 mbs riding east generating north winds at 15 kts for all of North and Central California and up to 25 kts off Pt Conception. Sat (6/2) the high is to move just 600 nmiles off North Ca with north winds on the rise again at 20+ kts for the North and Central Coasts building to 30 kts over North CA later. The gradient builds Sun (6/3) with high pressure up to 1032 mbs just off Oregon with north winds 30 kts sold over all of North CA and 20-25 kts just off the Central Coast.

South Pacific

On Sunday AM (5/27) the southern branch of the jetstream was ridging hard south down at 72S under the Tasman Sea then lifting north just past New Zealand forming a weak trough pushing north being fed by only 90 kt wind offering minimal support for gale development there. But just east of there the jet was again ridging hard south tracking to the east over the 70S latitude line pushing the whole way out of the South Pacific and offering no support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours the trough is to weakly hold into late Monday (5/28) maybe offering limited support for low pressure development there then collapsing with the jet then running fully west to east down at 70S traversing the entire South Pacific offering no support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours no change is forecast until Fri (6/1) when a trough is to start forming over the Central Pacific being fed by 110 kt southwest winds and continuing lifting northeast into Sun (6/3) reaching 53S. But given the relative weak wind velocity lifting north there is to be only limited support for gale development.

Surface Analysis  
On Sunday (5/27) no real southern hemi swell was hitting California or Hawaii. Background energy from the Tasman Sea (Gale #1) is still hitting Hawaii filtered through Fiji and surrounding islands but not significant.

Over the next 72 hours energy from the Tasman Sea is radiating northeast providing potential for filtered swell energy eventually reaching Hawaii (see 2nd Tasman Sea Gale and 3rd Tasman Sea Gale below).

Also a gale is to be developing southeast of New Zealand Sun PM (5/27) generating south winds at 40-45 kts over a small area aimed north. By Mon AM (5/28) south winds to continue at 40-45 kts with seas building to 31 ft at 47.5S 166W. South fetch is to fade some in the evening at 40 kts with seas holding at 29-30 ft at 46.5S 166.5W. On Tues AM (5/29) south fetch is to fade from 35 kts with seas fading from 28 ft over a now tiny area at 44.5S 165W. Assuming all goes as forecast some limited south swell could reach Tahiti and Hawaii. Something to monitor.


2nd Tasman Sea Gale
Another gale developed southwest of Tasmania on Mon AM GMT (5/21) producing up to 35-40 kt southwest winds aimed up the Tasman Sea with seas building to 30 ft at 52S 140E. The gale built while pushing up into the Tasman Sea in the evening with 40 kt southwest winds and 31 ft seas at 42S 155E. On Tues AM (5/22) fetch is to be well up in the Tasman Sea at 30-35 kts from the southwest with seas 31 ft at 39S 158E aimed northeast. By evening the gale is to be fading with 30 kt south winds off Northwest New Zealand and seas fading from 27 ft at 37S 165E.

Hawaii: Expect filtered swell to arrive on Tues AM (5/29) with period 17 secs and size building through the day to 1.6 ft @ 16-17 secs later in the day (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell building on Wed (5/30) to 2.0 ft @ 15-16 sec early (3.0 ft). Swell fading Thurs (5/31) from 1.5 ft @ 14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 217 degrees


3rd Tasman Sea Gale
A stronger storm started developing on Wed AM (5/23) under Tasmania with a broad area of 45 kt southwest winds aimed northeast and seas 39 ft at 51S 149E aimed northeast. In the evening 40-45 kt southwest winds continued lifting northeast with 41 ft seas at 49S 152.5E. On Thurs AM (5/24) fetch regenerated some while lifting north into the core of the Tasman Sea at 45 kts and 41 ft seas at 44.5S 159E. The gale is to lift north on the evening with 35-40 kt south winds and seas 37 ft at 39S 163E aimed north. South fetch is to be fading in the evening from 30 kts and seas fading from 31 ft at 33S 168E just off the northwest most point of New Zealand. The gale to be gone after that. Large swell is expected for Fiji on Sun (5/27) (local time) with filtered swell radiating northeast towards Hawaii.

Hawaii: Expect filtered swell to arrive late on Wed (5/30) pushing 1 ft @ 19 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell building through the day Thurs (5/31) to 1.5 ft @ 17 secs (2.5 ft). Swell just past it's peak early Fri (6/1) at 1.5 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell fading Sat (6/2) from 1/2 ft @ 14 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell gone after that. Swell Direction: 215 degrees


South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height




Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.

But windswell is to again build. High pressure is to be locked north-northeast of Hawaii generating a decent sized fetch of 15 kt east winds Friday (6/1) fading some Sat (6/2) then gone. Minimal east windswell possible.

The same high is to rebuild 600 nmiles off North California on Sat (6/2) producing north winds building to near 30 kts over North CA and then building in coverage while lifting north some on Sun (6/3) offering good odds for north windswell production.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast for the greater South Pacific.

A new gale is to supposedly develop in the deep central South Pacific on Fri (6/1) generating a broad area of 30-35 kts south winds with seas building from 29 ft at 59S 161.5W. In the evening the fetch is to lift north with a tiny core to 45 kts with 26-28 ft seas over a broad area at 53S 158S. On Sat AM (6/2) 30-35 kts south winds to continue lifting north with seas fading from 26-27 ft at 48S 158W. In the evening south fetch is fade from 30 kts with 25 ft seas fading from 43S 154W aimed north. The gale to fade from there. Something to monitor.

More details to follow...


Large Kelvin Wave Appears to Finally Be on the Move Towards Ecuador

The Madden Julian Oscillation is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for MJO activity (which directly relate to the potential for swell production).

Overview: La Nina started developing in early 2016, but westward displaced and generally weak. And by March 2017, it was gone with suspicious warming developing along South America and over the Galapagos to a point south of Hawaii. By May the atmosphere returned to a neutral configuration but then in July east anomalies started building in the KWGA and have not stopped, with cold water upwelling over the the Nino1.2 and 3.4 areas, indicative of La Nina. A double dip La Nina was in control and continued through the Winter of 2017-2018. But warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018 associated with two upwelling Kelvin Waves, suggesting the demise of La Nina.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Sat (5/26) 5 day average winds were from the east over the bulk of the equatorial Pacific and also over over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were light east over the equatorial East Pacific and light east over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (5/27) Modest east anomalies were over the core of the KWGA. They are forecast to slowly ease to the east over the next 3 days with light east anomalies over the West KWGA on 5/30 but moderate over the dateline. Beyond the model has east anomalies consolidating and building to the near strong range over the dateline from 5/31 to the end of the model run on 6/3. This is associated with the Inactive Phase of the MJO moving through the West Pacific. West anomalies are presently south of California on the equator but are to be fading at the end of the model run.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (5/26) The Inactive/Dry Phase of the MJO was moderate over the KWGA. The statistical model depicts the Inactive/Dry Phase is to track east while weakening in the KWGA slowly fading and all but gone by day 8 while the Active Phase build in from the west and filling the KWGA at day 15. The dynamic model depicts the same thing initially but with the Inactive Phase of the MJO pulsing/rebuilding in the West Pacific at day 4 and holding while fading over the West KWGA through day 15. So the 2 models remain very divergent in their forecasts.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (5/27) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was moderate over the Central Indian Ocean. It is to track east steadily through the Indian Ocean and holding strength moving over the Maritime Continent and moving into the West Pacific at day 15. The GEFS model depicts the same thing but with eastward progress less direct and stalling over the Maritime Continent while weakening at day 15.
40 day Upper Level Model: (5/27) This model depicts a moderate Inactive Phase is over the Central Pacific and is to be moving east to Central America on 6/11 while a new very weak Active Phase builds in the West Pacific starting 6/9 and moving through the Pacific into Central America on 6/24. A very weak Inactive Phase is to be developing over the West Pacific on 6/18 pushing to the East Pacific and Central America at the end of the model run on 7/6. This model runs about 1-2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (5/27) This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO was peaking over the KWGA with modest east anomalies in control of the KWGA. The Inactive Phase is to hold through 6/6 but with weak east anomalies gone by 5/28 then turning to neutral anomalies and then to weak west anomalies by 6/4. The Active Phase to develop 6/3 in the far West Pacific pushing east with weak west anomalies holding if not building into 6/26 with modest west anomalies forecast in the KWGA and holding through the end of the model run on 8/24 even while the Active Phase fades on 7/14 and a neutral pattern lingers till the end of the model run. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias is fully in control of the KWGA reaching east to 145W and forecast to hold for the foreseeable future if not builds from 2 contour lines to 3 starting 7/14. This is good news for the coming Fall-Winter season. The high pressure bias is limited to an area south of California and shrinking at the end of the model run and inland over California. The La Nina bias is gone. The expectation is that the atmosphere and ocean will begin to be coupled 3 months after the start of the transition or on 8/8 (low pressure bias officially filled the KWGA starting on 5/8) in a more favorable configuration to support storm production in the Pacific.

CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (5/27) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs at 160E. The 28 deg isotherm line continues moving eastward from it previous location at 180W last winter to 165W on 5/15 to 160W 5/22 and to 158W today from the surface to 75 meters deep. So the 28 degs isotherm continues to march east. The 24 deg isotherm was steady in thickness at 100 meters deep at 140W and 50 meters deep at 120W rising to 35 meters into Ecuador. Anomaly wise in the East Pacific negative temperatures are gone as warm waters from a Kelvin Wave are building in from the west at depth. Warm anomalies at depth were holding in the West at +3.0 degs at 170W down 150 meters pushing east now with 3-4 degs anomalies building in the east at 110W and reaching east to the Galapagos. We're waiting for these warm anomalies to erupt to the surface. It appears the Kelvin Wave is gaining eastward momentum. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 5/23 depicts warm water in the west at +4.0 degs at 165W with a river of warm water at +2 degs pushing continuously east to 110W with pockets reaching east from there to the Ecuadorian coast. The last of the La Nina cool pool has evaporated. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (5/23) This image has upgraded significantly. Positive anomalies were solid from the West equatorial Pacific to the east at +5-10 cms reaching from New Guinea to 120W with continuous 0-5 cm anomalies reaching east to 100W and pockets to the Galapagos. No negative anomalies were indicated including along the coast of Peru. The La Nina cool pool is gone.

Surface Water Temps: The more warm water in the equatorial East Pacific means more storm production in the North Pacific during winter months (roughly speaking). Cold water in that area has a dampening effect. Regardless of what the atmospheric models and surface winds suggest, actual water temperatures are a ground-truth indicator of what is occurring in the ocean. All data is from blended infrared and microwave sensors.
Satellite Imagery
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4: (5/26) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate very weak localized cool anomalies along the immediate coast of Peru and very shallow. Otherwise defined pockets of warm anomalies were building strung along along the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos and out to 140W. A broad area of warming was also filling the area south of Mexico and out to the dateline. Also warm water was also off Peru (85W) down to 10S aligned along the equator west out to 110W. The remnants of the La Nina cool pool were south of the equator starting at 3S from 110W to 170W.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (5/26): A neutral trend was indicated other than a pocket of warming over the equatorial Pacific from 90W-110W and weaker out to the dateline. No pockets of cooling are indicated anywhere near the equator.
Hi-res Overview: (5/26) A few pixels of cool water was indicated along the immediate coast of Peru. Otherwise warm water was building from Ecuador west over the Galapagos and west from there to the dateline on the equator to 3S and building in coherence. Weak warming was also further off the coast of Peru to 105W and reaching north to the equator. Warming was also along Central America filling the area from the equator northward up into Mexico and east over the entirety of the equatorial Pacific. The only cool water was in the fading remnant pocket from La Nina limited to an area south of the equator from 110W barely to the dateline and south of 3S. Overall the cooling pattern is steadily loosing density and drifting west.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (5/27) Today's temps were rising slightly at -0.476, up from -0.819 on 5/22, and that down from a recent peak rising to +0.459 on 5/13. This is part of a larger rising trend stat started 4/10 indicative of the collapse of La Nina. Overall temps had been steadily marching upwards since late December. Peak low temps in this area occurred on 12/23/17 at -2.1 degs, -2.248 degs on 11/5/17, and -1.9 degs on 10/11/17.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (5/27) Today temps were rising steadily at -0.099, up from -0.427 on 5/12 after having reached up to -0.254 degs on 5/1. Temps have been steadily rising since 3/27 when they were down at -1.2 degs. Previous peak lows were observed on 1/10-1/12 to -1.577, -1.219 on 12/7, -1.156 on 11/22/17, and -1.1 on 11/23. The long arc suggests a rising pattern.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (5/27) The forecast depicts temps bottomed out at -0.75 in Nov 2017 and have been slowly rising since, up to -0.5 in mid-March and -0.30 in early April. The forecast calls for a steady increase from here forward with neutral temps now, pushing up to +0.40 degs in early June and rising July-Oct to +0.75 degs and +0.85 degs in late Dec and holding there into Feb 2019. This suggests La Nina is gone and that perhaps El Nino is to build through the Summer and Fall of 2018. Most other models are also suggesting a possible turn to minimal weak El Nino conditions by late Fall.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-May Plume depicts temps at 0.0 degs as of 5/18 and are to slowly rise from here forward, to +0.4 in August and +0.7 in November and +0.8 in December hold there. See chart here - link. It looks like La Nina is fading out and a weak El Nino might develop. The CFSv2 is in the low end of that pack.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (negative is good, positive bad) (5/27): The daily index was up today at +16.33. The 30 day average was rising some at +1.70 suggesting the Inactive Phase of the MJO was building some. The 90 day average was falling some at 5.27 suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was holding in the atmosphere biased towards La Nina. This is expected for a month or two more.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (5/27) Today the index was falling some at -0.70, steady at -0.70 on 5/20 and -0.60 on 5/17, but not reaching the high of -0.36 on Fri (5/11) and -0.38 on Thurs (5/10), down from -0.35 on 4/26, but up from -1.02 on 4/5 and up from -1.13 on 3/27. The trend is upward but still less than the -0.33 reading in late Feb. That was was up from -1.11 on 1/29. The trend suggests La Nina is not gone, but fading steadily. Last years La Nina reached -1.94 on 11/2/16 and then fell to -2.20 on 6/28/17. It held pretty negative through Jan 2018. This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina events. The goal is to have it rise to at least -0.5 before a significant change could be suggested.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly positive, even though La Nina is in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values: April 2017=+0.53, May=+0.29, June=+0.21, July= -0.50, Aug= -0.62, Sept = -0.25, Oct= -0.61, Nov = -0.45, Dec= -0.13, Jan 2018=+0.29, Feb= -0.10, Mar= -0.51. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO, even with La Nina, because the warm PDO appears to be dampening the effects of La Nina. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.77, Feb = +0.70, Mar = +0.74, April=+1.12, May=+0.88, June=+0.79, July=+0.10, Aug=+0.09, Sept = +0.32, Oct=+0.05, Nov = +0.15, Dec = +0.50, Jan +0.70. Feb +0.37, Mar = -0.05. No negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data strongly suggests that could be a possibility. By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool


External Reference Material: El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), Kelvin Wave

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