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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Wednesday, May 31, 2023 12:45 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
3.0 - California & 1.5 - 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 5/29 thru Sun 6/4
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   

5th SE Pacific Swell Fading in CA
2 More Coming

BUOY ROUNDUP
Wednesday, May 31, 2023 :

  • Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt)/Buoy 239 (Lani): Seas were 2.7 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 1.9 ft @ 14.9 secs from 199 degrees. Water temp 78.8 degs (Barbers Pt), 77.9 (Pearl Harbor 233), 78.3 (Lani 239).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.9 ft @ 7.7 secs with swell 3.2 ft @ 6.5 secs from 31 degrees. Water temp 77.5 degs
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.9 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 2.1 ft @ 14.2 secs from 176 degrees. Wind west at 10-12 kts. Water temperature 62.8 degs, 61.3 (Topanga 103), 59.5 degs (Long Beach 215), 63.5 (Oceanside Offshore 045), 63.7 (Del Mar 153), 63.9 (Torrey Pines Outer 100). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 2.8 ft @ 14.8 secs from 208 degrees. At E. Santa Barbara (46053) swell was 0.7 ft @ 15.7 secs from 200 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.7 ft @ 14.8 secs from 198 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.1 ft @ 14.5 secs from 186 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.3 ft @ 14.6 secs from 191 degrees. Water temperature was 62.4 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay) Out of Service /029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 10.3 ft @ 9.1 secs with windswell 6.4 ft @ 9.6 secs and southern hemi swell 3.0 ft @ 15.8 secs from 193 degrees. Wind northwest at 14-18 kts (46026). Water temp 53.2 (Bodega Bay 46013), 52.2 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 55.9 (San Francisco 46026), 57.4 (SF Bar 142), 55.4 (Pt Santa Cruz 254) and 55.2 (Monterey Bay 46042).

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.

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
Current Conditions
On Wednesday (5/31) North and Central CA had sets at chest high and warbled and mushed and erratic though not chopped with no whitecaps but getting there. Protected breaks were waist to near chest high and soft and warbled but not chopped. At Santa Cruz surf was waist yo occasionally chest high and clean and lined up but soft and weak. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist high and somewhat lined up with decent form and clean with light texture on top but weak and soft. Central Orange County had sets at chest high and lined up with decent form but soft with northwest winds producing heavy texture. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets a chest to head high and lined up with decent form but crumbled though conditions were clean. North San Diego had sets at waist high or so and lined up and a bit closed out but pretty clean. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was getting some swell with waves waist to maybe chest high and lined up and clean with good form. The East Shore was thigh high and chopped from moderate east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Wednesday (5/31) California was getting swell from a gale that developed Fri-Sun (5/21) in the Southeast Pacific and on the very eastern edge of the California swell window producing 33 ft seas aimed northeast but mostly shadowed. Hawaii was getting some minimal swell from a gale that produced 27 ft seas in in the Tasman Sea Sun-Mon (5/22) aimed reasonably well northeast. A small gale developed again on the far eastern edge of the Southern CA swell window on Sun (5/28) producing 32 ft seas aimed swell north. Maybe some small swell to result. Another small gale was south of it on Sun-Mon (5/29) producing 27-30 ft seas aimed northeast and then pulsed again while holding stationary on the eastern edge of the CA swell window Tues-Wed (5/31) producing 26-27 ft seas aimed north. After that a gale is to possible develop in the deep Southwest Pacific tracking east just north of the Antarctic Ice Shelf Mon-Wed (6/7) producing 26-28 ft seas aimed northeast. Maybe there's some hope.

See all the details below...

 

SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis
On Wednesday (5/31) no meaningful swell of interest was hitting
Hawaii or California generated from the Northern Hemisphere.

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

 

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

 

Tropical Update
Typhoon Mawar is currently circulating just east of Taiwan heading north with winds 65 kts and forecast turning northeast and accelerating while weakening. The GFS model is suggesting some development as remnants of this system approach the dateline (see Longterm Forecast below).

Otherwise no tropical systems of interest are being monitored at this time.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Thurs AM (6/1) northwest winds to be 25-30 kts for North CA early and northwest 15-20 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 25+ kts for North CA and 15 kts for Central CA but 20 kts off the coast. Windswell holding
  • Fri AM (6/2) northwest winds to be fading from 20-25 kts for North CA early and northwest 15 kts for Central CA but 20 kts off the coast. In the afternoon northwest winds hold at 20-25 kts for North CA and northwest 10-15 kts for Central CA. Windswell fading.
  • Sat AM (6/3) northwest winds to be 20-25 kts for North CA early and 15 kts for Central CA. More of the same in the afternoon. Northwest windswell holding.
  • Sun AM (6/4) northwest winds and the usual summer time pressure gradient build at 25-30 kts for North CA and 10-15 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds build to 35 kts for Cape Mendocino and 20+ kts north of Pt Reyes with northwest winds 5-10 kts for Central CA. Windswell building.
  • Mon AM (6/5) the gradient holds with northwest winds 30-35 kts for Cape Mendocino and an eddy flow (south winds) south of Pt Reyes. In the afternoon northwest winds hold at 30-35 ks but limited to just Cape Mendocino with the eddy flow in control south of Pt Arena. Windswell fading some.
  • Tues AM (6/6) northwest winds to be 25-30 kts limited to mainly off the coast of Cape Mendocino with and eddy flow (south winds) from Cape Mendocino southward. No change in the afternoon. Windswell fading.
  • Wed AM (6/7) light winds to be in control with a weak eddy flow nearshore. Windswell gone.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth are projected at 0, 0, 0, and 1 inch (on 6/5).

Freezing level for Lake Tahoe is 10,500 ft today and is to build to 12,500 ft on 6/2 and holding steady through 6/4, then falling to 10.500 ft and holding beyond. Steady snow melt to continue at elevation.

- - -

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).

 

South Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Wednesday (5/31) the jetstream was heavily split over the Southwest Pacific with the southern branch ridging south of normal down to the 75S latitude line with winds 70 kts continuing over the Central South Pacific then lifting northeast over the Southeast Pacific with winds 100 kts forming a trough offering some weak support for gale development but mostly east of the Southern CA swell window. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to quickly track east and out of the California swell window with the split ridging pattern building stronger over the Southwest Pacific pushing into Antarctica Thurs-Sat (6/3) and offering no support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours a small trough is forecast developing under New Zealand on Sun (6/4) being fed by 140 kts winds reaching up to 60S and just basely clear of the Ross Ice Shelf and pushing east into Wed (6/7) perhaps offering some support for gale development.

Surface Analysis
Swell from a fifth in a series of gales that previously developed in the Southeast Pacific was hitting California (see 5th Southeast Pacific Gale below). And maybe a tiny 6th swell is radiating north associated with a gale in the Southeast Pacific (see 6th Southeast Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours another gale started building and is to continue in the Southeast Pacific (see 7th Southeast Pacific Gale below).

 

5th Southeast Pacific Gale
A gale started developing in the deep Central Pacific just off the north edge of the Ross Ice Shelf on Fri AM (5/19) producing 55 kt west winds and seas 33 ft at 65.25S 164W aimed east. In the evening winds were 45 kts from the southwest with seas building from 34 ft at 63.75S 146.5W aimed east-northeast. On Sat AM (5/20) the gale moved over the Southeast Pacific producing 45 kt south winds and seas 32 ft at 61.75S 132W aimed northeast. In the evening south winds to build in coverage a 40-45 kts with seas 34 ft at 58.75S 121.75W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (5/21) fetch is to be 40 kts but moving east of the eastern edge of the Southern CA swell window with 33 ft seas at 54S 118W aimed northeast into the Southern CA swell window with up to 35 ft seas east of the swell window targeting mainly Peru and Chile now at 54S 115W. The gale is to lift northeast in the evening with south winds 35 kts and seas 32 ft at 53.5S 102.25W aimed northeast at South and Central America. Additional fetch with seas to 40 ft are to develop Tues (5/23) targeting only Central America, Peru and Chile. Something to monitor.

Southern CA: Swell fading Wed (5/31) from 2.1 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0 ft). Dribbles on Thurs (6/1) fading from 1.6 ft @ 13-14 secs early (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 200 degrees moving to 182 degrees

North CA: Swell fading Wed (5/31) from 2.1 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0 ft). Dribbles on Thurs (6/1) fading from 1.7 ft @ 13-14 secs early (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 195 degrees moving to 178 degrees

 

6th Southeast Pacific Gale
On Sat PM (5/27) a gale developed in the upper reaches of the far Southeast Pacific producing south winds at 45-50 kts over a small area aimed north with seas building from 30 ft over a tiny area at 36S 122W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (5/28) south winds were 45-50 kts over a small area aimed north with seas 32 ft at 35S 118W aimed north targeting Southern CA and Central and South America. By evening the gael was well east of the Southern Ca swell window targeting only Peru up into Central America with 35 ft seas at 36S 110.5W.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (6/3) building to 2.1 ft @ 16 secs mid-day (3.0 ft). Swell continues on Sun (6/4) at 2.4 ft @ 14 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell fading Mon (6/5) from 2.4 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 190 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (6/4) at 2.2 ft @ 15 secs early (3.0-3.5 ft) and 2.4 ft @ 14-15 secs later (3.5 ft). Swell continues on Mon (6/5) at 2.4 ft @ 13014 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading Mon (6/5) from 2.2 ft @ 13 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 187 degrees

 

7th Southeast Pacific Gale
On Sun PM (5/28) a gale started developing in the deep Southeast Pacific producing 35-40 kt south winds and seas 26 ft at 55S 136W aimed northeast. On Mon AM (5/29) south winds were fading from 40 kts over a small area aimed north with seas 27-28 ft at 55S 127W aimed north-northeast. In the evening south winds continued at 40 kts while easing slowly east with 27 ft seas at 54.5S 124W aimed north. South winds lifted north on Tues AM (5/30) at 35-40 kts with seas 27 ft over a small area at 52.25S 123S aimed northeast. In the evening south-southwest winds were 35+ kts with seas 27 ft at 49S 123W aimed north. On Wed AM (5/31) southwest winds were 35 kts moving east of the Southern CA swell window with 28 ft seas at 43.5S 115.5W aimed north-northeast and moving east of the SCal swell window. Additional fetch and seas are forecast but all aimed northeast at Chile, Peru and Central America. Something to monitor.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (6/6) building to 2.2 ft @ 15-16 secs later (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell builds Wed AM (6/7) to 2.8 ft @ 16 secs (4.0-4.5 ft) and holding. Swell continues on Thurs (6/8) at 2.9 ft @ 15 secs early (4.0-4.5 ft) then starting to fade. On Fri (6/9) swell is to be dropping from 2.4 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.0 ft). Dribbles on Sat (6/10) fading from 2.0 ft @ 12-13 secs early (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 187 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (6/6) building to 2.0 ft @ 16 secs later (3.0 ft). Swell builds Wed AM (6/7) to 2.6 ft @ 16-17 secs later (4.0 ft). Swell continues on Thurs (6/8) at 2.9 ft @ 15 secs early (4.0-4.5 ft). On Fri (6/9) swell is to be dropping from 2.6 ft @ 14 secs (3.5 ft). Dribbles on Sat (6/10) fading from 2.2 ft @ 13 secs early (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 181-183 degrees

 

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

 

QuikCAST's

 

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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours nondescript tropical low pressure is to track east off the Kuril ISlands and start organizing west of the dateline on Sun AM (6/4) producing 35 kts northwest winds and seas 23 ft at 46N 169.5E targeting Hawaii well. Winds to hold and push east in the evening with seas 24-25 ft over a small area at 45N 175E aimed east-southeast. The gael to fade after that but could serve to rough up the oceans surface.

On Mon PM (6/5) the remnants of what was Typhoon Mawar are theoretically to be recurving northeast off Taiwan and approaching the dateline with winds 40 kts and seas building from 22 ft at 40.25N 171.75E aimed east. On Tues AM (6/6) northwest winds to build to 45+ kts with seas 25 ft at 43N 178.75W aimed east. The gale to fade quickly from there. Very low odds of this developing.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a gale is forecast developing south of New Zealand on Sun PM (6/4) producing west winds at 30-35 kts and trying to get traction. On Mon AM (6/5) west-southwest winds to be 40 kts southwest of New Zealand just off the Ross Ice Shelf with 26 ft seas over a small area at 63S 174W aimed east-northeast. In the evening southwest winds to be 40 kts with seas 26-27 ft at 63S 165W aimed east-northeast. On Tues AM (6/6) southwest winds to be 35+ kts with seas 28 ft at 61.5S 133W aimed east-northeast. In the evening southwest winds to be 35-40 kts over the Southeast Pacific with seas 25 ft at 60S 140W aimed east-northeast. On Wed AM (6/7) west-southwest winds to be 40 kts over the far Southeast Pacific with seas 27 ft at 65.5S 127.5W aimed east-northeast. Fetch and seas to move east of the Southern CA swell window in the evening. Something to monitor.

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

El Nino Development Building on the Oceans Surface
Kelvin Wave #3 Poised to Erupt - Active MJO #4 is Finishing - NINO3.4 In El Nino Territory and Rising While Expanding Fast
1 Kelvin Wave traversed the Pacific in Dec '22 with a 2nd in Jan-Feb and a 3rd in Mar-April. And Westerly Winds are fully established filling the KWGA. And Sea Surface Temperatures continue warming. The last link in the chain is to see the SOI falling deep into negative territory which it appears to be starting. The outlook is optimistic.

MJO/ENSO Discussion
The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.And the El Nino/La Nino cycle (collectively know as ENSO - El Nino Southern Oscillation) is a less frequent (about once every 7 years) but more impactful cycle that affects world wide weather. Specifically, strong El Nino events promote storm production in the Pacific while La Nina events suppress storm production. These therefore have a significant impact on the production of swell and surf. The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO and ENSO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for upcoming activity (or inactivity depending on the state and interaction of these two oscillations).

Overview: In 2019 warm equatorial waters were fading, and by August a tongue of cool water was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos reaching to a point nearly south of Hawaii. A bit of a recovery tried to occur during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water held in a pool off Peru. By April 2020 a cool pool was starting to build, forming a well defined cool tongue that evolved into La Nina, with it fully developing through July 2020. That basically continued until late Fall 2022 when trades started fading and by early 2023 multiple Kelvin Waves were in flight with significant warming developing over the East Equatorial Pacific. La Nina was dead on 3/18/2023 with El Nino apparently developing.

LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Summer 2023 = 3.7 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)

Rationale: A 3 year La Nina started fading in Jan 2023 and was gone by April. 3 Active MJO's produced 3 Kelvin Waves with the 3rd in that series poised to start erupting off Ecuador now (May 2023). The CFS model is predicting steady west anomalies from here forward and the leading edge of the low pressure bias on the dateline and forecast to nearly fill the Pacific during June. We are in a state of transition from ENSO neutral to El Nino during the summer of 2023. As a result we will be moving from a period of reduced number of storm days and storm intensity during the early part of Summer towards a period of enhanced storm production starting Late July and beyond, getting fairly intense come Fall. This should result in a slightly below normal level of swells, with swells being below normal duration and period over early Summer. But by late July 2023, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start improving as El Nino starts getting a solid footprint on the atmosphere. The net result is we're currently thinking a near normal number of swells with normal size and duration is to result, but all focused sometime after late July 2023. The swell pattern will be normal to somewhat below normal before July and above normal after July 23. And By Sept, the El Nino footprint should be solid. Of course this is all highly speculative at this early and based mostly on the CFS model and it's projection of a building ENSO footprint getting solid by Sept.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (5/30) 5 day average winds were moderate to strong from the east over the East equatorial Pacific and moderate east over the Central Pacific and modest to weak east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and modest west over the Central Pacific and modest west over the KWGA. Westerly anomalies have been moderate to strong the past 7 days in the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, versus realtime, so they lag what is happening today (by about 2.5 days).
2 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (5/31) Modest west anomalies were filling the KWGA with the core at 150E. West anomalies are to start fading and gone by 6/5 with weak east anomalies taking over the KWGA and building to moderate strength on the dateline by 6/9 holding and easing east through the end of the model run on 6/15. It looks like the Active Phase of the MJO is fading after being strong and producing a westerly wind burst (WWB) 5/14-5/28 with the Inactive Phase now setting up.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (5/30) The Active Phase of the MJO was weak and fading over the KWGA today. The statistical model indicates the Active MJO is to be gone with the Inactive Phase building over the far West KWGA on day 5 of the model run with the Inactive signal solidly in control on days 10 and 15 building to strong status. The dynamic model indicates the Active MJO fading to neutral status on day 5 and holding unchanged through day 15h.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (CA and GEFS): (5/31) The statistical model depicts the Active signal was weak over the East Pacific and is to track east to the Indian Ocean 15 days out and split between very weak and modest. The dynamic model indicates the Active Phase is to race east to the West Maritime Continent on day 15 and modest.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (5/31) A modest Active (wet) pattern was filling the KWGA with no Inactive (dry air) signal in the Pacific. The forecast has the Active Phase (wet air) pushing east and over the East Pacific on 6/10 while weakening then out of the Pacific on 6/25. The Inactive Phase (dry air) is to start building over the KWGA 6/10 and weakly in control 6/15 holding to 6/25 then moving over the East Pacific 6/30 with the Active Phase stating to build in the far West Pacific and in control the last day of the model run on 7/10.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (5/30)
Today west anomalies and the Active Phase of the MJO were moderate filling the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Active MJO signal and west anomalies are to move east and fade through 6/10. The Inactive Phase is to weakly appear 6/6-6/10 with weak east anomalies 6/11-6/14. Then west anomalies are to reappear filling the KWGA 6/15 through the end of the model run on 6/25.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind):
(5/31) - using the 5th ensemble member - the mean of the 4 individual members which are all from the 00Z run - 1 run per day):
Today the Active Phase and moderate west anomalies were in control over the KWGA. The Active Phase of the MJO is to start fading and gone by 6/12 but with west anomalies holding in some fashion. The Inactive Phase is to follow 5/31-7/12 but with west anomalies holding centered over the dateline. Then next Active Phase of the MJO is to follow starting 7/6 holding through the end of the model run on 8/28 with west anomalies building to strong status filling the KWGA even before the Active Phase starts on 6/14 and holding through the end of the model run. A very strong El Nino is potentially developing. The shift to El Nino started on 2/15. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias with 1 contour line centered at 115W with its western perimeter at 130W today and well east of the KWGA and moving east fast and of no real interest at this point. A broad low pressure bias is established over the West KWGA centered at 160E with 2 contour lines and it's leading edge east of the dateline at 170W today (it started pushing east on 2/15). A hard push east is occurring and is to continue into June 22 with it's leading edge then stalling at 135W filling most of the Pacific with a third contour lined developing on 6/22 with the primarily contours leading edge more slowly moving east to 130W at the end of the model run with it's center at 175E. This is all a big deal and is being repeated in some form consistently from one run of the model to the next since Oct 2022. It appears a strong El Nino is developing.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (5/31) Today in the far West Pacific the leading edge of the 30 deg isotherm was present and building east at 168E with the 29 degree isotherm easing east to 169W (previously 176W). The 28 deg isotherm line was running east to 119W but previously into Ecuador. The 26 degree isotherm has pushed the whole way across the Pacific and getting deeper. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies at +2 deg C were in a river traversing the Pacific but with a break between 145-165W. A building pocket of +3 degree anomalies was building in the west and 3-5 degs anomalies were in the far East Pacific starting at 140W. Amazing. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 5/23 indicates a huge very warm stream of +2-3 degs anomalies extending from the far West Pacific and building while tracking east and then upwards from there over the far East Pacific with +4-5 degs anomalies from Kelvin Wave #1 erupting there into Ecuador. And another pocket of warming waters were in the far West Pacific at 125E at +3 degs. No cool anomalies were indicated. El Nino is developing. The GODAS animation is 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately depicted since its satellite based.
Sea Level Anomalies: (5/23) Sea heights were positive across the equatorial Pacific at +5 cms solid in the west to the dateline connected to the East Pacific at +5 cms with a pocket of +10-15 cms in the east extending north into Central America and south to Chile. This means no cool water was at depth. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram warm water continues building in intensity and coverage at +1.00-1.50 degs over the West Pacific with +0.5 degree anomalies from the dateline to 125W connected to a second hot pocket starting at 127W at at +1.0-1.5 degs reaching east to Ecuador.

Surface Water Temps
The more warm water in the equatorial East Pacific means more storm production in the North Pacific during winter months (roughly speaking). Cold water in that area has a dampening effect. Regardless of what the atmospheric models and surface winds suggest, actual water temperatures are a ground-truth indicator of what is occurring in the ocean. All data is from blended infrared and microwave sensors.
Satellite Imagery
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4 Qualitative Analysis: (5/30) The latest images depict a strong warm signal along the coasts of Peru and Ecuador and extending up Mexico reaching the tip of Baja and the core hot pool steady along Peru and Ecuador with a building tongue extending west over the Galapagos continuing along the equator reaching to 155W now (previously 145W - results of Kelvin Wave #1). Warm temps continued west from there on the equator across the dateline and beyond. This is a clear El Nino signal. And warmer than normal temps were present well off the coasts of Chile and Peru. The classic El Nino triangle was developing. The last remnants of La Nina are gone on the equator and a clear El Nino signal is building. But, remnants of La Nina are still evident along the California and Baja coast with cold temps and the normal La Nina enhanced Springtime upwelling pattern in control but somewhat weaker then weeks past. but that will likely be reinforced over the next week.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (5/30): Finally warming temps are developing from Ecuador in a thin line west to 100W and then weaker from 110W across the entire equatorial Pacific. A neutral trend was along the coasts of Chile and Peru. The pattern of adding energy to the warm surface pool is possibly starting to redevelop along Ecuador. A warming trend had been well entrenched over the East Pacific since Nov 1 with no cooling waters over the equatorial East Pacific since 12/15 except for the time frame from 4/23 to today.
Hi-res Overview: (5/30) Warming waters are filling the East Pacific off Chile, Peru, Ecuador and north up to Mexico with strong warming in a few pockets along the immediate cost of Peru and Ecuador. And the classic El Nino tongue of more intense warming is building considerably over the equator west to 155W and from there to the dateline and beyond. No cool waters were on the equator anymore. There no sign of La Nina on the oceans surface and everything is now looking like El Nino. The east equatorial Pacific is finally and steadily warming.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (5/31) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs compared to official sources). Today's temps are steady and rising at +2.070 but have been up in the at +2.0 to +3.0 degs range since 4/1 having previously peaked at +2.891 (4/13). Previously temps reached +2.302 degrees on 4/6, +1.732 degs (3/22), up from +0.462 since 2/28. Temps had reached as high as +1.076 on 2/19 and were previously steady at +0.848 since 2/7. Previously they started steadily rising 11/13 when they were around -1.5 degs C.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(5/31) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs). Today temps are rising to +0.592. Temps have been falling the past 10 days to +0.378 (5/26) after rising to +0.507 on 5/17. We are now 3 day into a trend of being above the El Nino threshold. Previous peaks of +0.318 on 4/30 besting the previous peak at +0.199 on 4/21. Temps have been steadily increasing hitting 0.0 on 4/12 and were then more or less steady the previous 4 weeks. Temps previously rose to -0.402 on 2/23. Temps rose above the La Nina threshold (-0.5 degs) on 2/22 and had been rising slowly since 2/12 when they were about -1.0 degs C. They had been in the -1.0 deg range since at least Nov 2022.

Click for Full Sized Image Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Data (Nino3.4 Region)
Previous - Temps rose in early Nov 2020 after bottoming out at -1.25 degs, up to -0.01 degs in mid-June 2021 then fading to -1.05 degs in mid-Nov then rebuilding to -0.7 in mid Feb 2022 then fading to -1.1 degs in May before starting an upward climb peaking in mid-June at -0.65 degs and mid July at -0.55 degs. A steady decline set in after that falling to -1.00 degs in Aug and Sept rising to -0.8 degs mid Oct then falling to -1.0 in Nov but then slowly rising to -0.75 degs in Jan 2023 and up to -0.5 degs (above the La Nina threshold) on 2/12. Temps were +0.45 degs today.
Forecast (5/31) - Temps are slowly climbing above ENSO neutral at +0.5 degs and are forecast rising to +1.45 degs in July and +2.15 degs in Nov and solidly into El Nino territory. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps are forecast rising to +1.10 degs in July and +1.75 degs in Nov/Dec. According to this version of the model we are building into ENSO neutral in Spring and into El Nino in Summer.
IRI Consensus Plume: The May 19, 2023 Plume depicts temps are +0.761 degs today and it's the third month above the La Nina threshold. Temps to rise steadily from here forward to +1.153 in July and up to +1.269 degrees in Aug/Sept then fading from there. The dynamic model suggest temps peaking at +1.672 in Oct. The CFS model is on the upper range of all models. This model suggests were are transitioning to El Nino.
See chart here - link.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad - all but the Daily Index was a lagging indicator):
Today (5/29) the Daily Index was negative at -29.32 and has been negative the last 22 days with a peak down to -64.63 on 5/24 and -31.31 on 5/12. Previously readings were toggling between +10 and -10 for 13 days, but negative the 15 days previous to that, positive the 6 days prior to that after being mostly negative 25 days before that. It fell to -19.40 on 4/2. -17.44 on 2/22, the beginning of a change from which no return seemed likely. It was up to +21.85 on 2/10 and +55.74 on 12/22 and were in the +20 range the previous 22 days.
The 30 day average was falling at -16.18 and the most neagtive in years. It previously had been falling to -4.13 on 4/4 (lagging indicator driven by the Active Phase of the MJO) after falling to -0.52 on 3/22 previously falling to +4.18 on 11/27 and peaking at +21.57 (10/16) after supposedly peaking at +19.66 on 9/28. It was down to +6.89 on 7/29. It peaked at +20.34 (5/12) the highest in a year and beating last years high of +19.51 (1/14).
The 90 day average was falling at -6.48 and turned negative the first time in years on 5/12. It previously peaked at +14.63 on 2/20, +15.61 on 10/25 and +12.92 on 8/11 and that after peaking at +18.40 (7/2) beating it's previous peak of +16.86 (5/31), the highest in a year. It previously peaked at +9.80 (9/21) after falling to it's lowest point in a year at +1.06 (6/9). The 90 day average peaked at +15.75 (2/23/21 - clearly indicative of La Nina then). This index is a lagging indicator but suggests that the Active Phase occurring now is starting to drive the index down, hopefully with no upward trend in sight for at least a year.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
The PDO theoretically turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and was positive till Dec 2019, but has been negative ever since, driven by recent La Nina conditions. In May-July 2021 it was the most negative its been in the -1.80 to -2.04 range since Sept 2012 (-2.99) and then fell to -3.16 in Oct 2021 (the lowest since July 1933) then settled at -2.72 in Nov and Dec 2021. Looking at the long term record, it seems likely we are still in the Cool Phase of the PDO (La Nina 'like') with no signs of moving to the positive/warm phase (El Nino 'like').

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 


Powerlines Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest
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:
http://www.bloomberg.com/video/how-to-predict-the-best-surfing-waves-EsNiR~0xR5yXGOlOq2MqfA.html
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/surfs-up-for-mavericks-invitational-in-calif/

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

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