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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, June 5, 2018 4:14 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
2.0 - California & 2.2 - 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 6/4 thru Sun 6/10

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   

Small New Zealand Swell Hitting HI
Swell Radiating North from Deep Central SPac


On Tuesday, June 5, 2018 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance): Seas were 3.9 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 2.6 ft @ 14.8 secs from 168 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.7 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 14.0 secs from 207 degrees. Wind at the buoy was east at 8-10 kts. Water temperature 64.6 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 2.5 ft @ 8.5 secs from 267 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.0 ft @ 15.5 secs from 216 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.0 ft @ 15.6 secs from 221 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.8 ft @ 13.2 secs from 192 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 9.0 ft @ 9.1 secs with northwest windswell 7.5 ft @ 8.2 secs from 320 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 16-20 kts. Water temp 51.8 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 Tuesday (6/5) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing surf at shoulder to head high and somewhat clean but but lumpy and unorganized and soft. Protected breaks were chest high and cleaner but still a bit warbled and soft with onshore texture. At Santa Cruz surf was flat to knee high and clean early. In Southern California up north surf was waist high on the sets and clean and lined up but soft. In North Orange Co northwest windswell was producing waves at thigh to maybe waist high and textured from light south winds and soft. South Orange Country's best breaks had some sets in the shoulder high range and pretty soft with background lump in the water. In North San Diego surf was up to waist high and clean but weak and soft. Hawaii's North Shore was flat to knee high and clean with north cross lump. The South Shore was getting more New Zealand swell with waves 1-2 ft overhead and lined up and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell at waist to chest high and chopped by east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (6/5) southern hemi swell originating from just southeast of New Zealand was hitting better than expected in Hawaii. That swell was produced by a small cutoff gale that formed southeast of New Zealand on Mon (5/28) producing a short lived and small area of 30 ft seas aimed north. In California only locally produced north windswell was hitting the northern end of the state with some limited Tasman Sea swell sneaking into select Southern CA breaks. Of more interest is a decent gale that developed in the deep Central South Pacific Fri-Sun (6/3) pushing north and producing seas to 37 ft. And secondary fetch followed Sun (6/3) adding more 37-40 ft seas on top pushing northeast. So a decent run of southern hemi swell looks possible for California with some sideband energy for Hawaii. A broader but weaker system is forecast to traverse the Southwest Pacific Thurs-Sat (6/9) with 28-30 ft seas aimed east.


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

North Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday AM (6/5) local northwest windswell was the only energy in the North Pacific hitting breaks limited to North and Central CA. But a weak gale previously produced some seas of interest over the North Dateline region and swell from that is radiating east (see North Dateline Gale below).

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

North Dateline Gale
A weak gale formed just west of the North Dateline region on Fri PM (6/1) with 40 kt west winds over a small area aimed east and seas building from 20 ft at 49.0N 171E. The gale was impacting the Aleutians on the dateline Sat AM (6/2) with 35-40 kt west winds and seas to 28 ft over a tiny area at 50.5N 177.5E, then is to quickly quickly fading. Small swell is possible radiating mainly east towards the US West Coast.

Hawaii: Sideband swell to arrive on Wed (6/6) pushing 1.3 ft @ 12-13 secs late (1.5 ft). Swell fading Thurs AM (6/7) from 1.4 ft @ 11 secs (1.5 ft). Swell Direction: 330 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs AM (6/7) with swell building mid-AM to 2.7 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.5 ft). Swell fading Fri AM (6/8) from 2.4 ft @ 12-13 secs (3.0 ft). This swell to be buried in local windswell in California. Swell Direction: 306 degrees


Windswell Forecast
California: On Tues AM (6/5) high pressure at 1028 mbs was centered 900 nmiles north of Hawaii ridging east to California creating the standard pressure gradient along the North and Central coasts producing north winds at 20+ kts resulting in junky raw local short period windswell. By Wednesday (6/6) the gradient is to fade some with north winds 15-20 kts, strongest early along the North and Central Coast and sinking south, becoming focused mainly over Pt Conception later. More of the same is expected on Thurs (6/7) and even weaker fetch on Fri (6/8) with north winds limited to 20 kts over Pt Conception and 15 kts up to San Francisco. Lower odds for windswell developing over the period. See QuikCASTs for details.

Hawaii: On Tues (6/5) east fetch at 15 kts associated with high pressure north of the Islands was spotty in coverage and filling a shallow area extending 500 nmiles east of the Hawaii offering minimal potential to generate easterly windswell. On Wed (6/6) that fetch is to dissipate as the high sinks south some with windswell production fading (and focused well south of the Islands). But on Fri (6/8) the high is to lift north some again with a solid fetch of 15 kts east winds developing extending from California the whole way to Hawaii increasing odds for windswell production. See QuikCASTs for details.


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


Tropical Update
The models are teasing concerning 2 tropical systems. One is forecast developing off Mexico later Wed (6/6) tracking northeast positioned 450 nmiles south-southwest of Cabo San Lucas Mexico on Sat AM (6/9). Another is forecast developing just east of the northern Philippines on Fri (6/8) tracking northeast and building through the weekend south of Japan. Neither of these is believable at this early date.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday AM (6/5) modest high pressure at 1026 mbs was ridging into Central CA generating a pressure gradient and north winds at 15-20 kts along the North and Central CA coast generating short period windswell there. On Wed (6/6) the gradient is to fall south some with north winds to be 20 kts along all of the North and Central CA fading to 15 kts later up north and holding over Pt Conception. On Thurs (6/7) 15 kt north winds to be covering nearshore waters of all of North and Central CA but focused on Pt Conception with 20-25 kts north winds there continuing Fri (6/8). Sat (6/9) the gradient is to start building later with 20 kts north winds building from Pt Arena southward and up to 30 kts over Pt Conception. On Sun (6/10) north winds are to be 20 kts from Cape Mendocino south to Pt Conception and up to 30 kts solid over Pt Conception. Monday (6/11) the gradient is to be lifting north with 25 kt north winds over the entire North and Central Coast from Pt Arena early fading slightly mid-day mid-day, then rebuilding later. Tues AM (6/12) the gradient is to lift north with north winds 20 kts over North CA with a near eddy flow over Central CA waters.

South Pacific

On Tuesday (6/5) the southern branch of the jetstream was ridging south under the Tasman Sea to New Zealand down at 65S with winds 160 kts, then lifting north east of there up to 60S but far weaker at 130 kts, tracking east over the bulk of the South Pacific until it reached 130W, where remnants of a trough were present and the jet lifted north to 43S. But winds were weaker still in that trough at 50 kts offering only minimal support for low pressure development there. Over the next 72 hours something that almost looks like a trough is to start building under New Zealand on Wed (6/6) being fed by 140 kts winds and tracking east to the Central and then East Pacific Sat-Sun (6/10) offering some support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours there some indications of a new trough building under New Zealand on Tues (6/12) but weak being fed by only 100 kt winds pushing northeast initially but theoretically building to 120 kts later in the day, Support for gale development increasing.

Surface Analysis  
On Tuesday (6/5) weak residuals of a swell previously generated in the Tasman Sea was fading out in Southern California. Also swell from a gale previously southeast of New Zealand is hitting Hawaii (See New Zealand Gale below). And swell from a more recent gale system was pushing northeast from the deep South Central Pacific (see South Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours another but weaker gale is forecast to track east across the deep South Pacific.

On Wed PM (6/6) a broad low pressure system is to be developing southeast of New Zealand generating 35-40 kt west winds over a broad area just north of the Ross Ice Shelf with seas building to 29 ft at 62.5S 170.5W. On Thurs AM (6/7) winds to turn southwest at 35-40 kts while tracking east with seas building to 30 ft at 57S 169W. In the evening southwest winds to continue at 35 kts with one tiny patch from the west at 45 kts and seas 30 ft at 61S 155W. On Fri AM (6/8) fetch is to start fading from the west at 35 kts with seas 30 ft at 61S 137W. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 35 kts over a broad area aimed east with 29 ft seas fading at 61S 130W. On Sat AM (6/9) this system is to be dissipating and moving out of the SCal swell window. Something to monitor.


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.

Southern CA: Swell fading on Tues (6/5) from 1.2 ft @ 15 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 231 degrees

Northern CA: Swell fading on Tues (6/5) from 1.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (1.5 ft). Swell Direction: 229 degrees


New Zealand Gale
A gale developed southeast of New Zealand Sun PM (5/27) generating south winds at 40-45 kts over a small area aimed north with seas building from 28 ft over a small area at 47S 172W. By Mon AM (5/28) south winds continued at 40-45 kts with seas building to 29 ft at 47.5S 168W. South fetch faded some in the evening at 40 kts with seas holding at 29-30 ft at 46.5S 164W. On Tues AM (5/29) south fetch faded from 30 kts with seas fading from 25 ft over a small area at 44.5S 165W. Some limited south swell could reach Tahiti and Hawaii. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Swell fading some on Tues (6/5) dropping from 2.3 ft @ 14-15 secs early (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 195 degrees

South CA: Possible small swell arriving on Wed (6/6) building to 1.2 ft @ 16 secs later (2.0 ft). Swell continues on Thurs (6/7) at 1.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft) early. Swell gone after that. Swell Direction 216 degrees

North CA: Small swell arriving on Wed (6/6) building to 1.5 ft @ 16 secs later (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell continues on Thurs (6/7) at 1.6 ft @ 15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft) early. Swell fading Fri (6/8) from 1.4 ft @ 14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction 215 degrees


South Pacific Gale
A new gale developed in the deep Central South Pacific on Fri AM (6/1) generating a decent sized area of 45 kt south winds with seas building from 30 ft at 62S 163.5W. In the evening the fetch is to lift north with a broader core of 45 kt south winds with 36 ft seas over a building area at 58S 157.5W. On Sat AM (6/2) 40 kt south winds continued lifting north with seas 37 ft at 53.5S 151W. In the evening southwest fetch rapidly faded to 30 kts and seas fading from 32 ft at 49S 150W as a new fetch started developing southwest of the original fetch producing south winds at 45 kts over a solid area and sea built from 36 ft at 58S 167W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (6/3) 45 kt south winds were lifting northeast with seas 38 ft at 54S 155W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch was fading from 40-45 kts from the southwest with seas 38 ft at 50S 144W. On Mon AM (6/4) fetch was fading from 35 kts with seas 33 ft at 48.5S 138W aimed northeast. This system faded from there. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Fri (6/8) building to 2.0 ft @ 17-18 secs later (3.5 ft). Swell peaking on Sat (6/9) building to 2.3 ft @ 16 secs mid-AM (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 181 degrees

Southern CA: Swell arrival on Sat (6/9) building to 1.9 ft @ 20 secs later (3.5 ft). On Sun (6/10) swell building to 3.5 ft @ 18 secs later (6.0-6.5 ft). Swell holding on Mon (6/11) at 3.9 ft @ 17 secs (6.5 ft). Swell fading some on Tues (6/12) from 3.7 ft @ 16-17 secs (6.0 ft). Swell Direction: 198-204 degrees centered on 200 degrees

North CA: Swell arrival on Sat (6/9) building to 1.3 ft @ 20 secs later (2.5 ft). Swell building on Sun (6/10) building to 2.6 ft @ 18 secs late (4.7 ft). Swell continues on Mon (6/11) at 3.0 ft @ 18 secs early (5.4 ft). Swell fading Tues (6/12) from 2.8 ft @ 16-17 secs early (4.6 ft). Swell Direction: 196-202 degrees centered on 198 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.

Windswell Forecast
on Sat (6/9) high pressure at 1030 mbs is to be reorganizing northeast of Hawaii and starting to ridge towards California producing 10-15 kts north winds over North and Central CA early and building to 30 kts over Pt Conception late as the high builds in more. Junky short period windswell possible mainly for Central CA. On Sun (6/10) the gradient is to continue but southward displaced with 30-35 kts north winds over Pt Conception early building north with 25 kt north winds building up to Bodega Bay late afternoon. Hacked windswell possible mainly for Central CA. Monday (6/11) north winds to be lifting north but still focused mainly over northern Central CA late afternoon reaching north to Pt Arena at 20-25 kts. Better but still raw local north windswell expected to result. On Tues (6/12) the gradient is to be fading and focused over North Ca at 20-25 kts with perhaps an eddy flow over all of Central CA. Smaller and cleaner windswell is possible south of Pt Reyes.

Hawaii: Starting Sat (6/9) the high pressure system is to have move north far enough to result in a solid fetch of 15 kt east winds extending from California to Hawaii and unbroken offering good odds for windswell production and holding Sun (6/10) then fading some just east of Hawaii on Mon (6/11) before dissipating on Tues (6/12). Windswell production gone at that time.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a series of weak weather systems are to traverse the South Pacific, but none producing seas exceeding 28 ft aimed northeast. no swell production is expected.

More details to follow...


MJO/ENSO Forecast

Large Kelvin Wave Still Appears To Be Erupting East of the Galapagos

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.

Summer 2018 - Swell Generation Potential (for California & Hawaii) = 4.0
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)

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Mon (6/4) 5 day average winds were from the east over the bulk of the equatorial Pacific and also over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral over the equatorial East Pacific and light easterly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (6/5) Modest east anomalies were over the eastern half of the KWGA with light west anomalies over the far west KWGA. The forecast suggests east anomalies are to retrograde west filling the KWGA by 6/9 then disintegrating to near neutral by the end of the forecast period on 6/12. This Inactive Phase of the MJO is stronger than expected. A westerly wind burst is fading in the Indian Ocean associated with the Active Phase of the MJO there and is forecast to dissipate by 6/12 but not move east any.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (6/4) The Active/Wet Phase of the MJO was now over the West Pacific almost reaching to the dateline. The statistical model depicts the Active/Wet Phase is to hold through day 5 of the run then fade to neutral on day 8 and holding through the end of the model run (day 15). The dynamic model depicts the same thing but with the Inactive Phase possibly developing at day 15 in the far West Pacific. The models now are in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (6/5) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was modest over the far West Pacific. It is to track east while steadily collapsing moving over the Central West Pacific at day 15. The GEFS model has not updated.
40 day Upper Level Model: (6/5) This model depicts a weak Inactive Phase is fading over Central America and moving into the Atlantic while a new modest Active Phase is moving into the West Pacific. The Active Phase is to track east and moving through the Pacific into Central America on 6/30. A weak Inactive Phase is to be developing over the West Pacific on 6/15 pushing to the East Pacific and Central America at 7/7. A neutral pattern is to follow through the end of the model run on 7/15. This model runs about 1-2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (6/4) East anomalies to retrograde west from 150E through 6/11 associated with an atmospheric Kelvin Wave. After that west anomalies to build some west of 150E while east anomalies hold from 150E and points east of there through 6/19. Building west anomalies to follow after that.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (6/5) This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO was nearly gone over the KWGA with neutral anomalies in control of the KWGA. The Active Phase of the MJO is forecast developing 6/7 filling the KWGA by 6/10 but with a short-lived pulse of east anomalies forecast in the West KWGA on 6/8-6/12 then fading. After that west anomalies are forecast filling the KWGA while the Active Phase holds through 7/15. A neutral MJO signal is to develop after that starting 7/20 holding through 8/5 but with west anomalies holding in the KWGA. The Active Phase is to follow 8/6 through the end of the KWGA 9/2 with west anomalies holding in the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias is fully in control of the KWGA reaching east to 145W and forecast to hold if not ease east some for the foreseeable future if not building from 2 contour lines to 3 starting 7/17. 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: (6/5) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs reaching east to 165E. The 28 deg isotherm line is stabilizing after moving eastward from the dateline last winter to 165W on 5/15 to 160W 5/22 and 159W on 5/29 and then back to 160W today from the surface to 75 meters deep. The 24 deg isotherm was thickening at 115 meters deep at 140W and 75 meters deep at 120W deepening to 40 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 easing east +3.0 degs at 145W down 150 meters pushing east now with +4 degs anomalies building in the east at 110W and reaching east to the Galapagos. These waters are starting to breach the surface from 125W and points east of there. It appears the Kelvin Wave is gaining eastward momentum. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 5/28 depicts warm water in the west at +4.0 degs at 160W with a river of warm water at +3 degs pushing continuously east to 100W with pockets reaching east from there to the Ecuadorian coast. The warm pool was breaching the surface between 100W-135W. No residual cool water from La Nina are indicated. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (5/28) This image has upgraded significantly again with the 5/28 update. 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 over the Galapagos to Ecuador (not just pockets as previously indicated). 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: (6/4) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate very weak localized cool anomalies along the immediate coast of Peru and very shallow. But of more significance was a building area of warm water erupting on the oceans surface on the equator from the Galapagos west to 125W and also over a broad but weaker pocket well south of the equator from 90W to 110W. A broad area of warming was also filling the area south of Mexico and out to the dateline. The remnants of the La Nina cool pool were south of the equator between 115W-170W and south of 4S.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (6/4): A neutral trend was indicated other than a pocket of weak warming over the equatorial Pacific from the Galapagos west to 140W and weaker out to the dateline. Generic weak spotty cooling was off immediate Peru.
Hi-res Overview: (6/4) A few pixels of cool water was indicated along the immediate coast of Peru. Otherwise warm water was building from Ecuador west on the equator over the Galapagos and west from there to the dateline from 4S up to 20N and building in coherence. Weak warming was also further off the coast of Peru to 115W and reaching north to the equator. The only cool water was in the fading remnant pocket from La Nina limited to an area south of the equator between 150W-160W and south of 4S. Overall the cooling pattern is steadily loosing density and drifting west.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (6/5) Today's temps were rising some at -0.499, 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 that 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: (6/5) Today temps were rising steadily now at -0.066 up from -0.266 on 6/2, 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 (6/5) 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 +0.60 degs in early July and rising in early Oct to +0.90 degs and +1.00 degs in Nov pushing +1.1 degs in Jan 2019 timeframe. 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) (6/5): The daily index was rising today at 1.55. The 30 day average was rising some at +3.25 suggesting the Inactive Phase of the MJO was steady. The 90 day average was falling some at 4.33 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): (6/5) Today the index was falling more at -1.04, down from -0.70 on 5/20 and -0.60 on 5/17, and 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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