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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Monday, January 11, 2021 5:13 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
5.2 - California & 4.2 - Hawaii
Using the 'Winter' 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 1/11 thru Sun 1/17

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   

Swell #8 Poised for Hawaii
2 More Forecast to Follow

On Monday, January 11, 2021 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 238 (Barbers Point): Seas were 3.3 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 2.4 ft @ 9.8 secs from 272 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 6.2 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 3.7 ft @ 11.7 secs from 253 degrees. Water temp 77.7 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 5.5 ft @ 17.2 secs with swell 4.0 ft @ 16.4 secs from 276 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 8-12 kts. Water temperature NA degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 9.0 ft @ 16.6 secs from 286 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 3.9 ft @ 17.5 secs from 268 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.1 ft @ 18.1 secs from 258 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 5.3 ft @ 18.0 secs from 282 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 12.5 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 8.8 ft @ 13.0 ft from 276 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was north at 14-16 kts. Water temp 52.9 degs (013), 51.6 degs (SF Bar) and 54.1 degs (042).

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 Monday (1/11) in North and Central CA waves were 10-12 ft and clean with light offshore winds but washing around some due to size and tide. Protected breaks were 2-3 ft overhead on the sets and lined up and clean. At Santa Cruz surf was 1-2 ft overhead on the sets and lined up and clean but a little wonky from tide early. In Southern California/Ventura waves were 2-3 ft overhead and lined up and peeling with light offshore winds with swell stacking to the horizon. Central Orange County had sets at head high to 1 ft overhead and clean and lined up with good form. South Orange County's best summertime breaks were chest high on the sets and clean with offshore winds and soft. North San Diego had sets at 2-3 ft overhead and clean and lined up and peeling with select breaks double overhead. Hawaii's North Shore had waves at 2-3 ft overhead on the sets and clean with light wind early and top spots were pushing 9 ft on the face and lined up. The South Shore was flat and clean. The East Shore was getting wrap around north swell with waves 1-2 ft overhead and pretty warbled from modest onshore/east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Monday (1/11) swell was peaking in Southern CA from Storm #7 and fading in North CA but still sizeable having been generated by another strong storm (Storm #7) that tracked east through the Gulf Fri-Sat (1/9) with 58 ft seas aimed east. And swell from Storm #8 is poised for Hawaii having tracked from Japan to the North Dateline and then into the Northern Gulf Fri-Sun (1/10) with seas to 46 ft. A short break is forecast then a new gale (Possible Storm #9) is to develop north of Hawaii on Wed (1/13) pushing east for 24 hours with seas building to 43 ft. And another is to be right behind developing just west of the dateline falling east-southeast Wed-Sat (1/16) with seas to 52 ft targeting Hawaii well (Possible Storm #10). After that a weak system is forecast just off the Kuril Islands on Mon (1/18) with 35 ft seas aimed east. What a run of swell!

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Monday (1/11) the jet was well consolidated pushing east off Japan with winds building to 190 kts pushing flat over the dateline then through the Gulf of Alaska to a point just off North Ca then lifting gently northeast and pushing over Washington. A broad gentle trough was embedded over the Northern Gulf offering limited support for gale development. The jet looked amazing given the La Nina situation. Over the next 72 hours winds are to build off Japan to 210 kts stating to fall into a developing trough just east of the dateline on Tues (1/12) with that trough peaking on Wed (1/13) being directly fed by 210 kts winds offering good support for gale development then pinching some while lifting northeast on Thurs (1/14) becoming less production. Beyond 72 hours another trough is to start building early Fri (1/15) on the dateline pushing east being fed by 170 kts winds and sweeping east while building in coverage into Sun (1/17) digging in deep with it's apex 700 nmiles north-northwest of Hawaii offering good support for gale production. But this trough is to pinch off on Mon (1/18) with the trough pushing south of even Hawaii and just west of the Islands possibly offering some weather there. At that time a big ridge is to just off the US West Coast and winds are to be 170+ kts streaming off Japan feeding into the pinched Hawaiian trough. It might take a few days after that to see what sort of a new pattern might emerge.

Surface Analysis
On Monday (1/11) swell from strong Storm #7 (see Storm #7 below) was fading in North CA and peaking early in Southern CA.

Over the next 72 hours swell from Storm #8 is to be hitting Hawaii shortly and bound for CA (see Storm #8 below). And another gale is to be developing in the Central Gulf (see Possible Storm #9 below) with a stronger one right behind it tracking over the dateline and towards Hawaii (see Possible Storm # 10 below).


Strong Storm #7
And another small but strong storm was developing while track east in the Central Gulf on Fri AM (1/9) with 55-60 kt northwest winds and seas building from 46 ft at 40N 157W aimed east. In the evening winds to build in coverage at 55-65 kts with seas 59 ft at 40N 150W or 1900 nmiles due west of North CA. On Sat AM (1/9) fetch is to be fading from 45 kts from the west in the Eastern Gulf lifting northeast with seas 51 ft at 40.5N 143W or 1000 nmiles east of North CA aimed east. Fetch is to fade Sat PM from 40-45 kts just of Oregon with 41 ft seas at 44N 134W aimed east. Large raw swell expected for CA.

North CA: Swell fading Mon (1/11) from 10.6 ft @ 15-16 secs (16 ft). Residuals on Tues (1/12) fading from 7.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (10 ft). Swell Direction: 283-288 degrees

Southern CA: Swell peaking overnight and still solid Mon AM (1/11) at 6.6 ft @ 17-18 secs (11.5 ft) at the most exposed breaks. Size fading through the day. Dribbles on Tues AM (1/12) fading from 3.2 ft @ 13-14 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 287-293 degrees


Storm #8
And yet another system formed off Japan on Thurs PM (1/7) producing 45-50 kt west winds over a tiny area and seas on the increase. This system pushed east-northeast gaining strength on Fri AM (1/8) with 50 kt west winds and seas building from 34 ft over a tiny area at 43.5N 162E aimed east at Hawaii. In the evening 50 kt west winds are to be approaching the dateline with 40 ft seas at 44.5N 172E aimed east. On Sat AM (1/9) 50 kt west-northwest winds were over the Dateline and seas building to 45 ft at 46.5N 179W aimed east. Fetch faded some in the evening while holding position in the Northwestern Gulf at 45+ kts solid drifting southeast with 45 ft seas at 46N 170.5W aimed east. The gale faded in coverage while drifting east-southeast in the Western Gulf Sun AM (1/10) with 40-45 kt northwest winds and seas 45 ft at 46N 163.5W aimed east-southeast. The gale was dissipating in the evening with 35-40 kt west winds and seas fading from 40 ft at 46N 155.5W aimed east. Seas from previous fetch were fading Mon AM (1/11) from 31 ft at 47.5N 146.5W aimed east.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Mon (1/11) building to 6.8 ft @ 17 secs late (11.5 ft). Swell continues on Tues (1/12) fading from 7.0 ft @ 15-16 secs early (10.5 ft). Dribbles fading on Wed (1/13) from 4.8 ft @ 13 secs (6.0 ft). Swell Direction: 325-330 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (1/12) building to 8.4 ft @ 19 secs late and shadowed in the SF Bay Area (15.5 ft - not considering shadow). Wed (1/13) swell fading slowly from 10.9 ft @ 17 secs early (18.5 ft). Swell fading Thurs (1/14) from 7.8 ft @ 14-15 secs early (11 ft). Dribbles on Fri (1/15) at 5.9 ft @ 13-14 secs (8.0 ft). 295-302 degrees with most energy from 298 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (1/13) swell peaking early at 5.1 ft @ 18-19 secs (9.5 ft) at the most exposed breaks holding solid all day. Swell fading Thurs (1/14) from 4.2 ft @ 16 secs early (6.5 ft). Dribbles on Fri (1/15) at 2.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.5 ft). 301-305 degrees with most energy from 303 degrees


Possible Storm #9
A new gale is to develop on Tues AM (1/12) over the dateline producing 35 kt northwest winds with seas building to 24 ft at 41N 175E aimed southeast at Hawaii. In the evening the gale is to build more with 40-45 kt northwest winds with seas 28 ft at 36.5N 175.5W aimed southeast at Hawaii. On Wed AM (1/13) the gale is to build with 50-55 kt northwest winds in it's redeveloping core with seas building to 41 ft at 40N 161.5W aimed southeast with secondary seas at 30 ft at 33N 165W targeting Hawaii well. In the evening fetch is to hold strength and position while growing in coverage producing 50-55 kt northwest wind and seas 41 ft at 40N 157W aimed southeast at the US West Coast and sideband energy at Hawaii. On Thurs AM (1/14) winds to fade from 45 kts from the west with seas 45 ft at 42N 151W aimed east. Fetch is to be fading in the evening from 45 kts with seas 39 ft at 44N 142W aimed east. The gale is to race north and fade from there.

Large swell likely for the US West Coast.


Possible Storm #10 - Target Hawaii
And yet another storm is to be developing off North Japan on Wed AM (1/13) producing a small area of 55 kt northwest winds with seas building. In the evening a decent fetch of northwest winds are forecast falling southeast at 50 kts with seas building from 41 ft at 39.5N 166E aimed southeast. On Thurs AM (1/14) the storm is to push to the dateline falling southeast with 55 kt northwest winds and seas 50 ft at 38.5N 176.5E aimed southeast. In the evening the storm is to fall southeast with 50+ kt northwest winds and sea 53 ft at 37N 175W aimed southeast. On Fri AM (1/15) the storm is to track east with 50 kt west winds and seas 52 ft at 36.5N 167W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to push east to almost northeast with 40-45 kt west winds and seas 44 ft at 38.5N 158.5W aimed east. The gale is to fade Sat AM (1/16) while lifting while lifting northeast with 35-40 kt west winds and seas fading from 37 ft at 42.5N 152W aimed east. The gael to dissipate from there.

Possible larger swell for Hawaii and more moderate size for the US West Coast.


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


Tropical Update
No tropical weather system of interest were being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Monday (1/11) a front was over the Pacific Northwest with weak high pressure locked over California with north winds 5 kts for North CA early and 5-10 kts for Central CA building to 10 kts for Central CA later and turning south 15 kts for Cape Mendocino. No precip forecast. Tuesday (1/12) the front sags south to Cape Mendocino with south winds there up to 30 kts all day but light winds from the Golden Gate southward to Pt Conception all day. Rain for Cape Mendocino pushing south to Point Arena during the day. Wednesday (1/13) light southwest winds 5-10 kts early for Cape Mendocino down to Pt Reyes and northwest 10 kts from Big Sur southward early then building to 10-15 kts later. Rain for Bodega Bay northward early fading late afternoon. Thurs (1/14) northwest winds are forecast at 5 kts early for North CA and 10-15 kts for Central CA early building from the northwest at 15 kts from Pt Arena southward to Pt Conception later. Friday (1/15) high pressure sets up with light winds for North CA early and northwest 10-15 kts early building to 15 kts for all of North CA and 15-20 kts for Central CA. The window of clean conditions is to close. Sat (1/16) northwest winds to be 15 kts for all of North CA early and 15-20 kts for Central CA early holding all day. Sun (1/17) northwest winds are to be 15 kts early and 10-15 kts early for Central CA building to 15-20 kts later. No precip forecast.

Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 1 inches, 1 inches, 0 inches, and 0 inches.

Freezing level 10,000 ft today falling to 7,000 ft early 1/12 then rising to the 11-12k ft range on 1/14 and not falling until 1/20 reaching 7,000 ft.

Snow Models: (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!


South Pacific

Surface Analysis
No swell was in the water.

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


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 a gale is forecast developing over the South Kuril Islands on Sat (1/16) lifting northeast with winds to 45 kts and seas 33 ft aimed east but making no real eastward progress.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.



MJO/ENSO Forecast


High Pressure Bias Holding Firm

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: A double dip La Nina was in control 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, and continued trying to build over equatorial waters over the Summer and Fall, but not enough to declare El Nino and not coupled with the atmosphere. In January 2019, those warm waters were fading, but then rebuilt late in Feb associated with Kelvin Wave (#3). But as of early June 2019 warm water was 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. El Nino was dead. A bit of a recovery occurred during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water held in a pool off Peru and had not changed until March 2020. By April the cool pool pushed east and by May subsurface cool waters erupted off Ecuador, forming a well defined cool tongue that looked like the start of La Nina, holding into July 2020.

Fall/Winter 2020/2021 = 3.0/3.5 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)

Rationale: It is assumed the PDO has moved to the warm phase in 2014 and that a weak borderline El Nino from 2018 faded out in the Fall of 2019. A La Nina like ocean temperature pattern developed in the equatorial East Pacific in the summer of 2019, then faded and returned to a neutral if not weak warm status during the Winter of 2019-2020 only to return stronger in the Summer of 2020. We have been suspecting a turn towards a La Nina like atmospheric pattern to develop in the late Winter/early Spring of 2020. Our best hope is that moderation from the warm phase of the PDO might tamp down development of a full blown La Nina as we move into 2020. But at this time that does not appear likely. Given all that, for the 2020 there is decent probability for development of La Nina meaning a reduced number of storm days and storm intensity during the summer season, resulting in a below normal level of swell, with swell being below normal duration and period. And by the Fall and early Winter of 2020/21, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should fade even more, resulting in depressed swell production. This pattern is expected to hold through the Spring of 2021.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (1/10) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific and stronger still from the east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific turning light east over the Central Pacific and exceedingly strong easterly over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, so they lag what is happening today by about 2 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (1/11) exceedingly strong east anomalies were filling the KWGA and reaching east to a point south of Hawaii. The forecast calls for more of the same through the end of the model run on 1/18 with strong east anomalies in control reaching east only to a point south of Hawaii. Weak west anomalies are currently south of California to Ecuador and forecast building to moderate status on 1/14 and building from there.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (1/10) a moderate to strong Inactive MJO pattern was in control of the KWGA today. The statistic model projects it holding through day 5 of the model run then moderating and then dissipating on day 15. The dynamic model suggests the same thing but with the Inactive Phase holding on in the KWGA weakly on day 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (1/11) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the Central Indian Ocean today and is to track to the Maritime Continent and exceedingly weak on day 15. The GEFS model suggests a variant of the same with the Active Phase making it only to the West Maritime Continent at day 15 and very weak.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (1/11) This model depicts a mixed weak MJO pattern (dry and moist air) over the Pacific tracking east while fading. A moderate Inactive Phase is to push into the West Pacific on 1/28 pushing east to the Central Pacific at the end of the model run on 2/20 and building in strength.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (1/10) This model depicts no MJO signal today with strong east anomalies over the core of the KWGA. The forecast indicates east anomalies are to hold strong through 1/21 then weakening to moderate plus status and holding through the end of the run on 2/7. The low pass filter indicates perhaps some weakening in strength of high pressure over the KWGA at the end of the model run but still solidly present with 2 contour lines. A third contour line is to fade on 1/18.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (1/11 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a weak Inactive MJO signal over the KWGA today with moderate to strong east anomalies in control focused over the dateline. The Inactive Phase of the MJO is to track east and fade through 1/27 while a weak Active Phase starts building in from the west on 1/15 building modestly over the KWGA till 2/26 but with east anomalies holding over the KWGA. A weak Inactive MJO is to return 2/20 tracking gently over the KWGA through the end of the model run on 4/10 with a mix of weak east and west anomalies forecast over the KWGA though mostly east anomalies. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias is firmly in control over the dateline today with 4 contour lines reaching east to a point south of California. The fourth contour line is to fade on 3/22. A double contour low pressure bias is over the Indian Ocean today and is to build in coverage with the second contour line holding through 2/20. No realistic change in the coverage or position of either is forecast though the model suggest a shift in the border between the two to 150E at the end of the model run. East anomalies that were previously solid in the Indian Ocean for over a year migrated east through the West Pacific to the East Pacific on 10/1 and have stabilized there.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (1/11) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 and 29 deg isotherms were gone. The 28 deg isotherm line was retrograding from 168E today. The 24 deg isotherm was steady at 120W today. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +3 deg C were locked steady in the West Pacific pushing east to 165W at depth and moving no further east. A broad cooling pattern was controlling the entire equatorial Pacific with anomalies -1 degs C in the far East, weaker than weeks past and over the entire equatorial Pacific at depth. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 12/29 indicates the same thing. Negative anomalies in the East Pacific were the least negative at any time in months. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (1/3) Negative anomalies were forming a wave pushing west from the Galapagos to the dateline on the equator at -10 cms continuous over that area with 2 small pockets to -15 cms at 140W and 150W and fading. Negative anomalies were -5 to -10 cms along the coast of Peru up into Ecuador and reaching north up to Baja and -5 cms into South and North CA. Looking at the big picture, negative anomalies were forming a massive triangle from Cape Mendocino to the intersection of the dateline and equator then into Southern Chile. No positive anomalies were over the equatorial Pacific, except from the dateline and points west of there. But the triangle was not as strong as weeks past but not substantially weakening either.

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: (1/10 The latest images indicate cold anomalies were on the equator from Ecuador west to the dateline and solid in density over that entire and large area. But no markedly cooler imbedded pockets were present in the east and only 2 weak ones were in the west at 150W and 170W and losing intensity even there. And the overall cool pool does not look as cold as weeks and months past. Cool anomalies were losing strength along the coasts of Chile and Peru with stray pockets of warming building in coverage. This clearly indicates a well developed version of La Nina filling the entire equatorial Pacific and down into Chile. But the overall cool intensity of that pool appears to be waning. We are past the peak of this event.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (1/10): Temps continue warming along Chile and Peru reaching west to 135W. And a marked warming trend is occurring on the equator from Ecuador to the Galapagos and weaker out to 120W. The balance again looks like warming is taking the upper hand.
Hi-res Overview: (1/10) A stream of consistent cool water is well entrenched from Chile up to Peru and Ecuador tracking west on the equator out to the dateline and west to New Guinea. But the trail of markedly cool anomalies previously imbedded in that flow is gone. The peak of La Nina has perhaps past.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (1/11) Today's temps were rising markedly from -1.4171 on 12/30 to -0.482 today. A previous peak of -0.595 occurred on 12/11. This area has been on a seesaw rising trend since early October. Temps were previously down to -2.138 on 8/13. The longterm trend has been steady but quite cold since June.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(1/11) Temps were mostly steady after rising to -0.969 on 1/4 and -1.007 today after bottoming out at -1.654 on 11/3, beating the previous low of -0.945 on 9/22. The previous low before that was -0.733 on 9/10. Temps have been on a steady decline since 7/25. Overall the trend appears to be in a steep decline.

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 Uncorrected Data (1/11) Today the model indicates temps rising slightly to -0.95 degs after bottoming out in early Nov at -1.25 degs. The forecast depicts temps slowly rising moving forward to -0.25 degs in May then starting a slow fade to -0.50 degs in Sept. This is likely becoming a 2 year event in that even if temps were to return to normal in July it would take 3-5 months for the upper level circulation to respond in kind. But we suspect a strong El Nino might be building right behind the current La Nina.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Oct 21, 2020 Plume depicts temps are at -1.10 degs today, and are to hold into Dec, then moderating and starting to rise some to -0.89 by Jan 2021 and then neutral by June. Most models are suggesting a moderate to La Nina returning to Neutral in the late Spring. See chart here - link.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad - this is a lagging indicator) (1/11): The daily index was rising to +15.17. The 30 day average was rising to +19.40. The 90 day average was rising to 10.62, clearly in La Nina territory. This index is a lagging indicator.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): June -0.67, May -0.46, April 2020 -0.69, March -0.09, Feb +0.65, Jan +0.42, This index was steady positive Aug 2018 through Feb 2020, and now is steady negative, but only weakly so.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
Per NOAAs index recent values: Jan 2018 +0.29, Feb -0.19, Mar -0.61, April -0.89, May -0.69, June -0.85, July -0.09, Aug -0.43, Sept -0.46, Oct -0.75, Nov -0.78, Dec -0.12, Jan 2019 -0.18, Feb -0.50 Mar -0.23, April +0.10, May +0.14, June -0.11, July +0.44, Aug -0.14, Sept +0.05, Oct -0.96, Nov -0.28, Dec +0.01, Jan 2020 -1.17, This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2018 +0.70. Feb +0.37, Mar -0.05, April +0.11, May +0.11, June -0.04, July +0.11, Aug +0.18, Sept +0.09. No real negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data strongly suggests that could be a possibility. By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 


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

Powerlinessurf Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest

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Stormsurf and Mavericks on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel

Mavericks Invitational Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:

Time Zone Converter By popular demand we've built and easy to use time convert that transposes GMT time to whatever time zone you are located. It's ion left hand column on every page on the site near the link to the swell calculator.

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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