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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, January 16, 2020 1:59 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 & 2.1 - 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 1/13 thru Sun 1/19

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   

Series of Gales Forecast
More to Follow

On Thursday, January 16, 2020 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Barbers Point (Buoy 238) : Seas were 3.2 ft @ 7.7 secs with swell 2.1 ft @ 8.3 secs from 164 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 5.0 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 3.6 ft @ 10.0 secs from 45 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.8 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 1.6 ft @ 13.8 secs from 234 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southeast at 4 kts. Water temperature 60.4 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.2 ft @ 13.1 secs from 299 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.2 ft @ 15.5 secs from 237 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.2 ft @ 14.5 secs from 243 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 2.4 ft @ 13.4 secs from 275 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 13.5 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 9.0 ft @ 11.8 secs from 300 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was west at 14-21 kts. Water temp 52.9 degs (013), 55.0 degs (012) 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 Thursday (1/16) in North and Central CA a mixture of Gulf and local windswell was producing waves at 10-12 ft and lumpy and warbled and mushed and unfocused but not whitecapped. Protected breaks were 1-2 ft overhead and fairly clean and lined up with a little warble intermixed with far cleaner surface conditions but closed out. At Santa Cruz surf was 3 ft overhead dna trashed chopped mess with south wind and rain. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist high on the sets and lined up and clean with no wind. In North Orange Co surf was waist high or so on the bigger sets and clean but weak. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were knee high and clean. North San Diego's best breaks had waves at waist to chest high and clean and lined up. Hawaii's North Shore was getting trade winds generated northeast windswell with waves chest to head high and clean and lined up but soft. The South Shore was waist high and soft with some surface bump running through it. The East Shore was getting east windswell with waves head high to 1 ft overhead and lightly chopped from fading moderate easterly trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (1/16) in California windswell was hitting generated by a local low pressure system that pushed into the Pacific Northwest late Wed (1/15) generating 26 ft seas but encased in local windswell from a front passing through the area associated with the same low. In Hawaii only windswell was hitting generated from a high pressure system that has been locked over the Southern Gulf of Alaska for a while. The good news is a significant pattern change is taking shape starting today. A a small gale building in the Gulf on Thurs-Fri (1/17) falling southeast producing 30 ft seas aimed southeast. And another is to form on the dateline late Thurs (1/16) pushing into the Northwestern Gulf of Alaska Fri-Sat (1/18) producing a moderate area of up to 36 ft seas pushing southeast into Sun (1/19). That gale is to redevelop off North CA Mon-Tues (1/21) producing up to 36 ft seas aimed aimed east. And another gale is to track over form on the southern dateline region Sun-Tues (1/21) producing 34 ft seas aimed east. And yet one more is to form right behind on the dateline Thurs (1/23) with 28 ft seas aimed east. The Active Phase of the MJO is starting to build in the far West Pacific and expected to fuel a stronger and more positive storm track.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Thursday (1/16) the jetstream was consolidated pushing east off Japan with 120 kts winds forming a weak trough over and just east of the Kuril Islands and now starting to push further to the east reaching just over the dateline offering some support for gale development mainly over the Kuril Islands. But east of there the jet was very split and highly fragmented and incoherent but with one small trough just off the Pacific Northwest coast being fed by 130 kts winds offering some support for gale development there, but mainly just weather along the coast. Over the next 72 hours a significant change is forecast and by Sat (1/18) the jet is to be consolidated reaching over the width of the North Pacific tracking east on the 35N latitude line pushing into Central CA start losing energy in the west but energy previously there pushing hard to the east with the split completely gone by early Fri (1/17) and almost consolidated pushing up to the California. A trough is to start building in the Gulf of Alaska on Sun (1/19) being fed by 150 kts winds offering good support for gale development. And another trough is to set up off the Kuril Islands also providing support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours the Gulf trough is to push east into the Pacific Northwest late on Mon (1/20) offering support for gale development while the Kuril trough pushes east to the dateline. And by Wed-Thurs (1/23) the Kuril/Dateline trough is to hold on the dateline and building still offering support for gale development while a new trough builds in the Gulf also offering support. A much improved environment to support gale development is forecast in the weeks ahead as the Active Phase of the MJO builds in the West Pacific.

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (1/16) no groundswell of interest was in the water.

Over the next 72 hours and improved pattern is forecast:

Gulf Gale
Starting Thurs PM (1/16) a small gale is to start building in the Northwestern Gulf falling southeast producing 35 kt northwest winds and seas building from 18 ft at 45N 158W aimed southeast. That fetch is to grown some in coverage on Fri AM (1/17) with northwest winds 45-50 kts and seas building to 30 ft at 43N 150W aimed southeast. In the evening the gale is to sweep east producing 40 kt west winds a bit off Cape Mendocino CA with 30 ft seas at 42N 142W aimed east. On Sat AM (1/18) the gale is to be isolated just off the Central Canadian Coast producing 30-35 kt west winds off the Pacific Northwest with seas 26 ft off Oregon at 44N 135W with swell from it radiating towards the CA coast. Something to monitor.


Northwest Gulf Gale
Another low pressure system is to develop off Japan on Wed (1/15) tracking northeast fast then regrouping over the North Dateline region Thurs PM (1/16) producing 40 kt northwest winds with seas 28 ft at 45.5N 179E aimed east. On Fri AM (1/17) 40 kt northwest winds are to be falling southeast in the Northwestern Gulf with 30 ft seas up at 47.5N 174W aimed southeast. The gale is to be reorganizing in the evening producing a solid area of 40-45 kt northwest winds tracking southeast through the Northwestern Gulf with 36 ft seas building at 46N 169W aimed southeast. On Sat AM (1/18) the gale is to tracking southeast with 35-40 kt northwest winds in the Central Gulf generating 33 ft seas at 43N 161W aimed southeast. In the evening the gale is to fall southeast while fading with 35-40 kt northwest winds and seas 31 ft at 44N 158W aimed southeast. Remnant energy is to be fading Sun AM (1/19) with 30 kts northwest winds losing coverage and seas fading from 27 ft at 39N 150W aimed southeast. The gale is to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.


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


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Thurs AM (1/16) a front was pushing from San Francisco to Pt Conception with southwest winds 25 kts for SF and 15-20 kts elsewhere turning more westerly through the day. Steady moderate rain is to be building south from NCal early to San Diego in the evening. Heavy snow building for Tahoe into Southern CA through the day and evening. 18 inches of accumulation for Tahoe. Fri (1/17) light winds are forecast all day but building from the south for Pt Arena northward to 30 kts during the evening. Light rain for Cape Mendocino early. Snow fading for mainly Tahoe early. Sat (1/18) a front is to be impacting Cape Mendocino early with south winds 30+ kts from Pt Arena northward and light south winds down to Pt Reyes fading through the day but still 20+ kts for Cape Mendocino at sunset. Rain moving no further south than Cape Mendocino. No snow for the Sierra. On Sun (1/19) light winds are forecast for all of North and Central CA. No rain is forecast. Mon (1/20) south winds are forecast for North CA at 15-20 kts early and 5-10 kts for Central CA building to 20 kts or greater from Monterey Bay northward. Rain developing through the day from Monterey Bay northward and to Pt Conception in the evening. Snow for higher elevations of the entire Sierra in the evening. Tues (1/21) southwest winds are forecast north of Pt Conception 10-15 kts but up to 20 kts for North CA turning northwest later up north. Rain expected all day for all of Ca fading later. Solid to heavy snow for the entire Sierra fading in the evening. Wed (1/22) northwest winds are to be 15 kts for NCal and 20 kts for Central CA holding all day. No real rain forecast. Thurs (1/23) north winds are forecast at 10 kts for North CA and 15 kts for Central CA all day. No precipitation forecast.

Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 53, 58, 44 and 25 inches respectively.

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


South Pacific

Surface Analysis
No swell producing fetch is occurring.

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch is 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 series of gales are forecast:

Remnants of the Northwestern Gulf Gale (see above) is to start redeveloping in the Central Gulf on Sun AM 91/19) producing a small area of 40 kt northwest winds and seas building from 24 ft at 41N 160W aimed southeast. The tiny gael is to track southeast in the evening with 40 kt west winds and seas building to 28 ft at 40N 150W aimed east. On Mon AM (1/20) 45 kt northwest winds are to be approaching the North CA coast with 31 ft seas at 39N 142W aimed east. In the evening west winds at 40 kts are to be just off Cape Mendocino CA with 33 ft seas at 39N 135W aimed east. The gale is to fade off Pt Reyes on Tues AM (1/21) with seas fading from 26 ft at 38N 129W aimed east.

On Mon AM (1/20) another small gale is to be approaching the dateline with 40 kt west winds and seas 35 ft at 38N 173.5E aimed east. The gale is to track east in the evening with 40 kt west winds and seas 33 ft at 37.5N 178.5W aimed east. On Tues AM (1/21) the gale is to be moving into the Western Gulf with a building area of 40 kt northwest winds and seas 33 ft at 38N 172W aimed east. The gale is to push east with 35 kts northwest winds over a solid area and seas 33 ft at 38.5W 165.5W aimed east. more of the same is expected Wed AM (1/22) with 35 kt northwest winds and seas 30 ft at 39N 160W aimed east. The gael is to fade in the evening with 30 kt west winds and 27 ft seas at 38N 154W aimed east. The gale is to fade from there.

And yet another gale is to be behind that developing over the dateline on Wed AM (1/22) with 35+ kt northwest winds and seas building from 22 ft at 38N 175E aimed east. In the evening winds are to build to 40 kts in pockets over the dateline with 24 ft seas at 40N 180W aimed east. More of the same is forecast Thurs AM (1/23) with 28 ft seas at 42N 177.5E aimed southeast. The gale is to fade but more organized in the evening with 35 kt northwest winds and seas 26 ft seas at 40N 177W.


South Pacific

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



MJO/ENSO Forecast


Strong Active MJO Setting Up

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: 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.

Fall/Winter 2019/2020 = 5.0/4.0 (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 and that a weak borderline El Nino from 2018 is fading out, but not yet completely gone, especially in the atmosphere. Likewise it looks like a La Nina ocean temperature pattern is developing in the equatorial East Pacific, with cooler than normal waters tracking west on the equator. We assumed El Nino like momentum will hold for a while in the atmosphere will take a while to sense that the ocean temperature pattern has changed. But once it does, a turn towards a La Nina like atmospheric pattern will start to develop. that transition is expected in the late Nov-early Dec timeframe. Even so, moderation from the PDO might prevent La Nina from fully developing. Given all that, there is decent probability for a normal start to the Fall surf season (in the Northern Hemisphere) meaning a normal amount of number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in a normal levels of swell, with normal duration and normal period. But by mid-Dec 2019, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start fading and as a result, swell production should fade slightly as well. This pattern is expected to hold through April 2020.

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 (1/15) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing but weaker to the dateline and then turning hard westerly over the Southern KWGA. Anomalies were light east over the far East equatorial Pacific turning neutral over the Central Pacific then moderate westerly over the dateline and strong westerly over all the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (1/16) strong west anomalies were filling the KWGA. East anomalies were strong east of the KWGA filling the East Pacific. The forecast calls for moderate to strong west anomalies holding in the KWGA through 1/19 then fading to moderate plus strength through the end of the model run on 1/23. East anomalies are to fade covering only a tiny area south of California at the end of the model run.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (1/15) A solid Active MJO signal was filling the KWGA. The statistic model indicates the Active Phase is forecast slowly easing east but still filling the KWGA at the end of the model run 15 days out. The dynamic model indicates the same thing but with the Active Phase weakening to weak status at day 15. The 2 models are generally in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (1/16) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was strong over the far East Maritime Continent today and is to track east to the Central Pacific at day 15, but with 2 of the 3 members fading to weak status while one has it at modest strength. The GEFS model suggests the Active Phase is strong over the far East Maritime Continent today and is to push to the West Pacific at day 4 and strong in strength then stalling and weakening to modest status at day 8 fading to weak status at day 15 but still over the West Pacific.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (1/16) This model depicts a strong Active MJO over the Central Pacific today but filling the entirety of the equatorial Pacific. The Active Phase is to push east holding strength then into Central America on 2/5 while a modest Inactive MJO signal eases into the West Pacific on 1/29 pushing to the East Pacific and then into Central America at the end of the model run on 2/25. At that time a modest Active Phase is to be building over the West Pacific.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (1/15) This model depicts the Active Phase was filling the KWGA today with strong west anomalies filling the KWGA. Moderate east anomalies are filling the East Pacific. The Active Phase is to build with strong west anomalies filling the KWGA through 1/24. Beyond that west anomalies are to hold though weaker 1/28 through then end of the model run on 2/12. West anomalies are to push into California 1/20-1/28.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (1/16) This model depicts the Active Phase filling the West KWGA with strong west anomalies there while east anomalies were over the East Pacific with a fading Inactive Phase exiting east there. The Active Phase of the MJO is to build while tracking east through the KWGA with strong west anomalies on the dateline through 1/22 and weakening into 2/2 . The Active Phase is to hold into 3/7 with weak to modest west anomalies in control. A weak Inactive Phase is forecast 2/1-2/19 followed by a weak Active Phase 2/18-3/12 but with weak west anomalies holding in the KWGA. A weak Inactive Phase is forecast developing 3/23 through the end of the model run on 4/13 with west anomalies fading. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias with 2 contour lines in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to the California coast. The second contour line is to fade on 4/2. A high pressure bias built in the Indian Ocean starting 10/22 and is to hold through the end of the model run. A strong area of east anomalies in the Indian Ocean is forecast to hold to 2/5 then weaken but not gone.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (1/16) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm was stable at 180W while the 29 deg isotherm was retrograding from 170W to 172W today. The 28 deg isotherm line was backtracking from 157W to 161W today. The 24 deg isotherm previously retrograded to 110W but today was pushing into Ecuador. Anomaly wise, Kelvin Wave #6 was under the dateline at +2 degs tracking from the Maritime Continent moving east with it's leading edge at 108W pushing east. Kelvin Wave #5 has fully pushed into Ecuador. Warm water was filling the entire equatorial subsurface Pacific from 110 meters upwards. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 1/8 indicates warm water had formed a Kelvin Wave extending from 120E under the Dateline east to 103W at +2-3 degrees with lesser warm water pushing east from there then rebuilding to +4 degrees and impacting Ecuador (the remnants of Kelvin Wave #5). The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (1/8) A broad pocket of +5 cms anomalies is tracking east between 170E-95W. Very weak positive anomalies were in a pocket along Ecuador reaching south to Northern Peru and up into Central America.

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: (1/15) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate modest warm anomalies were building in coverage some along the coast of Chile up into Peru, Ecuador and Central America then streaming west on the equator over the Galapagos but far weaker there than days past out to the dateline from 10S northward. And if anything a stream of cool anomalies were on the equator from the Galapagos to 120W. Weak cool anomalies were also south of the equator off Peru filling the area from 10S south down beyond 20S reaching west to 115W. Weak warm anomalies were on and north of the equator building while tracking west to the dateline.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (1/15): Today warming was filling the area from Chile and Peru west out to 100W and fading in coverage. Solid cool anomalies were extending on the equator from Ecuador out to 125W. This was a new development, likely attributable to east anomalies and the Inactive Phase of the MJO moving over that area. The short term trend is towards weak warming in the Southeast Pacific but cooling directly on the equator.
Hi-res Overview: (1/15) A weak fading area of cool anomalies is holding south of the equator starting at 5S off Peru reaching out to 120W and building back north compared to weeks past. Cool anomalies were on the equator from Ecuador out to 120W. Otherwise gentle warming was along Chile up to Peru lifting north up to Ecuador then pushing west just north of the equator, out to the dateline. Warmer than normal water was north of the equator reaching north to 20N. Water temps appear to be stable mildly favoring El Nino.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (1/16) Today's temps were falling some today at -0.070 but previously much lower down at -0.900 on 12/12. Temps peaked prior at +1.55 degrees on 12/2 after a long runup from negative anomalies in October. It now appears we are in a falling trend.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(1/14) Temps were rising slightly today at +0.389. Temps peaked on 11/14 at +0.509 degs, fell some to -0.018 on 11/28, and are now trying to rebuild. The trend has been steadily generally upwards since Sept when they bottomed out at -0.6 degs (9/14).

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 (1/16) Actual's indicate a cooling trend set up late summer with temps -0.2 degs in mid-Sept then the trend started rising to +0.25 degs in early Oct holding to Dec 1 and then rising to +0.7 degs Jan 1. The forecast has temps holding at +0.7 degrees till Feb 1 then slowly falling from there to 0.0 in mid-May then diving negative appearing to be moving to La Nina down at -0.70 in early Oct. According to this model a neutral sea surface temperature pattern biased slightly warm is forecast for the Winter and Spring, then possibly turning towards La Nina in the Summer.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Oct 2019 Plume depicts temps are at +0.25 degs, and are to hold in the +0.25 deg range into May 2020, then fading slightly to +0.15 in June 2020. 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) (1/16): The daily index was negative today at -13.00 and has been negative the last 5 days. The 30 day average was negative and rising at -5.22. The 90 day average was falling slightly at -5.76, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was developing.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): Dec +0.45, Nov +1.03, Oct +0.27 Sept +1.11, August +0.60, July +0.75, June -0.32, May +1.10, April +0.30, March +1.0, Feb +1.29, Jan +0.193. This index has been steadily positive but still indicates mostly ENSO neutral conditions (not El Nino).

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
Per NOAAs index recent values: June 2017 +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 -0.19, 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 -0.23, Feb -0.55 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): June 2017 +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, 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

Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for the week starting Sunday (1/12):
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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing:

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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