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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Monday, January 27, 2020 11:39 AM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
3.9 - California & 3.5 - 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 1/27 thru Sun 2/2

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   

Last Swell Hitting CA
Weaker Storm track Forecast

On Monday, January 27, 2020 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Barbers Point (Buoy 238) : Seas were 5.8 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 4.7 ft @ 13.6 secs from 311 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 8.5 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 7.2 ft @ 13.5 secs from 318 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.9 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 2.8 ft @ 14.1 secs from 266 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north at 0-2 kts. Water temperature 59.9 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 7.1 ft @ 14.4 secs from 287 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.4 ft @ 12.0 secs from 264 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.5 ft @ 14.7 secs from 246 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 3.1 ft @ 15.6 secs from 282 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 11.5 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 6.6 ft @ 16.9 secs from 293 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was west at 6-10 kts. Water temp 54.1 degs (013), 54.9 degs (012) and 55.0 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 (1/27) in North and Central CA swell from a gale that developed on the dateline was hitting producing waves at double overhead on the sets and lined up and clean with light offshore winds. Protected breaks were 1-2 ft overhead and lined up and clean and mostly overpowering the sandbars. At Santa Cruz surf was 2-3 ft overhead and lined up and clean with no wind. In Southern California/Ventura waves were chest high on the sets and clean and lined up and occasionally peeling but a bit inconsistent. In North Orange Co surf was chest to head high on the sets and clean and lined up but inconsistent. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks had sets at waist to chest high and clean and lined up and soft. North San Diego's best breaks had waves at shoulder high and clean and soft. Hawaii's North Shore was still getting Dateline swell with waves 3-4 ft overhead with bigger sets at top spots and clean and lined up with light wind. The South Shore was thigh to maybe waist high and clean with light winds early. The East Shore was getting wrap around swell with waves chest high or so and heavily textured and warbled from modest easterly trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Monday (1/27) in California and Hawaii swell was hitting from a gale that developed again on the dateline Wed-Fri (1/24) with 40 ft seas aimed southeast but not making it into the Gulf. In California swell was also hitting but fading from a weaker and far smaller gale that formed in the Western Gulf Fri-Sat (1/25) producing a small area of 36 ft seas aimed east. And a broad but weak system developed just west of the dateline Sat-Mon (1/27) producing 26-28 ft seas aimed east. But after that things quiet down. A small gael is forecast tracking east through the Gulf Mon (1/27) with 28-30 ft seas aimed east at California. And a stronger system is forecast in the Northern Gulf on Tues-Wed (1/29) producing 44 ft seas aimed northeast targeting mainly only North Canada. And a broad gale is forecast developing just off the Kuril's Sat-Sun (2/2) producing 33 ft seas aimed southeast. In general a weaker pattern is forecast.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Monday (1/27) the jetstream was consolidated pushing east off North Japan on the 37N latitude line with winds 190 kts reaching almost to the dateline forming a broad but shallow trough there offering some support for gale development then tracking east into the Central Gulf of Alaska before splitting at 150W with the northern branch weakly pushing into Oregon and the southern branch limping into Baja. Over the next 72 hours the trough is to push east and deepening just east of the dateline on Wed (1/29) being fed by 150 kts winds offering better support for gale development there with the split more pronounced off California. Beyond 72 hours starting Thurs (1/30) the trough is to deepen and starting pinching north of Hawaii while lifting northeast offering some support for gale development in the Northern Gulf. By late Fri (1/31) winds are to be building off Japan at 180 kts with a new trough building north of there offering support for gale development and pushing to the dateline on Sun (2/2). the split is to be holding solid east of there with the split point at 165W. The northern branch is to be tracking north up into the Northern Gulf offering nothing and then pushing into Washington holding into Mon (2/3).

Surface Analysis
On Monday (1/27) swell was fading in Hawaii and building in California from another gale that built on the Dateline (see Another Dateline Storm below). Swell from a small gale that developed in the Gulf was intermixed with the Dateline swell in California (see Gulf Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours starting Sat PM (1/25) a broad area of 30-40 kt northwest winds were streaming off the North Kuril Islands reaching the Dateline producing up to 28 ft seas over a moderate sized area aimed southeast at 40N 163E aimed southeast. Fetch held into Sun AM (1/26) with the core still west of the dateline producing 28 ft seas at 37N 167E. In the evening the fetch was fading from 30-35 kts and shrinking in coverage with 23 ft seas over a broad area centered near 36N 175E aimed east. On Mon AM (1/27) the fetch was fading at 30-35 kts in one small pocket and seas 20-22 ft at 35-45N 170E aimed east. This system is to be gone after that. Possible smallish swell for Hawaii.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Wed (1/29) building to 6.7 ft @ 14-15 secs mid-day (9.5 ft). Swell fading Thurs (1/30) from 6.0 ft @ 14 secs (8.0 ft). Swell Direction: 315 degrees

Another gale is to start building in the Northern Gulf on Tues PM (1/28) with 50 kt north west winds and seas building from 35 ft at 49N 150.5W aimed east. On Wed AM (1/29) the gale is to lift northeast with 50-55 kt west winds in the extreme Northern Gulf with seas building to 44 ft at 51.5N 143W aimed east. The gale is to be moving inland in the evening and no longer of interest. Maybe some sideband swell to radiate southeast towards mainly the Pacific Northwest. Something to monitor.


Another Dateline Storm
Another gale developed off the Kuril Islands Tues PM (1/21) with 40 kt northwest winds over a smallish area and seas building from 23 ft at 41N 161E aimed southeast. The gale built while approaching the dateline Wed AM (1/22) with 45-50 kt northwest winds and seas building from 33 ft over a solid area at 42N 168.5E aimed southeast. In the evening northwest winds were 45 kts solid just west of the dateline with 39 ft seas at 43N 172.5E aimed east. More of the same was occurring Thurs AM (1/23) with the gale creeping east producing 40-45 kt northwest winds and 39 ft seas at 42.5N 177.5E aimed southeast. The gale is to stall in the evening with a broad area of 35-40 kt northwest winds and seas 33 ft at 43N 179W aimed southeast. On Fri AM (1/24) northwest winds to hold at 40 kts but retrograding west some aimed east-southeast with seas dropping from 27 ft over a broad area at 39N 172W aimed east and southeast with new seas 32 ft over a tiny area up at 46N 172E aimed southeast. The gale is to fade in the evening with 26 ft seas fading over a tiny area at 45.5N 178E aimed southeast. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Residuals fading Mon AM (1/27) from 6.2 ft @ 14 secs (8.0 ft). Swell fading Tues (1/28) from 4.5 ft @ 13-14 secs (6.0 ft). Swell Direction: 314-323 degrees

North CA: Swell building on Mon (1/27) pushing 8.0 ft @ 16 secs (12.5 ft) late AM. Swell fading Tues AM (1/28) from 9.1 ft @ 15 secs early (13.5 ft). Swell fading Wed AM (1/29) from 6.7 ft @ 13 secs (8.5 ft). Swell Direction: 296-297 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon AM (1/27) building through the day and peaking near sunset at 3.0 ft @ 17-18 secs (5.0 ft). Swell steady on Tues (1/28) at 4.2 ft @ 15 secs (6.0 ft). Swell fading on Wed (1/29) from 3.2 ft @ 14 secs (4.0 ft). Residuals on Thurs (1/30) fading from 2.5 ft @ 13 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 301-302 degrees


Gulf Gale
Yet another small gale developed in the Central Gulf on Fri AM (1/24) producing 40 kt west winds over a small area and seas 39 ft at 42.5N 153.5W aimed east. In the evening the gale was tracking east-northeast with 40-45 kt west winds over a tiny area and 35 ft seas at 44.5N 150.5W aimed east. Fetch lifted east-northeast on Sat AM (1/25) with 35 kt west winds and seas 30 ft at 46N 147W aimed east. The gale was lifting northeast off Washington in the evening with 30 kt west winds and 25 ft seas at 45N 143W aimed east. The gale faded from there. Small swell possible for the Pacific Northwest down into North CA and merging/intermingled with swell from 'Another Dateline Storm' above.

North CA: Swell fading on Mon (1/27) from 4.8 ft @ 13 secs (6.0 ft). Swell Direction: 292-297 degrees


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 Monday (1/27) southwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for Cape Mendocino and north winds 15 kts from Big Sur southward. Light rain for Pt Arena northward all day. No snow for the Sierra. Tues (1/28) west winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for Bodega Bay northward early fading to light winds. North winds 15+ kts all day from big Sur to Pt Conception. Rain from San Francisco north all day. No snow forecast for the Sierra. Wed (1/29) north winds are forecast at 15 kts from Pt Reyes southward and 20 ks for Big Sur to Pt Conception. Light rain for northern Cape Mendocino. Thurs (1/30) north winds 15-20 kts are forecast for Pt Arena south to Pt Conception. High pressure building with no precip forecast for the state. Fri (1/31) north winds are forecast at 15 kts from Southern Cape Mendocino south to Monterey bay and fading steadily through the day. Sat (2/1) light winds are forecast for all of North and Central CA all day. Sun (2/1) a front is to be pushing south winds north winds 20 kts for all of North CA early and north winds 20 + kts for all of North and Central CA late afternoon and up to 35 kts for Pt Reyes. Light rain for the Northern Sierra in the evening with snow developing down to Tahoe. Monday (2/3) north winds are forecast at 30 kts for all of Central CA and 25 kts for North CA all day. Light snow fading from Tahoe down into the Central Sierra early.

Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 1, 1, 0 and 0 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 local gale is forecast developing 900 nmiles northwest of Hawaii on Thurs AM (1/30) producing 30 kt northwest winds and seas building from 20 ft at 30N 167W aimed southeast. In the evening fetch is to build at 40-45 kt from the north aimed at Hawaii with 26 ft seas at 34.5N 164W aimed south. On Fri AM (1/31) fetch is to start lifting northeast fast with residual 35 kt north fetch trying to hold aimed at the Islands with 24 ft seas fading at 34N 157W aimed south. The gale to dissipate from there. Some raw swell is possible for the Islands to start off February.

A broad gale is forecast building just off Kamchatka on Sat AM (2/1) with 50 kt north winds and seas building from 35 ft at 49.5N 164.5E aimed south. In the evening winds to hold at 50 kts from the north with 36 ft seas at 50.5N 165Ew aimed south. Fetch fading and holding stationary Sun AM (2/2) at 40-45 kts with 33 ft seas at 49N 166E aimed southeast at Hawaii. fetch is to be fading fast in the evening from 35 kts with 28 ft seas fading at 47N 173E aimed southeast at Hawaii. Something to monitor.

South Pacific

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



MJO/ENSO Forecast


Active MJO Fading

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. A bit of a recovery occurred during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water hold in a pool off Peru and has not changed as of late Jan 2020.

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 (1/26) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the dateline and then turning moderately west over the Southern KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific then moderate westerly over the dateline and strong westerly over all the KWGA focused on the southern half.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (1/27) weak to moderate west anomalies were filling the KWGA. A neutral wind pattern was over the East equatorial Pacific. The forecast calls for modest west anomalies holding in the KWGA through the end of the model on 2/3 and up to moderate strength on the dateline starting 2/1.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (1/26) A very weak Active MJO signal was filling the KWGA. The statistic model indicates a neutral MJO signal is forecast at day 5 turning weakly Inactive at day 10 and moderately Inactive on the dateline at day 15 with the Active Phase building strong over the Maritime Continent. The dynamic model indicates effectively the same thing but with the Active Phase more over the Indian Ocean at day 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (1/27) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was very weak over the Western Pacific today and is to track east to the Indian Ocean at day 15 and at weak status. The GEFS model suggests the same thing initially, but with the Active Phase quickly tracking to the Indian Ocean and building to moderate status and easing east.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (1/27) This model depicts a weak Active MJO over the East Pacific today. The Active Phase is to push east while slowly losing strength pushing into Central America on 2/11 while a moderate Inactive MJO signal eases into the West Pacific 2/8 pushing to the East Pacific vaporizing at the end of the model run on 3/7. A weak Active Phase is to be building over the West Pacific at that time.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (1/26) This model depicts the Active Phase was filling the eastern KWGA and just past it's peak with moderate west anomalies filling the KWGA. The Active Phase is to fade out moving east of the KWGA on 2/1 but with moderate west anomalies filling the KWGA through 2/3. Beyond that a neutral MJO is forecast but with moderate west anomalies holding through the end of the model run on 2/23.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (1/27) This model depicts the Active Phase filling the KWGA with modest west anomalies in control there. The Active Phase of the MJO is to hold while tracking east through the KWGA with moderate west anomalies on the dateline through 3/9. The Inactive Phase is forecast developing 3/4 tracking east through 3/20 but with west anomalies holding in the core of the KWGA. A weak Active Phase is to again set up 3/21 holding through the end of the model run on 4/25 but with weak to modest west anomalies in play through that duration. 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 hold to 3/31 then fade. A high pressure bias built in the Indian Ocean and is to hold for the foreseeable future. East anomalies set up in the Indian Ocean starting 10/22/19 and are to hold through 2/28 then fading but still present through the end of the model run.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (1/27) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm was back pushing east to 175E while the 29 deg isotherm was steady at 172W. The 28 deg isotherm line had backtracked from 157W to 164W and steady at 163W today. The 24 deg isotherm was again pushing into Ecuador. Anomaly wise, Kelvin Wave #6 was under the dateline at +4 degs tracking from the Maritime Continent moving east with it's leading edge at 140W. Lesser warm water pushing into Ecuador. Warm water was filling the entire equatorial subsurface Pacific from 110 meters upwards. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 1/23 indicates warm water had formed a Kelvin Wave extending from 125E under the Dateline east to 140W at +3 degrees with lesser warm water pushing east from there (impacting Ecuador). The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (1/23) A broad pocket of +5 cms anomalies is tracking east between 165E-145W and pockets east from there into Ecuador. .

Surface Water Temps
The more warm water in the equatorial East Pacific means more storm production in the North Pacific during winter months (roughly speaking). Cold water in that area has a dampening effect. Regardless of what the atmospheric models and surface winds suggest, actual water temperatures are a ground-truth indicator of what is occurring in the ocean. All data is from blended infrared and microwave sensors.
Satellite Imagery
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4: (1/26) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate modest warm anomalies were along the coast of Chile up into Peru, Ecuador and Central America then streaming west on the equator from the Galapagos. Cool anomalies were fading directly along the coast of Peru. Weak cool anomalies were also holding in a pocket south of the equator and well off Peru filling the area from 10S south down to 20S reaching west to 115W and east to 85W. Weak warm anomalies were on and north of the equator building while tracking west to the dateline.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (1/26): Today a broad area of modest warming was filling the area from Chile and Peru west out to 120W and building some in coverage. Stronger warming extended on the equator from Ecuador out to 130W. This was a new development, likely attributable to the demise of east anomalies and the Inactive Phase of the MJO and the Active Phase building over that same area. The short term trend is towards weak warming in the Southeast Pacific.
Hi-res Overview: (1/26) A steady pocket of cool anomalies is holding south of the equator starting at 5S and just off Peru reaching west out to 120W and steady compared to weeks past. Cool anomalies were fading out on the equator from Ecuador out to 120W with weak warm water building there. 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: (1/27) Today's temps were rising some at +0.453 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:
(1/27) Temps were steady today at +0.360. 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 (1/23) 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 rising to +0.9 degs on 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 -0.80 in early Oct and stabilizing there. 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 Jan 2020 Plume depicts temps are at +0.42 degs, and are to slow fade to neutral +0.00 in June 2020, then holding there till Sept 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) (1/27): The daily index was weakly negative today at -0.56. The 30 day average was weakly negative and rising at -0.30. The 90 day average was rising slightly at -5.69, 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 (1/19):
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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing:

Stormsurf and Mavericks on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel

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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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