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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2020 4:51 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
3.9 - 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   

Swells Hitting CA & HI
Weaker Storm Track Modeled

On Wednesday, January 29, 2020 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Barbers Point (Buoy 238) : Seas were 6.4 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 4.7 ft @ 13.5 secs from 298 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): This buoy has not updated recently.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 7.0 ft @ 7.1 secs with swell 2.9 ft @ 13.5 secs from 294 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 16-18 kts. Water temperature 60.3 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 6.5 ft @ 14.8 secs from 293 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.6 ft @ 13.5 secs from 255 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.6 ft @ 13.6 secs from 261 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 4.7 ft @ 12.8 secs from 276 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 12.0 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 8.1 ft @ 14.9 secs from 278 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 18-21 kts. Water temp 54.3 degs (013), 54.7 degs (012) and 55.2 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 Wednesday (1/29) in North and Central CA swell from a small local gale that tracked east through the Gulf was hitting producing waves at 10-12 ft and lined up but a bit chunky with clean surface conditions and light nearshore wind. Protected breaks were 2 ft overhead and lined up and mostly overpowering the sandbars with clean conditions but a bit lumpy. At Santa Cruz surf was 2-3 ft overhead and lined up and clean with no wind but a little warbled. In Southern California/Ventura waves were head high on the sets and clean and lined up but inconsistent and a bit warbled and soft though wind was calm. In North Orange Co surf was chest high on the sets and clean and lined up but inconsistent and very soft. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks had sets at thigh to waist high and clean and soft. North San Diego's best breaks had waves at head high to 1 ft overhead and clean and lined up but soft. Hawaii's North Shore was getting a new pulse of Dateline swell with waves 4 ft overhead and lined up and clean at top spots with light wind. The South Shore was thigh to maybe waist high and clean with light winds early. The East Shore was getting minimal wrap around swell with waves thigh high and pretty clean with almost no wind blowing.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Wednesday (1/29) in California swell was hitting from a local gael that formed in the Eastern Gulf tracking east Mon-Tues (1/28) with up to 30 ft seas. In Hawaii swell was hitting from a broad but weak gale that developed just west of the dateline Sat-Mon (1/27) producing 26-28 ft seas aimed east. A solid gale is forecast in the Northern Gulf on Tues-Wed (1/29) producing 43 ft seas aimed northeast targeting mainly only North Canada. And a broad gale is forecast developing just off the Kuril's Sat-Mon (2/3) producing up to 33 ft seas aimed southeast. Maybe another gale to follow in the far Northwest Pacific. But 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 Wednesday (1/29) the jetstream was consolidated pushing east off Southern Japan on the 28N latitude line with winds 150-160 kts pushing over the dateline forming a broad trough over the dateline and another over Japan offering some support for gale development then tracking east into the Gulf of Alaska splitting weakly north of Hawaii at 160W with the northern branch pushing solidly northeast up to Vancouver Island and the southern branch weak and pushing over Southern Baja. Over the next 72 hours the dateline trough is to push east start pinching off on Fri (1/31) over the Central Gulf offering less support for gale development then lifting northeast on Sat (2/1) getting better organized and quickly pushing inland over North Canada. At the same time the trough over Japan is to track east fully filling the Western North Pacific being fed by 150 kt winds and offering good support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours Sun (2/3) that trough is to deepen centered on the dateline with winds building to 190 kts streaming off Japan on Tues (2/4) offering good support for gale development. Late Wed (2/5) the jet is to be solid still pushing off Japan on the 31N latitude line reaching to a point just east of the dateline and starting to form yet another trough off the Kuril Islands. East of there the jet is to split but with the split point easing east to 155W with the northern branch ridging hard to the northeast pushing into Central Canada with the southern branch pushing equally as hard into Southern Baja forming a strong ridge over the Eastern Gulf offering no support for gale development there.

Surface Analysis
On Wednesday (1/29) swell was hitting Hawaii from a gale previously in the Northwest Pacific (See Northwest Pacific Gale below). Swell was hitting California from a broad gale previously west of the dateline (see Another Dateline Storm below). And swell from a small gale that formed in the Eastern Gulf tracking east was also hitting California (see East Gulf Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours swell from a gale in the Northern Gulf is to be radiating towards CA (see North Gulf Gale below).


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.

North CA: Swell fading Wed AM (1/29) from 6.7 ft @ 13 secs (8.5 ft). Swell Direction: 296-297 degrees

Southern CA: 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


Northwest Pacific Gale
On 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 dissipated 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


East Gulf Gale
On Mon AM (1/27) a gale developed in the Central Gulf with a small area of 45 kt west winds and seas building to 28 ft over a small area at 41.5N 151W aimed east. In the evening the gale tracked east with 35-40 kt west winds and 28 ft seas at 41.5N 140.5W aimed east. The gale dissipated Tues AM (1/28) with seas from previous fetch fading from 22 ft at 42N 134W aimed east.

North CA: Swell arrival starting Wed (1/29) at 6 AM with period 17 secs and size building fast. Swell to peak at 10 AM with pure swell 8.0 ft @ 15 secs. Swell fading in the late afternoon. Swell Direction: 289-293 degrees


North Gulf Gale
Starting Tues AM (1/28) another gale was starting to building the Central Gulf lifting northeast fast with 45 kt west winds and seas building from 33 ft at 45.5N 156W aimed east. In the evening the gale was tracking through the Northern Gulf with 50 kt west winds and seas building from 44 ft at 48N 147.5W aimed east. On Wed AM (1/29) the gale was tracking northeast fast with 45 kt west winds in the extreme Northern Gulf with seas fading from 39 ft at 52N 140W 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.

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (1/30) at 5 AM with period 22 secs and size tiny and building steadily. Swell to peak near noon at 8.4-9.2 ft @ 18 secs (15-16 ft). Swell fading fast in the evening. Swell Direction: 303-308 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 Wednesday (1/29) high pressure was trying to ridge into North CA producing north winds at 15 kts from Pt Reyes southward and 20 ks for Big Sur to Pt Conception holding all day. Light rain for northern Cape Mendocino in the evening. Thurs (1/30) north winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for Pt Arena south to Pt Conception and 20 kts late afternoon. High pressure building with no precip forecast for the state. Fri (1/31) north winds are forecast at 10 kts from Bodega Bay south to Pt Conception early fading to calm mid-day. Sat (2/1) light winds are forecast for all of North and Central CA early building from the north to 15-20 kts by late afternoon. Light rain for Cape Mendocino. Sun (2/1) high pressure is to be in control with north winds 30 kts for all of North and Central CA pushing 35 kts for Bodega Bay and holding all day but with peak winds moving south to Morro Bay to Pt Conception late afternoon. Light snow pushing south to Tahoe late morning then fading. Monday (2/3) north winds are forecast at 30 kts for all of North and Central CA all day. Brisk northeast winds for Southern CA at 10-15 kts. No precip. Tuesday (2/4) north to northeast winds are forecast at 10+ kts for all of North and Central CA. Wednesday (2/5) light winds are forecast all day,.

Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 3, 1, 2 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 19 ft at 31N 164W aimed southeast. In the evening fetch is to track east at 30-35 kts from the north aimed at Hawaii with 20 ft seas at 35N 166W aimed south. On Fri AM (1/31) fetch is to start lifting northeast fast with 35 kt north fetch positioned off California with 25 ft seas at 37.5N 148.5W aimed east. The gale to lift northeast fast with a broad area of 30-35 kt west winds off Washington producing 20 ft seas at 40N 137W aimed east. Some raw swell is possible for the Islands to start off February and then into California.

A broad gale is forecast building off the Kuril Islands and Kamchatka on Sat AM (2/1) with up to 45 kt north winds and seas building from 25 ft at 49N 164E aimed southwest targeting only Japan. In the evening 45 kt northeast winds are forecast with 30 ft seas at 50.5N 173E aimed west and of no interest. Fetch building at 45 kts Sun AM (2/2) near the dateline aimed south with 34 ft seas at 51N 173E aimed south but still not really at Hawaii. Fetch is to be fading in the evening from 40 kts with 33 ft seas fading at 48N 173E aimed south perhaps targeting Hawaii. The gale is to track east and fade Mon AM (2/3) with 35 kt north winds and 29 ft seas fading at 45.5N 178E aimed south at Hawaii. In the evening the gale is to fade with 35 kt north winds and seas fading from 25 ft at 46N 178W aimed south at Hawaii. Something to monitor.

Perhaps yet another gale is to develop off the North Kuril Islands on Wed (2/7) producing a tiny area of 45-50 kt west winds and 37 ft seas aimed east over a small area.


South Pacific

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



MJO/ENSO Forecast


Active MJO Now Forecast to Hold

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 (1/28) 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 southern dateline and moderate westerly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (1/29) weak to moderate west anomalies were filling the KWGA. The forecast calls for modest west anomalies holding in the KWGA through 2/4 and up to moderate strength on the dateline starting 2/1. Perhaps some east anomalies to develop in the KWGA the last day of the model run on 2/5.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (1/28) A modest Active MJO signal was filling the KWGA. The statistic model indicates the Active MJO is forecast holding perhaps retrograding slightly to the Western KWGA over the next 15 days. The dynamic model indicates the same thing through day 5, then fading fast with a moderate Inactive MJO signal developing in the core of the KWGA at day 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (1/29) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was very weak over the far Western Pacific today and is to noodle around in that area holding strength. The GEFS model suggests the same thing initially, but with the Active Phase quickly tracking to the Indian Ocean at day 8 then building to moderate status and easing east almost to the Maritime Continent at day 15.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (1/29) This model depicts a weak Active MJO over the West Pacific today. The Active Phase is to push east while slowly losing strength pushing into Central America on 2/23 while a modest Inactive MJO signal eases into the West Pacific 2/13 pushing to the East Pacific and fading out at the end of the model run on 3/9. A modest Active Phase is to be building over the West Pacific at that time.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (1/28) This model depicts the Active Phase was tracking east out of the KWGA with moderate west anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast has the Active Phase tracking east over the East Pacific into 2/5 but with moderate west anomalies filling the KWGA. Beyond that a neutral MJO is forecast but with moderate west anomalies holding through the end of the model run on 2/25.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (1/29) This model depicts the Active Phase filling the KWGA with weak to 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 2/9. After that a weak MJO signal is forecast with weak west anomalies holding in the KWGA trending towards a building but still weak Active MJO starting 3/12 holding through the end of the model run on 4/27 with west anomalies building in coverage and filling the KWGA. 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 3/19 then fade with a single contour line retaining control beyond. 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 possibly starting to weakly rebuild on 4/10 holding 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: (1/29) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm was back pushing east to 174E while the 29 deg isotherm was steady at 172W. The 28 deg isotherm line had backtracked from 157W to 164W but was steady at 163W today. The 24 deg isotherm was again pushing into Ecuador solidly. 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 138W. Lesser warm water was 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-150W and pockets east from there straddling the equator 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: (1/28) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate modest warm anomalies were building solidly today along the coast of Chile up into Peru, Ecuador and Central America then streaming west on the equator to the Galapagos but far weaker west of there. Cool anomalies were limited to the area directly along the nearshore coast of Peru. Weak cool anomalies were also holding in a pocket south of the equator and well off Peru filling the area from 5S south down to 20S reaching west to 115W and east to 90W. Weak warm anomalies were on and north of the equator building while tracking west to the dateline.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (1/28): Today a broad area of moderate warming continued filling the area from Chile and Peru west out to 120W and building some in coverage. Solid warming also 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 moving over the East Pacific now. The short term trend is towards weak warming in the Southeast Pacific.
Hi-res Overview: (1/28) 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. Warm anomalies were building along Chile and Peru stronger up to Ecuador and Central America up to Mexico. Otherwise gentle warming was over the equator from Ecuador out to 140W and stronger west of there. Warmer than normal water was north of the equator reaching north to 20N west to the dateline. Water temps appear to be stable mildly favoring El Nino.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (1/29) Today's temps were steady at +0.376 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:
(1/29) Temps were rising today slightly at +0.407. 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 (1/29) 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 +0.75 degs Jan 1. The forecast has temps rising to +0.9 degs on Feb 1 then starting a steady fall to 0.0 in mid-May then diving negative appearing to be moving to La Nina down at -1.00 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 core of 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) (1/29): The daily index was positive today at 11.78. The 30 day average was weakly positive and rising at 0.37. The 90 day average was rising slightly at -5.29, 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

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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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