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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Monday, February 11, 2019 4:34 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
3.0 - 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 2/11 thru Sun 2/17

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   

  More WPac Gales Forecast
Split Jet To Hold Over East Pacific

On Wednesday, February 6, 2019 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/ Buoy 239 (Lanai): At Barbers Point (238) seas were 1.6 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 0.9 ft @ 7.7 secs from 204 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 18.3 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 11.8 ft @ 11.8 secs from 334 degrees and 8.2 ft @ 15.2 secs from 340 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.9 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 2.0 ft @ 16.4 secs from 269 degrees. Wind at the buoy was west at 2 kts. Water temperature 58.1 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 2.5 ft @ 8.0 secs from 277 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.1 ft @ 17.1 secs from 257 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.2 ft @ 17.8 secs from 243 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.7 ft @ 17.5 secs from 271 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 9.1 ft @ 16.7 secs with swell 6.4 ft @ 16.1 secs from 292 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northeast at 10-16 kts. Water temp 55.4 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 (2/11) in North and Central CA dateline swell was producing waves in the 2 ft overhead range and clean but with some intermixed lump. Protected breaks were chest to head high and clean and lined up. At Santa Cruz surf was chest to head high on the sets and soft and lumpy but clean. In Southern California/Ventura surf was waist to maybe chest high and clean and line dup and reasonably rideable. In North Orange Co surf was chest high or a liittel more on the biggest sets and clean and lined up but soft and inconsistent. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were waist high on the sets and clean but weak. North San Diego surf was waist high and clean and lined up with calm wind. Hawaii's North Shore was about 8 ft Hawaiian with amybe some 10 ft sets and a tattererd onshore north wind mess. The South Shore was waist to chest high and lined up and reasonably clean. The East Shore was getting north local swell with waves double overhead and a chopped mess with north winds 10 kts or greater. 

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

Meteorological Overview
On Monday (2/11) swell was fading in Hawaii associated with a local gale that developed just north of the Islands. Swell was fading in California from a fairly strong system that developed off the Kuril Islands tracking east Tues-Wed (2/6) with seas 44 ft aimed east, then fading on the dateline on Thurs (2/7). A small system developed just south of the North Dateline region Sun-Mon (2/11) with 47 ft seas aimed northeast likely having little swell producing effect. Another system is to develop off Kuril Islands lifting northeast Wed-Thurs (2/14) again producing 47 ft seas ained east, and this one having better odds of producing swell. A weaker system is to follow Sun-Mon (2/18) producing producingn32 ft seas reaching into the Northwestern Gulf. Theoretically the Active Phase of the MJO is to build very strong in the West Pacific and pushing east into the East Pacific over the next 3-4 weeks feeding the storm track. Prepare for possible interesting local weather impacts in Hawaii and California. 

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Monday AM (2/11) the jetstream was consolidated tracking off Japan with winds 175 kts producing a small trough over the Kuril Islands offering support for gale development there. But east of there the jet split just before reaching the dateline with the northern branch tracking northeast up over the Central Aleutians tracking into Alaska and then pushing south through the Eastern Gulf of Alaska before turning east and tracking weakly into Central Oregon setting up a weak trough off the Pacific Northwest Coast offering opportunity for weather production there. The southern branch tracked east over Hawaii and then lifting gnetly northeast tracking inland over North Baja. This is effectively no differnt than things have been for the past week. Over the next 72 hours more of the same is forecast with winds still 175 kts streaming off Japan reaching almost to the dateline on Wed (2/13) with the trough over the Kurils easing east some and the trough in the Eastern Gulf pushing inland over Oregon at that time. The trough in the far West Pacific is to ease east some into Thurs (2/14) continuing to support gale development there. And a new small trough is also forecast to start building off British Columbia offering more weather potential fro the US West Coast. Beyond 72 hours the East Gulf trough is to build some while falling southeast pushing into Northern California on Sat (2/16) with winds 175 kts pushing over the Sierra. Back to the west the jet is to remain split but with the split point just east of the dateline and winds weaker at 140 kts streaming off Japan running flat east to the split point, but the split not as pronounced as weeks past. There is still to be limited support for gale development west of the dateline. But by Mon (2/18) energy levels to continue to fall in the jet with the saem general configuration holding. One would think the Active Phase of the MJO in the West Pacific might positively influence the jetstream. But at the same time, the underpinnings of what was to be El Nino are fading in the East Pacific possibly causing this long running split pattern in the East. Long term the models suggest the jet is to continue to slowly weaken.

Surface Analysis
On Monday (2/11) swell from a larger and more organized storm that pushed east towards Hawaii and the US West Coast was fading in California (see West Pacific Storm below). Swell from a raw local gale was fading in Hawaii (see Local Hawaiian Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours another gale is forecast developing in the far West Pacific off Japan on Tues PM (2/12) with 45 kt west winds and seas building from 30 ft at 41N 158E aimed east. On Wed AM (2/13) winds to build to 65 kts from the west with seas to 46 ft at 44.5N 163E. In the evening winds are to be fading from 50 kts with the storm lifting northeast with seas to 48 ft at 48N 169E aimed east (or just off the North Kuril Islands). On Thurs AM (2/14) winds to be fading from 45 kts from the southwest targeting the Aleutians with seas 43 ft at 50.5N 171E alos aimed northeast. This system is to ove into the Bering Sea and fade after that. Possible swell to radiate towards Hawaii and the US West Coast.


West Pacific Storm
A stronger and more organized storm started forming just off the Kuril Islands Mon PM (2/4) with 50 kt west winds and seas building from 41 ft at 45N 158.5E aimed east. On Tues AM (2/5) the storm was downgraded to gale status tracking east with 45 kt west winds and seas to 44 ft at 45N 165.5E aimed east. In the evening the gale tracked east with 45 kt northwest winds and seas 39 ft over a solid area aimed east at 43N 169E. On Wed AM (2/6) fetch was lifting north towards the North Dateline region with 45 kt west winds over a small area just south of the Aleutians with 41 ft seas at 45N 172E aimed east. Fetch to be fading over the North Dateline region in the evening from 30-35 kts from the northwest with seas fading from 34 ft at 43.5N 178E aimed east. The gale is to dissipate from there.

North California:  Swell fading Mon (2/11) from 6.0 ft @ 16 secs (9.5 ft) and possibly being overridden by local windswell. Swell Direction: 296 degrees

Local Hawaiian Gale

A cutoff gale developed on Sat AM (2/9) 700 nmiles north of Hawaii producing 45 kt north winds with seas building from 26 ft at 35N 156N aimed south. In the evening north winds were falling south at 50 kts with seas building to 30 ft at 34N 160W aimed south. On Sun AM (2/10) fetch was fading from 45 kts from the northeast and just 300 nmiles northwest of Hawaii with 37 ft at 26N from 161W aimed south. In the evening fetch was fading from 30-35 kts just north of the Islands with 30 ft seas at 23N 160W and 26 ft seas impacting Hawaii directly. Large raw protoswell is forecast for Hawaii.

Hawaii:  Swell fading Mon (2/11) from 11.9 ft @ 13 secs (15 ft). Swell Direction: 340 degrees

Local West Coast Gale

On Wed PM (2/13) a local gale is to start developing in the Northern Gulf fallign southeast with 55 kt  northwest winds and seas 37 ft at 52N 145W aimed southeast. On Thurs AM (2/14) the storm is to be faloing southeast with 55 kt northwest winds and seas 39 ft at 50N 139W and mostly out of the CA swell window. In the evening winds to be fading from 40 kts from the northwest with seas fading from 37 ft at 48.5N 133.5W and out of the CA swell window targeting Oregon well. The gale is to be fading just off Oregon Fri AM (2/15). Something to monitor.

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


Tropical Update
No tropical weather systems of interest are forecast.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Monday (2/11) high pressure was inland over Nevada and just off the Central Coast with north winds 5 kts for the entire state other than south winds 20 kts for Cape Mendocino associated with a building front and low pressure off the coast of the Pacific Northwest. Light rain forecast for the northern half of North CA through the day. Tues (2/12) another local low is to start building off the OR-CA border and a second one off Central CA lifting north with south winds 5 kts for Central CA early and building to 15 kts later and up to 20+ kts ofr North CA late afternoon. Light rain building down to Pt Arena late afternoon. Wednesday AM (2/13) south winds are forecast at 35 kts from Monterey Bay northward early and 25 kts from Pt Conception northward building to 35 kts late afternoon. The core of the low is to be over Cape Mendocino late afternoon. Heavy rain for North CA early and light rain to Pt Conception early. Moderate to heavy rain building south into San Diego late evening. Heavy snow for the Sierrastarting at sunset and holding through the evening. Thurs AM (2/14) high pressure and north winds are to be 25 kts for North CA early and 15+ kts for Central CA and 15 kts for Southern CA fading to 5-10 kts later all locations from the northwest. Light rain early fading to dry later in the day. Snow fading early for the Sierra. Friday (2/15) northwest winds are forecast at 5 kts early for all of North and Central CA building to 15 kts later in the day. Light rain for North CA from Pt Arena northward. Modest snow for the Sierra overnight. Sat AM (2/16) north winds 15+ kts for all off North and Central CA and even into most of Southern CA early holding for North and Central CA through the day but slackening for Southern CA. Light rain for Cape Mendocino through the day. Snow fading for the Sierra early. Sunday (2/17) high pressure takes control with north winds 25+ kts all day for the entire state early and generally holding all day. Monday (2/18) light northeast winds for Southern and Central CA early but north 20 kts for North CA down to Pt Arena early turning northwest all locations late afternoon. No precip forecast.

Total snow accumulation for for the week for Lake Tahoe (thru 2/13): 42 inches and 32 inches for Mammoth.

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


South Pacific

Surface Analysis  
No swell of interest was in the water.

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


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.


MJO/ENSO Forecast


Active MJO Building - Strong WWB Forecast

The Madden Julian Oscillation is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for MJO activity (which directly relate to the potential for swell production).

Overview: La Nina started developing in early 2016, but westward displaced and generally weak. And by March 2017, it was gone with suspicious warming developing along South America and over the Galapagos to a point south of Hawaii. By May the atmosphere returned to a neutral configuration but then in July east anomalies started building in the KWGA and have not stopped, with cold water upwelling over the the Nino1.2 and 3.4 areas, indicative of La Nina. A double dip La Nina was in control and continued through the Winter of 2017-2018. But warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018 associated with two upwelling Kelvin Waves, 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. As of January 2019, those warm waters were fading.

Fall/Winter 2018 = 6.0 (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: Assuming the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that El Nino does not develop as strong as previously forecast, and assuming and an ocean-atmospheric coupling becomes weakly established in the January timeframe and ocean temperature anomalies in Nino3.4 build to the +0.6 deg range, there is good probability for slightly enhanced storm production in the North Pacific starting in the late Nov timeframe (specifically the Gulf of Alaska and Dateline regions) with slightly increased intensity in number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in slightly increased odds for larger than normal swell, with increased duration and higher than normal period. This should be significantly better than the past 2 winter seasons.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (2/11) 5 day average winds were from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific to the middlie of the KWGA, then weaker from there westward. Anomalies were generally neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and over the entirety of the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (2/11) weak west anomalies were over the dateline and Central KWGA. The forecast is for a very strong Westerly Wind Burst (WWB) to start building on 2/13 over the dateline and Central KWGA and continuing nonstop through the end of the model run on 2/18. Support for storm development is to start building focused west of the dateline.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (2/10) The Active Phase of the MJO was moderate and filling the KWGA. The statistic model indicates the Active Phase is to hold at moderate strength in the KWGA while slowly easing east through day 10, then weakening  and moving just east of the KWGA at day 15. The dynamic model indicates the same thing but with the Active Phase building some centered on the dateline and firmly in control at strong strength at days 10-15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (2/6) No fresh data available - The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was moderate over the West Pacific. It is to fade in strength and track east over the eastern Atlantic at day 15. The GEFS model suggests the Active Phase is in the West Pacific and is to weaken over the next 4 days then retrograding and rebuilding in the West Pacific through day 8 then moving east to the Atlantic days 9-15.
40 day Upper Level Model: (2/11) This model depicts a strong Active Phase over the dateline slowly weakening while pushing east moving into and over Central America on 3/3. A moderate Inactive signal is to set up in the West Pacific on 2/21 moving to the East Pacific and Central America on 3/18. A weak Active Phase of the MJO is to be setting up in the West Pacific on 3/13 pushing east to the dateline at the end of the model run on 3/23.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (2/10) This model depicts moderate strength west anomalies were building over the KWGA focused mainly on the dateline. West anomalies are to build to strong status over the next 3-5 days and hold on the dateline as a strong Active Phase builds there through 3/3 with a strong Westerly Wind Burst in effect on the dateline easing east into the California coast starting 2/24 through 3/3.  Moserate west anomalies to hold through the end of the model run on the dateline on 3/10.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (2/11) This model depicts a weak version of the Active Phase was over the KWGA with modest west anomalies in the KWGA. This pattern is to hold while easing east through 3/7 but with west anomalies building strongly 2/12-2/27 and at solid Westerly Wind Burst status. This is an exciting development. On 2/19 a modest Inactive MJO signal is to start developing in the far West Pacific and id to be filling east into the KWGA 2/25 through 4/3 but with steady west anomalies continuing mainly on the dateline. On 3/30 a strong Active Phase of the MJO is to start building in the KWGA with west anomalies building and in control through the end of the model run on 5/11. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias is fully in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east over California and forecast holding over California through 4/15, then retracting to the coast. A third contour line faded 12/17 but then rebuilt 2/10 and is to rebuild to 4 contour lines 3/7 and holding through the end of the model run. This is a positive new development. It appears from this model that a tendency towards El Nino was previously in control, then it faded, and is now to rebuild and strongly so. Theoretically the atmosphere and ocean were at one time trying to become coupled towards El Nino in the Pacific Ocean, but there's no objective evidence that it every happened. Still this pattern is more favorable to support storm production in the Pacific regardless of whether El Nino develops, because the atmosphere is still turning from a La Nina pattern (that has been entrenched for the past 2 years) at a minimum towards a neutral one. Our assumption is a normal Winter pattern will result, or perhaps slightly enhanced, but nothing more. But of more interest, if the low pass filter forecast holds, maybe El Nino to develop next year.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (2/11) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are no longer 30 degs, but only 29 degrees reaching east to 174W. The 28 deg isotherm line had retrograded west to 160W mid-Nov, then moved east and walled up to 153W, but retrograded and is back at 162W today. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador 25 meters down. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies are filling the entire subsurface Pacific at +1 degs or greater with a pocket of warm water building under the dateline at +3 degs (Kelvin Wave #3). The remnants of Kevin Wave #2 have fully erupted in the far East Pacific with temps there only +1-+2 degs. We think the peak of the Kelvin Wave cycle for this supposed El Nino has already occurred associated mainly with Kelvin Wave #2. But Kelvin Wave #3 might add some warmth moving into 2019. And a new Westerly Wind Burst is forecast starting a week out. So there's good surface oceanic warming potential to feed jetstream core energy for the foreseeable future. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 2/7 indicates Kelvin Wave #2 fading in the East Pacific with pockets of 3 degs from 130W into Ecuador and with +4 deg anomalies building in the west from New Guinea to the dateline (Kelvin Wave #3 attributable to a Westerly Wind Burst occurring there 12/30-1/16). +1-2 degs anomalies connect the 2 Kelvin Waves making a river of warm water traversing the width of the equatorial Pacific. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (2/7) Positive anomalies were gone from the interior Maritime Continent but were solid tracking east from 150E over the dateline to a point west of the Galapagos (110W) at mostly 0-5 cms but with a solid pocket of +5 cms anomalies from 160E over the dateline to 130W. -5 cms anomalies were in a small pocket at 90W associated with the upwelling phase of the Kelvin Wave Cycle. A new weak Kelvin Wave is building north of New Guinea while a previous warm subsurface pattern is fading over the east equatorial Pacific.

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: (1/31) No update available - The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate temps were very weakly warm straddling 5 degrees north and south of the equator from the dateline west to the Galapagos and still losing warmth compared to days and weeks past. Warm water was building strongly along the coast of Chile and Peru up into Ecuador and Central America. There is no indications that an El Nino is building and it appears a warm pulse previously underway in the East Pacific was continuing to fade today. A concerning pocket of cool waters elongated east to west off Peru to 130W is fading some. Overall the pattern looks very weakly like El Nino, but nothing more. In all this warming pattern is weak and becoming more fragile by the day.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (2/10): A building solid area of warm water remained off Chile and Peru building north to Ecuador and extending west to 125W. It looks like the far equatorial East Pacific is warming some.
Hi-res Overview: (2/10) Modest warm water was along the immediate coast of Chile and Peru reaching up to the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos continuing out to 120W then weaker to the dateline. We have turned the corner from a cool regime a year ago to a warm regime now. And one could maybe think we are moving towards an El Nino pattern just looking at the surface temps. But that would be a false conclusion because the warm signal on the surface should be much stronger at this time of the year if El Nino were truly developing. We are in an ENSO neutral pattern biased warm and likely not every moving to an official minimal El Nino status this winter.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (2/11) Today's temps were falling steadily at +0.114 degrees after having risen to +1.15 on 2/3, falling to -0.15 degs on 1/28. Temps rose to a peak +1.385 on 1/21. Previously they were down to -0.44 on 12/25, and that after having risen to +1.265 on 12/20. Previously temps fell to +0.212 on 12/3, after having previously built to +1.534 on 11/27. That peak on 11/27 was the all time high for this event in this region.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(2/11) Today temps were falling at +0.093 after rising to a peak at +0.738 on 1/21, after being at +0.487 on 1/7 and after previously risen to +1.050 degs on 12/6 and previously in the +0.5-+0.6 range since 11/12. The all time high for this event was +1.45 on 11/5, beating the previous peak temps of +0.795 on 10/9, and +0.649 on 9/27, and that beating the previous peak at +0.490 on 7/2.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (2/11) The model indicates temps were at +0.75 degs on Jan 1 and are forecast building to +1.15 on March 1 and stable into June. After that temp are to fall to +0.6 degs in Se
pt holding till Oct 1. If one is to believe the model then one would assume that El Nino is to build in the Winter of 18/19 and then falling to minimal El Nino status in Winter of 2019/20. But given all the data we've seen, we believe there no odds of El Nino developing this year. But maybe a multiyear warming event is in progress as suggested by this model.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Nov Plume depicts temps are to slowly rise from here, to +1.00 degs in November and +1.0-+1.1 degs through Feb 2019, then slowly fading to 0.71 in July. See chart here - link. There's a 90% chance of a weak El Nino developing through January.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad) (2/11): The daily index was falling today at -19.02. The 30 day average was falling some at -0.59 suggesting a neutral MJO. The 90 day average was falling some at +1.89, rising through Jan1 to +4.67 then fading some after that but not much. There is no indication that El Nino is present in the atmosphere.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (2/6) The index rose to +0.30 on 1/20, but has been falling recently at -0.13 today, up from -0.24 in late December, down from +0.28 on 12/15 and not anywhere near as strongly positive as it should be if El Nino were developing. It suggest only ENSO neutral conditions.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly positive, even though La Nina is in play.
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 -0.42, Sept -0.42. 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 Thursday (2/7):
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Powerline Productions New Movie Preimer - Next Level - Friday (11/9) at 7 PM. Details here:

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Mavericks Invitational Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:

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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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