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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Sunday, March 3, 2019 1:38 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 & 3.2 - Hawaii
Using the 'Winter' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

Probability for presence of largest swells in near-shore waters of NCal, SCal or Hawaii.    

Issued for Week of Monday 3/4 thru Sun 3/10

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   

2 North Dateline Storms Forecast
Jetstream to Remain Split

On Sunday, March 3, 2019 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/ Buoy 239 (Lanai): At Barbers Point (238) seas were 2.7 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 1.9 ft @ 11.2 secs from 313 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 6.6 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 5.0 ft @ 10.2 secs from 324 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.2 ft @ 7.7 secs with swell 3.1 ft @ 7.8 secs from 231 degrees. Wind at the buoy was west-southwest at 10-12 kts. Water temperature 57.4 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.3 ft @ 13.1 secs from 258 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.4 ft @ 13.1 secs from 230 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.1 ft @ 7.6 secs from 247 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.6 ft @ 14.4 secs from 244 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 6.9 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 4.9 ft @ 8.4 secs from 238 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 10-14 kts. Water temp 54.7 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 Sunday (3/3) in North and Central CA local windswell was producing waves in the chest high range and a bit warbled and weak and mushy with no real walls with light southwest winds adding some warble and texture. Protected breaks were maybe waist high and clean but barely breaking. At Santa Cruz surf was waist high and warbled and lumpy even with light wind and no chop. In Southern California/Ventura surf was thigh to waist high on occasion and pretty warbled and lumpy through wind was light. In North Orange Co surf was waist to maybe chest high at top breaks coming from the north and ill formed but reasonably clean. Just windswell. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were thigh to waist high and clean and sort of lined up and clean. North San Diego surf was waist high and reasonably clean but with some north texture and soft and ill formed. Hawaii's North Shore was getting northwest windswell with waves head high and clean but warbled and with not particularly good form. The South Shore was flat and clean. The East Shore was getting northeasterly windswell with waves waist high and lightly chopped from modest northeast wind.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Sunday (3/3) windswell was hitting Hawaii associated with a weak gale that track northeast into the North Dateline region on Wed (2/28) producing 24-28 ft seas aimed mostly northeast. No swell was hitting California. The models suggest a gale is to build while tracking northeast to the North Dateline and extreme Northwestern Gulf Tues-Fri (2/8) producing up to 46 ft seas aimed east-northeast. A weaker one is to follow on a similar path Fri-Sun (2/10) producing up to 47 ft seas also aimed east-northeast. A split jetstream pattern is still in control with no end in sight.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Sunday AM (3/3) the jetstream was mostly consolidated tracking off Japan with winds 150-160 kts forming a trough just off Kamchatka offering some support for gale development there then splitting on the dateline much as it has for nearly 2 months now with the northern brach touching the Eastern Aleutians then falling hard south joining the southern branch and reconsolidating in the Gulf forming a second trough with the cojoined flow pushing east into Central CA at 130 kts and offering some support for gale development there. Over the next 72 hours through Wed (3/6) the same general pattern is forecast but with wind energy off Japan fading to 110-120 kts and the associated trough easing east to a point half way to the dateline while the trough in the east also eases east with it's apex poised to push inland over San Francisco offering support for local windswell production there. Beyond 72 hours the same general pattern is to hold but with wind energy building over Japan reaching continuously northeast to to North Dateline region at 150 kts again developing a trough over and just off Kamchatka then the northern branch of the jet is to fall southeast through the Gulf forming two very tight and nearly pinched troughs tracking southeast towards Central CA only offering weather production. By Sun (3/10) the jet is to generally consolidated tracking east-northeast off Japan with winds 90-140 kts in pockets pushing into Central Canada with a backdoor trough circulating off Central CA offering mainly only weather production . In short, the jet is to be fairly weak and split for the first half of the week and then turning more consolidated but even weaker for the second half of the week.

Surface Analysis
On Sunday (3/3) no real swell producing weather systems were being tracked. No swell of interest from previous weather systems was in the water either.

Over the next 72 hours no meaningful swell producing fetch of interest is forecast until Tues (3/5) (see Possible West Pacific Gale below).


Possible West Pacific Gale
On Tues AM (3/5) a gale is forecast developing mid-way between North Japan and the Dateline producing 45 kt northwest winds while lifting northeast with seas building from 27 ft at 40N 165E aimed east. In the evening 45 kt northwest winds to build in coverage while lifting northeast with seas 30 ft at 43N 170E aimed east. On Wed AM (3/6) the gale is to build to storm status with 50 kt west winds just south of the Central Aleutians and seas building from 38 ft at 47.5N 173E aimed east. In the evening 50-55 kt west winds are to be just south of the Central Aleutians with 47 ft seas in the North Dateline region aimed east. On Thurs AM (3/7) the storms core is to be in the Bering Sea with 45-50 kt west winds still over the North Dateline region with 45 ft seas at 50N 178.5W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to be fading with west winds dropping from 40 kts gale and seas fading from 37 ft at 51N 173.5W aimed east. This system is to be gone after that. Possible swell radiating east mainly towards Canada and the Pacific Northwest. 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 Sunday AM (3/3) weak low pressure was over the North and Central CA coast producing light north winds (5 kts) over North CA and light southwest winds into Central CA. Light rain was along the coast of North and Central CA and even weaker into Southern CA and forecast fading through the day. Light wet snow was limited to the Tahoe region and forecast fading late evening. On Monday (3/4) a weak pressure pattern is forecast as another low starts building mid-way between Hawaii and North CA with north winds 5-10 kts through the day for North and Central CA. No precip is forecast. Light snow showers fading early for Tahoe. Tuesday (3/5) the new low is to be building off the coast with south winds 1-5 kts early but building to 20-25 kts late afternoon into the evening for North and Central CA and building for Southern CA to 20 kts in Santa Barbara County at sunset. Rain arriving for Central CA mid-morning and building for the entire state sunset into the evening. Snow for the higher elevations of mainly the Central and Southern Sierra late evening. Wednesday (3/6) the low is to be circulating just off Pt Reyes early easing inland through the day with south winds 20 kts for the entire state turning northerly 20 kts mainly for North CA late afternoon and southwest to west 15 kts for Central CA and light southwest for Southern CA. Rain for North and Central CA and heavy for Pt Conception early pushing into Southern CA through the day then fading late afternoon. Solid snow for the entire Sierra mid-morning holding into the early evening then weakening some. Thursday (3/7) a light northwest flow is forecast for North and Central CA early fading late as another low builds off the coast. Scattered showers for all of CA fading through the day. Light snow mainly for the Tahoe holding through the day and evening. Friday (3/8) the new low is to push east wit it's core moving over Southern CA in the evening. Light offshore winds for North and Central CA early turning north 15+ kts late afternoon. Southwest winds building for Southern CA turning west 10-15 kts late afternoon. Light rain for Southern CA early finally building to steady rain late afternoon and north to Big Sur. Light snow for the Sierra. Sat (3/9) north winds to be 10-15 kts all day for North and Central CA and lighter for Southern CA. No precip forecast. Sun (3/10) a weak northeast flow is forecast for the entire state. No precip forecast.

Total snow accumulation for for the week (thru Sun 3/10): Tahoe = 29 inches and Mammoth = 60 inches

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 another gale is to be forming approaching the North Dateline region on Fri AM (3/8) with 45 kt northwest winds and seas building from 30 ft at 46N 169E aimed northeast. In the evening 50 kt west winds are to be in the North Dateline Region aimed east with 43 ft seas building at 50N 176E aimed east-northeast. On Sat AM (3/9) the storm is to be easing east with 50 kt west winds just south of the Central Aleutians and seas 46 ft at 51N 180W aimed east. More of the same is forecast in the evening with the storm tracking east and seas 44 ft at 51.5N 171W moving into the extreme Northwestern Gulf. On Sun AM (3/10) the gale is to be in the Northwestern Gulf with 40 kt west winds over a solid area and 38 ft seas at 51N 163W aimed east. Swell possibly radiating east and southeast towards Canada and the US West Coast.


South Pacific

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


MJO/ENSO Forecast


SSTs Rising, Daily & Monthly SOI Still Low - ESPI building

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 did not stop, 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, but then started building some late in Feb associated with another Kelvin Wave (#3).

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 (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (3/3) 5 day average winds were from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific to the dateline, and also easterly over the KWGA. Anomalies were weak easterly over the East equatorial Pacific turning weak westerly over the Central equatorial Pacific and then weak easterly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (3/3) light east anomalies were over the KWGA. The forecast is for light east anomalies to continue through 3/7, then turning to neutral and holding through the end of the model run on 3/10. Support for storm development is to be fading.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (3/2) The Inactive Phase of the MJO was moderate filling the KWGA with the Active Phase in the Indian Ocean. The statistic model indicates the Inactive Phase is to ease east and out of the KWGA at day 15 with the Active Phase of the MJO building into the far West Pacific at modest strength. The dynamic model indicates the Inactive Phase is to hold position and fade to weak status at day 15 in the Central KWGA.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (3/3) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was moderate over the Indian Ocean and is to ease east and fading some over the Maritime Continent at day 15. The GEFS model suggests the Active Phase is to east east some, then stall at day 4 and fade not making it even to the Maritime Continent.
40 day Upper Level Model: (3/3) This model depicts the Inactive Phase was filling the entire equatorial Pacific and is to track east while weakening moving into and over Central America on 3/18. A weak Active signal is to set up in the West Pacific on 3/18 moving to the East Pacific and fading out on 4/7. A stronger Inactive Phase of the MJO is to be setting up in the West Pacific on 4/4 pushing east to the Central Pacific at the end of the model run on 4/12.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (3/2) This model depicts mostly neutral anomalies in the KWGA today and forecast holding for about 5 day associated with the Inactive Phase of the MJO. Modest to moderate west anomalies are to start building in the KWGA 3/8 and holding through 3/23 then fading and easing east to the dateline but not out and with no east anomalies forecast through the end of the model run on 3/30. West anomalies are to start pushing into the California on 3/20 continuing through the end of the model run.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (3/3) This model depicts a modest Inactive MJO signal was filling the KWGA and is to hold through 3/18 but with weak west anomalies developing starting 3/8 and building to 3/18. By 3/19 another modest Active Phase of the MJO is to start building in the KWGA with west anomalies building and at WWB status 4/1-5/14, then weaker but still in control through the end of the model run on 5/31. But the MJO is to be very weak at that time (a good sign for El Nino development). 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 3/18, then retracting to the coast slightly. A third contour line faded 12/17 but has now rebuilt starting 2/12 centered over the dateline and is to hold through the end of the model run. And a 4th control line is to develop 4/10 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 during 2018, then faded, and is now trying to rebuild and strongly so starting now. Theoretically the atmosphere and ocean were at one time trying to become coupled towards El Nino in the Pacific Ocean, but there was no objective evidence that it every happened. But it seems the tendency is redeveloping again. This pattern is more favorable to support storm production in the Pacific regardless of whether El Nino develops, because the atmosphere has turned from a La Nina pattern (that had 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: (3/3) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 29 degs from 176W and points west of there. 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 161W 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 centered at 165W at +4 degs (Kelvin Wave #3) pushing east to 110W. We think the peak of the Kelvin Wave cycle for this supposed El Nino (in 2018-2019) 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 (2/12-2/24) might add more fuel (warm water) to the proverbial fire. So there's good sub-surface oceanic warming potential to feed jetstream core energy for the foreseeable future. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 2/27 indicates Kelvin Wave #2 gone in the East Pacific with cool water associated with the upwelling phase of the Kelvin Wave cycle occurring there. Kelvin Wave #3 was building at +4 degs from New Guinea to the dateline east to 120W (attributable to a Westerly Wind Burst 12/30-1/16 and another 2/12-2/24). There is 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: (2/27) Positive anomalies were gone from the interior Maritime Continent but were solid tracking east from 155E over the dateline to a point west of the Galapagos (115W) at 0-5 cms with an imbedded pocket of +5 cms anomalies from 165E to 120W. -5 cms anomalies were in a small pocket at 90W associated with the upwelling phase of the Kelvin Wave Cycle but they were fading. 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: (3/2) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate temps were solidly warming straddling 5 degrees north and south of the equator from the Galapagos west to the dateline. Warm water was along the coast of Chile and Peru up into Ecuador and Central America but with a fading pocket of cool water along the immediate coast of Columbia. There is more of an indication of El Nino now than at any point prior in the last 3 years. A previously concerning pocket of cool waters elongated east to west off Peru to 130W is gone. Overall the pattern looks modestly like El Nino, but nothing more.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (3/2): A building solid area of warm water remained well off Peru out to 160W. Warming is building from the Galapagos to a point south of Hawaii on the equator. It looks like the far equatorial East and Central Pacific are warming some.
Hi-res Overview: (3/2) 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 150W then weaker to the dateline. And it was building compared to days past. We have turned the corner from a cool regime a year ago to a warm regime now. And it's almost starting to look like an El Nino pattern is developing based on surface temps.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (3/3) Today's temps were rising to +0.024 after falling to -0.6 degs on 2/28, after rising to +0.5 on 2/25, down to -0.425 degrees on 2/14, and that after rising to +1.2 degs on 2/2. Previously temps fell to -0.15 degs on 2/28. 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:
(3/3) Today temps were rising hard to +1.201 after falling to +0.050 on 2/11. Temps rose 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 (3/3) The model indicates temps were at +0.75 degs on Jan 1 and held to Feb1. Temps are forecast building to +1.00 on March 1 and to +1.3 degs in April and holding there through June, then up to +1.65 degs in the summer to 1.75 degs by Nov 1
. If one is to believe the model then one would assume that El Nino is to try and build weakly in the Winter of 18/19, then building in the summer on 2019 and building more into the Winter of 2019/20. But given all the data we've seen, we believe there no odds of El Nino developing in the 2018-2019 Winter. But maybe a multiyear warming event is in progress as suggested by this model.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Feb 2019 Plume depicts temps are at +0.65 degs today, and are to hold in the +0.6 range into July, then fade to +0.4 in October 2019. 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) (3/3): The daily index was still negative at -5.22 and has been negative the last 25 days. The 30 day average was falling at -14.00 suggesting an Active MJO. The 90 day average was falling at -2.53, suggesting a neutral pattern. 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): (3/3) The index was neutral at -0.01 on 2/14 but has been rising ever since and is at +0.99 today, the highest its been in years. It was down to -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

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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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