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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, March 5, 2019 10:57 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   

North Dateline Storm Forming
A Second One to Follow

On Tuesday, March 5, 2019 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/ Buoy 239 (Lanai): At Barbers Point (238) seas were 2.5 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 1.7 ft @ 10.0 secs from 317 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 7.7 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 5.0 ft @ 10.3 secs from 359 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.7 ft @ 12.0 secs with swell 1.8 ft @ 10.1 secs from 224 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southeast at 6-10 kts. Water temperature 57.6 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.0 ft @ 10.4 secs from 257 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.6 ft @ 9.4 secs from 243 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.0 ft @ 13.1 secs from 209 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.5 ft @ 10.0 secs from 258 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 4.1 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 2.7 ft @ 12.4 secs from 279 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was southeast at 12-16 kts. Water temp 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 Tuesday (3/5) in North and Central CA local windswell was producing waves in the waist high range and clean with light winds but very weak and inconsistent. Protected breaks were flat and clean. At Santa Cruz surf was flat to knee high and clean and swamped by tide. In Southern California/Ventura surf was flat and clean. In North Orange Co local north windswell was producing surf at thigh to maybe waist high and soft and inconsistent and clean. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were thigh to maybe waist high and clean and weak. North San Diego surf was waist high and clean but with some north texture and soft and semi closed out. Hawaii's North Shore was getting north windswell with waves chest to head high and pretty ragged but not chopped and soft. The South Shore was flat and clean. The East Shore was getting north windswell with waves head high or a little more and chopped from moderate northeast wind.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (3/5) windswell was hitting Hawaii associated with the interaction of high pressure northwest of the Islands and low pressure tracking east in the Eastern gulf of Alaska. No swell of interest was hitting California. A gale is building off the Kuril Islands and tracking northeast expected to move to the North Dateline and extreme Northwestern Gulf Tues-Fri (2/8) producing up to 49 ft seas aimed east-northeast. A weaker one is to follow on a similar path Fri-Sun (2/10) producing up to 44 ft seas but positioned a shade further south and aimed better to the east. A split jetstream pattern is to remain 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 Tuesday AM (3/5) the jetstream was consolidated tracking off Japan pushing east with winds 150 kts forming a trough just off the Southern Kurils Islands offering some support for gale development there then splitting as it reached the dateline much as it has for nearly 2 months now with the northern branch touching the Central Aleutians then falling southeast slightly forming a weak trough in the Northwestern Gulf but not joining the southern branch. From there the jet tracked hard north up into Alaska then hard south down into the Eastern Gulf forming another trough off California before turning east and pushing into Central CA. The Gulf trough was supporting weather development for California, but no real swell production potential. The southern branch of the jet was tracking east just north over Hawaii and then east into Baja. Overall support for gale development was weak other than off Kamchatka. Over the next 72 hours through Fri (3/8) the same general pattern is forecast but with the Kamchatka trough pushing east-northeast and fading in the extreme Northwestern Gulf of Alaska. The trough off California is to slowly east east 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 pushing into Central and then Northern CA through early Fri (3/8) generally producing weather there. Beyond 72 hours the same general pattern is to hold but with energy from the Kamchatka trough reorganizing in the Northern Gulf on Fri (3/8) then falling southeast and pushing into Central CA through Sun (3/10) again supporting weather development there. Also a secondary trough is to develop off the Kuril Islands on Fri (3/8) tracking northeast then fading over the North Dateline region on Sun (3/10) supporting gale development there. By Mon-Tues (3/12) the same general pattern is to hold with the jet consolidated in the west tracking northeast with winds to 150 kts then splitting on the dateline with the northern branch tracking east just south of the Aleutians with a small trough running east through it and the jet impacting the Oregon-CA border. Energy levels to be mostly weak offering only limited support for gale development.

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday (3/5) a new gale was developing in the Northwestern Pacific (see West Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours the main focus will be the above gale.


West Pacific Gale
On Tues AM (3/5) a gale was developing mid-way between North Japan and the Dateline producing 45 kt northwest winds while lifting northeast with seas building from 34 ft at 37.5N 163E aimed east. In the evening winds to build to 50 kts from the northwest and increasing in coverage while lifting northeast with seas 36 ft at 42.5N 167E aimed east. On Wed AM (3/6) the gale is to build to storm status with 55 kt west winds just south of the Central Aleutians over the North Dateline region with seas building to 43 ft at 46.5N 173E aimed east. In the evening 55 kt west winds are to be just south of the Central Aleutians with 49 ft seas in the North Dateline region aimed east at 49N 175.5E. On Thurs AM (3/7) the storms core is to be in the Bering Sea with 45 kt west winds still over the North Dateline region with 46 ft seas at 49N 178.5W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to be fading with west winds dropping from 40 kts and seas fading from 36 ft at 45N 171.5W 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 Tuesday (3/5) low pressure was building off the coast with south winds 5 kts early but building to 20-30 kts late afternoon into the evening for North and Central CA and building for Southern CA to 10-15 kts in Santa Barbara County at sunset. Rain arriving for Central CA mid-morning and building for the entire state at sunset into the evening with an ARC (atmospheric river) event for Big Sur south to Pt Conception. Snow for higher elevations of mainly the Central and Southern Sierra late AM building to heavy status by sunset into the late evening associated with the ARC event. 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 Pt Reyes and points south of there early to LA County then turning from the west and northwest 15-20 kts through the day mainly for Pt Conception northward by sunset. 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 at 10-15 kts holding through the day. Scattered showers mainly for Central CA and fading through the day. Steady modest snowfall for the Sierra holding through the day and evening. Friday (3/8) high pressure takes control with north winds 15-20 kts for all of CA early (including SCal) building to 20 kts in the late afternoon. Scattered showers mainly for Central CA early. Snow showers for the Sierra fading in the evening. Sat (3/9) another local low is to be building off the North Coast early with light winds early everywhere turning south 10 kts for North Ca late afternoon. Light rain for North Ca late afternoon into the evening. Snow developing late evening for the Sierra focused on Tahoe. Sun (3/10) the low is to fall south off the Southern CA coast with east winds 5-10 kts for North and Central CA early turning northeast to north later at 10-15 kts with light variable winds all day for Southern CA. Light rain possible mainly for the Central CA coast. Modest snow building southward from Tahoe down over the Sierra. Monday (3/11) a light north flow is forecast at 5-10 kts for North and Central CA early building to 15-20 kts later and into Southern Ca at that time too. Light rain for Southern CA focused on San Diego in the afternoon. Light snow for the Southern Sierra. Tuesday (3/12) high pressure is to take over with north winds 20 kts for all of California pushing 30 kts later for North CA. Light precip for Cape Mendocino through the day but not further south. Light snow for Tahoe down to Mammoth late afternoon.

Total snow accumulation for for the week (thru Tues AM 3/12) per the GFS model: Tahoe = 38-44 inches and Mammoth = 35 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 45-50 kt west winds and seas building from 40 ft at 45.5N 167E aimed northeast. In the evening 45-50 kt west winds are to be in the North Dateline Region aimed east with 44 ft seas building at 47.5N 173.5E aimed east-northeast. On Sat AM (3/9) the storm is to be easing east with 45 kt west winds just south of the Central Aleutians and over the dateline and seas 40 ft at 48N 179.5W aimed east. More of the same is forecast in the evening with the gale tracking east with winds down to 40 kts from the west and seas 38 ft at 48N 173.5W moving into the extreme Northwestern Gulf. On Sun AM (3/10) the gale is to be in the Northwestern Gulf with 35-40 kt west winds over a solid area and 36 ft seas at 50N 165W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to be in the Northern Gulf with west winds 35 kts and seas 33 ft at 51.5N 158W aimed east. The gale is to be fading from there. 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 Negative - ESPI Steady and Positive

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 (3/4) 5 day average winds were from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific to the dateline, and also easterly over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East and Central equatorial Pacific turning moderate easterly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (3/5) light east anomalies were over the KWGA. The forecast is for light east anomalies to continue through 3/9, then turning mostly neutral and holding through the end of the model run on 3/12. 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: (3/4) 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 10 with the Active Phase of the MJO building into the far West Pacific at modest strength at day 15. The dynamic model indicates the same thing but with the Active Phase moving into the West Pacific only very weakly at day 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (3/5) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was moderate over the East Indian Ocean and is to ease east and fading out over the Maritime Continent at day 15. The GEFS model suggests the Active Phase is to east east some, then stall at day 3 and fade not making it even to the Maritime Continent.
40 day Upper Level Model: (3/5) This model depicts the Inactive Phase was in the East 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 3/10 moving to the East Pacific and fading out on 4/4. A modest 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 4/14.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (3/3) This model depicts mostly neutral anomalies in the KWGA today and forecast holding for about 5 days associated with the Inactive Phase of the MJO. Modest to moderate west anomalies are to start building in the Central KWGA 3/8 and holding through 3/23 then fading some and easing east moving to the dateline and solidifying position there and holding through the end of the model run on 3/31. no east anomalies are forecast in the KWGA. West anomalies are to start pushing into the California on 3/18 continuing through 3/27.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (3/5) This model depicts a modest Inactive MJO signal was filling the KWGA and is to hold through 3/18 with weak east anomalies in the core of the KWGA for 3 days through 3/8, but with weak west anomalies developing starting 3/9 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 holding steady through 4/3. After that a very weak MJO pattern is to set up and holding through the end of the model run on 6/2 (a good sign for El Nino development). West anomalies are to be steady just below WWB status from 4/3 to 4/22 then pushing WWB status from then through the end of the model run. 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 and holding there. 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 4/5 building in areal coverage 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 in mid-April. 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: (3/5) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are back to 30 degrees limited to a shallow area reaching east to 165E. 29 deg temps were reaching east to 176W. 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 160W 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 160W at +4 degs (Kelvin Wave #3) pushing east to 110W. We think the peak of the Kelvin Wave cycle for this supposed 2018-2019 El Nino already occurred associated mainly with Kelvin Wave #2. But Kelvin Wave #3 is expected to add some warmth moving into the 2019-202 El Nino year. 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. Cool anomalies previous off the Central America coast are fading out. 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 115W (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 150E 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 and at peak at +10 cm at 160W. -5 cms anomalies were in a small pocket at 95W 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: (3/4) 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 (3/4): A building solid area of warm water remained just 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 steadily.
Hi-res Overview: (3/4) 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: (3/5) Today's temps were rising slightly to +0.130 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:
(3/5) Today temps were steady and hard at +1.239 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 (3/5) 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 +1.60 degs in the summer to 1.70 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) (3/5): The daily index was still negative at -4.36 and has been negative the last 27 days. The 30 day average was falling at -14.10 suggesting an Active MJO. The 90 day average was falling at -2.72, suggesting a neutral pattern (for now). 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 pushed up to +0.99 on 3/3 (the highest its been in years), but is down to +0.88 today. 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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