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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 4:07 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
2.2 - California & 1.5 - Hawaii
Using the 'Summer' 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 6/18 thru Sun 6/24

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   

Central Pacific Swell Fading in CA
Gale Pattern Fading Till Maybe Next Week


On Tuesday, June 19, 2018 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance): Seas were 1.7 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 1.2 ft @ 9.9 secs from 168 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.7 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 2.4 ft @ 13.8 secs from 202 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southwest at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 65.8 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.6 ft @ 13.4 secs from 241 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.1 ft @ 13.6 secs from 217 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.6 ft @ 14.7 secs from 220 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.5 ft @ 13.7 secs from 225 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.5 ft @ 12.0 secs with northwest windswell 4.3 ft @ 13.4 secs from 296 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 10-12 kts. Water temp 52.7 degs.

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 (6/19) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing surf at head high and clean and reasonably lined up but on the soft side. Protected breaks were waist to chest high and clean early but soft. At Santa Cruz surf was head high on the sets and clean and lined up. In Southern California up north southern hemi swell was producing surf at waist high on the sets and clean and lined up. In North Orange Co southern hemi swell was producing waves at chest to almost head high and textured from northwest wind. South Orange Country's best breaks were head high and clean and lined up. In North San Diego surf was chest high and line but but with some moderate texture on it. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was still getting some swell from the upper reaches of the Central South Pacific with waves up to shoulder high on the bigger sets and clean. The East Shore was getting no east windswell.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (6/19) swell from a cutoff low that developed Sun-Mon (6/11) in the Central South Pacific with a tiny area of 28 ft seas aimed north was still hitting California and Hawaii. A very south angled swell is tracking north having been previously generated in the far Southeast Pacific on Thurs-Fri (6/15) with 30 ft seas aimed northeast. The tropics are quiet. After that nothing else of interest is forecast until maybe Wed-Thurs (6/21) when a gale is forecast developing southeast of New Zealand lifting northeast with 34-35 ft seas aimed northeast. And maybe another is to track under New Zealand a week out with 35 ft seas aimed east. Locally produced northwest windswell is to be quiet mid-week for California and Hawaii but is to regenerate for both solidly by the weekend.


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

North Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday AM (6/19) sideband windswell from a fetch in the Gulf of Alaska on Sun (6/17) and from a weak gale previously off the Kuril's on Mon (6/11) was hitting California. Otherwise no swell was being generated in the North Pacific, including windswell.

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast, though windswell is to start being produced.

Windswell Forecast
California: On Tuesday (6/19) weak high pressure at 1022 mbs was 600 nmiles west of Washington producing light winds and a calm sea state. Wednesday (6/20) the high is to fall south and build to 1024 mbs generating north winds at 15-20 kts mainly over the southern half of Central California offering no real swell producing fetch of interest immediately. On Thurs (6/21) the high is to build to 1026 mbs centered 600 nmiles off North California generating a fetch of 15-20 kt north winds over all of North and Central CA waters early producing limited north short period windswell. On Fri (6/22) The gradient is to build as the high eases east with north winds 25 kts over North Ca and 20 kts down to Pt Conception with local north windswell on the increase but raw. See QuikCASTs for details.

Hawaii: On Tuesday (6/19) no high pressure or easterly winds of interest were occurring east of the Islands offering no odds for windswell production. And no change is forecast through Wed (6/20). Thurs (6/21) a developing fetch of 15 kts easterly winds are forecast off the south side of the high extending from California to the Big Island later in the day perhaps starting to get some traction on the oceans surface. Friday (6/22) the fetch is to build more pushing over all the Islands with the odds of windswell production starting to increase. See QuikCASTs for details.


  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 Tues AM (5/19) a weak pressure and wind pattern was in control of the entire California coast. But a north flow is to start building in the later afternoon at 15 kts over all of North and Central CA waters. Wednesday (6/20) a persistent 15-20 kts north flow is to hold over Pt Conception early and building to 15 kts over all of North and the rest of Central CA nearshore waters in the afternoon. On Thurs (6/21) 15-20 kt north winds to continue over all of North and Central CA building to 20+ kts by evening. Fri (6/22) a gradient is to build over North CA with north winds 25+ kts and 15-20 kt north winds over Central CA. Sat (6/23) a solid fetch of 25-30 kts north winds is to hold over all of North CA with 20 kt north winds over most of Central CA waters with and eddy flow (south winds) possible over Pt Conception later. Sunday (6/24) north winds to still be 30 kts over Cape Mendocino with a well developed eddy flow for all of Central CA and up to almost Pt Arena. Monday (6/25) the eddy flow is to weaken for Central CA with north winds 25 kts for all of North CA down to Bodega Bay. Tues (6/26) north winds building to 35 kt for Cape Mendocino with north winds 15 kts down to Monterey Bay.

South Pacific

On Tuesday (6/19) the southern branch of the jetstream was pushing under New Zealand down at 65S tracking east at 120 kts then lifting north some near 170W starting to form a trough there offering some support for gale development. East of that point the jet was starting to ridge southeast offering no support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours the trough southeast of New Zealand is to build some while easing east then weakening into Thurs (6/21) offering limited and weakening support for gale development. A solid ridge is to be sinking south pushing into Antarctica east of 145W locking down potential for gale development. Beyond 72 hours starting Fri (6/22) the trough/upper level low pressure system is to continue circulating near 145W down at 63S over the deep south Central Pacific but weak offering no real support for gale development and easing east. By Mon (6/25) a very weak jetstream flow is forecast over the entire South Pacific with winds not exceeding 80 kts offering no support for gale development. But a trough is to start building south of the Tasman Sea with winds pushing northeast at 150 kts and then easing east on Tues (6/26) but winds fading from 100 kts. Limited support for gale development in this trough possible. At that time a weak ridge is to start building over the Central South Pacific offering no support for gale development.

Surface Analysis  
On Tuesday (6/19) swell from a cutoff gale that developed in the upper reaches of the Central South Pacific with 28 ft seas aimed north (see Central Pacific Cutoff Gale below) was hitting fading in Hawaii and starting to fade in California. Also small swell from a gale previously on the eastern edge of the California swell window was pushing north (see Southeast Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours starting Tues PM (6/19) a developing fetch of 35 kt south winds is to start building east of New Zealand starting to get traction on the oceans surface. On Wed AM (6/20) a small but focused fetch of 40 kt south winds is forecast with seas building to 28 ft over a tiny area at 44S 158W aimed north. In the evening this fetch is to be lifting northeast with winds 40-45 kts and seas 29 ft at 41S 153W aimed northeast. On Thurs AM (6/21) this fetch is to be fading from 30-35 kts with seas fading from 23 ft at 38S 148W aimed northeast. No swell expected for California and maybe only background swell for Hawaii.

On Tues PM (6/19) a broader fetch of 40-45 kt southwest winds is to be building just south of New Zealand tracking northeast with seas building. On Wed AM (6/20) winds are to build to 50 kts aimed northeast with seas building to 33 ft at 58S 175W. In the evening fetch is to be racing east-northeast and fading from 40 kts with seas 30 ft at 56S 160W aimed east-northeast. On Thurs AM secondary fetch is to be fading from 30-35 kts from the northeast with seas fading from 26 ft at 50S 162W. In the evening no fetch or seas of interest are forecast. Something to monitor.


Central Pacific Cutoff Gale
On Sat PM (6/9) a gale developed south of Tahiti producing a small area of south winds at 35-40 kts aimed north with seas building from 26 ft over a tiny area at 36S 152W. On Sun AM (6/10) south fetch was holding at 35-40 kts with seas building to 29 ft at 34.5S 149W aimed due north. In the evening fetch was fading from 35 kts from the south and stationary with seas holding at 28 ft at 32.5S 148.5W aimed north. Fetch faded Mon AM (6/11) from 30 kts from the south and seas fading from 24 ft at 30.5S 147W. This system was gone after that. Given this systems rather north position, and therefore closer proximity to California and Hawaii some decent swell could result for Tahiti, Hawaii and California.

South CA: Residuals on Tues (6/19) fading from 2.3 ft @ 14 secs (3.0 ft). Dribbles on Wed (6/20) fading from 1.8 ft @ 13 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 205 degrees

North CA: Residuals on Tues (6/19) fading from 2.0 ft @ 14 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Dribbles on Wed (6/20) fading from 1.8 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 203 degrees


Southeast Pacific Gale
On Thurs PM (6/14) a gale started building in the far Southeast Pacific with 40 kt southwest winds and seas building to 29 ft at 55S 137.5W. On Fri AM (6/15) fetch was fading from 40 kts and on the edge of the CA swell window with seas 29 ft at 50.5S 125W aimed northeast. This system moved east of the CA swell window after that. But a second fetch started developing right behind it on Fri PM (6/15) with 45 kt southwest winds and seas building to 28 ft at 55S 128.5W. On Sat AM (6/16) 50 kt southwest winds were east of the SCal swell window with 35 ft seas at 53S 115.5W, again east of the SCal swell window. Low odds of small sideband swell radiating north towards SCal. This system is to be east of the CA swell window after that but is to continue building targeting mainly Southern Chile.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (6/22) building to 1.8 ft @ 17-18 secs (3.0 ft) later in the day. Swell is to hold on Sat (6/23) at 2.0 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell fading on Sun (6/24) from 1.8 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 ft). Swell fading Mon (6/25) from 1.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 189 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (6/22) building to 1.5 ft @ 18-19 secs (2.5 ft) later in the day. Swell is to hold on Sat (6/23) at 1.8 ft @ 17 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Sun (6/24) from 1.6 ft @ 15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell fading Mon (6/25) from 1.5 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 187 degrees


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 swell producing fetch of interest is forecast. That said a low is to build in the Northern Gulf of Alaska on Sat (6/23) with 30 kt northwest winds and seas to 14 ft at 48N 145W. Something to monitor.

Windswell Forecast
On Sat (6/23) the pressure gradient is to build more with 30 kt north winds covering all of North CA nearshore waters and with 20 kt north winds reaching south down to a point off Pt Conception with a building eddy flow (south winds) along the Central CA coast. Increasing northwest windswell is expected at exposed breaks. Sun (6/24) the gradient is to lift north fading from 30 kts early and down to 25 kts later and limited only to waters off extreme North CA. Windswell production is to be fading fast. An eddy flow is to continue along the Central Coast and building up to Pt Arena. Mon (6/25) the gradient is to fall south some again with 25+ kt north winds pushing down to Pt Arena with windswell building some down into Central CA with an eddy flow over Central CA and up to Bodega Bay. The gradient is to build Tues (6/26) with north winds 30 kts over North CA reaching south to Pt Arena with a weak eddy flow south of Pt Reyes.

Hawaii: On Sat (6/23) easterly fetch at 15 kts is to be limited to the immediate waters 600 nmiles east of Hawaii producing limited short period windswell but no longer reaching to the California coast. Sun (6/24) the fetch is to rebuild the whole way from California to Hawaii at 15 kts with windswell production capacity building some. On Mon (6/25) more of the same is forecast with pockets of winds to 20 kts and covering a broader area with windswell on the increase. The pattern is to build even more on Tues (6/26) with windswell increasing incrementally more.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours another gale is to start building just south of New Zealand on Mon AM (6/25) with 40+ kt southwest winds over broad area aimed northeast and getting traction on the oceans surface. In the evening fetch is to start building to near 50 kts aimed north-northeast with seas to 38 ft at 52.5S 168.5E. 45 kt southeast fetch is to push east on Tues AM (6/26) with seas to 43 ft at 47S 179E. Fetch is to start rebuilding in the evening at 45+ kts from the southwest with seas 38 ft at 48.5S 174W. Something to monitor.

More details to follow...


MJO/ENSO Forecast

Kelvin Wave Eruption Point Slowly Building Coverage

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 was building over equatorial waters in early June, suggesting the demise of La Nina.

Summer 2018 - Swell Generation Potential (for California & Hawaii) = 4.0
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)

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Mon (6/18) 5 day average winds were solidly from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific but weak starting south of Hawaii and continuing over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were light easterly near the Galapagos then solid westerly from 150W to the dateline turning neutral over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (6/19) Light west anomalies were over the eastern portion of the KWGA from 155E and points east of there reaching the whole way to Ecuador with modest east anomalies from 150E and point west of there. The forecast suggests modest east anomalies are to hold over the west KWGA and building east through the end of the forecast period 6/26 while modest west anomalies hold from 170W to Ecuador. In short, a neutral to slightly biased Inactive/Dry MJO signal looks to hold for the next week.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (6/18) An Inactive/Dry MJO signal was over the West KWGA. The statistical model depicts the Inactive/Dry MJO signal is to slowly push east while fading and almost gone 15 days out. The dynamic model depicts the same thing but with the Inactive Phase possibly building rather than fading at day 15. The models are relatively in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (6/19) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was weak over Africa and is to fade while tracking steadily east for the next 15 days, reaching the Maritime Continent 15 days out. The GEFS model depicts the same thing but with the MJO making little eastward progress and still over Eastern Africa 15 days out.
40 day Upper Level Model: (6/19) This model depicts a Inactive/Dry MJO signal building over the far West Pacific/KWGA. it is to track east steadily reaching Central America 7/9. A modest version of the Active/Wet Phase is to develop in the West Pacific 7/9 easing east to the Central Pacific at the end of the model run on 7/29. A new Inactive Phase is to start building over the West Pacific at that time too.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (6/18) East anomalies are to hold over the the western half of KWGA through 7/7 while west anomalies hold over the eastern portion of the KWGA and extending east to 130W. By July 9 no east anomalies are forecast in the KWGA with west anomalies from 130E and points east of there to 140W and holding through the end of the model run if not building on 7/16. It almost looks like a broad non-stop westerly wind burst is to set up fueling El Nino starting 7/9 (or 2 weeks from now). Interesting.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (6/19) This model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was past it's peak over the KWGA with west anomalies over the dateline an positioned east of there with neutral anomalies in control of the KWGA. The Active Phase of the MJO is to be fading and gone over the KWGA 6/21 but with weak west anomalies forecast in the KWGA from the dateline and points east of there. The Inactive Phase is to take control 6/25-7/25 but with west anomalies from 165E and point east of there and retrograding west filing the KWGA 7/5 and beyond. The Active Phase is to follow 7/28 through 9/7 with west anomalies building solid in the KWGA and strong 8/1-8/24 indicative of a WWB. The Inactive Phase is to start building on 9/7-9/16 but with west anomalies holding in the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias is fully in control of the KWGA reaching east to 145W and forecast to hold if not ease east to 135W on 7/21 and building from 2 contour lines to 3 starting 7/17. This is good news for the coming Fall-Winter season. The high pressure bias is limited to an area south of California and shrinking at the end of the model run and moving inland over California. The La Nina bias is gone. The expectation is that the atmosphere and ocean will begin to be coupled 3 months after the start of the transition or on 8/8 (low pressure bias officially filled the KWGA starting on 5/8) in a more favorable configuration to support storm production in the Pacific.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (6/19) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs reaching east to 165E. The 28 deg isotherm line is easing east some again today after previously moving from the dateline last winter to 165W on 5/15 then to 160W on 5/22 then stalling there. It started moving east again 6/12 and today was is at 154W from the surface to 75 meters deep. The 24 deg isotherm was stable at 115 meters deep at 140W and 75 meters deep at 120W rising to 40 meters into Ecuador. Anomaly wise in the East Pacific, warm waters from a Kelvin Wave are focused in the East Pacific at depth. Warm anomalies were moving east from 140W and points east of there at +3.0 degs down 100 meters pushing and reaching east past the Galapagos. These waters are starting to breach the surface from 125W and points east of there. It appears the Kelvin Wave is gaining eastward momentum and erupting at the oceans surface. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 6/12 depicts a large Kelvin Wave starting at 150W at +3.5 degs extending unbroken to the east to Ecuador. The warm pool was breaching the surface between 95W-140W. No residual cool water from La Nina are indicated. And more warm water was pushing east from 140E reaching over the dateline and joining the existing Kelvin Wave. A river of warm water was effectively flowing east from the Maritime Continent eastward into the Pacific. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (6/12) Positive anomalies were solid from the West Equatorial Pacific at +5 cms reaching from the Maritime Continent north of New Guinea then east to the Ecuador with no breaks with anomalies in pockets at +5-10 cms. No negative anomalies were indicated except just off the coast of Peru and fading. The La Nina cool pool is gone.

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: (6/18) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate very weak localized cool anomalies along the immediate coast of Peru and very shallow but over a larger area than day past. But of more significance was a building area of warm water erupting on the oceans surface on the equator from the Galapagos west to 160W. This area had more coherence today than day past. A broad area of warming was also filling the area south of Mexico and out to the dateline. The remnants of the La Nina cool pool were south of the equator between 115W-170W and south of 4S and all but gone.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (6/18): Pockets of warming were scattered along the equator from Ecuador to the dateline but nothing notable. Generic weak spotty cooling was off the immediate Peru coast.
Hi-res Overview: (6/18) A weak area of cool water was building along Chile and Peru. Otherwise warm water was building on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos and west from there to the dateline from 4S up to 20N and building in coherence. The only cool water was in the fading remnant pocket from La Nina limited to an area south of the equator between 115W-165W and south of 4S and steadily loosing density and drifting south.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (6/19) Today's temps were falling some at -1.373, down from -0.428 on 6/7, up from -0.819 on 5/22, and that down from a recent peak rising to +0.459 on 5/13. This is part of a larger rising trend that started 4/10 indicative of the collapse of La Nina. Overall temps had been steadily marching upwards since late December.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (6/19) Today temps were starting to rise again at +0.118 after falling from +0.344 on 6/15. This was the first positive peak in over a year. Previously temps were -0.266 on 6/2, -0.427 on 5/12 after having reached up to -0.254 degs on 5/1. Temps have been steadily rising since 3/27 when they were down at -1.2 degs.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (6/19) The forecast depicts temps bottomed out at -0.75 in Nov 2017 and have been slowly rising since, up to -0.5 in mid-March and -0.30 in early April and neutral in June. The forecast calls for a steady increase from here forward with temp pushing up to +0.50 degs on July 1 and rising in early Oct to +0.95 degs and +1.10 degs in Nov and holding there into the Jan 2019 timeframe. This suggests La Nina is gone and that perhaps El Nino is to build through the Summer and Fall of 2018. Most other models are also suggesting a possible turn to minimal weak El Nino conditions by late Fall.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-June Plume depicts temps at +0.3 degs in late June and are to slowly rise from here forward, to +0.6 in August and +0.8 in October and +1.0 in January holding there. See chart here - link. It looks like La Nina is fading out and a weak El Nino might develop. The CFSv2 is in the low end of that pack.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (negative is good, positive bad) (6/19): The daily index was rising some today at -11.74. The 30 day average was falling today at -2.58 suggesting the Inactive Phase of the MJO was fading. The 90 day average was falling some at +1.80 suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was holding in the atmosphere or biased weakly towards La Nina but even that bias was fading. This is expected for a month or two more.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (6/19) Today the index was rising some at -0.47. Recent points of interest in reverse chronological order are: -1.04 on 6/5, -0.70 on 5/20, -0.60 on 5/17, -0.36 on 5/11 and -0.38 on 5/10, -0.35 on 4/26, -1.02 on 4/5, -1.13 on 3/27. The trend is upward but still less than the -0.33 reading in late Feb. The trend suggests La Nina is not gone, but fading steadily. Last years La Nina reached -1.94 on 11/2/16 and then fell to -2.20 on 6/28/17. It held pretty negative through Jan 2018. This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina events. The goal is to have it rise to at least -0.5 before a significant change could be suggested.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly positive, even though La Nina is in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values: April 2017=+0.53, May=+0.29, June=+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= -0.10, Mar= -0.51, April = -0.85, May =-0.61. 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): Jan 2017 = +0.77, Feb = +0.70, Mar = +0.74, April=+1.12, May=+0.88, June=+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. No 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

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Powerlinessurf Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest

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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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