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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Friday, July 5, 2019 4:05 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
3.7 - California & 3.6 - 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 7/1 thru Sun 7/7

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   

New Zealand & Hurricane Swell Hitting CA
New Zealand Hitting HI

On Friday, July 5, 2019 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/ Buoy 239 (Lanai) Seas were 3.9 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 2.3 ft @ 14.9 secs from 187 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 1.5 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 0.8 ft @ 10.2 secs from 285 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.2 ft @ 12.0 secs with swell 2.4 ft @ 13.3 secs from 192 degrees. Wind at the buoy was calm. Water temperature 63.9 degs. At Harvest (Buoy 071) primary swell was 3.1 ft @ 12.3 secs from 184 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.2 ft @ 13.1 secs from 202 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 2.4 ft @ 11.6 secs from 209 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 3.4 ft @ 11.6 secs from 194 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 8.2 ft @ 7.1 secs with swell 6.6 ft @ 6.6 secs from 325 degrees with southern hemi swell 2.7 ft @ 15.7 secs from 202 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 10-12 kts. Water temp 49.5 degs (013) and 57.6 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 Friday (7/5) in North and Central CA locally generated northwest windswell was producing waves at waist to chest high on the sets and mushed and pretty wonky and not really rideable. Protected breaks were waist high and soft and a little warbled but rideable if you are desperate. At Santa Cruz surf was chest high and clean early and lined up and good when the sets come. In Southern California/Ventura Hurricane Barbara swell was producing waves at chest to head high on the sets but a little warbled but with no local wind. In North Orange Co the same swell was producing waves at head high and lined up on the sets and clean. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were head high to 1 ft overhead on the sets but soft and with some moderately texture on it coming from the south. North San Diego had surf at shoulder to maybe head high and lined up and fairly clean but with some south textured on it. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was getting the start of another New Zealand swell with set waves head high and clean and lined up but a little slow early. The East Shore was flat and lightly textured from light southeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (7/5) in California Secondary New Zealand swell was starting to arrive and making for occasional decent surf at select breaks with swell from Hurricane Barbara overwhelming it in Southern CA. In Hawaii swell from yet Another New Zealand Gale was starting to arrive. The swell hitting Hawaii was from a broad system developed south of New Zealand while tracking east-northeast Fri-Mon (7/1) with up to 42 ft seas. And another smaller gale formed southeast of New Zealand Thurs-Fri (7/5) with up to 37 ft seas aimed northeast. And yet another gale is forecast developing Sun-Mon (7/8) with up to 39 ft seas aimed northeast. Quite a nice little pattern is occurring.


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

North Pacific

Surface Analysis
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast other than local windswell (see below).

Windswell Outlook
On Friday (7/5) weak pressure gradient is to be holding mainly over North CA producing north winds at 20+ kts and some windswell radiating south with north winds 15 kts over Central CA just making junky conditions there. No east fetch is expected relative to Hawaii. On Saturday (7/6) the gradient is to build some over North CA with north winds 20-25 kts producing windswell radiating south with pockets of north winds over Central CA nearshore waters at 15 kts. No easterly fetch is forecast for Hawaii with no windswell expected. Sunday (7/7) no real change is forecast with north winds 20-25 kts over North CA producing windswell radiating south with 15 kt north winds along the Central CA coast in pockets just chopping things up. The remnants of Barbara are to be approaching the Hawaiian Islands from the east. Mon (7/8) the gradient is to be fading over North CA as low pressure approaches from the Gulf of Alaska producing only a shallow area of north winds at 20 kts limited to North CA nearshore waters and getting smaller through the day and 15 kt north winds over Central CA waters and fading too through the day offering only minimal support for windswell development mainly for North CA. The remnants of Barbara is to be moving into the Big Island of Hawaii producing northeast winds at 15-20 kts later producing limited local windswell mixing with preexisting groundswell and migrating over all the Islands overnight.


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


Tropical Update
Hurricane Barbara on Tues AM (7/2) was positioned 1500 nmiles south of Pt Conception tracking west-northwest with winds 115 kts with seas estimated at 42 ft. In the evening the storm peaked in the evening with winds 135 kts (155 mph) tracking west-northwest with seas supposedly 52 ft at 13N 124W. On Wed AM (7/3) Barbara continued on a west-northwest track with winds 125 kts early fading to 115 kt (132 mph) in the late afternoon with seas down to 48 ft at 14.6N 128W. The track held Thurs AM (7/4) with winds fading from 100 kts (115 mph) moving to within 1500 nmiles of the Big Island of Hawaii with swell radiating west with seas 39 ft at 15.7N 129.6W. On Fri AM (7/5) Barbara was fading with winds dropping to 65 kts and barely at hurricane force with seas 22 ft fading below hurricane force late afternoon and swell generation potential fading out. On Sat (7/6) Tropical Storm Barbara is to be 1100 nmiles east of the Big Island and turning to a fully westerly course with winds at tropical storm status at 40 kts and fading from there. Tropical Depression Barbara is to be nearly gone by Mon AM (7/8) with 20 kt winds from it's remnants 180 nmiles east of the Big Island and of no particular interest.

Hilo: Swell arrival expected late on Fri (7/5) pushing 4.0 ft @ 16-17 secs (6.5 ft). Swell to continue on Sat (7/6) at 4.1 ft @ 15-16 secs (6.0 ft). On Sun (7/7) a mixture of windswell and ground swell from Barbara are to be hitting at 5.1 ft @ 14 secs (6-7 ft). Windswell to peak on Mon (7/8) pushing 7 ft @ 11 secs in the afternoon (7-8 ft). A quick fade is forecast Tues AM (7/9) fading from 4.9 ft @ 9 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 85-95 degrees

California Nearshore Forecast
On Friday (7/5) north winds to be 20 kts for all of North CA and 15 kts for Central CA. Sat (7/6) north winds to continue at mostly 20-25 kts for all of North CA and 15 kts for Central CA. Sun (7/7) north winds to remain at 20-25 kts for North CA but 15-20 kts for Central CA. Mon (7/8) north winds to be fading at 20 kts and 10-15 kts for Central CA and down to 15 kts or less by late afternoon everywhere. Tues (7/9) light northwest winds are forecast 10 kts for all of North and Central CA. Wednesday (7/10) no real change is forecast. Thurs (7/11) north winds to be building from 15 kts early for all of North and Central CA pushing 20 kts in pockets late afternoon. Fri (7/12) north winds to be 15-20 kts for all of North and Central CA early building to 20 kts solid late afternoon.

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


South Pacific

On Friday (7/5) a ridge was trough was developing southeast of New Zealand with 160-170 kt southwest winds pushing northeast offering good support for gale development. The trough proceeds east to the Central South Pacific then the jet falls south into a ridge actively suppressing support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours
starting Sat (7/6) that pre-existing trough is to become reinforced by a broad area of 130 kt southwest winds pushing hard northeast under and east of New Zealand offering good support for gale development into Mon (7/6) southeast of New Zealand. Beyond 72 hours the trough is to weaken quickly by Tues (7/9) no longer offering support for gale formation while a huge ridge pushing hard south into mainland Antarctica starting at 140W and points east of there. Thurs-Fri (7/12) slowly the jet is to weakly start falling southeast under New Zealand producing a weak ridging pattern there and getting stronger with southeast winds to 120 kts 180 hours out offering no support for gale development. And east of there a very weak jetstream wind pattern is to set up offering nothing of interest.

Surface Analysis  
Swell from a secondary gale that tracked under New Zealand was hitting California (see Secondary NZ Gale below). And yet another solid gale traversed the Southwest and Central Pacific and swell from that one is starting to hit Hawaii now (see New Zealand Gale below). And yet another small gale developed under New Zealand (see Another New Zealand Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours the main focus is to be the a gale tracking up the east coast of New Zealand (see Final New Zealand Gale below).


Secondary NZ Gale
Another but smaller gale developing while tracking east south of the Tasman Sea on Mon PM (6/24) with 40 kt west winds and seas building from 32 ft over a small area aimed east at 58S 168E. Fetch pushed due east on Tues AM (6/25) at 30-35 kts with a core to 50 kts over a tiny area with 31 ft seas fading at 56.5S 179E aimed east-northeast. Fetch faded out in the evening with no additional seas of interest forecast.

Hawaii: Swell fading some on Fri AM (7/5) from 2.1 ft @ 13-14 secs early (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell fading out overnight. Swell Direction: 191-192 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (7/5) building to 2.2 ft @ 16 secs (3.5 ft) holding all day. Swell building on Sat (7/6) to 3.1 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.5-5.0 ft). Swell Direction: 211 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (7/5) building to 2.3 ft @ 16 secs (3.5-4.0 ft) holding all day. Swell fading on Sat (7/6) from 2.2 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 214 degrees


New Zealand Gale
A new gale started building south of New Zealand on Fri AM (6/28) producing 35-40 kt northwest winds over a large area and seas building to 25 ft at roughly 54S 155E aimed at the Ross Ice Shelf. By evening a solid fetch of 45-50 kt west-southwest winds were building aimed northeast with seas building from 37 ft at 55.5S 161E (SCal 218 degs and just barely shadowed by Tahiti, NCal 216 degs and unshadowed by Tahiti). On Sat AM (6/29) a broad fetch of 45-50 kt southwest winds were in-place pushing east with seas building to 41 ft at 56S 178.5E aimed east (SCal 212 degs and shadowed, 210 degs NCal and just barely shadowed). In the evening fetch held at 45 kts from the southwest over a broad area with seas 42 ft at 57S 170W aimed east-northeast (SCal 206 degrees and unshadowed, NCal 205 degs and shadowed). On Sun AM (6/30) the gale was easing east and aimed much better to the north with 35-40 kt south-southwest winds over a solid area and seas 38 ft at 55S 160W (SCal 203 degs and unshadowed, NCal 202 degs and shadowed). The gale tracked northeast in the evening with 30-35 kt south-southwest winds over a large area and 34 ft seas at 50.5S 151W aimed northeast (SCal 201 degs and unshadowed, NCal 197 degs and unshadowed). The gale faded fast on Mon AM (7/1) with 30-35 kt south winds over a tiny core and seas mainly from previous fetch fading from 30 ft at 48S 144W aimed northeast. In the evening the gale faded out with seas fading from 26 ft at 50S 133W aimed northeast. Swell is in the water tracking northeast.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Fri (7/5) building to 2.1 ft @ 20 secs late (4.0 ft). Swell holding on Sat (7/6) at 2.1 ft @ 18 secs early (3.5-4.0 ft with sets to 4.5 ft). Swell fading some on Sun (7/7) fading from 2.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Dribbles on Mon (7/8) fading from 1.4 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0 ft). A secondary pulse is possible on Tues (7/9) building to 2.2 ft @ 13 secs (3.0 ft) early. Swell Direction: 190 degrees moving to 175 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (7/6) building to 1.0 ft @ 23-24 secs late (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell building on Sun (7/7) pushing 2.3 ft @ 20 secs later (4.5 ft). Swell solid on Mon (7/8) at 2.7 ft @ 18-19 secs (5.0 ft with set to 6.5 ft). Swell holding early Tues (7/9) at 3.0 ft @ 16-17 secs (4.5 ft with sets to 5.5 ft). Swell Direction: 202 degrees

North CA: Expect the first signs of this swell hitting buoys late Sat (7/6) with period 24 secs. Swell building on Sun (7/7) at 2.1 ft @ 20-21 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell solid on Mon (7/8) at 2.5 ft @ 18-19 secs (4.5 ft with sets to 6.0 ft). Swell holding early Tues (7/9) at 2.8 ft @ 16-17 secs (4.5 ft with sets to 5.5 ft). Swell Direction: 200 degrees


Another New Zealand Gale
Yet another gale developed south of New Zealand on Thurs AM (7/4) producing 45-50 kt southwest winds and seas building from 33 ft just off the northern edge of the Ross Ice Shelf at 61S 176.5E. In the evening the gale lifting northeast with 45 kt southwest winds and seas building to 37 ft at 60.5S 1705W (207 degs SCal and not shadowed, 206 degs NCal and shadowed by Tahiti). The gale raced east on Fri AM (7/5) with 40 kts west winds producing 32 ft seas at 56S 164 aimed east-northeast (203 degs SCal and not shadowed, 202 degs NCal and shadowed). In the evening fetch rebuilt with 45 kt west winds aimed east and seas fading to 31 ft at 55S 162W aimed east-northeast (194 degs NCal and not shadowed). This gale is to significantly rebuild Sat AM (7/6) with 40-45 kt southwest winds and seas building to 35 ft at 52S 148W aimed northeast. In the evening the gale is to push east with 35 kts southwest winds over a large area with 40-45 kts southwest winds embedded in it with seas 37 ft at 50S 131W aimed east-northeast. Fetch is to fade from 30-35 kts Sun AM (7/7) with seas fading from 34 ft at 50S 120W and no longer of interest. Possible swell radiating northeast over a broad area.


Final New Zealand Gale
Yet another solid gale is to develop south of New Zealand on Sat AM (7/6) with 45-50 kt southwest winds and seas building from 37 ft at 60.5S 173.5E aimed east. This is just a primer gale. In the evening a new fetch of 40-45 kt south-southwest winds are to be building south of New Zealand with seas building quickly from 34 ft at 54S 166E aimed northeast. The gale is to track northeast fast on Sun AM (7/7) with 40-45 kt southwest winds and seas 38 ft at 50S 174E aimed northeast. The gale to continue lifting northeast in the evening with 40-45 kts southwest winds and seas 36 ft at 48S 180W aimed northeast. The gale is to start pushing east and fading on Mon AM (7/8) with 40 kt west winds and seas 34 ft at 49S 162W aimed east-northeast. The gale is to fade from there. Something to monitor.

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 weather systems are forecast.

Windswell Outlook
On Tuesday (7/9) low pressure is to be just off the Pacific Northwest cutting into the high off California with winds 10 kts over CA waters offering no windswell production potential. For Hawaii east with from Barbara to be 15-20 kts over all the Islands fading to 15 kts later. Wednesday (7/10) no windswell producing fetch is forecast for California or Hawaii with only scattered pockets of east winds at 15 kts remaining directly over the Islands from the tail end of Barbara. Thursday (7/11) north winds to be 15+ kts mainly over Central CA no offering any windswell production. Light east trades to be east of Hawaii offering nothing. On Fri (7/12) more of the same is forecast for CA and HI with no windswell production forecast.


South Pacific

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


MJO/ENSO Forecast


Nino 3.4 Temps Falling - La Nina 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 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. In January 2019, those warm waters were fading, but then rebuilt late in Feb associated with Kelvin Wave (#3). But as of early June warm water was fading and the outlook did not favor El Nino come Fall.

Summer 2019 = 5.5 (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 weak borderline El Nino condition continue, and assuming a weak ocean-atmospheric coupling holds and ocean temperature anomalies in Nino3.4 hold in the +0.8 deg range, there is good probability for slightly enhanced storm production in the South Pacific during the Northern Hemisphere Summer time months. There is 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 Summer 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 (7/4) 5 day average winds were solidly from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific holding over the Central Pacific but weak over the West Pacific/KWGA. Anomalies were weak easterly over the East equatorial Pacific turning light westerly over the Central Pacific and holding light westerly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (7/5) weak east anomalies were in the far West KWGA with a solid area of west anomalies on the dateline in the KWGA and east of there filling the entirety of the East Pacific. The forecast is for light east anomalies in the extreme Western KWGA reaching east to 140E but steady west anomalies mainly filling the KWGA and building to moderate status from 7/6-7/9 and holding are modest strength through the end of the model run on 7/12. There is to be steady gentle support for storm development over the next 7 days.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (7/4) A weak Inactive MJO pattern was indicated over the West KWGA today. The statistic model indicates a Inactive MJO pattern is to take hold 5 days out and continue through day 10, then fading and returning to a neutral pattern at day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model suggests the same pattern initially but with a Inactive Phase fully holding over the core of the KWGA at day 10 and holding into day 15. The 2 models are in sync other than the last 5 days.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (7/5) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase exceedingly weak over the East Atlantic and it is forecast to push east into the Indian ocean and very week 2 weeks out. The GEFS model suggests the Active Phase is to build moderately over Africa the next 10 days, then collapsing into the far West Indian Ocean and very weak.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (6/30) This model depicts a very weak Active Phase over the East Pacific today and is to push east into Central America on 7/12. A modest Inactive MJO signal is over the far West Pacific today pushing east slowly and stalled in the Central Pacific at the end of the model run 8/9. No clearly defined MJO pattern is to follow with a weak Active Phase is to set up in the Indian Ocean at the end of the model run.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (7/4) This model depicts a weak Active MJO signal over the East Pacific today with a thin area of weak east anomalies in the extreme Western KWGA but with moderate west anomalies east of there from 150E mostly filling the KWGA. The forecast had this pattern holding till 7/29, then starting to fade out at the end of the model run on 8/1.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (7/5) This model depicts a weak Active Phase just past it's prime over the KWGA with weak west anomalies mainly over the dateline and points east of there. The Active Phase and modest westerly anomalies are to hold over the dateline and east of there through 7/13, with the Inactive Phase trying to weakly develop on 7/17 but with west anomalies holding in the KWGA till 7/22 fading to neutral. The Inactive Phase is to dissipate on 8/6 with west anomalies slowly redeveloping. After that a Active Phase is forecast moving over the KWGA on 8/8 holding through 9/23 with modest west anomalies filling the entirety of the KWGA. An Inactive MJO is to be moving into the KWGA at the end of the model run on 10/2. with west anomalies holding in the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias with 1 contour lines in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to California. This single remaining contour line is to hold till 8/22 then dissipating and migrate west to the Indian Ocean at the same time and holding through the end of the model run. This model indicates that a weak El Nino pattern is to fade in late August and not return, moving towards the Indian Ocean, symptomatic of La Nina. Basically we are moving from a pattern biased towards El Nino to one biased towards ENSO neutral if not La Nina.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (7/5) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs over a building area centered at 170E while the 29 deg isotherm was steady at 163W today. The 28 deg isotherm line was retrograding at 150W. The 24 deg isotherm previously pushed into Ecuador at 30 meters down, but retrograded to 105W last week, then again pushed into Ecuador down 20 meters on 6/25 and was holding today. Anomaly wise, gentle warm anomalies are filling the entire subsurface Pacific at +1 degs from the surface to 150 meters down (deepest on the dateline). There is a clear sense that warm subsurface water was building under the dateline with a small core to +2 degs suggesting another Kevin Wave was building. And +2 degs anomalies were in another pocket pushing into Ecuador. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 6/27 indicates warm water from Kelvin Waves #3 and #4 have formed a shrinking pocket of warm water under the Central equatorial Pacific from 160E to 115W at +1.5 degs above normal, and shrinking in coverage. A small pocket of cool water was drawing up from depth to the surface in the east at 100W. A previous stream of warm water flowing into the far West Pacific from the Maritime Continent perhaps was starting to reappear. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (6/27) No positive anomalies are indicated over the equatorial Pacific with neutral anomalies over the bulk of the equator and a small area of negative anomalies at -5 to -10 cms over the Galapagos.

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: (7/1) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate very weak warm anomalies were steady from 10S to 20N on the equator in the east from Peru and Central America dropping to 20S in the west on the dateline. Cooling is holding along Peru and Chile and has been present for the past 2 weeks. Warming south of the equator in the Central Pacific was fading through holding north of the equator. There is some weak indication of a El Nino but nothing solid.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (7/4): A broad area of very weak cooling was along Peru up to the equator and with stronger pockets from Ecuador west to 130W interspersed with warming pockets over the same area. This is a significant change from weeks previous suggesting a developing cooling trend.
Hi-res Overview: (7/4) Warmer than normal water was from Ecuador west over the Galapagos 20 degrees north of the equator and 10 degrees south of it continuing west of there to the dateline. But there is an area of developing cooling along and just off the Peruvian Coast and in pockets around the Galapagos west to 120W. And warm temps south of the equator from Peru west to 140W were quickly fading to nearly neutral. El Nino appears to be in retreat.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (7/5) Today's temps were steady and cooler than normal at -0.331 degs, about on par with the trend 2 weeks previous at -0.508 degs, and that down from a peak of +1.235 on 5/27.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(7/5) Today temps were rebounding slightly after crashing, dropping from +0.655 on 6/19 to -0.057 on 6/27 rebuilding to +0.330 today.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (7/5) The model indicates a cooling trend setting up with temps +0.65 degs in early June falling steadily to 0.0 degs in mid-July and down to -0.2 Aug 1 holding to Nov. Temps to continue falling to -0.45 degs Dec 1 holding into Jan 2020, then returning to neutral by March 1. A weak La Nina pattern is to set up.
IRI Consensus Plume: The June 2019 Plume depicts temps are at +0.60 degs in June, and are to hold in the +0.70 range into November, then fading slightly to +0.65 in February 2020. See chart here - link.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad) (6/29): The daily index was negative today at -3.51, mostly negative the last 20 days. The 30 day average was rising at -8.22. The 90 day average was falling some at -7.25, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern biased towards El Nino (for now).
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (April) +0.34, March +1.0, Feb +1.29, Jan +0.193. It is approaching El Nino territory but still indicted mostly 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 -0.43, Sept -0.46, Oct -0.75, Nov -0.78, Dec -0.12, Jan -0.23, Feb -0.55 This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO, even with La Nina, because the warm PDO appears to be dampening the effects of La Nina. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): June 2017 +0.79, July +0.10, Aug +0.09, Sept +0.32, Oct +0.05, Nov +0.15, Dec +0.50, Jan +0.70. Feb +0.37, Mar -0.05, April +0.11, May +0.11, June -0.04, July +0.11, Aug +0.18, Sept +0.09. No real negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data strongly suggests that could be a possibility. By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 


External Reference Material: El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), Kelvin Wave

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