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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Saturday, July 7, 2018 2:37 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
2.3 - California & 1.7 - 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 7/9 thru Sun 7/15

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   

Small SHemi Swells Pushing North
New Zealand Storm Corridor to Stir


On Saturday, July 7, 2018 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 3.1 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 2.4 ft @ 13.2 secs from 194 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.7 ft @ 10.0 secs with swell 2.4 ft @ 10.1 secs from 174 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 68.5 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 3.4 ft @ 7.9 secs from 270 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.5 ft @ 9.5 secs from 216 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 2.2 ft @ 9.8 secs from 207 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 3.1 ft @ 10.0 secs from 190 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.1 ft @ 16.7 secs with northwest windswell 4.0 ft @ 6.4 secs from 316 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 14-18 kts. Water temp 55.2 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 Saturday (7/7) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing surf in the knee to waist high range and crumbled and warbled though surface conditions were clean. Protected breaks were thigh high and clean but very weak and crumbled. At Santa Cruz surf was knee to maybe thigh high on the sets and clean but weak and slow. In Southern California/Ventura surf was thigh to maybe waist high and weak but clean and somewhat lined up and at least rideable. In North Orange Co hurricane swell was fading with waves waist to maybe chest high on the biggest peaks and semi-lined up but soft and crumbled with some south warbled/texture on it. South Orange Country's best breaks had sets at chest to shoulder high and clean but with some south warble running through it but not bad. In North San Diego surf was waist to chest high on the sets and still pretty lined up and clean but soft. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and heavily textured. The South Shore was still getting background southern hemi swell with set waves shoulder high or so and clean and lined up. The East Shore was getting decent east windswell with waves chest to head high and chopped from moderate east trades and Fabio swell was hitting the East Shore of the Big Island Hawaii at shoulder high 3.0 ft @ 16 secs from 80 degrees).

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

Meteorological Overview
On Saturday (7/5) the last of the swell from what was Hurricane Fabio was fading out in Southern California. Weak background southern hemi swell was still hitting Hawaii and rideable. A weak gale developed in the Southeast Pacific on Mon (7/2) with 26 ft seas aimed northeast. A stronger gale developed Tues-Wed (7/4) under New Zealand with 35-37 ft seas but all fetch was aimed east. So there's some hope for minimal swell tracking north and northeast for both Hawaii and California. A building gale pattern initially targeting the Tasman Sea is developing Sat-Sun (7/8) and is expected to seeping east under New Zealand with a gale tracking into the Southwest Pacific Tues-Wed (7/11) with near 40 ft seas, and another Thurs (7/12) with 36 ft seas and possibly a Sat (7/14) with 34 ft seas. but all are a bit far out on the models and confidence in them actually developing is low. Otherwise some weak to modest form of windswell is expected at exposed breaks in California through Thurs (7/12) but fading out in Hawaii by Mon AM (7/9).


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

North Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Saturday AM (7/7) no swell of interest was in the water nor being generated in the North Pacific other than local windswell.

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast other than windswell.

Windswell Forecast
California: On Sat (7/7) the usual summer time pressure gradient was producing north winds at 20 kts from Pt Arena south to Pt Conception with windswell production focused on breaks from Big Sur south into Southern CA but mostly just short period and junky. More of the same is forecast on Sun (7/8). On Monday (7/9) high pressure at 1028 mbs is to be holding 900 nmiles north of Hawaii ridging east continuing the usual pressure gradient somewhat over North CA but mainly Central CA producing 20-25 kts north winds from just south of Cape Mendocino to Pt Conception with the focus near Morro Bay. Junky short period windswell is to continue mainly for the Central coast. The high and the gradient are to start lifting north later Tues (7/10) with north winds 20-25 kts centered near Bodega Bay but reaching south to Pt Conception and north over Southern Oregon with short period raw windswell continuing for all of North and Central CA. See QuikCASTs for details.

Hawaii: On Sat (7/7) east fetch at 15-20 kts was in control of waters from the Hawaiian Islands and 600 nmiles east of there connecting to the remnants of Fabio 1100 nmiles east-northeast of Hawaii resulting in easterly windswell impacting exposed east facing shores of the Islands. On Sun (7/8) easterly fetch is to be fading quickly in coverage at 15 kts initially extending 300 nmiles east of Hawaii but far less later in the day and Fabio's remnants fading to nothing 800 nmiles east-northeast of Hawaii. Windswell still being generated but down from days previous and likely barely rideable and shrinking through the day. On Monday (7/9) no easterly fetch of interest is forecast with no windswell generation expected and no change is forecast Tues (7/10). See QuikCASTs for details.


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


Tropical Update
Ex-Tropical Storm Fabio: This system was no longer being tracked by the National Weather Service. But some small swell from it is in the water hitting exposed east shores of the Hawaiian Islands starting Sat (7/7) peaking in the afternoon at 4.0 ft @ 16 secs (6.5 ft) from 80 degrees. Residuals on Sun (7/8) fading from 3.1 ft @ 14 secs (4.0-4.5 ft) from 85 degrees. Nothing is to be left after that.

Typhoon Maria: On Thurs AM (7/5) Maria was 1200 nmiles east of the Northern Philippines with winds 80 kts tracking northwest and expected to continue on this track while strengthening, peaking Sat AM. On Sat AM (7/7) winds were estimated at 125 kts (144 mph) centered 1,000 nmiles east of the northern tip of the Philippines tracking west-northwest with seas 36 ft. A slow decay is forecast thereafter with Maria taking a more west-northwesterly track than originally forecast moving just north of Taiwan on Tues evening (7/10 GMT) with winds down to 100 kts then hitting mainland China early Wed AM (7/11). No recurvature northeast is expected.


California Nearshore Forecast
On Saturday AM (7/7) the regular summer gradient was in effect with north winds 20 kts for all of North and Central CA waters and building to 25 kts for Big Sur down to Pt Conception in the afternoon. Sunday (7/8) north winds continue at 20 kts for the North and Central coasts and up to 25 kts for Pt Conception and continuing into Mon (7/9). Tuesday (7/10) north winds continue at 20+ kts for Central CA with the core of the gradient starting to show signs of lifting north in the afternoon. Then on Wed (7/11) north winds to be 25-30 kts over extreme North CA and north winds fading from 15 kts from Pt Arena southward down to 10 kts or less by mid-morning. On Thurs (7/12) light south winds (eddy flow) are expected for all of North and Central CA and holding Fri (7/13). A weak north flow at 10-15 kts is forecast for all of North and Central CA Sat (7/14).

South Pacific

On Saturday (7/7) the influential southern branch of the jetstream was weak but ridging south into Antarctica over the Southwest Pacific offering no support for gale development. It was ill formed and weak over the Central South Pacific and another ridge was pushing south into Antarctica over the far Southeast Pacific. In short, there was no support for troughs or gale formation over the greater South Pacific. But at the same time on Sat (7/7) a trough is to start building into the Tasman Sea being fed by 110 kts reaching up to 40S offering some support for gale development there. Over the next 72 hours the ridge in the west is to start sweeping east over Antarctica Mon-Tues (7/10) continuing the lock down on support for gale development over the bulk of the South Pacific. The trough in the Tasman Sea is to ease east through Sun (7/8) while weakening but still offering some support for gale development there then tracking east under New Zealand but very weak and not offering any energy of interest. Beyond 72 hours stating Tues (7/10) a new weak troughing pattern is to start building under New Zealand being fed by 110 kt southwest winds with another pulse of 120 kt west winds on Wed (7/11) pushing east. Also on Fri (7/13) yet another pulse of 130 kt southwest winds is forecast setting up south of New Zealand building to 150 kts on Sat (7/14) offering good support for trough and therefore gale development and pushing well into the Southwest Pacific. An improving pattern looks possible.

Surface Analysis  
On Saturday (7/7) small swell was radiating north from 2 weak gales previously in the Southeast Pacific (see Weak Southeast Pacific Gale and Tiny Southeast Pacific Gale below). Background swell was hitting Hawaii too (see QuikCASTs for details). Also swell from a gale previously under New Zealand was radiate northeast (see New Zealand Gale below) but that swell as tiny in size.

Over the next 72 hours starting Sat PM (7/7) a gale is forecast moving into the Tasman Sea from under Tasmania with 35-40 kt south-southwest winds and seas 32 ft at 48S 145.5E. On Sun AM (7/8) 35-40 kt south winds are to continue moving into the Tasman Sea and nearly filling it with 31 ft seas at 44.5S 152.5E aimed northeast. Fetch is to lift northeast in the evening with 30-35 kt south winds and seas 30 ft at 42S 157E. This system to fade from there. Swell possible for Fiji with filtered energy pushing towards Hawaii.


Weak Southeast Pacific Gale
On Sun PM (7/1) a small weak gale started to develop in the Central Pacific producing a fetch of 35 kt southwest winds resulting in a small area of 24 ft seas at 50S 149W. Fetch continued in coverage Mon AM (7/2) at 35 kts from the southwest with seas to 26 ft at 45S 134W aimed east-northeast. Additional 35 kt southwest fetch developed in the evening generating a larger area of 26 ft seas at 45S 125W aimed northeast. This system was tracking east Tues AM (7/3) while moving to the edge of the SCal swell window with southwest winds at 40 kts and seas 27 ft at 44S 120W aimed northeast. The gale to move out of the CA swell window after that. Low odds of meaningful swell resulting targeting California. Better odds for Central America.

Southern CA: Small swell is possible starting Tues (7/10) pushing 2 ft @ 16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell building on Wed (7/11) to 2.3 ft @ 15 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell holding on Thurs (7/12) at 2.2 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.0 ft). Residuals on Fri (7/13) fading from 1.8 ft @ 12-13 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 195 degrees This swell being overridden by swell from another gale in the Southeast Pacific (see below).

North CA: Small swell is possible starting Tues (7/10) pushing 1.3 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.0 ft) later. Swell building Wed (7/11) to 1.6 ft @ 15 secs late (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell peaking on Thurs (7/12) to 1.9 ft @ at 14 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 185 degrees This swell being overridden by swell from another gale in the Southeast Pacific (see below).


Tiny Southeast Pacific Gale
Also on Wed AM (7/4) a tiny gale developed in the upper reaches of the Southeast Pacific with 50 kt south winds over a tiny area aimed north with seas to 28 ft at 33S 135W. By The evening fetch was fading fast from 40 kts in pockets aimed north to east with seas 27 ft at 33S 130W. The gale dissipated from there. Small swell is possible radiating north.

Southern CA: Swell arrival on Thurs (7/12) building to 1.6 ft @ 17-18 secs later (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell building on Fri (7/13) at 2.5 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell continues on Sat (7/14) at 2.9 ft @ 14 secs (4.0 ft). Swell DIrection: 188 degrees

North CA: Swell arrives on Thurs (7/12) but buried in swell above. On Fri (7/13) swell takes over at 2.5 ft @ 16 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell fading on Sat (7/14) from 2.6 ft @ 14 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 187 degrees


New Zealand Gale
Of more interest was a broad gale that developed south of New Zealand on Tues AM (7/3) with 45 kt southwest winds and seas building from 35 ft at 58S 155E (217 degs CA) and shadowed by New Zealand relative to HI). In the evening southwest fetch held at 40 kts with seas 36 ft at 58S 165E (213 degrees CA and unshadowed for NCal but shadowed by Tahiti for SCal). Swell also unshadowed for HI (194 degrees). On Wed AM (7/4) fetch was loosing coverage but holding velocity at 40 kts with seas 33 ft at 59S 175E (193 degs HI, 208 degs NCal, 210 degs Scal and shadowed by Tahiti). This gale was fading fast in the evening with southwest fetch fading from 30 kts and seas mainly from previous fetch fading from 28 ft at 60S 175W (206 degs CA and shadowed). Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Wed (7/11) building to 1.2 ft @ 16-17 secs later (2.0 ft). Swell peaking on Thurs (7/12) 1.4 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0 ft) early. Swell fading Fri (7/13) from 1.5 ft @ 14 secs (2.0 ft). residuals on Sat (7/14) fading from 1.3 ft @ 13 secs early (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 189 degrees

Southern CA: Swell arrival in CA on Fri afternoon (7/13) at 1.3 ft @ 18 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell continues Sat (7/14) at 1.5 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction 210-215 degrees.

North CA: Swell arrival in CA on Fri afternoon (7/13) with period 18 secs. Swell continues Sat (7/14) at 1.4 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction 210-215 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.

Windswell Forecast
Wednesday (7/11) the gradient is to be centered over the CA-OR border now with north winds at 25-30 kts with a weak eddy flow (south winds) setting up for most of North and all of Central CA. Small windswell possible mainly for North CA. By Thurs (7/12) the gradient is to be limited to Oregon waters at 25 kts with limited odds for small clean north windswell for North CA and the eddy flow in place for all of North and Central CA. Friday (7/13) the gradient is to start dissipating and well off the coast of Oregon with a light eddy flow over all of California with no real windswell expected. More of the same on Sat (7/14) too.

Hawaii: On Wednesday (7/11) no easterly fetch of interest is forecast with no windswell generation expected. But on Thurs (7/12) a small fetch of east winds at 15 kts are forecast building associated with high pressure at 1034 mbs centered 1200 nmiles north-northeast of Hawaii extending 800 nmiles east of the Islands resulting in small junky short period east windswell. More of the same is forecast on Fri (7/13) with winds to 20 kts in pockets and continuing on Sat (7/14).

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a series of 3 interesting gales are to track east under New Zealand starting Tues PM (7/10). The first is to have a tiny area of 55 kt southwest winds and seas 37 ft over a tiny area at 55.5S 168.5E. The gale is to track east on Wed AM (7/11) still with 55kt southwest winds and seas to 40 ft at 57S 179.5E. The gale is to rapidly fade in the evening with southwest fetch fading from 45 kts and seas fading from 35 ft at 57.5S 174.5W.

The second gale is to under New Zealand Wed PM (7/11) with 45-50 kt west wind and seas building from 34 ft over a small area. On Thurs AM (7/12) fetch is to be fading from 40 kts from the west-southwest and seas 36 ft at 59S 172E. This gale to fade from there quickly.

And a third system is forecast Sat AM (7/14) tracking northeast positioned southeast of New Zealand with winds from the southwest at 40 kts and seas 31 ft at 55S 172E and building while lifting hard northeast.

Details to follow...


MJO/ENSO Forecast

Equatorial Warm Pool Continues Slowly Building - 90 day SOI Dropping

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 and possibly turning towards El Nino.

Summer 2018 (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 Fri (7/6) 5 day average winds were solidly from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific then weakening starting on the dateline and modest easterly over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were mostly neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and mixed neutral and light easterly in pockets over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (7/7) a weak pattern of mixed east and west anomalies were in the KWGA. The forecast suggests strong east anomalies are to develop on the dateline starting 7/8 and backfilling the KWGA to 155E through the end of the model run on 7/14. This seems very strange given the complete opposite forecast from the CFS model (below).

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (7/6) A neutral MJO signal was filling the KWGA. The statistical model depicts a neutral MJO signal to continue for the next 2 weeks. The dynamic model depicts the same thing initially but with a Active/Wet signal developing in the West Pacific starting day 6 and building into the end of the run on day 15. The models are reasonably in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (7/7) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was weak over the Maritime Continent and is to track steadily east while building solid 15 days out, reaching the East Maritime Continent. The GEFS model depicts a variant on the same theme.
40 day Upper Level Model: (7/7) This model depicts an Inactive/Dry MJO signal was fading while tracking east over the East Pacific and moving out of the picture by 7/22. A very weak version of the Active/Wet Phase was developing over the West Pacific and is to be easing east to the East Pacific on 8/11. A modest Inactive pattern is to follow in the West Pacific on 8/11 making little east headway while fading some through the end of the model run on 8/16.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (7/6) This model depicts light west anomalies over all the KWGA holding through 7/8. A small pocket of east anomalies are forecast on the dateline 7/10 for 4 days or so, then fading while west anomalies hold in the far west KWGA and building steadily 7/15 at 150E and holding from there forward in the core of the KWGA through 8/3. No significant easterly anomalies are indicated.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (7/7) This model depicts a weak Inactive Phase of the MJO was over the KWGA but with a neutral to weak west anomaly wind pattern in control and holding as the Inactive Phase of the MJO fades 7/10. A neutral to weak Active MJO pattern to follow starting 7/17 with modest west anomalies slowly building in coverage and strength in the KWGA. The Active Phase is to continue through 9/21 with west anomalies building solid in the KWGA and strong 8/8-9/17 indicative of a Westerly Wind Burst (WWB). The Inactive Phase is to start building on 9/23 holding through the end of the model run on 10/4 but with west anomalies holding in the KWGA, just weaker than previously. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias is fully in control of the KWGA reaching east to 145W and forecast easing east to 125W at the end of the model run and building from 2 contour lines to 3 solidly starting today and holding thereafter. This means we are in full El Nino mode starting today through the coming Fall-Winter season. The high pressure bias is currently limited to an area south of California and shrinking at the end of the model run and moving well inland over the interior US. La Nina is gone. The atmosphere and ocean are slowly becoming coupled towards and El Nino bias and should fully reach that state 3 months after the start of the transition or by 8/8 (low pressure bias officially filled the KWGA starting on 5/8). This pattern is more favorable 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: (7/7) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs reaching east to 167E. The 28 deg isotherm line is starting to retrograde from 148W on 7/2 to 152W today presumably due to weakening Kelvin Wave conditions under the West Pacific.The 28 degs line was stationary on the dateline last winter, then started moving east on 5/15 to 165W, then to 160W on 5/22 then to 154W on 6/19 and to 150W on 6/24 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 25 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 at +1.0 deg C were moving east from the far West Pacific and building at 135W and points east of there at +3.0 degs down 100 meters pushing and reaching east past the Galapagos. These waters are breaching the surface from 135W and points east of there. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 7/2 depicts a river of warm water pushing east from the West Pacific with a large Kelvin Wave embedded in it starting at 135W building to +3.5 degs extending unbroken to the east to Ecuador and breaching the surface between 100W-150W. No residual cool water from La Nina are indicated. And more warm water was pushing east from the Maritime Continent spilling into the West Pacific pushing under the dateline and joining the existing Kelvin Wave. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (7/2) Positive anomalies were solid from the Maritime Continent over the West Equatorial Pacific at +5 cms reaching east to the Ecuador with no breaks and anomalies 0-5 cm over that entire area with multiple imbedded pockets at 5+ cms. No negative anomalies were indicated. El Nino is developing.

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: (7/4) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a drastically shrinking area of cool anomalies along the immediate coast of Peru and Chile as compared to days 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, strongest at 100W. This area was fully coherent and was completely filling the equator from 90W to the dateline 4 degs north and south of the equator. A broad area of generic warming was also filling the area south of Mexico out to the dateline, and building in coherency south of Mexico in the past few days. The remnants of the La Nina cool pool were south of the equator between 115W-150W and south of 5S and all but gone.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (7/6): Mixed pockets of warming and cooling were scattered along the equator from Ecuador to 120W. Temps were warming along the coasts of Chile and Peru.
Hi-res Overview: (7/6) An area of weak cool water was present along Chile and Peru but weakening compared to days past. 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 starting at 4S between 115W-145W and steadily loosing coverage and mostly irrelevant now.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (7/7) Today's temps were rising steadily today at -0.467, 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. Overall temps here are steady in the -0.75 deg range.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (7/7) Today temps were falling some today at +0.298 after having previous risen to +0.490 on 7/2. Still the overall trend is continuing warmer, the first time 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 (7/7) The forecast calls for a steady increase from here forward with temps pushing up to +0.40 degs on July 1 (confirmed - see above) and rising in early Oct to +1.40 degs and to +1.50 degs in Nov then slowly fading from there but still above the +1.0 range into March 2019. This suggests that perhaps El Nino is to build through the Summer and Fall of 2018. Most other models are also suggesting a possible turn to 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) (7/7): The daily index was falling today at -0.55. The 30 day average was falling today to -7.36 suggesting the Inactive Phase of the MJO was gone. The 90 day average was falling some at -2.35, turning negative for the first time in a year on 6/30 suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was building in the atmosphere. This is expected for a month more before falling into steady negative territory by mid August.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (7/7) Today the index was falling again at -0.37 after nearing the highest it's been in a year which was -0.09 on 7/2. La Nina has not completely given up it's grip on equatorial precipitation yet. But we suspect that will be short lived. 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 suggests La Nina is all but gone. This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina situations.
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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