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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, July 10, 2018 4:22 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
Series of Gale Forecast for New Zealand Storm Corridor


On Tuesday, July 10, 2018 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 2.4 ft @ 8.7 secs with swell 1.0 ft @ 13.1 secs from 171 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.4 ft @ 12.8 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 13.2 secs from 186 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southeast at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 71.8 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.7 ft @ 7.9 secs from 272 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.5 ft @ 14.3 secs from 216 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.7 ft @ 13.7 secs from 219 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.8 ft @ 13.5 secs from 198 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.3 ft @ 6.7 secs with northwest windswell 4.4 ft @ 6.3 secs from 317 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 14-18 kts. Water temp 57.2 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 Tuesday (7/10) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing surf in the knee high range on the sets and crumbled and warbled with whitecaps at some breaks early. Protected breaks were thigh to maybe waist high and clean but very weak. 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 knee to thigh high and weak but clean and barely rideable. In North Orange Co background southern hemi swell was occasionally producing sets wit peaks to chest high but mostly waist high and pretty textured from southerly wind. South Orange Country's best breaks had very rare sets at chest high through most were waist to chest high and weak and crumbled driven by light southerly winds. In North San Diego surf was knee to thigh high and crumbled from light south winds. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was flat with rare thigh high sets and clean. The East Shore was small with waves thigh to waist high and lightly chopped from modest east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (7/10) no real swell was hitting anywhere in our main forecast area. 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. And a third tiny gale developed on Wed (7/4) in the upper reaches of the Southeast Pacific with 28 ft seas aimed north. Swell from those systems is tracking north and poised to start arriving over the next few days in both Hawaii and California. A gale developed targeting the Tasman Sea Sat-Sun (7/8) and filtered swell from it is expected to seep north towards Hawaii. A weak gale pattern is forecast developing under and east of New Zealand barely moving into the Southwest Pacific with the first gale in the series developing Wed (7/11) with seas 36 ft over a tiny area, followed by another on Thurs (7/12) with 40 ft seas and possibly a third on Sat-Tues (7/17) lifting northeast through the Central Pacific with 36-38 ft seas. Otherwise some weak to modest form of windswell is expected at exposed breaks in California Wed-Thurs (7/12) and possibly developing in Hawaii by Fri (7/13).


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

North Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday AM (7/10) 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 Tuesday (7/10) high pressure at 1030 mbs was over the Gulf of Alaska ridging east producing the usual pressure gradient over North and Central CA producing 20+ kt north winds from just south of Cape Mendocino down to Pt Conception with the focus near Morro Bay. Junky short period windswell is being produced mainly for the Central coast. The high and the gradient are to lift north Wed (7/11) with north winds building to 25-30 kts over Cape Mendocino with an eddy flow building over Central CA with short period windswell continuing for all of North and Central CA. By Thurs (7/12) the gradient is to be limited to Oregon waters but producing north winds over a broad area at 25 kts with some odds for small cleaner north windswell mainly for North CA with the eddy flow in place for all of North and Central CA. Friday (7/13) the gradient is to start fading positioned off the coast of Oregon and extreme North CA with a light eddy flow over all of California with only minimal windswell expected. See QuikCASTs for details.

Hawaii: On Tuesday (7/10) no easterly fetch of interest is forecast in the Hawaii swell window with no windswell generation expected and no real change is forecast On Wednesday (7/11). 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 900 nmiles east-northeast of the Islands resulting in small junky short period east windswell. More of the same is forecast on Fri (7/13) but with winds to 20 kts in pockets perhaps offering a better shot of small northeast windswell at exposed east facing shores. See QuikCASTs for details.


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


Tropical Update
Typhoon Maria: On Tues AM (7/10) Typhoon Maria was 240 nmiles east-southeast of mainland China and 120 nmiles east of Northern Taiwan tracking west-northwest winds winds 105 kts (120 mph). This system is expected to miss Taiwan and impact mainland China later Tuesday evening continuing inland from there. No recurvature northeast is expected.


California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday AM (7/10) north winds continued at 20+ kts for Central and North CA with the core of the gradient starting to show signs of lifting north in the afternoon. On Wed (7/11) north winds are 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) mainly starting in the early afternoon. Sunday (7/15) northwest winds to continue at 10 kts for all of North and Central CA and pushing 15 kts for Cape Mendocino early and growing south to Pt Reyes late afternoon. Monday north winds to hold at 15-20 kts for North CA down to Pt Arena, but only 10 kts south of there. More of the same on Tues (7/17).

South Pacific

On Tuesday (7/10) the southern branch of the jetstream was starting to lift northeast under New Zealand up to 53S and forming a weak trough being fed by only 80 kts winds. Given the low winds speeds, odds were also low for supporting gale development there. Just east of there the jet was falling hard south from 170W and point east of there into Antarctica and continuing over the remainder of the South Pacific actively suppressing gale development. Over the next 72 hours the ridge over the Central Pacific is to continue slowly sweeping east over Antarctica into Fri (7/13) actively suppressing trough formation. But the weak troughing pattern under New Zealand is to start building some later Tuesday being fed first by a small area of 120 kts winds later Wed (7/11) and on Fri (7/13) by a stronger pulse of 140 kt southwest winds offering improved odds for troughing and support for gale development there. Beyond 72 hours starting Sat (7/14) a decent trough is to be pushing east from a point southeast of New Zealand being fed by 130 kts winds lifting nearly north making it to the Central South Pacific on Sun (7/15) carving out a fairly broad and decently formed trough filling the Pacific Basin there offering decent support for gale development in lower levels of the atmosphere. Additional winds energy is to be feeding the trough on Mon (7/16) at 120 kts again offering more support for gale development before the trough finally start to fade later Tues (7/17) filling the Southeast Pacific. If all goes as forecast a possible decent push of gale activity is possible from an upper atmospheric perspective.

Surface Analysis  
On Tuesday (7/10) 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). Also swell from a gale previously under New Zealand was radiate northeast (see New Zealand Gale below) but that swell was tiny in size.

Over the next 72 hours the first in a series of 3 gales is to push east under New Zealand Tues PM (7/10) generating a tiny area of 55 kt southwest winds (actually storm force) and seas building from 30 ft over a tiny area at 55.5S 169.5E. The gale is to track east on Wed AM (7/11) still with 55 kt southwest winds and seas to 37 ft at 55S 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 57S 171W. This system is to be so small and tracking east as to have no swell impact in Hawaii and California.

The second gale is to track under New Zealand Wed PM (7/11) with 55 kt west wind and seas building from 36 ft over a small area at 60S 163E. On Thurs AM (7/12) fetch is to be building in coverage but fading in velocity from 50 kts from the west-southwest and seas 42 ft at 59.5S 176.5E. This gale to fade in the evening from 40 kts from the west-southwest with seas fading from 39 ft at 59S 170.5W aimed east. This gale is to dissipate from there. The eastward track of this system likely means most swell energy is to be tracking east, not northeast.


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) early. Swell fading Sun (7/15) from 2.3 ft @ 12-13 secs early (2.5-3.0 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 fading Sun (7/15) from 2.3 ft @ 13 secs early (3.0 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 fading on Sun (7/15) from 1.5 ft @ 15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Dribbles on Mon (7/16) fading from 1.3 ft @ 14 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction 210-215 degrees.

North CA: Swell arrival in CA on Fri afternoon (7/13) building to 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 fading on Sun (7/15) from 1.5 ft @ 15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Dribbles on Mon (7/16) fading from 1.3 ft @ 14 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction 210-215 degrees.


Tasman Sea Gale
On Sat PM (7/7) a gale moved into the Tasman Sea from under Tasmania with 35-40 kt south-southwest winds and seas 32 ft at 48S 146E. On Sun AM (7/8) 35-40 kt south winds continued moving into the Tasman Sea and nearly filling it with up to 30 ft seas at 46S 153E aimed northeast. Fetch lifted northeast in the evening with 30-35 kt south winds and seas 29 ft at 42S 158E. This system faded from there. Swell possible for Fiji with filtered energy pushing towards Hawaii.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on later Sun (7/15) pushing 1.5 ft @ 17-18 secs (2.5 ft). Swell peaking on Mon (7/16) 1.7 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.5 ft). Swell fading Tues (7/17) from 1.2 ft @ 14-15 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 217 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
On Saturday (7/14) a weak gradient is to hold just off the coast of Cape Mendocino with north winds 20 kts offering only minimal support for windswell production while a weak eddy flow continues over the entire state. Sunday (7/15) the gradient is to start falling south with north winds 15-20 kts covering all of North CA resulting in minimal junky north windswell down to maybe Pigeon Point. over too. On Mon (7/16) the gradient is to retreat with 20 kt north winds limited to Pt Arena and areas north of there offering only minimal support for windswell production mainly for North CA with a weak eddy flow from Bodega Bay southward. More of the same expected on Tues (7/17).

Hawaii: On Saturday (7/14) a small fetch of east winds at 15 kts are forecast associated with high pressure at 1036 mbs centered 1400 nmiles north-northeast of Hawaii and a tropical wave 900 nmiles east-southeast of Hawaii with fetch extending 700 nmiles east of the Islands resulting in small junky short period east windswell. More of the same is forecast on Sunday (7/15) with winds to 20 kts north of the tropical wave now 600 nmiles east-southeast of Hawaii and fading. Monday (7/16) east fetch to continue at 15 kts extending 700 nmiles east of Hawaii producing more limited short period east windswell and continuing into Tues (7/17).

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours another gale is forecast developing southeast of New Zealand on Sat AM (7/14) tracking northeast with winds from the southwest at 40 kts and seas 31 ft at 56.5S 179W and building while lifting hard northeast. In the evening a broad fetch of 40-45 kt southwest winds is to be lifting east-northeast with seas 36 ft at 50S 165W. On Sun AM (7/15) fetch is to fade but still 45 kts from the southwest with seas 39 ft at 53S 157W. In the evening the fetch is to fade to 35 kts with seas fading from 36 ft at 48S 151W. On Mon AM (7/16) fetch is to hold position at 30-35 kts from the southwest with seas fading from 31 ft at 44.5S 144W. The gale is to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.

Details to follow...


MJO/ENSO Forecast

SOI Continues Dropping But ESPI Not Responding Yet

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 Mon (7/9) 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): (7/10) weak west anomalies were over the western KWGA and strong easterly anomalies supposedly were over the dateline/Eastern KWGA. The forecast suggests strong east anomalies are to continue on the dateline backfilling the KWGA to 155E by 7/13 and holding in areal coverage but weakening through the end of the model run on 7/17 but still moderate in strength. 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: (7/9) A neutral to weakly Active/Wet MJO signal was building into the Western KWGA. The statistical model depicts the Active/Wet MJO signal is to build in the KWGA filling it 5 days out and holding through the end of the model run/next 2 weeks. The dynamic model depicts the same thing. The models are in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (7/10) 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, approaching the West Pacific. The GEFS model depicts a variant on the same theme.
40 day Upper Level Model: (7/10) This model depicts an Inactive/Dry MJO signal was fading while tracking east over the East Pacific and moving out of the picture by 7/18. A moderate strength Active/Wet Phase was over the West Pacific and is to be easing east over Central America on 8/14. A modest Inactive pattern is to follow in the West Pacific on 8/8 making little east headway while fading some through the end of the model run on 8/19.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (7/9) This model depicts light west anomalies over the Western KWGA with light east anomalies on the dateline and building west slightly to 150E on 7/12, then dissipating by 7/15. West anomalies are to hold in the west KWGA then building steadily east to 170E on 7/15 and holding from there forward in the core of the KWGA and building to nearly the dateline through 8/6. No significant easterly anomalies are indicated with a steady westerly wind anomaly pattern building in the heart of the KWGA.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (7/10) This model depicts a weak Inactive Phase of the MJO was all but gone over the KWGA but with a weak west anomaly wind pattern in control and holding as the Inactive Phase of the MJO fades 7/12. A 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 9/27 with west anomalies building solid in the KWGA and strong 7/19-8/11 and then again 9/5-9/23 indicative of a Westerly Wind Burst (WWB). The Inactive Phase is to start building on 9/24 holding through the end of the model run on 10/7 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 has built from 2 contour lines to 3 on 7/8 and forecast to hold for the foreseeable future (through Winter 2019). This means we are in full El Nino mode starting today through the coming Fall-Winter season. The eastern edge of the Low Pressure bias is to ease east to 125W (just off Calfiornia0 by 10/6. The high pressure bias is currently limited to an area south of California and shrinking steadily and is to be gone by 9/26. The atmosphere and ocean are slowly becoming coupled towards an 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: (7/10) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs reaching east to 168E. The 28 deg isotherm line is starting to retrograde from 148W on 7/2 to 153W 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 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 to +2.0 deg C at 165W 125 meters down and pushing east to the Galapagos. There were no longer any +3.0 degs anomalies indicated. These warm 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: (7/9) 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 105W. 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 (7/9): Mixed pockets of mainly cooling were scattered along the equator from Ecuador to 120W suggesting the peak of the Kelvin Wave has past. Temps were warming weakly along the coasts of Chile and Peru.
Hi-res Overview: (7/9) 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, but still just in the mild warming category. 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: (7/10) Today's temps were steady at -0.352, 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: (7/10) Today temps were rising again at +0.388 after having fallen to +0.298 on 7/7. Temp previous rose to +0.490 on 7/2. and 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 (7/9) 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 +1.1 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) (7/10): The daily index was falling today at -14.40. The 30 day average was falling today to -7.92 suggesting the Inactive Phase of the MJO was gone. The 90 day average was falling some at -2.63, 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): (7/10) Today the index was falling again at -0.76 after nearing the highest it's been in a year at -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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