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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 9:06 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
Swell Potential Rating = 2.0 - California & 2.6 - 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 7/14 thru Sun 7/20

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 Swell Pushing Towards CA
Tiny Gale Forecast for Northern Gulf - In July


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.


Current Conditions
On Tuesday
(7/15) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing surf in the waist to maybe chest high range and relatively clean but warbled from southerly winds. Down in Santa Cruz there was no southern hemi swell with rare windswell waves in the knee to thigh high range and clean.  In Southern California up north windswell was producing waves occasionally knee to thigh high with textured and warbled conditions. Down south there was stray thigh high windswell sets with textured conditions. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was getting New Zealand swell with waves chest high with some head high sets and very clean conditions. Trade wind generated east windswell was producing waves at waist high and chopped at exposed breaks on the East Shore.    

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

Meteorological Overview
Believe it or not the remnants of Typhoon Neoguri are to redevelop momentarily in the Northern Gulf of Alaska later on Thurs (7/17) generating 35 kts winds and 20 ft seas late possibly setting up a tiny pulse of north swell for Central CA northward late in the weekend. Otherwise no swell producing fetch is occurring or forecast for the North Pacific other than local windswell and limited to North and Central CA and only on Wed (7/16), then fading out.  Tiny energy from what was Super Typhoon Neoguri was hitting North CA but expected to fade out by Thurs afternoon (7/17). A second typhoon was tracking over the Philippines with a third to develop just east of there on Sat (7/19) tracking north. In the southern hemisphere a small and weak gale developed southeast of New Zealand late on Sun (7/6) pushing hard northeast on Mon-Tues (7/8) with 30 ft seas aimed northeast towards Tahiti, Hawaii and the US West Coast. That swell is currently hitting Hawaii bound for the US West Coast. after that perhaps a weak gale to develop on the east edge of the CA swell window on Thurs (7/17) with 28-30 ft seas aimed due east. Nothing much swell wise to result for CA. And maybe a small gale to produce fetch in the Tasman Sea producing 22-28 ft seas targeting Fiji, but not even Hawaii. 

Details below...

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

North Pacific

Surface Analysis  - On Tuesday (7/15) trades were 15 kts over a small area due east of the Hawaiian Islands offering only limited support for generation of easterly windswell along east facing shores there. Modest high pressure at 1028 mbs was in the Eastern Gulf of Alaska generating a weak pressure gradient along the North CA coast generating 20 kt north winds resulting in only smallest short period north windswell radiating south into exposed breaks in Central CA. Low pressure was trying to develop over the dateline in association with the remnants of what was Typhoon Neoguri.  

Over the next 72 hours the pressure gradient is to start fading along Oregon and North CA producing only a small area of 20 kts north winds and slowly fading in areal coverage through Sat (7/19) resulting in only small and weak north short period windswell at exposed break in North and Central CA. The dateline low is to build some then .cgiit with the core moving into the Northern Gulf of Alaska on Thurs (7/17) with winds building to 35 kts late and seas building to 20 ft at 53N 143W (06Z Fri) barely in the 319 degree great circle path relative to San Francisco.  Perhaps a fragment of 13 sec period swell to result, not some much rideable as an interesting meteorological footnote associated with the developing El Nino (assuming this gale even forms). .     

Easterly trades relative to Hawaii to build a little on Wed-Thurs (7/17) extending from North CA to the Islands at 15-20 kts with small windswell the expected result along east facing shores.  But beyond the wind vector is to lift north of the Islands with only local trades just east of Hawaii providing any additional fetch, with windswell fading some.     


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

Typhoon Rammasun was tracking directly through the Philippines on Tues AM (7/15) with winds 110 kts and forecast to pass just barely south of Manila in the evening with winds down to 95 kts. From there Rammasun to track west-northwest bound for North Vietnam but impacting Haikou first on Fri AM (7/18) with winds regenerated to 120 kts. No swell generation potential relative to our forecast area.  

Yet another tropical system is to develop 500 nmiles east of the Philippines on Thurs (7/17) tracking west and then turning northwest Sun (7/20) bound for Taiwan. no recurvature to the northeast is projected at this time. 

California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday AM (7/15) high pressure was positioned in the Eastern Gulf producing a pressure gradient and north winds at 25 kts over a small area over Cape Mendocino with a eddy flow in control of almost the entire CA coast. The gradient and north winds are to fade some on Wed (7/16) with north winds 15-20 kts off North CA waters, and the eddy flow holding nearshore, and continuing in some fashion into Sat (7/19). By Sunday a light wind regime (10 kts or less) is to take control over all CA waters with no change forecast till late Tues (7/22) when north winds are to build nearshore for the entire state at 15 kts. 


South Pacific

Jetstream - On Tuesday (7/15) the southern branch of the jet remained in a well entrenched zonal configuration running flat west to east and di.cgiaced south on the 68S latitude line and running across the width of the South Pacific. A patch of 130 kt winds were building in the flow in the far Southwest Pacific suggesting yet another reinforcing ridge was building there.  No troughs were indicated anywhere across the South Pacific with no support for gale development suggested. Over the next 72 hours the jet is to hold it's general position in the west down at 68S while loosing wind energy, with the pocket of winds energy previous over the Southwest Pacific sweeping east-northeast and almost forming a trough in the far Southeast Pacific by Thurs (7/17) lifting up to 60S. Yet another pocket of 140 kt winds to build in this flow on Fri (7/18) lifting better to the north reinforcing the trough and offering support for gale development in lower levels of the atmosphere, then pushing east of the CA swell window on Sat (7/19). Beyond 72 hours winds to fade to 60 kts across much of the southern branch of the jet early next week with the overall flow starting to lift a little north under New Zealand by Wed (7/23).  But with winds speeds so weak, no support for gale development is expected.    

Surface Analysis  -  On Tuesday (7/15) swell from a small gale that developed east of New Zealand is in the water hitting Hawaii and bound for California (see New Zealand Gale below). Otherwise high pressure at 1020 mbs was in control over waters east of New Zealand and ridging south to 60S, pretty much driving and eastward bound gales over the Ross Ice Shelf and affording no fetch over ice free waters. Starting Wed (7/16) a broad gale is to develop with it's core over Antarctic Ice and 40 kt west-southwest winds building up near 60S in the Southeast Pacific starting to get traction over ice free waters there. That fetch is to build into the evening with a small area of 45 kts west winds taking root up at 58S with 28 ft seas at 58S 130W. 40-45 kt west winds to race east and be out of the SCal swell window on Thurs AM (7/17) with a tiny area of 30 ft seas at 56S 120W (180 degrees SCal) but mainly aimed east of there. Secondary 35-40 kts fetch to develop in that same area on Fri (7/18) with perhaps another small area of 28 ft seas developing at 55S 120W Fri AM (7/18). A quick fade to follow. Minimal sideband swell with period 14-15 secs possibly to result for SCal, but most energy to be targeting Southern Chile. 

Also a weak gale is to develop in the Tasman Sea on Thurs PM (7/17) with 45 kt south winds developing just along the East Australia Coast getting better coverage Fri (7/18) over the Central Tasman Sea at 35 kts with 28 ft seas at 32S 154E targeting Fiji. Maybe some swell to result there.        


New Zealand Gale

A gale developed south of New Zealand on Sun PM (7/6) with southwest winds building from 45 kts over a small area and seas to 28 ft at 59S 175E. A decent fetch of 40 kt south-southwest winds built Mon AM (7/7) pushing well to the northeast with seas building to 26 ft at 54S 175W. In the evening fetch was holding at 40 kts still aimed north-northeast with seas building to 30 ft over a tiny area at 46S 170W
(214 degs SCal and shadowed, 211 NCal and barely shadowed, 188 degrees Hawaii). By Tues AM (7/8) south winds were fading from 35 kts with 28 ft seas fading over a tiny area at 39S 162W. This system dissipated after that. A decent pulse of swell to result for Tahiti with small energy for Hawaii and smaller and shadowed energy for California.

Hawaii:  Residuals on Wed (7/16) fading from 2.3 ft @ 13-14 secs (3 ft). Swell Direction: 188 degrees

California:  Swell arrival expected near noon on Wed (7/16) with period 17 secs and size building reaching 1.8 ft @ 16 secs (2.5-3.0 ft) later. Swell peaking at 2.2 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0-3.5 ft) mid-Thurs (7/17). Residuals expected on Friday (7/18) fading from 2.0 ft @ 15 secs (3 ft). Remnants on Saturday fading from 1.8 ft @ 14 secs (2.5 ft).  Swell Direction: 211 NCal and 214 degs SCal. 


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 high pressure is to remain retrograded with it's core 1100 nmiles north of Hawaii starting Sat (7/19) with none of it ridging towards the US West Coast.  As a result no pressure gradient is to be in.cgiay with no north winds nor any northerly local windswell resulting through mid-next week (7/23).  
But relative to Hawaii, the high north of the state is to start providing a steady easterly flow east of the Islands at 15 kts starting Sun (7/20) and building in coverage getting decently sized by Tues-Wed (7/23) possibly generating better easterly windswell along east facing shores of the Hawaiian Islands during that window.

Note: 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 equatorial Pacific it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slack if not an outright reversal of trade winds and enhanced 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.cgianet. 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. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to .cgiit resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. 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).

As of Tuesday (7/15) the daily Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) was up to 18.53. The 30 day average was down to -7.68 and the 90 day average was down at 1.16. The near term trend based on the 30 day average was indicative of a weak Active Phase of the MJO. The longer term pattern was indicative of a neutral Phase of the MJO. The recent falling SOI numbers are a result of low pressure developing just south of Tahiti. But higher pressure and more stable air is expected to take over for the next 7 days with low pressure present but remaining too far south to have an impact. The SOI tends to be a lagging indicator running a week behind surface level weather trends.  

Current equatorial surface wind analysis indicated weak west anomalies over landlocked portions of the Maritime Continent turning weak easterly over the dateline and on to a point south of Hawaii. Neutral anomalies developed midway to the Galapagos and held into Ecuador. A week from now (7/23) neutral anomalies are forecast over the entire equatorial Maritime Continent extending east to the dateline and holding to a point south of Hawaii.  Weak east anomalies are projected near the Galapagos. The GFS model indicates trades are taking over the Eastern Kelvin Wave Generation Area and are to hold if not push a bit more west Thur (7/17) at 16 kts with no break projected until Sun (7/20). This is not encouraging, but not horrible either. Beyond a far lighter trade wind pattern is indicated 8-10 kts max. This is to be the second easterly wind event this year. Not bad considering were 190 days into the year.  Previously an Easterly Wind event occurred in the West Pacific 6/13-6/19 building to the moderate.cgius category but did not appear to have turned off the warm water flow to the east (more below), though it was close. The TOA array indicated westerly anomalies developed 6/25 west of the dateline (at the surface - the ground truth) and held through 7/6 in the moderate range, then turned neutral on 7/7 but were trending light westerly on 7/11 into 7/14.  So things are not as bad as they appear, and actually pretty good. If one was counting on a Super El Nino, this is not good.  But compared to La Nina, where enhanced trades (20+ kts) would be blowing non-stop, we're in great shape.

See our new Kelvin Wave Generation Area monitoring model here.

Previously a series of WWBs occurred 1/8-4/20 creating a large Kelvin Wave that is now impacting Ecuador, the Galapagos and Peru. And weak westerly anomalies continued through the month of May. This was very similar situation that led up to the big El Nino's of '82/32 and '97/98. But in those instances the WWBs and Kelvin Wave generation progressed non-stop through the Summer and Fall months. 

An article presenting a Comparison between the genesis of the 1997 El Nino and this 2014 WWB event has been posted here.
A second analysis from 5/28 is posted here.  

The longer range Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR) models (dynamic and statistical) run on 7/14 are in sync. They both suggest a modest Active MJO signal is in effect in the West Pacific reaching to the dateline if not further east. 5 days out it is to hold per the statistic model but the dynamic model suggests a slowly fade setting in, with the Active Phase gone 10 days out. The statistical model depicts the same trend, but with the Active Phase still lingering 15 days out. This is good news if it occurs.  The ultra long range upper level model indicates a weak Active Phase currently over the dateline and tracking slowly east through 7/30. A robust Inactive Phase is to set up in the Indian Ocean and maybe start making progress into the extreme West Pacific on 8/9 but weakening significantly making it east of the dateline on 8/24. A very weak MJO pattern biased Active is what one would expect if an El Nino were to develop. If a neutral pattern actually prevails in July , it provides hope that the warming water in the equatorial East Pacific is starting to have some impact on the atmosphere above. As said before, we're at the point where weak westerly anomalies should be standard in the West Pacific if a moderate El Nino where developing, attributable to warming waters temps over the width of the equatorial Pacific. Based on active sensors from the TOA wind data from the Kelvin Wave generation area, which we consider to be the best objective evidence, that appears to be the case. The upper level model tends to be a leading indicator, with surface level anomalies lagging behind 1 week or more.    

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.  As of the most recent low res imagery (7/14), a warm water regime remains in control from Ecuador west over the Galapagos and drifting west from there with warm anomalies extending on to the dateline. But most of it is confined east of 120W (in the Nino 1 & 2 regions) at +1.0 deg above normal, with 1 deg anomalies reaching into the eastern edge of the Nino 3.4 region, but mainly falling into the 0.5-1.0 degree range. And the concentration of those temps now appears to be fading. Hi-res SST data depicts the extent of +2.25-4.0 deg anomalies embedded in the Galapagos triangle in decline, but somewhat stable for the past few days.  Temps in the +1.5-2.2.5 range have faded, but appear to be more stable of late. The patch of cooler anomalies at -0.5 that were building off the entire coast of Peru has faded and not returned, but at the expense of the broader warm pattern. A steady decline of the Nino -1 & 2 regions appears to be setting in. Small pockets of previous +4 degree anomalies in the triangle disappeared 2 weeks ago, but one small patch has redeveloped in the past 2 days. Still, we consider it an outlier. This means the bulk of the massive Kelvin Wave generated by Westerly Wind Bursts in Jan-April has erupted at the surface and is dispersing. Those warmed waters are advecting west, tracking barely into the Nino 3.4 region, but not getting any reinforcements and are having only a slightly impact on the overall water temps in the equatorial Pacific. this is not unexpected. This remains the tail of the proverbial dog, while Westerly Wind Bursts are the nose. The issue remains getting more warm water into the pipe to eventually erupt near the Galapagos.

Elsewhere, the entire North Pacific Ocean is full of warmer than normal water as is the West Pacific (north and south). Signs of high pressure induced upwelling streaming southwest off California has become a little more pronounced, but not bad, especially given the time of year. And this is expected if El Nino was in.cgiay. This is significant in that is suggests high pressure induced north winds are less than normal off California for this time of year. And the only cool water present is streaming off Southern Chile pushing west reaching up to the equator just south of Hawaii, but getting shunted south by the warm water on the equator east of there. Overall the total amount of warmer than normal water in the North Pacific remains impressive. 

Subsurface Waters Temps on the equator are in decline too. Residual warm subsurface water from the previous Kelvin Wave are dropping. They are currently are +3.0 deg C above normal, and fading. The core is 50 meters down at 110W. Temps previously were up to +6 degs C above normal on 6/21. As best as can be identified the residuals of the Kelvin Wave covers a smaller area now, starting at 150W building into Ecuador with the core between 120W and 100W. Satellite data as of 7/7 depicts with effectively no elevated surface water heights in the Galapagos region. This is a significant downgrade in the past 14 days indicated the Kelvin Wave has dissipated. Subsurface models as of 7/7 depict the flow from the West Pacific to the east was still open, but with no significant warm water in it. But, the pipe was not closed. A small pocket of +0.5-1.0 anomalies are theoretically in.cgiace under the dateline and building (though the nearest sensors are at 165E - so it's modeled data), suggestive of a new Kelvin Wave trying to take shape. But even if it is real, at this point in time it's a bare minimal Kelvin Wave and would not even warm waters above what they already are in the Galapagos region. A far stronger Kelvin wave is required. And even at that it would take 2-3 months before it would arrive at the Galapagos (~Sept 30). 

The Pacific Equatorial Surface Counter-Current (from 2N to 2S from the Philippines to the Galapagos) as of 7/12 continued tracking actually and anomalously east to west from the Galapagos to the dateline (through the heart of the Nino 3.4 region), the exact opposite direction it should be to build warm waters in the East Pacific. But it appears the actual current and anomalies are tracking less strong east to west than data from 7/2, and 7/7 and late June. This is somewhat encouraging news. This west moving current started 6/17. In the far West Pacific the current continues flowing west to east, holding since 7/2, suggestive of a new Kelvin Wave taking shape, but flowing less strong than a week ago.  The assumption is the change in direction in the current was attributable to development of easterly winds in the same area in mid-June, that have not been reversed due to lack of any real Westerly Wind Burst.  

Projections from the monthly CFSv2 model run 7/15 are likely sensing the decay of warm waters in the east and have downgraded again, suggesting water temps building to +1.0 deg C by early Oct peaking at + 1.15 deg C (down from the +1.55 deg C predicted in early July and +1.75 in May) holding into Jan 2015, then fading. Interestingly this model actually depicts warm waters dissipating in the Nino1+2 regions in August then redeveloping in the Nino 3.4 regions in Sept and gaining momentum and areal coverage while building back into Nino1.2 into Jan 2015 link.

Analysis: As of right now hopes for a strong El Nino in the Fall/Winter of 2014-2015 are in rapid decline. The massive Kelvin Wave that was generated by successive Westerly Wind Bursts in Jan-April has erupted in the Galapagos region and is now dispersing. The WWB ended on 5/1 with all warm water from it arriving 3 months later over the Galapagos, or by 8/1 (if not sooner) with neutral water temps taking over the Galapagos-Ecuador-Peru triangle at that time forward unless something develops to reinforce it. All evidence clearly suggest the warm pool is in rapid decline exactly as projected. A new, very weak WWB appears to be developing in the West Pacific (starting 6/28). But even if it were to continue, it would not reach the Galapagos till 9/28. So there's a 8 week 'hole' with no significant warm water to resu.cgiy the Ecuador triangle between 8/1 and 9/28. This will likely cause water temps to decease in the Nino1+2 regions, likely to near neutral. That means that even if another weak Kelvin Wave were to arrive in the Galapagos, it will have to warm water temps from dead neutral, rather than acting as reinforcements to already warmed waters. And if no additional Westerly Wind Bursts occur, warm water in all Nino regions will dissipate completely. If one is to believe the models, ther'se a.cgie evidence to suggest the pattern of suppressed trades in the far West Pacific is also decaying, with a more normal trades trying to take root. This is exactly what occurred during the 2012 False-Start El Nino. 

Of course the other option is that the June easterly wind burst was the start of the 'upwelling' Phase of the Kelvin Wave. It's normal after a downwelling Kevin Wave impacts the Ecuador coast, that some period of upwelling (cooling) occurs. And for that to be true, the upwelling Phase of the Kelvin Wave cycle would be facilitated by a lack of westerly winds in the West Pacific (as is currently occurring). The long range (2 week) experimental hi-res GFS model now suggests an almost total collapse of trades on the equator in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area starting Sun (7/20), and building eastward to a point south of Hawaii and holding through at least 7/29. And it is also typical for trades to start falling into decline in the later half of summer.  Many an El Nino has not developed till the Fall.  And only a few (namely the '97 Super El Nino) developed and survived strong through the summer and over the span of an entire year. A more 'normal' development life cycle would favor the alternating 'downwelling/upwelling' Kelvin Wave cycle. Perhaps we've put too much focus on the '97 El Nino lifecycle model (attributed to the impressive WWB/Kelvin Wave that started this years event off, making it easy to think this years event would be a semi-d.cgiicate of the '97 event), when instead we should have defaulted to considering a more normal lifecycle approach. 

And of yet more interest, the CFSv2 model depicts exactly this scenario.cgiaying out, with water temps in Nino1.2 fading in August then redeveloping in September, exactly filling the 'hole' scenario described above. If a sudden redevelopment of westerly winds occurred in late July, and a new Kelvin Wave were to develop starting early August, the 'upwelling Kelvin Wave' theory would have credence towards e.cgiaining the current pause in WWB activity. 

But without another WWB building on the dateline in late July/August to set up another downwelling Kelvin Wave event, then the developing El Nino pattern would dissipate. Monitoring surface wind anomalies in the West Pacific remains critical to determining the future of this years potential El Nino pattern.  And believing model projections weeks if not months in advance is a proven risky proposition. Therefore, we will continue to believe the above e.cgianation is more of a last grasp than a certainty.        

And finally, there's the 'feedback loop' consideration.  We're currently waiting for a feedback loop to develop, reinforcing the warm water flow and buildup of warm water off Central America into the Fall. There are signs of that trying to happen now, mainly in the form of sporadic but not steadily negative SOI numbers, and tropical low pressure systems recurving northeast off Japan and significantly reduced high pressure induced north winds along the CA coast resulting in warming waters locally. The big arguments against a feedback loop being in.cgiace are the easterly wind event of the week of 6/17, the development of a west moving Pacific Counter Current, a dissipating Kelvin Wave and the degradation of peak water temps in the Ecuador triangle, and continued hints of trades building in the West Pacific. All these could be attributable to the macro level influence of the upwelling Phase of the Kelvin Wave cycle. Though the change in the counter current remains a bit beyond even that e.cgianation.  Or just as easily it could be attributable to the fact that the East Pacific warm pool has NOT been in.cgiace long enough to develop a co.cgiing with the atmosphere above it, so we end up with a bunch of mixed signals. Only once the ocean and atmosphere are co.cgied on a global level (that is the ocean has imparted enough heat into the atmosphere to start changing the global jetstream pattern) can one begin to have confidence that a feedback loop is developing and a fully matured El Nino can result. About 3 months of undisturbed heating is required for the atmosphere to start responding on a global level where the point of 'no return' could be achieved. The warm pool starting forming in earnest on 5/1, and so the atmosphere would not trip over the 'no-return' point till 8/1. From a skeptics perspective, that's another 3 weeks before anything is guaranteed, at exactly the same time the warm pool is projected to be dispersed. But if we're just in the 'Upwelling Phase' of the Kelvin Wave Cycle, and more west anomalies and a new Kelvin Wave are to be generated in the West Pacific, then all will remain on-track. The next 3 weeks are critical. 

Speculating some: What if it does falter completely, like the 2012 False Start El Nino?. What does this say about the atmosphere, especially considering the voracity of the Jan-March WWBs? Two false starts in a 2 year time span is not unhead of, but not common, especially considering the size of this years failure (if it were to fail). Perhaps the decadal bias towards La Nina is stronger than we suspected, leading credence to the theory of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Or better yet, maybe we'll just muddle along for the next 2+ years in a weak warm pattern, not quite tripping into El Nino territory, but not falling back into La Nina either, slowly feeding the jetstream all along. The environment is not binary organism, being either one way or the other at any point in time. Sometimes it progresses at it's own rate and defies categorization, often to our benefit. We'll just have to wait and see.         

Overall the immediate outlook remains unchanged, but potentially trending towards something that would be considered warm by Aug-Sept 2014. At a minimum the ocean is well past recharge mode, with cold water from the 2010-2011 La Nina dispersed and temperatures on the rise. Regardless of the WWBs etc, we are still in a neutral ENSO atmospheric pattern at this time with neither any form of El Nino or La Nina present or imminent. But given all current signs, atmospheric transition appears to be underway, and hopefully intensifying into Fall. There remains 1 month ahead where any number of hazards could derail this event. But this is a better.cgiace than previous years (2010-2011, 2011-2012 and 2012-2013) under the direct influence of La Nina. And it seems apparent we've recovered from the 2009-2010 El Nino. In a normal situation one would expect there to be at least one or two years of neutral temperatures ultimately converging in a stronger warmer pattern and possible El Nino 2-3 years out (2015 or 2016). Historically, this is the 'normal' pattern (a few years of false starts post La Nina before a legit El Nino forms). We've turned the corner, but we'll remain cautious and not say to much yet, especially in light of what appears to be a decadal bias towards a cooler regime (since 1998).

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool and more details in the  El Nino Update Updated 12/4/13 


South Pacific

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

Details to follow...


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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Mavericks Invitational Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:

Time Zone Converter By popular demand we've built and easy to use time convert that transposes GMT time to whatever time zone you are located. It's ion left hand column on every page on the site near the link to the swell calculator.

Stormsurf Google Gadget - Want Stormsurf content on your Google Homepage? It's si.cgie and free. If you have Google set as your default Internet E.cgiorer Homepage, just click the link below and a buoy forecast will be added to your Google homepage. Defaults to Half Moon Bay CA. If you want to select a different location, just click on the word 'edit', and a list of alternate available locations appears. Pick the one of your choice. Content updates 4 times daily. A great way to see what waves are coming your way! .xml

Free Stormsurf Stickers - Get your free stickers! - More details Here

Read all the latest news and happenings on our News Page here

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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