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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Saturday, July 17, 2021 6:39 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
2.2 - California & 2.0 - 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 7/19 thru Sun 7/25

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 NZ Swell Hitting HI
Different New Zealand Swell Moving Towards CA

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Saturday, July 17, 2021 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 3.1 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 1.6 ft @ 10.0 secs from 178 degrees. Water temp 79.9 degs (Pearl Harbor 233), 82.0 (Lani 239).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.2 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 3.0 ft @ 9.1 secs from 43 degrees. Water temp 79.2 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.8 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 2.0 ft @ 14.2 secs from 177 degrees. Wind at the buoy was west at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 68.7 degs, 70.5 (Topanga 103), 67.6 degs (Long Beach 215), 73.4 (Del Mar 153), 72.1 (Pt Loma 191). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 2.6 ft @ 14.8 secs from 175 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.7 ft @ 14.9 secs from 184 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.9 ft @ 14.6 secs from 185 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 2.3 ft @ 14.6 secs from 179 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 6.5 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 4.9 ft @ 8.0 secs from 312 degrees and southern hemi swell 2.2 ft @ 14.7 secs from 174 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 14-18 kts. Water temp 53.1 (029), 55.6 degs (SF Bar 142) and 60.8 degs (Santa Cruz 254).

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).
Summer
- 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).
Summer
- 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.
Summer
- up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.

Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
Current Conditions
On Saturday (7/17) North and Central CA had waves at waist high and warbled from south wind and mushed and not really rideable with fog and low clouds. Protected breaks were thigh to maybe waist high on the sets and mushed but fairly clean and weak. At Santa Cruz surf was thigh high on the sets and inconsistent and clean. In Southern California/Ventura waves were flat and heavily textured if not nearly chopped from northwest wind. Central Orange County had set waves at waist to chest high and warbled if not lightly white capped and a mushy mess. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at chest high or so and weakly lined up with decent form and clean early. North San Diego had sets waves at thigh to waist high and lined up and clean but soft. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was getting some swell with waves chest high and lined up and clean and peeling. The East Shore was getting short period windswell with waves waist high and lightly chopped from moderate east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Saturday (7/17) California was getting faint leftovers of swell from a gale that formed over the Southeast Pacific Wed (7/7) producing up to 35 ft seas aimed east. And a secondary gale formed over the same area on Thurs (7/8) producing up to 33 ft seas aimed east. Swells from these two systems overlapped one another. And swell is arriving in Hawaii from another small system that weakly formed under New Zealand on Fri-Sat (7/10) producing 28 ft seas aimed north then pushed across the South Pacific Mon-Tues (7/13) producing 25-28 ft seas aimed east. After that another system formed southeast of New Zealand tracking east on Thurs-Fri (7/16) producing up to 31 ft seas aimed northeast. Tiny swell is radiating towards Hawaii and the US West Coast. And another system is to be right behind in the deep Southeast Pacific on Mon-Tues (7/20) with 34 ft seas aimed east. So perhaps the a bit more small swell is to appear for CA after a little break. Beyond the model are now hinting at another gale forming southeast of New Zealand Fri-Sun (7/25) with up to 38 ft seas aimed northeast. Odds low of that occurring.

See all the details below...

 

SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

Overview
Surface Analysis
On Saturday (7/17) no swell from previous fetch was in the water and no swell producing fetch was occurring.

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.

 

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

 

Tropical Update
Tropical Storm Guillermo was 300 nmiles south of Cabo San Lucas Mexico and 900 nmiles southeast of Southern CA with winds 35 kts tracking west-northwest at 12 kts. Guillermo is expected to turn more westerly in 24 hours (mid Sunday 7/18) with winds building to 55 kts, and continuing on a westerly track. Given its due west track and relatively weak wind velocity odds are low any meaningful swell radiating north into Southern CA.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Sun (7/18) northwest winds to be 20-25 kts for North CA early and 10-15 kts for Central CA with the coverage of the stronger winds over North CA shrinking some during the day. Windswell down slightly.
  • Mon (7/19) northwest winds to be 20-25 kts for North CA early and 10 kts for Central CA fading some up north later. Windswell down slightly.
  • Tues (7/20) northwest winds to be 20 kts for North CA early and 15 kts for Central CA and building in the afternoon with northwest winds 20-25 kts for all of North CA and 20 kts for Central CA later. Windswell building some later.
  • Wed (7/21) northwest winds 25-30 kts for North CA early and 20 kts for Central CA early and holding all day. Windswell building.
  • Thurs (7/22) northwest winds are forecast at 25 kts for North CA early and 20 kts for Central CA early fading up north to 20+ kts later. Windswell fading slightly.
  • Fri (7/23) northwest winds are forecast at 20+ kts for North CA early and 20 kts for Central CA early holding all day. Windswell steady.
  • Sat (7/24) northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for North CA early and 20 kts for Central CA early building in coverage and speed up north to 25-30 kts later and 20 kts solid for Central CA. Windswell building.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 0, 0, 0, and 0 inches respectively.

Freezing level 14,000+ ft with no change forecast.

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Tioga Pass/Pacific Crest Trail intersection forecast: Temps - Freeze Level (more here - scroll down to 'Resort Snow Forecasts>Central CA or North CA Caltrans & Backcountry')

Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!

 

South Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Saturday (7/17) the influential southern branch of the jet was pushing hard south over the West and Central South Pacific forming a ridge reaching to the northern edge of the Ross Ice Shelf offering no support for gale development. But in over the Southeast Pacific a trough was lifting hard northeast while also getting cutoff tapping energy from the northern branch of the jet with winds to 120 kts perhaps trying to support some sort of minimal cutoff gale formation. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to push east of the CA swell window late Sun (7/18). Also a weak trough is to develop well southeast of New Zealand over the Central South Pacific on Mon (7/19) tracking east also merging with the northern branch on Mon (7/19) with winds building to 160 kts perhaps offering some limited support for gale development mainly while moving over the deep Southeast Pacific. That trough is to dissipate by Tues (7/20) while pushing east of the SCal swell window. Beyond 72 hours a weak ridge is to be building reaching south to 61S over the balance of the South Pacific and holding while pushing east into Fri (7/23). But on Fri (7/23) a new trough is to start building southeast of New Zealand being fed by 110 kts south winds offering some support for gale development holding into Sun (7/25) before becoming cut off by a new a solid ridge pushing hard east way south down at 73S likely shutting down support for gale development beyond.

Surface Analysis
On Saturday (7/17) swell was fading in California originating from a gale that formed over the far Southeast Pacific Pacific producing 35 ft seas aimed east resulting in small swell that hit exposed south facing breaks (see Southeast Pacific Gale below). And secondary energy was embedded in that swell from another gale that formed over the Southeast Pacific (see Secondary Southeast Pacific Gale below). And swell was also hitting Hawaii originating from a weak gale that developed under New Zealand aimed mostly north at Hawaii (see Weak New Zealand Gale below). And swell from another weak gale that formed southeast of New Zealand is in the water pushing northeast (see Another New Zealand Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours another gale is forecast developing over the deep South Central Pacific on Mon AM (7/19) producing 40-45 kt west winds and seas 31 ft at 59.25S 144W aimed east. In the evening 40-45 kts west winds to track east with 34 ft seas at 60.25S 135W aimed east. Fetch is to be fading from 30-35 kts on Tues AM (7/20) aimed northeast with seas fading from 30 ft at 58S 126.25 aimed east. Something to monitor.

 

Southeast Pacific Gale
Another gale started building over the Central South Pacific on Tues PM (7/6) with a solid area of 40 kt west winds and seas 29 ft at 59S 152W aimed east. On Wed AM (7/7) 50-55 kt southwest winds were building over the far Southeast Pacific with 32 ft seas at 61.25S 126.25W aimed east. In the evening the gale was racing east with 35 kt west winds remaining in the SCal swell window and 36 ft seas at 59.25S 118.75W midday before moving out of the swell window. Small south angled swell to result.

Southern CA: Swell fading on Sat (7/17) from 1.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 182 degrees

North CA: Swell fading on Sat (7/17) from 1.4 ft @ 15 secs (2.0 ft). Residuals fading on Sun (7/18) from 1.2 ft @ 14 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 180 degrees

 

Secondary Southeast Pacific Gale
On Wed PM (7/7) yet another fetch started building over the Central South Pacific with 40 kt northwest winds and seas 29 ft at 56.5S 155W aimed east-southeast. On Thurs AM (7/8) southwest winds built to 45 kts over the Southeast Pacific with seas building to 30 ft at 58S 137W aimed east. In the evening fetch built to 55 kts from the west pushing east with seas 35 ft at 60.75S 120W aimed east. Fetch built while tracking east but well outside (east of) the Southern CA swell window after that. Small south angled swell to result.

For California this swell to overlap with the swell above from the Southeast Pacific

 

Weak New Zealand Gale
Another small system started developing just southeast of New Zealand on Sat AM (7/10) producing 40-45 kts south winds over a small and fragmented area aimed north with seas 26-28 ft over a small area at 53.5S 178W aimed northeast. In the evening 35-40 kt southwest winds were fading with seas 28 ft over a small area at 50S 177W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (7/11) 30-35 kt southwest winds continued over a small area southeast of New Zealand with 23 ft seas at 42S 168W aimed northeast and mostly of no interest. On Mon AM (7/12) this system is to regenerate weakly over the Central South Pacific producing southwest winds of 35-40 kts and seas 25 ft at 48S 152W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch is to build some at 40-45 kts in two small pockets with seas to barely 28 ft at 46S 141W aimed east-northeast. Tues AM (7/13) 35-40 kts west winds to barely hang on with seas 27 ft at 51S 142W aimed east. In the evening fetch is to be fading in coverage at 40 kts over the Southeast Pacific with seas 28 ft over a tiny area at 51.5S 130.5W aimed east. On Wed AM (7/14) the gale is to fade while moving to the edge of the SCal swell window with 35-40 kt west winds and seas 27 ft at 49.25S 118W aimed east. Low odds of tiny swell for Hawaii and then the us West Coast. The trend is down. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Swell arrived on Sat (7/17) building to 1.7 ft @ 15-16 secs later (2.5 ft). Swell continues on Sun (7/18) holding at 1.7 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 ft). Swell fading on Mon (7/19) from 1.4 ft @ 13-14 secs early (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 190 degrees

Southern CA: Swell arrival later Mon (7/19) building to 1.0 ft @ 17 secs (1.5 ft) late. Swell building on Tues (7/20) to 1.5 ft @ 15-16 secs later (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell fading out after that. Swell Direction: 212 degrees

North CA: Swell arrival later Mon (7/19) building to 1.0 ft @ 17 secs (1.5 ft) late. Swell building on Tues (7/20) to 1.5 ft @ 15-16 secs later (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell fading out after that. Swell Direction: 210 degrees

 

Another New Zealand Gale
A gale developed southeast of New Zealand on Wed PM (7/14) producing 40 kt south winds and seas building from 24 ft at 52.75S 173.5E aimed northeast. The gale built on Thurs AM (7/15) in strength and coverage with 45-50 kt south winds and seas building to 29 ft at 56.75S 176.25W aimed northeast. The gale was fading in the evening with a solid area of 35-40 kts southwest winds and seas 31 ft at 54.5S 168.75W aimed northeast. On Fri AM (7/16) the gale was tracking east and being stretched northeast with 35-40 kts southwest winds over a larger area and seas 30 ft at 52S 159.25W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch was fading from 30-35 kts and stretching well northeast with seas from the original fetch fading from 29 ft at 52.75S 151.25W aimed well northeast. On Sat AM (7/17) the gale dissipated.

Oahu: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (7/22) building to 0.9 ft @ 17 secs later (1.5 ft). Swell holding on Fri (7/23) at 0.8 ft @ 15-16 secs early (1.0-1.5 ft). Dribbles fading on Sat (7/24). Swell Direction: 188 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival later on Sat (7/24) building to 1.3 ft @ 18 secs later (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell building on Sun (7/25) at 1.7 ft @ 16-17 secs early (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell continues on Mon (7/26) at 2.1 ft @ 14-15 secs early (3.0 ft). Dribbles fading on Tues (7/27) at 2.0 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 196-201 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival later on Sat (7/24) building to 1.0 ft @ 18-19 secs later (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell building on Sun (7/25) at 1.6 ft @ 16-17 secs early (2.5 ft). Swell continues on Mon (7/26) at 2.0 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft). Dribbles fading on Tues (7/27) at 2.0 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 195-200 degrees

 

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

 

QuikCAST's

 

LONG-TERM FORECAST
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a new gale has appeared on the charts developing southeast of New Zealand on Fri AM (7/23) with 50-55kt southwest winds and seas building from 32 ft at 51.75S 178.25W aimed northeast. Fetch building and pushing northeast in the evening at 50-55 kts with seas 36 ft at 50.25S 168W aimed northeast. On Sat AM (7/24) south winds to be 45-50 kts tracking east with seas building to 38 ft at 48S 160W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch is to be holding stationary at 45 kts from the south with seas 36 ft at 48S 155W aimed northeast. Something to monitor.

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

Kelvin Wave Eruption Continues Weakly near Ecuador - A Return of La Nina Forecast
Summary - 2 Kevin Waves were weakly erupting near the Galapagos with a 3rd pushing east behind them. The forecast suggests east anomalies taking over the bulk of the equatorial Pacific from here forward with a high pressure bias in control of the Pacific. Blocking high pressure is starting to rebuild and is to hold through Winter 2021-2022.

MJO/ENSO Discussion
The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) 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.
And the El Nino/La Nino cycle (collectively know as ENSO - El Nino Southern Oscillation) is a less frequent (about once every 7 years) but more impactful cycle that affects world wide weather. Specifically, strong El Nino events promote storm production in the Pacific while La Nina events suppress storm production. These therefore have a significant impact on the production of swell and surf. The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO and ENSO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for upcoming activity (or inactivity depending on the state and interaction of these two oscillations).

Overview: In 2019 warm equatorial waters were fading, and by August a tongue of cool water was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos reaching to a point nearly south of Hawaii. A bit of a recovery tried to occur during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water held in a pool off Peru. By April 2020 a cool pool was starting to build, forming a well defined cool tongue that evolved into La Nina, with it fully developing through July 2020. A slow dissolving of La Nina started in March 2021 with 2 Kelvin Waves sweeping east and arriving over the Galapagos in June. Weak warming set up over the equator with no cool waters present. NOAA declared La Nina dead.

LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Spring/Summer 2021 = 4.0/3.5 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)

Rationale: It is assumed that the moderate La Nina from the Winter of 2020/2021 is on the wane and that a return to neutral ENSO state will set up over the Pacific Basin through the summer of 2021. But lingering effects of La Nina are forecast to continue over the Pacific for some time as the upper atmospheric circulation slowly transitions to an ENSO neutral state. This scenario tend to favor the Southeast Pacific, therefore favoring California over Hawaii. To counter that is the forecasted movement of the low pressure bias currently in-flight from the Maritime Continent to the West Pacific over the next 3 months. Still it will take some time for the atmosphere to fully respond, resulting in a slightly less than normal swell production forecast. A somewhat reduced number of storm days and storm intensity is expected as compared to normal over the South Pacific during the early summer season, resulting in a below normal level of swells, with swell being below normal duration and period. But by the Fall and early Winter of 2021/22, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start improving as La Nina fades out. The status of the PDO is not known, though it appears to be returning to at least a neutral state, rather than the warm phase as previously projected thereby having no significant positive or negative effect on the long term outlook.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (7/16) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific then strong east over the Central Pacific and strong over the KWGA. Anomalies were light east over the East equatorial Pacific and modest east over the Central Pacific and moderate east over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, versus realtime, so they lag what is happening today (by about 2.5 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (7/17) moderate east anomalies were filling the KWGA with weaker east anomalies over the equatorial Pacific to Ecuador. Weak west anomalies were in the far west KWGA. The forecast calls for east anomalies fading to moderate strength while slowly migrating east to the dateline at the end of the model run on 7/24 with weak west anomalies holding in the west KWGA reaching half way through the KWGA then.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (7/16) A neutral MJO pattern was indicated over the KWGA today. The statistic model projects a building Active Pattern developing on day 5 building to moderate strength and holding on day 10 filling the KWGA then fading and almost gone on day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model projects the Active Phase starting slowly on day 5 building and filling the KWGA on day 10 and holding on day 15 of the model run.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (7/17) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the Maritime Continent today and is to track east to the West Pacific on day 15 at weak status. The dynamic model suggests the Active Phase moving to the far West Pacific at day 15 of the model run at modest strength.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (7/17) A weak Inactive Phase (dry air) was indicated over the far East Pacific with a solid Active Phase (wet air) developing over the far West KWGA. The Inactive Phase (dry air) is to push east moving into Central America on 7/22. The Active Phase is to be building over the KWGA on 7/22 moving to the East Pacific and then over Central America on 8/21. The Inactive Phase (dry air) is to be moving over the KWGA at the end of the model run on 8/26.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (7/16) This model depicts no MJO signal over the KWGA today with moderate east anomalies filling the equatorial Pacific. The forecast indicates east anomalies are to hold coverage over the entire equatorial Pacific through 7/18. A weak Active MJO signal is to try to move into the KWGA 7/17-7/24 but not quite make with west anomalies tracking half way into the KWGA 7/19-7/30 but not tracking further east. East anomalies are to re-center themselves on the dateline by 7/21 and hold through the end of the model run on 8/13 at modest status.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (7/17 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): Today a weak Inactive MJO was exiting the KWGA while a weak Active Phase was setting up over the far West KWGA. The forecast indicates the weak Inactive MJO signal is to exit the dateline on 7/22 with weak east anomalies fading over the KWGA. The Active Phase is to start progressing east across the KWGA with weak west anomalies developing west to east over the KWGA until the Active Phase fades on 8/10. A short lived Inactive Phase is to set up 8/10-8/26 with east anomalies taking over the KWGA. A broader Active Phase is to develop while slowly pushing east 8/18-10/14 with west anomalies reaching east to about 160E (half way through the KWGA). A weak Inactive MJO pattern is to follow starting 10/10 through the end of the model run on 10/14 with west anomalies holding at 160E and east anomalies east of there. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias is in control over the East Pacific (with one contour line) but a low pressure bias over the West KWGA filling the western 2/3rds of it to 165E but slowly retrograding west. The high pressure contour line shifted dramatically east to 130W on 6/30 and is to hold through 8/12 then back-build west to 170E and easing west to 150E at the end of the model run while building to 2 contour lines. The single contour low pressure bias is already starting to recede west migrating to 120E on 8/10 becoming recentered over the Maritime Continent like last winter. This suggest a return to some flavor of a La Nina pressure pattern by late August with east anomalies and high a pressure bias effectively over the dateline and points east of there. This forecast has been stable for over a month now suggesting it will actually happen.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (7/17) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was steady at 177E. The 28 deg isotherm line was stable at 160W. The 24 deg isotherm was again pushing east into Ecuador. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +1 deg C were filling the equatorial Pacific from a depth of 125 meters upward building to +2 degs C from 115W and points east of there. This indicates a weak Kelvin Wave tracking east. And the +2 deg anomalies in the far East Pacific were indicative of a previous Kelvin Wave (actually 2) pushing into Ecuador. No cool anomalies were indicated. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 7/12 indicates much the same with the new Kelvin Wave pushing east to 140W and 2 previous Kelvin Waves pushing weakly and tenuously east from 140W into Central America. But a pocket of cool water was between them from 100W-120W near the surface. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (7/12) Sea heights were steady over the equator with readings 0 to +5 cms but mainly west of the dateline, with fragments of 2 previous pockets breaking up over the East equatorial Pacific. And a small pocket of negative anomalies at -5 cms were between 100W-120W on the equator. La Nina is gone but no clear large scale warming is occurring either. A neutral pattern was established.

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 Qualitative Analysis: (7/16) The latest images depict warm water on the equator across the width of the Pacific with stronger warming along Ecuador and over the Galapagos and a little west of there. 2 Kelvin Waves were finally erupting. But a pocket of cooling was embedded in that flow between 100W-120W likely due to strong trades in that area causing upwelling. A area of weak warming was along Chile and Peru and getting more cohesive. A more cohesive pocket of warm water was along Central America up to Southern Baja. Overall this seems to indicate the late stages of La Nina transitioning to ENSO neutral.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (7/16): 3 pockets of warming waters were taking over the area from Ecuador to 120. Otherwise nothing outside the ordinary was occurring.
Hi-res Overview: (7/16) A distinct flow of warmer than normal water was on the equator tracking west from Ecuador to a point south of Hawaii with secondary warming west of Central America and tertiary warming west of Peru and Chile. A pocket of cooling was fading on the equator between 100W to 120W. A clear cool outflow was still pushing from California southwest to the a point south of Hawaii. La Nina appears to be in retreat but not quite gone.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (7/17) Today's temps were steady at -0.226 after previously peaking at +0.213 on 6/17, the highest since 3/16 when they briefly hit +0.714 degs. But in between they've been in the -0.75 range. The longterm trend has been stable.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(7/17) Today temps were falling again from +0.142. Temps peaked at +0.332 on 7/1, the highest in a year. They previously peaked at +0.224 on 6/15. Previously they peaked at +0.085 on (6/1), beating the previous peak high of +0.040 on 5/3. Temps previously had been steady near -0.222 since early March. Temps bottomed out at -1.654 on 11/3. Temps have been on a steadily increasing trend.

Click for Full Sized Image Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (7/17) - Actuals per the model indicate temps have been rising since early Nov 2020 when they bottomed out at -1.25 degs, building to -0.01 degs in mid-June holding to mid-July. The forecast indicates a steady fall in temperatures from 7/15 forward dropping to -1.10 degs in mid-Oct. A slow but steady increase is forecast from then reaching -0.90 degs mid-Jan then starting a quicker rise to -0.15 degs in mid April 2022. This model suggests a return of La Nina conditions this Fall and Winter. There is no indication that El Nino will develop. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temp falling only to -0.75 degs later in Oct into early Jan 2022.
IRI Consensus Plume: The June 20, 2021 Plume depicts temps are at -0.10 degs today, and are to fade slowly -0.30 degrees in Sept and stabilizing there into December, then rising to +0.10 in later Jan 2022. Most models are suggesting we are nearly normal now and are to hold there into the early months of 2022.
See chart here - link.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad - this is a lagging indicator) (7/17): The daily index was still solid positive at 30.41 after peaking at +37.86 on 7/15. The Inactive Phase was solid. The 30 day average was rising steadily to +11.26 after falling to -3.36 on 6/22, the lowest in a year and beating the previous low on 6/14 of -2.08. It peaked at +19.51 on 1/14. The 90 day average was rising some to +5.83 after falling to it's lowest point in a year on 6/9 at +1.06. The 90 day average peaked at +15.75 on 2/23 (clearly indicative of La Nina then). This index is a lagging indicator.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
The PDO theoretically turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and was positive till Dec 2019, but has been negative every since, driven by recent La Nina conditions. As of May 2021 it was the most negative its been at -2.04 since Sept 2012. 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'). It is more likely we are still in the cool phase of the PDO.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 


Powerlines Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest
Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for this week. See it Here
For automatic notification of forecast updates, subscribe to the Stormsurf001 YouTube channel - just click the 'Subscribe' button below the video.

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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing: https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/climate-change-good-surfing-other-sports-not-so-much-ncna1017131

Mavericks & Stormsurf on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luQSYf5sKjQ

Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:
http://www.bloomberg.com/video/how-to-predict-the-best-surfing-waves-EsNiR~0xR5yXGOlOq2MqfA.html
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/surfs-up-for-mavericks-invitational-in-calif/

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.

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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