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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Monday, July 23, 2018 5:23 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
4.2 - California & 3.0 - 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 7/23 thru Sun 7/29

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   

NZ Swell Fading in CA
Stronger Central SPac Swell Fading in HI, Building in CA


On Monday, July 23, 2018 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 3.3 ft @ 18.2 secs with swell 2.2 ft @ 17.1 secs from 175 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.5 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 1.9 ft @ 16.2 secs from 202 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north at 10-14 kts. Water temperature 70.9 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 0.9 ft @ 16.7 secs from 186 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.3 ft @ 15.5 secs from 205 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 2.6 ft @ 22.4 secs from 219 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.3 ft @ 16.1 secs from 204 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 4.9 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 2.4 ft @ 15.7 secs from 207 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 8-10 kts. Water temp 60.3 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 Monday (7/23) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing surf in the waist high range and pretty warbled from northwest wind. Protected breaks were occasionally in the thigh high range and soft but clean. At Santa Cruz surf was waist to chest high and clean an lined up but inconsistent coming from the southern hemi. In Southern California/Ventura surf was waist high and warbled and crumbled and not particularly good looking due to wind over outer waters even though nearshore wind was calm. In North Orange Co waves were chest to head high and lined up but a little bit warbled even though local wind was calm. South Orange Country's best breaks were a bit over head with rare sets 3 ft overhead and lined up but fairly warbled early. In North San Diego surf was shoulder to head high on the sets and lined up and nearly closed out early and warbled. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and nearly chopped from northeast wind. The South Shore was seeing sideband southern hemi swell with waves chest high and occasionally a little more and lined up and clean but a bit on the soft side. The East Shore was getting minimal east windswell at 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 Monday (7/23) in Hawaii sideband swell energy from Central South Pacific Storm #4S was peaking providing rideable surf. In California swell from New Zealand was just past it's prime while new swell from Storm #4S was starting to show mainly limited to exposed breaks in Southern CA. Swell #4S was produced by a solid system that tracked under New Zealand and started building Sat-Tues (7/17) while lifting well northeast through the Central Pacific with 31 ft seas from the initial pulse and up to 40 ft seas from a stronger second pulse. Otherwise no real easterly windswell is forecast relative to Hawaii and north windswell is to not be in the forecast for California until Fri (7/27) and pretty jumbled and weak then.


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

North Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Monday AM (7/23) 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: Mon-Tues (7/24) no fetch of interest is forecast with no odds for windswell production expected. Wednesday (7/25) high pressure is to again try to get a toehold in the Eastern Gulf of Alaska producing north winds at 15-20 kts along the entire North and Central Coast focused mainly on Pt Conception offering only minimal odds for short period junky windswell production. By Thurs (7/26) the gradient is to start lifting north in the afternoon with north winds building to 20 kts over all of North and Central CA waters again producing junky short period northerly windswell at exposed breaks. See QuikCASTs for details.

Hawaii: On Monday (7/23) a weak fetch of easterly winds was developing at 15 kts extending 400 nmiles east of the Big Island but not reaching well up into Oahu. No real windswell to result. Even that little fetch is to fade on Tuesday (7/24) with no windswell expected. On Wednesday (7/25) easterly fetch is to start building at 15 kts well east of Hawaii and not reaching the Islands associated with a tropical wave 700 nmiles east-southeast of the Big Island. No windswell resulting yet. O Thurs (7/26) the tropical wave is to move west to within 600 nmiles east of the Big Islands with high pressure in the Eastern Gulf feeding a weak local gradient producing east winds at 15 kts targeting mainly the Big Island offering only slightly better odds for short period junky east windswell at exposed breaks. See QuikCASTs for details.


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


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.

A tropical system is developing near 28N 160E forecast to build while lifting north into Wed (7/25) then tracking northwest while fading eventually pushing over the Kuril Islands on Fri (7/27). And a second system is forecast developing 600 nmiles south of Japan on Friday (7/27) tracking north located just off Central Japan on Mon (7/30). At this time neither is forecast to make any moves towards recurving northeast, staying enclosed in the far West Pacific.


California Nearshore Forecast
On Monday (7/23) light winds (10 kts or less) are expected for the entire CA coast but building to 20 kts over Pt Conception later. No change on Tuesday (7/24) until later when north winds are to start building at 15 kts from Cape Mendocino south towards Pt Conception and up to 20+ kts there. Wednesday (7/25) north winds to be 15 kts over all of North and Central CA and up to 20 kts over Pt Conception. Thursday (7/26) 15-20 kt north winds are forecast building over all of North and Central CA. On Fri (7/27) north winds to hold at 20-25 kts over all of North and Central CA. North winds to fade some on Sat (7/28) at 15-20 kts over all of North and Central CA. Sunday (7/29) north winds are forecast at 15+ kts over all of North and Central CA continuing on Mon (7/30).

South Pacific

On Monday AM (7/23) the southern branch of the jetstream was trying to form a broad but southward displaced trough well under New Zealand with southwest winds 110 kts flowing east-northeast then taking a pure easterly heading at 150W continuing into the far Southeast Pacific. Low odds for support of gale formation is indicated. Over the next 72 hours the same basic pattern is to hold with the apex of the broad trough slowly easing east, near 130W on Thurs (7/26) and offering no real support for meaningful gale development. Beyond 72 hours that trough is to continue easing east with its apex near 110W on Sat (7/28) and east of the California swell window offering no real support for gale development in our forecast area. In the far Southwest Pacific a weak ridging pattern is to be holding under New Zealand down at 70S actively suppressing support for gale development. But by Sun (7/29) that weak ridge is to be dissipating and something that almost looks like a trough is to start building southeast of New Zealand on Mon (7/30) but weak, being fed by only 80 kts winds. Odds low for for gale development in this area. We ned some significant winds energy pushing north and anything like that is not on the charts.

Surface Analysis  
On Monday (7/23) small swell energy from a gale previously under New Zealand was fading in California (see Stronger New Zealand Gale below). Of far more interest is sideband swell that is hitting Hawaii from a gale that tracked northeast through the Central Pacific and is also starting to hit from a more direct angle into California (see Central Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours all focus is to be on swell hitting California from the gale previously in the Central South Pacific. No other swell producing weather systems are forecast.


Stronger New Zealand Gale
A gale started to
form while tracking east under New Zealand Wed PM (7/11) with 60 kt west winds and seas building from 38 ft over a small area at 58S 161E. On Thurs AM (7/12) fetch was building in coverage but fading in velocity from 45 kts from the west-southwest and seas 40 ft at 56.5S 178E. The gale faded in the evening with fetch dropping from 40 kts but aimed more southwest with seas fading from 34 ft at 56.5S 169.5W aimed east. The gale dissipate from there Fri AM (7/13) with southwest winds fading from 35 kts and seas fading from 28t at 55S 158W. The eastward track of this system likely means most swell energy is to be tracking east, not northeast. Limited sideband swell energy expected for Hawaii and California.

South CA: Swell fading Mon (7/23) from 2.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 210-213 degs

North CA: Swell fading Mon (7/23) from 2 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft) and being overridden by stronger swell. Swell Direction: 210-213 degs


Central Pacific Gale (Swell #4S)
Another gale started developing southeast of New Zealand on Sat AM (7/14) tracking northeast with winds from the southwest at 40 kts over a building area and seas building from 29 ft at 57.5S 176W and building while lifting hard northeast. In the evening a moderate sized fetch of 40 kt southwest winds were lifting east-northeast with seas 31 ft at 52.5S 164.5W. On Sun AM (7/15) fetch was fading from 35 kts from the south-southwest with seas 31 ft at 49.5S 152.5W aimed well to the north. Swell was in the water pushing north-northeast but for the most part this was just primer activity. In the evening the fetch is to dissipate from 30-35 kts with seas fading from 29 ft at 44S 145W. But secondary fetch (which is really the main event) is to be developing solidly at 45 kts southwest of it tracking northeast with seas building from 37 ft down at 60S 167.5W tracking northeast. On Mon AM (7/16) only the secondary fetch is to be viable at 45 kts from the south-southwest lifting northeast with seas 39 ft at 53.5S 155.5W. The gale is to fade some in the evening with south winds 40-45 kts and seas 38 ft at 49S 148W aimed north-northeast over a solid area. On Tues AM (7/17) additional 45 kt southwest fetch is to build in the upper reaches of the Central Pacific aimed north-northeast with seas 35 ft at 44S 141W aimed solidly northeast. In the evening fetch is to fade from 40-45 kts over a fragmented area with seas 32 ft fading at 41S 135W. Fetch fading out Wed AM (7/18) from 35-40 kts and seas fading from 31 ft aimed northeast at 43S 127W. A good pulse of swell is possible targeting California down into Mexico, Central America and South America. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Swell holds on Mon (7/23) at 1.7 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell fading Tues (7/24) from 1.9 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Nothing left after that. Swell Direction: 180 degrees

South California: Swell building on Mon (7/23) to 2.8 ft @ 16-17 secs (4.0-4.5 ft) and starting to be overrun by the second pulse of this swell. Swell Direction: 200 degrees. The second pulse of this swell to arrive early Mon (7/23) with period 21 secs and size building steadily pushing 3.3 ft @ 20 secs late (6.6 ft with sets to 8.0 ft). Swell building from there on Tues AM (7/24) reaching 4.4 ft @ 18 secs (8.0 ft with sets to 10 ft). Swell holding. Swell fades some on Wed (7/25) from 3.8 ft @ 16 secs (6.1 ft with sets to 7.7 ft). Swell fading on Thurs (7/26) from 3.1 ft @ 15 secs (4.5-5.0 ft). Residuals on Fri (7/27) fading from 1.8 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 ft). Swell gone after that. Swell Direction: 191-201 degrees

North California: Swell building on Mon (7/23) to 2.6 ft @ 16-17 secs (4.0-4.5 ft) and starting to be overrun by the second pulse of this swell. Swell Direction: 199 degrees. The second pulse of this swell to arrive early Mon (7/23) with period 21 secs and size building steadily pushing 2.6 ft @ 20 secs late (5.2 ft with sets to 6.5 ft). Swell building from there on Tues AM (7/24) reaching 3.6 ft @ 18-19 secs (6.6 ft with sets to 8 ft) mid-day (possibly 4.0 ft @ 18 secs (7.2 ft with sets to 9.0 ft). Swell holding. Swell fades some on Wed (7/25) from 3.6 ft @ 16 secs (5.9 ft with sets to 7.4 ft). Swell fading on Thurs (7/26) from 2.6 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.0 ft). Residuals on Fri (7/27) fading from 2.2 ft @ 14 secs (3.0 ft). Swell gone after that. Swell Direction: 190-200 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
By Friday (7/27) high pressure at 1032 mbs is to be in the Eastern Gulf of Alaska producing the usual pressure gradient along the North and Central CA coast resulting in north winds at at 20+ kts over all of North and Central CA again producing short period junky local north windswell. More of the same is expected on Sat (7/28). Sunday (7/29) the gradient is to fade some with north winds 15+ kts over all of North and Central CA waters producing just short period really junky windswell with bad conditions. And the fetch is to be even weaker on Mon (7/30) at just 15 kts with period falling more and windswell shrinking in size.

Hawaii: On Friday (7/27) a weak tropical wave is to be 300 nmiles southeast of the Big Island producing easterly fetch at 15 kts targeting all the Islands with east fetch extending 600 nmiles east of Hawaii offering some hope for small short period junky windswell. But by Sat (7/28) that fetch is to start fading as the tropical wave passes 300 nmiles south of Hawaii. Low odds of any windswell resulting. Supposedly on Sun (7/29) high pressure in the Eastern Gulf of Alaska is to pulse some generating a solid fetch of east winds at 15 kts extending from California the whole way continuously to Hawaii resulting in improved odds for some decent windswell production along all exposed east facing shores. And that same situation is to hold on Monday (7/30).

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours the models suggest a pair of gales are to form in the far Southeast Pacific. The first is expected to develop on Tues-Wed (7/25) producing a small area of up to 40 ft seas at 60S 95W but targeting only extreme Southern South America. The second is to do a variation on the location, path and strength of the first one but on Sat (7/28). Again, no swell to result for our forecast area.

On Fri (7/28) and tiny gale cutoff from the main energy of the jetstream is to form 500 nmiles east of New Zealand producing a tiny area of 37 ft seas at 42S 168W in the evening aimed northeast, the fading fast with seas down to barely 30 ft Sat AM (7/28) at 39S 161W. Small swell for Tahiti is possible.

In short, a quiet pattern is setting up.

Details to follow...


MJO/ENSO Forecast

Kelvin Wave Eruption Continues - ESPI Trying to Rebound

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 July, 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 Sun (7/22) 5 day average winds were solidly from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific then weakening starting on the dateline but still moderately east over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were light easterly over the East equatorial Pacific holding to a point south of Hawaii then turning to neutral anomalies and holding that way over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (7/23) Neutral anomalies were over the KWGA and forecast to hold into 7/28, then building to weak easterly in the heart of the KWGA and holding through the end of the model run on 7/30.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (7/22) A moderate Active/Wet MJO signal was over the KWGA but with dry anomalies over the dateline. The statistical model depicts that Active/Wet MJO signal is to steadily weaken and gone at day 8 turning weakly Inactive/Dry by day 15 in the far West Pacific. The dynamic model depicts the same thing initially but after the Active Phase fades, it returns in the far West Pacific on day 15. The models are mostly in sync except for the last few days of the run.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (7/23) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was moderate midway between the East Maritime Continent and the far West Pacific. It is to stalling from here forward while collapsing in strength in the West Pacific making no further eastward progress through the end of the model run 2 weeks out. The GEFS model has not updated.
40 day Upper Level Model: (7/23) This model depicts a very weak Active/Wet MJO signal was over the Central and East Pacific and is to be easing east over Central America on 8/12. A moderate and coherent Inactive/Dry pattern is to follow in the West Pacific starting 8/4 making slow east headway reaching the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 9/1.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (7/23) This model depicts modest west anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast indicates modest west anomalies building near 150E and holding through 7/29 then fading to weak west anomalies and filling the KWGA through 8/19.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (7/23) This model depicts the Active/Wet Phase of the MJO was building over the KWGA and just about at its peak with weak west anomalies over the entirety of the KWGA. The weak Active MJO pattern is to hold through 8/6 then fading with a weak Inactive MJO signal taking over 8/8-8/24 but with weak west anomalies holding over the KWGA. No Westerly Wind Burst is suggested with today's update. A weak Active Phase of the MJO is to redevelop on 8/24 holding through 10/11 with solid west anomalies in the KWGA if not a near WWB status starting 9/17. A very weak Inactive MJO signal to follow starting 10/12 continuing through the end of the model run on 10/20 but with west anomalies holding in the KWGA. 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 through 9/2 then fading back to 2 contour lines. This means we are biased towards El Nino starting today through the coming Fall season. The eastern edge of the Low Pressure bias is to ease east to 120W (over California) 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 8/26. The atmosphere and ocean are slowly becoming coupled towards an El Nino bias and should fully reach that state on 8/8 or 3 months after the start of when the low pressure bias officially filled the KWGA (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: (7/23) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs reaching east to 165E. The 28 deg isotherm line started to retrograde west from 148W on 7/2 to 153W on 7/10 and is now at 157W today due to weakening of a Kelvin Wave under the West Pacific. The 28 degs line previously was stationary on the dateline last winter, then started moving east on 5/15 to 165W, then to 160W on 5/22 and to 150W on 6/24 from the surface to 75 meters deep. The 24 deg isotherm was previously stable at 115 meters deep at 140W but has risen to 100 metes deep today. It was holding at 75 meters deep at 120W then retracting from the coast of Ecuador breaching at 105W. Anomaly wise warm waters from a Kelvin Wave are focused in the East Pacific at depth and past their peak. Warm anomalies at +1.0 deg C were moving east from the far West Pacific and building to +2.0 deg C starting at 140W 100 meters down and pushing east. +3.0 degs anomalies were centered from 120W and +2.0 deg anomalies were east of there pushing into Ecuador. These warm waters are breaching the surface from 130W and points east of there. This Kelvin Wave had peaked and is to continue slowly fading. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 7/17 depicts a bubble of warm water pushing east in the East Pacific starting at 140W building to +4.5 degs centered at 120W extending east to 105W but not reaching Ecuador any longer. It was breaching the surface between 105W-145W. No residual cool water from La Nina are indicated. Additionally more warm water was pushing east from the Maritime Continent spilling into the West Pacific pushing under the dateline reaching east to 170W with broken fragments of warm water joining the existing Kelvin Wave east of there. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (7/17) Positive anomalies were solid from the Maritime Continent over the West Equatorial Pacific and broad in coverage to 160W, then weakening a little only to rebuild at 140W reaching east into 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 appears to be 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: (7/22) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate near neutral anomalies biased cool along the immediate coast of Peru and Chile and building slightly. An area of warm water is erupting on the oceans surface on the equator from the Galapagos west to 160W and building in coverage and coherence between the Galapagos to 120W the past few days and extending further south than at any point so far in this event down to 12S. A broad area of generic warming was also filling the area north of the equator from Mexico out to the dateline. The remnants of the La Nina cool pool previously south of the equator between 120W-150W and south of 5S were now gone limited to a region south of 3S between 130W to 160W.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (7/21): Mixed pockets of mainly cooling were in pockets along the equator from the Galapagos to 130W. Temps were neutral along the coasts of Chile and Peru but warming along the coast of Central America up into mainland Mexico. Cooling was solid off Central West Africa, mirroring what is going on off Ecuador.
Hi-res Overview: (7/21) An area of weak cool water was redeveloping along Chile and Peru. Of most interest was warm water holding 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 145-180W.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (7/23) Today's temps were rebounding some at -0.833 degs. That was down from -0.383 on 7/12, and that up 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: (7/23) Today temps were on the rise again at +0.249, up from +0.136 a few days ago, but that down considerably from a peak at +0.490 on 7/2. Temps were -0.266 on 6/2, -0.427 on 5/12 after having reached up to -0.254 degs on 5/1. Temps have been steadily rising since 3/27 when they were down at -1.2 degs.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (7/23) The forecast calls for a steady increase from here forward rising in early Oct to +1.25 degs and to +1.40 degs in Nov then slowly fading from there but still not falling below +1.0 by April 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-July Plume depicts temps at +0.5 degs in July and are to slowly rise from here forward, to +0.6 in August and +0.8 in October and +1.0 in Nov and holding there into Feb 2019. See chart here - link. It looks like La Nina is fading out and a weak El Nino might develop. The CFSv2 is in the high end of that pack.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad) (7/23): The daily index was falling today at -3.51. The 30 day average was rising today to -0.13 suggesting the Inactive Phase of the MJO was having some effect. The 90 day average was rising some too at -1.70, 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 Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (7/23) Today the index was rising finally at -1.045 after falling to -1.28 on 7/17). But that is way more negative than it recently was, when it hit the highest it's been in a year on 7/2 at -0.09. This negative trend is not good news suggesting La Nina has not completely given up it's grip on equatorial precipitation yet. The supposed El Nino pattern is NOT coupled. 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: June 2017 +0.21, July -0.50, Aug -0.62, Sept -0.25, Oct -0.61, Nov -0.45, Dec -0.13, Jan 2018 +0.29, Feb -0.10, Mar -0.51, April -0.85, May -0.61, June -0.96. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO, even with La Nina, because the warm PDO appears to be dampening the effects of La Nina. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): June 2017 +0.79, July +0.10, Aug +0.09, Sept +0.32, Oct +0.05, Nov +0.15, Dec +0.50, Jan +0.70. Feb +0.37, Mar -0.05, April +0.11, May +0.11, June -0.04. No real negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data strongly suggests that could be a possibility. By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.

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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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