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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, July 23, 2020 3:22 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
2.1 - California & 1.5 - 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 7/20 thru Sun 7/26

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   

Tiny Gale Building off New Zealand
All Eyes on Hurricane Douglas For Hawaii

On Thursday, July 23, 2020 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 2.3 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 1.8 ft @ 13.4 secs from 197 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.5 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 2.6 ft @ 8.6 secs from 32 degrees. Water temp 79.5 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.4 ft @ 5.3 secs with swell 1.1 ft @ 13.7 secs from 214 degrees. Wind at the buoy was east at 4-6 kts. Water temperature 66.4 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 2.3 ft @ 8.5 secs from 309 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.3 ft @ 13.9 secs from 206 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.5 ft @ 14.0 secs from 200 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 1.1 ft @ 14.8 secs from 199 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.1 ft @ 7.7 secs with swell 3.5 ft @ 8.4 secs from 310 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 8-10 kts. Water temp 54.1 degs (013), 59.9 degs (SF Bar) and 60.1 degs (042).

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 Thursday (7/23) in North and Central CA locally generated north windswell was producing waves at thigh high or so and relatively clean but weak and mushed on not really rideable with gray skies and light south wind. Protected breaks were thigh to waist high and clean and weak and mushed with a modest southerly ruffle on it. At Santa Cruz minimal southern hemi swell was hitting producing waves at waist high and clean and sort of lined up when they came. In Southern California/Ventura waves were thigh high or so and weak and mushed and lightly textured but with no local wind. Central Orange County was getting minimal southerly swell producing waves at up to waist high on the sets and soft and clean. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had set waves at waist high or so on the peaks and clean with no wind. North San Diego had thigh high sets and weak and mushed with clean conditions. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was still getting leftover southern hemi swell with set waves at waist to maybe chest high on the peaks at top spots and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell with waves waist high or so with some modest lump intermixed originating from lighter than normal east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (7/23) southern hemi swell was all but gone in Hawaii and fading in California originating from a small gale that developed under New Zealand on Fri-Sat (7/11) producing up to 35 ft seas aimed east. Otherwise exposed breaks in California were seeing bare minimal summertime locally generated northwest windswell. Beyond the models are suggesting a tiny gale developing southeast of New Zealand on Thurs (7/23) producing 30 ft seas over a tiny area of 18 hours aimed northeast. Otherwise no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast. The doldrums of summer continue.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (7/23) no swell of interest was in the water.

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


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


Tropical Update
Hurricane Douglas: On Tues AM (7/21) Tropical Storm Douglas was positioned 1200 nmiles south-southwest of Pt Conception CA with winds 55 kts tracking west-southwest at 13 kts. Douglas continued on a westerly track and built to hurricane status on Wed AM (7/22) with winds at 65 kts. By Thurs AM (7/23) Hurricane Douglas built in strength with winds to 105 kts (120 mph) tracking west-northwest at 13 kts with seas to 32 ft. Douglas is to peak in the evening with winds 110 kts (127 mph) on the same heading. 900 nmiles east-southeast of the Big Island of Hawaii. A slow fade is forecast after that with Douglas tracking west-northwest still at hurricane strength on Sun AM (7/26) positioned 75 nmiles east of the Big Island of HI. Douglas is currently forecast to track just north of the Big Island if not brushing it's north coast moving through the channel between the Big Island and the South Shore of Maui with winds at 60 kts (70 mph) in the evening. By Mon AM (7/27) Douglas is to be 20 nmiles southwest of the South Shore of Oahu with winds 55 kts (63 mph). tracking west-northwest and then bound for open ocean. A solid pulse of easterly swell is forecast for the East sides of the Big Island and Maui with east windswell for the east shore of Oahu and Kauai. more. Something to

Big Island (East Shore): Rough data for planning purposes suggest swell arrival on Sat AM (7/25) build to 5.9 ft @ 15-16 secs (9.0 ft) later in the afternoon. Swell building through the evening and through the day Mon (7/27) pushing 13.5 ft @ 12 secs later (12-13 ft) and pretty blown out. Swell dropping off fast mid-evening with passage of Douglas to the west. Swell Direction: 100 degrees

Oahu East Shore: Rough data for planning purposes suggest swell arrival on Sun AM (7/26) building to 5.5 ft @ 14 secs later (7.5 ft). Swell building through the evening and large on Mon AM (7/27) pushing 15 ft @ 12 secs early (12-15 ft). Swell dropping off fast at sunset with passage of Douglas off to the west. Swell Direction: 90 degrees

California Nearshore Forecast
On Thurs (7/23) the gradient and north winds had mostly collapsed to a shallow area tucked right up along the North Coast at 20 kts between Pt Arena and San Francisco and north winds 5-10 kts south of there to Pt Conception holding all day offering no meaningful windswell production potential. On Fri (7/24) the gradient is to try and start rebuilding Along the North Coast with northwest winds 20 kts building to 20-25 kts focused near Cape Mendocino later and 10-15 kts for Central CA early building to 15+ kts later. On Sat (7/25) the gradient is to return with north winds forecast at 20-30 kts focused over Cape Mendocino with 20 kt north winds just off the whole of the North CA coast with windswell production potential building. Central CA to have northwest winds 10-15 kts early fading to 5 kts later. Sun (7/26) the gradient is to fade some with north winds 20-25 kts off Cape Mendocino early offering windswell production potential with a weak eddy flow (south winds) 5 kts along the Central CA coast early and the gradient all but gone by late afternoon with north wes winds 5-10 kts for all of North and Central CA. Mon (7/27) north winds are forecast at 15-20 kts just off Cape Mendocino but with a light northwest flow at 10 kts down the North and Central Coasts holding all day. On Tues (7/28) no windswell producing fetch is forecast with northwest winds 10 kts or so down the North and Central Coasts holding all day. No real change on Wed (7/29) with northwest winds 10-15 kts for all of North and Central CA nearshore waters. Thurs (7/30) northwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts early for North and Central CA holding all day.

Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 0, 0, 0 and 0 inches respectively. Freezing level 14,000 ft or higher for the week.

Snow Models: (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!


South Pacific

On Thursday (7/23) the jetstream was well split over the width of the South Pacific with the southern branch ridging hard south southeast of New Zealand pushing down over the Ross Ice Shelf and into interior New Zealand offering no support for gale development and continuing that way over the entirety of the South Pacific. Over the next 72 hours that ridge is to be reinforced late on Thursday pushing even further south tracking into Antarctica and sweeping east continuing to lock down the entirety of the South Pacific through Sun (7/26). Beyond 72 hours starting Mon (7/27) the hard push south of the jetstream is to weaken being replaced by a zonal flow with the jet running due east down at 65S with winds weak and mostly over Antarctic Ice offering no support for gale development. No troughs are forecast for the period. The lockdown of the South Pacific continues being fed by easterly wind anomalies over the equatorial Pacific (see MJO/ENSO Discussion below).

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (7/23) small swell from a gale previously under New Zealand was all but gone in Hawaii and fading in California (see Small New Zealand Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast. But...

A tiny gale developed just east of Southern New Zealand Wed PM (7/22) producing an infinitesimal sized area of 35-40 kt southwest winds with seas on the increase aimed northeast. On Thurs AM (7/23) southwest winds built to 40-45 kts over a tiny area aimed northeast with seas building to 32 ft over a tiny area at 49S 176W aimed east-northeast. In the evening fetch is to fade from 35 kts with seas 28 ft at 48.5S 170W aimed east. Fetch is to fade from there with no seas of interest remaining. Low odds of minimal background swell to result for Hawaii and even less for California.


Small New Zealand Gale
On Thursday PM (7/9) a small gale tried to develop south of the Tasman Sea producing 30-35 kt west winds starting to get traction on the oceans surface. On Fri AM (7/10) the gale was south of New Zealand producing southwest winds at 45-50 kts over a tiny area tracking east with seas 30 ft at 58.5S 160E aimed east-northeast. Fetch held in the evening aimed east at 45 kts with seas 35 ft over a tiny area at 57.5S 175.5E aimed east-northeast. On Sat AM (7/11) fetch was fading from 35-40 kts with seas 27 ft at 55S 177.5W mainly form previous fetch with the core of the system falling southeast. Fetch and seas are to be gone in the evening. Low odds of meaningful swell resulting.

Southern CA: Swell fading on Thurs (7/23) from 1.5 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0 ft). Swell dissipating after that. Swell Direction: 215 degrees

North CA: Swell fading on Thurs (7/23) from 1.4 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0 ft). Swell dissipating beyond. Swell Direction: 214 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.


South Pacific

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


MJO/ENSO Forecast


La Nina Development Stalled for the Moment

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: A double dip La Nina was in control 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 continued trying to build over equatorial waters over the Summer and Fall, but not enough to declare El Nino and not coupled with the atmosphere. In January 2019, those warm waters were fading, but then rebuilt late in Feb associated with Kelvin Wave (#3). But as of early June 2019 warm water was 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. El Nino was dead. A bit of a recovery occurred during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water held in a pool off Peru and had not changed until March 2020. By April the cool pool pushed east and by May subsurface cool waters erupted off Ecuador, forming a well defined cool tongue that looked like the start of La Nina, holding into July 2020.

Fall/Winter 2020/2021 = 3.0/3.5 (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 the PDO has moved to the warm phase in 2014 and that a weak borderline El Nino from 2018 faded out in the Fall of 2019. A La Nina like ocean temperature pattern developed in the equatorial East Pacific in the summer of 2019, then faded and returned to a neutral if not weak warm status during the Winter of 2019-2020 only to return stronger in the Summer of 2020. We have been suspecting a turn towards a La Nina like atmospheric pattern to develop in the late Winter/early Spring of 2020. Our best hope is that moderation from the warm phase of the PDO might tamp down development of a full blown La Nina as we move into 2020. But at this time that does not appear likely. Given all that, for the 2020 there is decent probability for development of La Nina meaning a reduced number of storm days and storm intensity during the summer season, resulting in a below normal level of swell, with swell being below normal duration and period. And by the Fall and early Winter of 2020/21, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should fade even more, resulting in depressed swell production. This pattern is expected to hold through the Spring of 2021.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (7/22) 5 day average winds were solid from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific and moderate plus strength over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial continuing over the Central Pacific then modest east over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (7/23) moderate plus strength east anomalies were filling the KWGA and east over the whole of the equatorial Pacific to a point south of California. Modest West anomalies were from there into Ecuador. The forecast calls for east anomalies building to strong status 7/24-7/27 in the heart of the KWGA, then weakening slightly to moderate status only to rebuild to strong status the last day of the run on 7/30. West anomalies are forecast collapsing over the far east equatorial Pacific on 7/28 with east anomalies pushing into Ecuador. Support for energy transfer into the jet is very low and forecast to only turn more that way.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (7/22) A moderate Inactive MJO pattern was filling the KWGA today. The statistic model indicates this pattern is to hold on day 5 of the model run then collapsing on day 10 with a modest Active signal forecast developing in the KWGA on day 15. The dynamic model suggests the same thing but with the Inactive Phase holding in the KWGA on day 10 then fading some on day 15 with no Active signal forecast.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (7/23) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the Central Indian Ocean today and is to slowly ease east and weaken and all but gone over the Maritime Continent at day 15. The GEFS model suggests the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (7/22) This model depicts a moderate Inactive MJO was over the West Pacific today and is to push east over the Central Pacific and into Central America on 8/11. A coherent Active MJO is forecast developing over the KWGA on 8/7 pushing over the Central Pacific and into the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 8/31 while strengthening some. At that time a developing Inactive MJO is forecast moving east into the far West Pacific.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (7/22) This model depicts no coherent MJO signal over the KWGA today with east anomalies filling the KWGA at modest strength and continuing east to a point south of California. The forecast indicates a continuation of no MJO signal but with modest east anomalies in control over the KWGA and the entirety of the Pacific by 7/25 and holding through the end of the model run on 8/19 and if anything strengthening in the KWGA to strong status 8/8 through the end of the model run. One pocket of westerly anomalies is forecast developing in the Central Pacific 7/26-8/6 then fading out. In short a long run of easterly anomalies are setting up.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (7/23 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a weak Inactive MJO over the KWGA today with modest east anomalies filling the KWGA and reaching east to a point south of California on the equator. The forecast depicts no change with the Inactive MJO holding while slowly easing east through 8/22 with modest east anomalies holding in the KWGA and reaching east to Ecuador by 8/18. A broad Active MJO is forecast moving over the KWGA 8/15 and then filling it by 8/23 and holding through 10/5 producing modest west anomalies limited reaching east to 170E, filling little more than half of the KWGA. Moderate to strong east anomalies are to start building and prevail from 180E and points east of there to Ecuador through 10/11. After than a weak Inactive Phase is forecast moving into the KWGA 9/25 through the end of the model run on 10/20 but with weak west anomalies in control of most of the KWGA. This is a step in the right direction. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias is in control over the dateline today and is to build steadily in coverage through the end of the model run with a second contour setting up on 8/20 filling the equatorial Pacific at that time. A single contour low pressure bias is to appear over the Indian Ocean starting 8/18 building in coverage through the end of the model run. East anomalies that have been previously solid in the Indian Ocean are migrating east today into the West Pacific are to set up on the dateline and points east of there by 7/27 and then building and filling in over that entire area till 9/13, holding solid through 9/25, then possibly weakening some while losing coverage. Based on this model it appears a transition towards La Nina is possible, but not guaranteed.

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 the 30 deg isotherm was gone (previously at 163E). The 29 deg isotherm was steady at 170W today. The 28 deg isotherm line was backtracking slightly to 160W today. The 24 deg isotherm was steady at 115W. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies 0-1 deg C were previously isolated to the West Pacific were today pushing east on the surface and almost filling the upper reaches of the equatorial Pacific east to 105W. Cool anomalies that have been upwelling to the surface off of Ecuador from a subsurface pocket of cool water is all but gone today. But a second pocket of cool anomalies was now developing under the West Pacific pushing east to 145W today with temps building down to -2 deg C. It appears a conveyor belt of cool water (Cold water Kelvin Wave) was in effect. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 7/17 indicates the cool water bubble at depth in the east was erupting to the surface between 105W to 85W at -3 degs C. Warm water was at and near the surface west of 115W but shallow and breaking up. A broad pocket of cool water was at depth under the entirety of the West Pacific 150m down trying to connect with the cool pocket in the east. 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) Negative anomalies at -5 to -10 cms had collapsed over the bulk of the equatorial Pacific limited today between Ecuador and 110W (previously 140W). Neutral anomalies were west of there to 160E. Negative anomalies were along and down the coast of Peru and up the coast of Central America to mainland Mexico but weaker than days and week past at only -5 cms. But, no positive anomalies were over the equatorial Pacific either, except west of 160E.

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 indicate cold water was holding along Peru tracking northwest over Ecuador then tracking west on the equator over the Galapagos out to 110W then weakening but continuing cool west to 160W, looking like the start of a La Nina pattern. The stream was steady if not weakening some today. Warm anomalies were gone off the coast of Chile up into Peru turning decidedly cooler and appearing to be feeding the cool stream. Warm water was off Central America reaching west to the dateline but only north of the equator, remnants of a fading El Nino like pattern. Overall the cool pool on the equator was unmistakable and starting to show signs of rebuilding after previously being stalled.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (7/22): Pockets of cooler water were in-place from Ecuador extending west on the equator out to 140W with equally warm pockets interspersed. The short term trend is looking like a steady state pattern. At this time what looked like a solidly developing La Nina pattern is now stalled, but could return to ' building' status as easterly anomalies start building again in the KWGA (assuming that occurs).
Hi-res Overview: (7/22) A stream of cool water is entrenched along the coast of Peru lifting northwest to the equator from Ecuador west to the dateline but not as intense from Ecuador to 110W as days past. Warmer than normal temps were stable north of the equator with cooler than normal water building on and south of the equator out to the dateline. Overall the data suggests a stable weak La Nina like pattern.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (7/23) Today's temps were rebounding slightly at -1.317, after previously down to -1.970 on 7/17. Temps have been dropping steadily since March 26. Overall the trend is towards cooling after having previously been in a warmer range at +0.6 degs between 2/25-3/26.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(7/23) Temps were rising slightly today at +0.032 after being neutral the past week and previously up to +0.224 on 7/11. Previously temps were rising the last past 3 weeks after bottoming out at -0.595 on 5/27. Overall the trend is steady if not warming after previous being on a downward trajectory April and May. Temps were in the +0.3 degree range in Feb., and up to the +0.5-+0.6 degree range 3/12-4/8.

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 (7/23) Actual temperatures were in the +0.65 deg range 1/1/2020 through 4/1/2020, then started falling hard down to -0.20 in late-May and held through late June. The forecast depicted temps starting a precipitous fall on July 1, down to -0.50 in late July, continuing down reaching -1.10 on Oct 1 and holding through mid Dec, then starting to rebound reaching at -0.5 in Feb 2021 and neutral April 1. According to this model sea surface temps should be falling strongly moving towards La Nina as Summer progresses. but as of today (7/21) actual temps suggest a neutral trend in the Nino3.4 region, so some dramatic cooling is going to have to happen for this model to verify. We're beginning to think this model might not be on track and that all the dynamic models might be overstating this cool burst.
IRI Consensus Plume: The June 19, 2020 Plume depicts temps are at -0.35 degs, and are to hold in that range into November then rising some to -0.1 by Feb 2021. The low outliers are the dynamic models (NCEP CFS, NASA GMAO and the COLA CCSM4) all suggesting solid La Nina. 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) (7/23): The daily index was positive today at 16.00. The 30 day average was rising to +3.65. The 90 day average was rising to -0.87, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was in control.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): June -0.67, May -0.46, April 2020 -0.69, March -0.09, Feb +0.65, Jan +0.42, This index was steady positive Aug 2018 through Feb 2020, and now is steady negative, but only weakly so.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
Per NOAAs index recent values: Jan 2018 +0.29, Feb -0.19, Mar -0.61, April -0.89, May -0.69, June -0.85, July -0.09, Aug -0.43, Sept -0.46, Oct -0.75, Nov -0.78, Dec -0.12, Jan 2019 -0.18, Feb -0.50 Mar -0.23, April +0.10, May +0.14, June -0.11, July +0.44, Aug -0.14, Sept +0.05, Oct -0.96, Nov -0.28, Dec +0.01, Jan 2020 -1.17, This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2018 +0.70. Feb +0.37, Mar -0.05, April +0.11, May +0.11, June -0.04, July +0.11, Aug +0.18, Sept +0.09. 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.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 


External Reference Material: El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), Kelvin Wave

Powerlinessurf Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest

Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for the week starting Sunday (7/19):
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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing:

Stormsurf and Mavericks on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel

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.

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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