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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, July 30, 2020 2:41 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
1.5 - 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 7/27 thru Sun 8/2

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   

SPac Models Continue to Tease
Tiny NZ Swell Supposedly Hitting HI

On Thursday, July 30, 2020 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 2.3 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 1.2 ft @ 12.0 secs from 201 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 5.2 ft @ 7.7 secs with swell 4.5 ft @ 6.8 secs from 29 degrees. Water temp 80.1 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.6 ft @ 5.0 secs with swell 0.8 ft @ 11.7 secs from 223 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 8-12 kts. Water temperature 66.9 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 1.4 ft @ 11.6 secs from 225 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.9 ft @ 5.4 secs from 264 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 0.8 ft @ 13.1 secs from 202 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 1.1 ft @ 12.3 secs from 184 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 3.0 ft @ 10.0 secs with swell 2.2 ft @ 10.2 secs from 292 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 4-8 kts. Water temp 57.7 degs (013), 60.8 degs (SF Bar) and 58.6 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 (7/30) in North and Central CA there was no surf with a modest onshore flow making for a modest amount of wind lump. Protected breaks were knee high on the sets and and mushed and clean and weak. At Santa Cruz surf was flat with are knee high sets and clean and very weak. In Southern California/Ventura waves were knee high and clean but soft with no wind. Central Orange County had some sets in the knee high range and clean but very soft breaking just off the beach early. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had set waves at waist high on the peaks and clean with no wind and lined up but weak and inconsistent. North San Diego had sets at knee high and weak and mushed with clean conditions. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and textured from northerly wind. The South Shore had occasional occasional waist high sets and clean but weak. The East Shore was getting east windswell with waves waist high or so and chopped from east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (7/30) no swell of interest was hitting Hawaii or California. Locally generated windswell is expected to continue for Hawaii's exposed east shores but nothing for California until the weekend, and then still weak. Down south a tiny gale developed southeast of New Zealand on Thurs (7/23) producing 30 ft seas over a tiny area for 18 hours aimed northeast. Tiny swell is supposed to be hitting Hawaii today. And better news is that the models are starting to tease concerning a system developing southeast of New Zealand on Tues-Thurs (8/6) with 36 ft seas sweeping east across the South Pacific. Will believe it when it happens. At least there's some hope now. Until then, 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 (7/30) 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
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday (7/30) northwest winds were light at 5-10 kts early for North and Central CA and forecast holding all day. Low pressure off Oregon is to be fading. Fri (7/31) remnants off the previous days low pressure system is to limp up to the Oregon Coast with 5 kt northwest winds for North and Central CA early building to 15-20 kts for North and Central CA in the afternoon but over a shallow area. Sat (8/1) a weak gradient is to be building with northwest winds 20 kts for Central CA all day and 15-20 kts up to and over Pt Arena for NCal later with minimal windswell production possible. Sun (8/2) more of the same is forecast with northwest winds 15-20 kts mainly for Central CA but nearshore up into North CA offering minimal windswell production potential holding all day. Mon (8/3) northwest winds are forecast at 20 kts all day for North and Central CA and building coverage in the afternoon starting to offering some more reasonable potential for windswell development at exposed breaks. On Tues (8/4) a building fetch of northwest winds is forecast early at 20-25 kts over all of North CA waters and 20 kts for Central CA holding all day offering good potential for windswell development. Wed (8/5) the gradient is to be holding solid with northwest winds 25 kts over North CA and 20 kts solid nearshore over Central CA offering good but raw windswell generation potential. Thurs (8/6) the gradient is to lift north producing 20-25 kts northwest winds mainly over North CA with 15 kts northwest winds mainly off the coast of Central CA continuing some windswell generation potential.

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 (7/30) the jetstream was well split over the width of the South Pacific with the southern branch ridging hard south under New Zealand pushing over the Ross Ice Shelf and sweeping east to 140W offering no support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours the ridge is to be sweeping east and suppressing support for gale development into Fri (7/31) then starting to moderate with the jet lifting north to 63S on Sat (8/1) with a trough starting to build over the Southeast Pacific on Sun AM (8/2) being fed by 110 kt winds offering some support for gale development while pushing east. Beyond 72 hours starting Mon (8/3) another trough is to start building under New Zealand being fed by 130 kt winds pushing northeast to 60S while sweeping east offering some support for gale development into early Wed (8/5). That trough is to fade but perhaps another trough is to start building under New Zealand on Thurs (8/6). The situation is forecast to slowly starting improving.

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (7/30) small swell from a gale previously under New Zealand was supposedly starting to hit Hawaii (see Tiny New Zealand Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a weak gale is forecast developing in the far Southeast Pacific on Sat PM (8/1) producing a broad fetch of 35 kt southwest winds lifting northeast. On Sun AM (8/2) the fetch is to lift northeast at 35-40 kts producing 26 ft seas at 56S 139W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 30-35 kts from the southwest with seas holding at 26 ft at 50S 129W aimed northeast and fading. Fetch is to be gone after that. Low odds of some 14-15 secs period swell resulting radiating north towards California.


Tiny New Zealand Gale
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 176.5W aimed east-northeast. In the evening fetch faded from 35 kts with seas 27 ft at 48.5S 170W aimed east. Fetch faded from there with no seas of interest remaining. Low odds of minimal background swell to result for Hawaii and even less for California.

Oahu: Expect tiny swell arriving on Thurs (7/30) building to 1.0 ft @ 15-16 secs later (1.5 ft). Swell fading Fri (7/31) from 1 ft @ 14 secs early (1.0-1.5 ft). Swell Direction: 200 degrees

California: No meaningful swell is expected to result.


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. The model do suggest a small ale developing in the Northern Gulf of Alaska on Thurs (8/6) producing 35-40 kt northwest winds with seas to 23 ft at 50N 147.5W. But this is not believable given the time of year.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a gale is forecast building under New Zealand on Tues AM (8/4) producing a solid area of 40-45 kt west winds just off the northern edge of the Ross Ice Shelf and starting to get traction on the oceans surface with seas building to 30 ft over a small area at 59S 172E aimed east. In the evening fetch is to build to 45-50 kts from the southwest tracking east with seas forecast at 35 ft at 60S 171.5W aimed east. On Wed AM (8/3) fetch is to be building from the southwest at 45 kts over a solid sized area with seas building to 38 ft at 60S 158.5W aimed east. In the evening fetch is to continue while lifting northeast some at 40-45 kts with seas holding at 38 ft at 58S 144.5W aimed east-northeast. On Thurs AM (8/6) fetch is to be fading to 35-40 kts but covering a large area in the far Southeast Pacific aimed northeast with seas 36 ft at 54S 124W aimed east-northeast. The gale is to fade and start moving out of the California swell window from there. Something to monitor.


MJO/ENSO Forecast


La Nina Pulse Building

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 (7/29) 5 day average winds were solid from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific and strong over the KWGA. Anomalies were moderately easterly over the East equatorial holding modest easterly over the Central Pacific then moderate to strong east over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (7/30) moderate east anomalies were filling the KWGA and moderately east over the whole of the equatorial Pacific to Ecuador. The forecast calls for east anomalies holding at moderate status through 8/1 then building to solidly strong status on 8/2 in the heart of the KWGA and building through the holding through the end of the model run on 8/6. Support for energy transfer into the jet is very low and forecast to only turn more that way resulting in the jet moving more poleward. Westerly anomalies tend to pull the jet equatorward.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (7/29) A neutral MJO pattern was over the KWGA today. The statistic model indicates a weak Active Pattern is to start building in far west KWGA on day 5 of the model run building steadily through day 15 of the model run and filling the KWGA modestly at that time. The dynamic model suggests the same thing initially and is corrupt after that.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (7/30) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the Eastern Indian Ocean today and is to slowly ease east while holding strength over the East 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): (7/29) This model depicts a strong Inactive MJO was over the far East Pacific today and is to push east into Central America on 8/3. A weak but coherent Active MJO is forecast developing over the KWGA on 8/14 pushing over the Central Pacific and into the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 9/7. At that time a developing weak Inactive MJO is forecast moving east into the far West Pacific.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (7/29) This model depicts no coherent MJO signal over the KWGA today with east anomalies filling the KWGA at modest strength and continuing east to Ecuador. 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 and holding. If anything east anomalies are to be building to strong status in the KWGA 8/6 through 8/12 reaching east the whole way to Ecuador, then fading and losing coverage in the East and Central Pacific by 8/13 but holding solid in the KWGA through the end of the model run on 8/26. Westerly anomalies are forecast developing in the Central Pacific and East Pacific on 8/14 and beyond. But overall a long run of easterly anomalies are setting up in the KWGA. August will be a tough month for swell production.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (7/30 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a weak Inactive MJO over the KWGA today with moderate east anomalies filling the KWGA and reaching east to Ecuador on the equator. The forecast depicts no change with the Inactive MJO holding while slowly easing east through 8/15 with modest east anomalies holding in the KWGA reaching east to Ecuador. A weak Active MJO is forecast moving over the KWGA 8/7 and then filling it by 8/15 and holding through 9/8 producing weak west anomalies limited reaching east to 165E, filling little more than half of the KWGA while moderate to strong east anomalies hold from the dateline east to Ecuador. After 2 weak Active Phases are forecast traversing the Pacific on 9/16-10/2 and then again on 10/15 to the end of the model run on 10/27 but with west anomalies barely making it to the dateline in both cases and east anomalies solid east of the dateline to Ecuador. 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 8/23 with the high pressure bias filling the bulk of the equatorial Pacific on 8/7 and not giving up any ground over the length of the model run. A single contour low pressure bias is to appear over the Indian Ocean starting 8/15 building in coverage through the end of the model run. East anomalies that have been previously solid in the Indian Ocean are almost complete migrating east into the West Pacific today and are to set up on the dateline and points east of there by 8/5 and then building and filling in over that entire area for the foreseeable future. Based on this model it appears a transition towards La Nina is occurring.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (7/30) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm was gone. The 29 deg isotherm has retrograded at 172E today. The 28 deg isotherm line had retrograded to 167W today. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing east to 110W. 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 100W. But they were breaking up between 135-170W. 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 pocket of cool anomalies was pushing east under the Central Pacific pushing east with it's leading edge at 125W today with its core at 160W with temps down to -3 deg C. It appears a conveyor belt of cool water (Cold water Kelvin Waves) was in effect. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 7/22 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 in pockets and shallow and breaking up. A broad pocket if not a river 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: (7/22) Negative anomalies at -5 to -10 cms had collapsed over the bulk of the equatorial Pacific limited today between Ecuador and 100W (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: (7/29) The latest images indicate cold water was holding along Peru tracking northwest while building over and off Ecuador then tracking west on the equator while weakening over the Galapagos out to 110W then weakening but continuing cool west to 170W, looking like the start of a La Nina pattern. The stream was steady today. Cool anomalies were along 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 weak rebuilding after previously being stalled.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (7/29): Pockets of markedly cold water were in-place from Ecuador extending west on the equator to the Galapagos then west of there to 120W then weaker west of there to the dateline if not beyond. Temperature were dropping solidly over the entire equatorial Pacific. There were 2 small pockets of warming interspersed. The short term trend is looking like development of a large scale cooling trend. At this time it looks like a previously stalled La Nina pattern is now rebuilding.
Hi-res Overview: (7/29) A stream of cool water is entrenched along the coast of Peru lifting northwest to the equator from Ecuador west to the dateline and building between Ecuador and the Galapagos then weaker out to the dateline. 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 building La Nina like pattern.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (7/30) Today's temps were steady at -1.837, 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:
(7/30) Temps were falling steadily today to -0.1795 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 (7/30) 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 then stabilized there through late June. The forecast depicts temps starting a precipitous fall on July 1, down to -0.50 in late July, continuing down reaching -1.05 on Oct 1 and fading to -1.15 through mid Dec, then starting to rebound reaching at -0.25 April 1. According to this model sea surface temps should be falling strongly moving towards La Nina as Summer progresses. But as of today (7/28) 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 July 19, 2020 Plume depicts temps are at -0.42 degs, and are to fall into Oct to -0.55 degs then moderating and starting to rise some to -0.35 by Jan 2021 and then neutral by March. The low outlier is a dynamic models (NASA GMAO). But a good plethora of models are now suggesting a developing 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) (7/30): The daily index was negative today at -17.85. The 30 day average was steady at +4.92. The 90 day average was falling to -0.52, 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

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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing:

Stormsurf and Mavericks on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel

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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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