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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, August 7, 2018 1:33 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
1.2 - California & 2.2 - 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 8/6 thru Sun 8/12

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   

2 Small SHemi Swells Pushing North
1st One Hitting Hawaii Now


On Tuesday, August 7, 2018 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 4.4 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 3.7 ft @ 15.6 secs from 165 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.9 ft @ 7.1 secs with swell 1.1 ft @ 13.7 secs from 224 degrees. Wind at the buoy was east at 4-6 kts. Water temperature 72.3 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.5 ft @ 7.7 secs from 272 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.3 ft @ 6.4 secs from 260 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.1 ft @ 14.5 secs from 218 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.5 ft @ 14.6 secs from 194 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 6.1 ft @ 11.4 secs with swell 4.0 ft @ 10.6 secs from 304 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 14-16 kts. Water temp 55.6 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 Tuesday (8/7) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing surf in the chest to shoulder high range and mushy and weak and warbled from northwest wind early. Protected breaks were waist to chest high and soft but somewhat cleaner and rideable. At Santa Cruz surf was small but really hard to tell due to heavy fog early. In Southern California/Ventura surf was knee to thigh high and soft and barely breaking but clean. In North Orange Co waves were occasionally in the waist to chest high range on the sets and weak but clean and almost lined up early. South Orange Country's best breaks were getting small surf with waves waist to chest high on the bigger sets and clean but generally soft. In North San Diego surf was thigh to waist high on the sets and clean and soft. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean but warbled. The South Shore was getting new southern hemi swell with waves occasionally chest to almost high and lined up and peeling when they come. The East Shore was getting small east windswell at thigh to waist high and chopped from modest east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (8/7) small southern hemi swell was hitting Hawaii from a weak gale previously in the upper reaches of the South Central Pacific last Tues-Wed (8/1) with seas to 28 ft aimed north. Another weak gale developed in the deep Central Pacific lifting north Fri-Sun (8/4) producing 26-27 ft seas aimed northeast. Another gale is forecast in the far Southeast Pacific on Wed-Thurs (8/9) with up to 32 ft seas briefly aimed north. But nothing else is to follow. Windswell is a possibility for North and Central CA later in the coming weekend. And the tropics are of immediate interest for the Big Island the next 2 days and possibly for exposed breaks in Southern California later this week.


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

North Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday AM (8/7) 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: On Tuesday (8/7) windswell from a fetch previously in the Northern Gulf that generated up to 20 ft seas aimed south was still hitting exposed break in North and Central CA. Otherwise a limited fetch of north winds at 15-20 kts was along the North CA coast but broader off the Central CA coast generating only very short period windswell. Weak low pressure previously in the Gulf was sinking south well off the CA coast and offering nothing in terms of windswell production but also cutting out high pressure eliminating any real fetch form it as well. On Wed (8/8) weak low pressure is to continue falling south 1000 nmiles east of North CA suppressing the standard summer time pressure gradient and north winds offering no windswell generation potential. More of the same is forecast Thurs (8/2) but with the low turning to the east and suppressing any north winds nearshore CA. More of the same on Fri (8/10) but with high pressure starting to build in the Western Gulf and starting to ridge east later in the afternoon. See QuikCAST's for details.

Hawaii: On Tuesday (8/7) the main focus was swell being generated by Hurricane Hector positioned 450 nmiles east-southeast of Hilo Hawaii (see Tropical Update). On Wed (8/8) Hector is to be tracking east about 160 nmiles south of the Big Island producing a local shallow fetch of 15-20 kt easterly winds producing short period east windswell along exposed east facing shores of all Islands. But by Thurs (8/2) Hector is to be moving west of the Islands with no easterly fetch remaining and all easterly windswell gone. More of the same is expected on Fri (8/10 ) too. See QuikCAST's for details.

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


Tropical Update
Hurricane Hector: On Tues (8/7) Hector was 450 nmiles east-southeast of Hilo Hawaii with winds 115 kt tracking west at 15 kts with seas estimated at 38 ft at 16N 147.1W. Hector is to continue on this heading passing 160 nmiles south of the Big Island on Wed (8/8) with winds fading from 100 kts and no longer producing swell relative to the Hawaiian Islands. Hector is to continue east from there perhaps starting to curve northwest on Sun (8/12) while moving near the dateline. There's no clear indication of any potential for Hector to recurve northeast at this time.

Tropical Storm Kristy: On Tues (8/7) Kristy was 1700 nmiles east-southeast of the Hilo Hawaii with winds 45 kts tracking west and of no interest from a swell generation perspective. Kristy is to eventually make a push to the north on Wed-Fri (8/10) with winds building to minimal hurricane force (65 kts) but given it far distance from Hawaii and small footprint, no swell of interest is expected to result. There's some speculation that Kristy might eventually get absorbed into Hurricane John longer term.

Hurricane John: On Tues AM (8/7) John was about 350 nmiles south of Cabo San Lucas Mexico with winds 90 kts tracking northwest at 8 kts with seas 28 ft at 17.5N 109.5W and barely in the swell window for breaks west of Pt Dume CA (152 degs). By Wed AM (8/12) John is to be peaking with winds 105 kts (120 mph) at 20.5N 112W and still barely in the swell window for breaks just west of Pt Dume (152 degs) and 900 nmiles out from that location tracking northwest. Swell is to be generated pushing north. Swell arrival at Pt Dume assuming a 15 sec period would be 38 hours later or 7 PM on Thurs (8/9). Swell to peak there and points west of there on Fri AM (8/10) at 6 ft @ 13-14 secs (8.0 ft faces). John is to fade Thurs AM (8/9) with winds dropping from 80 kts at 23N 117W and moving into the greater SCal swell window (172 degs Pt Dume/179 degs Dana Point).Still some swell is to be generated, but down from the storms peak. Swell fading out all locations Sat AM (8/11).

California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday (8/7) north winds were 15 kts over all of North and Central CA nearshore waters and up to 20 kts near Pt Conception. High pressure was being held at bay by low pressure 1000 nmiles off the coast of Oregon. On Wed (8/8) a weak pressure pattern is to hold winds north winds barely 15 kts along the North and Central CA coast and continuing Thursday into early Fri (8/10). On Sat (8/11) high pressure is to build in the Central Gulf of Alaska generating north winds at 20+ kts along the North CA coast but only 10-15 kts over Central CA. Sunday (8/12) north winds to hold at 20 kts for Cape Mendocino but 10 kts south of there to Southern CA. By Mon (8/13) a light wind flow is forecast for all of North and Central CA but with northwest winds 15 kts for portions of Southern CA. Light winds forecast for the entire state on Tues (8/14).

South Pacific

On Tuesday AM (8/7) the southern branch of the jetstream was ridging south under New Zealand reaching down to 70S and over the northern edge of the Ross Ice Shelf Antarctic Ice sweeping east to east-northeast reaching up to 60S over the far Southeast Pacific forming a weak trough being fed by 110 kt winds offering weak support for gale development there. Over the next 72 hours on Wed (8/8) winds to build in this trough to 130 kts pushing north offering better support for gale development then fading on Thurs (8/9) with support for gale development dropping out. Beyond 72 hours starting Sat (8/11) the ridge in the west is to rebuild again with 110 kts winds pushing southeast into Antarctica southeast of New Zealand and sweeping east from there into Mon (8/13) offering no support for gale development in lower levels of the atmosphere. But by Mon (8/13) that ridge is to moderate and lift north turning zonal on the 65S latitude line but still over Antarctic Ice and holding through the end of the model run on Tues 98/14) offering no support for gale development.

Surface Analysis  
On Tuesday (8/7) swell from a tiny gale that developed in the upper reaches of the Central Pacific was hitting Hawaii (see Central South Pacific Gale below). Also swell from another gale previously in the deep Central South Pacific was pushing northeast (see Another Central South Pacific Gale). .

Over the next 72 hours a gale is forecast developing in the deep Southeast Pacific on Wednesday PM (8/8) with 45 kt south winds pushing well north producing 30 ft seas at 59S 124W. On Thurs AM (8/9) fetch is to fade from barely 45 kts over a tiny area and seas 32 ft at 54S 121W. The gale is to fade and be of no interest after that. Something to monitor.


Central South Pacific Gale
A tiny gale developed in the Central South Pacific on Tues PM (7/31) with 40 kts south winds aimed north and seas building from 27 ft over a tiny area at 36.5W 155.5W. South winds continued at 35-40 kts on Wed AM (8/1) with seas to 29 ft over tiny area at 35S 150.5W. South fetch is to faded in the evening from 40 kts with seas fading from 25 ft at 35S 148W aimed north. This system faded from there. Given the tiny fetch size only limited swell to result for Hawaii and even less for California.

Hawaii: Swell arrival on Tues (8/7) building to 1.6 ft @ 15 secs later (2.5 ft). Swell to continue on Wed (8/8) 1.8 ft @ 14 secs (2.5 ft). Swell fading on Thurs (8/9) 1.6 ft @ 12-13 secs (2.0 ft). Swell gone after that. Swell Direction: 180 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival late on Wed (8/8) building to 1.1 ft @ 17 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell continues on Thurs (8/9) building to 1.6 ft @ 1.5 ft (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell fading Fri (8/10) from 1.6 ft @ 14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 205 degrees


Another Central South Pacific Gale
On Fri AM (8/3) another gale formed in the deep South Central Pacific tiny in size with 40-45 kt south winds aimed north starting to get traction on the oceans surface with seas building from 26 ft at 57S 160W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch built in coverage but fading in velocity at 35 kts aimed north with seas 26-28 ft at 52S 152W aimed north-northeast. On Sat AM (8/4) fetch was fading in velocity at 35 kts but still decent in coverage from the south with seas 25 ft at 48S 156W aimed north. In the evening fetch faded in coverage still at 35 kts from the south lifting north with seas 24 ft at 44.5S 152W. The gael faded from there. Some degrees of limited swell could result for Hawaii and more so for California down into Central America. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Fri (8/10) building to 1.3 ft @ 16-17 secs later (2.0 ft). Swell builds on Sat (8/11) 1.6 ft @ 15 secs early (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell fading on Sun (8/12) from 1.8 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Nothing after that. Swell Direction: 180 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (8/12) building to 1.6 ft @ 16-17 secs later (2.5 ft). Swell builds on Mon (8/13) at 2.0 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Tues (8/14) from 1.9 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 202 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (8/12) building to 1.3 ft @ 17 secs late (2.0 ft). Swell builds on Mon (8/13) at 2.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Tues (8/14) from 1.7 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 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 the model are suggesting the remnants of Typhoon Shanshan are to move to within 50 nmiles of Central Japan, stall then start recurving and racing northeast on Fri (9/10) pushing over the North Dateline region on Sat PM (9/11) with winds to near 45 kts from the northwest and seas 28-30 ft early Sun AM (9/12) at 51N 173W offering a slight chance for background swell development mainly for the US West Coast.

Windswell Forecast
On Saturday (8/11) high pressure at 1032 mbs is to be moving east centered in the Central Gulf ridging east starting to produce north winds at 20+ kts over North CA in the afternoon and building to 15 kts over Central CA starting to support limited north windswell production. A gradient is to be building over North CA on Sun (8/12) as the high ridges east with north winds 25 kts over most of North CA but light over Central CA resulting in building modest short period north windswell at exposed breaks. That gradient and fetch is to fade some on Mon (8/13) with north winds 20+ kts isolated mainly to Cape Mendocino offshore waters with light winds south of there and windswell generation potential fading. Tuesday (8/14) Even that fetch is to fade out with no windswell generation projected.

Hawaii: On Saturday (8/11) a weak easterly flow at 10 kt is expected over the Hawaiian Islands offering no potential for generating meaningful east windswell. No change is forecast on Sun-Tues (8/14).


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.

Details to follow...


MJO/ENSO Forecast

Kelvin Wave #1 Eruption Fading - Kelvin Wave #2 Building

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 Mon (8/7) 5 day average winds were solidly from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific then weakening starting south of Hawaii and continuing moderately easterly from there and over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were light easterly over the East equatorial Pacific turning neutral west of there and light easterly over the core of the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (8/7) light west anomalies were over the core of the KWGA and forecast to start building on 8/10 to moderate strength and holding through the end of the model run on 8/14.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (8/7) A modest Active/Wet MJO signal was over the KWGA. The statistical model depicts that Active/Wet MJO signal is to steadily weaken and gone at day 8 with a neutral MJO signal indicated at the end of the model run on day 15. The dynamic model depicts the same thing initially but an Inactive/Dry Phase developing at the end of the model run. The models are mostly in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (8/7) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was weak and stalled over the Western Pacific. It is to hold here for a few days then collapse and racing east to the Indian Ocean at the end of the model run 2 weeks out. The GEFS model depicts a variant of the same pattern.
40 day Upper Level Model: (8/7) This model depicts a very weak Active/Wet MJO signal was over the West Pacific and is to be easing east over Central America on 8/27. A weak Inactive/Dry pattern is to follow in the West Pacific starting 8/27 making slow east headway reaching the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 9/16. At that time a neutral MJO pattern is to be over the West Pacific.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (8/6) This model depicts modest west anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast indicates those west anomalies to build solid on the dateline in 3 days and holding through 8/16 then fading some but still with weak to modest west anomalies holding in the KWGA at the end of the model run on 9/3.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (8/7) This model depicts the Active/Wet Phase of the MJO is well past it's peak over the KWGA with weak west anomalies over the entirety of the KWGA. The weak Active MJO pattern is to fade through 8/17 with a weak Inactive MJO signal taking over 8/15-9/10 but with weak west anomalies holding over the KWGA. A stronger Active Phase of the MJO is to redevelop on 9/10 holding through 10/24 with solid west anomalies in the KWGA building to Westerly Wind Burst status 9/26-10/4. A weak Inactive Phase is to follow 10/24 through the end of the model run on 11/4. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias is fully in control of the KWGA reaching east to 145W and built from 2 contour lines to 3 on 7/8 and then started building 7/28 and is to hold through 8/31 backing off some into 10/18, then rebuilding again. This means we are biased towards El Nino 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 8/31. 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: (8/7) 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 163W due to weakening of a Kelvin Wave under the West Pacific. The 24 deg isotherm was 100 meters deep at 140W. It was loosing depth at 120W, moving from 75 meters deep to 25 meters deep today and retracting from the coast of Ecuador breaching at 115W. Anomaly wise warm waters associated with the February Kelvin Wave are in the far East Pacific near the coast of Ecuador and no longer erupting on the oceans surface. A previous pocket of cool water -1.0 below normal near 130W has vanished. To the west warm anomalies are building at +2 degs centered under the dateline and with one small finger of +1.0 degs anomalies reaching east to 120W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 8/1 depicts the same thing, with a bubble of warm water pushing east in the East Pacific starting at 135W building to +4.5 degs centered at 115W extending east to Ecuador. It was breaching the surface between 105W-145W. Additionally more warm water was pushing east from the Maritime Continent spilling into the West Pacific pushing under the dateline at +2.5 degs reaching east to 150W and building in coherency 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: (8/1) Positive anomalies were solid from the Maritime Continent over the West Equatorial Pacific and broad in coverage to 170W at +5-10 cms indicative of a new Kelvin Wave (#2) building. East of there it weakened some with 5 cms anomalies continuing broad to 100W, remnants of Kelvin Wave #1. There were no breaks over that entire area. 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: (8/6) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate light cool to near neutral anomalies were along the immediate coast of Peru and Chile. An area of warm water is erupting on the oceans surface on the equator building off Ecuador then weaker from the Galapagos west to 125W, then building some west of there out to the dateline. 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 were gone.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (7/29): An elongated pocket of intense warming was along the equator from Ecuador to 120W. Temps were neutral along the coasts of Chile and Peru but warming along the coast of Central America up into mainland Mexico. Cooling previously solid off Central West Africa has turned to a strong warming pattern now, and that appears to start being mirrored off Ecuador.
Hi-res Overview: (7/28) An area of weak cool water was present 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 10S 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: (8/7) Today's temps were fading some down to -0.113 degs. That is up some but still lower than the big peak at +0.459 on 5/13. Overall temps here are steady in the -0.75 deg range.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (8/7) Today temps were steady at +0.231, down 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 (8/7) The forecast calls for a steady increase from here forward rising in early Oct to +1.25 degs and to +1.50 degs in Nov then holding steady through April 2019 in the +1.3-1.5 degree range. 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) (8/7): The daily index was negative today at -10.80 as it has been for the past week. The 30 day average was falling today to 1.34 suggesting the Inactive Phase of the MJO was fading. The 90 day average was falling too at -1.11. The 90 degree average turned 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): (8/7) Today the index was steady at -0.39 (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 recent negative trend appears to be fading, which is good news. But the fact that it developed at all suggests La Nina has not completely given up it's grip on equatorial precipitation yet and 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.

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

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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.

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

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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