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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Wednesday, August 7, 2019 5:32 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
1.8 - California & 1.4 - 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 8/5 thru Sun 8/11

Swell Potential Rating Categories
5 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Significant swell
4 = Good probability for 1-2 days of Significant swell
3 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Intermediate/Advanced swell
2 = Good probability for  1-2 days of
Intermediate/Advanced swell
1 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Impulse or Windswell
0 = Low probability for 1-2 days of Impulse or Windswell   

Small Central Pac Swell Hitting CA
Another Small NZ Swell Behind

On Wednesday, August 7, 2019 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/ Buoy 239 (Lanai) Seas were 4.4 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 1.7 ft @ 14.9 secs from 189 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 2.5 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 2.0 ft @ 8.0 secs from 49 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.0 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 1.6 ft @ 15.1 secs from 227 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 8-10 kts. Water temperature 67.6 degs (46086). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 2.6 ft @ 15.6 secs from 187 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.7 ft @ 15.7 secs from 199 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.8 ft @ 15.1 secs from 1893 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.6 ft @ 16.1 secs from 191 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 6.7 ft @ 7.7 secs with swell 5.6 ft @ 6.6 secs from 323 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 16-18 kts. Water temp 52.0 degs (013) and 56.5 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 Wednesday (8/7) in North and Central CA locally generated northwest windswell was producing waves at thigh to maybe waist high and warbled and mushed and not really unrideable. Protected breaks were thigh to waist high and a bit warbled and soft and weak. At Santa Cruz surf was occasionally waist high on the rare sets and clean and somewhat lined up. In Southern California/Ventura waves were up to chest high on the rare sets and a bit textured from northwest winds but somewhat rideable. In North Orange Co waves were head high on the sets and lined up coming from the south but also a bit textured from southerly wind. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were head high to 1 ft overhead on the sets on the peak and lined up but pretty textured from southerly wind. North San Diego had surf at waist high with chest high peaks on the sets and soft and weak but reasonably clean. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was small with sets at waist high and pretty textured early from light southerly wind. The East Shore was getting east windswell with waves waist high and clean with light south winds.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Wednesday (8/7) in California and Hawaii small southern hemi swell was hitting from a gale that developed southeast of New Zealand Sun (7/28) with 38 ft seas tracking east-northeast and fading with seas down to 26 ft in the Southeast Pacific on Tues (7/30). And some fetch developed south of the Tasman Sea on Fri (8/2) with 33 ft seas aimed east and slowly fading into late Sat (8/3) then weakly pushed northeast up the east coast of New Zealand Mon-Tues (8/6) producing 25 seas aimed northeast. Long term the models suggest some sort of fetch and meaningful seas to develop southeast of New Zealand on Tues-Wed (8/14).

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

Surface Analysis
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast other than local windswell (see below).

Windswell Outlook
On Wednesday (8/7) weak high pressure at 1022 mbs was 900 nmiles west of Central CA producing a weak pressure gradient along the CA coast resulting in northwest winds at 10-15 kts along the North and Central coasts offering only minimal potential for windswell production. For Hawaii easterly fetch at 15 kts was extending 1200 nmiles east of the Islands but mainly south of the Big Island offering low odds for windswell production. Over the next 72 hours starting Thurs (8/8) for North CA northwest winds to be fading from 15 kts to 10 kts offering no windswell production potential while in CEntral CA north winds to hold at 15 kts offering minimal support. No change is forecast for Hawaii. Fri (8/9) no windswell producing fetch is expected for CA except for north winds at 15-20 kts limited to Pt Conception as weak low pressure sets up 1200 nmiles north of Hawaii. no change regarding trades for Hawaii. On Sat (8/10) very weak low pressure is to hold in the Gulf of Alaska with no windswell producing fetch forecast relative to California nor Hawaii.


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


Tropical Update
Tropical Storm Krosa: On Wed AM (8/7) Krosa was 900 nmiles south of Tokyo Japan tracking generally north with winds 60 kts and seas 24 ft. Krosa is to build to typhoon force in the evening
peaking Fri AM (8/9) with winds to 80 kts (92 mph) still tracking north. Krosa is to be fading while continuing north down to tropical storm status Sun AM (8/11) with winds 50 kts and continuing north at tropical storm strength (50 kts). The GFS model suggests Krosa is to turn to the northeast making very slow headway into Wed (8/14) positioned 300 nmiles east of Tokyo Japan fully over open ocean with winds holding possibly providing opportunity for swell production in our forecast area beyond.

Typhoon Lekima: On Wed AM (8/7) Lekima was 300 nmiles southeast of Taiwan tracking northwest with winds 100 kts (115 mph). Lekima is to continue on this heading building into Thurs AM (8/8) with winds to 130 kts (150 mph) 150 nmiles east of Taiwan. Lekima is to continue northwest into Sat (8/10) impacting China then turning north while slowly fading into Mon (8/12) mid-way between China and Korea. No turn to the northeast is expected offering no odds for swell production relative to our forecast area.


California Nearshore Forecast
On Wednesday (8/7) winds were 10-15 kts over all of North and Central CA nearshore waters. Thurs (8/8) north winds to be 10-15 kts for all of North and Central CA. On Fri (8/9) north winds to be 5 kts for North CA and 15 kts for Central CA. Sat (8/10) winds to be from the northwest at 5-10 kts. Sun (8/11) north winds to be 15-20 kts for Central CA and 10 kts early for North CA building to 15+ kts later. On Mon (8/12) north winds are to be 15-20 kts for all of North and Central CA. On Tuesday (8/13) north winds are to be 20 kts for North CA and 10 kts for Central CA. No change is forecast on Wed (8/14).

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


South Pacific

On Wednesday (8/7) the influential southern branch of the jet was mostly merged with northern branch up at 33S with a weak smattering of winds south of there not making a clear trough over the Southwest Pacific but not providing an environment to suppress gale development either. But over the Central and Southeast Pacific the southern branch of the jet was peeling off falling south on the 155W longitude line down into Antarctica and tracking east down at 75S offering no support for gale development over any of the Central or Southeast Pacific. Over the next 72 hours more of the same is forecast but with winds building in the portion of the jet falling south over the Central Pacific on Fri (8/9) further suppressing support for gale development there. Beyond 72 hours starting Sun (8/11) the southern branch of the jet is to start building while pushing northeast south of New Zealand with winds to 120+ kts later in the day starting to form a trough with that trough peaking Mon (8/12) just southeast of New Zealand offering decent support for gale development. Winds feeding the trough are to start weakening by Wed (8/14) down to 80 kts no longer offering support for gale development. To the east a new ridge is to be building pushing south to 70S east of 160W actively suppressing support for gale development. There's also indication of a new ridge building south of Tasmania moving towards the Southwest Pacific likely shutting down support for gale production there longterm.

Surface Analysis  
Swell from a gale that traversed the South Pacific is hitting California (see South-Central Pacific Gale below). Swell from another broad but weak gale is behind targeting Hawaii and California (see New Zealand Gale below).

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

South-Central Pacific Gale
A pre-gale developed in the Central South Pacific on Sat (7/27) producing a tiny area of 50 kt southwest winds and 29 ft seas at 60S 153W aimed east. Fetch tracked east in the evening and faded from 40 kts from the southwest and seas 27 ft at 58S 142W aimed east-northeast. On Sun AM (7/28) fetch was fading from 35 kts over a broader area aimed northeast with seas 27 ft at 55S 138W. Fetch held in the evening while lifting northeast with southwest winds 35 kts and seas 27 ft at 52S 131W aimed northeast. The gale faded from there.

A weak gale developed tracking east under New Zealand Sun AM (7/28) with 45 ft west winds and seas building to 38 ft over a small area at 61S 180W. In the evening the gale lifted northeast with 45 kt southwest winds and seas 37 ft at 59.5S 168W aimed east-northeast. The gale continued tracking east-northeast on Monday AM (7/29) while moving over the Central South Pacific with a fairly solid area of 35-40 kts southwest winds and seas fading from 31 ft at 59.5S 155.5W aimed east-northeast. In the evening a broad area of 35 kt southwest winds consolidated with 29 ft seas at 56.5S 140W. On Tues AM (7/30) south winds were 30-35 kts aimed north over a solid area with seas 27 ft at 53S 140W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch was fading from 30 kts with seas fading from 25 ft at 50S 132W aimed north-northeast. The gale dissipated after that.

Southern CA: Swell building on Wed (8/7) to 2.6 ft @ 16-17 secs (4.0 ft). Swell holding on Thurs (8/8) at 2.9 ft @ 15 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell fading on Fri (8/9) from 2.3 ft @ 14 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Sat (8/10) from 1.6 ft @ 13 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 193 degrees

North CA: Swell building on Wed (8/7) at 2.2 ft @ 17 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell holding Thurs (9/8) at 2.6 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell fading on Fri (9/9) from 2.1 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0 ft). Dribbles on Sat (8/10) fading from 1.6 ft @ 13-14 secs 92.0 ft). Swell Direction: 190 degrees


Tasman Sea Gale
A tiny storm developed just south of Tasmania Wed PM (7/31) producing 50-55 kt south winds with seas building from 37 ft at 46.5S 145.5E aimed east targeting only New Zealand. The gale built while tracking east Thurs AM (8/1) with 55 kt southwest winds and seas building to 42 ft at 47S 158.5E aimed east. In the evening the gale impacted Southern New Zealand with south winds fading from 45 kts and seas at 42 ft at 45.5S 166E impacting Southwest New Zealand.

Maybe some small sideband swell to radiate north towards Fiji and of course New Zealand, but no swell is forecast in the US (including Hawaii) swell window.


New Zealand Gale
Another broader gale developed south of the Tasman Sea on Fri AM (8/2) producing a large area of 35-40 kt southwest to west winds with seas 33 ft at 53S 154.5E aimed east up into the Tasman Sea and somewhat into the California swell window. In the evening the gale built but it's core was over the Ross Ice Shelf getting no traction on the oceans surface with 40 kt southwest winds exposed over ice free waters with 31 ft seas over a solid area at 55S 154.5E aimed northeast. The gale continued on Sat AM (8/3) producing 40-45 kt southwest fetch producing 29-30 ft seas at 58.5S 161E aimed northeast. In the evening a broad fetch of 35 kt southwest winds were holding with 28 ft seas at 59S 164E aimed northeast and in the CA and HI swell windows. On Sun AM (8/4) fetch was fading from 30-35 kts positioned south-southwest of New Zealand with seas 27 ft over a small area aimed well northeast at 55S 157.5E targeting Tahiti and California but not Fiji or Hawaii (shadowed by New Zealand). In the evening residual 35 kts southwest winds were due south of New Zealand generating 27 ft seas at 51.5S 164.5E targeting Tahiti and California. On Mon AM (8/5) the gale was lifting northeast with 30-35 kts southwest winds along the east coast of New Zealand producing seas at 25 ft at 48S 173E aimed northeast. In the evening the gale faded with southwest winds 35 kts aimed northeast and off the northeastern tip of New Zealand with seas 24-26 ft seas at 40S 160-180W aimed northeast. Fetch tracked east on Tues AM (8/6) with 35 kt southwest wind and seas 24 ft at 40S 165W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch faded from 30 kts with seas 25 ft at 40S 158W aimed northeast. The gale faded from there.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival via the Tasman Sea on Sat (8/10) building to 1.6 ft @ 16-17 secs later (2.5 ft). Swell fading some on Sun (8/11) from 1.6 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 210 degrees swell rebuilding Mon (8/12) to 2.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading some on Tues (8/13) from 2.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell fading out from there. Swell Direction: 195 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (8/13) to 1.5 ft @ 17 secs (2.5 ft) later. Swell building on Wed (8/14) to 1.9 ft @ 16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 216 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (8/13) to 1.3 ft @ 17 secs (2.0 ft) later. Swell building on Wed (8/14) to 1.6 ft @ 16 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 215 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 weather systems are forecast.

Windswell Outlook
On Sunday (8/11) low pressure is to be fading in the Gulf as high pressure starts building off Central CA with northwest winds building at 15-20 kts along the entire North and Central CA coast late afternoon as windswell starts building. East fetch relative to Hawaii is to start building at 15 kts extending from California to a point 600 nmiles east of Hawaii possibly starting to generate windswell out at sea tracking west. Mon (8/12) northwest winds to continue at 15-20 kts over all of North and Central CA generating modest short period windswell there. For Hawaii east fetch is to be 15 kts from 600 to 1800 nmiles east of Hawaii possibly generating east windswell tracking west. On Tues (8/13) north winds to be 20+ kts for North CA generating windswell there and radiating south into exposed breaks in Central CA with 15 kts north winds just off the Central CA coast. For Hawaii east fetch is to be 15 kts from 600 to 1500 nmiles east of Hawaii possible generating windswell radiating west. On Wed (8/14) the gradient is to build over North CA with north winds 20-25 kts down to Pt Reyes generating building north windswell down into Central CA. East fetch is to be building at 15 kts from 1200 nmiles east of Hawaii pushing west over the Islands generating east windswell for all Islands along exposed east facing shores.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours the model suggest some fetch is to start building southwest of New Zealand on Sun (8/11) lifting northeast. By Monday evening (8/12) south winds are to be building at 45 kts from the south over a small area with seas building to 32 ft at 53.5S 170E aimed north. On Tues AM (8/13) 40-45 kts southwest winds are to be holding south-southeast of New Zealand with a building area of 36 ft seas at 52.5S 178.5E aimed north-northeast. In the evening southwest winds to be 35-45 kts over a modest area with 32 ft seas fading at 49S 177W aimed northeast. On Wed AM (8/14) southwest winds are to be 35-40 kts with 29-30 ft seas at 48S 173W. Fetch is to be fading in the evening from 35-40 kts with seas 33 ft at 46.5S 167.5W aimed northeast. Something to monitor.


MJO/ENSO Forecast


Mixed Signals
Cool Water Streaming West on Equator - Low Pressure Bias Forecast Over KWGA

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 did not stop, 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 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 warm water was fading and the outlook did not favor El Nino come Fall.

Summer 2019 = 5.5 (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: Assuming the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that weak borderline El Nino condition continue, and assuming a weak ocean-atmospheric coupling holds and ocean temperature anomalies in Nino3.4 hold in the +0.8 deg range, there is good probability for slightly enhanced storm production in the South Pacific during the Northern Hemisphere Summer time months. There is slightly increased intensity in number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in slightly increased odds for larger than normal swell, with increased duration and higher than normal period. This should be significantly better than the past 2 Summer seasons.

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 (8/6) 5 day average winds were solidly from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific shrinking in coverage but still present over the Central Pacific with east winds at moderate strength extending west over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral East equatorial Pacific then modest easterly over the Central Pacific and neutral over the core of the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (8/7) a neutral anomaly pattern was over the KWGA today biased weakly from the west with east anomalies solid on the dateline. The forecast is for neutral anomalies holding over the KWGA through the end of the model run on 8/14 but with east anomalies building on the dateline strong from 8/8-8/11 then fading to neutral at the end of the model run. A neutral MJO pattern appears to be over the KWGA and is to hold over the next 7 days.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (8/6) A neutral MJO pattern biased towards the Active Phase was indicated over the KWGA today. The statistic model indicates this pattern holding for the next two weeks through day 15. The dynamic model indicates the same thing.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (8/7) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was over the Central Maritime Continent and very weak and it is to hold at that strength and position through day 15 of the model run. The GEFS model suggests the same thing initially but with the Active Phase building some reaching modest strength and tracking east into the far Western Pacific at day 15.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (8/7) This model depicts a weak Inactive Phase over the East Pacific and a strong Active MJO Phase over the Maritime Continent. The forecast has the Inactive Phase of the MJO pushing into Central America on 8/12 while the Active Phase pushes east while weakening some moving over the KWGA 8/17 tracking east reaching weakly into Central America at the end of the model run on 9/16. A weak Inactive Phase is to develop in the far West Pacific at that time.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (8/6) This model depicts no MJO signal present in the Pacific today but with weak to modest west anomalies isolated to 155E in the core of the KWGA but east anomalies encroaching from the date and from the west almost filling the KWGA. The forecast has the east anomalies dissipating by 8/13 with weak to modest west anomalies filling the KWGA through the end of the model run on 9/3. Support for gale development to start building on 8/13 and holding beyond.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (8/7) This model depicts a neutral MJO pattern over the KWGA today but with weak west anomalies near 165E. A dead neutral MJO signal is to hold through 8/23 but with weak west anomalies mainly on the dateline and neutral anomalies over the far West KWGA. A weak and short lived Inactive MJO is to set up 8/22 through 9/9 but with weak west anomalies holding in the core of the KWGA. After that a very weak but broad Active Phase is forecast moving over the KWGA on 9/10 holding through 10/20 with weak to modest west anomalies filling the entirety of the KWGA. A weak Inactive MJO pattern is to develop in the KWGA on 10/21 pushing east through the KWGA at the end of the model run on 11/4 but with weak west anomalies holding filling the KWGA. The low pass filter changed on 7/25 and is holding today with a low pressure bias with 1 contour line in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to California. This single remaining contour line is to hold till 9/6 then fade lose some coverage but still holding, only to rebuild to it's previous coverage on 10/18 and filling the KWGA till the end of the model run. If this pattern holds over the next few weeks, this would constitute a significant upgrade. This model indicates that a weak El Nino pattern is to fade in late August and maybe rebuild or maybe not. Basically we are moving from a pattern biased towards El Nino to one biased towards ENSO neutral.

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 over a steady area reaching east to 176W while the 29 deg isotherm was steady today at 165W today. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 154W today. The 24 deg isotherm previously pushed into Ecuador at 30 meters down, but retrograded on 7/11 from 107W to 123W today. Anomaly wise, gentle warm anomalies are filling the entire subsurface Pacific at +1 degs from the surface to 150 meters down (deepest on the dateline) and indicative of a possible Kelvin Wave #5 developing. But in the East Pacific warm anomalies were almost gone today and barely at 1 degree in one thin stream pushing east from 150W into the far East equatorial Pacific. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 8/1 indicates warm water from Westerly Wind Burst #5 has formed a small pocket of warm water under the Central equatorial Pacific from 160E to 130W at +1.0 degs above normal, building in depth reaching down 175 meters. A small pocket of cool water was drawing up from depth to nearly the surface from 135W to Ecuador. 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) A small pocket of positive anomalies were building under the dateline at +5 cms from 170E to 145W. Otherwise no positive anomalies are indicated over the equatorial Pacific with neutral anomalies over the bulk of the equator and a small area of negative anomalies at -5 cms was over the Galapagos.

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 weak warm anomalies are present north and south of the equator from Central America west to 120W and then with broader coverage from 120W to the dateline but with a stream of cool waters along the coast of Chile up to Peru then streaming west on the equator off Ecuador over the Galapagos and out to 135W solidly suggestive of La Nina. And the warm anomalies south of the equator were fading in coverage holding over a thin stream aligned west to east centered at 10S. At this time there is only weak indications of the remnants of El Nino remaining off the equator but with likely signs of La Nina developing directly on the equator in the East Pacific.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (8/6): A cooling trend/stream remained in-place pushing from off Ecuador west to 140W on the equator. Cool pockets were over that area interspersed with a few tiny pockets of warming water, but the cool anomalies were clearly in control. In general the trend towards a cooler pattern in the equatorial Pacific is becoming apparent.
Hi-res Overview: (8/6) A clear La Nina cool stream was pushing west off Ecuador to 140W. Warmer than normal water was straddling the equator from the remnants of El Nino, from Ecuador west over the Galapagos 20 degrees north of the equator and only over a thin stream on 10S continuing west of there to the dateline. But that unmistakable stream of cool water was running west on the equator from just off the Peruvian Coast and then solidly from the Galapagos west to 135W indicative of La Nina. And warm temps south of the equator from Peru west to 140W were quickly fading to nearly neutral. El Nino appears to be in retreat and La Nina appears to be developing.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (8/7) Today's temps were steady today at -0.841 and have been pretty consistently negative since June 1.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(8/7) Today temps were rising slightly today at +0.331 today. The trend has been generally downward since mid-June but appears to be rebounding some now.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (8/7) The model indicates a cooling trend has set up with temps +0.1 degs in late July and falling down slightly to -0.02 degs Oct 1 then falling through Dec to -0.30 degrees. On Jan 1 2020 temps are to start rebuilding reaching +0.30 degs by April 1 but that seems highly unlikely. Some form of La Nina is likely coming.
IRI Consensus Plume: The June 2019 Plume depicts temps are at +0.60 degs in June, and are to hold in the +0.70 range into November, then fading slightly to +0.65 in February 2020. 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) (8/7): The daily index was positive today at +16.57, but otherwise mixed the last 11 days. The 30 day average was rising at -5.68. The 90 day average was rising at -8.04, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern biased towards El Nino (for now).
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (April) +0.34, March +1.0, Feb +1.29, Jan +0.193. It is approaching El Nino territory but still indicted mostly ENSO neutral conditions.
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 -0.19, 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 -0.23, Feb -0.55 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, 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

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Surfer -Shaper Glen Kennedy passed away earlier this month. His memorial paddle out is set for Sunday, July 28th at First Point Malibu at 10 AM. Come celebrate Glen's life.

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