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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Saturday, August 8, 2020 11:45 AM
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
3.2 - California & 1.5 - Hawaii
Using the 'Summer' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

Probability for presence of largest swells in near-shore waters of NCal, SCal or Hawaii.    

Issued for Week of Monday 8/10 thru Sun 8/16

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   

SE Pacific Swell Poised for CA
Series of Gales Possible Under New Zealand

On Saturday, August 8, 2020 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 2.8 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 1.4 ft @ 12.7 secs from 197 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.3 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 2.9 ft @ 8.4 secs from 93 degrees. Water temp 80.2 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.0 ft @ 5.6 secs with swell 2.3 ft @ 5.7 secs from 256 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north at 10-12 kts. Water temperature 68.2 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 5.2 ft @ 9.6 secs from 313 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.8 ft @ 5.9 secs from 252 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 0.7 ft @ 16.7 secs from 205 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 2.9 ft @ 6.1 secs from 276 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 7.1 ft @ 10.8 secs with swell 5.9 ft @ 10.2 secs from 312 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was southeast at 8-12 kts. Water temp 51.8 degs (013), 59.9 degs (SF Bar) and 57.7 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 Saturday (8/8) in North and Central CA local northwest windswell was producing waves at waist to chest high and mushed and warbled from southerly winds with small whitecaps well off the beach. Protected breaks were chest to head high on the sets and clean and lined up and closed out. At Santa Cruz surf was flat to maybe knee high and clean and very weak. In Southern California/Ventura waves windswell was producing waves at knee to thigh high and clean with intermixed warble coming from the northwest but with no local wind. Central Orange County was flat to knee high coming from the north and mushed and heavily textured from light northwest wind. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had set waves at thigh to maybe waist high on the peaks and mushed and clean and weak. North San Diego had sets at thigh high and weak and mushed with clean conditions. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore had occasional waist high sets and clean and soft and weak. The East Shore was getting east windswell with waves chest high and chopped from solid east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Saturday (8/8) locally generated windswell was coming up some and rideable in North and Central CA at exposed breaks. There was no surf in Southern CA. The South Shore of the Islands were getting tiny rideable background swell. Looking forward a small gale developed in the Southeast Pacific on Sun (8/2) producing a broad area of 29-30 ft seas aimed northeast. Swell is pushing north towards California. The models suggest a small gale is to develop south of New Zealand tracking northeast Sat (8/8) producing up to 32 ft seas aimed east-northeast. And maybe it's remnants to redevelop slightly under New Zealand on Sun-Mon (8/10) producing 34 ft seas aimed east. And maybe another weak system to develop in the same area Tues (8/11) producing up to 40 ft seas aimed east. So there's some little hope. But nothing obvious is suggested beyond.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Saturday (8/8) 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 Saturday (8/8) a pressure gradient was developing over North CA waters producing north winds at 25 kts aimed south but with south winds 5-10 kts over Central CA nearshore offering windswell production potential for both North and Central CA. Sun (8/9) the gradient is to build and be localized to the Cape Mendocino area with north winds 30-35 kts with light winds if not a light eddy flow (south winds) for Central CA offering windswell production potential for exposed breaks. Monday (8/10) the gradient is to be fading with north winds 25-30 kts limited to off the coast of Cape Mendocino early and fading in velocity and coverage in the afternoon with windswell production potential fading. An eddy flow is forecast for all waters south of Cape Mendocino. On Tues (8/11) remnants of the gradient are to be holding over Cape Mendocino producing north winds at 20-25 kts with light winds if not a light eddy flow from Pt Arena southward producing modest sized windswell pushing south. On Wed (8/12) the gradient is to collapse with northwest winds 20+ kts tucked up along the coast of Cape Mendocino to Pt Arena early with light winds nearshore south of there producing some minimal short period windswell. Northwest winds to built over Central CA waters in the afternoon at 10+ kts. On Thurs (8/13) northwest winds are forecast at 20+ kts over all of North CA waters early building to 25 kts over Cape Mendocino later with increasing windswell expected. Central CA to see north winds at 10 kts early building to 15-20 kts later. Fri (8/14) the usual summertime gradient is forecast for North CA producing north winds at 25 kts reaching down to at point well off San Francisco with nearshore winds north at 10 kts early and holding all day. On Sat (8/15) north winds to be 20-25 kts off Cape Mendocino early with a light eddy flow (south winds) from Pt Arena southward.

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 Saturday (8/8) the jetstream was well split over the width of the South Pacific with the southern lifting northeast under New Zealand being fed by 130 kt winds forming a trough and offering some support for gale development there. but east of there the jet was falling gently southeast falling down to 63S and over Antarctic Ice from 155W and points east of there offering no support. Over the next 72 hours the trough is to build some southeast of New Zealand lifting up to 55S and being fed by 150 kt winds on Sun-Mon (8/10) offering decent support for gale development and holding even into Tues (8/11). Beyond 72 hours starting Wed (8/12) the trough is to hold position but losing wind energy and pretty much gone later Thurs (8/13). Another bit of wind energy is to start feeding the remnants of that trough late on Fri (8/14) repositioned in the Central South Pacific perhaps again starting to provide some support for gale development and building into Sat (8/15). But to the west a ridge is to be pushing south under New Zealand reaching down to 70S and well over ice. And another ridge is to be over the far Southeast Pacific.

Surface Analysis
On Saturday (8/8) small swell from a gale that built in the far Southeast Pacific was radiating north towards California (see Southeast Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a gale started building in the far Southwest Pacific south of Tasmania on Fri PM (8/7) pushing east with 35-40 kt west winds over a small area and seas building. On Sat AM (8/8) southwest winds were 40-45 kts over a small area south of New Zealand with seas 30 ft over a modest area at 56S 162E aimed east-northeast. In the evening fetch is to be fading with southwest winds 35-40 kts over a modest sized area aimed northeast with seas 31 ft at 53S 175E aimed east-northeast. On Sun AM (8/9) fetch is to be fading and sinking south from 35-40 kts with seas fading from 29 ft at 54S 175W aimed east. Something to monitor.

Another gael is to develop from the above gales remnants on Sun PM (8/9) southeast of New Zealand producing 40 kt west-southwest winds with seas building to 34 ft at 58.5S 173W aimed east-northeast. On Mon AM (8/10) fetch is to hold strength and position but fading in coverage with seas 32 ft over a tiny area at 59.5S 170W aimed mostly east. This system is to be gone after that.


Southeast Pacific Gale
A gale developed in the far Southeast Pacific on Sat PM (8/1) producing a broad fetch of 35-40 kt southwest winds with seas building. On Sun AM (8/2) the fetch was lifting northeast at 35-40 kts producing 30 ft seas at 53.5S 130.5W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch was fading from 30-35 kts from the southwest while starting to move east and out of the California swell window with seas holding at 29 ft at 49S 127W aimed northeast and fading. Fetch was gone after that. Decent odds of some 15-16 secs period swell resulting radiating north towards California.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (8/9) building to 2.0 ft @ 18-19 secs later (3.5 ft). Swell building on Mon (8/10) and peaking late afternoon at 2.7 ft @ 16-17 secs (4.5 ft). Swell fading some on Tues (8/11) at 2.7 ft @ 15 secs early (4.0 ft). Swell fading on Wed (8/12) from 2.3 ft @ 14 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Residuals on Thurs AM (8/13) fading from 1.6 ft @ 13 secs early (2.0 ft).Swell Direction: 184 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (8/9) building to 1.0 ft @ 20 secs late (2.0 ft). Swell building on Mon (8/10) and peaking late afternoon at 2.6 ft @ 17-18 secs (4.5 ft). Swell holding on Tues (8/11) at 3.0 ft @ 16 secs early (4.5 ft). Swell fading on Wed (8/12) from 2.5 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5 ft). Residuals on Thurs AM (8/13) fading from 1.8 ft @ 13-14 secs early (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 183 degrees


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




Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future

North Pacific

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


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours starting Mon PM (8/10) another fetch is to be building just south of New Zealand producing 45 kt southwest winds over a small area with seas building to 30 ft at 51.5S 170E aimed east-northeast. On Tues AM (8/11) fetch is to be tracking east and building in coverage at 45 kts southeast of New Zealand producing 35 ft seas at 52S 172W aimed east. In the evening a small area of 55 kt west winds are to be tracking east to southeast producing 43 ft seas over a modest area at 55.5S 153.5W pushing east-southeast. On Wed AM (8/12) the gale is to be solid with 55 kt west falling hard southeast with 45 ft seas falling southeast targeting only Antarctica. The gale is to be fading and pushing into the Southeast Pacific Ice Sheet after that. Something to monitor.

There's hints of another small gale forming southeast of New Zealand on Fri (8/14) lifting northeast producing up to 31 ft seas aimed northeast at 53S 170W. Something to monitor.


MJO/ENSO Forecast


Cool Sea Surface Temps Building in Central Equatorial Pacific

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 (8/7) 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 and building to strong status over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (8/8) strong east anomalies were in control of the KWGA today but with east anomalies retreating some over the far East equatorial Pacific to a point south of California. The forecast calls for east anomalies slowly giving up ground and velocity in the KWGA over the coming week and effectively gone at the end of the model run on 8/15. At that time west anomalies are to build to modest strength over the dateline and east of there to Ecuador but with neutral to light east anomalies barely holding on in the KWGA. Support for energy transfer into the jet is to improve some as the week progresses.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (8/7) A building Active Phase of the MJO was developing over the West KWGA today. The statistic model indicates this Active Pattern is to build in the KWGA on day 5 of the model filling it and then weakening slightly t on day 10 then gone on day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model suggests the same thing initially and is corrupt after that.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (8/8) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was moderate over the Central Maritime Continent today and is to slowly ease east while steadily weakening to weak status over the West Pacific 15 days out. The GEFS model suggests the Active Phase is to collapse to weak strength over the next 3 days while pushing faster east through the Pacific and into the Central Atlantic by day 15 of the model run and strong at that time. If that were to occur potential for tropical development in the Atlantic would increase.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (8/7) This model depicts a modest Inactive MJO exiting east out of the far East Pacific. A modest and coherent Active MJO is forecast developing over the KWGA on 8/9 pushing over the Central Pacific and into the East Pacific reaching Central America at the end of the model run on 9/16. At that time a developing moderate Inactive MJO is forecast moving east over the KWGA.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (8/7) This model depicts an organized Active MJO over the KWGA today but with east anomalies filling the KWGA at moderate strength driven by an equatorial Rossby Wave. The forecast indicates a continuation of the Active MJO but with east anomalies filling the KWGA through 8/10 then fading and turning modest westerly in the KWGA and holding until the Active MJO moves east of the KWGA on 8/21. At that time modest east anomalies are to start rebuilding over the entirety of the KWGA with an Inactive MJO moving over there starting 8/28 and both holding through the end of the model run on 9/4. Overall a long run of easterly anomalies are setting up in the KWGA. August will be a tough month for swell production theoretically.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (8/8 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a weak Active MJO over the KWGA today with patches of modest west anomalies trying to develop as the MJO moves east through the KWGA through 8/25. A stronger Inactive Phase is forecast traversing the Pacific 8/23-9/17 with another bout of east anomalies firmly controlling the KWGA and filling the whole equatorial Pacific and strong over the East Pacific. A strong Active Phase of the MJO is forecast 9/10 through 10/11 with solid west anomalies in the West KWGA, but with east anomalies filling the eastern half of the KWGA extending east into Ecuador. Some remnants of the Active Phase are to hold over the KWGA through the end of the model run on 11/5 with west anomalies eventually filling the entirety of the KWGA, even as a weak Inactive Phase starts building in the far West Pacific at the end of the model run. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias is in control over the dateline today reaching east to a point south of California and is to steadily build in coverage through the end of the model run with a second contour setting up on 9/1 on the dateline with the high pressure bias filling the equatorial Pacific by the end of the model run. A single contour low pressure bias is to appear over the Indian Ocean starting 8/9 building in coverage through the end of the model run and even easing into the far West KWGA at 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 8/16 and building while filling in over that entire area into about mid-Oct. After that the outlook is perhaps more favorable.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (8/8) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm was gone. The 29 deg isotherm was steady at 168E today. The 28 deg isotherm line was tracking east to 166W today. The 24 deg isotherm was retrograding west to 127W. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies 0-1 deg C were in one pocket in the far West Pacific reaching east to 169W with another pocket at +1 deg between 100W to 130W. A river of generally cooler temps were tracking west to east down at 150m traversing the width of the equatorial Pacific. Embedded in that was a pocket of cooler anomalies at -2 degs located between 120W-175W today and bubbling up to the surface near and around 150W. It appears a conveyor belt of cool water (Cold water Kelvin Waves) was in effect. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 8/1 indicates the same thing with a cool water bubble at depth in the far east erupting to the surface between 100W to 80W. Another larger subsurface cool bubble was in-flight to the east between 130W to 180W and reaching the surface near 150W. A thin wall of warm water was between the 2 cool bubbles. Yet a third cool bubble was building in the far west at 140E. In effect a river of cool water was at depth under the entirety of the equatorial Pacific 150m tracking east. 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) Negative anomalies at -5 to -10 cms were showing signs of building over the Central equatorial Pacific near 140W. Interestingly cool anomalies were dissolving along Ecuador and down into Peru. Cool anomalies at -5 cms were along Chile and up into Mexico and Baja. No positive anomalies were over the equatorial Pacific, 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: (8/7) The latest images indicate cold water was holding along Peru tracking northwest building over and off Ecuador tracking west on the equator weakening some west of the Galapagos then rebuilding at 130W and solid out to the dateline looking like the standard La Nina signature. The stream was steady today. Cool anomalies were along the coast of Chile up into Peru 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 (8/7): A stream of cooling has developed, strong along Ecuador then slowly fading from there to the dateline along the equator. A cooling trend appears to be building over the equatorial Central Pacific. There were some small pockets of warming interspersed. The short term trend is looking like development of a large scale cooling trend.
Hi-res Overview: (8/7) 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 over the entire region. 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: (8/8) Today's temps were falling reaching a new daily low of recent at -2.062, after being 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:
(8/8) Temps were steady today at -0.374 after being neutral the past 4 weeks 6/27-7/25. Previously temps were rising the last previous 3 weeks after bottoming out down at -0.595 on 5/27. Overall the trend was warming but now appears to be in a decline.

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 (8/8) Actual temperatures were in the +0.65 deg range early this year through March, then started falling down to -0.20 in late-May before stabilized there through late June. The forecast depicts temps were to be precipitously falling on July 1, down to -0.50 in late July, continuing down reaching -1.00 in late Sept dropping to -1.05 Oct 1 and holding through mid Dec, then starting to rebound reaching neutral on April 1. According to this model sea surface temps should have been falling strongly starting July 1 moving towards La Nina as Summer progressed. But in reality temps didn't start falling in Nino 3.4 until 8/1. For the model to verify, in October some dramatic cooling is going to have to happen soon. Given this situation, we think the dynamic models might be overstating the magnitude of the coming cooling trend for the equatorial Pacific.
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) (8/8): The daily index was positive today at 8.44. The 30 day average was rising at +4.90. The 90 day average was rising to -0.15, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was in control.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): June -0.67, May -0.46, April 2020 -0.69, March -0.09, Feb +0.65, Jan +0.42, This index was steady positive Aug 2018 through Feb 2020, and now is steady negative, but only weakly so.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
Per NOAAs index recent values: Jan 2018 +0.29, Feb -0.19, Mar -0.61, April -0.89, May -0.69, June -0.85, July -0.09, Aug -0.43, Sept -0.46, Oct -0.75, Nov -0.78, Dec -0.12, Jan 2019 -0.18, Feb -0.50 Mar -0.23, April +0.10, May +0.14, June -0.11, July +0.44, Aug -0.14, Sept +0.05, Oct -0.96, Nov -0.28, Dec +0.01, Jan 2020 -1.17, This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2018 +0.70. Feb +0.37, Mar -0.05, April +0.11, May +0.11, June -0.04, July +0.11, Aug +0.18, Sept +0.09. No real negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data strongly suggests that could be a possibility. By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 


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

Powerlinessurf Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest

Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for the week starting Sunday (8/2):
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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing:

Stormsurf and Mavericks on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel

Mavericks Invitational Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:

Time Zone Converter By popular demand we've built and easy to use time convert that transposes GMT time to whatever time zone you are located. It's ion left hand column on every page on the site near the link to the swell calculator.

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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