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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 4:26 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
2.2 - California & 2.0 - Hawaii
Using the 'Summer' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

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

Issued for Week of Monday 8/12 thru Sun 8/18

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 S. Hemi Swell Moving Into CA
Another Gale Build Off NZ - Gulf Gale Hinted

On Tuesday, August 13, 2019 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai) Seas were 4.6 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 2.4 ft @ 15.5 secs from 197 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 2.4 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 1.1 ft @ 13.7 secs from 270 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.3 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 1.1 ft @ 15.1 secs from 213 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southeast at 6-10 kts. Water temperature 67.1 degs (46086). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 1.3 ft @ 14.9 secs from 204 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.0 ft @ 16.9 secs from 203 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.1 ft @ 13.6 secs from 205 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.6 ft @ 13.8 secs from 209 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.7 ft @ 5.9 secs with swell 4.4 ft @ 5.9 secs from 324 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 10-12 kts from the north. Water temp 52.9 degs (013) and 57.6 degs (042).

See Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (bottom of the page)

Swell Classification Guidelines

Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
- Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
- Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
- up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.

Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.

Current Conditions
On Tuesday (8/13) in North and Central CA locally generated northwest windswell was occasionally producing waves at waist high and pretty wonky and not really rideable from northwest wind. Protected breaks were flat and glassy. At Santa Cruz surf was occasionally thigh to waist high on the rare sets and clean and somewhat lined up but weak and fogged in early. In Southern California/Ventura waves were rarely thigh high and lightly and clean but soft. In North Orange Co waves were chest high on the sets and somewhat lined up but soft with some very light texture on top but mostly clean. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were occasionally chest high on the better sets and clean but very weak. North San Diego had surf at thigh to waist high and soft and weak but clean. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was getting rideable swell from New Zealand with sets at head high to 1 ft overhead and clean and lined up but a bit inconsistent. The East Shore was getting no east windswell with waves thigh high or less and a bit textured from light easterly trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (8/13) in California no real swell was hitting yet with just minimal background southern hemi swell occasionally showing. But swell was hitting Hawaii from a fetch that 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. And that swell is to start showing in California imminently. The models continue to suggest a gale developing southeast of New Zealand Tues-Wed (8/14) with up to 40 ft seas over a tiny area aimed northeast migrating east to the Southeast Pacific through Sat (8/17) with seas holding in the 32-34 ft range over that time period. Possible swell to result.

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 Tuesday (8/13) north winds to be fading at 15-20 kts mainly for North CA late afternoon generating small short period windswell a few hours after that radiating south into exposed breaks in Central CA with 15 kts north winds just off the Central CA coast during the day. For Hawaii east fetch is to be 15 kts building north and well in the Hawaiian swell window from 450 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 Bodega Bay generating building north windswell down into Central CA. East fetch is to be holding at 15 kts from 1200 nmiles east of Hawaii pushing west to a point 200 nmiles east of the Islands generating east windswell for all Islands along exposed east facing shores. On Thurs (8/15) high pressure and the usual local pressure gradient is to take over with north winds building along the North Coast at 25-30 kts and to 35 kts late and 20 kts off the Central CA Coast resulting in building windswell along exposed breaks. For Hawaii east fetch is to be 15 kts solid from California over the Hawaiian Islands resulting in building east windswell. On Friday (8/16) fetch is to hold at 25-30 kts for North CA and 20 kts mainly off the coast for Central CA resulting in continued northwesterly windswell. Trades to hold reasonably solid for Hawaii at 15+ kts from California up to the Hawaiian Islands building in continued east windswell.


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


Tropical Update
Tropical Storm Krosa:
On Tuesday (8/13) Krosa had 45 kt winds positioned 300 nmiles south of Southern Japan and is forecast to make landfall over South Japan late on Wed (8/14) with winds 50 kts. The GFS model suggests Krosa is to fade while proceeding inland with no indication of turning northeast. Krosa to provide opportunity for swell production for Japan but not for our forecast area.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday (8/13) north winds were 15 kts for North CA and 10-15 kts for Central CA nearshore waters. On Wed (8/14) north winds are to be 20-25 kts for North CA and 10 kts for Central CA. Thurs (8/15) north winds to be 20-30 kts for all of North and 10 kts for Central CA. Fri (8/16) north winds to be 25-30 kts for North CA and 10 kts for Central CA. Sat (8/17) north winds to be fading fast early at 30 kts for extreme North CA and 20 kts down to Bodega Bay and 10 kts for Central CA. Sunday (8/18) north winds to be fading at 15 kts for extreme North CA and 5-10 kts everywhere else as low pressure approaches the coast. Monday (8/19) a weak wind flow is forecast all day. Tuesday (8/20) south winds at 5-10 kts are forecast for North CA and northwest 10 kts for Central CA but 15 kts down near Pt Conception.

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


South Pacific

On Tuesday (8/13) the influential southern branch of the jet was forming a modest trough pushing just east of New Zealand with it's apex at 50S 175W being fed by 100 kt winds offering a little support for gale development. East of there the jet was ridging south pushing down over Antarctic Ice at 155W continuing that way over the Southeast Pacific actively suppressing support for gale development there. Over the next 72 hours the aforementioned trough is to track east over the Southeast Pacific on Fri (8/16) while steadily weakening but with the southern branch of the jet merging with the northern branch and winds at the apex of the trough 180-190 kts offering continued support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours starting Sat (8/17) the trough is to start collapsing with a ridge building south under New Zealand shutting down support for gale development. That ridge is to be sweeping east over the South Central Pacific through Tues (8/20) reaching south to 62S likely actively suppressing support for gale development.

Surface Analysis  
Swell from a broad but weak gale that developed and stayed south of New Zealand is hitting Hawaii and forecast to arrive in California imminently (see New Zealand Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours the model suggest a more meaningful gale is to start building southeast of New Zealand on Tuesday AM (8/13) with 40-45 kt south winds over a tiny area aimed northeast with a building area of 24 ft seas at 53S 179E aimed north-northeast. In the evening south winds to be 50-55 kts over a small area with 37 ft seas aimed north at 52S 180W aimed northeast. On Wed AM (8/14) south to southwest winds are to be 40-45 kts with the fetch lifting north and seas 40 ft over a small area at 46S 174.5W. Fetch is to be fading in the evening from 45 kts from the southwest with seas 36 ft at 41.5S 166.5W aimed northeast. On Thurs AM (8/15) a small area of 40-45 kt southwest wind is to be tracking northeast with 33 ft seas at 38S 153W. In the evening a broad area of 30-35 kt southwest winds is to be in the upper reaches of the Central South Pacific with a core to 45 kts with peak seas 33 ft at 40S 149W aimed east-northeast. On Friday (8/16) west-to southwest winds are to be 35-40 kts over a solid area with 33 ft seas at 40S 140W aimed east-northeast. In the evening 40+ kt east-southeast fetch is to be tracking east with seas building to 36 ft at 42.5S 137W aimed east-northeast. On Sat (8/17) the gale is to be fading with a small area of 40 kt southwest winds tracking east with seas 34 ft at 40S 126.5W aimed east-northeast. In the evening this system is to be fading and moving out of the SCal swell window. Something to monitor.

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: Swell fading some on Tues (8/13) from 2.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Residuals on Wed (8/14) fading from 1.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 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 holding decently on Thurs (8/15) at 1.9 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Residuals on Fri (8/16) fading from 1.5 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0-2.5 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 holding decently on Thurs (8/15) at 1.6 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.5 ft). Residuals on Fri (8/16) fading from 1.4 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0 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 there is some sense that the Northwest Pacific might start actually moving some, though not producing fetch of interest, but more than being a lake starting Fri (8/16).

And on Sun AM (8/18) a small low pressure system is to start building in the Central Gulf of Alaska producing 35-40 kt west winds with seas building. In the evening a small fetch of 45 kts northwest winds is to be building in the gales southwest quadrant with 18 ft seas building over a tiny area at 43N 146.5W aimed east. On Mon (8/19) the gale is to be falling southeast with 30+ kt west winds and seas 21 ft at 40.5N 143W aimed east.In the evening the gale is to be fading 900 nmiles west of North CA with west winds 20-25 kts and seas fading from 15 ft at 39N 138W aimed east. Possible windswell to result for North and Central CA.

Another weak low is to be developing just east of the Central Dateline region on Tues (8/20). At least for the moment it appears an early change of season might be trying to take hold, possibly attributable to the remnants of El Nino still circulating in the atmosphere.

Windswell Outlook
On Saturday (8/17) fetch is to be rapidly fading for California as low pressure again builds in the Western Gulf with northwest winds 30 kts early mainly over Cape Mendocino and 20 kts off Central CA and fading to 25 kts over a tiny area late with windswell dropping. For Hawaii easterly fetch is to be fading too at 15+ kts up to 1000 nmiles east of the Islands and dropping to 10 kts late afternoon with windswell fading out. On Sun (8/18) low pressure is the Gulf of Alaska is to be cutting the legs out of local high pressure with no windswell producing fetch forecast for Hawaii and California. This pattern is to hold through Tues (8/20) with no windswell forecast.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.


MJO/ENSO Forecast


Confused State - Cool Water Streaming West on Equator - Low Pressure Bias To Build 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 (8/12) 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 strong strength extending west to the dateline then fading in the core of the KWGA. Anomalies were modest easterly over the East equatorial Pacific continuing easterly over the Central Pacific to the dateline then turning modestly over the core of the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (8/13) a neutral anomaly pattern was over the KWGA today. The forecast is for neutral to weak westerly anomalies holding over the KWGA through the end of the model run on 8/20 with modest west anomalies building over the dateline on 8/14 holding through the end of the model run. A neutral MJO to weak Active 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: (8/12) A neutral MJO to weak Active MJO pattern was indicated over the KWGA today. The statistic model indicates this pattern is to fade some with a neutral MJO pattern in play at day 5 holding in control through day 10 then fading at the end of the model run on day 15 if not slightly turning to the Inactive Phase. The dynamic model indicates the same thing.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (8/13) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak in strength over the Eastern Maritime Continent and is to track slowly east while fading over the East Pacific at day 15 of the model run. The GEFS model suggests the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (8/11) This model depicts a weak to modest Active Phase over the KWGA today and slowly tracking east reaching Central America 8/31. After that a mixed weak Inactive and Active pattern is to appears tracking east moving into Central America in early Sept. After that a new Inactive Phase builds at strong strength pushing into the far West Pacific at the end of the model run on 9/20.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (8/12) This model depicts no MJO signal present in the Pacific today but with weak to modest east anomalies on the dateline associated with an equatorial Rossby Wave. But in a day (8/13) west anomalies are to start building strong on the dateline and holding into 8/19, then slowly fading and retrograding west with west anomalies building in coverage filling the KWGA from 8/26 through the end of the model run on 9/9. Support for gale development to start building on 8/14 and holding beyond.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (8/13) This model depicts a neutral MJO pattern over the KWGA today but with weak west anomalies near the dateline and weak east anomalies in the extreme far West Pacific. The forecast has a dead neutral MJO signal holding through 8/21 but with weak west anomalies mainly on the dateline starting 8/14 and neutral anomalies over the far West KWGA. A weak and short lived Inactive MJO is to set up 8/21 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 9/14 holding through 10/15 with weak to modest west anomalies filling the entirety of the KWGA. A weak Inactive MJO pattern is to develop in the KWGA on 10/8 pushing east through the KWGA at the end of the model run on 11/10 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 though losing some coverage around 9/15, only to rebuild to it's previous coverage on 10/10 and filling the KWGA till the end of the model run with perhaps a second contour line developing at 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. but no sign of La Nina is depicted.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (8/13) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs over a decent size area but still retrograding west reaching east to only 179W while the 29 deg isotherm was retrograding today to 169W today. The 28 deg isotherm line was retrograding to 158W today. The 24 deg isotherm previously pushed into Ecuador at 30 meters down, but retrograded on 7/11 from 107W to 122W 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 there. In the East Pacific warm anomalies were rebuilding some today at barely +1 degree pushing east from 150W into the far East equatorial Pacific. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 8/6 indicates warm water from Westerly Wind Burst #5 has formed a small Kelvin Wave 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: (8/6) A small pocket of positive anomalies were present under the dateline at +5 cms from 178E 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: (8/11) 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 140W 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 in that region were fading in coverage holding over only 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 (8/12): A cooling trend/stream remained in-place pushing from off Ecuador west to 140W on the equator building some toady compared to days past. 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: (8/12) 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 effectively gone south of the equator to 140W. 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 140W indicative of La Nina. El Nino appears to be in retreat and La Nina appears to be developing.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (8/13) Today's temps were rising some today at -0.465 and have been pretty consistently negative since June 1.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(8/13) Today temps were falling some today at -0.049 today. The trend has been generally downward since mid-June.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (8/12) The model indicates a cooling trend has set up with temps +0.1 degs in late July and falling down slightly to 0.00 degs through Oct then falling through Dec to -0.25 degrees. On Jan 1 2020 temps are to start rebuilding reaching +0.30 degs by April 1. According to this model a neutral sea surface temperature pattern is forecast, neither El Nino nor La Nina.
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) (8/13): The daily index was negative today at -11.59, negative the last 2 days. The 30 day average was rising at -0.32. The 90 day average was rising at -6.64, 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

Powerlinessurf Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest

Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for the week starting Sunday (8/11):
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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.

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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