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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, August 27, 2020 12:10 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
3.1 - California & 2.3 - 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 8/24 thru Sun 8/30

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   

Stronger NZ Gale Forecast
Some Movement for Northern Gulf Too

On Thursday, August 27, 2020 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 2.7 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 1.8 ft @ 10.2 secs from 169 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.1 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 2.4 ft @ 8.2 secs from 91 degrees. Water temp 81.1 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.5 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 1.1 ft @ 13.9 secs from 178 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 8-12 kts. Water temperature 71.2 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 4.3 ft @ 6.5 secs from 262 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.7 ft @ 7.8 secs from 254 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.6 ft @ 13.9 secs from 206 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 4.0 ft @ 6.7 secs from 276 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 6.5 ft @ 9.1 secs with windswell 5.1 ft @ 8.8 secs from 310 degrees and southern hemi swell 1.7 ft @ 13.9 secs from 210 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 8-12 kts. Water temp 52.5 degs (013), 58.6 degs (SF Bar) and 55.9 degs (042).

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

Swell Classification Guidelines

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

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

Current Conditions
On Thursday (8/27) in North and Central CA local northwest windswell was producing waves at thigh high and warbled with onshore wind and not really rideable. Protected breaks were thigh high and weak and soft but cleaner if not clean. At Santa Cruz surf was up to waist high on the sets and clean and soft and inconsistent and overcast early. In Southern California/Ventura windswell was producing waves from the northwest at waist high and pretty lumpy with northwest winds moderate with some whitecaps outside. Central Orange County had no visible surf with fog in control. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had set waves at maybe waist high and clean but with northwest lump in the water and unremarkable. North San Diego had sets at thigh to maybe waist high and clean and weak. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was small with up to waist high sets and clean and weak. The East Shore was getting east windswell at knee to thigh high and textured from modest east-northeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (8/27) no real locally generated windswell was occurring in North and Central CA or the East Shores of the Hawaiian Islands. There was some southern hemi swell hitting CA today originating from a gale that developed south of New Zealand on Fri (8/14) producing 27-28 ft seas aimed northeast for 12 hours. And behind that one more weak gale tracked east through the South Central Pacific on Tues-Wed (8/19) producing up to 32 ft seas aimed due east with swell expected to arrive weakly in CA today. Beyond the models are suggesting a gale developing southeast of New Zealand on Sat-Sun (8/30) producing up to 48 ft seas aimed east-northeast. After that nothing is forecast. So there is some hope for one more swell. And also on Sun (8/30) there's a suggestion a weak gale is to develop in the extreme Northern Gulf producing up to 24 ft seas aimed east-northeast. We'll monitor this situation.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (8/27) no swell of interest was in the water.

Over the next 72 hours a weak gale is forecast building in the Northwestern Gulf on Sat PM (8/29) producing 35 kt southwest winds trying to get some traction on the oceans surface. On Sun AM (8/30) southwest winds to be positioned just south of the Eastern Aleutians producing seas at near 20 ft at 52N 163W aimed east-northeast. In the evening 40 kt west winds are forecast moving into the extreme northern Gulf of Alaska tracking east with seas 24 ft at 55S 155W aimed northeast. Low odds of any swell resulting for California but perhaps sideband swell into the Pacific Northwest.


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


Tropical Update
No tropical system are being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday (8/27) with north winds were 20-25 kts over Cape Mendocino early and 15-20 kts south of there to Pt Conception and expected to hold through the day. But no meaningful windswell was resulting or evidenced. Fri (8/28) the gradient is to hold producing north winds at 25 kts over the Cape Mendocino area down to Pt Arena and holding well off of Monterey Bay with a light eddy flow (south winds) nearshore from Bodega Bay to Pt Conception holding all day. Windswell building some. Sat (8/29) north winds are forecast at 20-30 kts for the Cape Mendocino area and reaching up to Oregon and south to a point well off Monterey Bay but with a light eddy flow (south winds) nearshore from Bodega Bay southward holding all day. Windswell holding if not building some. On Sun (8/30) the gradient is to build with north winds forecast at 30-35 kts for Cape Mendocino with a light eddy flow south of Pt Arena. Windswell holding. Mon (8/31) north to northeast winds to continue just off Cape Mendocino at 30 kts but aimed more out to sea with the eddy flow from south of Cape Mendocino south to Pt Conception all day. Windswell production starting to fade. On Tues (9/1) northeast winds are forecast at 20-25 kts off Cape Mendocino with a light eddy flow over almost all of North and Central CA nearshore waters. Windswell production fading. Wed (9/2) northeast winds to continue at 20+ kts streaming well off Cape Mendocino offering no real windswell production potential. Light winds are forecast over all of CA nearshore waters. On Thurs (9/3) a light northwest windflow at 5 kts is forecast for all of North and Central CA offering no windswell production potential.

Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 0, 0, 0 and 0 inches respectively. Freezing level 14,000 ft or higher for the week.

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


South Pacific

On Thursday (8/28) the jetstream was weak and ill defined over the Southwest Pacific and then better defined in the East and ridging southeast into and over Antarctic Ice offering no support for gale development over the balance of the South Pacific. Over the next 72 hours starting late Friday into Sat (8/29) the southern branch of the jet is to reappear pushing just under New Zealand up at 50S being fed by up to 150 kts winds forming a trough on it's leading edge and tracking east into Sun (8/30) offering some support for gale development and then tracking over the Central South Pacific on Tues (9/1) while weakening likely not offering much in terms of support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours starting on Wed (9/2) a new weak ridge is to start building under New Zealand pushing south to 67S and sweeping east over Antarctic Ice offering no support for gale development and pushing east filling the bulk of the South Pacific by Thurs (9/3).

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (8/28) swell from a gale that developed southeast of New Zealand was fading in CA (see Final New Zealand Gale below). And one more swell is starting to hit CA from gale that tracked east through the Central South Pacific (see South Central Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a small but strong system is forecast developing just south of New Zealand on Fri PM (8/28) producing 60 kt west-southwest winds and getting traction on the oceans surface producing 47 ft seas at 54S 164E aimed east. By Sat AM (8/29) the gale is to build in coverage producing a decent sized fetch of 45 kt southwest winds with seas 45 ft at 53S 176.5E aimed east-northeast. In the evening the gale is to be fading while tracking east producing 40 kt southwest winds with seas fading from 41 ft at 53.5S 175W aimed east-northeast. On Sun AM (8/30) the gale is to track east with 30-35 kt southwest winds and seas fading from 33 ft at 52S 169.5W aimed east-northeast. The gale is to be gone in the evening with winds down to 30-35 kts and seas fading from 30 ft at 47S 157.5W aimed east-northeast. Perhaps some fetch is to redevelop Mon AM (8/31) producing 45 kt west winds and seas at 33 ft over a tiny area at 45.5S 141W aimed east. In the evening a tiny area of 45 kt southwest winds to be over the far Southeast Pacific with seas 35 ft at 46S 132.5W aimed east. On Tues AM (9/1) more of the same is forecast with 35 ft seas at 46.5S 127.5W aimed east-northeast. The gale is to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.


Final New Zealand Gale
On Sat PM (8/16) a gale developed southeast of New Zealand producing southwest winds at 40 kts with seas building from 23 ft at 57S 180W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (8/17) fetch continued lifting northeast at 40-45 kts with seas 28 ft over a tiny area at 52S 170W aimed northeast. In the evening the gale tracked well northeast with winds 45 kts from the southwest with seas 30 ft over a small area at 49.5S 160W aimed northeast. Fetch faded Mon AM (8/17) from 35 kts from the southwest with seas fading from 29 ft at 47S 153W aimed northeast. The gale dissipate in the evening with seas fading from 29 ft at 48S 147.5W aimed northeast. Something to monitor.

Southern CA: Swell fading on Thurs (8/27) from 1.4 ft @ 14 secs (2.0 ft).Swell Direction: 198 degrees

North CA: Swell fading on Thurs (8/27) from 1.5 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0 ft).Swell Direction: 198 degrees


South Central Pacific Gale
Starting Tues AM (8/18) a gale developed well southeast of New Zealand producing a broad area of northwest winds at 45 kts with seas building to 29 ft at 58.5S 176.5W aimed east. In the evening fetch is to push quickly east and build in coverage at 40-45 kts from the west-northwest with 31 ft seas at 57.5S 162W aimed east-southeast. Fetch moved rapidly east on Wed AM (8/19) over a building area at 40-45 kts with seas 34 ft down at 62S 131W aimed east. The gale pushed east with west winds 35 kt over a large area and seas 31 ft over a broad area aimed east at 58.5S 125W aimed northeast. The gale pushed east of the Southern CA swell window after that. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: No swell expected to result.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (8/27) pushing 1.3 ft @ 18 secs late (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell building on Fri (8/28) pushing 1.6 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell fading Sat (8/29) from 1.5 ft @ 15 secs early (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 194 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (8/27) pushing 1.0 ft @ 18-19 secs late (1.5 ft). Swell building on Fri (8/28) pushing 1.3 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell fading Sat (8/29) from 1.3 ft @ 15-16 secs early (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 193 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 no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.


MJO/ENSO Forecast


Solid Cooling in Control of 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 (8/26) 5 day average winds were solid from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific and then building from the east moderate if not more over the KWGA. Anomalies were light east over the East equatorial fading to neutral over the Central Pacific then neutral over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, so they lag what is happening today by about 2 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (8/27) moderate east anomalies were filling the KWGA today with weak to moderate west anomalies filling the far East Pacific. The forecast calls for east anomalies building in coverage and strength over the KWGA continuing to fill it through the end of the forecast period (on 9/3) and near strong strength and building east to a point south of the California on the equator. Support for energy transfer into the jet is fading and will continue on that trend for at least the next week.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (8/26) A moderate to strong Inactive MJO was in control of the KWGA today. The statistic model indicates the Inactive Phase is to hold at strong status filling the KWGA on day 5 of the model run holding in strength on day 10 and then fading some to modest status on day 15. The dynamic model is corrupt again.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (8/27) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was moderate over the Atlantic today and is to steadily track east into the Central Indian Ocean and steadily weakening to weak status at day 15. The GEFS model suggests the same thing but with the Active Phase moving to the Maritime Continent and very weak at day 15.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (8/26) This model depicts a solid Inactive MJO filling the KWGA and all of the Pacific today. The forecast depicts the Inactive Phase is to move east through the Central equatorial Pacific and into Central America on 9/15 while holding solid strength with remnants lingering beyond. A moderate Active MJO is to follow pushing into the far West Pacific 8/20 moving to the Central Pacific through the end of the model run on 10/5. A new solid Inactive Phase of the MJO is to start building over the Maritime Continent poised to push into the KWGA
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (8/26) This model depicts an Active MJO was all but gone over the Pacific today with moderate east anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Inactive Phase of the MJO was building in the far west KWGA today and is to be moving solidly over the KWGA on 9/2 filling it through the end of the model run on 9/23 with moderate to strong east anomalies in control. Overall a long run of easterly anomalies are to again take over the KWGA.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (8/27 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a building strong Inactive MJO over and filling the KWGA today and is to traverse the Pacific through 9/23 with another bout of strong east anomalies firmly controlling the KWGA and filling the whole equatorial Pacific and strong over the East Pacific during that window. A moderate Active Phase of the MJO is forecast to follow 9/15 through 10/22 with west anomalies filling the western 85% of the KWGA while east anomalies remain strong and in control east of there. A weak Inactive Phase is to follow 10/8 through the end of the model run on 11/24 but with weak west anomalies filling the KWGA. this is a step in the right direction. 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 hold in coverage through the end of the model run with a second contour setting up on 9/10 on the dateline holding through the end of the model run. There's a building trend suggesting the high pressure bias is to be slowly moving east at the end of the model run midway east of the KWGA at 165E. A single contour low pressure bias is building weakly over the Indian Ocean today and is to build in coverage through the end of the model run while its eastern periphery eases east to 140E and over the far West KWGA at the end of the model run. East anomalies that have been previously solid in the Indian Ocean for over a year are migrating east into the West Pacific and should track east becoming stationary over the Central Pacific early Sept and holding for the foreseeable future. The trend is turning towards La Nina.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (8/27) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm was gone. The 29 deg isotherm was steady at 175E today. The 28 deg isotherm line was tracking east at 174W today. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing east to 133W today. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies 0-1 deg C were fading in the West Pacific reaching east to 165W. There was a large pocket of cooler anomalies at -2 degs filling the area east of 170W and bubbling up to the surface over that entire area. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 8/21 indicates the cool water bubble at depth was far stronger and larger erupting to the surface from the dateline eastward to Ecuador. Almost no warm water was below the surface or at the surface east of the dateline. 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: (8/21) Negative anomalies greater than -5 cms with a large embedded area at -10 cms were building over the Central equatorial Pacific between 110W to 155W. Interestingly negative anomalies were dissolving along Ecuador and down into Peru but still covering a large area at -5 cms there and reaching north up to Baja and into Southern CA. 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: (8/26) The latest images indicate cold water was solid on the equator from Ecuador west to the dateline and consistent in density over that area. Cool water was also holding along Peru tracking northwest to Ecuador. This clearly indicates a well developing version of La Nina. 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 rebuilding after previously being stalled.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (8/26): A clear stream of cooling water was pushing west from the Galapagos west to 145W. Small pockets of warming were interspersed but rapidly fading. The short term trend is looking like development of a large scale cooling trend centered in the Central Equatorial Pacific.
Hi-res Overview: (8/26) A stream of consistent cool water is well entrenched from Peru up to Ecuador then tracking west on the equator out to the dateline. A clear La Nina signal is depicted.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (8/27) Today's temps were steady at -1.785 degs after previously reaching a low of -2.138 on 8/13. The trend has been steadily downward 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:
(8/27) Temps were steady at -0.632, the lowest in a long time. Before that temps were stable between 6/27-7/25 at near 0.0. And before that temps were rising after bottoming out down at -0.595 on 5/27. Overall the trend was warming but now appears to be in a steep 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 (8/27) Actual temperatures were in the +0.65 deg range early this year through March, then started falling down to -0.20 in late-May then stabilized near neutral into late June. Then they began falling in July down to -0.6 degs early Aug. The forecast depicts a steady downward trend from here reaching down to -1.45 degs in late Oct. After that temps to start rebuilding steadily up to +0.0 degs in late April. We think the dynamic models might be overstating the magnitude of the coming cooling trend for the equatorial Pacific, but maybe not too much.
IRI Consensus Plume: The August 21, 2020 Plume depicts temps are at -0.52 degs today, and are to fall in early Nov to -0.60 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 modest 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) (8/27): The daily index was negative today at -0.67. The 30 day average was falling slightly at +5.09. The 90 day average was falling slightly to 0.93, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was in control and trending perhaps to La Nina. This index is a lagging indicator.
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 (8/23):
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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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