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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, August 28, 2018 1:58 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
1.2 - California & 1.6 - 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 8/27 thru Sun 9/2

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   

South Pacific Possibly to Stir
Tropics to Get Busy in the North Pacific

Next Forecast Update - Tuesday (9/4)


On Tuesday, August 28, 2018 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 3.0 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 1.2 ft @ 15.3 secs from 202 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.4 ft @ 6.2 secs with swell 2.8 ft @ 5.9 secs from 251 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north at 2-6 kts. Water temperature 71.4 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.4 ft @ 5.9 secs from 269 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.5 ft @ 6.0 secs from 266 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.7 ft @ 6.0 secs from 272 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.0 ft @ 6.0 secs from 285 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.0 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 3.9 ft @ 8.3 secs from 315 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southeast at 4 kts. Water temp 59.2 degs.

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

Swell Classification Guidelines

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

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

Current Conditions
On Tuesday (8/28) in North and Central CA northern windswell was producing waves at waist high with a few bigger peaks and moderately textured from south winds but somewhat rideable. Protected breaks were waist high and clean and weak but somewhat rideable. At Santa Cruz surf was flat and clean. In Southern California/Ventura surf was knee high and clean and not really rideable. In North Orange Co waves were flat and clean breaking on the beach. South Orange Country's best breaks were flat to thigh high and clean. In North San Diego surf was thigh high on the sets and clean and weak. Hawaii's North Shore was getting wrap around easterly windswell at thigh to waist high and clean but weak. The South Shore had a few waist high sets and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell with waves chest high and chopped from moderate east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (8/28) no meaningful swell was hitting California or Hawaii. Even windswell was minimal, except for the east shore of the Hawaiian Islands. No gales have formed with no swell in the water. A small and short lived gale was tracking through the far Northwest Pacific on Tues (8/28) with seas to 22 ft. And the tropics are busy mid-way between Mexico and Hawaii with Tropical Storm Miriam tracking west and forecast to turn north while reaching minimal hurricane force 900 nmiles east of Hawaii while another system theoretically builds well behind it later in the workweek. Down in the southern hemisphere no swell producing weather systems are forecast until maybe Sat (9/1) when a gale is forecast with 28 ft seas in the far Southeast Pacific tracking northeast. And possibly a solid gale is to track under New Zealand beyond with 38 ft sea aimed east. At least it's a step in the right direction. Otherwise we continue to wait for the start of Fall.


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

North Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday AM (8/28) no swell was hitting and no swell was in the water moving towards Hawaii or California.

Over the next 72 hours one small gale is forecast in the far Northwest Pacific (see Northwest Pacific Gale below).

Northwest Pacific Gale
On Mon PM (8/27) a small gale started developing just east of the Kuril Islands generating 40 kt north winds and starting to get traction on the oceans surface with seas building to 18 ft over a tiny area at 44N 162E aimed south. On Tues AM (8/28) the gale was pushing southeast with west winds 30-35 kts and seas fading from 22 ft at 06Z at 43N 164E and at 12Z at 21 ft at 42N 167E aimed decently at Hawaii. By the evening the gale is to fade while lifting northeast fast and no longer getting traction on the oceans surface with winds 25 kts. With some luck, tiny 13 sec period swell might eventually reach Hawaii. Something to monitor.

Oahu: Small swell to hit on Sat (9/1) with swell peaking at sunset at 1.1 ft @ 13 secs (1.5 ft). Swell dissipating overnight. Swell Direction: 313 degrees


Windswell Forecast
California: On Tuesday (8/28) high pressure at 1034 mbs was filling the Central Gulf ridging east-northeast reaching to the Pacific Northwest down into North CA producing north winds there at 20 kts limited to an area off the Cape Mendocino coast generating limited short period north windswell down to Pt Conception. By Wed (8/29) all north fetch is to fade as the high retracts with no potential for windswell production. No change Thursday either (8/30). On Fri (8/31) the high is to start pushing east again ridging well into Oregon generating a light gradient into all of North and Central California with north winds 15 kts from Cape Mendocino southward and up to 20 kts from Big Sur southward to Pt Conception and building northward late. Windswell building along the CA coast. See QuikCAST's for details.

Hawaii: On Tuesday (8/28) east winds were 10-15 kts up to 1200 nmiles east of the Hawaiian Islands driven by high pressure at 1034 mbs 1400 nmiles north of Hawaii offering only limited potential for production of short period east windswell. But TS Miriam was 1100 nmiles east-southeast of Hawaii helping to add a little push and coherency to the fetch starting 600 nmiles out. On Wed (8/29) more of the same is expected but with the fetch a bit less coherent about 450 nmiles east of Hawaii, but still producing limited easterly windswell. Thurs (8/30) fetch is to turn more northeasterly and be limited in coverage near Hawaii at 15 kts offering only limited potential for small short period northeasterly windswell along exposed east shores with Miriam 750 nmiles out and starting to turn to the north. Friday (9/31) fetch is to fade within 300 nmiles of Hawaii offering no windswell generation potential. But Miriam swell should still be arriving. See QuikCAST's for details.


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


Tropical Update
Tropical Storm Miriam: On Tues (8/28) Miriam was 1200 nmiles east-southeast of Hilo Hawaii with winds 55 kts and seas 20 ft generating only minimal swell pushing towards the southeast shore of the Big Island. Miriam is to continue on this track into Wed AM (8/29) with winds 60 kts positioned 1000 nmiles out then starting to make a turn to the northwest in the evening and building to hurricane status with winds 65 kts later. on Thurs AM (8/30) Miriam is to 800 nmiles east-southeast of Hilo Hawaii with winds 75 kts (86 mph) turning almost due north offering less potential to produce swell relative to Hawaii and continuing into Fri AM (8/31). From there Miriam is to weaken while tracking north into Sun (9/2) with winds at that time barely at tropical storm force (35 kts) offering no potential to produce swell. But on Tues (9/4) the remnants of Miriam are to turn to the west positioned 400 nmiles northeast of Oahu with winds 30 kts from the west offering potential to generate northeast windswell for all Hawaiian Islands. But from there Miriam is to vaporize while tracking 300 nmiles north of the Islands offering no potential to generate swell. Something to monitor.

Hilo Hawaii: Expect swell arrival starting Fri (8/31) building to 4.6 ft @ 12-13 secs later in the day (5.5 ft). Swell fading on Sat (9/1) from 3.5 ft @ 11-12 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 100 degrees

Another Tropical System: Theoretically another tropical system is to be developing 1000 nmiles south of Pt Conception on Wed (8/29) tracking east and building steadily into Sun (9/2) positioned 1500 nmiles east-southeast of Hilo Hawaii possibly generating swell relative to the Big Island. From there this system is to make a turn to the west-northwest and then back to the west on Tues (9/4) positioned 900 nmiles due east of the Big Island offering potential for easterly swell radiating towards all exposed east shores of the the Hawaiian Islands. Something to monitor.

Tropical Storm Jebi: On Tues (8/28) Jebi was about 1200 nmiles southeast of Tokyo Japan with winds 40 kts tracking generally west. Slow and steady strengthening is forecast into Fri (8/31) when winds are to be 95 kts (109 mph) and its to be positioned 1000 nmiles south of Tokyo Japan. From there a turn to the northwest is expected with Jebi moving to within 600 nmiles south of Tokyo with winds building to 120 kts (138 mph). The GFS model has Jebi holding strength while tracking north moving to within 250 nmiles south of Tokyo on Tues (9/4). The real question is whether Jebi with impact Japan,, or instead make a turn to the northeast, possibly providing it a route to traverse the North Pacific to the northeast. Something to monitor.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday (8/28) a light wind pattern was set up along the entire California coast and that pattern is to continue into Thurs AM (8/30) but with north winds building over Pt Conception to 15 kts. Friday (8/31) north winds to build at 15+ kts over North CA early down to Monterey Bay, but 20 kts south of there to Pt Conception and building to near 20 kts over all of North and Central CA late afternoon. Sat (9/1) north winds to build at 15-20 kts over all of North CA and 20 kts from Big Sur southward to Pt Conception and 20 kts everywhere late. Sunday (9/2) north winds to take control at 20-25 kts over all of North and Central CA nearshore waters. Monday (9/3) north winds to be 25 kts over mostly of North CA and 15-20 kts over Central CA (less nearshore early). On Tues (9/4) north winds to be 30 kts over Cape Mendocino early but fading to 25 kts later and generally 10 kts from Bodega Bay southward perhaps turning to an eddy flow (south winds) later in the day.


South Pacific

On Tuesday AM (8/28) the southern branch of the jetstream was weak running zonally west to east on the 60S latitude line and just north of the northern edge of the Ross Ice Shelf over the Southwest Pacific then falling south some to 63S over the Southeast Pacific with winds 100 kts in pockets. There were no troughs and no support for gale development indicated. Over the next 72 hours winds to build in the jet over the Southwest Pacific to 150 kts by early Thurs (8/30) but ridging south to 62S while over the Southeast Pacific the jet is to be ridging hard south pushing into Antarctica and offering no support for gale development. But later in the day a trough is forecast to develop just west of the ridge in the Southeast Pacific being fed by 140 kts winds and building. Beyond 72 hours starting Fri (8/31) the ridge under New Zealand is to build sweeping east reaching down well into Antarctica but feeding the trough in the far Southeast Pacific into Sat (9/1) being fed by 140 kts winds offering good support for gale development but now east of the Southern CA swell window. On Mon (9/3) a bit of a trough is forecast developing under New Zealand Mon (9/3) being fed by 140 kts winds slowly weakening and then starting to push south on Tues (9/4) offering maybe a little window to support gale development.

Surface Analysis  
On Tuesday (8/28) no swell of interest was hitting nor being generated.

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


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.

Windswell Forecast
By Saturday (9/1) high pressure is to continue ridging east from the Gulf into California with north winds 20 kts over all of North and Central CA producing increasing odds for raw local north windswell for that area. And by Sunday (9/2) more of the same is forecast with north winds 20-25 kts over all of North and Central CA with raw local north windswell expected reaching down into Southern CA too. Monday (9/3) the gradient is to lift north focused over North CA with north winds 25 kts early there building to 30+ kts later with 20 kts winds just off the coast from Pt Reyes southward offering good support for windswell production. On Tuesday (9/4) north winds to hold at 25-30 kts over North CA with 20 kts north winds just off the coast down to Morro Bay again offering good odds for windswell production.

Hawaii: On Saturday (9/1) no fetch exceeding 15 kts if forecast near the Hawaii Islands resulting in no windswell production. More of the same on Sun (9/2) through Tues (9/4) through possibly tropical swell is to hitting.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a gale is forecast developing in the far Southeast Pacific on Sat AM (9/1) 40 kt southwest winds and seas building from 25 ft at 52S 123W. In the evening winds to hold at 35-40 kts over a fading area lifting northeast with 28 ft seas at 48S 120W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (9/2) 30+ kt south winds to be in the far Southeast Pacific lifting north but just east of the Southern CA swell window with 26 ft seas at 43S 115W and just outside the SCal swell window. This system to fade from there. Maybe some swell is to track north up into Southern CA with luck.

The models also indicate that a gale is to form south of New Zealand on Sun PM (9/2) with 45+ kt southwest winds and seas 38 ft at 57.5S 163.5E aimed east-northeast. The gale is to track eat and fade in coverage some on Mon AM (9/3) with winds fading from barely 45 kts from the southwest with 38 ft seas at 58S 174E. The gale is to fade in the evening with southwest winds fading from 35 kts and seas 35 ft at 55S 175.5W aimed mostly east. Fetch is to rebuilding Tues AM (9/4) from 40 kts from the west with 31 ft seas at 56.5S 166.5W aimed east. More development is possible beyond too. Something to monitor.

Details to follow...


MJO/ENSO Forecast


ESPI Trying to Rebound - Kelvin Wave #2 Building on Dateline

The Madden Julian Oscillation is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for MJO activity (which directly relate to the potential for swell production).

Overview: La Nina started developing in early 2016, but westward displaced and generally weak. And by March 2017, it was gone with suspicious warming developing along South America and over the Galapagos to a point south of Hawaii. By May the atmosphere returned to a neutral configuration but then in July east anomalies started building in the KWGA and have not stopped, with cold water upwelling over the the Nino1.2 and 3.4 areas, indicative of La Nina. A double dip La Nina was in control and continued through the Winter of 2017-2018. But warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018 associated with two upwelling Kelvin Waves, and was building over equatorial waters in July, suggesting the demise of La Nina and possibly turning towards El Nino.

Fall/Winter 2018 (California & Hawaii) = 6.5
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 El Nino develops as forecast, and assuming and an ocean-atmospheric coupling becomes established in the Sept timeframe and ocean temperature anomalies in Nino3.4 build to the +1.0 deg range, there is good probability for enhanced storm production in the North Pacific starting in the late Nov timeframe (specifically the Gulf of Alaska and Dateline regions) with an increased intensity in number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in increased odds for larger than normal swell, with increased duration and higher than normal period.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Mon (8/27) 5 day average winds were solidly from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific reaching west and continuing over the dateline to 170E then weakening turning light easterly and filling the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral to light easterly in pockets over the East equatorial Pacific and light westerly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (8/28) Light mixed east and west anomalies were filling the KWGA but forecast to turn more consistently westerly filling the KWGA at the end of the model run on 9/2 almost reaching Westerly Wind Burst status on the dateline.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (8/27) A neutral MJO signal was over the KWGA. The statistical model depicts that this pattern is to hold for the next 2 weeks. The dynamic model depicts the same thing but with the Inactive/Dry Phase setting up at day 15. The models are mostly in sync at least in the short term.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (8/28) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was very weak positioned over the Maritime Continent. It is to remain weak while drifting east to the Atlantic over the next 2 weeks. The GEFS model depicts the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model: (8/28) This model depicts a weak Active/Wet MJO signal was over the dateline region and is to be tracking east pushing over Central America on 9/22. A weak Inactive/Dry pattern is to follow in the West Pacific starting 9/12 making slow east headway reaching the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 10/7. At that time a neutral pattern is to be developing over the far West Pacific.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (8/27) This model depicts weak west anomalies over the entirety of the KWGA today. The forecast indicates west anomalies are to build in coverage over the next week, and building strong on the dateline for week 2 at WWB status. Those anomalies to back off some (but still westerly and filling the KWGA) in week 3 and holding in week 4 (through 9/24). Basically non-stop west anomalies are on the charts for the next month. It certainly smells of El Nino if the model is correct.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (8/28) This model depicts the Inactive/Dry Phase of the MJO was weakly building over the West Pacific with neutral to weak west wind anomalies in play. The Inactive MJO signal is to hold through 9/29 but with weak to modest west anomalies holding in KWGA. The Active Phase is to build solidly 9/30 through 11/8 with westerly anomalies building to WWB status over that entire duration. An Inactive MJO to follow through the end of the model run 10/10-11/25 but with weak west anomalies continuing. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias is fully in control of the KWGA reaching east to 125W at 3 contour lines and is to hold solid through the end of the model run building east to 120W (over California) by 9/19 and to 115W in mid-October. The high pressure bias is currently limited to an area south of California and shrinking fast and is to be gone by 9/11. The atmosphere and ocean are slowly becoming coupled towards an El Nino bias and were originally thought to reach that state 3 months after the start of when the low pressure bias officially filled the KWGA (on 5/8) or on 8/8. But the coupling is developing a bit less aggressively than expected, so we're thinking coupling should occur more like 8/28 now. This pattern is slowly becoming more favorable to support storm production in the Pacific. The high pressure bias is forecast building near 90E (Central Indian Ocean) reaching 2 contour lines in November.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (8/28) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs and migrating east now to 171E. The 28 deg isotherm line started to retrograde west from 148W on 7/2 to 153W on 7/10 and to 163W on 8/10). It started moving east again reaching to 158W on 8/16 due to development of Kelvin Wave #2 under the West Pacific, but today is steady at 160W. The 24 deg isotherm was 100 meters deep at 140W but retracted from the coast of Ecuador and was breaching the surface at 125W on 8/10. Today it was hovering near 120W. Anomaly wise warm waters associated with the February Kelvin Wave are gone with neutral anomalies in the far East equatorial Pacific pushing into Ecuador if not trending cooler. To the west warm anomalies are building indicative of the new Kelvin Wave (#2) at +3 degs centered under 170W down 150 meters and with a finger of +1.0 degs anomalies reaching east to 125W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 8/21 is a little more optimistic, with remnants of the first Kelvin Wave still holding over a shallow area in the East Pacific from 140W eastward building to +1.5 degs centered at 120W extending east to 105W and not reaching Ecuador. It was breaching the surface between 110W-130W and losing coverage. The Second Kelvin Wave was pushing east from the Maritime Continent spilling into the West Pacific pushing under the dateline at +4.0 degs reaching east to 130W and building in coherency with broken fragments of warm water joining the existing Kelvin Wave east of there. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (8/21) Positive anomalies were solid from the Maritime Continent over the West Equatorial Pacific and dateline and broad in coverage east to 110W at +5-15 cms indicative of a new Kelvin Wave (#2) building strong there. East of there it weakened some with 5 cms anomalies continuing in pockets east to 110W, but no further east, remnants of Kelvin Wave #1. There were no breaks over that entire area. No negative anomalies were indicated. El Nino appears to be developing.

Surface Water Temps: The more warm water in the equatorial East Pacific means more storm production in the North Pacific during winter months (roughly speaking). Cold water in that area has a dampening effect. Regardless of what the atmospheric models and surface winds suggest, actual water temperatures are a ground-truth indicator of what is occurring in the ocean. All data is from blended infrared and microwave sensors.
Satellite Imagery
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4: (8/27) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate temps were neutral biased cool along the immediate coast of Peru and Chile. But solid warm anomalies were holding from Ecuador westward on the equator and north of there but still broken along the immediate equator by easterly wind anomalies causing upwelling in pockets from the Galapagos to 135W. Moderate warm anomalies continued from 130W west of out to the dateline without these upwelling issues. A broad area of strong warming was also filling the area north of the equator from Central America and South Mexico out to the dateline. The remnants of the La Nina cool pool were gone.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (8/27): An elongated area with pockets of alternating warming and cooling were strung along the equator from the Galapagos to 125W indicative of the end of Kelvin Wave #1's eruption coupled with pockets of easterly anomalies supporting cool upwelling. Temps were steady along the coasts of Chile and Peru. Weak warming was on the equator off Central West African. We're waiting from that warming trend to be mirrored west of Ecuador.
Hi-res Overview: (8/27) An area of weak cool water was present along Chile and Peru. Of interest was mild warm water holding on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos with imbedded pockets of stronger warming and continuing west from there to the dateline from 10S up to 20N, but mainly on the equator and points north of there. A pocket of cooler water was between 95W to 130W. More coherent warming was on the equator from 135W to 140E.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (8/28) Today's temps were steady at -0.512 degs. That is about steady compared to the past few weeks readings. A big peak occurred at +0.459 on 5/13. Overall temps here are steady in the -0.50 deg range and slowly rising.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (8/28) Today temps were down some at +0.127 degs, down from a peak at +0.490 on 7/2. Overall temps are holding steady in the +0.25 degs range the past month.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (8/28) The forecast calls for a steady increase from here forward rising in early Oct to +1.20 degs and to +1.50 degs in early Nov holding through January 2019 then slowly fading through April 2019 down to +1.20 degs. This suggests that perhaps El Nino is to build through the Fall of 2018. Most other models are also suggesting a possible turn to weak El Nino conditions by late Fall.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Aug Plume depicts temps at +0.45 degs in August (predicted at +0.6 last month) and are to slowly rise from here forward, to +0.8 in October (unchanged from last months forecast) and +0.9 in Nov and holding there into Jan 2019, then slowly fading to 0.7 in April. See chart here - link. It looks like La Nina is fading out and a weak El Nino might develop. The CFSv2 is in the high end of that pack.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad) (8/28): The daily index was falling today at -4.98. The 30 day average was falling today to -7.21 suggesting the Active Phase of the MJO was holding, or El nino was building. The 90 day average was falling at -3.90. The 90 degree average turned negative for the first time in a year on 6/30 suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was building in the atmosphere. This is expected for a month more before falling into steady negative territory by mid August.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (8/28) Today the index was rising slightly at -0.04, down from +0.20 on 8/20. The reading from 8/14 (+0.11) was the first time it's turned positive in a year and beats the previous highest peak (-0.09 on 7/2). This suggest that perhaps El Nino is starting to get better coupled in the atmosphere. Recent points of interest in reverse chronological order are: -1.04 on 6/5, -0.70 on 5/20, -0.60 on 5/17, -0.36 on 5/11 and -0.38 on 5/10, -0.35 on 4/26, -1.02 on 4/5, -1.13 on 3/27. The trend suggests La Nina is all but gone. This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina situations.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly positive, even though La Nina is in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values: June 2017 +0.21, July -0.50, Aug -0.62, Sept -0.25, Oct -0.61, Nov -0.45, Dec -0.13, Jan 2018 +0.29, Feb -0.19, Mar -0.61, April -0.89, May -0.69, June -0.88, July -0.23. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO, even with La Nina, because the warm PDO appears to be dampening the effects of La Nina. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): June 2017 +0.79, July +0.10, Aug +0.09, Sept +0.32, Oct +0.05, Nov +0.15, Dec +0.50, Jan +0.70. Feb +0.37, Mar -0.05, April +0.11, May +0.11, June -0.04. No real negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data strongly suggests that could be a possibility. By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 



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

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

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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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