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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, September 2, 2021 4:38 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
2.0 - California & 2.2 - 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 8/30 thru Sun 9/5

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 Swell Arriving in HI
Better Swell Forecast Behind

 

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Thursday, September 2, 2021 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt) : Seas were 3.0 ft @ 7.7 secs with swell 2.0 ft @ 8.6 secs from 173 degrees and 0.8 ft @ 17.4 secs from 198 degrees. Water temp 79.7 degs (Pearl Harbor 233), NA (Lani 239), 79.9 (Barbers Pt).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.3 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 1.9 ft @ 9.7 secs from 43 degrees. Water temp 79.2 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.4 ft @ 11.4 secs with swell 1.6 ft @ 12.1 secs from 191 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north at 6 kts. Water temperature 66.9 degs, 66.9 (Topanga 103), 65.1 degs (Long Beach 215), 70.3 (Del Mar 153), 67.5 (Pt Loma 191). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 4.6 ft @ 9.4 secs from 301 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.6 ft @ 12.6 secs from 196 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.3 ft @ 12.6 secs from 202 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 1.9 ft @ 11.6 secs from 176 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 6.3 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 5.1 ft @ 8.7 secs from 311 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was southwest at 2-4 kts. Water temp 57.6 (Pt Reyes 029), 59.4 (46026), 61.7 degs (SF Bar 142), and 62.8 (Santa Cruz 254).

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).
Summer
- 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).
Summer
- 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.
Summer
- up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.

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

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
Current Conditions
On Thursday (9/2) North and Central CA had waves at waist high with some bigger sets and a bit warbled and funky from modest south wind. Protected breaks had sets at waist high and soft and clean. At Santa Cruz surf was mostly flat with some stray thigh to waist high sets and clean. In Southern California/Ventura waves were thigh to near waist high on the sets and clean when they came but weak. Central Orange County had set waves at waist to near chest high and lined up when they came and and clean coming from the south. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at waist to near chest high and lined up and clean but weak and inconsistent. North San Diego had sets waves at waist to near chest high and lined up and clean. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was getting some minimal new south swell on occasion with waves waist high and lined up and clean but weak with some sideshore texture on it. The East Shore was knee to thigh high and nearly chopped with building east trades blowing.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (9/2) small swell was trying to show in Hawaii originating from a gale that developed southeast of New Zealand on Thurs-Sun (8/29) producing 29 ft seas aimed east while traversing the South Pacific. That swell is pushing towards CA too. Beyond that a gale is forecast developing southeast of New Zealand on Fri (9/3) with seas building to 44 ft fading over the South Central Pacific Sat (9/4) only to rebuild there Sun (9/5) then then traversing the South Pacific through late Mon (9/6) with seas to 43 ft. Some swell is possible. And maybe a secondary gale to form from it in the Southeast Pacific on Tues-Wed (9/8) producing up to 37 ft sea aimed northeast. Nothing is forecast in the NPac yet but it is to try. The outlook is improving somewhat.

See all the details below...

 

SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis
On Thursday (9/2) no swell was tracking towards or hitting California or Hawaii originating form the North Pacific.

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast. But a small low pressure system is forecast off Vancouver Island on Sat (9/4) producing 30-35 kt northwest winds and seas building to 18 ft briefly at 47.25N 138W aimed east. No real swell is expected into CA, but it's a start (assuming it actually forms).

 

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Fri (9/3) northwest winds are forecast at 20 kts off of North CA early and northwest 15 kts off the coast down to Pt Conception but only 5-10 kts south of Pt Arena to Pt Conception nearshore early. And even that is to be fading in the afternoon with winds northwest 15 kts for Cape Mendocino and 10 kts along the coast south of there. Little to no windswell forecast. Low pressure is to be pushing east through the Eastern Gulf.
  • Sat (9/4) northwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts in pockets for mainly North CA early (10 kts for Central CA) continuing in the afternoon. No windswell forecast.
  • Sun (9/5) northwest winds are to be 10 kts or less for North and Central CA early building to maybe 15 kts for Cape Mendocino later. No windswell forecast.
  • Mon (9/6) northwest winds are forecast at 15 kts for North CA early and 5-10 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon northwest fetch is to be limited to waters a bit off Cape Mendocino at 15 kts with nearshore winds northwest 10 kts. No windswell forecast. A gale low is forecast in the Northeastern Gulf moving northeast towards Central Canada.
  • Tues (9/7) no real fetch is forecast but local winds to be 10-15 kts over North and Central CA early building to 15 kts later and 20 kts over southern Central CA. No real windswell is forecast.
  • Wed (9/8) northwest winds to build at 15-20 kts early for North and Central CA building in the afternoon at 25 kts for North CA and 20 kts for Central CA. Windswell building.
  • Thurs (9/9) northwest winds to be 25 kts for North CA early with northwest winds 15 kts for Central CA early. Windswell holding.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 0, 0, 0, and 0 inches respectively.

Freezing level 13,000 ft today (Thurs 9/2) rising to 14,000 ft+ through early 9/10 then falling to 10,000 ft later in the day and holding.

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Tioga Pass/Pacific Crest Trail intersection forecast: Temps - Freeze Level (more here - scroll down to 'Resort Snow Forecasts>Central CA or North CA Caltrans & Backcountry')

Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!

 

South Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Thursday (9/2) the influential southern branch of the jet was building under and just southeast of New Zealand with 160 kts winds pushing east down at 60S and barely clear of the Ross Ice Shelf trying to form a trough but not quite there yet perhaps starting to offer some beginnings of support for gale development. East of there the jet was ridging south moving over Antarctic Ice and offering no support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours the trough is to slowly track east while building on Fri (9/3) over the Southwest Pacific being fed by 170 kts winds offering good support for gale development while tracking east and over the South Central Pacific early Sun (9/5) while losing definition. But a secondary trough is to form from it later on Sun (9/5) there and building as it tracks east over the Southeast Pacific on Mon (9/6) being fed by 130 kts winds offering decent support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours additional wind energy is to build over the Southeast Pacific on Tues (9/7) feeding that pre-existing trough with 160 kts winds still offering yet more support for gale development there. A total of 5 days of a favorable pattern is indicated. But in the west a ridge is to be building sweeping south just glancing the Ross Ice Shelf on Mon (9/6) and shutting down support for gale development and pushing east through Wed (9/8) eliminating support for gale development. That ridge is to hold into Thurs (9/9) covering the entirety of the South Pacific.

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (9/2) small swell was starting to reach the buoys along Hawaii's South Shore originating from a gale that traversed the South Pacific (see South Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours another gale is to start building on Thurs PM (9/2) a gale is forecast developing south of New Zealand producing 40 kt west to northwest winds with seas building to 29-30 ft over a broad area centered at at 57S 180W aimed east. On Fri AM (9/3) additional west fetch is to build southeast of New Zealand at 50 kts with 37 ft seas at 58.25S 174.25E aimed east. Fetch is to push east fast in the evening at 50-55 kts with seas 44 ft at 58S 164.5W aimed east-northeast. On Sat AM (9/4) fetch is to move over the Central South Pacific at 45-50 kts with seas fading from 40 ft at 56S 147.5W aimed east-northeast. Additional fetch is to start building in the evening at 45 kts over a small area aimed well northeast with seas rebuilding from 30 ft at 54.25S 155.25W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (9/5) 50-55 kt southwest winds are to again rebuild over the Central South Pacific with seas 38 ft at 57.5S 153.5W aimed northeast. In the evening south to southwest winds to be 45 kts solid aimed northeast with seas 43 ft at 54S 143.25W. On Mon AM (9/5) 45 kt south to southwest winds are to push over the Southeast Pacific with seas building fading from 36 ft at 55S 131.25W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 45 kts from the southwest with seas fading from 32 ft at 59.25S 122.5W aimed northeast. This system is to move east of the California swell window while fading after that. Something to monitor.

 

South Pacific Gale
On Thurs AM (8/26) a gale developed southeast of New Zealand producing a decent sized area of 35-40 kt west-southwest winds and seas building to 29 ft at 55.75S 175.25E aimed northeast. In the evening west-southwest winds held at 35-40 kts with seas 29 ft over a moderate sized area at 55.5S 172.5W aimed east. On Fri AM (8/27) a secondary fetch developed south of the core with winds 35-40 kts aimed east with seas 27 ft at 53.75S 162.75W aimed east-northeast. Fetch crept east while lifting north some in the evening at 40 kts with seas 27 ft at 54.75S 171.75W aimed east. On Sat AM (8/28) the gale tracked east with 35-40 kt west winds over the Central South Pacific with 29 ft seas at 57S 159.75W aimed east. In the evening 35-40 kt west winds were pushing east with seas 29 ft at 55.75S 140.25W aimed east over the Southeast Pacific. On Sun AM (8/29) 40 kt west winds were over the far Southeast Pacific with seas 30 ft at 57.25S 128.5W aimed east-northeast. In the evening the gale is to be east of the CA swell window and fading. Small swell to result.

Oahu: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (9/2) with swell building to 1.2 ft @ 17-18 secs late (2.0 ft). Swell peaking on Fri (9/3) at 1.3 ft @ 16 secs early (2.0 ft). Swell fading some on Sat (9/4) from 1.2 ft @ 14-15 secs early (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell gone just after sunset. Swell Direction: 193 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (9/4) building to 1.4 ft @ 18 secs later (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell building some on Sun (9/5) to 1.9 ft @ 16-17 secs later (3.0 ft). Swell holding on Mon (9/6) at 2.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell holding on Tues (9/7) at 2.0 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Wed (9/8) from 1.6 ft @ 14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Dribbles on Thurs (9/9) holding at 1.5 ft @ 14 secs (2.0 ft). Maybe one more day of surf to result on Fri (9/10) at 1.5 ft @ 14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell dissipating on Sat (9/11). Swell Direction: 200-203 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (9/4) building to 1.1 ft @ 19 secs later (2.0 ft). Swell building some on Sun (9/5) to 1.9 ft @ 17 secs later (3.0 ft). Swell holding on Mon (9/6) at 2.1 ft @ 16 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell holding on Tues (9/7) at 2.0 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Wed (9/8) from 1.7 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 ft). Dribbles on Thurs (9/9) holding at 1.6 ft @ 13-15 secs (2.0 ft). Maybe one more day of surf to result on Fri (9/10) at 1.8 ft @ 14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell dissipating on Sat (9/11) from 1.9 ft @ 13 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 197-200 degrees

 

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

 

QuikCAST's

 

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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours starting Mon PM (9/6) a new gael is to develop in the Southeast Pacific producing 45-50 kt southwest winds and seas building from 30 ft at 57.5S 146W aimed northeast. On Tues AM (9/7) the gale is forecast tracking east with 45-50 kts southwest winds and seas building to 37 ft at 56S 130.75W aimed northeast. In the evening south winds to be 40 kts lifting well north with a broadish area of 35 ft seas at 51.75S 129.5W aimed north. Fetch is to be fading while lifting north Wed AM (9/8) from 40 kts with seas fading from 32 ft at 51S 120W aimed north. More swell is possible.

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

La Nina Rebuilding
Summary - Cool water is building across the subsurface equatorial Pacific with no Kelvin Wave induced warm water present. The forecast has improved some though suggesting weak west anomalies taking over the KWGA in October and holding. Still a high pressure bias is to control the dateline by early Fall and beyond. It seems likely blocking high pressure is to hold over the dateline through early Winter 2021-2022.

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: In 2019 warm equatorial waters were 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. A bit of a recovery tried to occur during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water held in a pool off Peru. By April 2020 a cool pool was starting to build, forming a well defined cool tongue that evolved into La Nina, with it fully developing through July 2020. A slow dissolving of La Nina started in March 2021 with 2 Kelvin Waves sweeping east and arriving over the Galapagos in June. Weak warming set up over the equator with no cool waters present. NOAA declared La Nina dead.

LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Spring/Summer 2021 = 4.0/3.5 (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 that the moderate La Nina from the Winter of 2020/2021 is on the wane and that a return to neutral ENSO state will set up over the Pacific Basin through the summer of 2021. But lingering effects of La Nina are forecast to continue over the Pacific for some time as the upper atmospheric circulation slowly transitions to an ENSO neutral state. This scenario tend to favor the Southeast Pacific, therefore favoring California over Hawaii. To counter that is the forecasted movement of the low pressure bias currently in-flight from the Maritime Continent to the West Pacific over the next 3 months. Still it will take some time for the atmosphere to fully respond, resulting in a slightly less than normal swell production forecast. A somewhat reduced number of storm days and storm intensity is expected as compared to normal over the South Pacific during the early summer season, resulting in a below normal level of swells, with swell being below normal duration and period. But by the Fall and early Winter of 2021/22, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start improving as La Nina fades out. The status of the PDO is not known, though it appears to be returning to at least a neutral state, rather than the warm phase as previously projected thereby having no significant positive or negative effect on the long term outlook.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (9/1) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific and moderate plus east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and light east over the Central Pacific and modest east over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, versus realtime, so they lag what is happening today (by about 2.5 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (9/2) east anomalies were moderate filling the KWGA and east almost to a point south of California. The forecast calls for east anomalies holding at moderate strength filling the KWGA for the next week through the end of the model run on 9/9 while expanding east filling the entire equatorial Pacific by 9/3 and holding. No sign of the Active Phase of the MJO is forecast.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (9/1) A very weak Inactive MJO signal was indicated over the KWGA today. The statistic model projects the Inactive pattern rebuilding on day 5 of the model at modest strength and building some more to moderate plus strength on days 10 and 15 of the model run. The dynamic model projects the Inactive Phase rebuilding only to weak strength on days 5 and 10 of the model run then fading with a weak Active signal developing on day 15. The 2 models are projecting opposite outcomes.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (9/2) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was very weak over the Central Indian Ocean and forecast tracking east to the Central Maritime Continent at very weak status 15 days out. The dynamic model suggests the Active Phase pushing slowly east to the West Maritime Continent on day 15 of the model run at moderate plus strength and building.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (9/1) A moderate Inactive Phase (dry air) was indicated over the East Equatorial Pacific today. The Inactive Phase (dry air) is to push east and into Central America on 9/16 as a weak Active Phase (wet air) is forecast developing over the KWGA at the same time tracking east and weakly filling the equatorial Pacific by 9/21 then moving into Central America at the end of the model run on 10/11. A weak Inactive Phase (dry air) is to be building over the KWGA starting 10/1.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (9/1) This model depicts a neutral MJO pattern over the KWGA today but with modest east anomalies in control of the KWGA. The forecast indicates east anomalies holding on the dateline perhaps building tot moderate strength 9/14 and holding through the end of the model run on 9/29. No coherent MJO signal is indicated in the Pacific for the duration of the model run.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (9/2 - using the 5th ensemble member - the mean of the 4 individual 0z, 06z, 12z & 18z members): Today a weak Inactive Phase of the MJO was fading over the KWGA with modest east anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Inactive Phase is to slowly push east and out of the KWGA on 10/10 with east anomalies at modest strength holding over the KWGA focused on the dateline through that time. A solid Active Phase (4 contour lines) is to develop while slowly pushing east starting 9/18 filling the KWGA on 10/12 holding through 11/29 with west anomalies steadily plodding east filling the KWGA by 10/28 and holding through the end of the model run on 11/31. A modest Inactive MJO pattern is to push into the KWGA on 10/28 slowly pushing east and filling the KWGA at the end of the model run but with light west anomalies still in control over the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias lost control of the area south of California on 8/28 (with one contour line) and the low pressure bias faded on 8/20. A neutral bias is in control for the moment. But the high pressure bias is to return backbuilding on the dateline on 9/7 holding that position filling the eastern portion of the KWGA and east to 135W through the end of the model run. A second contour line is to develop 10/12-11/14. A broad single contour low pressure bias is to develop 10/12 recentered over the Maritime Continent at 100E holding through the end of the model run. A solid east anomaly pattern that has taken over the KWGA is to slowly get shoved east and erode as the Active Phase and west anomalies take over the KWGA mid October and gone by 11/5. This suggests a redevelopment of La Nina as we move into Fall but then that is to be fading late Fall as Winter starts to build.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (9/2) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was stable at 175E. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 172W. The 24 deg isotherm pushed east to 120W from 130W a few days earlier and has now backtracked to 125W. Warm water has receded west and has more or less stabilized there. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +1-2 deg C were building in coverage in the far West Pacific pushing east to 100W (previously 150W). But all the sensors are down between 155W-130W. Under that warm pool mostly cool anomalies were in control at 1 deg below normal from 150 meters down up to 75 meters down in the east. No Kelvin Waves were obvious and cool water was building in the east at depth. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 8/26 indicates no warm water east of 160W. So it is indicating cool water where the sensors are off. A solid stream of cool water was pushing up from 150 meters down at 160W and breaching the surface just at the Galapagos. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (8/26) Sea heights were falling over the entire equatorial Pacific with negative anomalies at -5 to -10 cms over the East equatorial Pacific between Ecuador to 160W with a peak at -15 cms at 130W. All positive anomalies were limited from 175E and points west of there. A warm water 'horseshoe' pattern was redeveloping in the West Pacific. La Nina is making a return.

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 Qualitative Analysis: (9/1) The latest images depict a thin steady stream of cool water was present on the equator from Peru stream up the coast there then turning west at Ecuador and building out to 135W, then weaker and more diffuse west to the dateline. Markedly cooler water was in waves between the Galapagos to 135W. Cooling was developing along Chile and Peru. A broken area of warm water was along Central America up to Southern Baja. Overall this seems to indicate the return of cooling water temps and La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (9/1): A broad and less-dense stream of cooling water pockets was strung over the area from the Galapagos to 140W. No significant warming was indicated.
Hi-res Overview: (9/1) A thin stream of cooler than normal water was aligned on the equator from Ecuador to the dateline. Cooler than normal waters were south of that line. Warmer than normal waters were limited to a line north of the equator up to Mexico. The clear cool outflow that has been in place pushing from California southwest to the a point over Hawaii's Big Island is stable but weak. La Nina appears to be trying to make a resurgence an the equator but fading north of there.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (9/2) Today's temps were falling at -0.927 beating the previous peak low reading of -0.746 on 8/15. Before that temps were toggling around neutral 6/13-8/5 except for one dip to -0.411 on 7/8. Prior to that temps peaked on 3/16 when they briefly hit +0.714 degs. The longterm trend has been towards falling back into negative territory.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(9/2) Today temps were stable at -0.243 after falling to -0.370 on 8/22, the bottom of a downward trend that held for the previous 7 weeks. Before that temps peaked at 7/1 +0.332, the highest in a year. Temps previously had been steady near -0.222 since early March. Temps bottomed out at -1.654 on 11/3.

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 (9/2) - Actuals per the model indicate temps were rising in early Nov 2020 after bottoming out at -1.25 degs, building to -0.01 degs in mid-June then starting a slow fade from -0.3 degs in early Aug. The forecast indicates temps to continue a slow fade into mid November dropping to -1.25 degs then starting to slowly rise to -1.05 degs in mid Jan 2022 pushing up to +0.00 degs in late April 2022. This model suggests a return of La Nina conditions this Fall and Winter. There is no indication that El Nino will develop. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temp falling to -1.05 degs in Nov starting to rise slowly in Jan 2022.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Aug 20, 2021 Plume depicts temps are at -0.41 degs today, and are to fade steadily to -0.57 degrees in Oct holding into Nov, then rising to -0.33 degs in Jan and neutral in March 2022. A weak return of La Nina is expected this Fall and Winter 2021-2022.
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 - this is a lagging indicator) (9/2): The daily index was at +2.74 today after peaking at +37.86 on 7/15. The 30 day average was steady at +4.63 today after falling to -3.36 on 6/22, the lowest in a year. It peaked at +19.51 on 1/14. The 90 day average was rising to +7.27 after falling to it's lowest point in a year on 6/9 at +1.06. The 90 day average peaked at +15.75 on 2/23 (clearly indicative of La Nina then). This index is a lagging indicator.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
The PDO theoretically turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and was positive till Dec 2019, but has been negative every since, driven by recent La Nina conditions. In May-July 2021 it was the most negative its been in the -1.80 to -2.04 range since Sept 2012 (-2.99). 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'). If anything it appears more likely we are still in the cool phase of the PDO.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 


Powerlines Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest
Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for this week. See it Here
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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing: https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/climate-change-good-surfing-other-sports-not-so-much-ncna1017131

Mavericks & Stormsurf on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luQSYf5sKjQ

Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:
http://www.bloomberg.com/video/how-to-predict-the-best-surfing-waves-EsNiR~0xR5yXGOlOq2MqfA.html
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/surfs-up-for-mavericks-invitational-in-calif/

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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