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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Saturday, September 11, 2021 1:19 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
3.9 - California & 2.5 - Hawaii
Using the 'Summer' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

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

Issued for Week of Monday 9/13 thru Sun 9/19

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   

3 Pulse SPac Swell Poised for CA
Tiny Gulf Swell Pushing Towards NCal Too

 

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Saturday, September 11, 2021 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt) : Seas were 3.5 ft @ 16.7 secs with swell 1.8 ft @ 16.3 secs from 187 degrees. Water temp 79.2 degs (Pearl Harbor 233), NA (Lani 239), 79.7 (Barbers Pt).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.7 ft @ 6.7 secs with swell 2.9 ft @ 6.1 secs from 11 degrees. Water temp 79.2 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.9 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 1.4 ft @ 13.1 secs from 170 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 12 kts. Water temperature 68.5 degs, 67.1 (Topanga 103), 63.0 degs (Long Beach 215), 68.2 (Del Mar 153), 69.8 (Pt Loma 191). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 1.8 ft @ 13.5 secs from 188 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.5 ft @ 13.4 secs from 202 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.6 ft @ 13.4 secs from 197 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 1.5 ft @ 13.1 secs from 191 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 4.7 ft @ 7.1 secs with swell 3.7 ft @ 6.7 secs from 314 degrees and 1.8 ft @ 13.6 secs from 165 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 10-12 kts. Water temp 57.6 (Pt Reyes 029), 58.5 (46026), 61.9 degs (SF Bar 142), and 63.5 (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 Saturday (9/11) North and Central CA had waves at waist high and mushed and a little warbled from south wind with low overcast. Protected breaks were thigh to waist high and weak and soft but clean early with sunshine. At Santa Cruz surf was thigh high and clean and weak and soft. In Southern California/Ventura waves were mostly flat and textured with some northwest wind making warble. Central Orange County had sets at waist high and soft and mushed and textured from northwest wind. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at waist to chest high and soft and clean but with some northwest warble intermixed. North San Diego had sets waves at maybe waist high and lined up and clean but soft. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was getting the start of some small southern hemi swell with waves waist to maybe chest high and clean and lined up. The East Shore was near flat 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 Saturday (9/11) the start of small swell was hitting Hawaii but California was near flat. Swell is radiating north originating from a gale that developed southeast of New Zealand on Fri (9/3) with seas building to 36 ft then faded over the South Central Pacific Sat (9/4) then rebuilt there Sun (9/5) with secondary seas to 39 ft traversing the Southeast Pacific through late Mon (9/6) with seas in the 34 ft range. And a tertiary gale formed from it in the Southeast Pacific on Tues-Wed (9/8) producing up to 40 ft sea aimed northeast. Beyond there some remote hope for a gale forming under New Zealand Tues-Wed (9/15) with 28-30 ft seas aimed northeast. And up north a gale developed in Northern Gulf on Thurs (9/9) producing 23 ft seas into early Fri (9/10). Small swell is propagating towards California. Nothing obvious or believable is to follow.

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 Saturday (9/11) small swell was tracking towards North and Central California associated with a weak gale previously in the Northern Gulf (see North Gulf Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.

North Gulf Gale
A gale developed just south of the Eastern Aleutians on Thurs AM (9/9) with 40 kt northwest winds and seas building from 18 ft at 49N 156W aimed east. In the evening fetch was building in coverage at 40 kts over a decent sized area in the Northern Gulf with seas 22 ft at 50N 150W aimed southeast. Fetch was fading Fri AM (9/10) from 35 kts with seas 23 ft at 52N 147W aimed east. The gale dissipated from there. Small swell is possible from the Pacific Northwest down into Central CA.

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (9/12) building to 3.4 ft @ 12-13 secs later (4.0 ft). Swell fading on Mon (9/13) from 3.4 ft @ 11-12 secs early (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 309 degrees

 

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Sun (9/12) northwest winds to be 20 kts for Cape Mendocino early and 10-15 kts south of there but 15 kts solid off the coast down to Pt Conception. In the afternoon the gradient is to be focused on Cape Mendocino and building with northwest winds 20-25 kts south to Pt Reyes with northwest winds 10-15 kts south of there nearshore and 15+ kts off the coast. Windswell building.
  • Mon (9/13) northwest winds to be 25-30 kts over North CA with northwest winds 20 kts southward early and holding through the day. Windswell building.
  • Tues (9/14) northwest winds to be 25 kts for North CA down to Bodega Bay early and 10 kts for Central CA and fading fast with north winds 20-25 kts limited to Cape Mendocino later with a weak eddy flow developing south of Pt Arena. Windswell fading through the day.
  • Wed (9/15) northwest winds to be 25-30 kts limited to Cape Mendocino early with a light eddy flow south of there and northwest winds building to 35 kts for Cape Mendocino later with the eddy flow holding down south. Windswell building.
  • Thurs (9/16) northwest winds to hold at 30-35 kts for Cape Mendocino early with the eddy flow in control south of there. Northwest winds fading for Cape Mendocino later down to 25 kts but otherwise the eddy flow is to hold. Windswell fading some later.
  • Fri (9/17) north winds are forecast at 20 kts early for Cape Mendocino but a weak eddy flow is forecast south of Pt Arena. By the afternoon winds to be be light (10 kts or less) everywhere. Windswell dissipating.
  • Sat (9/18) light and variable winds are forecast everywhere early.

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 14,000+ ft and holding till 9/19, then falling to 10,000 ft and holding beyond.

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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 Saturday (9/11) the influential southern branch of the jet was ridging south over the South Central and Southeast Pacific reaching down to 68S with winds 140 kts offering no support for gale development and actively suppressing gale formation. The jet was weaker under New Zealand but still ridging south offering nothing. Over the next 72 hours no change is forecast with a generalized ridging pattern holding over the entire South Pacific. Beyond 72 hours starting Wed (9/15) a trough is to try and develop under New Zealand being fed by 100 kts south winds offering some very limited support for gale development with south winds building later Thurs (9/16) to 130 kts over the South Central PAcific offering improved support for gale development. And that trough is to build more on Sat (9/18) now repositioned over the Southeast Pacific being fed by 140 kts southwest winds offering good support for gale development. Maybe some hope.

Surface Analysis
On Saturday (9/11) small swell was all but gone in California originating from a gale that traversed the South Pacific (see South Pacific Gale below). Small swell was hitting Hawaii and radiating towards the US West Coast with more size from a series of 3 gales that swept east across the South Pacific (see Second South Pacific Gale below). And more small swell is radiating towards Hawaii from a gale previously in the Tasman Sea (see Tasman sea gale below).

Over the next 72 hours no swell production is forecast.

 

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.

Southern CA: Swell dissipating on Sat (9/11). Swell Direction: 200-203 degrees

North CA: Swell dissipating on Sat (9/11) from 1.4 ft @ 13 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 197-200 degrees

 

Second South Pacific Gale
Pulse 1 (New Zealand) Another gale started building Thurs PM (9/2) just south of New Zealand with 40-45 kt west to northwest winds with seas building to 29-30 ft over a broad area centered at at 56S 180W aimed east. On Fri AM (9/3) additional west fetch built southeast of New Zealand at 45 kts with 34 ft seas at 58.25S 175.5E aimed east. Fetch pushed east fast in the evening at 45 kts with seas 36 ft at 56.5S 163W aimed east-northeast. On Sat AM (9/4) fetch moved over the Central South Pacific at 35-40 kts with seas fading from 30 ft at 55.25S 145.25W aimed east-northeast.
Pulse 2 (South Central Pacific)
Additional fetch started building in the evening at 45 kts over a broad area aimed well northeast with seas rebuilding from 29-30 ft at 55.25S 164.25W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (9/5) 45 kt southwest winds were pushing over the Central South Pacific with seas 37 ft at 58.75S 159.5W aimed northeast. In the evening southwest winds were 45 kts solid aimed northeast with seas 39 ft at 56.25S 149W. On Mon AM (9/5) 40 kt south to southwest winds were push over the Southeast Pacific and solid in coverage with seas fading from 36 ft at 53S 137W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch was fading from 35-40 kts from the southwest with seas fading from 32 ft at 53S 130W aimed northeast. This system was fading while moving to the far Southeast Pacific with fetch all but gone and seas 31 ft at 50S 125W aimed northeast.
Pulse 3 (Southeast Pacific) A tertiary fetch was building in the South Central Pacific with 50 kt southwest winds and seas building to 35 ft over a small area at 55.5S 156W aimed east. In the evening 55 kt southwest winds are to be over the Southeast Pacific with 41 ft seas at 52S 129.25W aimed northeast. On Wed AM (9/8) 45 kt southwest winds to be on the edge of the CA swell window with 37 ft seas at 52S 120W aimed northeast. producing. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 35 kts on the eastern edge of the SCal swell window with seas fading from 28 ft at 50S 118W aimed northeast. The gale is to be gone relative to CA after that. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Fri (9/10) with swell building to 1.0 ft @ 18 secs later (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell holding Sat (9/11) at 1.0 ft @ 16 secs (1.5 ft). Secondary swell arriving on Sun (9/12) building to 1.1 ft @ 17-18 secs mid-day (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell holding on Mon (9/13) at 1.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (1.5 ft). Dribbles on Tues (9/14) at 1.0 ft @ 13-14 secs (1.0-1.5 ft). Swell Direction: 196 moving to 178 degrees Tasman Sea swell building behind directly.

Southern CA: Expect Pulse 1 to arrive on Sat (9/11) building to 1.7 ft @ 20 secs later (3.0 ft). Swell building on Sun (9/12) to 2.0 ft @ 18 secs late AM and holding (3.5 ft). Swell continues on Mon (9/13) at 2.1 ft @ 16-17 secs early (3.5 ft) with Pulse 2 arriving and merging with it to 3.3 ft @ 18-19 secs later (6.0 ft). Swell holding early on Tues (9/14) at 3.2 ft @ 17 secs early (5.5 ft) fading some late afternoon. Swell fairly stable on Wed (9/15) at 2.6 ft @ 15-16 secs early (4.0 ft). Pulse 3 building underneath through the day too at 2.2 ft @ 17-18 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Combined swell still decent on Thurs (9/16) at 2.9 ft @ 16 secs mainly early (4.5 ft). Fri (9/17) things to start settling down with swell 2.2 ft @ 14-15 secs early (3.0 ft). Dribbles on Sat (9/18) fading from 1.7 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft).
Swell Direction
Pulse 1 198-200 degrees
Pulse 2 195-197 degrees
Pulse 3 185 degrees

North CA: Expect Pulse 1 to arrive on Sat (9/11) building to 1.5 ft @ 20 secs late (3.0 ft). Swell building on Sun (9/12) to 2.0 ft @ 18 secs mid-day and holding (3.5 ft). Swell continues on Mon (9/13) at 2.1 ft @ 16-17 secs early (3.5 ft) with Pulse 2 arriving building to 2.1 ft @ 19 secs (4.0 ft) and merging with it to 3.3 ft @ 18-19 secs later (6.0 ft). Swell holding early on Tues (9/14) at 2.9 ft @ 17-18 secs early (5.0 ft) fading some late afternoon. Swell fairly stable on Wed (9/15) at 2.5 ft @ 15-16 secs early (3.5-4.0 ft). Pulse 3 building underneath through the day too at 2.0 ft @ 17-18 secs later (3.5 ft). On Thurs (9/16) Pulse 3 is to be 2.2 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.5 ft) with combined swell 2.6 ft @ 16-17 secs mainly early (4.0-4.5 ft). Fri (9/17) things to start settling down with swell 2.2 ft @ 15 secs early (3.0 ft). Dribbles on Sat (9/18) fading from 1.7 ft @ 14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft).
Swell Direction
Pulse 1 198-200 degrees
Pulse 2 195 degrees
Pulse 3 183-184 degrees

 

Tasman Sea Gale
A gale started moving into the Hawaii swell window in the Tasman Sea on Mon PM (9/6) producing 40-45 kt southwest winds with seas 34 ft at 50.25S 151E aimed northeast. On Tues AM (9/7) southwest fetch was fading over a broad area at 35-40 kts filling the South Tasman Sea with 33 ft seas at 50S 157E aimed northeast. In the evening fetch was fading while impacting New Zealand with seas fading from 29 ft at 45S 165E aimed northeast. Swell is radiating northeast towards Hawaii.

Oahu: Expect swell filtered by Fiji to arrive on Tues (9/14) building to 1.2 ft @ 17-18 secs later (2.0 ft). Swell peaking on Wed (9/15) at 1.3 ft @ 16 secs (2.0 ft) holding through the day. 5well fading some on Thurs (9/16) fading from 1.4 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0 ft). Dribbles on Fri (9/17) fading from 1.1 ft @ 14-15 secs (1.5 ft). Swell Direction: 215-220 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 weather systems are forecast. A series of low pressure system are to try and traverse the North Pacific but none are to produce seas reaching 20 ft.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours the model suggests a gale forming south of New Zealand on Tues AM (9/14) with 35 kts west winds and seas 29 ft at 59S 174E aimed east. In the evening fetch is to backbuild at 35-40 kts aimed northeast with seas fading from 26 ft at 59S 171E. On Wed AM (9/15) fetch is to be from the southwest at 35-40 kts with seas 27 ft at 54.75S 180W aimed northeast. In the evening the gale is to be tracking northeast with 35-40 kt southwest winds and seas 26 ft at 56S 165W aimed northeast. The gale is to fade from there. Something to monitor.

 

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 though latest runs of the model suggest even that might be temporary. It seems likely blocking high pressure is to hold over the dateline through late Fall, but then the forecast is undefined.

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 (9/10) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific and strong east over the KWGA. Anomalies were modest east over the East equatorial Pacific and light east over the Central Pacific and moderate 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 (9/11) east anomalies were strong filling the KWGA and weaker but still solidly east reaching eastward to a point south of California. The forecast calls for east anomalies holding at strong status through 9/15 then down to moderate status but filling the entire Pacific Basin through the end of the model run on 9/18. There's no sign of the Active Phase of the MJO.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (9/10) A weak Inactive MJO signal was indicated over the KWGA today. The statistic model projects the Inactive pattern building on day 5 of the model at moderate strength then building to strong strength and holding on days 10 and 15 of the model run. The dynamic model projects the Inactive Phase holding at minimal weak strength on day 5 of the model run then collapsing with a weak Active signal developing on days 10 building to modest strength on day 15. The 2 models are projecting opposite outcomes. Based on actuals the statistical model is winning.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (9/11) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the East Indian Ocean and is forecast tracking to the Central Maritime Continent at very weak status 15 days out. The dynamic model suggests the Active Phase pushing slowly east to the Central Maritime Continent on day 15 of the model run at weak strength.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (9/10) A moderate Inactive Phase (dry air) was indicated over the East Pacific today. The Inactive Phase (dry air) is to track east over Central America on on 9/15 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 9/23 then moving into Central America on 10/10. A weak Inactive Phase (dry air) is to be moving east over the KWGA on 10/10 moving to the Central Pacific and filling the Pacific at the end of the model run on 10/20.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (9/10) This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO was filling the KWGA today with moderate east anomalies in control of the KWGA. The forecast indicates east anomalies and the Inactive Phase holding on the dateline at moderate strength through 9/15 then the Inactive Phase is to move east of the KWGA but east anomalies are to hold nearly unchanged through the end of the model run on 10/8 centered just west of the dateline. The Active Phase is to develop east of the KWGA on 9/29 moving east through the end of the model run.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (9/11 - using the 5th ensemble member - the mean of the 4 individual 0z, 06z, 12z & 18z members which are the most current run only): 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 9/23 with east anomalies at modest strength holding over the KWGA focused on the dateline through then and later till 10/27. At the same time a weak Active Phase (3 contour lines) is to develop while slowly pushing east starting 9/19 filling the KWGA on 9/29 holding through 11/14 with west anomalies steadily plodding east filling the KWGA by 10/29 and holding through the end of the model run on 12/9. A modest Inactive MJO pattern is to push into the KWGA on 11/7 slowly pushing east and filling the KWGA at the end of the model run but with west anomalies hold control over the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias developing on the dateline today and holding that position filling the eastern portion of the KWGA east to 130W through the end of the model run. No second contour line is forecast. A broad single contour low pressure bias is to develop 11/14 centered over the Maritime Continent at 100E with it's leading edge at 120E moving no further east not moving into the KWGA. Today a solid east anomaly pattern that has taken over the KWGA and is to slowly get shoved east and erode as the Active Phase and west anomalies take over the KWGA late October. This suggests redevelopment of La Nina for now but possibly fading some come late Fall and early Winter.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (9/11) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was backtracking to 173E. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 174W. The 24 deg isotherm is stable at 123W. 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 95W (previously 150W). But all the sensors are down between 155W-130W so this analysis is highly suspect. 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 8/31 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: (8/31) 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 135W but almost gone. All positive anomalies were limited from 165E 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: (9/10) The latest images depict a thin steady stream of cool water was present on the equator from Peru tracking up the coast then turning west at Ecuador and building out to 145W, 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 and extending west out to the dateline.. 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 (9/10): Cooling water was in a line from Ecuador out to 130W. A few pockets of warming water were west of 120W. Nothing of interest was west of there.
Hi-res Overview: (9/10) A thin stream of cooler than normal water was aligned on the equator from the Galapagos to the dateline. Cooler than normal waters were south of that line down to 20S. Warmer than normal waters were limited to a line north of the equator up to Mexico and along the US Coast up to the Golden Gate. A clear cool outflow is in place pushing from California southwest to the a point over Hawaii's Big Island. It is stable but weak. La Nina appears to be trying to make a resurgence on the equator but fading north of there.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (9/11) Today's temps were rising some at -0.373 after falling to -0.927 on 9/2 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:
(9/11) Today temps were stable at -0.179 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 (9/11) - 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 steady fade from -0.3 degs in early Aug. The forecast indicates temps to continue a steady fade into mid November dropping to -1.50 degs then holding through mid Jan 2022, then pushing up to +0.00 degs in May 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 -1.25 degs in Nov starting to rise slowly after mid-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) (9/11): The daily index was stable at 4.04 today after peaking at +37.86 on 7/15. The 30 day average was falling some at +6.89 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 stable at +8.57 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
For automatic notification of forecast updates, subscribe to the Stormsurf001 YouTube channel - just click the 'Subscribe' button below the video.

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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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