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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, September 17, 2019 9:02 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
2.2 - California & 1.5 - 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 9/16 thru Sun 9/22

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   

2 New Zealand Gales Forecast
1 NZ Swell Pushing Northeast - NPac is Trying

On Tuesday, September 17, 2019 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai) Seas were 4.0 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 1.9 ft @ 13.6 secs from 201 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 2.8 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 0.9 ft @ 14.5 secs from 302 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.3 ft @ 11.4 secs with swell 1.8 ft @ 11.3 secs from 168 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southwest at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 67.8 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 4.2 ft @ 10.4 secs from 300 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.3 ft @ 12.3 secs from 200 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.5 ft @ 12.2 secs from 197 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.7 ft @ 12.3 secs from 198 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.8 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 4.6 ft @ 10.3 secs from 292 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 10-12 kts. Water temp 53.6 degs (013) and 56.1 degs (042).

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

Swell Classification Guidelines

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

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

Current Conditions
On Tuesday (9/17) in North and Central CA Gulf windswell was producing waves at shoulder to head high on the bigger sets and lined up and clean and reasonably well rideable. Protected breaks were waist to maybe chest high and clean but soft. At Santa Cruz surf was waist to chest high and somewhat lined up and clean coming from the Gulf of Alaska. In Southern California/Ventura set waves were waist high and clean and lined up but soft. In North Orange Co waves were waist high on the sets and clean and barely rideable. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks had waves at chest to shoulder high on the peak of the sets and clean but pretty soft. North San Diego had surf at thigh to waist high on the sets and clean but really soft and unremarkable. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was small with waves waist high and clean and somewhat rideable when the sets came. The East Shore was getting minimal east windswell at thigh high and nearly chopped from southeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (9/17) in California small windswell from the Northern Gulf of Alaska was hitting exposed breaks providing a small taste of Fall swell with decent conditions early. This swell was generated by a gale that produce 15 ft seas off the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia on Sat-Sun (9/15). In Hawaii no swell of interest was occurring. Another gale was developing on Tues (9/17) producing 17 ft seas off British Columbia and forecast falling off the Pacific Northwest likely resulting in more small northwest windswell for the US West Coast. Theoretically a small gale is to develop off Kamchatka on Tues-Wed (9/18) resulting in 28 ft seas targeting Hawaii somewhat. And a stronger gale is to produce up to 30 ft seas Sun-Mon (9/23) in the Northern Gulf possible resulting in stronger swell for the US West Coast beyond. Down south a decent gale developed under New Zealand tracking east Fri-Sat (9/14) producing 37 ft seas with small swell tracking northeast mainly for the mainland. And another system is to track east under New Zealand Wed-Thurs (9/19) resulting in 33-39 ft seas possibly producing more small southwest swell. The transition from Summer towards Fall is occurring, but about 6 weeks behind schedule.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

Surface Analysis
Small swell from a low pressure system that developed in the Northern Gulf of Alaska on Fri-Sun (9/15) producing 25 kts west to northwest winds and 15 ft seas was hitting the North CA coast today (Tues - 9/17) resulting in swell of 4.5 ft @ 10 secs (shoulder high surf). That swell to be fading in the evening.

Over the next 72 hours another small low pressure system developed in the Northern Gulf on Mon (9/16) producing 25-30 kt northwest winds and falling southeast into Tuesday (9/17) while fading off the Pacific Northwest. Sea to 17 ft are forecast later Tuesday AM (9/17) at 49N 136W and barely in the NCal swell window at 319 degrees.

Northern CA: Expect windswell arrival later on Wed (9/18) building to 4.5 ft @ 10 secs (4.5 ft faces) and then continuing on Thurs (9/19) but being overridden by local north windswell. Swell Direction: 315+ degrees

A small gale is to start building off Kamchatka on Tues PM (9/17) producing 45 kt north winds and seas starting to build to 28 ft over a tiny area at 47.5N 162E aimed southeast at Hawaii somewhat. By Wed AM (9/18) fetch is to be fading from 35 kts from the west with seas 27 ft over a modest sized area at 46.5N 166E aimed southeast. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 30 kts from the west with seas fading from 23 ft at 46N 175E aimed east to southeast. possible small swell to result for Hawaii. Something to monitor.


Windswell Outlook
On Tues (9/17) northwest winds were 30 kts early over an area associated with a low pressure system off the Pacific Northwest (see Surface Analysis above). No easterly fetch of interest is forecast for Hawaii. On Wednesday (9/18) no windswell producing fetch is forecast for CA or HI. Thurs (9/19) high pressure at 1028 mbs is to be building in the Central Gulf generating northwest winds at 10-15 kts along the North and Central CA coast not quite producing windswell yet. No fetch is forecast east of Hawaii. On Fri (9/20) the usual summer time pressure gradient is to start building a small fetch of north winds at 20-25+ kts pushing south along the North CA coast and off the coast of Central CA offering some limited windswell production potential for CA. No easterly fetch of interest is forecast relative to Hawaii.


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


Tropical Update
Tropical Storm Lorena On Tues AM (9/17) was 150 nmiles south of Acapulco Mexico tracking northwest with winds 45 kts. This system is to continue on a northwesterly track hugging the Mexican coast with winds to 55 kts into Fri (9/20) then pushing more westerly off Puerto Vallarta and fading dying just south of Cabo San Lucas on Sat (9/21). Never is it to be cleanly in the CA swell window.

Tropical Storm Kilo on Tues (9/17) was 1100 nmiles southwest of Pt Conception and 3600 nmiles east of the Big Island with winds 50 kts inching along to the west. This general strength and track is to hold into Sun (9/22) possibly rebuilding to hurricane strength (65 kts) but so far away and so small in coverage as to be offering no real swell production potential.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Tues (9/17) a weak northerly wind flow was in effect. On Wed (9/18) north winds to be 10 kts for North and Central CA all day but 15+ kts for Pt Conception. Thursday (9/19) northwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts early building to 15+ kts later afternoon for all of North and Central CA. On Fri (9/20) north winds are forecast at 20+ kts for Cape Mendocino but 10 kts or less south of there. On Sat (9/21) north winds to be up to 20-25 kts for most of North CA but 10 kts for Central CA and holding. On Sun (9/22) north winds to be 15-20 kts for all of North and Central CA early and building to near 25 kts for Cape Mendocino and Pt Conception later. On Mon (9/23) north winds are to be 25-30 kts for North CA and 20 kts for Central CA early fading to 10-15 kts later. On Tues (9/24) north winds are forecast at 30-35 kts for Cape Mendocino early but with a south wind eddy flow for everywhere south of Bodega Bay.

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


South Pacific

On Tuesday (9/17) the jetstream was split but with the southern branch pushing due east under New Zealand at 100 kts then weakening before starting to fall southeast reaching down to 65S over the Central South Pacific and tracking east from there and totally over Antarctic Ice to the Southeast Pacific offering no support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours a trough is to start building under New Zealand starting Thurs AM (9/19) lifting solidly northeast and being fed by 130 kts winds offering good support for gale development. The trough is to push northeast into Fri (9/20) then starting to get pinched off. Behind the trough a ridge is to be building pushing south to 63S likely suppressing gale development there. Beyond 72 hours the ridge is to slowly moderate and lift north some until another trough starts building under New Zealand on Sun (9/22) but with no real winds feeding it lifting northeast and pushing east into late Tues (9/24) moving over the Central South Pacific likely offering nothing. And yet another very weak trough is to be setting up under New Zealand on Tues PM again likely doing nothing.

Surface Analysis  
A gale tracked east under New Zealand likely providing small swell radiating northeast mainly towards Tahiti and California (see New Zealand Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours starting Tues PM 99/17) a solid gale is to be tracking southwest of New Zealand under the Tasman Sea and just north of the Ross Ice Shelf with 40-45 kts west winds over a solid area and 40 ft seas at 59.5S 149.5E targeting (217 degs CA and shadowed by NZ for Hawaii). On Wed AM (9/18) southwest winds to be 40 kts located south of New Zealand tracking east with 37 ft seas at 57S 169E aimed east on the 213 degree track to NCal and unshadowed. Fetch is to be falling southeast in the evening but aimed northeast at 40 kts solid with 35 ft sea at 60S 179E. On Thurs AM (9/19) 35-40 kt southwest winds to be pushing east with 33 ft seas at 58S 173W aimed east-northeast. In the evening a small fetch of 30-35 kts south winds to remain with seas 31 ft at 54,5S 170W tracking northeast. The gale is to be fading out Fri AM (9/20) with 30-35 kts south winds over a small area and seas fading from 28 ft at 50.5S 165.5W aimed north. Something to monitor.


New Zealand Gale
On Fri AM (9/13) a small gale started building just southeast of New Zealand with 45 kts south winds over a building area and 34 ft seas at 58 175W aimed northeast. The gale tracked north east in the evening with a solid area of 40 kts southwest winds and seas 37 ft at 57.5S 168W aimed northeast. On Sat AM (9/14) fetch faded from 30-35 kts from the southwest with seas fading from 33 ft at 58S 158W aimed northeast. The gale dissipated from there.

Hawaii: Expect sideband swell arrival on Fri (9/20) with size slowly building pushing 1.6 ft @ 17 secs later (2.5 ft). Swell peaking on Sat AM (9/21) at 1.5 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.0-2.5 ft) fading some later. Swell fading on Sun (9/22) from 1.4 ft @ 14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 190 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (9/22) with size slowly building pushing 2.0 ft @ 17-18 secs later (3.5 ft). Swell peaking on Mon (9/23) at 2.2 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.5 ft) holding all day. Swell holding on Tues (9/24) at 2.3 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 207 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (9/22) with size slowly building pushing 1.6 ft @ 18 secs later (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell peaking on Mon (9/23) at 1.8 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.0 ft) holding all day. Swell holding on Tues (9/24) at 1.8 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 207 degrees


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




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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours another gale is to start building in the Northwestern Gulf on Sun AM (9/22) with 30 kts west winds and seas building. In the evening a broader area of 30 kt west winds are to be pushing east with 19 ft seas at 48N 172W. Winds are to build Mon AM (9/23) at 35 kts from the west with 22 ft seas at 49N 166.5W aimed east. Fetch is to be fading from 30 kts in the evening with seas building to 24 ft at 49N 162.5W. Fetch and seas fading from there. Something to monitor.

And maybe another gale to develop behind that moving east of the dateline on Tues (9/24) with seas building later to 23 ft at 45.5N 165.5W aimed east and over a larger area.


Windswell Outlook
On Sat (9/21) high pressure is to be weakening in the Gulf barely ridging into North CA producing north winds at 20+ kts along the North CA coast and 15 kts off Central CA making for small local windswell. East fetch at 15 kts is forecast up to 450 nmiles east of Maui to Kauai making for small easterly windswell along exposed east facing shores there. On Sun (9/15) a broad but ill defined area of 15-20 kt north winds is forecast along most of the North and Central CA coast making for some windswell there. No fetch or windswell is forecast for Hawaii. On Mon (9/16) north winds to build to 30 kts over North CA and 20+ kts down the Central CA coast resulting in larger north windswell. No fetch is forecast relative to Hawaii. On Tues (9/18) north winds are forecast fading from 30 kts limited to Cape Mendocino and down to 20 kts late making for limited north windswell down into Central CA at exposed breaks. No east fetch is forecast for Hawaii offering no windswell production potential.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours the models are hinting at another gale under New Zealand on Sun PM (9/22) with 40-45 kt southwest winds and seas 33 ft at 52.5S 177W aimed east. Southwest winds to build Mon AM (9/23) to 40-45 kts with seas 35 ft up at 49S 173W aimed northeast (211 degs NCal and unshadowed). In the evening 40-45 kts southwest winds to continue tracking east-northeast with 36 ft seas at 47S 162 W aimed northeast (205 degs Ncal and shadowed). On Tues (9/24) the gale is to continue east with 45 kts southwest winds and seas 37 ft at 48S 147.5W aimed northeast. Fetch fading in the evening from 35 kts with seas 33-34 ft over a solid area aimed east-northeast at 46S 136W (188 degs NCal and not shadowed). The model seems a little overhyped at the moment. Something to monitor.


MJO/ENSO Forecast


Clear La Nina Pattern Getting Established

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: A double dip La Nina was in control through the Winter of 2017-2018. But warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018 associated with two upwelling Kelvin Waves, and continued trying to build over equatorial waters over the Summer and Fall, but not enough to declare El Nino and not coupled with the atmosphere. In January 2019, those warm waters were fading, but then rebuilt late in Feb associated with Kelvin Wave (#3). But as of early June 2019 warm water was fading and by August a tongue of cool water was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos reaching to a point nearly south of Hawaii. El Nino was dead.

Fall/Winter 2019/2020 = 5.0/4.0 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)

Rationale: It is assumed the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that a weak borderline El Nino from 2018 is fading out, but not yet completely gone, especially in the atmosphere. Likewise it looks like a La Nina ocean temperature pattern is developing in the equatorial East Pacific, with cooler than normal waters tracking west on the equator. We assumed El Nino like momentum will hold for a while in the atmosphere will take a while to sense that the ocean temperature pattern has changed. But once it does, a turn towards a La Nina like atmospheric pattern will start to develop. that transition is expected in the late Nov-early Dec timeframe. Even so, moderation from the PDO might prevent La Nina from fully developing. Given all that, there is decent probability for a normal start to the Fall surf season (in the Northern Hemisphere) meaning a normal amount of number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in a normal levels of swell, with normal duration and normal period. But by mid-Dec 2019, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start fading and as a result, swell production should fade slightly as well. This pattern is expected to hold through April 2020.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (9/16) 5 day average winds were solidly from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific shrinking in coverage but still present over the Central Pacific to the dateline. But west of there a calm wind pattern was in effect over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific turning weakly westerly over the dateline and KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (9/17) modest westerly anomalies were focused on the dateline and over almost all of the Eastern Pacific, indicative of the active Phase of the MJO tracking east over the Central Pacific. The forecast is for weak to modest westerly anomalies steadily backfilling into the while of the KWGA over the next 3 days and holding filling the KWGA through the end of the model run on 9/24.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (9/16) A very weak Inactive Phase of the MJO was starting to show in the far West KWGA today with the Active Phase gone over the Pacific. The statistic model indicates it is to build over the next 10 days to moderate plus status and holding through day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model indicates the same thing initially, but with a far less impressive Inactive Phase setting up, at only modest strength peaking at moderate strength at day 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (9/17) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the Atlantic and is to migrate steadily east to the Central Indian Ocean 15 days out and getting steadily weaker to very weak status. The GEFS model suggests the Active Phase is to stall over the Central Atlantic unchanged for the next 15 days.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (9/17) This model depicts a modest Active Phase over the East Pacific today and is to slowly ease east moving over the Central America on 9/27. A moderate Inactive MJO was setting up over the far West Pacific 9/17 and is to build while tracking east pushing solidly in the Central America on 10/15 while a weak Active Phase starts building in the West Pacific. It is to east east and moving over the Central Pacific at the end of the model run on 10/27.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (9/16) This model depicts a modest Active MJO signal present over the KWGA today with moderate west anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast depicts the active Phase tracking eat and out of the KWGA on 9/27 but with west anomalies continuing to fill the KWGA though steadily weakening as a weak Inactive Phase develops 10/6 holding through the end of the model run on 10/14.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (9/17) This model depicts a weak Active MJO pattern peaking over the KWGA today and with weak west anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast has a weak Active MJO signal holding from now through 10/3 focused mainly over the dateline and points east of there while a modest Inactive Phase develops in the West Pacific 9/20 moving through the KWGA through 11/6 followed by another very weak Active MJO 11/12-12/6. After that a very weak Inactive Pattern is to follow through the end of the model run (12/16). During that entire period weak west anomalies are to hold in the core of the KWGA if not building pretty solid starting 10/26 through 12/6. The low pass filter changed on 7/25 and is building yet more today with a low pressure bias with 1 contour line in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to California. This single contour line is to hold while a second contour line develops 10/3 and possibly a third contour line on 11/18 while a high pressure bias builds in the Indian Ocean starting 10/20. If this pattern holds into early Fall it would constitute a significant upgrade. This model indicates that a weak El Nino pattern is to maybe rebuild. That is not believable at this early date given the water temperature anomaly situation over the equatorial West (cool) and East Pacific (cooler) today.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (9/17) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs over a tiny and shrinking area retrograding west to 174E while the 29 deg isotherm was steady at 175W today. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 162W today. The 24 deg isotherm was steady at 125W today. Anomaly wise, gentle warm anomalies are filling the West Pacific at +2 degs from the surface to 150 meters down (deepest on the dateline) and indicative of a possible stationary Kelvin Wave #5 there reaching east to 150W. East of there in the East Pacific NO warm anomalies were present. Instead a cool pocket was rebuilding with a core at -4 degs down 100 meters at 125W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 9/10 indicates warm water from Westerly Wind Burst #5 has formed a small stationary Kelvin Wave under the Dateline with cool anomalies from 150W into Ecuador drawing up from depth to the surface. Weak shallow warming was all but gone at the surface from Ecuador to 110W. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (9/10) A small area of weak positive anomalies were on the dateline from 150E to 170W. Negative anomalies were still present pushing west from Ecuador at -5 cms reaching to 150W and -10 cms centered on the equator at 120W-135W forming a cool triangle reaching up into Central America and down to Chile suggestive of La Nina and a cool wave pushing west from the Ecuadorian Coast.

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: (9/17) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate weak warm anomalies are present north of the equator from Central America west to 140W and holding in coverage and then with broader coverage west of 140W to the dateline. Of more interest was a pool of cool water building today along the coasts of Chile up to Peru then streaming west on the equator off Ecuador solidly over the Galapagos and out to 160W unbroken suggestive of La Nina. A previous pocket of warm anomalies south of the equator extending from just off Peru west to the dateline were all but gone. There has been a steady evaporation of El Nino in the East equatorial Pacific with La Nina developing there.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (9/16): Again cool patches had the upper hand on the equator from Ecuador west to 130W, with the trend towards cooling, the inverse of the previous trend where warming had the upper hand. The balance has been towards cooling over the past 2 months.
Hi-res Overview: (9/16) A clear La Nina cool stream was pushing west starting with a broad bubble of cool water along Chile and Peru then streaming west off Ecuador to 175W. Warmer than normal water was straddling the equator from the remnants of El Nino, mainly north of the equator and all but gone south of the equator. Instead a cool triangle was becoming obvious from South Chile northwest to the dateline then east to Ecuador. El Nino appears to be in retreat and La Nina appears to be trying to develop, a little more aggressively as of late.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (9/17) Today's temps were rebounding after falling hard to -1.8 degs on 9/15, up to -1.535 today and have been pretty consistently negative since June 1.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(9/17) Temps were weakly riding today at -0.407 degs after bottoming out on 8/28 at -0.510 degs and 9/15 at -0.60 degs. The trend has been generally downward since mid-June.

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 (9/17) The model indicated a cooling trend set up with temps down to -0.05 degs in early August. The forecast unrealistically has temps rising starting Oct 1 to + 0.5 degs and holding there to +0.40 degs by late Dec. On Jan 1 2020 temps are to again hold then collapse in May to 0.0 degs. According to this model a neutral to weak El Nino like sea surface temperature pattern is forecast. that is complete nonsense.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Aug 2019 Plume depicts temps are at +0.30 degs in August, and are to hold in the +0.50 range into Dec/Jan, then fading slightly to +0.45 in May/April 2020. See chart here - link.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad) (9/16): The daily index was negative today at -5.76. The 30 day average was negative at -11.23. The 90 day average was rising from -8.79, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was developing.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): July +0.82, June -0.32, May +1.10, April +0.34, March +1.0, Feb +1.29, Jan +0.193. This index has been steadily positive but still indicates mostly ENSO neutral conditions (not El Nino).

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
Per NOAAs index recent values: June 2017 +0.21, July -0.50, Aug -0.62, Sept -0.25, Oct -0.61, Nov -0.45, Dec -0.13, Jan 2018 +0.29, Feb -0.19, Mar -0.61, April -0.89, May -0.69, June -0.85, July -0.09, Aug -0.43, Sept -0.46, Oct -0.75, Nov -0.78, Dec -0.12, Jan -0.23, Feb -0.55 This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO, even with La Nina, because the warm PDO appears to be dampening the effects of La Nina. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): June 2017 +0.79, July +0.10, Aug +0.09, Sept +0.32, Oct +0.05, Nov +0.15, Dec +0.50, Jan +0.70. Feb +0.37, Mar -0.05, April +0.11, May +0.11, June -0.04, July +0.11, Aug +0.18, Sept +0.09. No real negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data strongly suggests that could be a possibility. By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 


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

Powerlinessurf Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest

Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for the week starting Sunday (9/8):
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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing:

Stormsurf and Mavericks on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel

Mavericks Invitational Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:

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

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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