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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, September 18, 2014 7:32 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
Swell Potential Rating = 4.0 - California & 4.0 - 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 9/15 thru Sun 9/21

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 Northwest Swell for CA
More to Follow - SPAC Not Done Yet

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.


Current Conditions
On Thursday (9/18) in North and Central CA 
surf was shoulder to head high from a mixture of southwest and northwest swells and a little jumbled with south winds on it except at protected breaks. Down in Santa Cruz surf was head high with sets 1 ft overhead from southwest swell and warbled from southerly wind. In Southern California up north surf was waist to chest high but pretty trashed from northwest winds. Down south waves were head high to 1 ft overhead and blown out from northwest winds. Hawaii's North Shore was waist high from northwest windswell and clean conditions. The South Shore was still rideable with residual south swell producing waves to waist high and clean. On the East Shore windswell was producing waves waist to near chest high and slightly bumped by light trades. 

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

Meteorological Overview
For the North Pacific 
a gale is tracking through the Northeastern Gulf on Thurs (9/18) with 19 ft seas aimed east. A far stronger one is forecast off Oregon on Tues (9/23) with 28 ft seas aimed right at North CA. And more development looks possible behind that. In the southern hemisphere swell from what was strong but small Storm #4S was still hitting California. The models are suggesting another storm developing under New Zealand on Mon-Wed (9/24) lifting northeast with 38-40 ft seas. More southwest swell generation is possible.  

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

North Pacific

Jetstream - On Thursday (9/18) the jetstream over the North Pacific was flowing pretty much flat east off Japan then gently lifting northeast with winds 120-130 kts reaching a point off British Columbia before falling south and forming a small trough off Central CA, then pushing inland over San Francisco. The mini-trough was supporting low pressure and some rain for North and Central CA. Otherwise no troughs or support for gale development was indicated. Over the next 72 hours more of the same is forecast but with a small steep trough becoming defined in the Central Gulf of Alaska on Friday (9/19) with 150 kt winds feeding it but pinching off and fading off the Pacific Northwest on Sunday offering a little support for low pressure development there but not much.  This to be a primer trough. Beyond 72 hours a new trough is to start building in the Gulf fed by 140 kt winds on Mon (9/22) building nicely off the Pacific Northwest Tues-Wed (9/24) fed by 150 kt winds tracking into it offering good support for gale development in lower levels of the atmosphere. To the west winds speeds to fade to 90 kts, but the jet is to remain consolidated across the North Pacific centered down at 40N.  

Surface Analysis  - On Thursday (9/18) a gale was tracking through the Northeastern Gulf of Alaska (see Gulf Gale below). Another weak low pressure system was pushing over North CA with no fetch of interest associated with it but producing rain in the San Francisco area early. And yet a third weak low was off North Japan and of no interest.

Over the next 72 hours the gale off Japan is to wrap up and lift north producing 45 kt winds on Fri (9/19) , but all aimed at Kamchatka producing no fetch aimed at our forecast area.  A weak low pressure system is to try and form in the Gulf of Alaska on Sat 99/20) in association with a upper trough there, but not fetch of interest is to result. 

Gulf Gale
Low pressure started building over the northern dateline region on Tues (9/16) racing east over the top of high pressure on the southern dateline region and moving into the Gulf of Alaska on Wed (9/17) and becoming assimilated into a semi-permanent low there. 30 kt west winds were building over a modest sized area Wed AM  (9/17) covering a broader but still limited area in the evening. Seas 15 ft in the Gulf. A decent sized area of 35 kt west winds built Thurs AM (9/18) with seas to 18 ft at 49N 151W (309 degs NCal). In the evening winds are to be 40 kts but lifting northeast and almost inland over North Canada with seas 19 ft at 51N 145W (313 degs NCal) aimed more towards North Canada.  Small swell expected to result over the weekend for the Pacific Northwest working its way down into North CA on Sunday (9/21). 

NCal: Rough data for.cgianning purposes suggests swell arriving in NCal (San Francisco area) at sunset Sat (9/20) at 3 ft @ 12-13 secs peaking before sunrise on Sun (9/21) at 4.3 ft @ 11-12 secs (5 ft faces). Swell Direction: 308-312 degrees

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

Tropical Update
Hurricane Polo was 200 nmiles south of Puerto Vallarta on Thurs AM (9/18) with winds 65 kts tracking northwest. Polo is to continue on a northwest track falling below hurricane strength Saturday afternoon 150 nmiles south of Cabo San Lucas. During this time no fetch is to be in the SCal swell window.  No swell to result. 

California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday AM (9/18) weak low pressure was off the North California coast with a modest southerly wind pattern in.cgiay over much of North and Central CA. High pressure is to build slightly behind the low on Friday setting up 25 kt north winds over Cape Mendocino Fri PM-Sat AM (9/20) then quickly fading with light winds taking over as more low pressure builds in the Eastern Gulf. No change with light winds remaining in control until later Tues (9/23) when perhaps south winds start building over North CA in advance of a low pressure and front off the coast. Still, it's to not reach south of Pt Reyes through Thursday. But rain is possible from Pt Reyes northwards starting Wed 99/24).  Something to monitor. 

South Pacific

Surface Analysis - On Thursday AM (9/18) swell from Storm #4S was fading along the California coast (see Second Strong New Zealand Storm #4S below). Otherwise high pressure remained in control of the South Pacific No swell production for our forecast area was occurring. Over the next 72 hours no change is forecast (thru Sun 9/21).

A small gale was developing in the South Tasman Sea on Thurs (9/18) generating 35 kt south winds forecast to near 40 kts late in the evening with 24 ft seas projected Fri AM (9/19) near 46S 162E (201-202 degs Fiji).    

Second Strong New Zealand Storm #4S
On Sat PM (9/6) a small storm started forming south of the Tasman Sea generating 55 kt southwest winds with 36 ft seas at 56S 158E pushing flat east. This fetch is to be getting good traction on an already roughed up ocean surface with 18 ft seas courtesy of the Primer Gale that preceded it.  Fetch was well into storm force on Sun AM (9/7) with 60-65 kt southwest winds in.cgiay just southeast of New Zealand at 55S 173E (195 degs HI, 212 degs NCal and barely unshadowed, 213 degs SCal and shadowed) with seas 51 ft at 55S 172E (196 degs HI, 213 degs NCal and unshadowed, 214 degs SCal and shadowed). Fetch was starting to fade but still respectable in the evening blowing from the southwest at 55 kts with seas peaking at 55 ft at 55S 176W (189 degs HI, 208 degs NCal and shadowed, 210 degs SCal and unshadowed). Most energy aimed a bit east of optimal relative to the great circle tracks to the north. The Jason-2 satellite passed over the southwest quadrant of the storm at 06Z Mon (9/8) reporting average seas 39.3 ft with a peak single reading to 43.7 ft where the model depicted 36-37 ft seas. The model undercalled seas based on this data. By Monday AM (9/8) south-southwest winds were fading from 50 kts and seas from previous fetch fading from 46 ft at 54S 170W kts (184 degs HI, 206 degs NCal and shadowed, 207 degs SCal and unshadowed). The Jason-2 satellite passed over the core of the storm at 14Z and reported average seas at 43.8 ft with a peak single reading at 46.3 ft where the model depicted 46 ft seas. The model was overhyping the seas slightly.  By evening fetch was falling from 45 kts but blowing straight to the north with seas from previous fetch decaying from 39 ft at 50S 165W (181 degs HI, 206 degs NCal and shadowed, 207 degs SCal and unshadowed). Tues AM (9/9) winds were fully south and fading from 40 kts with seas 34 ft at 48S 157W (180 degs HI, 203 degs NCal and unshadowed, 205 degs SCal and unshadowed).

This system was a bit too much on an easterly track to be optimal for much of our forecast area, with the preference for the storm to track northeast up and off the eastern coast of New Zealand. But the winds in the storm were blowing well to the northeast (early) and north (later) pushing well up the great circle tracks to California, but less so for Tahiti and Hawaii. And given the sheer force of this system and the height of the seas (51-55 ft for 12+ hours), some decent swell should result (even with the shadow relative to CA). But NCal was unshadowed for the first part of the peak of the seas production where SCal was fully shadowed. Jason-2 data suggested the model did a good job of imaging sea heights, doing the usual job of undercalling it early in it's life and overcalling it later in it's life.

The net effect is that solid long period swell is expected for Hawaii and then into California, but only from Monterey Bay northward. South of there down to 60% down Baja is to be in the shadow, and as a result non-significant class swell to result in that area. This will be an interest case study on the effects of the shadow. Swell of 3.6 ft @ 17-18 secs is expected in far North CA (6.5 ft faces), and only 2.4 ft @ 17-18 secs (4.2 ft faces) in Southern CA. An interesting reversal of the normal size trend.

Southern CA: Swell fading on Friday from 2 ft @ 15 secs (3 ft faces). Peak Swell Direction: 210-215 degrees  

North CA: Swell fading on Friday from 2.3 ft @ 15 secs (3.5 ft) early.  Peak Swell Direction: 208-213 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 a small gale is forecast building in the Eastern Gulf on Mon AM (9/22) with 30 kt west winds building while lifting northeast into the evening, pushing near 40 kts at that time from the northwest. Seas building. On Tues AM (9/23) 45 kt northwest winds are forecast over a small area with 28 ft seas at 42N 140W (290 degs NCal). Fetch is to hold at 40-45 kts in the evening easing east with seas still 28 ft at 42N 136W (292 degrees).  Fetch to start fading from 30-35 kts Wed AM (9/24) with seas fading from 23 ft at 41N 135W (292 degs NCal). The gale itself to then track north up the Oregon/Washington coast. If all were to.cgiay out as forecast a decent sized puse of swell could hit all of Central and North CA. Something to monitor.

Note: 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 equatorial Pacific it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slack if not an outright reversal of trade winds and enhanced 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.cgianet. 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. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to .cgiit resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. 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).

Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) On Thursday (9/18) the daily SOI was up some at -7.84. The 30 day average was down to -10.02 and the 90 day average was down some at -7.96. The near term trend based on the 30 day average was indicative of a Active Phase of the MJO. The longer term pattern was indicative of the Active Phase of the MJO. Low pressure was tracking east and positioned south of Tahiti holding the SOI negative. But weak high pressure and a slightly rising SOI to follow for the next 7 days with the SOI likely rising some. .

Current equatorial surface wind analysis indicated weak east anomalies over the Maritime Continent fading as they moved towards the dateline turning westerly and extending to a point south of Hawaii. Neutral anomalies were from there to the Galapagos. A week from now (9/26) modest east anomalies are forecast over the Maritime Continent turning neutral over the dateline and holding to a point south of Hawaii. Modest west l anomalies to extend from there almost to the Galapagos. This suggests a Active MJO-like pattern was over the Central Pacific and is moving east. The TOA array indicated light to modest west anomalies near 160E fading some but continuing westerly to a point south of Hawaii. This is a better representation of reality and well supportive of Kelvin Wave development.

Looking at the trend over the past few months there has not been a extended period of enhanced trades so far this year, and we're over 245 days into the year.  The trend is clearly towards westerly anomalies which suggests a bias towards El Nino. Big westerly wind bursts occurred Jan-April, followed by a neutral period May into early June. The TOA array surface sensors (the ground truth) indicated moderate westerly anomalies re-developed west of the dateline 6/25-7/6, then again 7/11-7/20, building into a WWB and holding through 8/10. Light westerly anomalies developed again 8/20-8/22, 8/29-9/2 and 9/10-9/17 west of the dateline. Neutral anomalies filled the gaps. Another Kelvin Wave (modest at this point) is in-flight associated with westerly anomalies during June, July into mid-August and continues to be fed up to the current date. Compared to La Nina where enhanced trades (20+ kts) would be blowing non-stop, we're in great shape and have been all year. No easterly anomalies of interest have occurred all year. It would be hard to make a case stating some flavor of weak El Nino was not in.cgiay at this point.  

See our new Kelvin Wave Generation Area monitoring model here.

Previously a series of WWBs occurred 1/8-4/20 creating a large Kelvin Wave that impacted Ecuador, the Galapagos and Peru, May and June. This was very similar situation that led up to the big El Nino's of '82/32 and '97/98. But in those instances the WWBs and Kelvin Wave generation progressed non-stop through the Summer and Fall months. An article presenting a Comparison between the genesis of the 1997 El Nino and this 2014 WWB event has been posted here. A second analysis from 5/28 is posted here.  

The longer range Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR) models (dynamic and statistical) run on 9/17 are generally in sync. They both suggest a  weak Inactive Phase of the MJO was over the far West Pacific. Per both models it is to hold for the next 10 days, then fading per the Statistic model and building some per the Dynamic model. The ultra long range upper level model run 9/18 depicts a weak Inactive Phase over the Central Pacific and is tracking east pushing into Central America on 10/8. A very weak Active Phase is to follow starting 10/13 through 10/28 (at least). Recent experience this year suggests this model is overhyping any projected Inactive Phases and changes radically in it's projection every 4 or so days. The suspicion is this model does not handle El Nino like situations well. We're looking for a very weak MJO pattern biased Active if an El Nino were developing. This is what happened during July, even though the model suggested an Inactive Phase was to develop. And that is what happened in August and Sept (so far) too (see TAO westerly wind anomaly reports above). This suggests that warming water in the equatorial East Pacific is starting to have some impact on the atmosphere above, however slight. The upper level model tends to be a leading indicator, with surface level anomalies lagging behind 1 week or more.    

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.  As of the most recent low res imagery (9/18) nothing has changed. A moderately warm water regime remains in control of the equatorial East Pacific, but down some from the peak of the Kelvin Wave eruptions in late June. Still, it's held up way better than expected even through the upwelling Kelvin Wave Phase in July. And if anything, a full scale regeneration of warm water is in progress over the NINO 3.4 region with 1.0 deg C anomalies present there and +1.0 deg anomalies near 160E (Kelvin Wave Generation Area). Hi res imagery indicates a string of warm pockets building over the width of the equator between the Galapagos and the dateline. Even though the bulk of the massive Kelvin Wave earlier this year has dispersed, another source of warm water is in.cgiay, and a new Kelvin Wave is poised to erupt over the Galapagos.  

Elsewhere, the entire North Pacific Ocean is full of warmer than normal water. There are virtually no signs of high pressure induced upwelling streaming southwest off California as would be expected this time of year. And serious warm water is entrenched along the California coast and building in coverage, the exact opposite of the trend of the past 3+ years. Waters temps in San Francisco are 62 degrees and holding solid.  Very rare. But this is expected if El Nino were in.cgiay. This is significant in that is suggests the Gulf of Alaska High pressure system is much weakened relative to normal years, with north winds and upwelling much suppressed. The South Pacific is mostly normal/neutral except for cool water streaming off Southern Chile pushing west reaching up to the equator just south of Hawaii. But even the areal coverage of that pocket is in decline, suggesting a warm regime is getting the upper hand over the entire Pacific Basin. Overall the total amount of warmer than normal water in the North Pacific remains most impressive, while the South Pacific is starting to trend in the same direction.  

Subsurface Waters Temps on the equator continue to rise.  As of 9/18 a +1.0 C anomaly flow was filling the equatorial Pacific from 150 meters up with an imbedded pocket of up to +3 deg anomalies are at 140W pushing up towards the Galapagos. This is great news indicating the pipe is open and a Kelvin Wave is in flight. The leading edge of this new Kelvin Wave is making quick advances now at 105W. Satellite data from 9/10 depicts a solid and building area of +5 cm anomalies are covering the dateline region and tracking east reaching to 105W, also indicative of a Kelvin Wave pushing east. And the coverage of anomalies is increasing over the dateline, suggesting more warm water is flowing into the pipe. Other models collaborate the presumption of Kelvin Wave genesis. The latest chart of upper Ocean Heat Content (9/10) indicates a new modest Kelvin Wave is developing in the west reaching east to 110W, with the cool upwelling Phase of the previous Kelvin Wave gone. It is assumed more light westerly anomalies feed more warm water into this building Kelvin Wave. At this time we are over the proverbial 'hump'. When the Kelvin Wave arrives at the Galapagos (~Sept 30), more warm water will reinforce the existing warm pool theoretically pushing things into minimal El Nino territory. That cannot be declared until it happens, but everything is lining up.   

Pacific Counter Current data as of 9/16 suggests an improved pattern. The current is pushing west to east over the entire Pacific on and north of the equator focused on the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) reaching into Central America. Just south of the equator the current was generally pushing east to west. West anomalies were just north of the equator over the width of the equatorial Pacific strongest between 130-140E and between 155W-100W. East anomalies were confined to the equator from 150-160E in the heart of the Kevin Wave Generation Area. This data suggests a mixed picture but slightly better than the last update. But it appears the easterly current is no longer overtaking the westerly component. A slight improvement.   

Projections from the monthly CFSv2 model run 9/18 have built back and in an interesting way. It suggests water temps building to +0.5 deg C by early Oct peaking at +1.0 deg C in Nov (down from the +1.75 deg C predicted in May and then revised down to +1.55 deg C predicted in early July). But the real interesting part is that water temps are now to hold solid at +1.0 into June 2015. This suggests that perhaps were are moving towards a multi-year warm event. See the chart based version here - link.

Analysis: A massive Kelvin Wave was generated by successive Westerly Wind Bursts in Jan-April and erupted in the Galapagos region late June and is now dispersed. The WWB ended on 5/1 with the last of the warm water from it arriving 3 months later over the Galapagos on 8/1. At one point it looked like neutral water temps would be taking over the Galapagos-Ecuador-Peru triangle with no immediate Kelvin Wave reinforcements projected. But instead a persistent warm water temp regime stabilized there, and not much different temperature-wise from what it was at the peak of Kelvin Wave impact.  And renewed weak WWB and west anomalies developed in the West Pacific in July and August have produced a new Kelvin Wave with +3 degs C in flight now. We had been thinking the gap between the 2 Kelvin Waves cause water temps to decease in the Nino regions, likely to near neutral. But that did not happened. Instead water temps have held in the Galapagos triangle in the +1.5 degree range. There was some temporary loss of water temps in the Nino3.4 range, but it is now rebounding with some other process at work keeping water temp stable in the Galapagos region. This is good news. 

Assuming westerly anomalies continue in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (west of the dateline), more warm water will migrate east. This is a reasonable assumption seeing how there has been virtually no easterly anomalies for the first 8 months of this year. And trades tend to weaken during Fall months in the northern hemi, meaning we're just now starting to reach the point in time where Westerly Wind Bursts should have the best support for development. All data suggests we're at the end of the 'upwelling' Phase of the Kelvin Wave. It's normal after a downwelling Kevin Wave impacts the Ecuador coast, especially a massive one like just experienced, that some period of upwelling (cooling) occurs. And for that to be true, the upwelling Phase of the Kelvin Wave cycle would be facilitated by a lack of westerly winds in the West Pacific (as what occurred during May and June). Most El Nino's do not develop till the Fall, including the Super El Nino of '83/83. Only a few (namely the '97 Super El Nino) developed and survived strong through the summer and over the span of an entire year. A more 'normal' development life cycle would favor the alternating 'downwelling/upwelling' Kelvin Wave cycle. See currently Upper Oceanic Heat Content chart here. Notice the alternating eastward migrating 'cool' and 'warm' cycles (upwelling/downwelling Kelvin Waves).

The CFSv2 model depicts exactly this scenario.cgiaying out, with water temps in Nino1.2 fading in August then redeveloping in September, exactly filling the 'hole' scenario described above. The redevelopment of westerly winds started in July and is hoped to continue into at least August if not beyond, resulting in a new Kelvin Wave. All evidence at this time suggests this is the case. Monitoring surface wind anomalies in the West Pacific remains critical to determining the future of this years potential El Nino pattern. 

And finally, there's the 'feedback loop' consideration.  We suspect it might already be in.cgiay. The largest argument in favor of that is the total breakdown of the Gulf of Alaska high pressure system, resulting in very high water temps off California. Also the early season recurving of mult.cgie tropical low pressure systems tracking northeast off Japan bound for the dateline. And the pulse of tropical activity near Hawaii on the week of 8/4 and those systems continued evolution in the West Pacific is most telling. And then that pulse was followed by another pulse off Mexico (818-8/28) resulting in Lowell and Super Hurricane Marie. The last time this happened was during the '97 El Nino. The only argument against the feedback loop now is the development of a west moving Pacific Counter Current. Previous negative arguments concerning a dissipating Kelvin Wave, degradation of peak water temps in the Ecuador triangle and only a neutral 90 day SOI (rather than a negative one) have all turned in favor of an El Nino like pattern. For the most part they were just symptoms of the upwelling Phase of the Kelvin Wave cycle. Only once the ocean and atmosphere are co.cgied on a global level (that is, the ocean has imparted enough heat into the atmosphere to start changing the global jetstream pattern) can one begin to have confidence that a feedback loop is developing and a fully matured El Nino can result. About 3 months of undisturbed heating is required for the atmosphere to start responding on a global level where the point of 'no return' could be achieved. The warm pool starting forming in earnest on 5/1, and so the atmosphere would not trip over the 'no-return' point till 8/1. We have passed that threshold. As of 9/2, all the arguments against a feedback loop being in.cgiace were fading out except the Pacific Counter Current. Assuming the arguments against co.cgiing were all associated with the upwelling Kelvin Wave phase, then one can conclude the ocean and atmosphere are now linked/teleconnected.  Considering the size and duration of the westerly wind bursts in Jan-April, it seem hard to believe that at least some Pacific Basin wide 'change' was not already well entrenched even early this year, and had been developing since perhaps as early and Oct of 2013 (when the first Kelvin Wave of the series started taking shape). Monitoring the number, location and track of tropical systems in the North Pacific over the next few weeks will help to sort things out, as will monitoring westerly wind anomalies and warm subsurface water buildup in and under the Kelvin Wave Generation area. Also monitoring of the NPac jetstream (which is now starting to looks much better as of 8/19) and Atlantic hurricane activity (which is nonexistent) is key. But at this time odds continue stacking in favor of a global teleconnection now being established. If that's true, deepening of the ENSO cycle could begin in the next month or so, and perhaps rapidly once it starts.    

But for now we'll remain cautious. Overall the immediate outlook remains unchanged, but potentially trending towards something that would be considered warm by Sept 2014. At a minimum the ocean is well past recharge mode, with cold water from the 2010-2011 La Nina dispersed and temperatures on the rise. Regardless of the WWB's etc, we are still in a neutral ENSO atmospheric pattern at this time with neither any form of El Nino in.cgiay. But given all current signs, atmospheric transition appears to be underway, and hopefully intensifying into Fall.  Still this is a far better.cgiace than previous years (2010-2011, 2011-2012 and 2012-2013) under the direct influence of La Nina. And it seems apparent we've recovered from the 2009-2010 El Nino. We've turned the corner, but we'll remain cautious and not say to much yet, especially in light of what appears to be a decadal bias towards a cooler regime (since 1998).

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool and more details in the  El Nino Update Updated 12/4/13 


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a tiny system is forecast developing off east New Zealand on Mon (9/22) tracking northeast with winds building to 40 kts late and seas to 30 ft over an infinitesimal sized area at 40S 168W (212 degs Tahiti). Fetch and seas to hold into Tues AM (9/23) lifting to 37N 164W (212 degs Tahiti).  Some swell possible for Tahiti and far less size for Hawaii if all goes as forecast. Nothing for the mainland.   

And a decent storm is forecast approaching the entry point to the Southwest Pacific under New Zealand on Mon AM (9/22) with 50 kt west winds and 46 ft seas over a tiny area. The storm is to lift east-northeast in the evening with winds fading from 45 kts and seas 38 ft at  57S 169E. Secondary 45 kts winds to rebuild in the core of the storm Tues AM (9/23) with 39 ft seas at 56S 175E. 45 kt southwest winds to continue in the evening lifting east-northeast with 40 ft seas at 54S 175E (214 degs SCal and shadowed, 213 degs NCal and unshadowed, 197 degs HI). The gale is to fade Wed AM (9/24) with winds dropping from 35-40 kts over a broad area aimed northeast with seas fading from 37 ft at 50S 175W. Decent moderate period swell could result for all locations.   

Details to follow...


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

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Local Interest

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Greg Long - To the Edge and Back, a Big Wave Journey: An edge-of-your-seat lecture tour of the world of gigantic waves, predator encounters, remote e.cgioration, high seas adventure and more, woven into a true-life saga celebrating a remarkable journey through life. Historic Cottage, San Clemente State Beach Campground, 225 Avenida Calafia, San Clemente, CA 92672. September 16, 2014 Lecture at 7:00 p.m., reception 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m and September 17, 2014 Lecture at 7:00 p.m., reception 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
Tickets: $10 in advance, $15 at the door. LIMITED SEATING Purchase Online: Tuesday, Sept. 16 th : Wednesday, Sept. 17th: Seating on the Historic Cottage patio, under the stars. Parking included with lecture ticket price.

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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.

Stormsurf Google Gadget - Want Stormsurf content on your Google Homepage? It's si.cgie and free. If you have Google set as your default Internet E.cgiorer Homepage, just click the link below and a buoy forecast will be added to your Google homepage. Defaults to Half Moon Bay CA. If you want to select a different location, just click on the word 'edit', and a list of alternate available locations appears. Pick the one of your choice. Content updates 4 times daily. A great way to see what waves are coming your way! .xml

Free Stormsurf Stickers - Get your free stickers! - More details Here

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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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