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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Monday, September 20, 2021 5:07 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
4.3 - 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   

Northwestern Gulf Waking Up
3 Small Swells Possible


On Monday, September 20, 2021 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt) : Seas were 3.8 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 1.7 ft @ 12.8 secs from 198 degrees. Water temp 79.7 degs (Pearl Harbor 233), NA (Lani 239), 79.5 (Barbers Pt).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.6 ft @ 5.9 secs with swell 2.4 ft @ 6.3 secs from 40 degrees. Water temp 79.2 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.1 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 1.2 ft @ 15.2 secs from 189 degrees. Wind at the buoy was east at 12-14 kts. Water temperature 67.8 degs, 66.2 (Topanga 103), 63.3 degs (Long Beach 215), 64.0 (Del Mar 153), 68.5 (Pt Loma 191). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 6.4 ft @ 12.5 secs from 307 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.2 ft @ 12.8 secs from 233 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.6 ft @ 14.9 secs from 198 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 1.2 ft @ 15.3 secs from 193 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 10.7 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 7.2 ft @ 12.5 secs from 300 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was north-northwest at 8-12 kts. Water temp 55.4 (Pt Reyes 029), 57.7 (46026), 62.1 degs (SF Bar 142), and 60.6 (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).
- 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 Monday (9/20) North and Central CA had waves at 1-2 ft overhead and lumpy and warbled and mushed but with light local wind early. Protected breaks were head high or so and clean and lined up but also mostly closed out. At Santa Cruz surf was 2 ft overhead and lined up and clean but with a bit or warble in the water. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist to maybe chest high and lined up and clean but soft and inconsistent. Central Orange County had sets at waist high or so and fairly clean and lined up but with a steady light south flow developing. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at waist high or so and soft and crumbled but clean. North San Diego had sets waves at waist high and clean and soft. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was minimal with waves maybe waist high with some bigger peaks and soft but clean. The East Shore was getting thigh high east windswell and chopped from moderate east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Monday (9/20) in California swell from a gale previously in the Gulf of Alaska on Sat (9/18) with 16-17 ft seas aimed southeast was hitting providing rideable surf. And 2 more gales are to follow in the North Pacific, with one already having moved over the North Dateline Region Fri--Sun (9/19) producing 28 ft seas initially then 22-24 ft sea aimed east, and another is to develop over the North Dateline region on Tues (9/21) producing 30 ft seas aimed east then tracking into the Northwestern Gulf on Wed-Thurs (9/23) with up to 26 ft seas aimed east. And yet another is forecast for the Northwestern Gulf on Sat-Sun (9/26) producing 34 ft seas aimed southeast with a broad area of 23 ft seas following on Mon (9/27). Fall is here!

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Monday (9/20) the jet was tracking east across the North Pacific along the 45N latitude line with a trough developing just west of the dateline being fed by 160 kts winds offering good support for gale development and a second weaker trough in the Gulf being fed by 120 kts winds. All in all, not a bad setup. Over the next 72 hours the dateline trough is to take precedence developing nicely in the Northwestern Gulf through early Thurs (9/23) being fed by 120 kt winds offering good support for gale development before starting to pinch off. Beyond 72 hours the jet is to start ridging north some on Fri (9/24) in the west up to 48N. But a new trough is to start building in the Gulf on Sat (9/25) being fed by 140 kts winds and falling southeast Sun-Mon (9/27) with winds building to 140 kts offering good support for gale development (again). At that time a ridge is to be building over the dateline pushing the jet north into the Bering Sea likely terminating support for gale development beyond.

Surface Analysis
On Monday (9/20) windswell was arriving in North CA having been generated from a low pressure system previously in the Northwestern Gulf (see Gulf Low Pressure System below).

Over the next 72 hours another gale is forecast developing over the dateline Tues PM (9/21) producing 45-50 kt west winds over a small area aimed east with seas building to 31 ft at 44.5N 177W aimed east. The gael is to move to the Northwestern Gulf of Alaska on Wed AM (9/22) with 35 kt west winds and seas 26 ft at 44.25N 169.5W aimed east. Fetch to fade to 30-35 kts in the evening with 25 ft seas at 43.75N 164.5W aimed east. On Thurs AM (9/23) the gale is to be almost gone with residual 30 kt west winds in the Northern Gulf and seas 24 ft at 48.25N 155W aimed east. The gale is to rapidly fade in the evening with winds down to 30 kts and seas 23 ft up at 53N 148W aimed east. Something to monitor. Possible more meaningful swell for Hawaii and modest swell for the US West Coast.


Gulf Low Pressure System
ON Thurs PM (9/16) a low pressure system was developing in the far Northwestern Gulf of Alaska producing northwest winds at 30+ kts producing 18 ft seas over a tiny area at 50N 168W. On Fri AM (9/17) winds move rapidly southeast at 25-30 kts over a broad area filling the Gulf with seas 16 ft at 47.5N 159W aimed east. Fetch is to ease east in the evening at 25+ kts with seas 15 ft at 46N 150W aimed southeast. On Sat AM (9/18) northwest fetch is to build in the Northeastern Gulf at 30 kts with seas 16 ft at 50N 143W aimed southeast. Fetch is to be fading in the evening with northwest winds 25 kts and seas 17 ft at 47N 140W aimed southeast. The gale is to dissipate after that. Some odds of windswell developing.

North CA: Windswell arrival on Mon (9/20) at 6.7 ft @ 12 secs (8.0 ft). Actuals per the buoy (029) indicated swell of 7-8 ft @ 12 secs. Swell fading on Tues (9/21) from 5.0 ft @ 11 secs (5.5 ft). Swell Direction: 300 degrees


Northwest Gulf Gale
Another gale developed just west of the dateline in Fri AM (9/17) producing a tiny area of 50 kt west winds and seas building from 23 ft at 43.5N 169.5E aimed east. In the evening west fetch was fading from 40 kts with the gale moving over the dateline with 29 ft seas over a tiny area at 45N 176E aimed east. On Sat AM (9/18) the gale moved east over the North Dateline Region with 35 kt west winds and seas 24 ft at 45.75N 176.25W aimed east. In the evening the gale tracked east with 35 kts northwest winds and seas 23 ft over a modest sized area at 46N 167.75W aimed east. More of the same occurred on Sun AM (9/19) with 35 kt west winds in the Western Gulf and 23 ft seas at 47N 170W aimed east. The gale faded in the evening with 30 kts west winds and seas fading from 20 ft at 46.25N 161.75W aimed east. The gale dissipated from there.

Hawaii (Oahu): Expect swell arrival on Tues (9/21) building to 2.2 ft @ 13 secs later(2.5-3.0 ft). Swell continues on Wed (9/22) at 2.5 ft @ 12-13 secs (3.0 ft) holding all day. Swell fading on Thurs (9/23) from 2.3 ft @ 11 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 330 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (9/22) building to 2.4 ft @ 14-15 secs later (3.5 ft). Swell peaking on Thurs (9/23) at 3.4 ft @ 13 secs early (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell continues on Fri (9/24) at 4.0 ft @ 11-12 secs (4.5 ft). Residuals on Sat (9/25) fading from 3.0 ft @ 10 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 303 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

  • Tues (9/21) northwest winds are forecast at 10 kts early for North CA and 5 kts for Central CA fading to 5 kts in the afternoon both North and South.
  • Wed (9/22) northwest winds are forecast at 5 kts for North and Central CA early building for North CA to 15+ kts in the afternoon and 10 kts for Central CA.
  • Thurs (9/23) a summer time gradient is to start building with north winds 20-25 kts for North CA early and northwest winds 10-15 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 20+ kts for Cape Mendocino with north winds 5-10 kts from Bodega Bay southward.
  • Fri (9/24) the gradient is to be limited to Cape Mendocino with north winds 15-20 kts mainly off the coast there and northwest 5 kts south of there holding all day.
  • Sat (9/25) northwest winds to be 5 kts early for all of North and Central CA early building to 20 kts limited to Cape Mendocino in the afternoon and northwest 5-10 kts south of there.
  • Sun (9/26) northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts from Pt Arena northward early and 5 kts from the northwest south of there. No change in the afternoon.
  • Mon (9/27) northwest winds are to be 5 kts early both North and South and holding all day.

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 today falling to 12,500 ft on 9/22 slowly falling to 12,000 ft on 9/27 then rising slightly to 12,500 ft on 9/29.


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: (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!


South Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Monday (9/20) no swell was in the water and no swell producing weather systems were forecast.

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


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




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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours yet another gale is forecast developing over the North Dateline Region on Fri PM (9/24) producing 40-45 kt northwest winds and seas building from 25 ft at 47N 177W aimed east. Fetch is to building in coverage pushing east on Sat AM (9/25) at 35-40 kts with seas 26 ft at 48N 168W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to move into the Northwestern Gulf with 35+ kt northwest winds and seas 34 ft at 50N 161W aimed southeast. Fetch is to hold Sun AM (9/26) from the northwest at 35-40 kts with 29-30 ft seas at 49N 154W aimed southeast. Fetch is to be fading in the evening from 35 kts with seas 25 ft at 48N 155W aimed southeast. Fetch all but gone on Mon AM (9/27) at 30 kts from the northwest with residual seas fading from 21 ft at 47N 154W aimed southeast. Something to monitor.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.


MJO/ENSO Forecast


La Nina Steadily Redeveloping
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 filling the KWGA after that. A high pressure bias is to control the dateline by early Fall but recent runs of the model suggest that might be temporary, with the high pressure bias out of the KWGA by early Dec. It seems likely blocking high pressure is to hold over the dateline through late Fall, but then the forecast is undefined, but possibly improving as winter takes root.

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.

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 (9/19) 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 moderate 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 (9/20) east anomalies were strong filling the KWGA and weaker but still solidly east reaching eastward to a point south of California on the equator. The forecast calls for east anomalies slowly fading to moderate strength over the next week but with east anomalies still filling the bulk of the equatorial Pacific Basin through the end of the model run on 9/26 through the strongest of those mostly east of the dateline. There's no sign of the Active Phase of the MJO. But there is a sense of a weakening of the Inactive pattern. This has been a exceptionally strong and long lasting Easterly Wind Burst.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (9/19) 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 fading and all but gone on day 5 of the model run then collapsing with a weak Active signal developing on days 10 and holding at weak status over the KWGA on day 15. The 2 models are projecting opposite outcomes. Based on actuals, the statistical model is more realistic but likely overhyped.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (9/20) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the far 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 modest status.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (9/19) A weak Active Phase (wet air) was indicated over the East Pacific today. The Active Phase (wet air) is to track east over Central America on on 10/9 with a secondary Active Phase (wet air) forecast developing over the KWGA 9/29 tracking east and weakly filling the equatorial Pacific by 10/9 then moving east and fading before reaching Central America. A modest Inactive Phase (dry air) is to be moving east over the KWGA on 10/19 moving to the Central Pacific and weakly filling the Pacific at the end of the model run on 10/29.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (9/19) This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO was all but gone from the KWGA today but with moderate east anomalies still in control of the KWGA. The forecast indicates east anomalies holding on the dateline at moderate strength through the end of the model run on 10/17. The Active Phase is forecast developing over the Maritime Continent on 9/26 and trying to ease east but not reaching even the western boundary of the KWGA on 10/14 before dissipating.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (9/20 - using the 5th ensemble member - the mean of the 4 individual members which are all from the 00Z run - 1 run per day): Today a weak Inactive Phase of the MJO was fading over the east 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 9/27 with east anomalies moving east centered on the dateline and points east of there starting 10/22. A weak Active Phase (2 contour lines) is to develop while slowly pushing east entering the KWGA on 9/23 filling the KWGA on 10/6 and holding through 12/6 with west anomalies steadily plodding east filling the KWGA by 11/8 and holding through the end of the model run on 12/18. A moderate Inactive MJO pattern is to push into the KWGA on 11/25 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 has developed on the dateline and is to hold while building east to 125W through 11/25, then quickly losing coverage retreating to 130W on 12/17. A weak second contour is forecast 10/19-11/22. A broad single contour low pressure bias is to develop 10/31 centered over the Maritime Continent at 100E with it's leading edge at 120E then steadily moving east into the KWGA on 11/24 and filling 50% of it at the end of the model run. Today a solid east anomaly pattern that has taken over the KWGA is to slowly get shoved east and erode as the Active Phase and west anomalies and the low pressure bias try to take root in the KWGA by early Dec. 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: (9/20) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was gone, previously at 169E. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 174W. The 24 deg isotherm is stable at 125W. Warm water has receded west and has more or less stabilized there. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +1-2 deg C were building in coverage in the far West Pacific pushing east to 160W. All the sensors are down between 155W-130W so this analysis is suspect. Under that warm pool mostly cool anomalies were in control at 1-2 degs 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 9/15 indicates no warm water east of the dateline with cool water east of there (where the sensors are inoperable) extending into Ecuador. 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: (9/15) Sea heights were falling over the entire equatorial Pacific with negative anomalies at -5 cms over the East equatorial Pacific between Ecuador to 170W and with a peak at -15 cms between 125W-145W. All positive anomalies were limited from 160E and points west of there. A warm water 'horseshoe' pattern becoming well developed 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: (9/19) The latest images depict a thin steady stream of cool water on the equator from Peru tracking up the coast then turning west at Ecuador and building out to 160W. Markedly cooler water was in waves between the Galapagos to the dateline. Cooling was building along Chile and Peru too. A homogenous area of warm water was along Central America up to Southern Baja with one small hot pool along the coast of Ecuador. Overall this seems to indicate the return of cooling water temps and La Nina. The question is - For how long?
Hi-res 7 day Trend (9/19): Solid warming were developing in a line from Ecuador out to 110W. No real cooling waters were indicated.
Hi-res Overview: (9/16) 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: (9/20) Today's temps were rising at -0.573 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:
(9/20) Today temps were stabilizing at -0.370 after rebounding from a previous low of -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 (9/20) - 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 fading to -0.3 degs in Aug. The forecast indicates temps to make a dramatic fall starting to day down to -1.75 later in November and holding into mid Jan 2022, then pushing up to +0.00 degs in June 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 -1.40 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) (9/20): The daily index was meandering at +8.14 today after peaking at +37.86 on 7/15. The 30 day average was rising to +10.38 today after falling to -3.36 on 6/22, the lowest in a year. It peaked at +19.51 on 1/14. The 90 day average was rising slowly to +9.73 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 but suggest La Nina is returning.

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:

Mavericks & Stormsurf on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel

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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