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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, October 3, 2019 2:29 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
3.0 - California & 1.7 - 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 9/30 thru Sun 10/6

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 S. Hemi Swell Fading in CA
Small Gulf Low to Target Hawaii

On Thursday, October 3, 2019 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai) Seas were 2.8 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 1.6 ft @ 14.2 secs from 192 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): This buoy has returned to service. Seas were 5.1 ft @ 7.1 secs with swell 2.7 ft @ 13.4 secs from 312 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.0 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 14.1 secs from 198 degrees. Wind at the buoy was south at 6 kts. Water temperature 69.1 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 2.4 ft @ 14.8 secs from 197 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.5 ft @ 14.7 secs from 205 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.7 ft @ 14.9 secs from 199 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.0 ft @ 14.5 secs from 203 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 3.6 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 2.0 ft @ 15.4 secs from 193 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 10-12 kts. Water temp 50.9 degs (013) and 59.0 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 Thursday (10/3) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing waves at waist high and heavily textured by light north wind and mushy. Protected breaks were thigh to maybe waist high and clean but soft and barely rideable. At Santa Cruz fading small southern hemi swell was producing surf at waist high on the rare sets and clean but soft and weak. In Southern California/Ventura local windswell was producing set waves at thigh to waist high and real clean but weak. In North Orange Co waves were waist to chest high on the sets and lined up and clean coming from the south. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks had waves waist to chest high and sometime bigger and clean and lined up but slow and soft. North San Diego had surf at waist high on the sets and clean and lined up but soft and weak. Hawaii's North Shore was getting bare minimal leftover north swell with waves waist high and clean but soft and inconsistent. The South Shore was flat and clean. The East Shore was east windswell with waves head high to 1 ft overhead and chopped from solid east-northeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (10/3) in California minimal local north windswell was hitting providing nothing of real interest to ride. Small southern hemi swell was also hitting from a small gale that developed Sat-Sun (9/22) producing a brief window of 30-32 ft seas aimed mostly east just off the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf then tracked east-northeast and rebuilt with 32 ft seas aimed northeast over the southeast Pacific. For Hawaii no swell was hitting either on the North or South Shores. Looking at the models a small gale developed with less vigor than projected in the Northern Gulf late Tues (10/1) into Wed (10/2) resulting in 19 ft seas over a small area aimed southeast. And a cutoff low is to produce a steady stream of 18 ft seas targeting Hawaii Thurs-Sat (10/5) possibly resulting in rideable north swell. And the model continue to tease concerning a gale developing under New Zealand lifting northeast Sat-Sun (10/6) now with up to 43 ft seas over a small area. So maybe the summer swell pattern is not done quite yet. But the transition from Summer towards Fall appears to be stalled with nothing of interest forecast for the North Pacific, possible due to the Inactive Phase of the MJO.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Thursday (10/3) the jetstream was split with the southern branch pushing east off of Japan wand tracking east down on the 40N latitude line with a weak trough over the Western Gulf being fed by 120 kt winds perhaps starting to offering some weak support for low pressure development while a second trough was dipping south along the US West Coast down to Northern CA offering only the hop for rain over the Pacific Northwest. Most energy was in the northern branch of the jet which was tracking east-northeast through the Bering Sea with winds at up to 140 kts. Over the next 72 hours the Gulf trough is to fall southeast and start pinching off over the Pacific Northwest later on Sat (10/5) no longer offering any support for low pressure development. At the same time back to the west the jet is to start consolidating ridging northeast off Japan up into the Bering Sea with winds 130 kts offering nothing of interest. Beyond 72 hours the jet is to remain displaced well to the north tracking mostly over the Aleutians and steadily weakening with winds down to barely 90 kts on Thurs (10/10) offering no hope for trough formation of gale development. The Inactive Phase of the MJO is certainly making it's mark.

Surface Analysis
Small swell from the Northern Gulf of Alaska was pushing south towards the Pacific Northwest and California (see North Gulf Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a low pressure system started building on the dateline Wed (10/2) producing a small area of north winds at 30 kts but lifting north and not getting much traction on the oceans surface. By Thurs AM (10/3) it was tracking slower east producing 30-35 kts north winds aimed well at Hawaii with seas developing at 16 ft over a small area aimed south at 45N 170W. In the evening north winds to continue at 30 kts with seas 19 ft at 43.5N 165W targeting Hawaii over a tiny area. Fetch to fade Fri AM (10/4) dropping to 25 kts from the north with 16 ft seas at 41N 161W targeting Hawaii. In the evening fetch is to start rebuilding from the northeast as the low pressure system moves into the Central Gulf with northeast winds building to 30 kts targeting Hawaii well with 18 ft seas at 45N 152.5W aimed south-southwest. On Sat AM (10/5) northeast winds to hold at 30 kts with seas 18 ft at 41N 153W aimed southwest at Hawaii. The gale to fade fast from there while falling south at Hawaii. Possible small north swell to result for Hawaii. Something to monitor.


North Gulf Gale
A small gale developed in the Northern Gulf of Alaska on Tues AM (10/1) with 30-35 kt northwest winds barely reaching south of the Alaskan Coast and seas building. In the evening fetch built to 35 kts over a tiny area aimed southeast with seas building to 19-20 ft over a tiny area at 54N 151W aimed southeast. On Wed AM (10/2) fetch was fading from 25+ kts falling southeast over a smaller area with 18 ft seas fading at 53N 145W aimed southeast. In the evening the gale was gone off the coast of Central Canada with seas from previous fetch fading from 15 ft at 53N 142W and north of any great circle path to the SF Bay Area.

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat AM (10/5) at 4.8 ft @ 11 secs (5.0 ft) but starting to fade in the afternoon. Residuals expected on Sun AM (10/6) fading from 4.5 ft @ 9-10 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction 319 degrees


Windswell Outlook
On Thursday (10/3) high pressure is to pulse again in the Gulf producing a modest area of 15-20 kt north winds building over North CA mid-day and building to 20+ kts over all of North and Central CA later resulting in building raw local north windswell. East fetch is to build solid pushing over Hawaii at 15-20 kts extending 1500 nmiles east of the Islands resulting in building east windswell there. On Fri (10/4) the gradient is to fall south located mainly along the Central CA coast producing north winds at 20-25 kts making for raw local windswell there. That fetch is to turn to the west making east winds at 15-20 kts pushing the while way from California over the Hawaiian Islands making east windswell there early, but that fetch is to be rapidly decaying mid-day and almost gone by nightfall. On Sat (10/5) low pressure is to start building in the Gulf with north winds at 20 kts along and off North CA producing local north windswell radiating south but with no fetch along the Central CA coast. No east fetch is forecast relative to Hawaii with no windswell production forecast. On Sun (10/6) north winds at 20 kts are forecast limited to Cape Mendocino and South Oregon with light winds from Pt Arena southward offering only minimal windswell production potential for North and Central CA. No windswell producing fetch of interest is forecast relative to Hawaii.


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


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are being tracked.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday (10/3) north winds to be 15 kts early for North and Central CA early pushing 20 kts later but near calm for Cape Mendocino. Fri (10/4) north winds to be 20-25 kts for mainly Central CA up to Pt Arena all day and 10-15 kts north of there. On Sat (10/5) north winds to be 15-20 kts for North CA but 10-15 kts for Central CA fading to 10 kts. On Sun (10/6) north winds to be 15 kts for Cape Mendocino down to Pt Arena early and light south of there and fading everywhere through the day. Mon (10/7) a weak wind pattern is forecast from the northwest at 5-10 kts holding all day but north at 20 kts for Cape Mendocino. Tues (10/8) northwest winds to be 15 kts for North CA and 10 kts for Central CA building to 20-25 kts over North CA in the afternoon. Wed (10/9) north winds to be 25-30 kts for North CA early and 30-35 kts later and 20-25 kts for Central CA. Thurs (10/10) north winds to be 25-30 kts for North CA early and 10-15 kts for Central CA.

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


South Pacific

Surface Analysis  
A gale developed under New Zealand tracking east and rebuilt over the Southeast Pacific producing small swell (see Southwest Pacific Gale below). Another small gale tracked under New Zealand but likely offering nothing legit (see Tiny New Zealand Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours starting Sat AM (10/5) a storm is to be developing under New Zealand with 45-50 kt west winds and seas building to 38 ft over a small area at 59S 162.5E. Southwest winds to lift northeast in the evening at 45 kts with seas 43 ft at 56.5S 174.5E due south of New Zealand. On Sun AM (10/6) southwest winds to be fading from 35-40 kts moving southeast of New Zealand with seas 35 ft at 53.5S 173.5W aimed well northeast. In the evening southwest winds to fade from 30+ kts with seas fading from 29 ft at 53.5S 163.5W aimed northeast. The gael is to be gone after that. Something to monitor.


Southwest Pacific Gale
A gale developed southeast of New Zealand off the northern edge of the Ross Ice Shelf on Sat AM (9/21) with 40 kt west winds and seas 28-30 ft at 61.5S 165W aimed east. Southwest winds hold in the evening at 40 kts with seas 33 ft at 61.5S 158.5W aimed east. On Sun AM (9/22) 30-35 kts southwest winds were tracking east-northeast with seas fading from 27 ft at 59S 153W aimed northeast. The gale faded from there in the evening while lifting northeast with 25 ft seas at 55S 140W aimed northeast. On Monday AM (9/23)a new fetch starting building from the old one with 40 kt southwest winds and 28 ft seas building at 53.5S 134W aimed northeast. In the evening 45 kt west winds started racing east and out of the SCal swell window with 32 ft seas over a small area at 51S 121W aimed east-northeast. Some small swell is possible to result from this system.

Southern CA: Swell fading on Thurs (10/3) from 2.3 ft @ 14 secs early (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 195 degrees

North CA: Swell fading on Thurs (10/3) from 1.9 ft @ 14-15 secs early (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 193 degrees


Tiny New Zealand Gale
A small gale developed tracking east-northeast from under New Zealand on Fri PM (9/27) with 40 kt west-southwest winds and seas building to 28 ft at 54S 177E. On Sat AM (9/28) southwest wind were building at 45 kts over a small area with 32 ft seas at 52S 169W aimed east-northeast. In the evening a small area of 40-45 kts southwest winds tracked east with 32 ft seas at 53S 158W aimed east-northeast. On Sun AM (9/29) the gale was fading while falling southeast and no longer producing meaningful seas. No real swell is expected to result.

Southern CA: Small swell is to arrive on Mon (10/7) at 1.4 ft @ 17 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell building on Tues (10/8) to 1.7 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.5 ft). Swell fading on Wed (10/9) at 2.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell fading on Thurs (10/10) from 1.6 ft @ 13 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 205 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 no swell producing weather systems are forecast.

Windswell Outlook
On Monday (10/7) no fetch or windswell of interest is forecast relative to California or Hawaii. On Tues (10/10) north winds are to be 20 kts over a small area along and off of Pt Arena to Bodega Bay likely not producing anything but the smallest and weakest of north windswell down into Central CA. For Hawaii a patch of 15-20 kt east winds is forecast 900 nmiles east of the Big Island likely not offering anything. On Wed (10/9) high pressure is to return with north winds 25-30 kts early over North CA and 20-25 kts down over Central CA building to 30-35 kts over North Ca later generating raw local north windswell. For Hawaii east fetch at 15-20 kts is to move within 300 nmiles east of the Islands late possibly starting to produce windswell approaching the Islands. On Thurs (10/10) north winds are forecast at 25-30 kts early off of North CA and 20-25 kts off Central CA generating moderate north windswell. For Hawaii east fetch is to be nearly hitting the ISlands at 20 kts possibly producing raw local east windswell at exposed east facing shores.

It sure smells of La Nina given the preponderance of high pressure and wind at this point in the seasonal cycle, or at least a solid pulse of the Inactive Phase of the MJO.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.


MJO/ENSO Forecast


Cool Sea Surface Temps in East Pacific Fading

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 (10/2) 5 day average winds were solidly from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific shrinking in coverage but still present over the Central Pacific then rebuilding from the east at modest strength over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific turning weak westerly over the Central Pacific and then weak easterly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (10/3) light to westerly anomalies were over the KWGA today. The forecast is for west anomalies to hold for a few day through 10/6 in the KWGA, then dissipating and being replaced with weak easterly anomalies through the end of the model run on 10/10. This GFS depiction is consistent with the CFS model run.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (10/2) A moderate plus strength Inactive Phase of the MJO was over the KWGA today. The statistic model indicates the Inactive Phase is to slowly fade but still moderate at day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model indicates the same thing. The 2 models are in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (10/3) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was moderately strong over East Africa and is to migrate steadily east to the Central Indian Ocean 15 days out and exceedingly weak at that time. The GEFS model suggests the Active Phase is to stall over North Africa and if anything retrograde west before moving east again and dissipating over North Africa at day 15.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (9/30) This model depicts a weak Inactive MJO was over the West Pacific today and is to slowly fade while tracking east pushing into Central America on 10/15 while a weak Active Phase starts building in the West Pacific on 10/20. It is to ease east pushing into Central America at the end of the model run on 11/9. A weak Inactive Phase is to be moving east into the West Pacific at that time.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (10/2) This model depicts the Inactive Phase strong in the Indian Ocean but with west anomalies holding on stubbornly over the KWGA today. They are to give way to east anomalies in the KWGA for a few days around 10/9, then west anomalies rebuild only to again be taken over again by east anomalies 10/12-10/23, then west anomalies return after that through the end of the model run on 10/30. In all cases these anomalies are to be weak (both east and west). during that time west anomalies are to be filling the Pacific east of the dateline, but of no use towards Kelvin Wave development and getting much weaker the last few days of the model run. Of note: Extremely strong east anomalies are filling the Indian Ocean today centered at 80E and are to remain unchanged through the end of the model run.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (10/3) This model depicts a strong Inactive MJO pattern building over and filling filling the west KWGA today with weak east anomalies filling the KWGA from the west up to 150E with weak west anomalies holding on the dateline. The forecast has the Inactive MJO signal and wind pattern holding in the KWGA through 11/8 then starting to fade with east anomalies peaking in coverage (but weak in velocity) in the KWGA on 10/11, then steadily retrograding west with weak west anomalies backfilling. A solid Active Phase is to develop 11/10 holding through 12/14 with solid west anomalies in the heart of the KWGA. A weak MJO signal is to follow through the end of the model run on 12/31 with steady west anomalies easing east to the dateline. Of note: Strong east anomalies are in the core of the Indian Ocean today at 80E and are to hold solid through 10/25 but still solidly present through the end of the model run but showing signs of tracking east to 150E at the end of the model run. The low pass filter changed on 7/25 and is holding 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 10/6 and possibly a third contour line on 11/25 while a high pressure bias builds in the Indian Ocean starting 10/19 building to 2 contours on 12/26. If this pattern holds into late Oct it would constitute an upgrade. This model indicates that a weak El Nino pattern is to maybe rebuild. That is not believable at this early date given the subsurface and surface water temperature anomaly pattern over the equatorial Pacific. But the trend is shifting in this direction.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (10/3) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs over a steady area reaching east to 179E while the 29 deg isotherm was steady at 170W today. The 28 deg isotherm line was easing east at 155W today. The 24 deg isotherm was easing east at 120W 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 Kelvin Wave #5, and on the move to the east reaching east to at least 130W today with a finger near the surface reaching east to Ecuador. And a previous strong cool pocket that has been locking down the East Pacific for 2 months is fading fast with it's core at -1 degs down 100 meters tracking east at 110W and looking to be collapsing. this is a huge positive development The hi-res GODAS animation posted 9/25 indicates warm water from Westerly Wind Burst #5 has formed a Kelvin Wave under the Dateline with cool anomalies from 130W into Ecuador drawing up from depth to the surface. No warming was present east of 130W. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (9/25) A broad area of positive anomalies were on the dateline from 155E to near 140W at +5 cms. Negative anomalies were still present between Ecuador to 125W at -5 cms but backtracking compared to day and week previous still forming a cool triangle reaching up into Central America and down to Chile suggestive of La Nina, but no longer with any real momentum pushing west, and if anything retrograding east.

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: (10/2) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate neutral to weak warm anomalies are present north of the equator from Central America west to 130W and then broader coverage west of there to the dateline. Of Note - Strong pockets of warm anomalies are building 1 degree north of the equator from Ecuador to 120W. A broad area of cool water was along the coasts of Chile up to Peru then weaker but streaming west south of the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos and out to 120W suggestive of La Nina, but weaker than days and weeks past and loosing ground while backtracking to the east. A previous pocket of warm anomalies south of the equator extending from just off Peru west to the dateline was gone. There has been a steady evaporation of El Nino in the East equatorial Pacific south of the equator with La Nina trying to develop there, but fading some the past week (since 10/1).
Hi-res 7 day Trend (10/2): Today no patches of cooler water were present and a steady strong stream of warming was on the equator between Ecuador to 140W. The trend is towards warming and not favoring cooling as was previously the trend. Regardless, the longer term trend has been towards cooling over the past 2 months. Suspect this warming trend is temporary, but we'll have to see. Today's data makes the warming pattern looking stronger and more permanent.
Hi-res Overview: (10/2) A clear La Nina cool stream that was pushing west starting with a broad bubble of cool water along Chile and Peru then tracking west off Ecuador to 140W was weaker today, no longer reaching west to 155W as was the case a week earlier. Warmer than normal water was straddling the equator from the remnants of El Nino, mainly north of the equator and all gone south of the equator. South of the equator a cool triangle was apparent from South Chile northwest to 140W then east on the equator to Ecuador. El Nino appears to be in retreat and La Nina appears to be trying to develop, but less aggressively as of late.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (10/3) Today's temps were steady today after falling hard to -1.8 degs on 9/15, up to +0.030 today and have been pretty consistently negative since June 1.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(10/3) Temps were rising some today and about neutral at +0.105 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 (10/3) The model indicates a cooling trend set up with temps dropping to -0.05 degs in early August down to -0.2 degs Sept 1. The forecast unrealistically has temps rising dramatically through Sept reaching +0.5 degs by Oct 1 (which did not occur) and then forecast to fade to neutral in early Dec. Temps to hold between neutral to +0.2 degs into Jan 1 2020 and then continuing there into March and April before falling to neutral June 1. According to this model a neutral sea surface temperature pattern is forecast.
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) (10/3): The daily index was negative today at -20.44. The 30 day average was negative at -11.99. The 90 day average was falling again to -7.68, 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): August +0.64, 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 (9/29):
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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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