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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Sunday, October 3, 2021 2:16 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
2.2 - California & 1.5 - Hawaii
Using the 'Summer' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

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

Issued for Week of Monday 10/4 thru Sun 10/10

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   

North Pacific Settles Down
Small New Zealand Swell Pushing Northeast

 

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Sunday, October 3, 2021 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt) : Seas were 3.1 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 1.3 ft @ 14.8 secs from 195 degrees. Water temp 79.5 degs (Pearl Harbor 233), NA (Lani 239), 80.1 (Barbers Pt).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.2 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 2.9 ft @ 8.6 secs from 170 degrees. Water temp 79.2 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.7 ft @ 12.0 secs with swell 1.7 ft @ 10.5 secs from 219 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northeast at 4-6 kts. Water temperature 65.3 degs, 66.0 (Topanga 103), 63.5 degs (Long Beach 215), 65.3 (Del Mar 153), 68.0 (Pt Loma 191). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 6.4 ft @ 11.7 secs from 304 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.5 ft @ 12.2 secs from 234 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.2 ft @ 17.7 secs from 206 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 3.7 ft @ 10.3 secs from 282 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 8.2 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 6.4 ft @ 9.9 secs from 307 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 2-6 kts. Water temp 57.4 (Pt Reyes 029), 58.8 (46026), 59.7 degs (SF Bar 142), and 60.4 (Santa Cruz 254).

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

Swell Classification Guidelines

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

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

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
Current Conditions
On Sunday (10/3) North and Central CA had waves at head high to 1 ft overhead and reasonably lined up but slightly warbled with fog early. Protected breaks were head high on the sets and lined up and clean with decent visibility. At Santa Cruz surf was waist to chest high and reasonably lined up and clean but soft. In Southern California/Ventura waves were chest high and somewhat lined up when they came and clean. Central Orange County had sets at waist high or so and soft but clean and weak. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at waist to chest high or so and somewhat lined up and clean and peeling but weak. North San Diego had sets waves at waist high or a little more and reasonably lined up and and clean with decent form but real soft. Hawaii's North Shore had some waist high sets at top spots and fairly clean but crumbled. The South Shore was small to flat and clean. The East Shore was getting waist high east windswell and heavily textured from modest east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Sunday (10/3) in California windswell from a low pressure system that produced 16 ft seas off the Pacific Northwest on Thurs (9/30) was still hitting exposed north facing breaks. A gale developed in the Northeastern Gulf on Fri-Sat (10/2) producing up to 33 ft seas aimed east and barely in the Northern CA swell window. But beyond that high pressure is to take over the North Pacific. A gale is forecast tracing through the Northern Gulf on Fri-Sat (10/9) with 22 ft seas aimed east but even that seems optimistic. But a gale did develop under New Zealand Fri-Sun (10/1) with 34 ft seas aimed well northeast. And a secondary gale to follow in the same general area Sun (10/3) with 30 ft seas aimed northeast. Maybe some small southern angled swell to result for HI and CA.

See all the details below...

 

SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Sunday (10/3) the jet was ridging well north tracking north of the Central Aleutians and into the Bering Sea the falling southeast some over the Northern Gulf with winds to 140 kts forming a trough and offering some limited support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to fall southeast down the immediate coast of Canada on Mon (10/4) but mostly north of the CA swell window offering nothing. Still remnants of that trough are to continue south over the coast of the Pacific Northwest into Wed (10/6) likely offering some weather for that area. But back to the west the jet is to remain displaced well north providing nothing in terms of support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours starting Thurs (10/7) the jet is to fall south some tracking off North Japan with winds 140 kts offering some weak potential then lifting gently northeast pushing north over the Eastern Aleutians and tracking east over the extreme Northern Gulf through Sat (10/9) not offering much. But by Sun (10/10) the jet is to return to a more normal position running west to east on the 45N latitude line over the width of the North Pacific with winds with winds 120 kts in pockets perhaps starting to offer some hope beyond.

Surface Analysis
On Sunday (10/30) windswell from low pressure previously in the Eastern Gulf on Wed-Thurs (9/30) was fading in North and Central CA (see Gulf Low below).

Over the next 72 hours swell from a gale previously in the Northern Gulf was radiating towards North CA (see North Gulf Gale below). Otherwise no swell producing fetch is forecast.

 

Gulf Low
On Wed (9/29) a low pressure system developed in the Eastern Gulf producing 30-35 kt west winds and 15 ft seas off Oregon. In the evening winds built in coverage at 30+ kts solid targeting Oregon up into British Columbia with seas 16 ft at 46N 138W and 15 ft over a broader area west of there. Thurs AM (9/30) 25-30 kt west winds were filling the Northern Gulf with 16-17 ft seas at 49N 139W aimed east. Sea t buoy 46005 just on the southern periphery of this low were 15-16 ft @ 11 secs at sunrise on Thurs (9/30). This system is to be gone by evening. Maybe some windswell to result propagating towards California.

North CA: Residuals on Sun (10/3) fading from 4.5 ft @ 10 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 310 degrees

 

North Gulf Gale
Another gale developed in the Northern Gulf on Thus PM (9/30) producing 45 kt west winds over a tiny area with sea building. On Fri AM (10/1) 45 kt west winds were building in coverage with seas developing from 22 ft at 47.5N 154W aimed east. In the evening west winds were 50-55 kts in the far Northeastern Gulf lifting northeast fast with 33 ft seas at 53N 143W aimed east over a small area and barely in the NCal swell window at 319 degrees. On Sat AM (10/2) the main fetch was inland over North Canada with residual west winds at 30-35 kts solid filling the Northern Gulf with 18-20 ft seas at 53N 143W and barely in the NCal swell window. Additional west fetch held in the evening at 30-35 kts in the Northwestern Gulf producing seas of 20 ft at 53N 145W still in the NCal swell window. This system dissipate by Sun AM (10/3).

North CA: Small swell is radiating southeast expected to arrive Mon AM (10/4) at 4.5 ft @ 13 secs early (5.5-6.0 ft). Swell fading through the day. Residuals on Tues AM (10/5) fading from 4.0 ft @ 11-12 secs (4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 315+ degrees

 

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical weather systems of interest are being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Mon (10/4) northwest winds are forecast at 15 kts early for Cape Mendocino but light northwest south of there and fading to light for all of North and Central CA in the afternoon. Weal low pressure is to start building off the Pacific Northwest later.
  • Tues (10/5) weak low pressure is to be building off the North CA Coast with light winds for the state all day except north winds building to 20 kts for Cape Mendocino later.
  • Wed (10/6) weak low pressure is to move into Oregon early with high pressure behind and north winds 15-20 kts for North CA early and light winds for Central CA early. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 15-20 kts for North CA and 15 kts down to Monterey. Light rain for Cape Mendocino before sunrise.
  • Thurs (10/7) northwest winds are forecast at 15-20 kts for North CA early and 15 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds to fade to 15 kts for North CA and 10 kts for Central CA. A backdoor front to possibly provide precipitation for the Sierra from Yosemite northward through the day.
  • Fri (10/8) light winds are forecast for North and Central CA all day with another low pressure system just off the coast. Light snow possibly for Tahoe southward.
  • Sat (10/9) north winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for North and Central CA early building to 15 kts solid in the afternoon. Maybe light snow for Tahoe southward early evening.
  • Sun (10/10) high pressure takes control with northwest winds 15 kts for all of North and Central CA early.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 2, 2, 3, and 2 inches respectively.

Freezing level 12,500 ft today and holding. Then the freezing level starts falling on 10/5 down to 10,000 ft dropping to 6,800 ft on 10/8 then rebounding to 12,000 ft on 10/10, only to fall again to 7,000 ft on 10/12. Winter is coming.

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Tioga Pass/Pacific Crest Trail intersection forecast: Temps - Freeze Level (more here - scroll down to 'Resort Snow Forecasts>Central CA or North CA Caltrans & Backcountry')

Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!

 

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis
On Sunday (10/3) small swell from a gale that formed under New Zealand was radiating northeast (see New Zealand Gale below) .

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

 

New Zealand Gale
A gale developed south of New Zealand on Fri AM (10/1) producing a broad area of 45 kt southwest winds with seas building to 34 ft at 58S 173.5E aimed northeast. In the evening the gale tracked east with 40-45 kts west winds and seas 34 ft at 59S 170W aimed east-northeast. On Sat AM (10/2) a secondary fetch of southwest winds built southeast of New Zealand at 40 kts lifting well northeast with seas 29 ft developing at 54S 171E aimed northeast. In the evening 35-40 kt south to southwest winds continued aimed well northeast with seas 31 ft at 50.5S 170W aimed northeast. Fetch was fading Sun AM (10/3) from 35 kts with seas 30 ft at 48.25S 168W aimed northeast. Perhaps a tertiary fetch is to redevelop over the Central South Pacific Mon PM (10/4) with 45 kt southwest winds and seas building from 30 ft over a tiny area at 57S 164W aimed northeast. On Tues AM (10/5) fetch is to be fading from 45 kts from the west with seas 32 ft at 51.5S 152.75W aimed east. The gael is to fall southeast and of no interest after that. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Fri (10/8) building to 1.4 ft @ 18 secs later (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell peaking on Sat (10/9) mid-day at 1.9 ft @ 17-18 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell continue on Sun (10/10) at 1.9 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft). Residuals on Mon (10/11) fading from 1.5 ft @ 14-15 secs early (2.0 ft). Some degree of background energy to continue into Thurs (10/14) at 1.2 ft @ 13-14 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 188 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (10/10) building to 1.3 ft @ 19 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell building Mon (10/11) to 2.2 ft @ 17-18 secs later (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell Continue on Tues (10/12) at 2.3 ft @ 16-17 secs early (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell fading some Wed (10/13) from 2.1 ft @ 15-16 sec early (3.0 ft). Swell continues Thurs (10/14) at 1.9 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell fading on Fri (10/15) from 1.8 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 ft). Swell dissipating from there. Swell Direction: 200-205 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (10/10) building to 1.1 ft @ 19 secs (2.0 ft). Swell building Mon (10/11) to 2.1 ft @ 17-18 secs later (3.5 ft). Swell Continue on Tues (10/12) at 2.1 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.5 ft). Swell fading some Wed (10/13) from 1.9 ft @ 15-16 sec early (3.0 ft). Swell continues Thurs (10/14) at 1.6 ft @ 16 secs (2.5 ft). Swell fading on Fri (10/15) from 1.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell dissipating from there. Swell Direction: 200-205 degrees

 

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

 

QuikCAST's

 

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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a gale is forecast developing over the Eastern Aleutians on Thurs PM (10/7) with 40 kt west winds with 21 ft seas over a small area at 51N 170W. On Fri AM (10/8) 35-40 kt west winds are to move to the Northern Gulf 50% obstructed by the extreme Eastern Aleutians with 22 ft seas at 54N 158.5W aimed east. Fetch is to be fading in the evening from 30-35 kts with seas fading from 21 ft at 55.5N 152W aimed east. Low odds of anything meaningful to result. Will monitor.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

La Nina Surging - Matching Last Years Strength - But Focused in Central Pacific
Summary - Cool water is building across the subsurface equatorial Pacific with no Kelvin Wave induced warm water present. The forecast does suggest weak west anomalies taking over the KWGA in later October and filling the KWGA after that. A high pressure bias is in control of the dateline but is to ease east nearly 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.

LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Fall /Winter 2021-2022 = 3.0/3.5 (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 was assumed that the moderate La Nina from the Winter of 2020/2021 was on the wane and that a return to neutral ENSO state would set up over the Pacific Basin through the summer of 2021. But La Nina is making a strong return as we move into the end of Sept much like what the CFS model suggested would happen. So at this point we are speculating that the CFS model will verify and that a full double dip La Nina pattern will take hold as we move into November with this second La Nina dip being nearly as strong as the previous one. But a quick fade is forecast as we move into late Fall (Nov) with the CFS predicting a return to a neutral wind anomaly pattern at that time and the low pressure bias making headway in to the KWGA in early Dec. Still it will take some time for the atmosphere to fully respond, resulting in a less than normal swell production forecast especially for Fall into early Winter. But by later in Jan 2022 perhaps a return to a more normal pattern might take hold. As a result a somewhat reduced number of storm days and storm intensity is expected Oct-Dec, resulting in a below normal level of swells, with swell being below normal duration and period. But by later Winter (2022), 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 (10/2) 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 weak east over the East equatorial Pacific and light east over the Central Pacific and moderate east over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, versus realtime, so they lag what is happening today (by about 2.5 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (10/3) east anomalies were moderate over the dateline to a point south of California with weak west anomalies over the western half of the KWGA. The forecast calls for east anomalies holding unchanged for the next week with weak west anomalies holding over the western half of the KWGA unchanged. This is an improvement. But east anomalies are to still be filling the Pacific east of the dateline. There's no clear sign of the Active Phase of the MJO yet . This has been an unbelievably strong and long lasting Easterly Wind Burst that started 9/8 and has no end in sight.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (10/2) A weak Active MJO signal was indicated over the KWGA today. The statistic model projects the Inactive pattern rebuilding on day 5 of the model run at moderate strength then building to strong strength and holding on days 10 and 15 of the model run. This is not believable. The dynamic model projects the weak Active Phase slowly and steadily gaining ground and strength on days 5-10 of the model run and on day 15 at moderate to strong strength filling the KWGA. The 2 models are projecting opposite outcomes. We suspect the dynamic model is closer to reality now.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (10/3) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the Maritime Continent and is forecast retrograding west over the Central Indian Ocean at weak status 15 days out. The dynamic model suggests the Active Phase pushing slowly east to the West Pacific on day 15 of the model run at weak status.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (10/2) A modest Active Phase (wet air) was indicated pushing into the West Pacific today as the Inactive Phase (dry air) was pushing east over Central America. The Active Phase (wet air) is to track east over the KWGA on 10/7 then continuing east reaching Central America on 10/29. A modest Inactive Phase (dry air) is to be moving east over the KWGA on 10/24 moving to the East Pacific on 11/11 at the end of the model run. A new weak Active Phase (wet air) is forecast moving over the KWGA at that time.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (10/2) This model depicts a Inactive MJO signal south of California today with the Active Phase building over the Maritime Continent and moderate east anomalies still in control of the KWGA over the dateline but with west anomalies over the far West KWGA. The forecast indicates east anomalies weakly dissipating with weak west anomalies trying to build over the KWGA as the Active Phase passes through the area 10/4-10/21. The the Inactive Phase is to be right behind with east anomalies building in strong again starting 10/20 holding through the end of the model run on 10/30 with the Inactive Phase proper in the KWGA starting 10/21.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (10/3 - 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 modest Active Phase of the MJO was pushing over the KWGA reaching almost to the dateline with modest east anomalies from the previous Inactive Phase of the MJO filling the the eastern 50% of the KWGA and west anomalies filling the western 50%. The forecast indicates the Active Phase is to slowly push east and filling the KWGA on 10/9 but with weak east anomalies filling the dateline region and west anomalies filling the western 50% of the KWGA. The Active Phase is to push east with west anomalies filling the KWGA starting 10/11 but exiting the KWGA on 10/27 with east anomalies again taking hold. The Inactive Phase of the MJO and east anomalies to traverse the KWGA 10/20-11/4. The Active Phase is to follow 11/5-12/6 with west anomalies in control of the KWGA. A weak MJO signal trending Inactive is to follow but with west anomalies holding 11/25 through the end of the model run on 12/31. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias (1 contour line) has developed on the dateline and is to hold while building east to 120W on 12/14 and holding. A second contour is forecast 10/24-12/15. A broad single contour low pressure bias is to develop 11/8 centered over the Maritime Continent at 100E with it's leading edge at 130E then steadily moving east into the KWGA on 12/10 and filling 50% of it at the end of the model run. Today a solid east anomaly pattern that has been in control of KWGA since early July 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 mid Nov. 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: (10/3) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was gone (again). The 28 deg isotherm line was retrograding from 175W to 180W. The 24 deg isotherm is stable at 123W. Warm water has receded west and has more or less stabilized there. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +1 deg C were steady in coverage in the far West Pacific reaching east to only 170W. All the sensors are down around 140W but ar back up at 155W. Some of the following analysis in that area is suspect. Mostly cool anomalies were in control at up to -3 degs C at 155W 150 meters down steadily rising while reaching east. No Kelvin Waves were obvious and cool water was in control at depth. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 9/25 indicates no warm water east of 170W with cool water east of there (where the sensors are inoperable) extending into Ecuador. A solid stream of cool water at -5 degs C was pushing up from 150 meters down at 140W 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: (9/25) Sea heights were falling over the entire equatorial Pacific with negative anomalies at -5 cms over the East equatorial Pacific between the Galapagos to 175E and with a peak at -20 cms near 140W with -15 cms anomalies between 120W-150W. All positive anomalies were limited from 160E and points west of there. A warm water 'horseshoe' pattern has become well developed in the West Pacific. La Nina has made a return. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram La Nina is as strong as it was last year (-2.5 degs C) in late Nov, and positioned nearly identically (135W last year versus 141W this year).

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: (10/2) The latest images depict a thin steady stream of cool water on the equator from 100W tracking west and building out between 135W to the dateline. Temps were warming from Ecuador to 115W. Cooling was building nearshore along Chile and Peru too. A homogenous area of warm water was holding from Ecuador out along the equator to 140W and up along Central America into Southern Baja. Overall this seems to indicate the return of cooling water temps in the Central Equatorial Pacific indicative of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (10/2): Warm waters were off Ecuador to 125W with cooling waters from 140W out to 180W.
Hi-res Overview: (10/2) A moderately broad stream of cooler than normal water was aligned on the equator weakly from the Galapagos to 120W then stronger out to the dateline providing most coverage and intensity from 140W to the dateline. Cooler than normal waters were also 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 Pt Conception. A cool outflow remains in place pushing from California southwest to the a point over Hawaii's Big Island but it appears to be weakening. La Nina appears to be trying to make a resurgence on the equator in the Central Pacific but fading east of there.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (10/3) Today's temps were toggling steady 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:
(10/3) Today temps appear to be stabilizing down at -0.575 after freefalling in Sept. In Aug they were between -0.175 and -0.370 (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 (10/3) - 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 today down to -1.80 later in November and holding into early 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 -1.45 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) (10/3): The daily index was solid positive at 16.11 today, after peaking at +37.86 on 7/15 and +27.75 on 9/13. The 30 day average was rising to 9.81 after rising to +10.70 on 10/21. Before that is fell 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 to +9.61 after peaking on 9/21 at 9.80 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: https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/climate-change-good-surfing-other-sports-not-so-much-ncna1017131

Mavericks & Stormsurf on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luQSYf5sKjQ

Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:
http://www.bloomberg.com/video/how-to-predict-the-best-surfing-waves-EsNiR~0xR5yXGOlOq2MqfA.html
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/surfs-up-for-mavericks-invitational-in-calif/

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

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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