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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Wednesday, October 4, 2023 1:00 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 & 2.5 - Hawaii
Using the 'Winter' 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 10/2 thru Sun 10/8
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 Swell Hitting Hawaii
Long Term Pattern Showing Promise

BUOY ROUNDUP
Wednesday, October 4, 2023 :

  • Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt)/Buoy 239 (Lani): Seas were 3.7 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 2.6 ft @ 14.4 secs from 309 degrees. Water temp 80.4 degs (Barbers Pt), 79.9 (Pearl Harbor 233), 81.1 (Lani 239).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea)/Buoy 202 (Hanalei): Seas were 4.6 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 3.8 ft @ 14.6 secs from 309 degrees. Water temp 79.9 degs
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.4 ft @ 12.0 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 12.5 secs from 179 degrees. Wind northeast at 4 kts. Water temperature 64.9 degs, 64.9 (Topanga 103), 65.5 degs (Long Beach 215), 67.6 (Oceanside Offshore 045), 67.3 (Del Mar 153), 69.4 (Torrey Pines Outer 100). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 5.0 ft @ 13.3 secs from 294 degrees. At E. Santa Barbara (46053) swell was 1.6 ft @ 13.9 secs from 247 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.7 ft @ 12.1 secs from 189 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.5 ft @ 13.3 secs from 201 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.7 ft @ 14.8 secs from 271 degrees. Water temperature was 66.2 degrees (Imperial Beach).
  • Buoy 029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 7.9 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 4.3 ft @ 12.5 secs from 296 degrees. Wind northeast at 4 kts (46026). Water temp NA (Bodega Bay 46013), 55.8 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 58.6 (San Francisco 46026), 60.1 (SF Bar 142) and 58.3 (Monterey Bay 46042).

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 (10/1) in North and Central CA waves were head high to 1 ft overhead on the sets and lined up and clean but with some intermixed warble and mostly soft. Protected breaks were chest to shoulder high and clean but pretty closed out on the sets. At Santa Cruz surf was chest to shoulder high on the sets and clean and lined up with good form but a bit on the soft side. In Southern California/Ventura waves were chest high and clean and lined up with good form but soft. Central Orange County had sets at waist to chest high and lined up with decent form and clean but soft. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at waist to chest high and lined up and clean with decent form but weak. North San Diego had sets at waist high and weakly lined up and soft but clean. Oahu's North Shore was getting swell with waves head high and clean and lined up with decent form but a little soft. The South Shore had sets at thigh high and lined up and clean with decent form but soft. The East Shore was near flat clean with calm trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Wednesday (10/4) swell was hitting California from a gale that previously developed over the Dateline tracking to the Northwestern Gulf Thurs-Sun (10/1) producing up to 35 ft seas aimed east. Another gale developed 1,200 nmiles north of Hawaii Sun-Tues (10/3) not moving east much producing up to 23 ft seas aimed south and southeast. A low pressure system is forecast traversing the North Pacific Fri-Sun (10/8) producing 18 ft seas while making the journey, then building off British Columbia Sun evening (10/8) producing a short lived fetch and seas to 26 ft. Another gale is to develop north of Hawaii tracking east on Wed (8/11) producing 21 ft seas aimed east. And another is to be right behind that. It sure seems the North Pacific is trying to wake up.

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 Wednesday (10/4) the jet was consolidated tracking east on the 42N latitude line from Japan to the Gulf with winds about 120 kts with one pocket to 170 kts over the dateline starting to form a trough in the Western Gulf. The jet was ridging east of there pushing up into North Canada. Over the next 72 hours the jet is to get more organized with 150-160 kts winds blowing steadily in one consolidated stream from Japan to the Central Gulf on Fri (10/6) starting to dig out a trough offering support for gale development then pushing into British Columbia late Sat (10/7) offering limited support for gale development due to the trough fast eastward pace. Beyond 72 hours another trough is to form in the existing flow (still blowing at 120-150 kts from Japan to British Columbia) late Sun (10/8) off the Pacific Northwest offering support for gale development into Tues (10/10). And then late Tues (10/10) yet another trough is to start building over the Western Gulf in the still existing jetstream flow being fed by 160 kts winds offering great support for gale development into Wed (10/11). For the first time in a long time the jet is having a good look to it.

Surface Analysis
On Wednesday (10/4) swell was hitting California from a gale that previously traversed the Northwestern Gulf (see Northwestern Gulf Gale below). And swell was starting to hit Hawaii from a gale that previously developed north of the Islands.

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast. But the fundamentals are to be building.

 

Northwestern Gulf Gale
A small gale developed over the dateline Thurs AM (9/28) producing 35-40 kt northwest winds over a small are with seas building. In the afternoon northwest winds built to 50+ kts while the gale lifted east-northeast with seas building from 29 ft at 42.5N 178.5E aimed east. On Fri AM (9/29) the gale was over the far Northwestern Gulf producing west winds at 50 kts and seas 35 ft over a small area at 45N 173.5W aimed east. In the afternoon west winds were fading from 40 kts while the gale lifted east-northeast with seas 34 ft at 48.25N 170W aimed east. The gale continued tracking east-northeast on Sat AM (9/30) a bit south of the Eastern Aleutians with 40 kt west winds and seas 32 ft at 50.5N 163.75W aimed east. Fetch was fading in the evening from 30-35 kts in the Northern Gulf with seas 28 ft at 53.5N 158W aimed east. The gale is to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.

Oahu: For planning purposes small sideband swell is forecast arriving late Sun (10/1) building to 1.4 ft @ 16 secs (2.0-2.5 ft) late. Swell peaking late on Mon morning (10/2) at 2.6 ft @ 13 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Residuals fading on Tues (10/3) from 2.0 ft @ 11 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 325 degrees

North CA: Swell fading Wed AM (10/4) from 2.8 ft @ 13 secs (3.5 ft) and fading steadily. Swell gone beyond. Swell Direction: 296-306 degrees (shadowed in the SF Bay Area)

 

Hawaiian Gale
A gale developed 1,200 nmiles north-northwest of Hawaii on Sun PM (10/1) producing 35 kt north and west winds with seas building from 19 ft at 41N 172W aimed southeast. On Mon AM (10/2) fetch was building to near 45 kts from the north over a tiny area with seas 23 ft at 42N 166W aimed southeast. In the evening fetch held stationary at 40 kts from the north with 23 ft seas at 44N 165W aimed well at Hawaii and somewhat at the US West Coast. On Tues AM (10/3) fetch held mostly stationary with north winds 40 kts and seas 23 ft at 44.5N 165W aimed mostly south. Residual fetch was fading in the evening from 30-35 kts with seas barely 20 ft at 41N 163W aimed south. The gale dissipated from there. Possible small swell for Hawaii and the US West Coast.

Oahu: Expect swell arriving on Wed (10/4) building to 3.5 ft @ 13 secs later (4.5 ft). Swell to build on Thurs (10/5) to 4.5 ft @ 11-12 secs (5.0-5.5 ft). Swell fading on Fri (10/6) from 4.2 ft @ 12-13 secs (5.0 ft). Swell fading out on Sat (10/7) from 3.1 ft @ 11 secs early (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 335 turning to 345 degrees

North CA: Minimal swell expected arriving Fri (10/6) building to 1.6 ft @ 12 secs late (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell fading out from there. Swell Direction: 288 degs

 

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest were being tracked or forecast.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Thurs AM (10/6) a light wind flow is forecast for all of California early but north winds are forecast at 30 kts off Cape Mendocino. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 5-10 kts with the Cape Mendocino fetch dissipating. No windswell forecast.
  • Fri AM (10/7) a weak northwest flow is forecast at 5 kts for North and Central CA early. Northwest winds building to maybe 10 kts in the afternoon. No windswell forecast.
  • Sat AM (10/8) a weak northwest flow is forecast at 5-10 kts for North and Central CA early. Northwest winds building to maybe 10 kts in the afternoon. No windswell forecast.
  • Sun AM (10/9) a weak northwest flow is forecast at 5-10 kts for North and Central CA early. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 10 kts for North CA and 15 kts for Central CA. No windswell forecast.
  • Mon AM (10/10) northwest winds to be 10 kts for North CA and 15 kts from Big Sur southward early. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 5-10 kts for North CA and 15 kts for Central CA. No windswell is forecast.
  • Tues AM (10/11) northwest winds to be 5-10 kts for North CA early and 15 kts from Big Sur southward. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 10 kts for North CA and 10-15 kts for Central CA. Light rain is forecast for Cape Mendocino early and slowly fading through the day and not making it south of Pt Arena.
  • Wed AM (10/12) northwest winds to be building at 15-20 kts for North and Central CA early.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth are projected at 0, 0, 0, and 0 inches respectively.

Temperatures for the Pacific Crest Trail and Tioga Pass Road intersection (8,700 ft): No update due to model issues.

- - -

Tioga Pass/Pacific Crest Trail intersection forecast: Temps - Freeze Level
More locations 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).

 

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis
On Wed (10/4) no swell of interest was in the water locally and no swell was tracking north from the South Pacific.

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

 

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 steam of weather is to be pushing across the North Pacific starting Fri PM (10/6) with 30 kts west winds and a building wall of 16 ft seas pushing east from the dateline. On Sat AM (10/7) a low pressure system is to be developing in the Gulf with 30+ kts west winds and seas 18 ft over a tiny area at 44N 168W aimed east. In the evening 30 kt west winds to continue in the Central Gulf with seas 18 ft at 43N 159W aimed east. the gael is to finally start organizing Sun AM (10/8) off British Columbia with 30-35 kts northwest winds and seas trying to organize. In the evening 30-35 kts north west winds to persist just off Central Canada with 25 ft seas at 52n 138W aimed east but east of the North CA swell window (327 degs). No meaningful swell to result But this system hints at what could be possible as El Nino starts breaking down 3 years of La Nina induced high pressure. This is a primer.

On Wed AM (10/11) a gale is forecast developing in the Central Gulf producing 35 kts northwest winds and seas building from 19 ft at 44N 165W building to 21 ft 6 hours later.

And another gale is to be right behind west of the dateline at the same time with 40 kts west winds and seas building from 22 ft at 43N 170E aimed east.

And theoretically tropical low pressure is to be building off the Philippines lifting north offer potential beyond. An interesting early season pattern is setting up.

 

South Pacific

Starting Mon AM (10/9) a gale is forecast tracking northeast under New Zealand producing 27 ft seas aimed northeast lasting 24 hours. Low odds of this actually occurring.

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

El Nino Steadily Building
Kelvin Waves #3, #4 and #5 Erupting - NINO3.4 SSTs well in El Nino Territory and Slowly Rising
1 Kelvin Wave traversed the Pacific in Dec '22 with a 2nd in Jan-Feb and a 3rd and 4th in March-April and a 5th in May. But after the last Active MJO in mid-to-late May, the MJO stalled. Finally restarting in later July thanks so a renewed push of the Active Phase of the MJO. Sea Surface Temperatures in the east are very warm and holding, and slightly expanding. And another Kelvin Wave developed and is pushing east to backfill waters off Ecuador and to help push the atmosphere towards El Nino. And the atmospheric signal is finally starting to build in the SOI, OLR. ocean current, and wind anomalies.

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. That pattern continued until late Fall 2022 when trades started fading and by early 2023 multiple Kelvin Waves were in flight with significant warming developing over the East Equatorial Pacific. La Nina was dead on 3/18/2023 with El Nino apparently developing. But it was not coupled with the atmosphere as of 7/20/2023.

LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Summer 2023 = 3.7 (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: A 3 year La Nina started fading in Jan 2023 and was gone by April. 3 Active MJO's produced 3 Kelvin Waves with the 3rd in that series poised to start erupting off Ecuador now (May 2023). The CFS model is predicting steady west anomalies from here forward and the leading edge of the low pressure bias on the dateline and forecast to nearly fill the Pacific during June. We are in a state of transition from ENSO neutral to El Nino during the summer of 2023. As a result we will be moving from a period of reduced number of storm days and storm intensity during the early part of Summer towards a period of enhanced storm production starting Late July and beyond, getting fairly intense come Fall. This should result in a slightly below normal level of swells, with swells being below normal duration and period over early Summer. But by late July 2023, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start improving as El Nino starts getting a solid footprint on the atmosphere. The net result is we're currently thinking a near normal number of swells with normal size and duration is to result, but all focused sometime after late July 2023. The swell pattern will be normal to somewhat below normal before July and above normal after July 23. And By Sept, the El Nino footprint should be solid. Of course this is all highly speculative at this early and based mostly on the CFS model and it's projection of a building ENSO footprint getting solid by Sept.

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 (10/3) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the East equatorial Pacific and moderate east over the Central Pacific and weak west over the KWGA. Anomalies were mixed moderate west and east over the East equatorial Pacific and neutral over the Central Pacific and modest plus west over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, versus realtime, so they lag what is happening today (by about 2.5 days).
2 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (10/4) Modest west anomalies were filling the KWGA today. The forecast indicates west anomalies building to moderate strength filling the KWGA 10/5-10/11. Then a weak pocket of east anomalies is to build over the dateline 10/7-10/13 then moving east of the KWGA with west anomalies holding over the West KWGA and rebuilding mostly filling the KWGA 10/12 through the end of the model run on 10/20.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (10/3) A neutral MJO was over the KWGA. The statistic model indicates a weak Inactive MJO developing on day 5 weakly building some on day 10 then retreating on day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model depicts then same thing but the Inactive Phase building a little stronger.
Phase Diagrams - 2 week forecast (CA and GEFS): (10/4) The statistical model depicts the Active signal was weak over the Western Pacific. The forecast indicates it is to migrate to Africa 15 days out and still very weak. The dynamic model indicates the Active signal tracking east and into the Atlantic at weak status 2 weeks out.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (10/4) A weak Active (wet) pattern was over the West Pacific today. The forecast has the Active Phase (wet air) dissipating on 10/9 with a moderate Inactive signal (dry air) moving over the KWGA 10/14 building some while filling the KWGA through 10/29 then moving east of the KWGA 11/3 with the Active Phase starting to build in from the west and almost filling the KWGA the last day of the model run (11/13).
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (10/3)
Today a neutral MJO was over the KWGA but with modest to moderate west anomalies filling the KWGA. West anomalies are to build to moderate status 10/4 and holding, then to strong status 10/18 and building from there through the end of the model run on 10/31. A strong Active MJO signal is forecast starting 10/25. Of note: Moderate east anomalies started building over the Indian Ocean on 9/2 and are near strong status today and forecast building through the end of the model run. That coupled with building west anomalies in the West Pacific suggest massively falling air occurring somewhere near 90E (East Indian Ocean). This could be the falling branch of the Walker Circulation. The Indian Ocean Dipole is currently strong positive and building (the falling branch of the Walker Circulation). We're at the precipice of the start of a real El Nino pattern according to this model.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind):
(10/1) - using the 5th ensemble member - the mean of the 4 individual members which are all from the 00Z run - 1 run per day):
Today the Active Phase was building in from the west filling 60% of the KWGA with weak west anomalies in control. The Active Phase is to build filling the KWGA 10/15 through 11/19 with strong west anomalies developing on 10/23 building in strength and coverage inundating the KWGA through 11/13, the weakening but still moderate through the end of the model run on 1/1 even as a solid Inactive Phase develops 11/7 in the far west KWGA filling it through the end of the model run. Also note that east anomalies started building at 70E (West Indian Ocean) on 9/7 and are forecast building through 11/25, then moderating some. This strong east and west anomaly pattern looks very much like falling air centered over the East Indian Ocean (110E) and the the downward branch of the Walker Circulation/+IOD. Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR) suggests cloud activity took over the KWGA weakly on 6/24 and started building in earnest June 25 and then more solid starting Sept 15 and is continuing to build today. It is forecast building strongly from here forward but especially starting 10/12. Conversely clear skies started building over the Maritime Continent in mid-May and have continued solidifying today and are forecast building from here forward especially starting 10/10. This also suggest a fall and rising air pattern associated with the change in the Walker Circulation. The low pass filter indicates a broad low pressure bias is established over the KWGA centered at 180W with 3 contour lines (starting 7/14) and it's leading edge well east of the dateline at 120W (over California) today (it started pushing east on 2/15). The primarily contours leading edge is to slowly ease east to 110W (well past California) by 11/30 with it's center holding on the dateline and a 4th contour line developing Nov 8 and a 5th on 12/21. The high pressure bias has dissolved and is no longer in the Pacific but started to build over the Maritime Continent on 10/2. 7/18 was the start of a major positive change in the development of El Nino with a advent of the Active Phase of the MJO and west anomalies and that momentum is growing stronger each passing day. It appears a strong El Nino is finally starting to develop in a classical sense.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (10/4) Today in the far West Pacific the leading edge of the 30 deg isotherm was backtracking some at 172W (previously 169W). The 29 degree isotherm was backtracking at 159W (previously 155W). The 28 deg isotherm line was backtracking at 146W (previously 140W). The 24 degree isotherm extended the whole way across the Pacific and was dropping to 39m (25m 4 days earlier and at one point down to 65m) in the far East. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies at +2 deg C started in the far West Pacific at 175E associated with newly developing Kelvin Wave #6 centered at 170W pushing east in a continuous stream feeding into a broad pocket of +3-5 degs anomalies over the East Pacific starting at 141W (152W on 9/11). +4-5 degree anomalies were building in coverage starting at 126W (previously 143W). The warm pool in the east is discharging to the surface while being backfilled by more warm water/Kelvin Wave #6. There's about 3 months of warm water backed up off the Ecuadorian Coast (previously 2 months) today with a stream of warm water backfilling into it. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 9/30 indicates a large very warm stream of +1-2 degs anomalies extending west to east starting at 170E and over a large section of the subsurface equatorial Pacific and building while tracking east with 2 deg anomalies from 127W and points east of there and +4-5 degs anomalies from 121W and points east of there erupting into Ecuador. A steady stream of +1-2 degree anomalies were falling off the Maritime Continent merging with the preexisting warm stream. In other words, this image suggests a steady flow of warm water flowing east from the Maritime Continent suggesting another Kelvin Wave is developing. No cool anomalies were indicated. El Nino is developing. The GODAS animation is 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately depicted since its satellite based.
Sea Level Anomalies: (9/30) Sea heights were positive across the equatorial Pacific starting at 165E at +0-5 cms extending east into Ecuador. +5 cm anomalies were in the east from 150W east into Ecuador with 2 pockets of +10 cm anomalies imbedded to the south. Positive anomalies extending north into Central America up to the southern tip of Baja and south to Chile. This means no cool water was at depth. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram (9/25) warm water continues at +1.00-1.50 degs over the East Pacific from 145W to 95W and shrinking in coverage while migrating east. A pocket of near neutral to slightly negative anomalies was between 140-160E and unchanged in coverage. The warm water flow had backed off some with nothing to force more warm water east (i.e. no Active MJOs occurring) in July. But a new Kelvin Wave is now in flight. Otherwise there's been no change since mid March, a steady flow of warm water pushing 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 Qualitative Analysis: (10/3) The latest images depict a strong warm signal along the coasts of Peru and Ecuador out to 115W and unchanged being buffeted by east anomalies. A moderate warm signal continued west on the equator out to 130W (previously 155W). The warm pool is no longer growing westward. Lesser heat extended west to the dateline and beyond. Heat also extends north up to Central Baja and south down into Patagonia. There is a very clear El Nino signal with the classic El Nino triangle in-place but nowhere as strong as months past. The last remnants of La Nina are gone on the equator but remnants are still evident in a fading cool pool from a point well off Southern Baja from 130W west to a point south of Hawaii at 175W. The Cool Pool is slowly collapsing. La Nina is all but gone now atmospherically over the Pacific.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (10/3): 3 small pockets of weakly cooling waters were aligned on the equator from the Galapagos west to 105W. Otherwise mostly neutral temps prevailed. No energy is being added nor removed from the warm surface pool. A warming trend had been well entrenched over the East Pacific since Nov 1 2022 with no cooling waters over the equatorial East Pacific since 12/15.
Hi-res Overview: (10/3) Warmer than normal waters are filling the East Pacific off Chile, Peru, Ecuador and north up to Mexico with strong warming in many pockets along the immediate cost of Peru and Ecuador out to 110W and building. And the classic El Nino tongue of more intense warming is building considerably over the equator west to the dateline and beyond. Everything is now looking like El Nino. And the La NIna enhanced cool pool off California is fading and drifting west, while weakening.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (10/4) (The official OISST temp record runs about +0.2 degrees higher). Today's temps appear to be fading now down to +1.657 (previously +2.10 - 9/17) and have been falling since being up to +3.073 (8/31) after rising to +3.164 (8/18) after being up to +2.925 on 8/10 after rising at +3.074 degs (8/7) after being up to +3.391 (on 7/20) and had been rising from +2.906 (starting 7/3) rising from +2.451 after peaking at +2.7926 on 6/13 and have been up in the +2.0 to +3.0 degs range since 4/1 having previously peaked at +2.891 (4/13). Previously temps reached +2.302 degrees on 4/6, +1.732 degs (3/22), up from +0.462 since 2/28. Temps had reached as high as +1.076 on 2/19 and were previously steady at +0.848 since 2/7. Previously they started steadily rising 11/13 when they were around -1.5 degs C.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(10/4) (OISST runs about +0.2 degrees higher). Today temps were steady at +1.085 after bottoming out at +1.082 (9/29) after rising to +1.260 on 9/9. Weekly OISST were at +1.5 after being up to +1.7 degs the week before and +1.6 degs 3 weeks in a row prior (starting 8/30) putting us in minimal strong El Nino status. Temps first time above +1.0 degs was on 8/7 after being up to +0.967 (8/1) up from +0.873 degs (7/25) after peaking at +0.985 (7/18). Previously temps were rising slightly at +0.882 (7/9) after being steady at +0.794 4-5 days and that after being steady at +0.895 (3 days near 6/25) after being in the +0.712 range the previous 9 days after previously rising to +0.975 on 6/9. We are now 31 days into a trend of being above the El Nino threshold (for the 2nd time). Temps reached the El Nino threshold for the first time on 5/17 at +0.507 then quickly fell over the next 10 days down to +0.378 (5/26). Previous peaks of +0.318 on 4/30 besting the previous peak at +0.199 on 4/21. Temps have been steadily increasing hitting 0.0 on 4/12 and were then more or less steady the previous 4 weeks. Temps previously rose to -0.402 on 2/23. Temps rose above the La Nina threshold (-0.5 degs) on 2/22 and had been rising slowly since 2/12 when they were about -1.0 degs C. They had been in the -1.0 deg range since at least Nov 2022.

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 Data (Nino3.4 Region)
Previous - Temps bottomed out at at -1.25 degs in early Nov 2020, up to -0.01 degs in mid-June 2021 then fading to -1.05 degs in mid-Nov then rebuilding to -0.7 in mid Feb 2022 then fading to -1.1 degs in May before starting an upward climb peaking in mid-June at -0.65 degs and mid July at -0.55 degs. A steady decline set in after that falling to -1.00 degs in Aug and Sept rising to -0.8 degs mid Oct then falling to -1.0 in Nov but then slowly rising to -0.75 degs in Jan 2023 and up to -0.5 degs (above the La Nina threshold) on 2/12. Temps rose to +0.50 degs mid-May and were at +0.9 degs in mid-June, and +1.05 mid July reaching +1.30 degs early Aug and peaked at +1.6 degs in Sept.
Forecast (10/4) - Temps are to fade to +1.30 degs into mid-Oct then rising fast to +1.75 degs in Dec (down from +1.85 degs) and solidly in strong El Nino territory before starting a slow fade thereafter. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps are forecast falling to +1.10 degs in mid-Oct, then rising to +1.50 degs in Dec. According to this version of the model we are building into solid medium or low level strong El Nino. But max temps are down from previous runs months ago but now appear to have stabilized.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Sept 20, 2023 Plume (all models) depicts temps are +1.671 degs today and it's the 6th month above the La Nina threshold. Temps to rise steadily from here forward up to +1.838 degrees in November then fading from there. The dynamic model suggest temps peaking at +2.073 in Nov while the statistic models show +1.410 degrees. The dynamic models are running much hotter than the statistic models. The CFS model is on the low end of the dynamic model range.
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 - all but the Daily Index was a lagging indicator):
Today (10/4) the Daily Index was negative rising to -0.78 and has been negative for 45 days (starting 9/16). It was positive the previous 7 days, then negative the previous 29 days (7/14-8/11) with a peak down to -37.30 on 7/25.The SOI has effectively been negative since 7/12. It was positive the previous 21 days then was negative 11 days prior and positive 5 days previous then negative for 27 days previous ending 6/6 with a peak down to -29.32 on 5/31, -64.63 on 5/24 and -31.31 on 5/12. Previously readings were toggling between +10 and -10 for 13 days, but negative the 15 days previous to that, positive the 6 days prior to that after being mostly negative 25 days before that. It fell to -19.40 on 4/2. -17.44 on 2/22, the beginning of a change from which no return seemed likely. It was up to +21.85 on 2/10 and +55.74 on 12/22 and were in the +20 range the previous 22 days.
The 30 day average was rising at -12.21 after falling to -15.70 on 9/23. It fell below the neutral point on 7/26. It rose above positive 7/3-7/25. It previously fell to -19.64 on 6/5 had been falling to -4.13 on 4/4 (lagging indicator driven by the Active Phase of the MJO) after falling to -0.52 on 3/22 previously falling to +4.18 on 11/27 and peaking at +21.57 (10/16) after supposedly peaking at +19.66 on 9/28. It was down to +6.89 on 7/29. It peaked at +20.34 (5/12) the highest in a year and beating last years high of +19.51 (1/14).
The 90 day average was falling some at -10.51 and turned negative the first time in years on 5/12. Recent max lows were -8.90 on 8/8 and -7.57 on 6/6. It previously peaked at +14.63 on 2/20, +15.61 on 10/25 and +12.92 on 8/11 and that after peaking at +18.40 (7/2) beating it's previous peak of +16.86 (5/31), the highest in a year. It previously peaked at +9.80 (9/21) after falling to it's lowest point in a year at +1.06 (6/9). The 90 day average peaked at +15.75 (2/23/21 - clearly indicative of La Nina then). This index is a lagging indicator but suggests that the Active Phase occurring now is starting to drive the index down, hopefully with no upward trend in sight for at least a year.

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 ever 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) and then fell to -3.16 in Oct 2021 (the lowest since July 1933) then settled at -2.72 in Nov and Dec 2021. Looking at the long term record, it seems likely we are still in the Cool Phase of the PDO (La Nina 'like') with no signs of moving to the positive/warm phase (El Nino 'like').

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 


Powerlines Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest
Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for this week. See it Here
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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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