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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Sunday, October 6, 2019 12:34 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
1.5 - California & 3.0 - Hawaii
Using the 'Summer' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

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

Issued for Week of Monday 10/7 thru Sun 10/13

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   

Gulf Windswell Targets Hawaii
Small New Zealand Swell tracking Northeast

On Sunday, October 6, 2019 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai) Seas were 2.4 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 1.6 ft @ 12.6 secs from 194 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.7 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 2.7 ft @ 9.6 secs from 296 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.4 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 1.4 ft @ 13.7 secs from 207 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north at 2 kts. Water temperature 68.4 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.0 ft @ 9.6 secs from 301 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.0 ft @ 13.4 secs from 202 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.6 ft @ 13.6 secs from 195 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.6 ft @ 13.3 secs from 210 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.1 ft @ 7.7 secs with swell 3.6 ft @ 7.9 secs from 310 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was north at 2-4 kts. Water temp 54.0 degs (013) and 58.6 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 Sunday (10/6) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing waves at waist high and mushy and weak but clean. Protected breaks were thigh to waist high and clean but soft and somewhat rideable when they came. At Santa Cruz bare minimal small southern hemi swell was producing waves at sometimes thigh to waist high and clean but soft and weak. In Southern California/Ventura local windswell was producing set waves at thigh high and real clean but weak. In North Orange Co waves were thigh to waist high on the sets and lined up and clean coming weakly from the south. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks had waves at chest high and sometimes bigger and clean with light offshore's and lined up but inconsistent. 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 getting east windswell with waves waist high and pretty clean with light northeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Sunday (10/6) in California and Hawaii no swell of interest was hitting either location. But for Hawaii a cutoff low produced a steady stream of 17-18 ft seas targeting the Islands well Hawaii Thurs-Sat (10/5) with small windswell radiating south and expected to arrive this afternoon. And down south a small gale developed under New Zealand lifting northeast Sat-Sun (10/6) with up to 37 ft seas over a small area. Small swell is radiating northeast. And maybe one more even weaker gale is forecast for the South Central Pacific on Sat 910/12). The transition from Summer towards Fall is not being particularly productive, likely due to the Inactive Phase of the MJO. but once that clears out, perhaps better things are to come.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Sunday (10/6) the jetstream was consolidated in the west but ridging hard north up along the coast of the Kuril Islands into the Bering Sea then turning east with winds 130 kts eventually tracking though the extreme northerly Gulf of Alaska and into Canada. No troughs were present offering no support for gale development. The remnants of a previous cutoff trough were pinched and fading just northeast of Hawaii offering nothing of interest either. Over the next 72 hours more of the same is expected but with a new semi cutoff upper low trying to develop north-west of Hawaii late Wed (10/9) and stealing a little wind energy from the main portion of the jet still traversing the Bering Sea. No support for gale development is indicted. Beyond 72 hours the cut off trough is to dissipate quickly on Fri AM (10/11). By Sat (10/12) a pocket of wind energy is to build over the Kuril Islands to 200 kts pushing east only over the Aleutians to the dateline offering nothing. Again the leading edge of that winds pocket is to get tapped by a new upper level trough on the dateline but just as quickly fading offering no support for gale development. The wind pocket is to ease east into Sunday (10/13) but remaining encased in the Bering Sea offering no support for gale development. The Inactive Phase of the MJO is certainly shunting the jet north.

Surface Analysis
on Sunday (10/6) no swell of interest was hitting hawaii or California.

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast. But swell from a cutoff low previously north of Hawaii has produced windswell that is radiating south towards the Islands (see Cutoff Low below).


Cutoff Low - Hawaii
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 17 ft over a small area aimed south at 45N 170W. In the evening north winds continued at 30 kts with seas 18 ft at 43.5N 165W targeting Hawaii over a tiny area. Fetch faded Fri AM (10/4) dropping to 25 kts from the north with 16 ft seas at 41N 161W targeting Hawaii. In the evening fetch rebuilt from the northeast as the low pressure system moved into the Central Gulf with northeast winds building to 30 kts targeting Hawaii well with 17 ft seas at 43.5N 157W aimed south-southwest. On Sat AM (10/5) northeast winds held at 25-30 kts with seas 17 ft at 41N 155.5W aimed southwest at Hawaii. The gale faded fast from there while falling south at Hawaii. Possible small north swell to result for Hawaii.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival Sun afternoon (10/6) with swell building to 3.4 ft @ 11-12 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell building through the day Mon (10/7) pushing 4.6 ft @ 11-12 secs in the afternoon (5.0 ft). Swell fading on Tues (10/8) from 3.9 ft @ 10-11 secs (4.0 ft). Dribbles fading Wed AM (10/9) from 2.4 ft @ 9-10 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 340 turning to 360 degrees


Windswell Outlook
On Sunday (10/6) north winds are forecast at 20 kts 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. 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 20-25 kts over a small area along and off of Pt Arena early but building in coverage and strength to 25-30 kts over a good portion of North Ca later afternoon and 20 kts off Central CA offering improved potential for windswell development. No fetch of interest is forecast relative to Hawaii. On Wed (10/9) high pressure is to return with north winds 25-35 kts early over all of North CA and 20-25 kts down over Central CA and the strongest winds building in coverage at 30-35 kts over North Ca later generating raw local north windswell. For Hawaii east fetch at 15 kts is to starting building up to 600 nmiles east of the Islands late possibly starting to produce minimal windswell approaching the Islands.


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


Tropical Update
Tropical Storm Hagibis was developing in the tropical West Pacific with winds 50 kts tracking east. Slow steady strengthening is forecast over the next 5 days with a turn to the northwest expected putting Hagibis 450 nmiles south of Southern Japan on Fri (10/11) with winds 130 kts (150 mph). the GFS model depicts a direct hit on the Tokyo area late on Sat (10/12) while the system is turning from a head of north to northeast. Remnants of Hagibis to track up the Kuril Islands. Low to no odds of swell production resulting relative to our forecast area.

California Nearshore Forecast
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 20-25 kts for North CA early and 10 kts for Central CA building to 25-30 kts over North CA in the afternoon. Wed (10/9) north winds to be 30-35 kts for all of North CA early and 25 kts for Central CA holding all day. Thurs (10/10) north winds to be 20-25 kts for North CA early and 10 kts for Central CA fading to 15 kts for North CA later and 10 kts or less from Bodega Bay southward. Fri (10/11) a light northwest flow is forecast for all of CA all day. No change on Sat or Sun (10/13)

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


South Pacific

Surface Analysis  
A small gale tracked under New Zealand producing only tiny swell targeting Southern CA (see Tiny New Zealand Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast. Perhaps a tiny cutoff low is to form south of Tahiti on Mon (10/7) building in the evening while producing a decent sized area of 27 ft seas aimed north at 44S 150W. Fetch and seas to be fading Tues AM (10/8) from 25 ft at 44S 147.5W aimed north. Something to monitor.


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


Another Small New Zealand Gale
On Saturday AM (10/5) a tiny storm developed under New Zealand with 45-50 kt west winds and seas building to 36 ft over a small area at 58S 164.5E from 213 degrees for California and unshadowed by Tahiti. Southwest winds lifted northeast in the evening at 40 kts with seas 33 ft at 54S 178.5E 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 28 ft at 56S 169W aimed well northeast. In the evening fetch is to be gone with seas fading from 25 ft at 55S 160W aimed east. Small swell is possible for Hawaii and California.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Sat (10/12) building to 1.3 ft @ 18 secs later (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell building through the day Sun (10/13) 1.6 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 195 degrees

California: Expect swell arrival on Mon PM (10/14) with period 19 secs and size tiny building and semi-rideable by Tues AM (10/15) as period turns to 18 secs. Swell Direction: 213 degrees


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




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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.

Windswell Outlook
On Thurs (10/10) north winds are forecast at 25-30 kts early off of North CA and 20 kts well off Central CA generating moderate north windswell but that fetch and windswell steadily fading through the day. For Hawaii east fetch is to be building from California pushing over the Islands later at 15 kts and up to 20 kts over Hawaii possibly producing raw local east windswell at exposed east facing shores. On Fri (10/11) no fetch or windswell production potential is forecast relative to California. Easterly fetch at 15 kts to continue solid up to 1200 nmiles east of Hawaii and at 20 kts over the Islands resulting in solid east windswell. On Saturday (10/12) no fetch greater than 10 kts is forecast near California offering no windswell production potential. East fetch is to hold at 15 kts up to 900 nmiles east of Hawaii and 20 kts over the Islands resulting in more east windswell. On Sunday (10/13) no change is forecast for California. For Hawaii east fetch is to be fading in density up to 500 nmiles east of the Islands still producing east windswell.

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 a gale is to develop just north of the Ross Ice Shelf on Fri PM (10/11) producing 35-40 kts west winds and seas building to 28 ft at 58.5S 170.5W aimed east. On Sat AM (10/12) southwest winds to build to 40-45 kts aimed almost north with seas building to 30 ft over a moderate sized area at 55S 158.5W aimed northeast. Fetch to continue at 35-40 kts in the evening aimed northeast with 31 ft seas at 59S 149.5W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (10/13) southwest fetch to fade to 30-35 kts with seas fading from 29 ft at 55S 140W aimed north east. Something to monitor.


MJO/ENSO Forecast


Cool Temps in East Pacific Collapsing

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 (10/5) 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 fading to near calm over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific turning weak westerly over the Central Pacific and continuing over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (10/6) light westerly anomalies were over the KWGA today. The forecast is for west anomalies to fade by 10/8 in the KWGA and be replaced with weak easterly anomalies through the end of the model run on 10/12. 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: (10/5) A moderate strength Inactive Phase of the MJO was over the KWGA today. The statistic model indicates the Inactive Phase is to slowly build to moderate plus strength 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): (10/6) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was modest 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): (10/5) 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 slowly give way to east anomalies in the KWGA starting 10/12 peaking on 10/19, then retrograding with west anomalies returning and filling the KWGA at the end of the model run on 11/2. 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): (10/6) This model depicts a strong Inactive MJO pattern building over and filling the KWGA today but with weak west anomalies filling the KWGA for the moment. The forecast has the Inactive MJO signal holding in the KWGA through 11/5 with east anomalies building in the KWGA peaking on 10/18, then retrograding with weak west anomalies developing on the dateline 10/24 and slowly building in coverage. A solid Active Phase is to develop 11/7 holding through 12/1 with solid west anomalies in the heart of the KWGA. A moderate Inactive MJO signal is to develop 11/26 holding through the end of the model run with east anomalies building in the KWGA 12/12-the end of the model run. Of note: Strong east anomalies are in the core of the Indian Ocean today at 80E and are to hold solid through 10/22 but still solidly present through the end of the model run but showing signs of tracking east to 130E 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 10/8 and possibly a third contour line on 11/25 while a high pressure bias builds in the Indian Ocean starting 10/19. 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: (10/6) 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 153W today. The 24 deg isotherm was steady at 120W today. Anomaly wise, gentle warm anomalies are filling the entire Pacific with a pocket at +2 degs to 150 meters down on the dateline with +1 deg anomalies reaching east to 120W indicative of Kelvin Wave #5 on the move to the east. A small pocket of neutral anomalies was off Ecuador reaching west to 110W at -1.0 degs and between 50-150 m down. The collapse of the cool pool is a significant positive development. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 9/30 indicates warm water from Westerly Wind Burst #5 has formed a Kelvin Wave under the Dateline with temps up to +4 degs at 160W with cool anomalies from 120W into Ecuador drawing up from depth to the surface. No warming was present east of 120W. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (9/30) A broad area of positive anomalies were on the dateline from 155E to near 130W at +5 cms. Negative anomalies were still present between Ecuador to 110W 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: (10/5) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate 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 110-120W 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 (10/5): Today a patch of cooler water was developing between Ecuador and the Galapagos. West of there solid warm anomalies were still present on the equator from 95W 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.
Hi-res Overview: (10/2) A La Nina like cool stream was pushing west starting with a broad bubble of cool water along Chile and Peru then tracking west off Ecuador to 130W and 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 130W 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 retrograding the past 5 day to a week (since 9/30).
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (10/6) Today's temps were fading today after falling hard to -1.8 degs on 9/15, then up to +0.030 on 10/2 and today at -0.953 degrees. Temps have been pretty consistently negative since June 1.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(10/6) Temps were rising again hard today at +0.251 after previously 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 (10/6) The model indicates a cooling trend set up with temps dropping to -0.05 degs in early August down to -0.2 degs by 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 some to +0.25 degs through April 2020, then fading to neutral in early June. According to this model a neutral sea surface temperature pattern biased slightly warm 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) (10/6): The daily index was negative today at -11.22. The 30 day average was negative at -12.46. The 90 day average was falling again to -7.77, 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

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Local Interest

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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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