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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Friday, October 6, 2023 12:41 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   

North Pacific to Stir
2 Gales Forecast - And 2 Gales Forecast Near New Zealand

BUOY ROUNDUP
Friday, October 6, 2023 :

  • Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt)/Buoy 239 (Lani): Seas were 3.1 ft @ 10.0 secs with swell 2.2 ft @ 9.7 secs from 240 degrees. Water temp 80.8 degs (Barbers Pt), 80.8 (Pearl Harbor 233), 80.8 (Lani 239).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea)/Buoy 202 (Hanalei): Seas were 5.0 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 3.4 ft @ 12.2 secs from 347 degrees. Water temp 80.2 degs
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.2 ft @ 11.4 secs with swell 1.2 ft @ 10.8 secs from 174 degrees. Wind north at 6 kts. Water temperature 65.7 degs, 64.9 (Topanga 103), 65.1 degs (Long Beach 215), 68.9 (Oceanside Offshore 045), 68.0 (Del Mar 153), 69.4 (Torrey Pines Outer 100). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.3 ft @ 10.0 secs from 284 degrees. At E. Santa Barbara (46053) swell was 0.9 ft @ 13.7 secs from 202 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.3 ft @ 10.4 secs from 224 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.1 ft @ 10.5 secs from 205 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.2 ft @ 16.0 secs from 206 degrees. Water temperature was 65.7 degrees (Imperial Beach).
  • Buoy 029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 4.5 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 2.6 ft @ 12.0 secs from 263 degrees. Wind north-northeast at 4-6 kts (46026). Water temp NA (Bodega Bay 46013), 56.7 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 61.2 (San Francisco 46026), 61.0 (SF Bar 142) and 63.3 (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 Friday (10/6) in North and Central CA waves were waist to shoulder high on the sets and lined up and clean but soft. Protected breaks were waist high and clean but pretty closed out and soft. At Santa Cruz surf was thigh to waist high on the sets and clean and very soft. In Southern California/Ventura waves were thigh high on the sets and soft and mushed but fairly clean but with some warble intermixed. Central Orange County had sets at thigh to waist high and lined and clean but very soft. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at waist high with decent form but weak and soft and clean but with intermixed warble. North San Diego had sets at thigh to maybe waist high and weakly lined up and soft but clean. Oahu's North Shore was still getting swell with waves head high and clean and lined up with decent form. The South Shore had sets to thigh high and soft but clean. The East Shore was getting waves at waist high and fairly clean with light southeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Friday (10/6) no swell of interest was hitting California. But Hawaii was still getting swell from a gale that developed 1,200 nmiles north of the Islands Sun-Tues (10/3) not moving east much while producing up to 23 ft seas aimed south and southeast. A low pressure system is to be traversing the North Pacific Fri-Sun (10/8) then organizing off Washington Mon AM (10/9) producing a short lived fetch and seas to 23 ft on a very north angled relative to North CA. Another gale is to develop off the Kuril ISlands tracking east-northeast on Wed (8/11) peaking on Thurs (10/12) with 41 ft seas over the North Dateline region. And we're watching for possible development of a tropical system off the Philippines forecast to build while lifting north. It seems things are starting to wake up some.

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 Friday (10/6) the jet was consolidated tracking east on the 42N latitude line from Japan ridging some over the dateline then falling into a developing trough in the Gulf being fed by 160 kt winds offering some support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to starting digging out more offering support for gale development, stalling some later Sat (10/7) before pushing into Washington on Mon (10/9). Meanwhile the jet is to remain consolidated over the width of the North Pacific. Beyond 72 hours another weak trough is to form in the existing flow late Mon (10/9) over the dateline being fed by 140 kt winds tracking east to the Western Gulf on Wed (10/11) offering some support for gale development before being pinched off. And yet another trough is forecast developing off the Kuril Islands on Wed PM (10/11) being fed by 150 kt winds building to 190 kts on Thurs (10/12) over the dateline offering good support for gale development. For the first time in a long time the jet is forecast to look decent.

Surface Analysis
On Friday (10/6) swell was hitting Hawaii from a gale that previously formed north of the Islands (see Hawaiian Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a gale is forecast developing over the Eastern Gulf on Sun AM (10/8) producing 30 kt west winds with seas developing. In the evening winds to build to 40 kts from the northwest off North Oregon with seas 17 ft at 46N 139W aimed southeast. On Mon AM (10/9) the gael is to be lifting north off the coast of British Columbia with northwest winds 40 kts and seas 23 ft at 47.25N 133W aimed southeast (317 degs NCal). The gael is to be off Central Canada in the evening with 35 kts west winds and seas 22 ft at 51N 139W aimed mostly at British Columbia. Possible small swell to result for North CA and the Pacific Northwest. Will monitor.

 

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: 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

  • 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 kts for North and Central CA early. In the afternoon south winds to be 10 kts for Cape Mendocino and calm south of there but northwest winds 10 kts for Central CA. No windswell forecast.
  • Mon AM (10/10) south winds to be 20-25 kts for Cape Mendocino early and 5-10 kts for the rest of North CA and 5-10 kts from the northwest for Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 5 kts for North CA and 10 kts for Central CA. No windswell is forecast. Rain developing early for Cape Mendocino reaching down to the Golden Gate late afternoon then quickly dissolving.
  • Tues AM (10/11) northwest winds to be 5-10 kts for North CA early and 10 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 5 kts for North CA and 15-20 kts for Central CA and up to 25 kts for Pt Conception. Light rain is forecast for Cape Mendocino late. No windswell forecast.
  • Wed AM (10/12) northwest winds to be building at 15 kts for North and Central CA early but up to 20-25 kts south of Big Sur. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 25 kts for North and Central CA . Windswell building. No precip forecast.
  • Thurs AM (10/13) northwest winds to be 20+ kts for North CA but pulling away from the coast south of Bodega Bay and 10 kts for Central CA early but with 20 kt northwest winds just off the coast. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 10-15 kts for North CA down to Bodega Bay and northwest 10 kts from Pt Reyes southward to Pt Conception. Windswell fading fast.
  • Fri AM (10/14) winds to be from the south and southeast at 5 kts for North and Central CA early. No windswell forecast.

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 Fri (10/6) no swell of interest was in the water locally and no swell was tracking north from the South Pacific.

Over the next 72 hours starting Mon AM (10/9) a gale is forecast tracking northeast under New Zealand producing 40 kt southwest winds with seas 29 ft at 49.75S 165E aimed northeast and mostly shadowed by New Zealand. In the afternoon a broad fetch of southwest winds at 35 kts southeast of New Zealand with seas aimed northeast with 29 ft seas at 48S 174.25E aimed northeast. lasting 24 hours. On Tues AM (10/10) south winds to be 30-35 kts with 27 ft seas fading at 46S 179E aimed northeast. The gale to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.

 

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 starting Tues PM (10/10) a gale is forecast developing off the Southern Kuril Islands with 50 kt west winds over a small area starting to get traction on the oceans surface while lifting east-northeast. On Wed AM (10/11) west winds to be 55 kts with seas 38 ft at 43.5N 166E aimed east. The gale is to be racing east in the evening with 55 kt west winds approaching the North Dateline region with seas 38 ft at 47.5N 174E aimed east. On Thurs AM (10/12) the gael is to be impacting the Central Aleutians over the dateline with 50 kt west winds and seas 44 ft at 51N 179.25E aimed east. in the evening fetch is to be fading from 40 kts as the gale moves over the Bering Sea with seas fading from 34 ft at 51N 177W aimed east. Something to monitor.

And theoretically tropical low pressure is to be building off the Philippines lifting north on Fri (10/13) offer potential beyond. An interesting early season pattern is setting up.

 

South Pacific

Starting Wed AM (10/11) another gale is to develop southeast of New Zealand with 40-45 kt southwest winds with seas 30 ft at 53.5S 166.75E aimed northeast. In the evening southwest winds to be 45 kts with seas 29-31 ft at 56S 174.75E aimed northeast. The gale is to hold while easing east on Thurs AM (10/12) with 45 kts southwest winds and seas 29-30 ft at 55S 176W aimed northeast. The gale to fade in the evening.

 

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 (10/5) 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 neutral 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): (10/6) Moderate west anomalies were filling the KWGA today. The forecast indicates west anomalies are to hold filling the KWGA through 10/11. But east anomalies are to build over the dateline 10/9-10/17 then fading as west anomalies rebuild over the core of the KWGA 10/19 through the end of the model run on 10/22.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (10/5) A weak Inactive MJO was developing over the KWGA. The statistic model indicates the weak Inactive MJO building on day 5 building some on day 10 then holding on day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model depicts then same thing but the Inactive Phase dissipating on day 10 turning neutral and holding on day 15.
Phase Diagrams - 2 week forecast (CA and GEFS): (10/6) The statistical model depicts the Active signal was weak over the Atlantic. The forecast indicates it is to Indian Ocean 15 days out and still very weak. The dynamic model indicates the Active signal meandering in 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): (10/6) A weak Active (wet) pattern was over the West Pacific today. The forecast has the Active Phase (wet air) tracking east and out of the KWGA on 10/26 with a weak Inactive MJO signal developing in the far West KWGA 10/21 fading slowly into 11/5 then gone. A weak Active signal is to follow over the KWGA 11/10 through the end of the model run on 11/15.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (10/5)
Today a neutral MJO was over the KWGA but with moderate to strong west anomalies filling the KWGA. West anomalies are to hold through 10/12 then fading a little but not out with neutral anomalies over the dateline. Then west anomalies are to build to strong status 10/19 and holding from there through the end of the model run on 11/2 with a strong Active MJO signal 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):
(10/6) - 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 filling 85% of the KWGA with weak to modest 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 filling the KWGA through 11/25, the weakening but still moderate through 12/9 even as a solid Inactive Phase develops 11/7 in the far west KWGA filling it through the end of the model run on 1/3/2024. 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. A potential 5th contour line scheduled for 12/21 is no longer on the charts. 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: (10/6) Today in the far West Pacific the leading edge of the 30 deg isotherm was steady at 172W (previously 169W). The 29 degree isotherm was backtracking at 161W (previously 155W). The 28 deg isotherm line was backtracking at 147W (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 173E 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 140W (152W on 9/11). +4-5 degree anomalies were building in coverage starting at 140W (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: (10/5) 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 and if anything is losing intensity/density. 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 (10/5): 3 small pockets of weakly cooling waters were aligned on the equator from the Galapagos west to 105W mixed with warming pockets. 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: (10/5) 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: (10/6) (The official OISST temp record runs about +0.2 degrees higher). Today's temps appear to be fading steadily now down to +1.527 (previously +2.10 - 9/17) and have been falling since 8/31 when they were up to +3.073 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:
(10/6) (OISST runs about +0.2 degrees higher). Today temps were steady at +1.142 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 up to +1.30 degs early Aug peaking at +1.6 degs in Sept.
Forecast (10/6) - 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 (10/6) the Daily Index was negative and falling hard at -19.21 and has been negative for 47 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 falling at -13.22 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 -11.15 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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