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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, October 7, 2021 2:11 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
2.2 - California & 1.5 - Hawaii
Using the 'Summer' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

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

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

Swell Potential Rating Categories
5 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Significant swell
4 = Good probability for 1-2 days of Significant swell
3 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Intermediate/Advanced swell
2 = Good probability for  1-2 days of
Intermediate/Advanced swell
1 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Impulse or Windswell
0 = Low probability for 1-2 days of Impulse or Windswell   

SPac Swell Poised for HI
NPac Jetstream to Fall South Slightly


On Thursday, October 7, 2021 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt) : Seas were 3.3 ft @ 7.7 secs with swell 2.1 ft @ 8.4 secs from 166 degrees. Water temp 79.2 degs (Pearl Harbor 233), NA (Lani 239), 79.9 (Barbers Pt).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.7 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 2.7 ft @ 9.4 secs from 126 degrees. Water temp 79.2 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.2 ft @ 12.8 secs with swell 1.4 ft @ 13.6 secs from 199 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southeast at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 66.0 degs, 66.4 (Topanga 103), 64.6 degs (Long Beach 215), 65.1 (Del Mar 153), 69.1 (Pt Loma 191). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 5.4 ft @ 10.2 secs from 302 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.3 ft @ 13.5 secs from 213 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.5 ft @ 14.7 secs from 196 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 1.7 ft @ 14.7 secs from 195 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 9.9 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 5.2 ft @ 11.4 secs from 317 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 14-20 kts. Water temp 56.1 (Pt Reyes 029), 57.9 (46026), 59.7 degs (SF Bar 142), and 59.2 (Santa Cruz 254).

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

Swell Classification Guidelines

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

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

Current Conditions
On Thursday (10/7) North and Central CA had waves at chest high and somewhat lined up but warbled from northwest wind with occasional whitecaps. Protected breaks were waist to maybe chest high on the sets and fairly lined up but soft and mush and sectioned. At Santa Cruz surf was waist to maybe chest high on the sets and somewhat lined up and clean but soft and weird. In Southern California/Ventura waves were flat to thigh high and weak and soft but fairly clean. Central Orange County had sets at thigh high coming from the south and clean and line dup but breaking on the beach. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at waist high rarely and clean and somewhat lined up with decent form but weak. North San Diego had sets waves at thigh to maybe waist high and fairly clean but soft and inconsistent. Hawaii's North Shore had sets at chest high and lined up and clean when they came but inconsistent and weak. The South Shore was had waist high sets and clean and weak. The East Shore was getting waist high east windswell and chopped from moderate east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (10/7) in California local windswell was producing some rideable waves at select exposed breaks. But otherwise a break in the storm track was occurring. A gale is forecast tracking through the Northern Gulf on Fri-Sat (10/9) but mostly obscured over the Eastern Aleutians likely offering nothing until it moves cleanly into the Eastern Gulf on Sun (10/10) and falling southeast with 18-21 ft seas aimed southeast. On Tues (10/12) two gales are to be building while tracking east with one over the North Dateline Region with 23 ft seas and slowly fading while another builds in the Northern Gulf with up to 28t seas aimed southeast. Down south a gale developed under New Zealand Fri-Sun (10/1) with 34 ft seas aimed well northeast. And a secondary gale followed in the same general area Sun (10/3) with 30 ft seas aimed northeast. Some small southwest angled swell is pushing northeast towards HI and CA.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Thursday (10/7) the jet was tracking east on the 45N latitude line off North Japan forming a weak trough being fed by 130 kts winds offering some support for gale development. But the jet started ridging north on the dateline pushing up into the Eastern Bering Sea and continued landlocked east of there offering nothing. Over the next 72 hours the ridge is to push east and moderate on Sat (10/9) with a new trough building just off the Northern Kuril's not offering anything immediately with another trough developing in the Northern Gulf being fed by 140 kt winds offering some hope before pushing into the coast of British Columbia on Sun (10/10). The Kuril Island trough is to push over the North Dateline Region on Sun (10/10) but still not well organized. Beyond 72 hours starting Mon (10/11) the North Dateline trough is to move into the Northern Gulf being fed by 160 kts winds offering some decent but short lived support for gale development before moving over Vancouver Island early Wed (10/13). After that a ridge is to start building over the West Pacific pushing the jet up into the Bering Sea offering nothing but the jet remaining further south keeping the Northern Gulf open for development. .

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (10/7) no swell was in the water tracking towards Hawaii or the US West Coast.

Over the next 72 hours remnants of a gale previously encased over the Aleutians are to move into the Northern Gulf Fri PM (10/8) producing 35 kt west winds and seas 21 ft at 53N 161 W aimed east. On Sat AM (10/9) more of the same is forecast with 20 ft seas at 55N 153W aimed east. In the evening 30-35 kt northwest winds are to start getting better traction with 21 ft seas at 55N 151W aimed east. On Sun AM (10/10) fetch is to fall southeast while fading at 30 kts with seas 21 ft at 53N 144W aimed southeast. In the evening fetch is to fade to 25 kts approaching British Columbia and east of the NCal swell window. The low pressure system is to be impacting the Pacific Northwest beyond. Something to monitor.


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


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

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Fri (10/8) northwest winds are forecast at 15 kts for North and Central CA early with another low pressure trough just off the coast. Northwest winds fading for North CA in the afternoon to 10 kts reaching down to Monterey Bay, but holding at 15 kts south of there. Light snow possibly for Tahoe southward to Yosemite during the day.
  • Sat (10/9) north winds are forecast at 5-10 kts for North CA early and 15-20 kts for Central CA and holding in Central CA all day. Northwest winds 10-15 kts for North CA in the afternoon. Maybe light rain for North Cape Mendocino early.
  • Sun (10/10) high pressure takes control with northwest winds 15+ kts for all of North and Central CA early building to 20-25 kts for all of North and Central CA in the afternoon. Light rain for North Cape Mendocino late afternoon.
  • Mon (10/11) high pressure starts to roar producing north winds at 30-35 kts for North and Central CA and building in more solidly through the day. Say goodbye to warm water.
  • Tues (10/12) high pressure fades some with northwest winds 20-25 kts for North CA and Central CA early fading to mostly 20 kts later.
  • Wed (10/13) northwest winds to be 10-15 kts for North CA early and 15-20 kts for Central CA rebuilding to 20-25 kts everywhere north of Pt Conception later. Light rain for Cape Mendocino early.
  • Thurs (10/14) high pressure return with northwest winds 25-30 kts for North CA early and 20-25 kts for Central CA early.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 0.5, 0, 3, and 1 inches respectively.

Freezing level 9,000 ft today falling steadily to 6,800 ft on 10/8 then rebounding to 13,000 ft on 10/10, only to fall again to 7,000 ft on 10/11 then rebuilding to 12,000 ft on 10/12 falling to 9,000 ft on 10/13 then rebuilding to 12,500 ft on 10/14 and stabilizing there. Winter is trying to make a showing.


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

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


South Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (10/7) small swell from a gale that formed under New Zealand was radiating northeast (see New Zealand Gale below) .

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


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

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

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

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


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




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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours starting Mon PM (10/11) two gales are forecast traversing the North Pacific with one over the North Dateline region with 35-40 kt west winds and 25 ft seas at 49.5N 171.75E and the other just south of the Eastern Aleutians with 35 kts west winds starting to get traction on the oceans surface. On Tues AM (10/12) the west most gale is to be over the dateline with 35 kts west winds and 22 ft seas at 50N 180W and the eastern more gale in the Northwestern Gulf with 35 kt northwest winds and seas 20 ft at 53N 150W aimed southeast. In the evening the dateline gale is to move the extreme Northwestern Gulf with 30 kt west winds and seas 20 ft at 50N 169W aimed east and the Gulf gale over the Eastern Gulf with 40 kt northwest winds and seas 27 ft at 52.75N 139.5W aimed southeast. By Wed AM (10/13) the first gael is to be fading in the Northwestern Gulf with fetch fading from 30 kts and seas 20 ft at 52N 164W aimed east. The other gale is to pushing over British Columbia. There's some hope.


South Pacific

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


MJO/ENSO Forecast


La Nina's Return to Be As Strong as Last Year
Summary - Cool water is building across the subsurface equatorial Pacific with no Kelvin Wave induced warm waters in sight. The forecast does suggest weak west anomalies taking over the KWGA in later November and nearly filling the KWGA after that. And high pressure bias is in control of the dateline but is to ease east nearly out of the KWGA by early Jan 2022. But it also seems likely cold surface waters are to hold well entrenched over the dateline through early Jan supporting bulletproof surface high pressure. The west wind anomalies forecast will likely not be enough to significantly effect the volume and depth of cold water building over Central Equatorial Pacific before Winter is over.

MJO/ENSO Discussion
The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.
And the El Nino/La Nino cycle (collectively know as ENSO - El Nino Southern Oscillation) is a less frequent (about once every 7 years) but more impactful cycle that affects world wide weather. Specifically, strong El Nino events promote storm production in the Pacific while La Nina events suppress storm production. These therefore have a significant impact on the production of swell and surf. The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO and ENSO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for upcoming activity (or inactivity depending on the state and interaction of these two oscillations).

Overview: In 2019 warm equatorial waters were fading, and by August a tongue of cool water was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos reaching to a point nearly south of Hawaii. A bit of a recovery tried to occur during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water held in a pool off Peru. By April 2020 a cool pool was starting to build, forming a well defined cool tongue that evolved into La Nina, with it fully developing through July 2020. A slow dissolving of La Nina started in March 2021 with 2 Kelvin Waves sweeping east and arriving over the Galapagos in June. Weak warming set up over the equator with no cool waters present. NOAA declared La Nina dead.

Fall /Winter 2021-2022 = 3.0/3.5 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)

Rationale: It was assumed that the moderate La Nina from the Winter of 2020/2021 was on the wane and that a return to neutral ENSO state would set up over the Pacific Basin through the summer of 2021. But La Nina is making a strong return as we move into the end of Sept much like what the CFS model suggested would happen. So at this point we are speculating that the CFS model will verify and that a full double dip La Nina pattern will take hold as we move into November with this second La Nina dip being nearly as strong as the previous one. But a quick fade is forecast as we move into late Fall (Nov) with the CFS predicting a return to a neutral wind anomaly pattern at that time and the low pressure bias making headway in to the KWGA in early Dec. Still it will take some time for the atmosphere to fully respond, resulting in a less than normal swell production forecast especially for Fall into early Winter. But by later in Jan 2022 perhaps a return to a more normal pattern might take hold. As a result a somewhat reduced number of storm days and storm intensity is expected Oct-Dec, resulting in a below normal level of swells, with swell being below normal duration and period. But by later Winter (2022), the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start improving as La Nina fades out. The status of the PDO is not known, though it appears to be returning to at least a neutral state, rather than the warm phase as previously projected thereby having no significant positive or negative effect on the long term outlook.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (10/6) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific and moderate east over the KWGA. Anomalies were weak east over the East equatorial Pacific and modest east over the Central Pacific and modest east over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, versus realtime, so they lag what is happening today (by about 2.5 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (10/5 - stale data) east anomalies were moderate over the dateline to a point south of California with modest west anomalies over the western half of the KWGA. The forecast calls for east anomalies holding unchanged for the next week with weak west anomalies holding over the western half of the KWGA or maybe trying to work themselves towards the dateline the last 2 days of the model run. This is an improvement. But east anomalies are to still be filling the Pacific east of the dateline. There's no clear sign of the Active Phase of the MJO yet . This has been an unbelievably strong and long lasting Easterly Wind Burst that started 9/8 and has no end in sight.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (10/6) A moderate Active MJO signal was indicated over the KWGA today. The statistic model projects the Active Phase holding through slowly weakening to modest strength through the 15 days model run. The dynamic model projects a moderate Active Phase holding ground unchanged through day 10 of the model run then fading to weak status on day 15 of the model run. This is good news with both models more or less in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (10/7) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was modest over the East Maritime Continent and is forecast slowly plodding east to the Western Pacific while fading to weak status over the 15 days model run. The dynamic model suggests the same track but fading to non-existent status
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 moderate Active Phase (wet air) was indicated pushing into the West Pacific today as the Inactive Phase (dry air) was pushing east over the Atlantic. The Active Phase (wet air) is to track east over the KWGA through 10/16 then tracking east to the East Pacific reaching Central America on 10/26. A weak Inactive Phase (dry air) is to be moving east over the KWGA on 10/26 moving to Central America at the end of the model run on 11/15. A new moderate Active Phase (wet air) is forecast starting to move over the KWGA at that time.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (10/6) This model depicts an Inactive MJO signal south of California today with the Active Phase building over the KWGA but with moderate east anomalies controlling the eastern 50% of the KWGA but with west anomalies solid over the far West KWGA. The forecast indicates the Active Phase of the MJO traversing the KWGA through 10/18 but with west anomalies limited to the far West KWGA and retreating west and gone by 10/15 with east anomalies over the dateline. The Inactive Phase is to be right behind controlling the KWGA 10/20-11/1 with east anomalies building in strong again starting 10/22-11/2. The Inactive Phase and east anomalies are to be fading on the last day of the model run 11/3.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (10/7 - using the 5th ensemble member - the mean of the 4 individual members which are all from the 00Z run - 1 run per day): Today a modest Active Phase of the MJO was pushing over the KWGA reaching to the dateline with modest east anomalies from the previous Inactive Phase of the MJO filling the the eastern 50% of the KWGA and weak west anomalies trying to build over the western 50%. The forecast indicates the Active Phase is to slowly push east through 10/28 but with weak west anomalies retrograding west and gone in the KWGA by 10/16 with east anomalies again filling the KWGA. A nonexistent MJO signal is to follow through the end of the model run on 1/4/2022 with west anomalies again pushing east into the KWGA on 11/8 slowly making eastward progress and filling the KWGA on 12/2 holding through the end of the model run. East anomalies are to be holding from the dateline eastward to a point south of mainland Mexico. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias (1 contour line) has developed on the dateline and is to hold while slowly building east to 120W on 12/11. A second contour is forecast 10/15 holding through Winter. A broad single contour low pressure bias is to develop 11/8 centered over the Maritime Continent at 100E with it's leading edge at 125E then steadily moving east into the KWGA on 12/10 and filling 30% of it at the end of the model run. Today a solid east anomaly pattern that has been in control of KWGA since early July and is to slowly get shoved east as the Active Phase and west anomalies and the low pressure bias try to take root in the Western KWGA by mid Nov. This suggests redevelopment of La Nina with it slowly tracking east but likely controlling the Pacific through Winter.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (10/7) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was gone. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 179E. The 24 deg isotherm is stable at 120W. Warm water has receded west and has more or less stabilized there. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +1 deg C were steady in coverage in the far West Pacific reaching east to only 172W. All sensors are down at 140W but are back up at 155W. So some of the following analysis in that area is suspect. Mostly cool anomalies were in control at up to -2 degs C at 155W 150 meters down steadily rising while reaching east to 100W down 75 meters. No Kelvin Waves were obvious and cool water was in control at depth. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 9/30 indicates no warm water east of 170W with cool water east of there (where the sensors are inoperable) extending into Ecuador. A solid stream of cool water at -5 degs C was pushing up from 150 meters down at 140W and breaching the surface just at the Galapagos. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (9/30) Sea heights were falling over the entire equatorial Pacific with negative anomalies at -5 cms over the East equatorial Pacific between the Galapagos to 175W and with a peak at -20 cms near 140W with -15 cms anomalies between 120W-155W. All positive anomalies were limited from 160E and points west of there. A warm water 'horseshoe' pattern has become well developed in the West Pacific. La Nina has made a return. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram La Nina is as strong as it was last year (-2.5 degs C) in late Oct, and positioned just slightly west (134W last year versus 141W this year).

Surface Water Temps
The more warm water in the equatorial East Pacific means more storm production in the North Pacific during winter months (roughly speaking). Cold water in that area has a dampening effect. Regardless of what the atmospheric models and surface winds suggest, actual water temperatures are a ground-truth indicator of what is occurring in the ocean. All data is from blended infrared and microwave sensors.
Satellite Imagery
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4 Qualitative Analysis: (10/6) The latest images depict a thin steady stream of cool water on the equator from 100W tracking west and building in earnest from 120W to the dateline. Temps were warming from Ecuador to 110W. Cooling was building nearshore along Chile and Peru. A homogenous area of warm water was holding from Ecuador out along the equator to 140W and up along Central America into Southern Baja. Overall this seems to indicate the return of cooling water temps in the Central Equatorial Pacific indicative of La Nina. But some degree of weak warming is trying to develop in the far East Equatorial Pacific.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (10/6): A mix of warming and cooling water was off Ecuador to 120W with cooling waters taking the upper hand from 135W out to 180W.
Hi-res Overview: (10/6) A moderately broad stream of cooler than normal water was aligned on the equator weakly from the Galapagos to 110W then stronger out to the dateline providing most coverage and intensity from 140W to the dateline. Cooler than normal waters were also south of that line down to 20S. Warmer than normal waters were limited to a line north of the equator up to Mexico and along the US Coast up to Pt Conception. A cool outflow remains in place pushing from California southwest to the a point over Hawaii's Big Island but it appears to be weakening. La Nina appears to be trying to make a resurgence on the equator in the Central Pacific but fading east of there.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (10/7) Today's temps were toggling steady at -0.600 after falling to -0.927 on 9/2 beating the previous peak low reading of -0.746 on 8/15. Before that temps were toggling around neutral 6/13-8/5 except for one dip to -0.411 on 7/8. Prior to that temps peaked on 3/16 when they briefly hit +0.714 degs. The longterm trend has been towards falling back into negative territory.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(10/7) Today temps were steady but down at -0.595 after freefalling all of Sept from the -0.175 to -0.370 range in Aug, the bottom of a downward trend that held for the previous 7 weeks. Before that temps peaked at 7/1 +0.332, the highest in a year. Temps previously had been steady near -0.222 since early March. Temps bottomed out at -1.654 on 11/3/2020.

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 (10/7) - Actuals per the model indicate temps were rising in early Nov 2020 after bottoming out at -1.25 degs, building to -0.01 degs in mid-June then fading to -0.3 degs through Aug. The forecast indicates temps to make a dramatic fall starting today down to -1.75 later in November and holding into early Jan 2022, then pushing up to +0.00 degs in June 2022. This model suggests a return of La Nina conditions this Fall and Winter. There is no indication that El Nino will develop. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temp falling to -1.45 degs in Nov starting to rise slowly after mid-Jan 2022. At this point that is as good a guess as any.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Aug 20, 2021 Plume depicts temps are at -0.41 degs today, and are to fade steadily to -0.57 degrees in Oct holding into Nov, then rising to -0.33 degs in Jan and neutral in March 2022. A weak return of La Nina is expected this Fall and Winter 2021-2022.
See chart here - link.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad - this is a lagging indicator) (10/7): The daily index was solid positive at 14.12 today, after peaking at +37.86 on 7/15 and +27.75 on 9/13. The 30 day average was up to +10.72 after previously rising to +10.70 on 9/21. Before that is fell to -3.36 on 6/22, the lowest in a year. It peaked at +19.51 on 1/14. The 90 day average was steady at +9.73, previously peaking on 9/21 at +9.80 after falling to it's lowest point in a year on 6/9 at +1.06. The 90 day average peaked at +15.75 on 2/23 (clearly indicative of La Nina then). This index is a lagging indicator but suggest La Nina is returning.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
The PDO theoretically turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and was positive till Dec 2019, but has been negative every since, driven by recent La Nina conditions. In May-July 2021 it was the most negative its been in the -1.80 to -2.04 range since Sept 2012 (-2.99). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'). If anything it appears more likely we are still in the cool phase of the PDO.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 

Powerlines Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest
Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for this week. See it Here
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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing:

Mavericks & Stormsurf on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel

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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