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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Sunday, October 7, 2018 5:40 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
2.1 - California & 2.5 - 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 10/8 thru Sun 10/14

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   

Sergio Swell to Rebuild In CA
Small Long Lasting New Zealand Swell Pushing Northeast

On Sunday, October 7, 2018 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 2.7 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 1.8 ft @ 12.6 secs from 211 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.2 ft @ 10.8 secs with swell 2.5 ft @ 10.1 secs from 240 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 8-10 kts. Water temperature 69.3 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 4.5 ft @ 9.3 secs from 261 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.2 ft @ 11.7 secs from 198 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.6 ft @ 15.6 secs from 225 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 3.3 ft @ 9.5 secs from 239 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 14.7 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 9.4 ft @ 10.3 secs from 321 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 16-20 kts. Water temp 59.0 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 (10/7) in North and Central CA local northwest windswell had taken over with waves 1-2 ft overhead on the face and lined up but raw and warbled and nearly whitecapped. Protected breaks were chest to head high and mostly clean but warbled and pretty closed out. At Santa Cruz windswell was wrapping in producing waves at head high on the sets and reasonably lined up and semi-clean early but with warble running through it. In Southern California/Ventura surf was thigh to maybe waist high on the sets and clean but warbled looking like windswell. In North Orange Co swell from Sergio was still hitting producing waves at chest high or so and pretty warbled from south wind and breaking nearshore due to high tide and not really rideable. South Orange Country's best breaks were head high on the peak and textured from south winds and weak and crumbled but lined up when the sets came. In North San Diego surf was chest to head high and lined up and lightly textured but crumbled and a bit closed out. Hawaii's North Shore was getting weak leftover swell from ET Trami with waves head high and up to 1-2 ft overhead on the peaks of the biggest sets and real clean but with a bit of warble running through it and soft. The South Shore was real small with waves waist high on the sets and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell at thigh to waist high and pretty clean with light east trades early.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Sunday (10/7) fading weak remnant energy from Extratropical Storm Trami which tracked northeast just off the Kuril Islands on Mon (10/1) producing only a tiny area of 30 ft seas aimed northeast was hitting Hawaii and California but that swell in California was buried in far larger locally generated north windswell. In North Ca remnant swell from a gale that tracked northeast along the coast of New Zealand with 29-32 ft seas aimed north on Tues-Wed (9/26) was hitting but buried in windswell. Of more interest is a series of 3 gales that tracked east under New Zealand with the first on Mon (10/1) producing 32-36 ft seas aimed east. The second pushed through that area on Wed (10/3) with 34 ft seas aimed east and another is developed Sat-Sun (10/7) with 30-32 ft seas aimed east. Nothing else real is forecast to develop other than Hurricane Sergio, which might recurve northeast from a point well southwest of Baja early next week. The models are hinting at a gale developing over the dateline a week out, but that is a huge reach. See all the details are below...


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

North Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Sunday AM (10/4) swell from the extratropical remnants of Typhoon Trami that developed weakly while pushing northeast off the Kuril Islands was hitting Hawaii and California (See ET Trami below). Swell from Hurricane Sergio was still hitting mainly Southern CA (See Tropical Update below).

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems or fetch of interest is forecast other than possibly more energy developing from Sergio.


ET Trami
The remnants of Typhoon Trami turned extratropical and tracked northeast and became exposed east of Northern Japan on Sun PM (9/30) with 05 kt southwest winds and seas building from 30 ft at 36N 143E. On Mon AM (10/1) the gale was racing northeast with 40 kt southwest winds over and extending east of the Kuril Islands with 30 ft seas over a modest area at 43N 155E (305 degs NCal) aimed northeast. In the evening the gale was still exposed off the Northern Kurils producing 35-40 kt west winds and seas 25 ft at 47N 167E aimed northeast at the Western Aleutians (307 degs NCal). The gale is to moved into the Bering Sea Tues AM (10/2) with seas from previous fetch 24 ft at 51N 175E mostly targeting the Western Aleutians (308 degs NCal). Minimal swell to radiate east.

Hawaii: Swell fading on Sun (10/7) from 2.8 ft @ 12 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 310 degrees

North CA: Swell building on Sun (10/7) to 2.5 ft @ 16 secs later (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell fading on Mon (10/8) from 2.8 ft @ 14 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 303-307 degrees


Windswell Forecast
California: On Sunday (107) high pressure at 1032 mbs was centered 900 nmiles west of North CA ridging east into North CA producing a pressure gradient and north winds at 30 kts and 20 kts for Central CA down to Big Sur producing larger raw local north windswell for all of North and Central CA. More of the same is expected on Monday (10/8) but with north winds only 15 kts in San Francisco and light from Monterey Bay southward. Windswell to continue and cleaner from SF southward. On Tues (10/9) the gradient is to back off some with north winds fading to barely 25 kts over Cape Mendocino to Pt Arena with light winds if not a weak eddy flow (south winds) south of there resulting in smaller north windswell and improved conditions down into Central CA. More of the same is expected on Wed (10/10). See QuikCAST's for details.

Hawaii: On Sunday (10/7) high pressure at 1032 mbs was 900 nmiles west of North CA producing fetch off it's south quadrant at 15+ kts over a large area extending from off California west to a point just barely reaching Hawaiian waters producing some degree of east windswell pushing into exposed east facing shores of the Hawaiian Islands. On Monday (10/8) the fetch is to start retracting east some with no fetch 15 kts or greater within 450 nmiles of Hawaii offering only modest odds for windswell production and retracting to 700 nmiles away from the Islands later on Tues (10/9). Sergio is to recurve northeast and be moving away from Hawaii. Wednesday (10/10) no windswell producing fetch of interest is forecast. See QuikCAST's for details.


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


Tropical Update
Hurricane Sergio: On Sunday AM (10/7) Sergio was 1200 nmiles southwest of Los Angeles with winds 90 kts (104 mph) tracking west at 8 kts and seas 24 ft. By Mon AM (10/8) Sergio is to start turning the the north with winds 80 kts near 15N 128W starting to producing small swell radiating northeast. In the evening Sergio is to be recurving to the northeast with winds down to 75 kts (86 mph) at 16N 128W again pushing some small swell towards California. By Tues AM (10/9) Sergio is to start tracking decidedly northeast and gaining momentum with winds 70 kts (81 mph) producing limited swell pushing towards California. On Wed AM (10/10) Sergio is to be accelerating northeast while moving over cooler waters with winds falling to 65 kts (75 mph) and barely at hurricane strength. Swell generation starting to fade out.

Southern CA: Swell holding Mon (10/8) at 2.1 ft @ 13 secs (2.5 ft) and moving to 195 degrees. On Tues (10/9) swell building some to 2.6 ft @ 12-13 secs (3.0 ft). Swell possibly building after that from when Sergio supposedly turns to the north and northeast. By Wed (10/10) swell building to 5.2 ft @ 15-16 secs (8.0 ft) and possibly up more on Thurs (10/11). Swell Direction: 195 degrees possibly turning to 205 degrees

North CA: No meaningful Sergio swell expected on Monday (10/8). On Tues (10/9) no real change is expected but with some swell pushing 2.3 ft @ 13 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). On Wed (10/10) swell is to start building to 4.5 ft @ 16 secs later (6.5 ft). Thurs (10/11) swell is to be holding at 4.0 ft @ 15 secs (6.0 ft). Swell Direction: 195 degrees once swell starts rebuilding.


California Nearshore Forecast
On Sunday AM (10/7) a pressure gradient was over North and Central CA waters with north winds 30 kts over North CA and 20 kts into Central CA. Monday (10/8) north winds to be 30 kts for North CA and 5+ kts from the Golden Gate southward. Tues (10/9) north winds to be 20-25 kts limited to Cape Mendocino-Pt Arena early but light south of there to Pt Conception with and eddy flow in effect. Wed (10/10) north winds to continue at 20+ kts for Cape Mendocino-Pt Arena but with light winds south of the to Pt Conception. Thurs (10/11) light winds are forecast everywhere in CA Central CA but turning north in Southern CA at 5 kts attributable to Hurricane Sergio moving onshore over Central Baja. Friday (10/12) north winds at 5 kts are forecast over all of North and Central CA. Dead calm winds expected on Sat and Sun (10/14).


South Pacific

On Sunday AM (10/7) the southern branch of the jetstream was tracking zonally (tracking flat west to east) under New Zealand on the 58S latitude line with winds 100 kts pushing east but with the jet slowly creeping southeast over the Southeast Pacific down to 63S and almost moving over Antarctic Ice. There was limited support for gale development with no troughs indicated. Over the next 72 hours the same basic pattern is to continue but with the jet lifting north some to 55S by early Tues (10/9) with winds in the 110-120 kts range offering some more support for gale development under and just east of New Zealand with the jet continuing to fall southeast over the Southeast Pacific offering no support for gale development there. Beyond 72 hours more of the same is forecast until Sat (10/13) when a ridge is to start building under New Zealand and pushing east but ahead of that ridge is to be a developing trough later Sun (10/14) over the Central South Pacific perhaps offering some support for gale development.

Surface Analysis  
On Sunday (10/7) swell from a gale that tracked along the New Zealand coast was fading in California and buried in windswell north of Pt Conception and buried in Sergio swell in South CA (see Small New Zealand Gale below). Of more interest was small swell radiating northeast from 3 gales that tracked under New Zealand (see New Zealand Gale 1, New Zealand Gale 2 and New Zealand Gale 3 below).

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

New Zealand Gale 1
On Monday AM (10/1) the first in a series of gales developed under New Zealand producing 50 kts west winds and seas building to 33 ft at 57S 169E aimed east. In the evening fetch fell southeast building to 55 kts from the west with seas 37 ft at 63S 179W aimed east. Also secondary fetch at 40 kts built from the west directly under New Zealand with seas 33 ft at 57S 170E aimed east. On Tues AM (10/2) the gale faded from there with seas fading from 29-30 ft at 57S 180W. Maybe some small swell to result. At a minimum this system did serve to rough up the oceans surface.

Hawaii: Expect not much swell to result. Background energy to hit on Tues (10/9) at 1.0 ft @ 17-18 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell fading away after that. Swell Direction: 198 degrees

Southern CA: Swell arrival on Fri (10/12) with swell building to 1.6 ft @ 20 secs late (3.0 ft). Swell building Sat (10/13) to 3.1 ft @ 18-19 secs (5.5 ft). Swell continues on Sun (10/14) at 3.0 ft @ 17 secs (5.0 ft). Swell Direction: 220 degrees.

Northern CA: Swell arrival on Fri (10/12) with swell building to 1.5 ft @ 20-21 secs later (2.5 ft). Swell building Sat (10/13) to 2.7 ft @ 18-19 secs (5.0 ft). Swell continues on Sun (10/14) at 2.8 ft @ 17 secs (4.5-5.0 ft). Swell Direction: 220 degrees.


New Zealand Gale 2
On Wed AM (10/3) another fetch followed behind generating 40 kt west winds with seas building from 33 ft at 58S 159.5E. On Wed PM (10/3) 40 kt west winds continued pushing east with with 35 ft seas aimed east at 58.5S 172E. On Thurs AM (10/4) west winds were fading at 35-40 kts from the west with seas 32 ft at 57S 177E. Fetch to fade from there in the evening with seas fading from 30 ft at 57S 178.5W. Maybe some small sideband swell to radiate northeast.

Hawaii: Expect swell from when this storm was west of New Zealand tracking up through the Tasman Sea arriving on Wed (10/10) building to 2.0 ft @ 18-19 secs (3.5 ft). Swell holds on Thurs (10/11) at 2.0 ft @ 17 secs (3.0-3.5 ft) with energy from under New Zealand at 1.3 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading Fri (10/12) from 1.5 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.0-2.5 ft) with swell from under New Zealand at 1.3 ft @ 16 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 218 degrees and 198 degrees.

California: This swell to merge with Swell 1 above. See forecast there.


New Zealand Gale 3
Another gale passed under New Zealand Sat AM (10/6) producing an area of 35-40 kt southwest winds and seas building from 29 ft at 56.5S 173.5E aimed east. A generalized fetch of 35-40 kt west winds held in the evening with seas building to 32 ft at 57.5S 175.0E aimed east. Fetch is to start fading Sun AM (10/7) with west winds 30-35 kts and seas 30 ft at 56S 171W. By evening fetch and seas are to be gone. Some odds for small sideband swell radiating northeast.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Sat (10/13) building to 1.3 ft @ 18 secs later (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell continues on Sun (10/14) fading from 1.5 ft @ 16 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 198 degrees


Small New Zealand Gale
A gale developed south of Tasmania on Mon AM (9/24) producing a broad fetch of 35-40 kt southwest winds with seas 27 ft at 58.5S 146E. The gale lifted northeast in the evening with winds still 35-40 kts over a solid area but mostly impacting Southern New Zealand with 33 ft seas at 53S 158E and barely in the CA swell window (221 degrees). On Tues AM (9/25) southwest fetch was holding while easing east at 30-35 kts aimed northeast and just barely clear of New Zealand with seas 30 ft at 49S 170E just clear of Auckland Island and in the Hawaii (201 degrees) and CA swell windows (221-222 degrees). In the evening the gale barely held with 30-35 kt south-southwest winds holding and seas 29 ft at 50S 172E free and clear of any land (200 degs HI, (220 degs CA). On Wed AM (9/26) southwest fetch of 30-35 kts is to be producing 27 ft seas at 45S 180W (220 degs CA, 200 degs HI) aimed well north. In the evening the fetch faded and barely 30 kts from the southwest over a fragmented area with seas 25 ft at 49S 173W. Fetch dissipated Thurs AM (9/27) with no seas of interest left. Possible swell for Tahiti and Hawaii but much less size for US West Coast given the relatively low wind speeds and sea heights causing significant decay on the long journey north.

North CA: Swell dissipating on Sun (10/7) from 1.5 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 220 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 the models are teasing about a gale developing west of the dateline Sat PM (10/13) with 23 ft seas just west of the dateline pushing east. On Sun AM (10/14) the gale is to track east over the dateline with seas to 24 ft at 43N 175W pushing east. In the evening the gale is to pushing into the Western Gulf with seas building to 28 ft aimed east. Something to monitor.

Windswell Forecast
Thurs (10/11) high pressure is to be fading at 1024 mbs 800 nmiles west of North CA producing north winds at only 20+ kts over a small area over Cape Mendocino and light north winds 10 kts south of there resulting in only small weak north windswell down into Central CA. More of the same is expected on Fri (10/12) and Saturday with only tiny north windswell down into mainly northern Central CA. By Sun (10/14) the gradient is to dissipate with light winds along the entire California coast producing no windswell of interest.

Hawaii: On Thursday (10/11) no windswell producing fetch is forecast aimed at the Hawaiian Islands resulting in no windswell. No change (i.e. no windswell) is forecast through Sun (10/14).


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a gale is to develop directly under New Zealand on Fri AM (10/12) with 50 kt south winds and seas building from 34 ft at 59S 1655E. In the evening southwest winds are to be 55 kts tracking east with 41 ft seas at 57.5S 177E. On Sat AM (10/13) fetch is to be fading from 45 kts from the southwest with seas 40 ft at 58S 170W aimed east-northeast. In the evening southwest fetch is to be 40 kts with 35 ft seas at 57S 163W. Maybe some fetch to hold into Sun AM (10/14) at 40 kt with seas 33 ft at 58S 155W. Something to monitor.

Details to follow...


MJO/ENSO Forecast


Sea Surface Temps Still Rising - ESPI Rising

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: La Nina started developing in early 2016, but westward displaced and generally weak. And by March 2017, it was gone with suspicious warming developing along South America and over the Galapagos to a point south of Hawaii. By May the atmosphere returned to a neutral configuration but then in July east anomalies started building in the KWGA and have not stopped, with cold water upwelling over the the Nino1.2 and 3.4 areas, indicative of La Nina. A double dip La Nina was in control and continued 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 in July and beyond, but could not sustain itself, suggesting the demise of La Nina but not yet turning towards El Nino.

Fall/Winter 2018 = 6.5 (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: Assuming the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that El Nino develops as forecast, and assuming and an ocean-atmospheric coupling becomes established in the Sept timeframe and ocean temperature anomalies in Nino3.4 build to the +1.0 deg range, there is good probability for enhanced storm production in the North Pacific starting in the late Nov timeframe (specifically the Gulf of Alaska and Dateline regions) with an increased intensity in number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in increased odds for larger than normal swell, with increased duration and higher than normal period.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Sat (10/6) 5 day average winds were from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific then stalling on the dateline and turning modest westerly over the KWGA. Anomalies were modest westerly over the entire East Pacific fading some on the dateline the turning to moderate westerly anomalies filling the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (10/7) moderate to strong west anomalies were filling the entire East Pacific to the dateline but with weak east anomalies in the far western KWGA. Weak west anomalies are to fade from here forward in the KWGA with building east anomalies building over the KWGA and filling it from 10/10 through the end of the model run on 10/14. It appears the Inactive Phase of the MJO is building solid over the KWGA, not good for support storm production.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (10/6) A moderate Inactive/Dry signal was over the West Pacific easing into the KWGA. The statistical model depicts that this pattern is to hold steady with a full moderate Inactive/Dry Phase in control of the KWGA through day 10 in the West Pacific then fading steadily and all but gone at day 15. The dynamic model depicts the same thing.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (10/7) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was strong over Africa and is to be slow fade while while moving into the Central Indian Ocean at the end of the model run 2 weeks out and very weak at that time. The GEFS model depicts a variation on the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model: (10/7) This model depicts solid Dry/Inactive pattern is over the West Pacific and is to be fading slowly while moving into the Central Pacific 10/14 then tracking east while fading pushing into Central America on 10/29. A modest Active/Wet signal is to follow in the West Pacific starting 10/24 pushing east to the Eastern equatorial Pacific and Central America at the end of the model run on 11/16.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (10/6) This model depicts strong west anomalies starting at the dateline and filling the Eastern Pacific. These anomalies to weakened while fading into the East Pacific holding through the end of the model run on 11/4. Weak to Modest east anomalies were over the Western KWGA and are to build east to the dateline on 10/9 and then holding through 10/19 then retrograding west while weakening and mostly out of the KWGA by 10/27 while modest west anomalies redevelop in the KWGA about 10/81 and holding through the end of the model run on 11/3. It seems that El Nino is trying to take root, but not coupled yet with the Inactive Phase of the MJO likely to damped quick development.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (10/7) This model depicts a weak Active Phase of the MJO was fading over the KWGA today with strong west anomalies from the dateline and points east of there into Ecuador and it is moving east. The Inactive/Dry MJO signal is to be in the Western KWGA on 10/8 and building with weak east anomalies the KWGA reaching east to the dateline with the Inactive Phase holding through 11/5 but with east anomalies fading and retrograding west with west anomalies starting to develop in the heart of the KWGA on 10/26. The Active Phase of the MJO is to take root 10/31 with west anomalies at that time building to near WWB status and getting stronger 10/31-11/24 and holding even while the Active Phase starts fading on 11/25. A weak Inactive Phase is to develop 11/28 but west anomalies holding mainly over the dateline and then moving east of the dateline at the end of the model run on 1/4. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias is fully in control of the KWGA reaching east to 125W at 3 contour lines and is to build east to 120W (over California) by 10/2 and to 115W in mid-October. A 4th contour line previously forecast to start 12/2 and holding through the end of the model run has return forecast and is to start on 12/4. The high pressure bias has dissolved south of California (9/11) and is to not return and is instead building over the Indian Ocean and reached 2 contour lines on 9/29. The atmosphere and ocean are slowly becoming coupled towards an El Nino bias in the Pacific Ocean. But the coupling is developing a bit less aggressively than expected. It's not clear when full coupling will occur, though we're now tempted to say mid to late Oct. This pattern is slowly becoming more favorable to support storm production in the Pacific regardless of whether El Nino develops, especially compared to the 2 previous years.

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 water temps are 30 degs solid building east to 180W. The 28 deg isotherm line was easing east at 155W. The 24 deg isotherm was 125 meters deep at 140W then setting progressively shallower east of there but now reaching east to 103W. Anomaly wise warm anomalies are building indicative of the new Kelvin Wave (#2) at +3 degs centered under 165W down 150 meters and reaching east to Ecuador in the +1-2 degree range. Basically warm anomalies are filling the entire Pacific subsurface region. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 9/30 paints the same picture with the Second Kelvin Wave pushing aggressively east from the Maritime Continent spilling into the West Pacific pushing under the dateline at +4.0 degs reaching east to 120W at that strength then east to 90W in the +1-2 degrees range. The remnants of the Upwelling Phase of the Kelvin Wave cycle was dissipating but still present at 90W at -1 deg C. Kelvin Wave #2 was poised to breach the surface from 105W to 130W. 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) Positive anomalies were solid from the Maritime Continent over the West Equatorial Pacific and dateline and broad in coverage east to 125W at +5-15 cms indicative of a new Kelvin Wave (#2) building and pushing east. East of there it weakened some with 5 cms anomalies in a thin but continuous stream continuing on or near the equator to Ecuador and branching out along the Central American Coast. El Nino appears to be developing.

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: (10/6) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate temps were biased cool along the outer coast of Peru and Chile but warming nearshore. A thin stream of very warm anomalies were stretched directly over the equator from Ecuador westward to 120W and more solid than weeks past then weaker warming out to the dateline. Generic warm anomalies were north of there from Central America and south of Mexico building out to Hawaii and the dateline. Previous small pockets of persistent cool upwelling on the equator have vaporized. The remnants of the La Nina cool pool were gone. It's actually starting to look like El Nino.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (10/6): A modest warming pattern is in place extending continuously from the Ecuador over the Galapagos along the equator out to 140W and then weaker west of there to the dateline and now mainly south of the equator. There was 1 small pocket of cooling waters near 100W, but not strong. This a significant turnaround. Temps were warming along the coasts of Chile and Peru dramatically too.
Hi-res Overview: (10/6) A pocket of weak cool water was present just off the coasts of Chile and Peru. Otherwise moderate warm water was on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos out to the 140W then weaker out to the dateline. There were no longer any small imbedded pockets of cool anomalies. It seems we've turned the corner to a warm regime and are no longer in a mixed pattern where La Nina cool anomalies are present intermixed with warm anomalies.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (10/7) Today's temps were rising slightly at +0.480 down from the all time high for this event on 9/25 +1.316. Two previous peaks occurred of +0.510 degs on 9/17 and +0.459 on 5/13. Otherwise temps have been steady in the -0.50 deg range.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (10/7) Today temps were on the rise again at +0.785, beating the previous all time high of +0.649 on 9/27, and that beating the previous peak at +0.490 on 7/2. Overall temps are slowly and markedly rising from the +0.25 degs range the past month. This looks like perhaps El Nino is developing.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (10/7) The forecast calls for a steady increase from here forward rising Oct 1 to +0.70 degs and to +1.00 degs in early Nov and to +1.3 degs in Dec fading slowly from there to +1.10 degs in April 2019 then slowly fading through May 2019 down to +0.75 degs. This suggests that perhaps El Nino is to build through the Fall of 2018. Most other models are also suggesting a possible turn to weak El Nino conditions by late Fall.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Sept Plume depicts temps at +0.52 degs in August (predicted at +0.6 last month) and are to slowly rise from here forward, to +0.71 in October (+0.8 per last months forecast) and +0.8 to +0.9 in Nov through March 2019, then slowly fading to 0.7 in May. See chart here - link. It looks like La Nina is fading out and there's a 76% chance of a weak El Nino developing.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad) (10/7): The daily index was negative at -6.38 today. The 30 day average was falling rising at -8.20 suggesting an Active MJO was fading. The 90 day average was rising at -4.24. The 90 degree average turned negative for the first time in a year on 6/30 suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was building in the atmosphere. This is expected for a month more before falling into steady negative territory by mid August.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (10/7) Today the index was rising at +0.24 today after falling to -0.43 on 9/22. It fell below it's all time recent high of +0.24 on 9/8. The reading from 8/14 (+0.11) was the first time it's turned positive in a year. But this recent turn to negative suggest that perhaps La Nina is not gone or at a minimum the Upwelling Phase of the Kelvin Wave Cycle is occurring. In reality, we're in ENSO neutral state now and it's not unexpected that the Index will toggle between weakly positive to weakly negative. Recent points of interest in reverse chronological order are: -1.04 on 6/5, -0.70 on 5/20, -0.60 on 5/17, -0.36 on 5/11 and -0.38 on 5/10, -0.35 on 4/26, -1.02 on 4/5, -1.13 on 3/27. The trend suggests La Nina is all but gone. This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina situations.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly positive, even though La Nina is in play.
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 -0.88, July -0.23. 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. 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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