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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Saturday, October 9, 2021 1:51 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
2.5 - 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 10/11 thru Sun 10/17

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 Hitting HI
NPac to Try - But a Building La Nina Not Helpful


On Saturday, October 9, 2021 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt) : Seas were 4.2 ft @ 18.2 secs with swell 2.8 ft @ 17.7 secs from 186 degrees. Water temp 78.8 degs (Pearl Harbor 233), NA (Lani 239), 79.5 (Barbers Pt).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 7.1 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 5.1 ft @ 8.5 secs from 31 degrees. Water temp 78.8 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.8 ft @ 5.9 secs with swell 1.3 ft @ 15.2 secs from 262 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 8-10 kts. Water temperature 64.8 degs, 63.9 (Topanga 103), 62.2 degs (Long Beach 215), 65.1 (Del Mar 153), 68.7 (Pt Loma 191). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 2.6 ft @ 14.9 secs from 272 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.3 ft @ 6.3 secs from 260 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.1 ft @ 14.6 secs from 203 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 2.2 ft @ 15.3 secs from 250 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 3.1 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 2.0 ft @ 14.7 secs from 278 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was southeast at 10-12 kts. Water temp 57.0 (Pt Reyes 029), 57.2 (46026), 59.0 degs (SF Bar 142), and 56.1 (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 Saturday (10/9) North and Central CA had waves at chest to head high at top spots and clean and lined up but a little closed out. Protected breaks were maybe waist high on the sets and soft and mushed but clean. At Santa Cruz surf was flat to knee high and clean. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist high on the sets and somewhat lined up but soft and clean. Central Orange County was flat and clean breaking on the beach. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at waist high and clean and somewhat lined up with decent form but weak. North San Diego had sets waves at thigh to waist high and clean but soft and inconsistent. Hawaii's North Shore had sets at waist to chest high and lined up and clean but inconsistent and weak with some northeast warble running through it. The South Shore had inconsistent shoulder high sets and clean but with brisk easterly winds just off the beach. The East Shore was getting head high east windswell and chopped from strong east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Saturday (10/9) in California background swell originating from a tropical system previously off Japan was occasionally hitting. Otherwise nothing was occurring. Hawaii's South Shore was getting the leading edge of swell originating from a gale that 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. Southwest angled swell is to continue for HI and eventually reach CA. A gale is forecast tracking through the Northern Gulf on Sat-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 20-24 ft seas lasting into early Thurs (10/14) fading in the Northern Gulf while another builds in the Northern Gulf with up to 26 ft seas aimed southeast. Nothing obvious to follow.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Saturday (10/9) the jet was tracking east on the 48N latitude line off North Japan forming a weak trough off the Kuril Islands being fed by 100 kts winds offering some limited support for gale development. A second trough was over the Northern Gulf of Alaska being fed by 120 kts winds offering some modest support of gale development. A ridge was in between the two troughs. Over the next 72 hours the Gulf trough is to push into British Columbia on Sun (10/10) producing only weather there while the Kuril Island trough tries to pinch off tracking east offering nothing until it reaches the Northern Gulf on Tues (10/12) being fed by 140 kts winds offering brief window to support gale development before moving into British Columbia early Wed (10/13). Beyond 72 hours starting Wed (10/13) the jet is to start riding gently north over the West Pacific mostly over the Western Aleutians but then sagging south and forming a steady trough in the Northern Gulf starting Thurs (10/14) and building into Sat (10/16) being fed by 120-130 kts winds offering some support for gale development. The ridge is to hold over the West.

Surface Analysis
On Saturday (10/9) 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 moved into the Northern Gulf Fri PM (10/8) producing 35 kt west winds with seas building from 18 ft at 54N 159 W aimed east. On Sat AM (10/9) more of the same was occurring with 30 kt northwest winds building over the Northern Gulf and 19 ft seas at 54N 155W aimed east. In the evening 30-35 kt northwest winds are to start getting better traction over exposes waters in the Northern Gulf with 21 ft seas at 55N 149W aimed east. On Sun AM (10/10) fetch is to fall southeast while fading at 30 kts with seas 21 ft at 54N 144W aimed southeast. In the evening fetch is to be gone. 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

  • Sun (10/10) high pressure takes control with northwest winds 15+ kts for all of North and Central CA early but maybe less nearshore building to 25-30 kts for all of North CA in the afternoon and 20 kts down into Central CA.
  • 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. A weak backdoor front is possibly to produce limited snow sweeping down the entire Sierra from Tahoe southward during the day.
  • Tues (10/12) high pressure fades some with northwest winds 20-25 kts for North CA and Central CA early fading to mostly in the 20+ kt range later.
  • Wed (10/13) northwest winds to be 10-15 kts for North CA early and 20 kts for Central CA rebuilding to 20-25 kts for North CA later and 20 kts for Central CA. Light rain for Cape Mendocino early.
  • Thurs (10/14) high pressure returns with northwest winds 20-25 kts for North CA early and 15 kts nearshore for Central CA but 20 kts off the coast. No change in the afternoon.
  • Fri (10/15) winds fades with north winds 15-20 kts for Cape Mendocino early and 10 kts from Bodega Bay southward early fading to 15+ kts limited to Cape Mendocino later.
  • Sat (10/16) northwest winds are forecast at 15 kts for Cape Mendocino early but light south of there.

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

Freezing level 7,000 ft today building to 12,000 ft on 10/10, only to fall again to 4,000 ft briefly early on 10/12 then rebuilding to 9,000 ft in the afternoon and slowly building to 12,500 ft on 10/15 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: 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 24 ft seas at 49.5N 172.75E and the other just south of the Eastern Aleutians with 35-40 kts west winds starting to get traction on the oceans surface producing a tiny area of 20 ft seas at 53N 158W aimed east. On Tues AM (10/12) the west most gale is to be over the eastern dateline with 35 kts west winds and 23 ft seas at 50N 178W and the eastern most gale in the Northwestern Gulf with 40 kt northwest winds and seas 26 ft at 53N 148W aimed southeast. In the evening the dateline gale is to move the extreme Northwestern Gulf with 30-35 kt west winds over a solid area with seas 22 ft at 50N 168W aimed east and the Gulf gale over the Eastern Gulf with 30-35 kt northwest winds and seas 26 ft at 54N 140W aimed southeast but east of the NCal swell window. By Wed AM (10/13) the first gale is to be fading in the Northwestern Gulf with fetch fading from 30 kts and seas 21 ft at 52N 156W aimed east. The other gale is to pushing over British Columbia. Something to monitor.

Nothing obvious to follow.


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 as the low pressure bias builds in from the west nearly filling the KWGA in late Dec. The 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 (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 (10/8) 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 (10/9) 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 more or less for the next week with weak west anomalies pushing east filling the western half of the KWGA 10/10-10/13 then retrograding with east anomalies slowly taking over the entire KWGA at the end of the model run on 10/16 and holding east to a point south of California. There's no clear sign of the Active Phase of the MJO. This has been an unbelievably strong and long lasting Easterly Wind Burst that started 9/8 and has no end in sight. It's the classic buildup to La Nina

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (10/8) A moderate Active MJO signal was indicated over the KWGA today. The statistic model projects the Active Phase holding unchanged through the 15 days model run. The dynamic model projects a moderate Active Phase holding ground unchanged through day 5 of the model run then fading to weak status on day 10 and gone at day 15 of the model run.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (10/9) 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 nonexistent status over the 15 days model run. The dynamic model suggests the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (10/8) A moderate Active Phase (wet air) was indicated pushing into the West Pacific today with the Inactive Phase (dry air) over Africa. 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 10/28. A moderate Inactive Phase (dry air) is to be moving east over the KWGA on 10/28 tracking to Central America at the end of the model run on 11/17. A new moderate Active Phase (wet air) is forecast starting to move over the KWGA on 11/12 tracking east from there.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (10/8) This model depicts a dry and weak Active Phase building over the KWGA with moderate east anomalies controlling the eastern 50% of the KWGA but with west anomalies over the far West KWGA. The forecast indicates the Active Phase of the MJO traversing the KWGA through 10/20 but with west anomalies limited to the far West KWGA and retreating west and gone by 10/15 with weak east anomalies over the dateline. The Inactive Phase is to be right behind controlling the KWGA 10/24-11/4 with east anomalies building in strong again starting 10/16-11/4. The Inactive Phase and east anomalies are to be fading on the last day of the model run 11/5 with a strong Active Phase poised over the Maritime Continent.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (10/9 - 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 west anomalies retrograding and gone in the KWGA by 10/18 with east anomalies again filling the KWGA. A weak Inactive MJO signal is to follow 10/25-11/4 with east anomalies in control over the KWGA through 11/3. The Active Phase is forecast developing 11/8-12/14 with west anomalies developing decently starting 11/5 and holding through the end of the model run on 1/6/2022. 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 10/17 holding through 11/25. A broad single contour low pressure bias is to develop 11/2 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 then reaching to 170E at the end of the model run filling 75% of the KWGA. Today a solid east anomaly pattern that has been in control of KWGA since early July 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 for now but with it slowly tracking east and maybe nearly out of the KWGA as winter proper starts.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (10/9) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was gone. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 180W. The 24 deg isotherm is stable at 123W. Warm water has receded west and has more or less stabilized there. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +1 deg C were steady but limited in coverage to the far West Pacific reaching east to only 170W. All sensors are down at 140W. Mostly cool anomalies were in control at -3 degs C at 125W 100 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 10/5 indicates no warm water east of 170W with a bullet proof bubble of cold water at -5C below normal east of there (where the sensors are inoperable) extending upward into Ecuador. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (10/5) Sea heights were falling over the entire equatorial Pacific with negative anomalies at -5 cms over the East equatorial Pacific between the Galapagos to 175E and with a broad peak at -20 cms between 130W to 150W and -15 cms anomalies between 120W-160W. 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 and stronger than last year. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram La Nina is as strong as it was last year (-2.5 degs C) in late Oct, but clearly positioned more to the west.

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: (10/8) The latest images depict a broad 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 indicates the return of cold 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 (10/8): Temps were cooling from Ecuador out to 160W with no real pockets of warming to be found.
Hi-res Overview: (10/8) A 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 120W 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 is making a solid resurgence but focused over the Central Pacific.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (10/9) Today's temps were toggling steady at -0.648 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:
(10/9) Today temps were steady down at -0.593 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 up 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 (10/9) - 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 late Sept dropping down to -1.75 later in late 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 late Nov starting to rise slowly after mid-Jan 2022. At this point that is as good a guess as any. And the model has been unwavering in this projection for weeks now.
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) (10/9): The daily index was solid positive at 2.51 today, after peaking at +37.86 on 7/15 and +27.75 on 9/13. The 30 day average continued it's steady rise up to +10.87 today rising from +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 +9.55, 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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