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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Sunday, October 14, 2018 6:21 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
2.4 - California & 2.4 - 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 10/15 thru Sun 10/21

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   

New Zealand Swell #2 Fading in CA
Another NZ Storm Developing - NPac Storm Too

On Sunday, October 14, 2018 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 2.4 ft @ 16.7 secs with swell 1.6 ft @ 13.3 secs from 203 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.6 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 2.0 ft @ 11.8 secs from 344 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.1 ft @ 10.0 secs with swell 2.6 ft @ 10.3 secs from 188 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southwest at 8-10 kts. Water temperature 69.4 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.4 ft @ 16.3 secs from 191 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.6 ft @ 17.3 secs from 211 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 3.1 ft @ 16.3 secs from 214 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 3.0 ft @ 16.8 secs from 212 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.5 ft @ 16.7 secs with swell 3.0 ft @ 16.4 secs from 223 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was 0-2 kts from the north. Water temp 63.1 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 (10/14) in North and Central CA southern hemi swell was producing waves at chest to head high with nearly clean conditions even in the afternoon. Protected breaks were thigh to waist high and soft and clean. At Santa Cruz Swell #2 was hitting producing waves at head high to 1 ft overhead when they came and very lined up, but pretty slow in the afternoon with north texture running through it. In Southern California/Ventura New Zealand swell was producing waves at waist high with maybe some chest high peaks and lined up but textured. In North Orange Co swell from New Zealand was producing set waves at near head high on the sets and lined up and pretty chunked out from north wind and tide. South Orange Country's best breaks were up to 1 ft overhead and line dup but soft and textured from north wind. In North San Diego surf was chest to head high and lined up and nearly closed out and a bit chunky from wind. Hawaii's North Shore was getting windswell with waves waist to chest high and pretty warbled from north winds. The South Shore was getting New Zealand swell with waves chest high or so on the sets and a bit textured and lined up. The East Shore was flat to thigh high and and heavily textured from north wind.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Sunday (10/14) swell from the Second of of three gales that previously passed under New Zealand was still hitting California solid. And swell from the Third Gale was starting to hit Hawaii. Some of that energy to reach CA too. The second gale developed on Wed (10/3) with 34 ft seas aimed east and the third Sat-Sun (10/7) with 30-32 ft seas aimed east. A storm developed while pushing east through the Southeast Pacific Wed-Thurs (10/12) with 47 ft seas aimed east. Little expected from it. And another gale developed under New Zealand Fri-Sat (10/13) with up to 37 ft seas aimed northeast. Yet maybe one more is to develop there on Wed-Thurs (10/18) with 37 ft seas again aimed well northeast. And up north a gale developed over the dateline pushing into the Northwestern Gulf Sat-Mon (10/15) with up to 38 ft seas aimed east. But nothing solid is to follow directly. At least it's a start. 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 (10/14) swell from a gale that developed on the Dateline was pushing southeast (See Dateline Gale below)

Over the next 72 hours


Dateline Gale
A gale developed mid-way between Kamchatka and the dateline on Sat AM (10/13) producing a tiny area of 45 kt northwest winds ands seas building. In the evening a broader fetch of up to 50 kt northwest winds were pushing over the dateline with 36 ft seas on the dateline at 48N 180E over a small area targeting Hawaii and California. On Sun AM (10/14) the gale tracked east into the Northwestern Gulf with 45 kt northwest winds and seas to 38 ft at 46N 173W pushing east. In the evening the gale is to be fading in the Gulf with 40 kt northwest winds and seas fading from 31 ft at 45N 167W. Monday (10/15) the gale is to fade while stalling in the Northwestern Gulf with northwest winds 30+ kts and seas 24 ft at 43N 163.5W targeting both Hawaii and California. The gale is to hold position in the evening and fade with winds barely 30 kts from the west and seas fading from 21 ft at 45.5N 161.5W. The gale is to dissipate from there. Something to monitor. Possible teaser Fall swell to result for Hawaii and California.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Tues (10/16) building to 5.3 ft @ 17 secs late (9.0 ft). Swell fading Wed AM (10/17) from 6.7 ft @ 14-15 secs (9.5 ft) early. Swell fading Thurs AM (10/18) from 4.9 ft @ 12-13 secs (6.0 ft). Dribbles early Fri (10/19) fading from 3.5 ft @ 11 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 335 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival late on Wed (10/17) building to 3.9 ft @ 17 secs (6.5 ft). Swell peaks Thurs AM (10/18) at 5.3 ft @ 15 secs (8.0 ft) and shadowed in the SF Bay Area. Swell fading Fri (10/19) from 4.8 ft @ 13 secs (6.0 ft). Nothing much to follow. Swell Direction: 298 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival late on Thurs (10/18) building to 2.0 ft @ 17 secs (3.0 ft at exposed breaks). Swell peaking Fri AM (10/19) at 2.5 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5 ft faces). Swell fading on Sat AM (10/20) from 2.2 ft @ 13 secs (2.5 ft) Swell Direction: 304 degrees


Windswell Forecast
California: No locally produced windswell of interest is forecast. See QuikCAST's for details.

Hawaii: No locally produced windswell of interest is forecast. See QuikCAST's for details.


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


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are forecast.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Sunday (10/14) seasonally correct light winds were in control of the entire California coast. A light wind regime is to stay in control through Sat (10/20). A light north flow is to set up on Sun (10/21) at 5-10 kts for North and Central CA mainly in the afternoon. Maybe a front is to be over outer waters (600 nmiles off the North CA coast) at that time.


South Pacific

On Sunday AM (10/14) the southern branch of the jetstream was lifting hard north-northeast under and just east of New Zealand reaching up to 53S forming a trough being fed by 130 kts winds offering decent support for gale development there. East of there the jet was falling southeast forming a trough and suppressing support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours the trough is to generally hold while tracking slowly east reaching the Central South Pacific on Tues (10/16) but with winds down to 100-110 kts offering less support for gale development. But on Wed (10/17) another batch of wind energy is to start building under New Zealand building to 140 kts and lifting gently northeast again opening up the storm window. Beyond 72 hours starting Thurs (10/18) those winds are to be pushing northeast at 130 kts feeding the preexisting trough and building in coverage into Fri (10/19) over the Central South Pacific offering yet more support for gale development. The trough is to start weakening on Sat (10/20) and almost gone on Sun (10/21) with support for gale development fading. Overall, a pretty decent upper level pattern is indicated.

Surface Analysis  
On Sunday (10/14) swell was radiating northeast from 3 gales that previously tracked under New Zealand, with swell from the second hitting California now (see New Zealand Gale 2 below) and swell from the third gale hitting Hawaii and bound for CA (see New Zealand Gale 3 below). Also swell from another gale that developed under New Zealand on Fri-Sat (10/13) was also radiating northeast (see Another New Zealand Gale below). No swell is expected from yet another gale that tracked fast east across the Southeast Pacific on Wed-Thurs (10/11).

Over the next 72 hours yet another gale is to develop under New Zealand on Wed AM (10/17) producing 45 kt southwest winds and seas building to 31 ft at 58S 170E aimed northeast. In the evening southwest winds to continue lifting northeast at 45 kts with seas building to 40 ft at 55S 179W. On Thurs AM (10/18) southwest fetch is to be fading from 40 to barely 45 kts with 40 ft seas aimed northeast at 52S 171.5W tracking northeast. Fetch is to fade from 35 kts in the evening with seas fading from 35 ft at 46.5S 165.5W. The gael to fade from there. Something to monitor.



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 faded from there in the evening with seas fading from 30 ft at 57S 178.5W. Maybe some small sideband swell to radiate northeast.

South California: Swell fading Mon (10/15) from 2.5 ft @ 16 secs (4.0 ft). Swell fading Tues (10/16) from 1.8 ft @ 15 secs early (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 216 degrees.

North California: Swell fading Mon (10/15) from 2.3 ft @ 16 secs early (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell fading Tues (10/16) from 1.8 ft @ 15 secs early (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 215 degrees.


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 started fading Sun AM (10/7) with west winds 35 kts and seas 30 ft at 56S 171W. By evening a new fetch of 35 kt west winds developed under New Zealand with 29 ft seas at 56S 172E aimed east. By Mon (10/8) seas were below 30 ft and of no interest. Some odds for small sideband swell radiating northeast.

Hawaii: Swell continues on Sun (10/14) fading from 1.6 ft @ 16 secs (2.5 ft). Swell fading Mon (10/15) from 1.5 ft @ 15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell fading Tues (10/16) from 1.6 ft @ 15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Dribbles on Wed (10/17) fading from 1.1 ft @ 13-14 secs (1.5 ft). Swell Direction: 198 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon afternoon (10/15) building to 1.2 ft @ 18-19 seas late (2.0 ft). Swell building Tues (10/16) to 2.0 ft @ 17 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell peaking on Wed (10/17) at 2.4 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft). Swell fading on Thurs (10/18) from 2.3 ft @ 15 secs (3.5 ft). Swell continues on Fri (10/19) at 2.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell fading on Sat (10/20) from 1.9 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Nothing after that. Swell Direction: 210 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon afternoon (10/15) building to 1.1 ft @ 19 seas late (2.0 ft). Swell building Tues (10/16) to 2.0 ft @ 17 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell peaking on Wed (10/17) at 2.4 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft). Swell fading on Thurs (10/18) from 2.3 ft @ 15 secs (3.5 ft). Noting meaningful on Fri (10/19) and buried in northwest swell Swell Direction: 210 degrees


Another New Zealand Gale
On Fri AM (10/12) a gale developed directly under New Zealand with 50-55 kt southwest winds and seas building from 32 ft at 59S 159E aimed east. In the evening southwest winds built in coverage at 45 kts tracking east with 37 ft seas at 57S 170E aimed east. On Sat AM (10/13) fetch was fading from 40 kts from the southwest with seas 34 ft at 53.5S 173.5E aimed east-northeast. In the evening southwest fetch was 35 kts with 29-30 ft over a broad area at 55S 179W aimed northeast. Some 40 kt southwest fetch rebuilt Sun AM (10/14) aimed well northeast in the same area with barely 29 ft seas at 52S 173W. In the evening fetch is to fade from 35 kts aimed northeast with a decent area of 29 ft seas at 46S 168W. Fetch is to fade from there. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Fri (10/19) building to 1.6 ft @ 19 secs later (3.0 ft). Swell building through the day Sat (10/20) to 2.6 ft @ 16-17 secs later (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell holding on Sunday (10/21) at 3.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 192 degrees

South CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (10/21) building to 1.1 ft @ 18 secs late (1.5-2.0 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 there's low odds of a small gale developing over the north dateline region on Sat (10/20) producing a tiny area of 20 ft seas tracking southeast into Sun AM (10/21). Doubtful any swell to result.

Windswell Forecast
No locally produced windswell of interest is forecast.

Hawaii: No locally produced windswell of interest is forecast.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours yet maybe another small gale is to develop southeast of New Zealand on Sat-Sun (10/21) with 29-30 ft seas aimed well northeast. Something to monitor.

Details to follow...


MJO/ENSO Forecast


Sea Surface Temp Rise Stalled - Inactive MJO Arrives

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 (10/13) 5 day average winds were from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the KWGA. Anomalies were light westerly over the East Pacific then switching to light easterly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (10/14) modest east anomalies were over the dateline and into the eastern KWGA and are to hold for 2-3 days, then fading in coverage isolated to the dateline and then gone even there by 10/20. What was feared to be rather robust version of the Inactive Phase of the MJO is now looking to be rather anemic, just what we need. impact on storm production could be minimal.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (10/13) A moderate Inactive/Dry signal was over the West Pacific and the KWGA. The statistical model depicts that this pattern is to hold for 3-4 days then fading fast and gone by day 5 with a weak Active MJO Phase developing in the KWGA at day 8, then fading to neutral by day 15. The dynamic model depicts the same thing initially but the Inactive Phase of the MJO rebuilding solid over the KWGA at day 15. The 2 models are in direct opposition to each other.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (10/14) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was modest over the Indian Ocean and is to slowly fade to nothing maybe retrograding back over Africa 2 weeks out by incredibly weak. The GEFS model depicts a variation on the same thing but with the Active Phase rebuilding far stronger (to strong status) while retrograding over East Africa 2 weeks out.
40 day Upper Level Model: (10/14) This model depicts solid Dry/Inactive pattern is over the East Pacific and is to track east pushing into Central America on 10/24. A modest Active/Wet signal is to follow in the West Pacific starting 10/19 pushing east to the Eastern equatorial Pacific and Central America on 11/13. A new modest Inactive Phase of the MJO is to be moving into the West Pacific on 11/8 and pushing to the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 11/23.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (10/13) This model depicts weak east anomalies in the KWGA. But theses anomalies are to retrograde west and dissipate10/20 with weak west anomalies backfilling into the KWGA from the east starting 10/20 and filling the KWGA 10/29. and building through the end of the model run on 11/10. 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): (10/14) This model depicts the middle of a weak Inactive/Dry MJO signal was over the with neutral to perhaps light east anomalies over the Western KWGA. But western anomalies are to start rebuilding in the core of the KWGA on 10/20 and steadily building in coverage continuing forward. The Active Phase of the MJO is to take root 11/10 with west anomalies building to Westerly Wind Burst (WWB) status holding while the Active Phase starts fading on 12/1. A weak Inactive Phase is to develop 12/5 but west anomalies are to hold though weaker until the Active Phase rebuilds on 12/30 holding through the end of the model run on 1/11/19. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias is fully in control of the KWGA reaching east to 125W at 3 contour lines building east to 120W (over California) by 10/2 and is forecast to 115W late-October. A 4th contour line previously forecast to start 12/2 and holding through the end of the model run has again reappeared starting 12/1. 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: (10/14) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs solid building east to 179E. The 28 deg isotherm line was easing east at 153W. The 24 deg isotherm was 125 meters deep at 140W then setting progressively shallower east of there but now reaching east to 99W. Anomaly wise warm anomalies are building indicative of the new Kelvin Wave (#2) at +3-4 degs centered under 165W down 150 meters and reaching east with +3 degree anomalies just off the coast of Ecuador and +1-2 degree anomalies impacting the coast there. Basically warm anomalies are filling the entire Pacific subsurface region. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 10/10 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 100W in the +2 degrees range. The remnants of the Upwelling Phase of the Kelvin Wave cycle are gone. Kelvin Wave #2 was breaching the surface from 105W to 130W solidly with secondary solid warm anomalies starting to fill the entire region on the equator from 105W-165E. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (10/10) Positive anomalies were solid from the Maritime Continent over the West Equatorial Pacific and dateline and broad in coverage east to 100W 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 but not down into South America. 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: (10/14) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate temps were biased weakly cool along the outer coast of Peru and Chile but warming some nearshore, but not as strong as days previous. A thin stream of very warm anomalies were stretched directly over the equator from Ecuador westward to 125W strongly and modestly out to 160W and more solid than weeks or even days past. 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 are gone. previous warming building south of the equator from Peru west to 160W down to 12S has retrograded to 8S. It's actually starting to look like El Nino.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (10/13): A modest warming pattern is in place extending continuously from the Ecuador over the Galapagos along the equator out to 120W. Temps were weakly warming along the coasts of Chile and Peru.
Hi-res Overview: (10/13) A pocket of weak cool water was present just off the outer coasts of Chile but warm water was building along the immediate coast of Peru. Otherwise moderate warm water was on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos out to the 140W then weaker out to the dateline and it was getting pretty warm between the Galapagos out to 125W. 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: (10/14) Today's temps were falling at +0.198 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: (10/14) Today temps were down slightly at +0.759, below the peak of +0.795 on 10/9, 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 (10/14) The forecast calls for a steady increase from here forward rising Oct 1 to +0.80 degs (on track) and to +1.00 degs in mid-Oct and +1.1 degs in early Nov and to +1.25 degs in Dec and Jan 2019, then fading slowly from there to +1.20 degs in April 2019 then slowly fading through July 2019 down to +0.50 degs. This suggests that perhaps El Nino is to build through the Fall of 2018. But perhaps La Nina to follow in Fall of 2019. 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) (10/14): The daily index was solidly positive at +27.20 today. The 30 day average was rising at -4.33 suggesting an Active MJO was fading. The 90 day average was falling some at -4.08 and has been steady for a month now. 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): (10/14) Today the index was falling some to +0.21 after having risen to +0.39 on 10/10, the highest so far this event. The reading from 8/14 (+0.11) was the first time it's turned positive in a year. 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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