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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, October 18, 2022 12:59 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 & 3.0 - Hawaii
Using the 'Winter' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

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

Issued for Week of Monday 10/10 thru Sun 10/16

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   

Modest NPac Swell Hitting CA
Stronger Gulf Swell for CA - SPac Swell for Both


Tuesday, October 18, 2022 :

  • Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt)/Buoy 239 (Lani): Seas were 4.0 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 2.9 ft @ 11.9 secs from 310 degrees. Water temp 81.1 degs (Barbers Pt), 81.0 (Pearl Harbor 233), 81.5 (Lani 239).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 5.7 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 4.0 ft @ 12.3 secs from 328 degrees. Water temp 81.1 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.2 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 1.8 ft @ 13.7 secs from 242 degrees. Wind north at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 68.9 degs, 65.1 (Topanga 103), 63.5 degs (Long Beach 215), 68.0 (Oceanside Offshore 045), 66.2 (Del Mar 153), 68.5 (Torrey Pines Outer 100). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 2.0 ft @ 13.1 secs from 233 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.2 ft @ 13.6 secs from 210 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.3 ft @ 13.4 secs from 210 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.5 ft @ 13.4 secs from 201 degrees. Water temperate was 69.1 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.3 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 4.6 ft @ 15.5 secs from 291 degrees. Wind at buoy 46012 was northwest at 10-14 kts. Water temp 58.8 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 54.5 (Pt Reyes 46013), 58.3 (46026), 58.8 (SF Bar 142), 57.7 (Pt Santa Cruz 254) and 62.4 (Monterey Bay 46042).

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

Swell Classification Guidelines

Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
- 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 Tuesday (10/18) North and Central CA was getting the first taste of northern hemi swell with waves chest to near head high and lined up and clean but pretty closed out. Protected breaks were occasionally waist high and clean but closed out. At Santa Cruz surf was occasionally chest high on the sets and clean and lined up but soft. In Southern California/Ventura waves were flat to maybe thigh high and clean and offshore but not really rideable. Central Orange County was flat to thigh high and clean. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at chest high or so on the peak and lined up and clean with good form but soft. North San Diego had sets at waist high and clean and lined up but soft. Hawaii's North Shore had some sets at 2-3 ft overhead at top breaks and clean and lined up. The South Shore had some waist high sets and clean and lined up but weak. The East Shore was getting east windswell at thigh to maybe waist high and clean early with no wind.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (10/18) California was getting the leading edge of swell from a gale in the Northern Hemisphere that tracked from the North Dateline region to the Northwestern Gulf Thurs-Sat (10/15) producing 20-22 ft seas while Hawaii was getting the trailing edge of it. And secondary energy from that system is developing while tracking east and northeast through the Gulf Mon-Wed (10/19) producing 21 ft seas aimed southeast at Hawaii then building to 40 ft later Tuesday aimed from Pt Conception northward. Another cutoff low is to develop just north of Hawaii Wed-Thurs (10/20) producing 21 ft seas aimed south targeting Hawaii well. And maybe one more gale is to track east through the Northern Gulf Fri-Sat (10/22) producing 25 ft seas aimed east. And possibly more longterm. Fall is trying to evolve. Also a gale developed in the Central South Pacific Fri-Sat (10/15) producing up to 32 ft seas aimed well northeast mainly at the mainland but offering sideband potential for the Hawaiian Islands. Swell arrival in Hawaii on Thurs (10/20) and in California over the weekend.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Tuesday (10/18) the jetstream was ridging northeast off Japan with winds 160 kts moving just over the Aleutians on the dateline then falling hard south at 180 kts forming a steep trough over the Northwestern Gulf offering good support for gale development. From there the jet tracked northeast and up into Alaska. Over the next 72 hours The Northern Gulf trough is to starting to pinch off on Wed (10/19) then becoming fully cutoff from the main flow dropping well south and just north of Hawaii on Thurs (10/20) with 130 kt winds circulating around it offering some support for local low pressure to develop targeting the Islands. The main flow is to be tracking east just south of the Aleutians with winds to 190 kts over the dateline region. Beyond 72 hours starting Sat (10/22) the cut off low north of Hawaii is to becomes reabsorbed by the main flow of the jet tracking off Japan and gently ridging northeast with winds 90-100 kts then pushing just south of the Eastern Aleutians with winds 150 kts before pushing hard south just off the Canadian Coast and moving inland over the North California coast not really offering any support for gale development. But by Mon (10/24) a new steep trough is to be building in the Northern Gulf being fed by 130-140 kts winds offering some support for gale development with 190 kt winds building while ridging hard northeast off Japan reaching just north of the Central Aleutians then starting to feed into the Northern Gulf trough on Tues (10/25) offering good support for gale development. At least the jet is starting to wake up.

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday (10/18) residual swell is fading in Hawaii having been generated by a gale that pushed across the North Pacific and swell from the leading edge of that system is starting to hit California (see North Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours more swell is expected from a gale that started developing north of Hawaii and built while tracking northeast into the the Gulf of Alaska (see Gulf Gale below).

And another small cutoff low is forecast developing 900 nmiles north of Hawaii on Wed AM (10/19) generating a small fetch of 30-35 kt north winds and seas building. Fetch is to build in the evening at 35 kts over a tiny area aimed south with 21 ft seas at 35N 157W aimed south. Fetch is to be collapsing Thurs AM (10/20) from 35 kts with seas fading from 21 ft at 34.5N 160.25W aimed south. Fetch fading in the evening from 30 kts from the north with seas fading from 21 ft at 33.75N 163,75W aimed south. This system is to be gone after that. Something to monitor. Swell from it is to be hitting simultaneously with Gulf Gale swell annotated below.


North Pacific Gale
On Wed PM (10/12) a new gale developed just off Kamchatka producing 40 kt west winds just south of the West Aleutians producing 21 ft seas at 49.5N 160.75E aimed east. On Thurs AM (10/13) a broad fetch of 30-35 kt west winds were pushing east just south of the Aleutians with seas 20 ft at 47N 169E aimed east. Fetch built in coverage in the evening over the North Dateline region at 30 kts from the northwest with seas building to 21 ft at 46.25N 177.75E aimed east. Fetch held Fri AM (10/14) in the far northwestern Gulf from 30 kts from the northwest with seas building to 21 ft at 44N 176W aimed southeast. In the evening fetch continued pushing east at 30 kts from the northwest with seas 21 ft at 45N 171W aimed southeast. The gale continued east on Sat AM at 30 kts from the northwest over the Northwestern Gulf with seas 21 ft at 44N 165W aimed southeast. In the evening northwest winds were fading in coverage in the Northwestern Gulf from 30 kts with seas 19 ft at 45N 162W aimed southeast. The gale dissipated after that. Swell is pushing southeast targeting Hawaii and the US West Coast.

Oahu: Swell fading some early Tues (10/18) from 3.6 ft @ 12 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Dribbles on Wed (10/19) fading from 3.1 ft @ 12 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 335 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival later on Tues (10/18) building to 3.4 ft @ 14 secs (4.5 ft). Swell peaking early Wed (10/19) at 4.5 ft @ 12-13 secs (5.5 ft). Residuals on Thurs (10/20) fading from 3.0 ft @ 11-12 secs (3.5 ft) and being overrun by new swell. Swell Direction: 296 degrees


Gulf Gale
Another gale developed over the South Dateline tracking east from a point off Japan on Sun PM (10/16) with winds 35-40 kts from the west with seas 20 ft over a small area at 35.75N 172.25W aimed east at Hawaii. On Mon AM (10/17) 35-40 kt west winds were over the Southwestern Gulf with seas 20 ft at 37.5N 161.25W aimed east with sideband energy targeting Hawaii. In the evening the gale was lifting hard northeast with 40-45 kt north and west winds and seas 21-23 ft at 42.5N 151W aimed east and southeast. On Tues AM (10/18) the gale was building dramatically while tracking north over the Northern Gulf with 50-55 kt north and northwest winds targeting the US West Coast and Canada with seas 33 ft at 49N 148.25W aimed south and southeast. In the evening then fetch is to shift from the west at 45-50 kts positioned just off North Canada and South Alaska with seas 45 ft at 53.75N 142.25W aimed east mainly at Canada. On Wed AM (10/19) the gale is to be pushing northeast up into North Canada with no fetch aimed at the US West Coast any more. Seas still 36 ft at 57N 140.25W targeting only North Canada. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival late on Wed (10/19) building to 6.1 ft @ 10-11 secs (6.0 ft). Swell peaking early Thurs AM (10/20) at 7.1 ft @ 11 secs (7.5 ft) and a little jumbled given the fetch's close proximity to the Islands. Swell continues on Fri AM (10/21) fading from 6.3 ft @ 11-12 secs (7.0 ft). Swell fading on Sat AM (10/22) from 3.6 ft @ 11 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 340 degrees moving to 350 degrees

North California: Expect swell arrival later on Thurs (10/20) building to 4.8 ft @ 13 secs (6.0 ft). Swell continues on Fri (10/21) at 5.6 ft @ 12 secs (6.5 ft). Swell fading on Sat AM (10/22) from 5.2 ft @ 11 secs (5.5 ft) and being overrun by local windswell. Swell Direction: 292 degrees moving to 308 degrees


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


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored at this time.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Wed AM (10/19) northwest winds are to be 10-15 kts early for Cape Mendocino and northwest 5 kts for the remainder of North and down over Central CA early. In the afternoon north winds are forecast at 15-20 kts for Cape Mendocino and north 10 kts for the rest of North and Central CA. Minimal north windswell possibly being generated.
  • Thurs AM (10/20) north winds are forecast at 20 kts just off Cape Mendocino but otherwise north at 10 kts for North CA and 5 kts for Central CA. North winds building to 25-30 kts off Cape Mendocino in the afternoon but no change for the rest of North and Central CA. Windswell building.
  • Fri AM (10/21) north winds are forecast at 30 kts for North CA focused on Cape Mendocino early with north winds 5-10 kts for the remainder of North Ca south of Pt Arena and Central CA. In the afternoon the gradient builds with north winds 20-30 kts for North CA down to Pt Arena and light northwest 5 kts south of there to Pt Conception. Windswell building.
  • Sat AM (10/22) northwest winds are forecast at 20 kts for North CA and 10-15 kts for Central CA early. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 20 kts for all of North and Central CA. Windswell in control. A weak backdoor cold front to push fast down CA through the day into the evening. Snow in the Sierra through the day.
  • Sun AM (10/23) northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts early for all of North and Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for North and Central CA. Windswell continues.
  • Mon AM (10/24) northwest winds are forecast at 20 kts for Cape Mendocino and 10-15 kts for the remainder of North and Central CA early. Northwest winds continue at 15 kts for all of North and Central CA in the afternoon. Windswell fading some.
  • Tues AM (10/25) northwest winds are forecast at 15-20 kts for Cape Mendocino and 10 kts for the remainder of North and Central CA. Windswell dissipating.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth are projected at 5, 8, 5, and 2 inches.

Freezing level for Lake Tahoe is 12,0000 ft today and is to fall to 4,000 ft on 10/22 then rebuilding to 12,000 ft beyond. A taste of Fall is possible.

- - -

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

Snow Models: (Scroll down for Resort specific forecasts).


South Pacific

Surface Analysis
No swell of interest is hitting Hawaii or CA today.

Over the next 72 hours only swell from a gale previously over the South Central Pacific is to be arriving (see South Central Pacific Gale below). No other swell producing fetch is forecast.


South Central Pacific Gale
A gale started developing Thurs AM (10/13) under New Zealand with 40 kt southwest winds building in coverage. In the evening southwest winds built to 45 kts over the South Central Pacific with seas building from 29 ft at 60.25S 169.5W aimed northeast. On Fri AM (10/14) a broad fetch of southwest winds at 40 kts were tracking northeast over the South Central Pacific with 31 ft seas at 56.5S 156W aimed northeast. More of the same occurred in the evening with 31 ft seas at 56S 149W aimed northeast. Fetch was reorganizing some on Sat AM (10/15) at 35-45 kts aimed north with seas 33 ft at 52.5S 136.25W aimed northeast. Fetch was fading in the evening from 30-35 kts aimed north with seas 29 ft at 48S 133W aimed north. The gale was gone after that. Swell radiating north. Something to monitor.

Oahu: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (10/20) building to 0.9 ft @ 19 secs late (1.5 ft). Swell building on Fri (10/21) to 1.4 ft @ 17 secs later (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell continues on Sat (10/22) at 1.5 ft @ 15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell fading Sun (10/23) from 1.5 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 175-185 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (10/22) building to 2.1 ft @ 18-19 secs later (3.5 ft). Swell building on Sun (10/23) to 3.3 ft @ 16-17 secs (5.5 ft). Swell continues early Mon (10/24) at 3.3 ft @ 15 secs (5.0 ft). Swell fading Tues (10/25) from 2.6 ft @ 14 secs early (3.5 ft). Residuals fading Wed (10/26) from 2.0 ft @ 13 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 197 moving to 194 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (10/22) building to 1.8 ft @ 19 secs later (3.0 ft). Swell building on Sun (10/23) to 3.1 ft @ 17 secs (5.0 ft). Swell continues early Mon (10/24) at 3.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.5 ft). Swell fading Tues (10/25) from 2.6 ft @ 14 secs early (3.5 ft). Residuals fading Wed (10/26) from 2.1 ft @ 13 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 194 moving to 189 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 a tiny gale is forecast developing Fri PM (10/21) over the North Dateline region producing 45 kt northwest winds and seas 25 ft at 47.5N 176W aimed east. On Sat AM (10/22) fetch is to be tracking east to the Northwestern Gulf at 35-40 kts over a tiny area with seas 25 ft at 50.5N 165W aimed east. Fetch is to push east in the evening at 35-40 kts with seas 25 ft at 53N 155W aimed east. The gale is to be just off North Canada on Sun AM (10/23) producing 35-40 kt northwest winds over a small area and seas 25 ft at 53.5N 143.5W aimed southeast and mostly shadowed relative to North CA. Something to monitor.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no clear swell producing weather systems are forecast.


MJO/ENSO Forecast


Upwelling Phase Still Underway
Models Suggest Major Change Coming
Cool subsurface water volume peaked under the equatorial Pacific on 10/15/21, faded in May and June 2022, but rebuilt in late July and is holding today. La Nina conditions are in control subsurface and on the surface. But, the model are suggesting this pattern is going to quickly start fading in late Oct, with La Nina collapsing shortly thereafter. And there's some indication a turn to a warm pattern setting up beyond. The outlook is turning optimistic.

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. But cold water returned in July 2021 and a second pulse of La Nina developed through the Winter of 2022 and is continuing today, though possibly weaker with its foundation appearing to be in decline.

Fall/Winter 2022 = 4.0 (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 made a strong return by the end of Sept much like what the CFS model suggested would happen and a full double dip pattern took hold through the Winter of 21/22. But a quick fade is forecast as we move into late December 2022 with the CFS predicting a return to a neutral wind anomaly pattern and the low pressure bias making headway in to the KWGA in early Jan. 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 2022. But by later in Jan or early Feb 2023 a return to a more normal pattern might take hold. As a result a significantly reduced number of storm days and storm intensity is expected Oct 22-Jan 23, resulting in a below normal level of swells, with swell being below normal duration and period. But by Feb 2023, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start improving as La Nina fades out. The net result is we're currently thinking a near normal number of swells with normal size and duration is to result, but all focused sometime after Jan 2023. The swell pattern will be below normal before Jan and above normal after Jan 23 with the average of the two being 'normal'. Of course this is all highly speculative at this early date.

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 (10/17) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific and strong east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and modest east over the Central Pacific and moderate 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): (10/18) Strong east anomalies were covering the KWGA today. The 7 day forecast calls for east anomalies evaporating on 10/20 with west anomalies building starting 10/21 and reaching east to 170E on 10/22, then backtracking with light east anomalies filling the KWGA on 10/23 through the end of the model run on 10/25. The 2 week GFS 925 mb wind anomaly chart depicts east anomalies fading considerably over the KWGA by Fri (10/21) with west anomalies developing in the far KWGA on 10/23 but not filling the KWGA, Another pulse of east anomalies are forecast in the KWGA 10/25 and filling it till 11/3, then starting to fade over the dateline at the end of the model run on 11/3.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (10/17) A modest version of the Active Phase of the MJO was indicated today over the KWGA. The statistical model indicates the Active Phase gone on day 5 of the model run with a weak Inactive Phase setting up on day 10 only to fade to neutral on day 15. The dynamic model suggests the Active Phase holding steady through day 15 of the model run.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (10/18) The statistical model depicts the Active signal was modest to weak over the West Pacific today and is quickly track east to the East Indian Ocean 15 days out. The dynamic model suggest the Active Phase stationary at weak to modest status over the West Pacific for the next 15 days.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (10/18) A weak Active Phase (wet air) is pushing east over the KWGA today. The Active Phase is to slowly ease east while slowly losing energy reaching the East Pacific and tracking into Ecuador 11/7 at weak status. An equally weak Inactive Phase of the MJO is to start pushing east over the KWGA on 11/12 filling the Pacific at the end of the model run 11/27.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (10/17)
A modest Active signal was indicated today starting to build over the KWGA but with moderate east anomalies over the KWGA. The forecast calls for the Active Phase pushing east through the KWGA into 10/25 with west anomalies pushing over the dateline on 10/23 holding through 10/25, then fading. The Inactive Phase is to try and push into the KWGA on 10/30-11/7 but not making it across with east anomalies moderate filling the KWGA 10/28 through the end of the model run on 11/14. This is perplexing given what is forecast in the model below. Both are CFS models but the output is conflicting.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind):
(10/16) - using the 5th ensemble member - the mean of the 4 individual members which are all from the 00Z run - 1 run per day):
Today east anomalies were over the dateline and strong with west anomalies filling the West KWGA to 140E. The Active Phase of the MJO was building over the KWGA. The forecast has the Active Phase of the MJO pushing through the KWGA through 11/3 with west anomalies expanding east to the dateline on 10/20 and holding or maybe giving up a little ground through 10/28 giving way to light east anomalies centered over the dateline 11/1-11/15 but with light west anomalies from 150E and points west of there. This would be a huge change if it develops as forecast. The key date is 10/21 for the demise of east anomalies and presumably La Nina. The Active Phase is to then redevelop stalled on the dateline 11/18 through 12/31 with a weak Inactive Phase of the MJO building over the West KWGA 10/26 through the end of the model run on 1/15/2023 but with weak to modest west anomalies in control the whole time and no sign of east anomalies. In fact, east anomalies are to be relegated to a small area at 120W starting 11/19 and beyond and weakening over time. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias with 2 contour lines centered at 180W with its western perimeter at 150E today. The second contour is to hold into October then collapse on 12/5. The western edge of the high pressure bias is as far west today as it's going to be looking forward with the high pressure bias starting to easing east in early Dec and fully collapsing on 1/2 and gone beyond. A broad double contour low pressure bias is established centered over the West Maritime Continent at 90E with it's leading edge at 125E today and is to hold then starting to ease east to 150E at the end of the model run. Of note, east anomalies which are and have been centered at 180W are to collapse in the next week with west anomalies taking over the KWGA beyond. And the High Pressure Bias is to dissipate in late Dev. East anomalies are to now develop over the Maritime Continent stating 12/13 and building beyond. It seems a full reversal of the pressure and wind pattern from the past 2+ years is to occur over the next 2 months. This suggests the full demise of La Nina is poised to begin. This would be a huge step forward, if it develops.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (10/18) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was gone, previously at 171E. The 28 deg isotherm line was backtracking to 172E from 175E. The 26 degree isotherm was locked at 150W. The 24 deg isotherm had backtracked from Ecuador to 133W but then started easing east from 130W to 117W today. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +3 deg C were in a pocket in the far West Pacific down 150m with it's leading edge easing east to 160W. A pocket of cool anomalies at -4 degs C were centered at 135W and filling the area from 150W and points east of there and steady. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 10/10 indicates the same broad area of warm anomalies in the west pushing east to 155W and far warmer. A cool pocket was filling the area east of 150W and reaching the surface and far cooler. 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) Sea heights were stable but negative over the East Equatorial Pacific. A broad pocket of positive anomalies were over the equator in the far West Pacific and starting to move east reaching to 160W. A pocket of negative anomalies were covering from Ecuador to 155W with a broad core at -15 cms positioned between 110W to 130W with -10 cm anomalies holding from 100W to 145W. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram cool anomalies were positioned in the Central Equatorial Pacific between 155W to Ecuador and stationary. It is already longer in duration than the previous cool pulse. If something doesn't change soon, La Nina will last through the Winter and the models will all be wrong.

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: (10/17) The latest images depict a broad generic pool of cool water extending west from Chile and Peru to the dateline and filling well south of the equator. A pocket of very cool water was erupting between Ecuador to 90W but appears to be losing intensity today. An area of warm water was present on the equator from Ecuador west to 140W but mostly just north of the equator starting at 2N. A weak area of warm water was present north of the equator (15 deg N) extending off mainland Mexico to 145W. Overall this indicates the late stages of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (10/17): Mostly warming water is on the equator in a thin string from Ecuador to 125W. The trend was towards warming.
Hi-res Overview: (10/17) Persistent cool waters cover a large area from Ecuador to 160E on and south of the equator from South America down at 20S with the coolest waters between 80W to 120W on the equator. Warmer than normal waters were on the equator in the east aligned in a thin stream from Ecuador to 110W starting 3 degrees north of the equator. La Nina remains in control over the East Equatorial Pacific and the density and intensity of the cooling appears to be building some on the equator with warm water from a previous Kelvin Wave breaking up over the East equatorial Pacific.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (10/18) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs compared to official sources). Today's temps were falling slightly at -1.684 after falling to -1.498 degs on 9/21 and had been falling since 9/14 after being in the -1.0 range since 7/29. Coral Reef indicates temps at -1.867 degs and rising some the last 3 days. Temp were down on 7/20 to -1.6 degs. Previously temps were stable near -1.4 degrees 6/12 through 7/27. Peaks in that time frame were -1.189 (7/7), -1.534 (7/5). Previously temps were at -1.822 on 6/9 after being up to -1.506 (5/21) and that after hovering around -2.0 degs since 4/21/22. Prior to that temps were fading after peaking at +0.760 on 3/18. Temps had been moving upwards since 2/20, and beat a previous high of -0.650 degs on 1/9 and that after being down at -1.871 on 1/3/22 and -1.954 on 12/18/21, the lowest this year so far. Previously temps dropped on 11/24/21 at -1.700, the lowest in months after previously toggling steady at about -0.6 degs from mid Aug to Oct 6, then falling from there. That year temps bottomed out at -2.138 on 8/13/20. The longterm trend has been steadily downward.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(10/18) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs). Today's temps were falling at -0.900 beating a previous peak of -0.819 on 9/22 and have been in the -1.0 range since 8/16. Coral Reef indicates temps at -0.901 degs rising the last 24 hours after falling the previous 5 days. Temps had fallen since 7/15 reaching La Nina threshold on 7/27 after being more or less steady the previous 3 weeks peaking at -0.25 on 7/14 and -0.275 on 7/5. Previously temps had been on an upward trend since 5/15/22 rising to -0.414 degs (6/19) and -0.493 on 6/9, the first reading above La Nina threshold values since Sept 2021. Temps were down to -0.929 (5/2/22) and that after rising to a peak at -0.704 on 3/27 and had been on a gentle rising trend since falling to -1.012 on 3/8. Previously temps were rising slightly to -0.505 on 2/2 and that after reaching a peak low of -1.096 on 1/3/22 beating the previous low of -1.080 on 11/2/21, the lowest in a year. Prior to that temps had been in a freefall starting from the -0.175 range in early Sept/21. Before that temps peaked up at 7/1/21 +0.332, the highest in a year. Temps previously had been steady near -0.222 since early March 2021. Temps bottomed out at -1.654 on 11/3/2020.

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CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Data
Previous - Temps rose in early Nov 2020 after bottoming out at -1.25 degs, up to -0.01 degs in mid-June 2021 then fading to -1.05 degs in mid-Nov then rebuilding to -0.7 in mid Feb 2022 then fading to -1.1 degs in May before starting an upward climb peaking in mid-June at -0.65 degs and mid July at -0.55 degs. A steady decline set in after that falling to -1.00 degs in Aug and earl Sept.
Forecast (10/18) - Temps are to be falling from about -0.80 degs in Oct to -1.05 degs early Nov then starting a farily steady rise in Dec hitting -0.70 degs mid January and reaching above the La Nina threshold late Jan 2023 and up to +0.55 degs in July and in El Nino territory. This model suggests we are going to steadily transition towards ENSO neutral in Jan. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps bottoming out at -1.00 in mid Nov and then are to start pushing up in Dec to -0.60 degs mid- Jan rising above La Nina threshold in late Jan and rising from there forward to +0.50 degs in July. According to this version of the model we will hold in weak La Nina conditions through Fall before starting a trend towards neutrality in Dec with momentum towards El Nino in Spring. The surface temp coverage model suggests a temps holding steady through Nov. then a steady erosion of the coldest waters south of Nino3.4 (down at 20S) is to begin. By Dec a clear discharge of La Nina is to begin with near neutral temps prevailing over the entire equatorial Pacific and turning fully neutral in Feb and beyond. The greater equatorial Pacific cool signature looks to hold through mid-Oct then quickly dissolving beyond.
IRI Consensus Plume: The September 19, 2022 Plume depicts temps are -0.957 degs today. Temps to hold in Oct at -0.925 then are to warm to the La Nina threshold at -0.658 in Dec and -0.445 in Jan rising to +0.172 in May. This model suggests a continuation of minimal La Nina temps through early Dec then transitioning to ENSO neutral. This model is in line with the CFS model.
See chart here - link.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad - all but the Daily Index was a lagging indicator):
Today (10/18) the Daily Index was falling at +16.24 today. Previous peaks were +37.19 (10/5), +33.57 (5/24), +40.77 (5/10), +31.44 (4/27), +31.80 (4/6), +27.33 (1/31) and +46.71 (12/26). The trend has been solidly positive. Previous other notable peaks were +30.98 (11/26/21), +36.90 (9/28), +27.75 ( 9/13) and +37.86 (7/15).
The 30 day average was falling at +20.67 after peaking at +21.57 (10/16) after supposedly peaking at +19.66 on 9/28. It was down to +6.89 on 7/29. It peaked at +20.34 (5/12) the highest in a year and beating last years high of +19.51 (1/14).
The 90 day average was rising slightly at +14.80 previously at +12.92 on 8/11 and that after peaking at +18.40 (7/2) beating it's previous peak of +16.86 (5/31), the highest in a year. It previously peaked at +9.80 (9/21) after falling to it's lowest point in a year at +1.06 (6/9). The 90 day average peaked at +15.75 (2/23/21 - clearly indicative of La Nina then). This index is a lagging indicator but 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 ever since, driven by recent La Nina conditions. In May-July 2021 it was the most negative its been in the -1.80 to -2.04 range since Sept 2012 (-2.99) and then fell to -3.16 in Oct 2021 (the lowest since July 1933) then settled at -2.72 in Nov and Dec 2021. Looking at the long term record, it seems likely we are still in the Cool Phase of the PDO (La Nina 'like') with no signs of moving to the positive/warm phase (El Nino 'like').

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 

Powerlines Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest
Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for this week. See it Here
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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