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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, October 22, 2019 5:21 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
2.0 - California & 2.5 - 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 10/21 thru Sun 10/27

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   

S. Hemi Swell Fading in CA
Models Suggest Strong Gale to Develop on Dateline

On Tuesday, October 22, 2019 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai) Seas were 2.5 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 1.2 ft @ 12.6 secs from 189 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.7 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 2.5 ft @ 6.3 secs from 43 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.5 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 1.7 ft @ 15.4 secs from 204 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north at 4 kts. Water temperature 66.6 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.8 ft @ 11.2 secs from 303 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.6 ft @ 15.8 secs from 197 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.6 ft @ 15.9 secs from 189 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.5 ft @ 15.7 secs from 189 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 9.7 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 4.5 ft @ 14.7 secs from 302 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 16-20 kts. Water temp 52.7 degs (013) and 55.6 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 Tuesday (10/22) in North and Central CA residual Gulf swell was producing sets waves at at head high and lined up but a bit warbled from north winds off the coast and with textured conditions nearshore. Protected breaks were chest to shoulder high and pretty lined up if not closed out with clean surface conditions but with some warble intermixed. At Santa Cruz southern hemi swell was hitting producing waves at shoulder high and lined up and clean but with some warble in the water. In Southern California/Ventura surf was waist high and semi-lined up and soft with some light surface texture and mushed early. In North Orange Co waves were head high to 1 ft overhead and lined up and clean coming from the south but a bit on the closed out side. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were getting southern hemi swell with set waves at waist to chest high and clean and lined up but down from the day before. North San Diego had surf at chest to shoulder high on the sets and clean and and lined up if not almost closed out. Hawaii's North Shore was getting rare waist high sets on occasion and clean. The South Shore had some thigh to maybe waist high sets and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell with waves waist high and chopped early from moderate east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Sunday (10/20) in California residual swell was still hitting from a series of gales that developed in the Northwestern Gulf mixed with local northwest windswell. No swell was hitting Hawaii from the Gulf systems. Looking south small southern hemi swell was hitting California from a gale that developed in the Central South Pacific on Fri-Sat (10/12) with up to 42 ft seas aimed east-northeast. Beyond a weak and poor organized gale tried to develop while tracking from Japan to the Western Gulf Sun-Tues (10/22) producing 18-20 ft seas aimed east then racing northeast into the Northern Gulf on Wed (10/23) and redeveloping possibly generating 36 ft seas aimed east. Of more interest is a stronger gale forecast developing over the Dateline region on Thurs (10/24) with 46 ft seas aimed east the redeveloping on Fri (10/25) with 37 ft seas aimed southeast with 28 ft seas holding over a solid area into Sun (10/27). The South Pacific looks to be asleep for the Winter with no swell producing weather systems forecast.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Tuesday (10/22) the jetstream was consolidated pushing off North Japan with winds 130-140 kts and ridging gently northeast then falling into a modest trough over the Dateline region offering some support mainly for gale development there then ridging north over the Northern Gulf of Alaska with winds fading to 120 kts pushing into British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest supporting only high pressure over the Central Gulf. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to persist while moving to the Northwestern Gulf on Wed (10/23) while fading some offering limited support for gale development. But a new stronger trough is to start developing just off Kamchatka pushing firmly east on Thurs-Sat (10/26) being fed by 170 kts winds pushing further south than previously projected over the Central Dateline region offering good support for gale development. By Sat (10/26) the trough is to become slightly pinched but still looking productive moving over the Northwestern Gulf being fed by 110 kt winds and slowly lifting northeast into Mon (10/28) with winds rebuilding to 130 kts and still offering some support for gale development. And back to the west on Mon (10/28) the jet is to be fully consolidated streaming off Japan on the 40N latitude line reaching the whole way to the Gulf. This is not a bad set up. By Tues (10/29) the same situation is to hold with the jet streaming off Japan at 120 kts starting to fall into a new weak trough over the Dateline not offering any support for gale development yet, then continuing east into the Central Gulf before ridging hard north pushing up into Central Canada with the ridge previously solid in the Gulf moving east and over the Pacific Northwest now. a better pattern appears to be setting up a week out. Perhaps this is a sign of the demise of the Inactive Phase of the MJO over the West Pacific.

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday (10/22) fading minimal swell energy from a series of gales previously in the Gulf of Alaska was still hitting the US West Coast. Small swell from a gale that traversed the West Pacific was pushing towards Hawaii (see Weak Japan Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours the Weak Japan Gale (below) is to migrate to the Northern Gulf of Alaska on Wed AM (10/23) producing 50 kt west winds and seas building from 31 ft at 54S 156W aimed east. The gale is to lift gently north almost over Alaska in the afternoon and evening with 40-50 kt west winds just off the Alaskan Coast with 37 ft seas at 56N 154W and fading to 33 ft in the evening. The gale is to be gone after that. Low odds of any meaningful swell reaching south into Central CA. Most energy to be focused on British Columbia.

Possible Extratropical Storm Neoguri
And the models continue teasing concerning the possible redevelopment of Tropical Storm Neoguri currently tracking northeast just off the coast of Japan with winds 45 kts. This system is to continuing on a northeasterly track and then rapidly build as it taps jetstream energy on Thurs AM (10/24) developing to storm status while pushing over the dateline with 50-55 kt northwest winds and seas building from 34 ft over a tiny area at 44N 171E aimed east. In the evening west winds are forecast at 45-50 kts with seas building to 46 ft over a small area aimed east at 45N 177E. On Fri AM (10/25) fetch is to be wrapping around down into the gales west quadrant aimed south at 45-50 kts and clear of the Central Aleutians with 36 ft seas building at 44N 180W aimed southeast at Hawaii and east at the US West Coast. In the evening a solid area of 40-45 kt northwest winds are to be in place over the North Dateline aimed southeast with 37 ft seas at 47N 178.5E targeting Hawaii and the US West Coast well. North fetch is to be fading some on Sat AM (10/26) from 40-45 kts with 33 ft seas at 46.5N 180W aimed southeast targeting Hawaii well. In the evening northwest winds to continue but down to 35+ kts over a solid area aimed southeast with 30 ft seas at 47N 180W aimed southeast. On Sunday AM (10/27) north winds to be 35 kts with seas fading from 27 ft at 45N 177W aimed southeast mainly at Hawaii. Something to monitor.


Weak Japan Gale
On Sun PM (10/20) a weak gale developed off North Japan producing 35 kt northwest winds and seas building to 20 ft over a tiny area at 40N 156E aimed east at Hawaii but a long way away from there. On Mon AM (10/21) the gale tracked southeast with 25-30 kt northwest winds and seas 18 ft over a tiny area at 37N 161E aimed southeast. In the evening the gale was tracking east fast over the dateline with 30-35 kt northwest winds and that fetch loosing traction given the gales fast forward speed with 17 ft seas in a tiny pocket at 38N 177E aimed southeast. On Tues AM (10/22) the gale was racing northeast towards the Northern Gulf of Alaska producing 30 kt north winds aimed south at Hawaii with 18 ft seas at 41N 169W aimed somewhat at Hawaii. After that the gale is to be racing north with no fetch aimed anywhere but at Alaska. Perhaps some weak and tiny swell to result for Hawaii with luck.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival later on Thurs (10/24) with swell pushing 2.7 ft @ 12 secs (3.0 ft). Swell building on Fri (10/25) to 4.2 ft @ 11 secs (4.5 ft). Swell continues on Sat (10/26) 4.2 ft @ 10-11 secs (4.0 ft), Swell dissipating Sun (10/27) from 2.7 ft @ 10 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 315 moving to 350 degrees


Windswell Outlook
On Tues (10/22) north winds were 20 kts off of North CA early producing limited windswell pushing south into Central CA with winds forecast to build to 25 kts later. For Hawaii east fetch was holding at 15 kts up to 1000 nmiles east of the Islands offering continued support for windswell production along exposed east facing shores. On Wed (10/23) north winds to continue at 20-25 kts over North CA early building to 30 kts later and 20 kts off the Central CA coast producing more modest to moderate north windswell radiating down into exposed breaks in Central CA. For Hawaii east fetch is to be fading from 15 kts in patches up to 900 nmiles east of the Islands with windswell production potential fading some. On Thurs (10/24) north winds are forecast at 25+ kts over Cape Mendocino mainly early producing north windswell radiating south into Central CA then fading to calm later in the afternoon. No east fetch of interest and no windswell is expected for Hawaii. On Fri (10/25) no windswell producing fetch is forecast.


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


Tropical Update
On Sun AM (10/20) Typhoon Bualoi was developing 1400 nmiles south-southeast of Tokyo Japan or 250 nmiles east of Guam with 70 kt winds tracking northwest. Slow steady strengthening is forecast while Bualoi continues on this northwesterly track. On Tues AM Bualoi was 1000 nmiles south-southeast of tokyo Japan with winds 125 kts (144 mph) tracking north-northwest and expected to peak out in the evening with winds 130 kts (150 mph). On Wed (10/23) winds are to be fading from 120 kts (138 mph) then turning and accelerating some on a north-northeasterly heading. Bualoi is to be 350 nmiles east of Tokyo Japan on Fri AM (10/25) with winds 75 kts (86 mph) tracking north-northeast. The GFS model suggests this system is to track northeast moving off the Kuril Islands on Sun (10/27) but never building. No clear redevelopment is expected.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday (10/22) north winds were 25 kts over Cape Mendocino but 10-15 kts from Bodega Bay southward. Wednesday (10/23) north winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for North CA and building some later but mostly 10 kts or less for Central CA. Thurs (10/24) north winds are forecast at 25+ kts for Cape Mendocino early but calm south of Pt Arena to Pt Conception and turning light offshore for Cape Mendocino late afternoon. Friday (10/25) calm winds are forecast for all of California. Sat (10/26) north to northeast winds are forecast at 30-35 kts for Cape Mendocino with north winds at 15 kts reaching south to Bodega Bay but with light north winds south of there. Sun (10/27) north winds to be fading from 20 kts early for Cape Mendocino but with light winds south of there holding all day. Mon and Tues (10/29) light winds are forecast everywhere all day. No precipitation forecast over the entire period with high pressure in control.

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


South Pacific

Surface Analysis
Swell from a gale that developed over the South Central Pacific is hitting CA (see South Central Pacific Gale below).  

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.


South Central Pacific Gale
A gale developed just north of the Ross Ice Shelf on Fri AM (10/11) producing 45 kt west winds and seas building to 29 ft at 60.5S 17W aimed east. In the evening fetch built to 45-50 kts over a solid area streaming north off the Ross Ice Shelf with seas building to 40 ft at 59.5S 162W aimed northeast. On Sat AM (10/12) southwest winds were 45 kts aimed northeast with seas building to 42 ft over a moderate sized area at 58.5S 149W aimed northeast. Fetch to fade at 30-35 kts in the evening aimed northeast with 35 ft seas fading at 58S 141.5W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (10/13) southwest fetch to fade to 30-35 kts with seas fading from 28 ft at 57.5S 135.5W aimed northeast.

South California: Swell fading on Tues (10/22) from 2.3 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft). Swell fading on Wed (10/23) from 2.1 ft @ 14 secs early (2.5-3.0 ft). A little bit to linger on Thurs (10/24) fading from 1.9 ft @ 13 secs (2.5 ft). Dribbles on Fri (10/25) fading from 1.7 ft @ 12-13 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 200 degrees

North California: Swell fading on Tues (10/22) from 1.8 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell fading on Wed (10/23) from 1.6 ft @ 14 secs early (2.0-2.5 ft). A little bit to linger on Thurs (10/24) fading from 1.5 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Dribbles on Fri (10/25) fading from 1.5 ft @ 13 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 200 degrees


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




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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours the focus is to be on the redevelopment of Tropical Storm Neoguri over the Dateline and moving into the Gulf. No other swell producing weather systems are forecast.

Windswell Outlook
On Sat (10/26) high pressure is to be building hard in the Northeastern Gulf with north winds 30-35 kts over Cape Mendocino producing windswell radiating south into exposed breaks in Central CA. No windswell indicated for Hawaii. On Sun (10/27) north winds are to dissipate off Cape Mendocino fading from 25-30 kts early fading to calm later with limited windswell radiating south. No fetch is forecast for Hawaii. On Mon and Tues (10/29) a weak pressure and wind pattern is forecast relative to California and Hawaii resulting in no windswell of interest.


South Pacific

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



MJO/ENSO Forecast


Warming Pattern Steady Over East Equatorial Pacific

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: A double dip La Nina was in control 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 over the Summer and Fall, but not enough to declare El Nino and not coupled with the atmosphere. In January 2019, those warm waters were fading, but then rebuilt late in Feb associated with Kelvin Wave (#3). But as of early June 2019 warm water was 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. El Nino was dead.

Fall/Winter 2019/2020 = 5.0/4.0 (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 is assumed the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that a weak borderline El Nino from 2018 is fading out, but not yet completely gone, especially in the atmosphere. Likewise it looks like a La Nina ocean temperature pattern is developing in the equatorial East Pacific, with cooler than normal waters tracking west on the equator. We assumed El Nino like momentum will hold for a while in the atmosphere will take a while to sense that the ocean temperature pattern has changed. But once it does, a turn towards a La Nina like atmospheric pattern will start to develop. that transition is expected in the late Nov-early Dec timeframe. Even so, moderation from the PDO might prevent La Nina from fully developing. Given all that, there is decent probability for a normal start to the Fall surf season (in the Northern Hemisphere) meaning a normal amount of number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in a normal levels of swell, with normal duration and normal period. But by mid-Dec 2019, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start fading and as a result, swell production should fade slightly as well. This pattern is expected to hold through April 2020.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (10/21) 5 day average winds were moderate from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific shrinking in coverage but still present over the Central Pacific then building to moderate east over the KWGA. Anomalies were light easterly over the East equatorial Pacific turning neutral over the Central Pacific and then weak easterly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (10/22) easterly anomalies maxed out yesterday and were holding today over the KWGA today and filling it. The forecast is for east anomalies to hold in coverage filling the KWGA through the end of the model run and continuing building east pushing into California a week out on 10/29. There is no sign of west anomalies anywhere for the next 7 days. A strong pulse of the Inactive Phase of the MJO is underway. And strong east anomalies are to remain locked in the Indian Ocean at 70-80E.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (10/21) A strong Inactive Phase of the MJO was over the KWGA today. The statistic model indicates the Inactive Phase is to be fading at day 5 then gone at day 10 and turning weakly Active in the far West Pacific at day 15. The dynamic model indicates the exact same thing. The 2 models are in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (10/22) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was modest over the West Indian Ocean and is to migrate to the Maritime Continent and at very weak strength at that time. The GEFS model remains on board suggesting the exact same thing though perhaps a little bit stronger.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (10/22) This model depicts a modest Inactive MJO was over the West Pacific today but pretty much filling the Pacific and is to slowly fade while tracking east pushing into Central America on 11/4 while a moderate Active Phase starts building in the West Pacific. This Active Phase is to ease east pushing into Central America on 11/21. At that time a new moderate Inactive Phase is to be moving east into the West Pacific pushing to the dateline at the end of the model run on 12/1.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (10/21) This model depicts modest east anomalies filling the KWGA today and they are forecast to hold through 10/26 driven by the Inactive Phase of the MJO. On 10/27 west anomalies are to start building in the core of the KWGA and are forecast slowly building in coverage filling the KWGA by 11/4 and holding through the end of the model run on 11/18. Extremely strong east anomalies are filling the Indian Ocean today centered at 80E and are to remain unchanged through the end of the model run.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (10/22) This model depicts a moderate Inactive MJO pattern filling the KWGA today but past it's peak with weak east anomalies also filling the KWGA. The forecast has east anomalies holding through 10/25 then fading, with weak west anomalies starting to build on 10/26 and increasing in coverage with the Inactive Phase fading out on 11/7. The Active Phase is to begin on 11/7 lasting through 12/1 with moderate west anomalies in the heart of the KWGA. A weak Inactive MJO signal is to develop 12/1 fading to neutral on 12/19 with a weak Active MJO pattern following 1/2 through the end of the model run on 1/19. Regardless weak west anomalies are to persist in the KWGA through the remainder of the model run. Of note: Strong east anomalies are in the core of the Indian Ocean today at 80E and are to hold solid through 12/12 then slowly weakening but still present at the end of the model run with it's leading edge perhaps easing east to 140E in short burst on 12/17 and 1/2. The low pass filter changed on 7/25 and is holding today with a low pressure bias with 2 contour lines in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to California. A third contour line was to develop on 12/1 but has disappeared from the model today. A high pressure bias is to build in the Indian Ocean starting 10/22 holding through the end of the model run. This model indicates that a weak El Nino like pattern is to possibly rebuild. That is not believable given the subsurface and surface water temperature anomaly pattern over the equatorial Pacific. But it is still a bit early to declare that an outright impossibility. 

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (10/22) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs pushing east today to 179W while the 29 deg isotherm was easing east to 165W today. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 152W today. The 24 deg isotherm moved east on 10/20 from 120W to 105W but has backtracked some today to 107W. Anomaly wise, gentle warm anomalies are filling the entire Pacific with pockets at +2 degs pushing east from the far West Pacific and another 160 meters down on the dateline and a broader one at +2 deg centered at 120W indicative of Kelvin Wave #5 on the move to the east. Neutral anomalies were gone off Ecuador. Warm water was filling the entire equatorial subsurface Pacific. The collapse of a previous cool pool in the East Pacific is a significant positive development. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 10/15 indicates warm water from Westerly Wind Burst #5 has formed a Kelvin Wave extending from 160E under the Dateline east to 105W with temps +2-3 degs over the whole area with cool anomalies from 105W into Ecuador drawing up from depth to the surface and being forced east by the Kelvin Wave. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (10/15) A broad area of positive anomalies was starting to break up scattered between 150E reaching east to near 105W at +5 cms. Negative anomalies were fading but still present locally along Peru and extending west over the Galapagos and south of the equator at -7S to 140W, backtracking as compared to weeks and months previous.

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: (10/21) The latest images ( 1.2 3.4 ) indicate cool anomalies were steady along Peru and Ecuador and building up to the Galapagos and out along the equator to 100W. Warm water was fading in pockets 1 deg north of the equator from the Galapagos west to 110W and stronger and continuous west of there. Weak cool anomalies were north and south of the equator from Ecuador to 105W other than some pocket of weak warming on the equator. There has been a steady evaporation of El Nino in the East equatorial Pacific south of the equator this summer and that pattern continues today. A previous warming spurt the last 2 weeks appears to be fading out.  
Hi-res 7 day Trend (10/21): Today modest pockets of warming continue between Ecuador over the Galapagos and out to the dateline. But now pockets of cooling are building on the equator from Ecuador to 110W. Solid warming previously off Peru and Chile is fading. The short term trend is now towards at best weak warming.
Hi-res Overview: (10/21) A weak La Nina like cool pool is holding mainly south of the equator off Peru reaching north to the equator just west of the Galapagos and west of there out to 140W at -6S . Otherwise gentle warming is pushing west on the equator, strongest from 105W and points west of there. Warmer than normal water was north of the equator from the remnants of El Nino, but mostly gone south of the equator. El Nino appears to be in retreat but La Nina does not appear to be building.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (10/22) Today's temps were fading some at -0.589 after dropping to -1.921 degs on 10/10, that after falling to -1.8 degs on 9/15, then up to +0.030 on 10/2. Temps have been pretty consistently negative since June 1.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(10/22) Temps were rising today after falling slightly up to +0.315 degs after previously bottoming out on 8/28 at -0.510 degs and 9/15 at -0.60 degs. The trend has been generally downward since mid-June.

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 (10/22) The model indicates a cooling trend set up late summer with temps -0.2 degs in mid-Sept then rising to +0.25 degs in early Oct. The forecast has temps rising reaching +0.5 degs by Oct 31 and then forecast to toggle between the +0.3 to +0.4 deg range through May 1 2020, then fading to neutral in late June and possibly falling to -0.1 degs July 1. According to this model a neutral sea surface temperature pattern biased slightly warm is forecast for the mid-term, possibly turning neutral after that.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Aug 2019 Plume depicts temps are at +0.30 degs in August, and are to hold in the +0.50 range into Dec/Jan, then fading slightly to +0.45 in May/April 2020. 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) (10/22): The daily index was positive today at 2.90. The 30 day average was negative but rising hard at -2.56. The 90 day average was rising at -5.99, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was developing.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): Sept +1.13, August +0.64, July +0.75, June -0.32, May +1.10, April +0.30, March +1.0, Feb +1.29, Jan +0.193. This index has been steadily positive but still indicates mostly ENSO neutral conditions (not El Nino).

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
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 -0.85, July -0.09, Aug -0.43, Sept -0.46, Oct -0.75, Nov -0.78, Dec -0.12, Jan -0.23, Feb -0.55 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, July +0.11, Aug +0.18, Sept +0.09. 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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