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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Sunday, October 22, 2023 3:28 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
1.5 - California & 2.8 - 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 10/23 thru Sun 10/29
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   

Small Local Swell for Hawaii
Multiple New Zealand Swells Radiating Northeast

Sunday, October 22, 2023 :

  • Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt)/Buoy 239 (Lani): Seas were 2.4 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 1.3 ft @ 13.1 secs from 193 degrees. Water temp 80.8 (Barbers Pt), 80.8 (Pearl Harbor 233), 81.1 (Lani 239).
  • Buoy 187 (Pauwela): Seas were 4.1 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 3.1 ft @ 8.4 secs from 88 degrees. Water temp 80.6 degs
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea)/Buoy 202 (Hanalei): Seas were 3.8 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 3.0 ft @ 8.8 secs from 13 degrees. Water temp 80.6 degs
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 5.1 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 2.6 ft @ 14.0 secs from 210 degrees. Wind northwest at 4-6 kts. Water temperature 68.2 degs, 61.2 (Harvest 071) 66.6 (Topanga 103), 63.5 (Long Beach 215), 68.0 (Oceanside Offshore 045), 67.6 (Del Mar 153), 68.0 (Torrey Pines Outer 100). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 2.7 ft @ 15.0 secs from 220 degrees. At E. Santa Barbara (46053) swell was 2.4 ft @ 11.9 secs from 299 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.4 ft @ 15.2 secs from 210 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.7 ft @ 16.0 secs from 205 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.7 ft @ 16.0 secs from 221 degrees. Water temperature was 63.5 degrees (Imperial Beach).
  • Buoy 029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.6 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 2.8 ft @ 15.9 secs from 201 degrees. Wind south-southeast at 18-23 kts (46026) and south-southeast 19-21 kts (1801589). Water temp NA (Bodega Bay 46013), 59.5 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 61.5 (San Francisco 46026), 59.2 (SF Bar 142), 61.5 (1801589) and 61.0 (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 Sunday (10/22) in North and Central CA waves were chest high and lined up but pretty warbled from south winds and soft and mushed. Protected breaks were waist high on the sets and soft but clean. At Santa Cruz surf was chest to shoulder high on the sets and lined up with decent form and fairly clean but a bit jumbled from south lump. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist to maybe chest high and warbled but with clean surface conditions and no wind locally. Central Orange County had sets at waist to maybe chest high and lined up but soft and weak. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at chest to head high and lined up and clean but with some light north warble intermixed. North San Diego had sets at waist to near chest high and soft with texture and some warbled on top. Oahu's North Shore was waist high and clean. The South Shore had sets at waist high and lined up and clean but soft. The East Shore was getting east windswell at waist high and clean from south winds.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Sunday (10/22) background southern hemi swell was hitting California but no swell was coming from the Northern Pacific. No swell was hitting Hawaii. But a weak gale was falling southeast from the dateline towards the Islands and into the Gulf Fri-Mon (10/23) producing 16-18 ft seas targeting Hawaii well. Swell arrival later Mon (10/23). Beyond a pair of weak and small low pressure systems are forecast Fri-Sun (10/29) with one north of Hawaii and the other over the dateline producing 18-20 ft seas aimed southeast. And a gale developing under New Zealand Wed (10/18) with seas to 30 ft with swell radiating north towards Hawaii and CA. And another was circulating Sat-Sat (10/22) in the same area with seas 33 ft aimed northeast. So more small southern hemi swell is likely.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Sunday (10/22) the jet was consolidated ridging hard north over Kamchatka up into the North Bering Sea then falling hard south over the Eastern Aleutians forming a trough over the Western Gulf with winds to 150 kts offering some support for low pressure development. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to continue circulating north of Hawaii into late Monday (10/23) before starting to pinch off and dissipating on Tuesday. Beyond 72 hours starting Thurs (10/26) the jet is to remain consolidated tracking east off Japan ridging slightly over the dateline then falling into a weak trough over the Western Gulf being fed by 120 kt winds offering limited support for gale development north of Hawaii into late Fri (10/27), then dissipating. But more energy is to be building in the jet on Sun (10/29) at up to 140 kts falling with the jet running due east off Japan then falling into a new trough developing north of Hawaii perhaps again offering some support for gale development. The jet certainly is to remained focused on tracking east over the 38N latitude line, well south of normal for the time of year. That is good news.

Surface Analysis
On Sunday (10/22) no swell of interest was hitting Hawaii or California.

Over the next 72 hours swell from a low pressure system north of the ISlands is to start impacting Northern Shores on Mon (10/23) (see Hawaiian Low below).

Otherwise no swell producing weather system of interest are forecast.

Hawaiian Low
A low pressure system started developing Thurs PM (10/19) over the North Dateline region producing northwest winds at 30 kts aimed southeast with seas building to 20 ft at 47N 177E aimed east. On Fri AM the low weakened while falling southeast producing 25-30 kt northwest winds and seas 17 ft at 45N 178W aimed southeast. In the evening the low moved to the far Western Gulf with 25 kt northwest winds targeting Hawaii well and seas 17 ft at 41N 173W aimed southeast. The low began to rebuild some Sat AM (10/21) 1200 nmiles northwest of Hawaii producing 30 kts north winds and seas 17 ft at 39N 172W. The low held position north of Hawaii in the evening producing 30+ kt north winds and seas 16 ft seas at 39N 170W aimed southeast. The low stalled there producing another fetch of north winds at 30 kts on Sun AM (10/22) producing 19 ft seas at 37N 171W aimed south. In the evening north winds to lose coverage but still at 30 kts with 16 ft seas at 33N 170W aimed south. The low is to dissipate through the day Monday (10/23). Windswell possible for Hawaii.

Oahu: Expect windswell arriving on Mon (10/23) building to 4.6 ft @ 12-13 secs mid-day (5.5 ft). Swell building some through the day Tues (10/24) to 5.5 ft @ 12 secs later (6.5 ft). Swell fading some on Wed (10/25) from 4.4 ft @ 11-12 secs early (5.0 ft). Residuals on Thurs (10/26) fading from 3.9 ft @ 10-11 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 325 moving to 335 degrees


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


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest were being tracked.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Mon AM (10/23) high pressure takes control with northwest winds 20-25 kts for Cape Mendocino and off the coast of the rest of North and Central CA but only 15 kts early nearshore and 15-20 kts for Southern CA early. In the afternoon northwest winds build to 25 kts for all of North CA and 20 kts for Central CA but light for Southern CA. Windswell building. Light scattered showers for Southern CA early.
  • Tues AM (10/24) the gradient starts to lift north some with northwest winds 25-30 kts for Cape Mendocino and 20-25 kts for the remainder of North CA and 15 kts for Central CA early but 20 kts just off the coast. In the afternoon north winds to be 20-25 kts for North CA and northwest 10 kts for Central CA but 20 kts off the coast. Windswell fading some.
  • Wed AM (10/25) northwest winds to be 15-20 kts for North CA and 10-15 kts for Central CA early. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 15-20 kts for North CA and 15 kts for Central CA. Light rain for Cape Mendocino through daylight hours. No windswell forecast. Limited light rain for Cape Mendocino. Light snow to Tahoe late evening.
  • Thurs AM (10/26) northwest winds start rebuilding at 20 kts for all of North and Central CA early. In the afternoon northwest winds are to be 15 kts for North CA and and 20 kts for Central CA south of Monterey Bay. Minimal local short period windswell. Light snow early for Tahoe.
  • Fri AM (10/27) northwest winds to be 15 kts for North CA early and 15 kts for Central CA but 20 kts south of Monterey Bay. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 15-20 kts for North CA and 15 kts for Central CA but up to 20 kts south of Monterey Bay. No windswell forecast. No precip forecast.
  • Sat AM (10/28) northwest winds to be 20 kts for all of North and Central CA early. In the afternoon north winds to be 25 kts for Cape Mendocino and 15 kts for the rest of North Ca and 20 kts for Central CA south of Monterey Bay. Windswell building some.
  • Sun AM (10/29) northwest winds to be 15+ kts early for North and Central CA. No change in the afternoon. Windswell fading some.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth are projected at 3, 4, 1.5, and 0.7 inches respectively.

Temperatures for the Pacific Crest Trail and Tioga Pass Road intersection (8,700 ft): 40-45 degrees Mon-Tues (10/24) before falling again hard to 20 degs Wed PM (1025), warming some then down to the teens Sat-Sun (10/29). Winter is coming.

- - -

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
On Sun (10/22) swell from a second gale that developed southeast of New Zealand was hitting California (see Another New Zealand Gale below). And swell from third New Zealand Gale was propagating northeast targeting Hawaii first (see Third New Zealand Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather system of interest are forecast.


Another New Zealand Gale
On Tuesday PM (10/10) another gale developed south of New Zealand producing 40-45 kt west winds with seas 27 ft at 55S 165.5E aimed northeast. On Wed AM (10/11) the gale was track east producing 40-45 kt southwest winds over a tiny area southeast of New Zealand with seas 29 ft at 56.75S 175E aimed east-northeast. In the evening southwest winds were 35-40 kts with seas 29 ft at 54S 180W aimed northeast. The gale held while easing east on Thurs AM (10/12) with 35-40 kt southwest winds and seas 29 ft at 61.5S 175W aimed northeast. The gale faded in the evening.

Southern CA: Swell continues on Sun (10/22) at 1.9 ft @ 15-16 secs mid-day (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell fading on Mon (10/23) from 1.8 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 ft). no meaningful swell after that. Swell Direction: 210 degrees


Third New Zealand Gale
A gale developed under New Zealand on Wed AM (10/18) producing 35-40 kts southwest winds and seas 32 ft at 56.75S 168.25E. In the evening fetch was fading from 30-35 kts aimed northeast with seas 26 ft at 53.25S 176.5W. Fetch and seas faded from there. Some small swell to radiate northeast.

Oahu South Shore: Small swell is to arrive starting Wed (10/25) at 1.3 ft @ 17-18 secs later (2.0 ft). Swell building on Thurs (10/26) 1.7 ft @ 16 secs later (2.5 ft). Swell continues on Fri (10/27) at 1.6 ft @ 15 secs early (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell fading out after that. Swell Direction: 195 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (10/28) building to 1.9 ft @ 17-18 secs later (3.0 ft). Swell to continue on Sun (10/29) at 2.0 ft @ 16 secs early (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Mon (10/30) from 1.8 ft @ 15 secs (2.5 ft). Swell fading Tues (10/31) from 1.6 ft @ 14 secs early (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 205 degrees


4th New Zealand Gale
On Fri PM (10/20) another small gale built under New Zealand with 40 kt southwest winds and seas building from 28 ft at 56.75S 167.75E aimed northeast. On Sat AM (10/21) the gale was building while pushing southeast of New Zealand with 45 kt southwest winds and seas 33 ft at 54.5S 179.75W aimed northeast. In the evening the gale continued tracking east with 40 kt southwest winds and seas 32 ft at 54S 172.25W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (10/22) fetch was fading from 35-40 kts from the southwest with seas 28 ft at 55.75S 167.75W aimed northeast. The gale to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.

Oahu South Shore: Expect swell arrival on Sat (10/28) building to 1.1 ft @ 17 secs late (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell building on Sun (10/29) to 1.7 ft @ 15 secs late (2.5 ft). Swell fading some on Mon (10/30) from 1.8 ft @ 14-15 secs early (2.5 ft). Residuals on Tues (10/31) fading from 1.8 ft @ 13 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 192 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (10/31) building to 1.1 ft @ 16-17 secs later (2.0 ft). Swell to continue on Wed (11/1) at 1.7 ft @ 15 secs (2.5 ft). Swell fading on Thurs (11/2) from 1.7 ft @ 14-15 secs early (2.5 ft). Swell fading Fri (11/3) from 1.5 ft @ 13-14 secs early (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 211 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 small low is to develop off Japan on Thurs PM (10/26) producing northwest winds at 30 kts over a small area. Fetch holding Fri AM (10/27) but seas are to be below 18 ft. The gael to fade while tracking towards the dateline into Sat AM (10/28).

Another low pressure system is forecast developing north of Hawaii on Fri PM (10/27) producing north winds at 30 kts with seas building. On Sat AM (10/28) fetch is to continue at 30-35 kts with seas 19 ft at 37.5N 153.5W aimed southeast. Fetch and seas to fade in the evening. Something to monitor.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours perhaps one more gale is to develop southeast of New Zealand on Thurs AM (10/26) producing 50 kt southwest winds and seas 30 ft over a tiny area at 58.5S 175.25E. In the evening southwest winds to be 40 kts with seas 27 ft at 57S 172E aimed northeast. Fetch fading from 35 kts on Fri AM (10/27) with seas fading from 25 ft at 56S 174E aimed northeast. Something to monitor.


MJO/ENSO Forecast


El Nino Steadily Building
Kelvin Waves #4, #5 and #6 Erupting - NINO3.4 SSTs reflect El Nino
1 Kelvin Wave traversed the Pacific in Dec '22 with a 2nd in Jan-Feb and a 3rd and 4th in March-April, a 5th in May and a 6th in August. But after the last Active MJO in mid-to-late May (resulting in Kevin Wave #5), the MJO stalled. Finally the Active Phase restarted in later July Producing Kelvin Wave #6 which is erupting off Ecuador now. Sea Surface Temperatures in the east are warm and holding, and slightly expanding. And another Active Phase of the MJO is developing now (mid-Oct) likely starting to produce Kelvin Wave #7 which is pushing east. All these Active MJO/Kevin Wave pairs are backfilling warm water off Ecuador and helping push the atmosphere towards El Nino. And El Nino is finally starting to be evident in the atmosphere as evidenced by the SOI, OLR. ocean current, and wind anomalies.

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. That pattern continued until late Fall 2022 when trades started fading and by early 2023 multiple Kelvin Waves were in flight with significant warming developing over the East Equatorial Pacific. La Nina was dead on 3/18/2023 with El Nino apparently developing. But it was not coupled with the atmosphere as of 7/20/2023.

Winter 2023 = 7.7 (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: A 3 year La Nina started fading in Jan 2023 and was gone by April. 6 Active MJO's produced 6 Kelvin Waves over early to mid 2023 with Kelvin Wave #7 in August building over the West Pacific and the 4th, 5th and 6th backed up off Ecuador now (10/20/23). The CFS model is predicting steady west anomalies from here forward and the leading edge of the low pressure bias moving over California now filling the Pacific. We are now under an El Nino status. We are moving into a period of enhanced storm production (starting late Sept 2023) and beyond, getting intense come late Fall and early Winter. This should result in an above normal level of swells, with swells being longer than normal duration from here forward as El Nino gets a stronger footprint on the atmosphere. The net result is a well above normal number of swells with above normal size and duration (i.e 15 significant class swells perhaps). Last year there were 0 and year before 5 or less.

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 (10/12) 5 day average winds were moderate to strong from the east over the East equatorial Pacific and moderate east over the Central Pacific and moderate to strong est over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and neutral over the Central Pacific and strong west over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, versus realtime, so they lag what is happening today (by about 2.5 days).
2 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (10/22) Strong west anomalies were filling the KWGA today. The forecast indicates west anomalies are to hold strong over the KWGA through 10/30 but interrupted by east anomalies starting on the dateline 10/24 then building west almost filling the KWGA 10/31-11/6 then retreating east with west anomalies again strong on the dateline and filling the KWGA at the end of the model run on 11/7.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (10/21) A weak Inactive MJO was over the far West KWGA. The statistic model indicates the Inactive MJO (cloud free air) is to hold at weak status over the far West KWGA unchanged on days 5, 10 and 15 of the model run. The dynamic model depicts the same thing but with the Inactive MJO signal dissipating over the KWGA on day 15. .
Phase Diagrams - 2 week forecast (CA and GEFS): (10/22) The statistical model depicts the Active signal was very weak over Africa. The forecast indicates it is to move to the Indian Ocean 15 days out and very weak. The dynamic model indicates the Active signal meandering over Africa at weak status slow easing to the Central Indian Ocean at very week status 2 weeks out.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (10/22) A neutral MJO pattern was indicated over the KWGA today. The forecast has a very weak Inactive Phase (dry air) tracking east and over the KWGA 11/1-11/21 then moving east of the KWGA while a weak Active (wet air) pattern sets up over the KWGA 11/26 through the end of the model run on 12/1. But the extreme weakness of this suggest an El Nino pattern is in play now.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (10/21)
Today a neutral MJO was over the KWGA but with strong west anomalies filling the KWGA associated with a positive Equatorial Rossby Wave building over the KWGA. The forecast has the Rossby Wave fading out on 10/27 with west anomalies continuing at moderate to strong status through the end of the model run on 11/18. Of note: Moderate east anomalies started building over the Indian Ocean on 9/2 and are now at strong status today and forecast holding through 11/15 and still near strong after that. That coupled with building west anomalies in the West Pacific suggest massively falling air occurring somewhere near 120E (Maritime Continent). This is likely the falling branch of the Walker Circulation. The Indian Ocean Dipole is currently strong positive and building (the falling branch of the Walker Circulation). We're moving into the start of a real El Nino pattern according to this model.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind):
(10/17) - using the 5th ensemble member - the mean of the 4 individual members which are all from the 00Z run - 1 run per day):
Today a Active Phase was fading over the KWGA with weak to modest west anomalies in control. A weak Inactive Phase is moving over the West KWGA but is to last only into 11/12. Moderate to strong west anomalies are in control and are to hold. The Active Phase is to then build 11/17-12/9 with strong west anomalies filling the KWGA peaking in pockets from today through 12/25. A weak Inactive Phase develops 11/22 in the far west KWGA filling it 12/25 and holding through the end of the model run on 1/19/24 but with west anomalies holding at modest to moderate status till the end of the model run while easing east to 150W. Also note that east anomalies started building at 70E (West Indian Ocean) on 9/7 and are forecast building through 12/7 at strong status, then moderating some and holding through the end of the model run while pushing hard east on 12/25 almost filling the KWGA at the end of the model run. This strong east and west anomaly pattern looks very much like falling air centered over the Maritime Continent (120E) and the the downward branch of the Walker Circulation/+IOD. Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR) suggests cloud activity took over the KWGA weakly on 6/24 and started building in earnest June 25 and then more solid starting Sept 15 and is continuing to build today. It is forecast building strongly from here forward but especially starting 10/12. Conversely clear skies started building over the Maritime Continent in mid-May and have continued solidifying today and are forecast building from here forward especially starting 10/10. This also suggest a fall and rising air pattern associated with the change in the Walker Circulation. The low pass filter indicates a broad low pressure bias is established over the KWGA centered at 175W with 3 contour lines (starting 7/14). A 4th contour line is to develop Oct 30. A 5th contour line is scheduled to develop on 12/12. The high pressure bias has dissolved and is no longer in the Pacific but started to build over the Maritime Continent on 10/2. A second high pressure contour is to develop on 12/2. 7/18 was the start of a major positive change in the development of El Nino with advent of the Active Phase of the MJO and west anomalies and that momentum is growing stronger each passing day. It appears a strong El Nino is finally starting to develop in a classical sense.

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 the leading edge of the 30 deg isotherm was easing east to 168W (previously 169W). The 29 degree isotherm was easing east to 157W (previously 162W). The 28 deg isotherm line was backtracking to 146W (previously 140W) and looks like east winds that had been hitting it are abating. The 24 degree isotherm extended the whole way across the Pacific and was steady at 39m (25m 4 days earlier and at one point down to 65m) in the far East. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies at +2 deg C started in the far West Pacific at 172E associated with newly developing Kelvin Wave #7 centered at 172W pushing east in a continuous stream feeding into Kelvin Wave #6 and other previous Kelvin Waves that have formed a broad pocket of +3-5 degs anomalies over the East Pacific starting at 142W (152W on 9/11). +4-5 degree anomalies were tracking east now at 130W (previously 138W). The warm pool in the east (originating from Kelvin Waves #6, 5, 4...) is discharging to the surface while being backfilled by more warm water/Kelvin Wave #7 and growing in coverage some. There's about 3 months of warm water backed up off the Ecuadorian Coast (previously 2 months) today with a stream of warm water backfilling into it. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 10/15 indicates a large very warm stream of +1-2 degs anomalies extending west to east starting at 175E and over a large section of the subsurface equatorial Pacific (Kelvin Wave #7) and building while tracking east with 2 deg anomalies from 130W and points east of there and +4-5 degs anomalies from 121W and points east of there originating from Kelvin Waves #6, #5 and #4 erupting into Ecuador. A steady stream of +1-2 degree anomalies were falling off the Maritime Continent merging with the preexisting warm stream. In other words, this image suggests a steady flow of warm water flowing east from the Maritime Continent suggesting Kelvin Wave #8 is developing. No cool anomalies were indicated. El Nino is developing. The GODAS animation is 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately depicted since its satellite based.
Sea Level Anomalies: (10/15) Sea heights were positive across the equatorial Pacific starting at 158E at +0-5 cms extending east into Ecuador. +5 cm anomalies were in the east from 175E east into Ecuador with 2 pockets of +10 cm anomalies imbedded to the south. Positive anomalies extending north into Central America up to the southern tip of Baja and south to North Peru. This means no cool water was at depth. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram (10/15) warm water is building at +0.5 degs from 175E and points east of there. +1.00-1.50 degs were in a building pocket between 178W to 148W and fading in the east limited to 110W to 95W over the East Pacific and shrinking in coverage while migrating east. A pocket of near neutral to slightly negative anomalies was between 140-150E and shrinking fast. The warm water flow had backed off some with nothing to force more warm water east (i.e. no Active MJOs occurring) in July. But a new Kelvin Wave is now in flight. Otherwise there's been no change since mid March, a steady flow of warm water pushing east.

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: (10/21) The latest images depict a strong warm signal along the coasts of Peru and Ecuador now out to 135W (previously 115W) and building in strength and coverage. There are signs that a moderate warm signal is building further west on the equator out to 170W (previously 155W). The warm pool is now growing westward after previously losing coverage. Lesser heat extended west to the dateline and beyond. Heat also extends north up to Central Baja and south down into Patagonia. There is a very clear El Nino signal with the classic El Nino triangle in-place and rebuilding towards as strong as it was months past, but over a larger area. The last remnants of La Nina are gone on the equator but remnants are still evident in a fading cool pool from a point well off Southern Baja from 130W west to a point south of Hawaii at 175W. The Cool Pool is slowly collapsing. La Nina is all but gone now atmospherically over the Pacific.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (10/21): A small thin stream of pockets of warm anomalies were aligned on the equator from the Galapagos west to 145W. Otherwise mostly neutral temps prevailed. Perhaps some energy is being added to the warm surface pool. A warming trend had been well entrenched over the East Pacific since Nov 1 2022 with no cooling waters over the equatorial East Pacific since 12/15.
Hi-res Overview: (10/21) Warmer than normal waters are filling the East Pacific off Chile, Peru, Ecuador and north up to Mexico with strong warming in many pockets from Ecuador out to 110W and building. And the classic El Nino tongue of more intense warming is building considerably over the equator west to the dateline and beyond. Everything is now looking like El Nino. And the La NIna enhanced cool pool off California is fading and drifting west, while weakening.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (10/22) (The official OISST temp record runs about +0.2 degrees higher). Today's temps were stabilizing but down some at +1.755 after fading down to +1.527 (10/6) (previously +2.10 - 9/17) and have been falling since 8/31 when they were up to +3.073 after rising to +3.164 (8/18) after being up to +2.925 on 8/10 after rising at +3.074 degs (8/7) after being up to +3.391 (on 7/20) and had been rising from +2.906 (starting 7/3) rising from +2.451 after peaking at +2.7926 on 6/13 and have been up in the +2.0 to +3.0 degs range since 4/1 having previously peaked at +2.891 (4/13). Previously temps reached +2.302 degrees on 4/6, +1.732 degs (3/22), up from +0.462 since 2/28. Temps had reached as high as +1.076 on 2/19 and were previously steady at +0.848 since 2/7. Previously they started steadily rising 11/13 when they were around -1.5 degs C.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(10/22) (OISST runs about +0.2 degrees higher). Today temps were falling at +1.272 after rising to +1.300 on 10/20 at after falling down to +1.149 (10/11). . Weekly OISST were at +1.5 the past 3 weeks (through 10/11) after being up to +1.7 degs the week before and +1.6 degs 3 weeks in a row prior (starting 8/30) putting us in minimal strong El Nino status. Temps first time above +1.0 degs was on 8/7 after being up to +0.967 (8/1) up from +0.873 degs (7/25) after peaking at +0.985 (7/18). Previously temps were rising slightly at +0.882 (7/9) after being steady at +0.794 4-5 days and that after being steady at +0.895 (3 days near 6/25) after being in the +0.712 range the previous 9 days after previously rising to +0.975 on 6/9. We are now 31 days into a trend of being above the El Nino threshold (for the 2nd time). Temps reached the El Nino threshold for the first time on 5/17 at +0.507 then quickly fell over the next 10 days down to +0.378 (5/26). Previous peaks of +0.318 on 4/30 besting the previous peak at +0.199 on 4/21. Temps have been steadily increasing hitting 0.0 on 4/12 and were then more or less steady the previous 4 weeks. Temps previously rose to -0.402 on 2/23. Temps rose above the La Nina threshold (-0.5 degs) on 2/22 and had been rising slowly since 2/12 when they were about -1.0 degs C. They had been in the -1.0 deg range since at least Nov 2022.

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 Data (Nino3.4 Region)
Previous - Temps bottomed out at at -1.25 degs in early Nov 2020, 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 Sept rising to -0.8 degs mid Oct then falling to -1.0 in Nov but then slowly rising to -0.75 degs in Jan 2023 and up to -0.5 degs (above the La Nina threshold) on 2/12. Temps rose to +0.50 degs mid-May and were at +0.9 degs in mid-June, and +1.05 mid July reaching up to +1.30 degs early Aug peaking at +1.6 degs in Sept.
Forecast (10/22) - Temps are to hold at +1.5 degs into mid-Nov, then rising fast to +1.95 degs in Dec and +2.0 degs in Jan and solidly in strong El Nino territory before starting a slow fade thereafter. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps are forecast falling to +1.45 degs in mid-Nov then rising to +1.70 degs in Dec and Jan. According to this version of the model we are building into a mid to upper level strong El Nino.
IRI Consensus Plume: The October 19, 2023 Plume (all models) depicts temps are +1.777 degs today and it's the 7th month above the La Nina threshold. Temps to rise steadily from here forward up to +1.836 degrees in November then fading from there. The dynamic model suggest temps peaking at +2.004 in Nov and +1.979 in Dec while the statistic models show +1.836 and +1.769 degrees respectively. The dynamic models are running a bit hotter than the statistic models. The CFS model is on the low end of the dynamic model range with 7 of 17 models above +2.0 degrees.
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 (10/21) the Daily Index was negative at -23.47 and has been negative for 63 days (starting 9/16). It was positive the previous 7 days, then negative the previous 29 days (7/14-8/11) with a peak down to -37.30 on 7/25.The SOI has effectively been negative since 7/12. It was positive the previous 21 days then was negative 11 days prior and positive 5 days previous then negative for 27 days previous ending 6/6 with a peak down to -29.32 on 5/31, -64.63 on 5/24 and -31.31 on 5/12. Previously readings were toggling between +10 and -10 for 13 days, but negative the 15 days previous to that, positive the 6 days prior to that after being mostly negative 25 days before that. It fell to -19.40 on 4/2. -17.44 on 2/22, the beginning of a change from which no return seemed likely. It was up to +21.85 on 2/10 and +55.74 on 12/22 and were in the +20 range the previous 22 days.
The 30 day average was rising some at -8.50 after falling to -15.70 on 9/23. It fell below the neutral point on 7/26. It rose above positive 7/3-7/25. It previously fell to -19.64 on 6/5 had been falling to -4.13 on 4/4 (lagging indicator driven by the Active Phase of the MJO) after falling to -0.52 on 3/22 previously falling to +4.18 on 11/27 and 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 falling some at -11.71 and turned negative the first time in years on 5/12. Recent max lows were -11.85 on 10/15, -8.90 on 8/8 and -7.57 on 6/6. It previously peaked at +14.63 on 2/20, +15.61 on 10/25 and +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 suggests that the Active Phase occurring now is starting to drive the index down, hopefully with no upward trend in sight for at least a year.

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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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing:

Mavericks & Stormsurf on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel

Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:

Time Zone Converter By popular demand we've built and easy to use time convert that transposes GMT time to whatever time zone you are located. It's ion left hand column on every page on the site near the link to the swell calculator.

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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