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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, October 26, 2017 3:24 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
3.9 - California & 4.2 - 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   

Swell From Extratropical Storm 'Lan' Pushing SE
A Calmer Pattern to Follow


On Thursday, October 26, 2017 :

  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 7.8 ft @ 12.5 secs with local north windswell 5.4 ft @ 11.8 secs from 335 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.4 ft @ 12.8 secs with southern hemi swell 2.8 ft @ 13.5 secs from 173 degrees. Wind at the buoy was east at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 67.3 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.9 ft @ 12.3 secs from 228 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.3 ft @ 13.6 secs from 208 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 2.4 ft @ 15.7 secs from 216 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 3.5 ft @ 12.9 secs from 234 degrees - a combination of south and northwest swells.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 8.5 ft @ 9.1 secs with residual Northwest Pacific swell and local windswell 6.7 ft @ 9.8 secs from 312 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 6-8 kts. Water temp 59.9 degs.

    46006, 46059, 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 Thursday (10/26) in North and Central CA Northwest Pacific swell was fading producing sets at head high to 2 ft overhead and clean at exposed breaks. Protected breaks were up to head high and clean but mostly closed out. At Santa Cruz set waves were head high and clean but a bit on the soft side. In Southern California up north southern hemi swell was still producing set waves at shoulder to nearly head high and clean and lined up. In North Orange Co southern hemi set waves were shoulder to maybe head high but weak. Wind was near calm with glassy conditions. In South Orange County at best breaks southern hemi swell was still producing waves to head high to 1 ft overhead and clean with calm winds and lined up. In San Diego surf was chest to shoulder high and clean but slow and soft. Hawaii's North Shore was 2-3 ft overhead and still pretty ragged but trying to clean up. The South Shore was getting minimal left over New Zealand swell at waist to chest high and clean. The East Shore was getting north windswell at head high to 1 ft overhead and nearly chopped from north wind.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (10/26) residual swell from a gale that tracked through the Northwestern Pacific Thurs-Fri (10/21) with up to 37 ft seas then pushed into the Western Gulf Sat-Sun (10/23) with 26 ft seas is is fading in California. Of more interest is a swell produced by a strong extratropical storm that developed while recurving northeast Tues-Wed (10/25) in the Northwest Pacific with seas confirmed at up to 57 ft over the northern dateline region. That swell is pushing southeast now. Southern hemi swell is fading in Southern CA from a gale that developed in the far Southeast Pacific on Sat (10/14) with 36 ft seas barely in the Southern CA swell window aimed north. The last of swell from a gale that developed under under New Zealand tracking east on Sun (10/15) with up to 40 ft seas was fading in Hawaii. Local north windswell was also hitting Hawaii's North Shores but raw. Otherwise no swell producing weather system are forecast north or south.

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

North Pacific

On Thursday AM (10/26) the jetstream was pushing off North Japan on the 43N latitude line but a bit diffuse with winds only 100 kts pushing over the dateline and building to 160 kts while falling into a tight pinched trough north of Hawaii. From there the jet ridged hard north up into Alaska. There was no real support for gale development in the trough. Over the next 72 hours
that trough is to quickly dissipate while a new trough build in the west off the Kuril's being supported by 140 kt winds Fri-Sat (10/28) then weakening and becoming steep and almost pinched by Sun (10/29) as it hits the dateline. Limited support for gale development is possible. The ridge is to hold in the east. Beyond 72 hours starting Mon (10/30) the dateline trough is to nearly pinch off offering no real support for gale development through Tues (10/31) with remnants energy fading north of Hawaii into Wed (11/1) and the ridge holding in the Gulf. Beyond a pocket of wind energy is to start building pushing off the Kuril's late Wed with winds to 160 kts falling into a developing trough on the dateline but again pinching off some on Thurs (11/2) just east of the dateline. Limited support for low pressure development possible. There's also some sense that remnant pinched trough/cutoff low upper level energy is to start pushing east through the Gulf on Thurs (11/2) possibly helping to break down the ridge that has that area locked down.

Surface Analysis
On Thurs (10/26) swell from the Dateline region was fading in California (see Dateline Gale below). Of far more interest was swell from an
extratropical storm previously over in the North Dateline Region that was pushing southeast (see Extratropical Storm 'Lan' below).

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast. Weak generic low pressure is to build over the dateline late in the period on Sun (10/29) but no swell producing fetch is to result.

For windswell relative to California: On Thursday (10/26) high pressure at 1028 mbs was in the Gulf of Alaska ridging up into Central Canada generating a weak pressure gradient and north winds at 25 kts over Cape Mendocino area but forecast fading through the day and gone overnight. Fading north windswell possible. A light pressure and wind pattern to follow until Sat PM (10/28) when high pressure builds a little in the Gulf setting up 15 kt north winds down the North and Central CA coast. Not enough to build windswell, but enough to chop things up maybe.

For windswell relative to Hawaii: On Thursday (10/26) residual windswell from a low north of the Islands was fading. That low is to rejuvenate some on Fri (10/27) producing north winds at 20-25 kts 600 nmiles north of the Islands (but no closer), then fading on Sat (10/28). No real windswell to result. No other windswell producing fetch is forecast.


Dateline Gale
Another gale developed Wed PM (10/18) just off Kamchatka with 45 kt northwest winds and seas building from 32 ft at 49N 164E. On Thurs AM (10/19) the gale was just south of the Aleutians and moving towards the dateline producing a solid fetch of 40 kt west winds and seas 35 ft over a small area at 47.5N 169E targeting mainly Hawaii (323 degs HI). West fetch continued tracking east in the evening at 45 kts just west of the dateline with 35 ft seas at 47.5N 176E aimed east (326 degs HI, 303 degs NCal). On Fri AM (10/20) the gale was starting to drift southeast with northwest winds fading from 35-40 kts over a solid area and 34 ft seas at 47N 176W (328 degs HI, 300 degs NCal). In the evening fetch was pushing southeast at 35 kts over a broad area with 31 ft seas at 45N 169W (340 degs HI, 298 degs NCal) targeting mainly the US West Coast. On Sat AM (10/21) 35 kt west fetch was over the Central Gulf with 26 ft seas at 45N from 160W (297 degs NCal). Fetch faded in the evening from 30 kts from the west in the Eastern Gulf with seas 23 ft at 45N 153W (298 degrees NCal) and dissipating. Another nice pulse of swell is possible for Hawaii and California. Something to monitor.

North CA: Residuals on Thurs AM (10/26) fading from 3.1 ft @ 11 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 297-304 degrees


Extratropical Storm Lan
On Sat AM (10/21) Typhoon Lan was 650 nmiles south southwest of Tokyo Japan tracking north-northeast with winds 130 kts (150 mph). This system moved directly over Tokyo on Sun AM (10/22) with winds 110 kts, briefly moving over land, then back over the North Pacific a few hours later Sun PM with winds 90 kts and heading northeast. This system raced northeast Mon AM (10/23) and start reorganizing as an extratropical storm in the evening with its core just off Southern Kamchatka with a broad fetch of 40-45 kt west winds off the Central Aleutians with seas 34 ft at 42N 157E aimed east. On Tues AM (10/24) a large fetch of 50 kt west winds were developing just south of the Western Aleutians as the storm center stalled over the Western Aleutians and seas built from 37 ft at 49N 162-178E aimed east. In the evening west winds built to 60 kts approaching the dateline with 56 ft seas modeled at 49.5N 173.0E aimed east (325 degs HI, 306 degs NCal). The core of the storm tracked east over the Aleutians Wed AM (10/25) with winds fading from 45 kts early south of the Aleutians over the North Dateline region with seas 52 ft at 47N 178W (336 degs HI, 302 degs NCal). The storm is to dissipated in the evening with 30 kt northwest winds fading and seas dropping from 39 ft at 44N 173W (335 degs HI, 297 degs NCal). The Jason-2 satellite made a pass directly over the core of the fetch and confirmed a 15 reading average sea height of 38.3 ft with one reading to 43.7 ft. The model was right on track.

Oahu: Expect swell arrival Fri AM (10/27) at 7.6 ft @ 21-22 secs at sunrise building through the day peaking at 4 PM at 8.6 ft @ 19 secs (16.5 ft Hawaiian). Swell fading Sat sunrise (10/28) from 8.7 ft @ 16-17 secs (14.5 ft Hawaiian) dropping to 7.3 ft @ 15 secs at sunset 11.0 ft. Swell Direction: 328-334 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival Sat AM (10/28) with period 21-22 secs and size steadily building pushing near 8.1 ft @ 19 secs (15 ft) and heavily shadowed in the SF Bay area but unshadowed south of HMB. Swell holds overnight then starts fading Sun AM (10/29) from 7.1 ft @ 17 secs (12 ft) and still shadowed like before and dropping from there. Residuals on Mon AM (10/30) fading from 4.8 ft @ 15 secs (7.0 ft). Swell Direction 302-306 degrees

Southern CA: Limited impulse energy to start arriving at sunset on Sat (10/28) 1.5 ft @ 22-23 secs (3.0-3.5 ft) at exposed breaks. Swell building Sun (10/29) holding at 3.9 ft @ 18-19 secs (7.0 ft) at exposed breaks. Swell fading Monday (10/30) 3.2 ft @ 16-17 secs early (5.0-5.5 ft). Residuals on Tues (10/31) fading from 2.1 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 303-309 degrees


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


Tropical Update
Tropical Storm Saola on Thurs AM (10/26) was 700 nmiles south of Southern Japan with winds 45 kts tracking northwest at 12 kts with seas estimated at 22 ft. Saola is forecast to continue on this track into Fri PM (10/27) while building in strength to 60 kts (near typhoon force) then turning north and then recurving northeast eventually passing just south of Tokyo on Mon (10/30) with winds 60 kts, bound for the greater North Pacific. The GFS and official tropical forecast are not in sync. But the general sense is that no significant swell producing fetch is to result.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday (10/26) north winds at 25 kts were over North Ca from Pt Arena northward and fading fast, forecast down to 15 kts at sunset. A light flow was everywhere else in CA. A light flow is forecast Friday (10/27) for the state and holding into Saturday. Sunday northwest winds are forecast at 15 kts for Pt Arena southward to Pt Conception and continuing Monday but reaching north to Cape Mendocino. Northwest winds to dissipate by early Tues AM (10/31) and remain light (less than 10 kts) through Thurs (11/2).


South Pacific

Surface Analysis  
On Thursday (10/26) swell from a gale previously in the far Southeast Pacific was hitting Southern CA (see Southeast Pacific Gale below). And swell from a gale that tracked under New Zealand was fading in California (See New Zealand Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.


Southeast Pacific Gale
On Sat AM (10/14) a moderate sized gale developed in the far Southeast Pacific on the edge of the California swell window with 40-45 kt south winds and seas building from 27 ft over a moderate area at 58S 124W. In the evening 45-50 kt south winds were pushing north-northeast with 37 ft seas at 56S 117.5W aimed north and northeast. On Sun AM (10/15) fetch was fading fast from 35-40 kts moving northeast with seas fading from 36 ft at 51S 111W targeting mainly from South Mexico and points south of there. The gale faded while moving rapidly east from there. Very south angled swell is possible for California but better focused for Mexico southward into South America.

Southern CA: Swell fading Thurs (10/26) from 2.1 ft @ 13 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 177-180 degrees


New Zealand Gale
nother gale (actually a storm) developed under New Zealand starting on Sat PM (10/14) with 50 kt southwest winds and seas building from 34 ft at 54S 165E tracking due east. On Sun AM (10/15) 50-55 kt southwest winds developed tracking east over a small area with 40 ft seas building at 56S 173E. The gale was fading fast in the evening with winds dropping from 40 kts from the southwest with seas fading from 37 ft at 54S 178W. The gale is to be gone after that.

Southern California: Swell fading Thurs (10/26) at 1.4 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 215 degrees

Northern CA: Swell fading Thurs (10/26) at 1.2 ft @ 15-16 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 215 degrees This swell to be buried in northwest swell too.


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 gale is to develop off the Kuril Islands and rapidly lift northeast Monday AM (10/30) while building to storm status off the Northern Kuril's with south winds to 50 kts briefly producing seas of 38 ft 48N 168E in the evening but all tracking and aimed due north. Fetch is to fade rapidly from there Tues AM (10/31) while moving in the the extreme west Bering Sea. No swell to result.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.

More details to follow...


Inactive MJO Coming - Cool Pool Steady and Solid

The Madden Julian Oscillation is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for MJO activity (which directly relate to the potential for swell production).

Overview: La Nina started developing in early 2016, but westward displaced and generally weak. And by March 2017, it was gone with suspicious warming developing along South America and over the Galapagos to a point south of Hawaii. By May the atmosphere returned to a neutral configuration but then in July east anomalies started building in the KWGA and have not stopped, with cold water upwelling over the the Nino1.2 and 3.4 areas, indicative of La Nina. So it appears now a double dip La Nina is setting up and is to continue through the Winter and Spring of 2017-2018.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Wed (10/25) the 5 day average indicated east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific including the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were light over the East Pacific and solid easterly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (10/24) Light west anomalies were modeled over the entire KWGA. Light west anomalies are to hold over the entire KWGA through the end of the model run on 11/2. For the first time in months, it appears something that almost looks like an Active Phase of the MJO might be trying to develop with easterly anomalies expected to dissipate.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: As of 10/25 a fading weak Active/Wet MJO pattern was over the West Pacific reaching to the dateline. The statistical model depicts it fading and almost gone 5 days out, with a moderate Inactive/Dry Phase building in the far West Pacific 10 days out and moving almost to the dateline at the end of the 15 day model run. The dynamic model depicts the same thing but with the Inactive Phase weaker.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (10/26) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO moderate in strength in the West Pacific and forecast collapsing over the next 6 days. The GEFS model suggests a variant of the same thing but with the Active Phase holding together longer while pushing east and weakening over the next 2 weeks.
40 day Upper Level Model: (10/26) This model depicts a moderately strong Active/Wet pattern over the far East Pacific and it's to track east into Central America 10/31. After that a solid Inactive Phase is to follow in the West on 11/5 racing east into Central America through 11/20. A weak Active Phase is to develop in the West Pacific on 11/20 tracking east almost to Central America by the end of the model run on 12/5. This model runs about 1 week ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (10/26) This model depicts a modest Active Phase of the MJO pushing east over the KWGA with weak west west anomalies over the same area. The Active Phase is to move east and be gone from the KWGA by 11/4 with light west anomalies fading over that time period in the KWGA. The Inactive Phase is to develop in the KWGA on 11/5-12/7 with neutral anomalies perhaps turning weakly east by mid-Nov holding till the end of the month. Then the Active Phase returns weakly on 12/12 with weak west anomalies in control into 1/6/2018. The Inactive Phase to follow but weak into 1/23/18. The low pass filter indicates a modest El Nino signal over the extreme west KWGA and is to ease east filling it by Jan 15. A La Nina signal is over the East KWGA near the dateline and is to move into the East Pacific and no longer in the KWGA by Jan 1. Interesting. If this is true, it suggests the underpinnings of La Nina that is developing in the Pacific and to peak in Jan are weak and fading and are to be gone by late December. Assuming it takes 3 months for the ocean to respond, this winter is lost to La Nina with no significant change expected until likely early April 2018. Even at that it will take about 5+ years for the Pacific to recharge from the 2014-16 El Nino before another El Nino develops. So a neutral ENSO pattern is likely to develop.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (10/26) A pattern change set up in August, with warm water retreating to the west and cooler water building in the east. Today in the far West Pacific water temps have fallen to barely 29 degs centered at 160E and shrinking in coverage. The 28 deg isotherm line is barely hanging on at 178W. The 24 deg isotherm is weak at 134W today and shallow at 30 meters deep at 140W. Anomaly wise a clear change is present in the East Pacific with warm water gone and instead neutral to weakly negative temperatures at the surface and down to -2 degs C down 100 meters at between 110-155W indicative of La Nina. Warm anomalies are isolated to the West Pacific at +0.5 degrees down to 100 meters deep with the dividing line between cool at 170W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 10/20 depicts a large area of subsurface cool water filling the East Pacific (-4.0 degs) and erupting to the surface in broad pockets between 100W to 165W with a near neutral temperature pattern in the west.
Sea Level Anomalies: (10/20) Negative anomalies are in control at -5 cms over the entire equatorial Pacific with a core of -10 cm anomalies present between Ecuador to 160W with one patch to -15 cms at 140W.

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: (10/24) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a clear cool pattern has developed. Upwelling continues solidly along Peru and Ecuador (building the past few days) then tracking west on the equator out to 135W. The cool pool continues west from there out to 160W. No warm anomalies are indicated within 3+ degs north or south of the equator over the entire region.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (10/25): A neutral trend was along Peru. A modest warming trend was indicated starting just off Ecuador over the Galapagos continuing west to 130W. A mixed cooling and warming trend was west of there out to 160W.
Hi-res Overview: (10/25) A clear La Nina cool stream is present starting off Southern Chile pushing north up Peru and building in coverage, then turning northwest off Ecuador tracking west over the Galapagos and building out to 160W and stronger than days past. Weak cool anomalies continued west from there out to 175E. This pattern outlines the South Pacific high pressure system well and is stronger than normal. and likely is also strong in the North Pacific too. Cool water at depth is erupting to the surface with the breach point near the Galapagos. There is no sign of warm anomalies in the Nino 1.2 or Nino3.4 regions. Otherwise waters of all oceans of the planet are warmer than normal other than the aforementioned stream. We now assert that climatology needs to be updated to reflect the new reality of warming ocean temperatures over the entire planet.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (10/26) Today's temps were falling slightly at -1.283, up from the coldest point so far this La Nina when they dipped to -1.9 degs on 10/11.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (10/26) temps were rising slightly but still cool at -0.765, but up from the most recent cool downward spike on 10/23 at -1.1 degs and cooler than a previous downward spike on 9/12 at -0.898. The long arc clearly suggests a downward trend. La Nina is in control.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (10/26) The forecast has temps falling steadily from -0.5 in early Oct to -0.9 in late Dec. Then the trend is to turn upwards reaching -0.25 in April and 0.0 degs in July 2018. This suggests a legit La Nina is expected for the Winter of 2017-2018. The CFS SST images (10/13) continues to suggest a moderate La Nina cool pattern building on the equator off the Galapagos into Feb 2018. A full on La Nina is setting up.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Sept Plume updated (9/19) depicts temps forecast to fade -0.4 degs in Sept, and fading to -0.6 degs in Nov, slowly rising from there turning neutral in April 2018. See chart here - link.  The NMME consensus for Oct average indicates temps -0.75 degrees below normal Nov-Jan 2018 then rebounding to normal in April. It sure looks like La Nina is on the way. The CFSv2 is the outlier, colder than all other models. Still, given all the oceanic signals, we a tending to side with it more than the other models.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (10/26): The daily index was down some at -4.06. The 30 day average was falling from 12.12. The 90 day average was falling at +7.07. This suggests a turn towards La Nina.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (10/26) The index was rising slightly again at -1.05 (up from -2.20 on 6/28/17). This al most looks like a rising trend developing, which would be good. Last years La Nina reached -1.94 on 11/2/16 so we've bested that already. But the recent upward trend is offering some hope. Still it looks like La Nina is returning for a double dip/2 year La Nina (not unusual). This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina events.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly negative, but not as much as one would expect with La Nina in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.10, Feb = +0.04, March = +0.12, April=+0.52, May=+0.30, June=+0.19, July= -0.50, Aug= -0.68, Sept = -0.28. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO discounting the recent La Nina dip. No consistently negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington EDU index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.77, Feb = +0.70, Mar = +0.74, April=+1.12, May=+0.88, June=+0.79, July=+0.10, Aug=0.09, Sept = 0.32. No 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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