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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, October 26, 2021 2:58 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
4.3 - 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 10/25 thru Sun 10/31

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   

Raw Swell Fading for CA
3 More Gales Queued

 

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Tuesday, October 26, 2021 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt) : Seas were 3.1 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 1.9 ft @ 9.3 secs from 198 degrees. Water temp 79.7 degs (Pearl Harbor 233), NA (Lani 239), 79.9 (Barbers Pt).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 6.7 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 5.1 ft @ 13.2 secs from 268 degrees. Water temp 78.6 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 7.0 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 3.3 ft @ 16.2 secs from 287 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north at 8-10 kts. Water temperature 62.1 degs, 60.4 (Topanga 103), 60.4 degs (Long Beach 215), 64.8 (Del Mar 153), 64.6 (Pt Loma 191). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 13.0 ft @ 15.9 secs from 296 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 3.1 ft @ 17.3 secs from 243 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 3.5 ft @ 16.6 secs from 246 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 4.6 ft @ 16.0 secs from 268 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 16.4 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 13.0 ft @ 14.7 secs from 300 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was southwest at 6-10 kts. Water temp 57.4 (Pt Reyes 029), 56.7 (46026), 57.2 degs (SF Bar 142), and 56.7 (Santa Cruz 254).

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).
Summer
- 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).
Summer
- 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.
Summer
- up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.

Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
Current Conditions
On Tuesday (10/26) North and Central CA had waves at 12-15 ft and warbled and uneven and a bit out of control with south wind lightly blowing. Protected breaks were head up to double overhead and super lined and closed out but with clean conditions. At Santa Cruz surf was double overhead plus at top spots and lined up and fairly clean with just a little underlying warble intermixed. In Southern California/Ventura waves were head high with sets 1-2 ft overhead on the peak and fairly lined up but warbled though local wind was calm. Central Orange County had sets in the 2-3 ft overhead range and lined up and real clean but pretty closed out. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at 1-2 ft overhead and lined up but a bit roguey with underlying warble intermixed with light local wind. North San Diego had surf in the 1-2 ft overhead range and with light local win but somewhat warbled conditions. Hawaii's North Shore was getting some swell with waves 3-4 ft overhead and lined up and clean with good form at top breaks. The South Shore had a few scattered sets at thigh to maybe waist high and clean. The East Shore was getting northwest wrap around swell with waves head high and lightly chopped early from modest east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (10/26) swell was still pretty solid in California from a reasonably strong gale that developed in the Northwestern Gulf on Fri-Sat (10/23) with up to 38 ft seas initially aimed southeast, fading then redeveloped off North CA on Sun (10/24) with 40 ft seas aimed southeast driven by an atmospheric river (i.e. jetstream) pushing into Central CA. Sideband swell from this system was hitting Hawaii too. A smaller system tracking over the Northwestern Gulf Sun-Tues (10/26) with up to 34 ft seas over a small area aimed east. Swell from that is targeting the Pacific Northwest and CA for later in the workweek. And yet another is forecast over the Dateline and Western Gulf Fri-Sun (10/31) with 28-30 ft seas aimed east. And another is to be behind that developing on the dateline Sat-Sun (10/31) with 34 ft seas aimed southeast at Hawaii then fading Mon (11/1) north of the Islands. More swell is expected.

See all the details below...

 

SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Tuesday (10/26) the jet was tracking gently off Japan ridging some off the coast then falling into a small trough just east of the dateline being fed by 140 kt winds offering some support for gale development then ridging gently northeast and pushing flat into Washington State. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to ease east into the Central Gulf while fading into Thurs (10/28) providing less support for gale development. At the same time wind energy is to be building in the ridge just west of the dateline to 160 kts building to 190 kts early Fri (10/29) starting to carve out a trough over the Northwestern Gulf offering good support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours that trough is to build while moving over the Central Gulf of Alaska on Sat (10/30) still offering good support for gale development then starting to pinch off some on Sun (10/31) offering less support. A secondary trough is forecast developing in the Northwestern Gulf on Mon (11/1) being fed by 150 kts winds offering yet more support for gale development.

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday (10/26) swell from a gale previously in the Central Gulf was hitting California and Hawaii (see Stronger Gulf Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours swell from a smaller gale traversing the Gulf is to be pushing towards Hawaii and California (see Northwest Gulf Gale below)

Also tropical energy previously off North Japan on Tues (10/26) is to start developing as it pushes over the dateline Thurs PM (10/28) with 40 kt northwest winds and seas 29 ft over a small area at 44N 178W aimed southeast. Fetch is to build in coverage Fri AM (10/29) at 40-45 kts from the northwest targeting Hawaii and the US West Coast with seas 27 ft at 42N 170W aimed southeast. The gale is to track east in the evening with 40-45 kt northwest winds over a solid sized area and seas 29-30 ft at 40N 160W aimed southeast. Fetch holding Sat AM (10/30) at 40 kts aimed southeast and seas 32 ft at 39.5N 154.5W aimed southeast. The gale is to stall in the evening with 30-35 kts northwest winds fading in coverage and seas fading from 28 ft at 40N 152W aimed southeast. This system to be gone after that. Possible decent swell to result for HI and CA.

 

Stronger Gulf Gale Storm
On Fri AM (10/22) a gale started developing in the Northwestern Gulf tracking southeast with 50-55 kt west winds and seas 33 ft at 53N 163W just off the east most Aleutians. The gale slowly moved east in the evening with 45-50 kt west winds and seas 38 ft at 53.25N 157.5W aimed east-southeast. On Sat AM (10/23) fetch was falling into a developing trough in the Central Gulf at 30-40 kts from the northwest with seas 27 ft at 52.5N 151.25W aimed east-southeast from the original fetch. In the evening fetch was building from 40-45 kts filling the Central Gulf with seas building from 26-28 ft over a large swath with its leading edge at 42.75N 144.5W aimed southeast. The gale built to storm status Sun AM (10/24) off South Oregon with 50 kt west winds and seas 40 ft at 43.25N 134.75W aimed southeast. Winds were fading in the evening from 35-40 kts over a solid area off Oregon and North CA with seas 36 ft at 44N 128.25W aimed southeast. Fetch fading from 30-35 kts Mon AM (10/25) with seas fading from 26 ft at 39N 133W aimed southeast targeting all of CA. Larger raw swell to result for North CA (305-314 degs) down into Central CA and up into Oregon.

Hawaii: Swell peaking on Tues AM (10/26) pushing 3.9 ft @ 14 secs (5.5 ft) and holding through the day. Residuals fading on Wed AM (10/27) from 3.4 ft @ 11 secs(3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 345 degrees moving to 005 degrees.

North CA: Swell fading on Tues (10/26) dropping from 11 ft @ 14-15 secs early (16 ft). Residuals on Wed (10/27) fading from 6.2 ft @ 12-13 secs (7.5 ft). Swell Direction: Core energy 305+ degrees but sideband energy down to 290 degrees

 

Northwest Gulf Gale
A small new gale developed over the North Dateline region Sun AM (10/24) with 50 kts west winds and seas 31 ft at 47N 177E aimed east. The gale tracked east in the evening with 45-50 kt west winds over a small area and seas 35 ft at 48.25N 173.5W aimed east. On Mon AM (10/25) the gale was moving over the Northwestern Gulf and fading with 40 kt west winds and seas 34 ft at 48.75N 165W aimed east-southeast. More of the same occurred in the evening with seas 30 ft at 48.75N 156.25W aimed east. On Tues AM (10/26) the gale was in the Northeastern Gulf with 40 kt west winds and seas 30 ft at 48.5N 147W aimed east. The gale is to be fading in the evening with 35 kt west winds off Vancouver Island and seas fading from 27 ft at 48N 138W and east of the NCal swell window. Swell to result.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (10/28) building to 3.2 ft @ 12 secs later (3.5-4.0 ft). Additional energy to build in on Fri (10/29) pushing 4.5 ft @ 11 secs mid-day (5.0 ft). Swell fading on Sat (10/30) from 3.9 ft @ 10 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell DIrection: 345 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (10/28) building to 7.3 ft @ 15 secs early (10.5 ft) and shadowed in the SF Bay Area. Swell fading on Fri (10/29) 4.7 ft @ 12-13 secs (6.0 ft). Residuals on Sat (10/30) 5.2 ft @ 11 secs (5.5 ft). Swell Direction: 301 degrees

 

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

 

Tropical Update
On Tues (10/26) Tropical Storm Malou was developing 840 nmiles south-southeast of Kyoto Japan with winds 55 kts tracking north. Malou is to build to typhoon status on Wed (10/27) with winds to 70 kts and starting to accelerate off to the north-northeast and positioned well off North Japan on Fri (10/29) with winds 65 kts bound for the dateline and an interaction with the jetstream. Swell the Longterm NPac Forecast below.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Wed (10/27) light winds are forecast for North CA early and northwest winds for Central CA 10 kts pushing to near 20 kts for Pt Conception. Northwest winds building in the afternoon at 10 kts for North CA and 15 kts for Central CA. Light rain for Cape Mendocino early.
  • Thurs (10/28) northwest winds are forecast at 10+ kts for North CA early and 10-15 kts for Central CA early and holding all day.
  • Fri (10/29) northwest winds are forecast at 10 kts for North CA early and 15 kts from Bodega Bay southward and holding all day except northeast 10-20 kts for Cape Mendocino late afternoon. Light rain possible for Cape Mendocino mid-day.
  • Sat (10/30) light northwest winds are forecast early for North CA and northwest 10+ kts for Central CA early. Light winds everywhere in the afternoon. Light rain for Bodega Bay northward through the day.
  • Sun (10/31) light winds all day expected for North and Central CA but turning south 5-10 kts for Cape Mendocino in the afternoon.
  • Mon (11/1) a weak front is to be impacting North CA with south winds there 15+ kts early and south 5 kts for Central CA down to Monterey Bay and light winds south of there. In the afternoon the front is to push into the North Ca coast down to San Francisco with south winds 5-10 kts down to maybe Santa Cruz and south winds 5 kts for Central CA. Rain developing for Monterey Bay northward in the afternoon.
  • Tues (11/2) light winds are forecast early for all of North and Central CA building from the northwest to 10 kts in the afternoon all locations.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 0, 0, 0, and 0 inches respectively.

Freezing level rising steadily to 12,500 ft late on 10/26 holding through 10/28. Freezing level steadily falling to 8,500 ft on 10/30 and pretty much stabilizing there, maybe dropping to 7,000 ft on 11/4.

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

Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!

 

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis
No swell was in the water or tracking north from the South Pacific.

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

 

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

 

QuikCAST's

 

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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours another stronger system of tropical origins (formally Typhoon Malou off Japan) is to be redeveloping west of the dateline on Sat PM (10/30) with 45-50 kt northwest winds and seas building 31 ft at 41.5N 175.5E aimed southeast. On Sun AM (10/31) Malou is to be falling southeast with 40 kt northwest winds over the dateline aimed southeast with 32 ft seas at 39.5N 179E aimed southeast. More of the same is forecast in the evening with 31 ft seas at 37N 174W targeting Hawaii well. Fetch fading north of Hawaii on Mon AM (11/1) producing 27 ft seas at 35.5N 166.5W aimed southeast. Fetch fading while pushing east in the evening. Something to monitor.

 

South Pacific

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

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

La Nina Now Stronger Below the Surface than Last Year
Summary - Cool subsurface water is building under the equatorial Pacific and stronger than last year with no Kelvin Wave induced warm waters in sight. The forecast does suggest weak west anomalies taking over the KWGA in later November and nearly filling the KWGA after that with the low pressure bias slowly building in from the west in late Dec. The high pressure bias is in control of the dateline but is to ease east nearly out of the KWGA by Jan 2022. But it also seems likely cold surface waters are to hold well entrenched over the dateline through early Jan supporting bulletproof surface high pressure. The west wind anomalies forecast will likely not be enough to significantly effect the volume and depth of cold water building over Central Equatorial Pacific before Winter is over.

MJO/ENSO Discussion
The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.
And the El Nino/La Nino cycle (collectively know as ENSO - El Nino Southern Oscillation) is a less frequent (about once every 7 years) but more impactful cycle that affects world wide weather. Specifically, strong El Nino events promote storm production in the Pacific while La Nina events suppress storm production. These therefore have a significant impact on the production of swell and surf. The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO and ENSO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for upcoming activity (or inactivity depending on the state and interaction of these two oscillations).

Overview: In 2019 warm equatorial waters were fading, and by August a tongue of cool water was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos reaching to a point nearly south of Hawaii. A bit of a recovery tried to occur during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water held in a pool off Peru. By April 2020 a cool pool was starting to build, forming a well defined cool tongue that evolved into La Nina, with it fully developing through July 2020. A slow dissolving of La Nina started in March 2021 with 2 Kelvin Waves sweeping east and arriving over the Galapagos in June. Weak warming set up over the equator with no cool waters present. NOAA declared La Nina dead.

LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Fall /Winter 2021-2022 = 3.0 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)

Rationale: It was assumed that the moderate La Nina from the Winter of 2020/2021 was on the wane and that a return to neutral ENSO state would set up over the Pacific Basin through the summer of 2021. But La Nina is making a strong return as we move into the end of Sept much like what the CFS model suggested would happen. So at this point we are speculating that the CFS model will verify and that a full double dip La Nina pattern will take hold as we move into November with this second La Nina dip being nearly as strong as the previous one. But a quick fade is forecast as we move into late Fall (Nov) with the CFS predicting a return to a neutral wind anomaly pattern at that time and the low pressure bias making headway in to the KWGA in early Dec. Still it will take some time for the atmosphere to fully respond, resulting in a less than normal swell production forecast especially for Fall into early Winter. But by later in Jan 2022 perhaps a return to a more normal pattern might take hold. As a result a somewhat reduced number of storm days and storm intensity is expected Oct-Dec, resulting in a below normal level of swells, with swell being below normal duration and period. But by later Winter (2022), the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start improving as La Nina fades out. The status of the PDO is not known, though it appears to be returning to at least a neutral state, rather than the warm phase as previously projected thereby having no significant positive or negative effect on the long term outlook.

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 (10/25) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific and moderate east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and neutral over the Central Pacific and modest east over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, versus realtime, so they lag what is happening today (by about 2.5 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (10/25) east anomalies were modest over the KWGA with a finger of weak west anomalies trying to hold over the dateline. The forecast calls for the west anomalies to hold into 10/27 then fading with east anomalies building in coverage filling the KWGA 10/28 and then building in strengthen to near strong status 10/29 just west of the dateline and holding through the end of the model run on 11/1. There's no sign of meaningful westerly anomalies in the forecast.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (10/25) A neutral MJO signal was indicated over the KWGA today. The statistic model projects a neutral pattern holding on days 5-15 of the model run. The dynamic model projects a weak Inactive Phase developing on day 5 of the model run and building some through day 10 of the model run, then fading and turing weakly Active on day 15 of the model run over the KWGA.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (10/26) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was exceedingly weak over the Indian Ocean and is forecast holding unchanged over the 15 days model run easing to the Maritime Continent. The dynamic model suggests the Active Phase moving east over the Maritime Continent at modest status at day 15 of the model run.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (10/25) A weak Inactive Phase (dry air) was indicated over the East Pacific with a neutral pattern west of there. The Inactive Phase (dry air) is to track into Central America on 10/30 with a weak Active Phase (wet air) developing over the KWGA 11/4 tracking steadily east and into Central America on 11/24. A weaker Inactive Phase (dry air) is forecast moving into the KWGA on 11/19 moving to the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 12/4.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (10/25) This model depicts the Active Phase was exiting east over the dateline with mostly modest east anomalies controlling the entire KWGA. The forecast indicates the Active Phase of the MJO moving east and out of the KWGA on 10/27 with east anomalies continuing to fill the KWGA. The Inactive Phase is to be building over the KWGA right behind controlling it 10/27-11/15 with east anomalies building to strong status during that window and controlling the KWGA through 11/20, then dramatically fading. A strong Active Phase and west anomalies is to be poised over the Maritime Continent starting to enter the West Pacific 11/17 reaching 30% of the way into the KWGA at the end of the model run on 11/22.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (10/26 - 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 modest Active Phase of the MJO was fading and exiting east from the KWGA with modest east anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Active Phase is to slowly push east through 11/3 with east anomalies remaining in control. A modest Inactive MJO signal is to follow 10/28-11/18 with east anomalies in control over the KWGA. The Active Phase is forecast developing 11/14-12/7 with west anomalies developing decently and filling the KWGA. The Inactive Phase is to follow over the KWGA 12/1 through the end of the model run on 1/23 but with weak west anomalies holding. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias (1 contour line) is centered over the dateline and is to hold while slowly building east to 125W on 12/25 then stalling in mid-January. A second contour is forecast 11/4 holding through 12/15. A broad single contour low pressure bias is to develop 11/8 centered over the Maritime Continent at 100E with it's leading edge at 125E then steadily moving east into the KWGA on 12/25 and then reaching to 150E at the end of the model run filling 50% of the KWGA. Today a solid east anomaly pattern that has been in control of KWGA since early July is to slowly get shoved east as the Active Phase and west anomalies try to take root in the Western KWGA by Nov 16. This suggests redevelopment of La Nina for now but with it slowly tracking east and maybe nearly out of the KWGA as winter proper starts.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (10/26) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was gone. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 180W. The 24 deg isotherm had retrograded west to 135W. Warm water has receded west and continues that trend. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +2 deg C were steady but limited in coverage to the far West Pacific reaching east to only 170W. All sensors are down at 140W. Cool anomalies were in control at -4 degs C at 125W down 75 meters filling the East and Central Pacific. No Kelvin Waves were obvious and cool water was in control at depth forming an impenetrable brick wall. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 10/20 indicates no warm water east of 170W with a bulletproof bubble of cold water at -5C below normal east of there (where the sensors are inoperable) extending upward to the surface and into Ecuador. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (10/20) Sea heights were negative over the entire equatorial Pacific at -5 cms over the East equatorial Pacific between the Galapagos to 175E and with solid peak at -25 cms at 130W with broad area at -20 cms between 110W to 150W and -15 cms anomalies between 105W-155W. All positive anomalies were limited from 160E and points west of there. A warm water 'horseshoe' pattern has become well developed in the West Pacific. La Nina has made a return and stronger than last year. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram La Nina is stronger than last year (-2.5 degs C) and far larger in coverage.

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: (10/25) The latest images depict a broad stream of cool water on the equator starting thinly at Ecuador tracking west and building in earnest from 120W to the dateline. Cooling was steady nearshore along Chile and Peru. A homogenous area of warm water was holding from Ecuador west just north of the equator to 140W and up along Central America into Southern Baja. Overall this indicates the return of cold water temps in the Central Equatorial Pacific indicative of La Nina. But some degree of weak warming is trying to develop in the far East Equatorial Pacific.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (10/25): Temps were mixed but with the balance favoring cooling from 110W to 150W.
Hi-res Overview: (10/25) A broad stream of cooler than normal water was aligned on the equator weakly from the Galapagos to 110W then stronger out to the dateline providing most coverage and intensity from 115W to the dateline. Cooler than normal waters were also south of that line down to 20S. Warmer than normal waters were limited to a line north of the equator up to Mexico and along the US Coast up to Pt Conception. A cool outflow remains in place pushing from California southwest to the a point over Hawaii's Big Island and building. La Nina is making a solid resurgence focused over the Central Pacific.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (10/26) Today's temps were steady today at -0.902 after falling to -0.910 on 10/10 and that after previously toggling steady at about -0.6 degs from mid Aug onward other than one downward spike to -0.927 on 9/2. Before that temps were toggling around neutral 6/13-8/5 except for one dip to -0.411 on 7/8. Prior to that temps peaked on 3/16 when they briefly hit +0.714 degs. The longterm trend has been steadily downward.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(10/26) Today temps were continuing to fall, down to -0.939, the lowest in a year. Temp have been in a freefall starting from the -0.175 range in early Sept. Before that temps peaked up at 7/1 +0.332, the highest in a year. Temps previously had been steady near -0.222 since early March. Temps bottomed out at -1.654 on 11/3/2020.

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 (10/26) - Temps rose in early Nov 2020 after bottoming out at -1.25 degs, up to -0.01 degs in mid-June then fading to -0.3 degs through Aug and to -0.6 degs in mid Oct. The forecast indicates temps to continue a dramatic fall from here forward dropping down to -1.80 later in November and holding into early Jan 2022, then pushing up to +0.00 degs in July 2022. This model suggests a return of La Nina conditions and strongly so this Fall and Winter. There is no indication that El Nino will develop. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps falling to -1.50 degs in late Nov starting to rise slowly after mid-Jan 2022. At this point that is as good a guess as any. And the model has been unwavering in this projection for months now.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Oct 20, 2021 Plume depicts temps are at -0.90 degs today, and are to fade to -0.91 degrees in Nov, then rising to -0.46 degs in Feb and neutral in April 2022. A solid return of La Nina is expected this Fall and early Winter 2021-2022.
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 - this is a lagging indicator) (10/26): The daily index was positive at +3.67. It previously peaked at +36.90 on 9/28, +27.75 on 9/13 and +37.86 on 7/15. The 30 day average was building to +11.53 after peaking at +11.58 on 10/22. Before that it fell to -3.36 on 6/22, the lowest in a year. It peaked at +19.51 on 1/14. The 90 day average was falling some at +7.57, previously peaking on 9/21 at +9.80 after falling to it's lowest point in a year on 6/9 at +1.06. The 90 day average peaked at +15.75 on 2/23 (clearly indicative of La Nina then). This index is a lagging indicator but suggest La Nina is returning.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
The PDO theoretically turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and was positive till Dec 2019, but has been negative every 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). 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'). If anything it appears more likely we are still in the cool phase of the PDO.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 


Powerlines Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest
Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for this week. See it Here
For automatic notification of forecast updates, subscribe to the Stormsurf001 YouTube channel - just click the 'Subscribe' button below the video.

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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing: https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/climate-change-good-surfing-other-sports-not-so-much-ncna1017131

Mavericks & Stormsurf on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luQSYf5sKjQ

Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:
http://www.bloomberg.com/video/how-to-predict-the-best-surfing-waves-EsNiR~0xR5yXGOlOq2MqfA.html
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/surfs-up-for-mavericks-invitational-in-calif/

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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