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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, October 31, 2023 1:12 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 & 2.5 - 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 10/30 thru Sun 11/5
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   

2nd New Zealand Swell Hitting CA
Small Gulf Swell Targets Hawaii - Better NPac Swell Pattern Forecast

BUOY ROUNDUP
Tuesday, October 31, 2023 :

  • Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt)/Buoy 239 (Lani): Seas were 3.2 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 2.1 ft @ 13.2 secs from 183 degrees. Water temp 80.6 (Barbers Pt), 80.8 (Pearl Harbor 233), 81.1 (Lani 239).
  • Buoy 187 (Pauwela): Seas were 3.9 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 3.1 ft @ 8.9 secs from 222 degrees. Water temp 80.6 degs
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea)/Buoy 202 (Hanalei): Seas were 2.8 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 2.3 ft @ 9.2 secs from 347 degrees. Water temp 80.4 degs
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.1 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 1.3 ft @ 15.1 secs from 217 degrees. Wind northeast at 2-4 kts. Water temperature 64.0 degs, 59.5 (Harvest 071), 63.0 (Topanga 103), 64.8 (Long Beach 215), 66.4 (Oceanside Offshore 045), 63.3 (Del Mar 153), 65.7 (Torrey Pines Outer 100). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 2.0 ft @ 13.2 secs from 207 degrees. At E. Santa Barbara (46053) swell was 0.8 ft @ 13.4 secs from 276 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.2 ft @ 17.1 secs from 213 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.3 ft @ 17.0 secs from 202 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.6 ft @ 16.9 secs from 206 degrees. Water temperature was 60.3 degrees (Imperial Beach).
  • Buoy 029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 3.2 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 2.2 ft @ 13.3 secs from 205 degrees. Wind northwest at 3-6 kts (46026) and north 10-12 kts (1801589). Water temp NA (Bodega Bay 46013), 57.0 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 56.5 (San Francisco 46026), 57.2 (SF Bar 142), 58.5 (1801589) and 58.6 (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).
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 (10/31) in North and Central CA waves were thigh to waist high and lined up and real clean and nice looking but pretty soft. Protected breaks were flat and super clean. At Santa Cruz surf was chest high on the sets and lined up and clean but inconsistent. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist high and lined up and clean with moderate offshore winds. Central Orange County had sets at waist to chest high coming from the south and lined up and super clean but soft with no wind. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at chest to shoulder high and lined up and clean with good form but inconsistent. North San Diego had sets at waist high and lined up and clean but inconsistent. Oahu's North Shore had some waist high sets and clean and soft. The South Shore had sets at waist high and lined up and clean but soft. The East Shore was getting east windswell at thigh high and clean with no wind early.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (10/31) the second of two southern hemi swells was starting to hit exposed south facing breaks in California with leftovers from the first swell still in the water. Hawaii was getting leftover southern hemi energy from the 2nd gale. The second gale developed Sat-Sat (10/22) under New Zealand with seas up to 33 ft aimed northeast. Up north a small gale developed in the Western Gulf on Mon (10/30) producing 18 ft seas aimed briefly southeast mainly at Hawaii. And another is forecast in the Central Gulf Fri-Sat (11/4) producing 29 ft seas aimed mainly east with secondary fetch developing Sun-Mon (11/6) producing a much broader area of 26-29 ft seas aimed somewhat at Hawaii but mainly at the US West Coast. And it looks like there's hope beyond. The tide is turning in the right direction.

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 (10/31) the jet was consolidated tracking due east on the 33N latitude line reaching east to a point 600 nmiles north of Hawaii with winds 120-130 kts and the beginnings of a trough developing north of Hawaii. The jet was weak east of there if nonexistent. Over the next 72 hours the jet is hold if not build with winds to 150 kts supporting gale formation in the Gulf of Alaska. Beyond 72 hours starting Sat (11/4) the trough is to be easing east with the leading edge of 140 kt wind energy moving over the Oregon coast on Sun (11/5) with the trough itself lingering off the coast into Mon (11/6) before fading offering lingering support for gale formation. But on Tues (11/7) the jet is to be ridging hard north over the Kuril Islands then falling southeast from the West Bering Sea over the Central Aleutians with winds building to 160 kts starting to dig out a new trough supporting gael development on the Northern Gulf targeting the US West Coast. Something to monitor.

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday (10/31) small swell from a gale previously over the Gulf of Alaska was radiating south towards Hawaii (see Small Hawaiian Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a gale is forecast developing in the Central Gulf on Thurs PM (11/2) 900 nmiles north of Hawaii with 30-35 kt north winds and seas building. On Fri AM (11/3) the gale is to be lifting northeast with northwest winds 30-35 kts over a building area with seas 17-18 ft at 38N 154W aimed southeast. In the evening the gale is to be rotating west to east with 30-40 kt west winds and seas 28 ft over a small area at 45.5N 151W aimed east. On Sat AM (11/4) the gale is to be filling the Gulf with 30-35 kts northwest winds and a core to 40 kts aimed east with seas 28 ft at 48.5N 148.75W aimed east and northeast. Possible small swell to result for Hawaii and the US West Coast.

More energy to be directly behind (see Long Term Forecast below).

 

Small Hawaiian Gale
A small gale started developing in the Northwestern Gulf on Sat PM (10/28) producing a small area of north winds at 30- kts targeting Hawaii somewhat with seas developing. On Sun AM (10/29) the gale eased east with north winds 30-35 kts and seas 15 ft at 45N 172W aimed south. In the evening winds were 35 kts from the northwest and seas 17 ft over a small area at 44.5N 167,75W aimed southeast. On Mon AM (10/30) northwest winds were fading from 30 kts with seas 18 ft at 42.5N 165.5W aimed southeast. In the evening winds were fading from 25-30 kts from the northwest with seas 17 ft at 41.25N 160.5W aimed southeast. Fetch and seas dissipating Tues AM (10/31). Some tiny windswell to result for Hawaii.

Oahu: Expect swell arrival on late on Tues (11/1) building to 2.2 ft @ 12-13 secs (2.5 ft). Swell peaking Wed AM (11/2) at 3.5 ft @ 11-12 secs early (3.5-4.0 ft) fading slowly through the day. Residuals on Thurs AM (11/3) fading from 2.6 ft @ 10 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 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

  • Wed AM (11/1) a front is to be developing well off the North CA coast with northwest winds forecast at 5-10 kts for North and Central CA early continuing in the afternoon but maybe turning south for Cape Mendocino at 5 kts later. No windswell forecast.
  • Thurs AM (11/2) south winds are forecast at 5-10 kts for Cape Mendocino and northwest winds 5 kts for the rest of North and Central CA early. In the afternoon southwest winds to be fading for Cape Mendocino at 5-10 kts with northwest winds 5-10 kts for the rest of North CA and 10 kts for Central CA. No windswell forecast. Light rain possible for Cape Mendocino through the day and evening.
  • Fri AM (11/3) northwest winds are forecast at 1-5 kts for North CA early and 10 kts for Central CA but up to 15 kts south of Monterey Bay. In the afternoon east winds are forecast for Cape Mendocino at 1-5 kts with calm winds for the rest of North CA and northwest 10 kts south of Monterey Bay. No windswell forecast. rain for all of North GA to the Golden Gate early reaching south to Pigeon Point mid AM then dissipating.
  • Sat AM (11/3) low pressure is to be building off Cape Mendocino lifting northeast. South winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for Cape Mendocino and 5 kts down to the Golden Gate and northwest winds 10 kts for Pigeon Point southward. In the afternoon a front is to push over North CA with southwest winds 10 kts and northwest winds 5-10 kts for Central CA. No windswell forecast.Rain for all of North CA mid-morning building south to Santa Cruz in the afternoon and Big Sur early evening and holding there.
  • Sun AM (11/4) southwest winds are forecast at 5 kts for North CA and northwest winds 10 kts for Central CA early. In the afternoon southwest winds continue at 5-10 kts for Cape Mendocino and northwest at 5 kts for the rest of North CA and 5-10 kts over Central CA. No windswell forecast. Light rain for all of North CA early down to Santa Cruz reaching Monterey late morning and holding there.
  • Mon AM (11/5) southwest winds continue at 5-10 kts for North CA and northwest 5-10 kts for Central CA with the weakest winds at the dividing line near San Francisco. In the afternoon no real change is forecast but with southwest winds to 10-15 kts for Cape Mendocino. Light rain for Cape Mendocino building some through the day and holding overnight.
  • Tues AM (11/6) winds turn west at 5-10 kts for North CA and northwest 10 kts for Central CA but up to 15 kts near Pt Conception. Rain for Cape Mendocino.

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

Temperatures for the Pacific Crest Trail and Tioga Pass Road intersection (8,700 ft): 45 degrees through early Fri (11/3) then falling to 30-35 degs in the evening and holding through Tues (11/7), rising to 40-45 degrees beyond. A Fall pattern is setting up.

- - -

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: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for Resort specific forecasts).

 

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis
On Tuesday (10/31) swell from a third New Zealand Gale was fading e along the US West Coast (see Third New Zealand Gale below). And swell from a Fourth New Zealand Gale was arriving in CA and fading in Hawaii (see 4th New Zealand Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours the 2 swells above are to be the main focus.

Otherwise no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.

 

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.

Southern CA: 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: 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

 

QuikCAST's

 

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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours starting Sat PM (11/4) additional fetch is to be building in the southwest quadrant of a gale already in the Gulf with northwest winds 35-40 kts over a solid area with 25 ft seas building at 42.5N 151W aimed east. Fetch to hold Sun AM (11/5) at 35 kts over a solid area aimed southeast with seas 30 ft at 43.5N 145W aimed east. In the evening northwest winds to be 30 kts with seas 24-28 ft at roughly 44N 143W aimed southeast and east. Fetch fading Mon AM (11/6) from 30 kts with seas fading from 21 ft over a solid area at 42N 145W aimed southeast. Something to monitor.

And theoretically another gale is to start building in the Central Gulf on Tues (11/7) with 30-35 kts west winds developing.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.

 

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.

LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
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 (10/30) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the East equatorial Pacific and moderate east over the Central Pacific and modest east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and neutral to weak west over the Central Pacific and weak 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): (10/31) Weak west anomalies were filling the KWGA today. The forecast indicates west anomalies are to build to moderate to strong status starting 11/6 holding if not building to strong status 11/11 while starting to ease east focused on the dateline at the end of the model run on 11/16. This looks good.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (10/30) A moderate Inactive MJO was over the West KWGA today. The statistic model indicates the Inactive MJO (cloud free air) is to build steadily from the far West KWGA filling the KWGA on day 5 of the model run building to strong status on the last day of the model run (day 15). The dynamic model depicts a weak Inactive MJO signal holding unchanged through day 15. This Inactive signal is a result of the downward falling branch of the Walker Circulation impacting the surface at 120E producing dry west anomalies pushing towards the dateline on the equator pickup up moisture along the way. No change is likely anytime soon.
Phase Diagrams - 2 week forecast (CA and GEFS): (10/31) The statistical model depicts the Active signal was weak over West Africa. The forecast indicates it is to move to the East Indian Ocean 15 days out and very weak with the Ca model indicating very strong status. The dynamic model indicates the Active signal retrograding into the East Pacific and weak 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): (10/31) A neutral MJO pattern (wet air) was indicated over the West KWGA today. The forecast has a very weak Inactive Phase (dry air) tracking east and over the KWGA 11/15-11/30 then moving east of the KWGA while a very weak Active (wet air) pattern sets up over the KWGA 11/30 through the end of the model run on 12/10. But the extreme weakness of this suggest an El Nino pattern is in play now and that none of the above will actually happen.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (10/30)
Today a neutral MJO was over the KWGA but with weak east anomalies in the KWGA associated with a negative Equatorial Rossby Wave present over the KWGA. The forecast has the Rossby Wave fading out on 11/2 with west anomalies returning at moderate to strong status through 11/13 associated with a positive Rossby Wave. West anomalies are to continue at modest strength through the end of the model run with a weak Inactive Phase suggested starting 11/16 through the end of the model run. 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 then moderating through the end of the model run. That coupled with strong west anomalies in the West Pacific suggest massively falling air occurring near 120E (Maritime Continent), likely the downward branch of the Walker Circulation. The Indian Ocean Dipole is currently strong positive and building (the falling branch of the Walker Circulation). We're into a real El Nino pattern according to this model.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind):
(10/31) - 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 weak Inactive Phase was building over the KWGA with modest to weak west anomalies in control. The weak Inactive Phase is to hold over the KWGA through 11/15 with moderate west anomalies holding. The Active Phase is to build 12/1-12/18 with strong west anomalies during the entire period filling the KWGA. A weak Inactive Phase develops 12/13 in the far west KWGA then filling it through the end of the model run on 1/28/24 and with west anomalies slowly fading to moderate to weak status Jan 1 through the end of the model run. Also note that east anomalies started building at 70E (West Indian Ocean) on 9/7 and started peaking 10/15 forecast holding into 12/15, then moderating while pushing hard east on 12/17 into the West KWGA and holding through 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) associated with 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 then more solid starting Sept 15, It started building strongly on 10/16 and is continuing to build today. It is forecast building strongly from here forward while easing east to 140W at the end of the model run. Conversely clear skies started building over the Maritime Continent in mid-May and have continued solidifying today and are forecast building from here forward. This also suggests a rising air pattern associated with the upward branch of the Walker Circulation developing today on the dateline nd moving east to 140W in January. 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 Nov 4. A 5th contour line is scheduled to develop on 12/25 but be only shortly lived. 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 12/17. 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 and is to move east over the next 3 months.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (10/31) Today in the far West Pacific the leading edge of the 30 deg isotherm was steady at 167W (previously 169W). The 29 degree isotherm was steady at 159W (previously 157W). The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 148W (previously 140W) and looks like east winds are hitting it. The 24 degree isotherm extended the whole way across the Pacific and was steady at 39m (25m earlier but 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 with a core up to +3 degs anomalies centered at 170W pushing east in a continuous stream (at +2 degs) 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 146W (152W on 9/11). +4-5 degree anomalies were tracking east now from 138W (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 10/25 indicates a large very warm stream of +1-2 degs anomalies extending west to east starting at 170E and over a large section of the subsurface equatorial Pacific (Kelvin Wave #7) and building while tracking east with 2 deg anomalies from 175E 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: (10/25) Sea heights were positive across the equatorial Pacific starting at 165E at +0-5 cms extending east into Ecuador. +5 cm anomalies were in the east from 175E east to 100W just off Ecuador with 1 small pocket of +10 cm anomalies imbedded to the south. Positive anomalies extending north into Central America and south to Peru. This means no cool water was at depth. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram (10/25) warm water is building at +0.5 degs from 175E to Ecuador with a pocket of +1.00-1.50 deg anomalies between 180W to 145W and fading in the east near 100W. The full development of El Nino is starting with cooler water developing over the West Pacific and warm water building in the east and pushing east with a new Kelvin Wave in flight. But the demise of the warm pool in the west signal an eventual turn to La Nina (sometime next year).

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: (10/30) The latest images depict a strong warm stream from Ecuador west out to 145W (previously 115W) and building in strength and coverage. There are signs that a moderate warm pool is also building further west on the equator out at 170W (between 180 to 160W). Only the gap between 140W to 160W needs to be filled and there's signs that is occurring. 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 building towards as strong status.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (10/30): A small thin stream of pockets of mostly cool anomalies were aligned on the equator from the Ecuador west to 110W and warming waters from there to the dateline. 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: (10/27) 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 139W and building west of there . And the classic El Nino tongue of more intense warming is building considerably over the equator west to the dateline. Everything is now looking like El Nino.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (10/31) (The official OISST temp record runs about +0.2 degrees higher). Today's temps continue falling at +1.421 after being up to +1.865 (10/26). Previous temps were down at +1.755 (10/22), down to +1.527 (10/6), up to +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:
(10/31) (OISST runs about +0.2 degrees higher). Todays temps were rising at +1.439 after rising to +1.300 on 10/20 at after falling down to +1.149 (10/11). . Weekly OISST were up at +1.6 this and last week (10/18 & 1025) +1.5 the 3 weeks previous (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 (10/31) - Temps are to hold at +1.5 degs into mid-Nov, then rising fast to +1.80 degs in Dec and +1.95 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 +1.60 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 (10/31) the Daily Index was positive at +7.67 and have been toggling between positive and negative since 10/24, otherwise negative for 65 days prior (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 -6.68 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 rising some at -10.50 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: 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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