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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 4:56 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
4.1 - California & 3.8 - Hawaii
Using the 'Winter' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

Probability for presence of largest swells in near-shore waters of NCal, SCal or Hawaii.    

Issued for Week of Monday 11/11 thru Sun 11/17

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   

Stronger West Gulf Gale Developing
More Gales to Follow

On Tuesday, November 12, 2019 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 3.3 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 2.5 ft @ 11.8 secs from 182 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 5.5 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 4.1 ft @ 11.5 secs from 326 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.6 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 1.6 ft @ 13.6 secs from 220 degrees. Wind at the buoy was west at 4 kts. Water temperature 64.4 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 2.7 ft @ 13.3 secs from 239 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.8 ft @ 14.8 secs from 217 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.7 ft @ 14.8 secs from 208 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.7 ft @ 13.3 secs from 239 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.2 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 2.9 ft @ 12.2 secs from 254 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 4-6 kts. Water temp 54.1 degs (013) and 57.7 degs (042).

See Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (bottom of the page)

Swell Classification Guidelines

Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
- Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
- Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
- up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.

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

Current Conditions
On Tuesday (11/12) in North and Central CA Gulf windswell was producing waves at waist to near chest high and pretty lumpy and warbled and fogged with light local wind. Protected breaks were waist high and clean and super foggy down to the deck. At Santa Cruz surf was occasionally waist to chest high and clean but with wind lump intermixed. In Southern California/Ventura surf was thigh to maybe waist high and clean. In North Orange Co southern hemi swell was producing waves at chest high and clean and lined up when it comes. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were head high and lined up and clean with decent sets and looking relatively good for the time of year. North San Diego was waist to maybe chest high and clean but real lined up if not closed out. Hawaii's North Shore was getting some surf with waves head high on the sets and clean and lined up but a little wonky early. The South Shore was getting a little leftover swell with waves waist high and clean but soft. The East Shore was getting east windswell at thigh to waist high and almost clean with light east wind early.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (11/12) in California limited westerly windswell was weakly hitting. from a small gale that developed in the Western Gulf Thurs (11/7) with up to 22 ft seas forecast aimed mostly east. And small swell was still hitting Hawaii from another small gale that developed on the dateline falling southeast Thurs-Fri (11/8) with 20 ft seas over a small area. A small gale developed in the Central Gulf on Sun-Mon (11/11) with up to 23 ft seas aimed east. Small swell is poised to hit North and Central CA. And a stronger and broader system is starting to develop in the Western Gulf Mon-Wed (11/13) with up to 42 ft seas aimed east. And another gale is to follow pushing over the dateline on Thurs-Fri (11/15) with 36 ft seas over a modest area aimed southeast at Hawaii. And maybe another to follow pushing off the Kuril Islands on Sat-Mon (11/18) with 28-32 ft seas aimed east. And yet possibly another on the same track pushing off Japan on Tues (11/19) with 43 ft seas. Down south a small gale developed below Tahiti Sun-Mon (11/4) with up to 30 ft seas aimed north and northeast. Small swell is fading in Hawaii but hitting Southern California well. Otherwise nothing to follow down south. The focus is now the Northern Hemisphere.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Tuesday (11/12) the jetstream was reasonably consolidated ridging pushing flat east off Japan with winds building to 160 kt in one small pocket over the dateline forming a trough north of it pushing over the Western Gulf and offering good support for gale development. East of there the jet split some but reconsolidated pushing northeast into British Columbia. Over the next 72 hours the trough is to push northeast up into the Northern Gulf on Thurs (11/14) while losing it's ability to support gale development. Back to the west winds are to be building to 170 kts pushing off Japan and fully consolidated falling into a newly developing trough on the dateline Thurs (11/14) offering good support for gale development. That trough is to push east to a point north of Hawaii late Fri (11/15) and fading no longer offering support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours starting Sat (11/16) winds pushing off Japan are to be 140 kts and reasonably consolidated starting to form yet another trough over the Kuril Islands with that trough pushing towards the dateline building on Mon (11/18) with winds to 180 kts offering good support for gale development. That trough is to move over the Western Gulf on Tues (11/19) and start pinching off with support for gale development fading. But back to the west winds are to again build to 160 kts pushing from Japan over the dateline and fully consolidated offering good support for gale development but no trough is to be in-play. Some form of a ridge is to hold over the Eastern Gulf of Alaska over that entire timeframe.

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday (11/12) small swell from a gale previously in the far Western Gulf was fading in California (see Small Gulf Gale below). And swell from a Primer Gale previously in the Gulf was moving towards California (see Gulf Primer Gale below). Also small swell from another tiny gale previously on the North Dateline region was all but gone in Hawaii.

Over the next 72 hours an improving gale pattern is evolving with a broader and stronger system building in the Gulf (see Western Gulf Storm below).

Yet another gale is to be developing Tues PM (11/12) just off North Japan with 35-40 kt northwest winds and seas building from 19 ft at 39N 156E aimed east. On Wed AM (11/13) northwest winds to build to 35-40 kts and seas 22 ft at 39N 162E aimed east. In the evening the gale is to build to barely storm status while falling southeast just west of the dateline with 50 kt northwest winds and seas 30 ft over a tiny area at 40N 170E aimed south-southeast. The gale is to falling southeast fast on Thurs AM (11/14) with northwest winds 40-45 kts and seas 35 ft at 36.5N 175E aimed southeast targeting Hawaii well. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 30-35 kts northwest of Hawaii but over a building area with 29 ft seas at 33N 180W aimed southeast. Fetch is to be fading from 30 kts on Fri AM (11/15) 750 nmiles north of the Islands with seas fading from 23 ft over a solid area at 34N 172W aimed southeast at Hawaii. The gale is to be gone in the evening with 21 ft seas from previous fetch fading at 34N 166W aimed east. Something to monitor.


Western Gulf Storm
A broad gale started developing in the far Western Gulf fueled by the remnants of Super Typhoon Halong on Mon AM (11/11) with 35 kt west winds and seas building from 17 ft at 37N 176W aimed east. In the evening 40 kt northwest winds were developing with the gale lifting northeast and seas building from 21 ft at 40N 164.5W aimed east. Tues AM (11/12) west winds were 50 kts over a solid area in the Northwestern Gulf with seas 39 ft over a small area at 46N 163W aimed east. Fetch is to be peaking in the evening at 55 kts from the west with seas building to 42 ft over a solid area aimed east at 46.5N 163.5W. The gale is to be fading Wed AM (11/13) in the Northwestern Gulf with 45 kt northwest winds and seas fading from 36 ft at 46N 159W aimed east. Fetch is to be fading from 35-40 kts from the west in the evening with seas fading from 31 ft at 47.5N 156.5W aimed east. On Thurs AM (11/14) the gale is to be fading with 30-35 kt west winds and seas 27 ft at 47N 152W aimed east. The gale is to be gone after that.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Thurs afternoon (11/14) building to 6.2 ft @ 17 secs late (10 ft). Swell fading Fri AM (11/15) from 6.2 ft @ 15-16 sec early (9.0 ft). dribbles on Sat (11/16) fading from 2.8 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 345-348 degrees

North CA: Rough data suggests swell arrival on Thurs (11/14) well after sunset and building through the night. Swell to peak Fri (11/15) mid-morning at 8.2 ft @ 17 secs (13.5 ft) but partially shadowed in the SF Bay area and holding through the day. Swell continues on Sat (11/16) fading from 7.8 ft @ 15-16 secs early (12 ft) and partially shadowed again in the SF Bay Area. Residuals on Sun (11/17) fading from 5.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (7.5 ft). Swell Direction: 296-300 degrees

Southern CA: Rough data suggests swell arrival on Fri (11/15) afternoon building to 2.7 ft @ 17 secs (4.5 ft) at exposed breaks. Swell building overnight peaking Sat AM (11/16) at 3.6 ft @ 16 secs early (5.5 ft) holding decently through the day. Swell fading Sun (11/17) from 3.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Residuals fading Mon AM (11/18) from 2.0 ft @ 12-13 secs (2.5 ft) Swell Direction: 301-305 degrees


Small Gulf Gale
A small gale started developing in the Western Gulf on Wed PM (11/6) generating a small area of 30-35 kt northwest winds falling southeast with seas 20 ft over a small area at 46N 170W. On Thurs AM (11/7) the gale held with 30-35 kt northwest winds building in coverage but still only over a smallish area with seas 21 ft at 44N 165W aimed southeast. In the evening the gale was tracking east and fading fast with 30 kt west winds over a small area and seas fading from 19-20 ft at 42.5N 161W aimed east. The gale is was gone by Fri AM (11/8). Primary target is to be the US West Coast. Something to monitor.

North CA: Dribbles fading on Tues AM (11/12) fading from 2.8 ft @ 11 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 296 degrees


Gulf Primer Gale
A small gale is to start building in the Central Gulf on Sun AM (11/10) with 30-35 kt west winds and seas building. In the evening 40 kt west wind are forecast in it's southern quadrant aimed east with seas building to 25 ft at 43N 147.5W. The small gale is to lift north on Mon AM (11/11) with 35 kt northwest winds and seas fading from 21 ft at 45.5N 142.5W aimed east. The gale is to fade from there. Small swell to result targeting Central CA and points northward.

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (11/12) well after sunset and peaking mid-morning on Wed (11/13) with pure swell 4.4 ft @ 12-13 secs (5.5 ft). Residuals fading on Thurs AM (11/14) from 3.5 ft @ 11 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 294 degrees


Windswell Outlook
No windswell production is forecast for California over the next 72 hours. For Hawaii a building area of easterly fetch is forecast starting Fri AM (11/15) at 15 kts extending from 300 nmiles east of the Islands up to 1500 nmiles out possibly starting to produce east windswell.

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


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
Light winds were in play on Tues (11/12) and are forecast holding through Thurs (11/14). Fri (11/15) a light northwesterly flow is forecast early for all of North and Central CA building to 15 kts in Central CA late morning and then 15 kts everywhere north of Pt Conception in the afternoon. Sat (11/16) northwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts nearshore early for all of North and Central CA building to 20 kts over North CA in the afternoon and 10+ kts for Central CA. On Sun (11/17) north winds are forecast at 15 kts for North CA early fading to 10-15 kts later and 10 kts south of there all day. Mon (11/18) northwest winds are forecast at 5-10 kts early starting to build to 15 kts late afternoon. On Tues (11/19) north winds are forecast at 25-30 kts for North CA early 15 kts for Central CA early and building to 30-35 kts later everywhere. No precipitation forecast over the state except for light rain for Cape Mendocino Fri AM (11/15). A slightly stronger pocket of light precipitation is forecast for Cape Mendocino on Mon afternoon (11/18). Otherwise high pressure is to be in control.

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


South Pacific

Surface Analysis
No swell producing fetch is occurring. Swell from a small gale previously south of Tahiti is tracking north towards Hawaii (see Small Central Pacific Gale below).  

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

Small Central Pacific Gale
A small gale developed on Sun PM (11/3) east of Northern New Zealand and south of Tahiti producing 45 kt south winds over a small area aimed north with seas building from 24 ft at 38N 160W. On Mon AM (11/4) fetch held position and built in coverage at 40 kts from the south and southwest with seas building to 30 ft at 35S 157W aimed northeast. In the evening southwest winds were fading from 35 kts with seas 26-28 ft at 35S 157W aimed northeast. The gale faded from there. Small swell is radiating northeast towards Hawaii and the US West Coast.

Hawaii: Residuals on Tues (11/12) fading from 2.2 ft @ 12-13 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 185 degrees


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




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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours yet another gale is to building off Japan on Sat PM (11/16) with 35 kt west winds and seas building from 23 ft at 40N 153.5E aimed east. On Sun AM (11/17) winds to build to 45 kts from the west with seas 31 ft at 38.5N 156E aimed east. In the evening the gale is to push east fast moving over the dateline with 32 ft seas lingering back at 37N 167E aimed southeast at Hawaii well. The gale is to fragment some on Mon AM (11/18) covering the entire dateline region with 30-35 kt northwest winds with one core to 45 kts from the northwest and seas 32 ft at 42N 166.5E aimed southeast. Fetch is to lift north in the evening at 50 kts with residual fetch at 35-40 kts south of there and the largest area of seas at 31 ft at 40N 180W targeting Hawaii and the US West Coast. All fetch is to move north on Tues AM (11/19) at 45 kts over the north dateline region with 36 ft seas at 48N 174E aimed east. The gale is to fade from there while tracking east just south of the Eastern Aleutians with 40 kt west winds and 36 ft seas at 50N 169W aimed east at the US West Coast.

And yet another gale is to be pushing off North Japan on Tues AM (11/19) with a broad area of 45 kt west winds and seas building to 37 ft at 43.5N 153W aimed east. In the evening a broad area of 40-45 kt west winds is to be tracking east with seas building to 41 ft at 43.5N 160.5E aimed east. Something to monitor.

Windswell Outlook
On Sat (11/16) northwest fetch at 15-20 kts is forecast developing just off the North and Central CA coast producing small northwest windswell. East fetch is to hold at 15 kts from just east of the Islands out 1200 nmiles likely producing some easterly windswell for Hawaii. On Sun (11/17) northwest fetch at 15-20 kts off North CA is to dissipate through the day with windswell from it fading as well. For Hawaii east fetch is to hold at 15-20 kts from 300-1200 nmiles east of the ISlands still producing some windswell targeting exposed east shores of the Hawaiian Islands. Mon (11/18) no windswell is forecast for California. East fetch is to hold at 15-20 kts just east of the Hawaiian Islands up to 900 nmiles out producing more easterly windswell. on Tues (11/19) high pressure at 1039 mbs is to take hold in the Eastern Gulf producing 25-30 kt north winds pushing down the North CA coast and 20 kts along the Central Coast producing raw local north windswell. East fetch relative to Hawaii to hold too at 15-20 kts producing more easterly windswell there.

South Pacific

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


MJO/ENSO Forecast


Active MJO Peaking Today

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

Overview: A double dip La Nina was in control through the Winter of 2017-2018. But warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018 associated with two upwelling Kelvin Waves, and continued trying to build over equatorial waters over the Summer and Fall, but not enough to declare El Nino and not coupled with the atmosphere. In January 2019, those warm waters were fading, but then rebuilt late in Feb associated with Kelvin Wave (#3). But as of early June 2019 warm water was fading and by August a tongue of cool water was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos reaching to a point nearly south of Hawaii. El Nino was dead.

Fall/Winter 2019/2020 = 5.0/4.0 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)

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

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (11/11) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific fading to moderate over the dateline fading to light over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the far East equatorial Pacific turning light west over the Central Pacific holding over the dateline and continuing over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (11/12) westerly anomalies were moderate in the heart of the KWGA today and light elsewhere in the KWGA. The forecast calls for west anomalies holding solid at 150E till 11/15 then fading and moving east holding east of the dateline and outside the KWGA with light east anomalies developing and filling the KWGA on 11/15 and holding through the end of the model run on 11/19.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (11/11) A modest Active MJO pattern was over the KWGA today and filling it. The statistic model indicates the Active Phase is to fade slightly moving over the dateline on day 5 and shrinking while holding on the dateline at day 10 then gone at day 15. The Inactive Phase of the MJO is building in the Indian Ocean today and is to be easing east, moving into the Western KWGA at day 10 and filling the KWGA at day 15. The dynamic model indicates the same thing.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (11/12) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was moderate over the West Pacific and is to migrate quickly east and out of the KWGA at day 4 while racing east, over the Atlantic and back to the West Indian Ocean at day 15. The GEFS model suggests the same thing but with a far quicker easterly pace reaching the Central Indian Ocean at day 15.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (11/12) This model depicts a modest Active MJO over the East Pacific today. The Active Pattern is to track east pushing into the Central America still modest in strength on 11/22. A strong Inactive Phase is to start building in the West Pacific 11/19 tracking east while holding strength pushing into Central America on 12/7. A new moderate plus Active Phase is to be starting moving over the West Pacific 12/7 tracking east into the Central Pacific at the end of the model run on 12/22.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (11/11) This model depicts the Active Phase was just past it's prime in the KWGA today with moderate west anomalies filling the KWGA today pushing east. West anomalies and the Active Phase of the MJO are to hold at moderate strength in the West Pacific holding through 11/16 and then moving over the entire equatorial Pacific through 11/21. Beyond weak east anomalies are to start developing in the KWGA on 11/18 with the Inactive Phase of the MJO developing 11/20 through 12/2. East anomalies are to be fading with neutral anomalies taking root on 12/3 holding through the end of the model run on 12/9. Strong east anomalies are to be holding in the Indian Ocean at 80E but starting to fade there at the end of the model run.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (11/12) This model depicts the Active Phase Phase of the MJO was nearly peaking over the KWGA with west anomalies weakly in control. The Active Phase is to track through the KWGA through 11/21 with west anomalies forecast in the KWGA. The Inactive Phase is to develop 11/22 holding through 12/9 with west anomalies gone and light east anomalies moving east through the KWGA. Another weak Active Phase is to develop tracking east through the KWGA 12/10-1/15 with west anomalies holding through the entire period if not building solid. A weak Inactive Phase is to develop 1/17 in the West Pacific tracking east and holding through 1/31 but with weak west anomalies holding in the KWGA. After that a very weak MJO is to develop in the west KWGA with neutral winds anomalies in play. Strong east anomalies are in the core of the Indian Ocean today at 80E and are to hold solid through 12/22 then easing east and moving into the KWGA 1/12 moving to 155E on 1/20 hold then there while fading and nearly gone by the end of the model run. The low pass filter changed on 7/25 and is holding today with a low pressure bias with 2 contour lines in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to California. A third contour line was to develop on 12/1 but has disappeared and reappeared periodically over the past month. Today it is gone. A high pressure bias built in the Indian Ocean starting 10/22 and is to hold through the end of the model run. This model indicates that a weak El Nino like pattern is to possibly rebuild. That is not believable given all current observations concerning subsurface and surface water temperature anomalies over the equatorial Pacific.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (11/12) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm was steady at 173E while the 29 deg isotherm was moving east from 173W to 170W today. The 28 deg isotherm line was moving east from 162W to 160W today. The 24 deg isotherm moved east on 10/20 from 120W to 107W and is at 106W today. Anomaly wise, gentle warm anomalies are filling the entire Pacific with an interesting pocket at +2 degs pushing east from the Maritime Continent moving east from 166E to 170E and a broader one at +3 degs centered at 105W pushing into Ecuador indicative of Kelvin Wave #5 pushing east there. Warm water was filling the entire equatorial subsurface Pacific from 110 meters upwards. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 11/4 indicates warm water from Westerly Wind Burst #5 had formed a Kelvin Wave extending from 150E under the Dateline east and is now starting to impact Ecuador with temps +2-3 degs over the whole area with a small pocket of cool anomalies just off Ecuador all but gone now being forced east by the Kelvin Wave. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (11/4) A shrinking area of positive anomalies was present limited between 130W to 85W at +5 cms. Negative anomalies were all but gone along Peru. No anomalies were under the dateline. A mostly neutral sea height pattern is setting up.

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: (11/11) The latest images ( 1.2 3.4 ) indicate cool anomalies were steady along Peru but with weak warm anomalies along Ecuador and streaming west over the Galapagos. Warm water was steady in a thin stream on the equator from the Galapagos west to the dateline. Weak cool anomalies were mostly south of the equator from Peru west building west to 120W today. There has been a steady evaporation of El Nino in the East equatorial Pacific south of the equator this summer but that pattern is stabilized today and only weakly present mainly between 80W to 120W mostly south of the equator.  
Hi-res 7 day Trend (11/11): Today one small pocket of cooling temps was present between Ecuador to the Galapagos. Otherwise a steam of weak warming was tracking west from Peru just south of the equator out to 160W. The short term trend is now towards at weak warming but mainly just neutral.
Hi-res Overview: (11/11) A weak La Nina like cool pool is holding mainly south of the equator off Peru reaching north to the equator just touching the Galapagos. Otherwise gentle warming is pushing west on the equator, strongest from 100W and points west of there on the equator and south to 5S. Warmer than normal water was north of the equator from the remnants of El Nino, but mostly gone south of the equator. Water temps appear to be stable mildly favoring El Nino.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (11/12) Today's temps were rising slightly at -0.482 after previously dropping to -1.921 degs on 10/10, that after falling to -1.8 degs on 9/15, then up to +0.030 on 10/2. Temps have been pretty consistently negative since June 1.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(11/12) Temps were rising today at +0.375 degs after previously bottoming out on 8/28 at -0.510 degs and 9/15 at -0.60 degs. The trend has been generally upwards since Sept.

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 (11/12) Actual's indicate a cooling trend set up late summer with temps -0.2 degs in mid-Sept then rising to +0.25 degs in early Oct rising to +0.3 degs in early Nov. The forecast has temps rising reaching +0.45 degs by Dec 31 and then forecast fading slightly to +0.25 degs on March 1 and holding near there to May 1 2020, then fading to +0.10 later in July. According to this model a neutral sea surface temperature pattern biased slightly warm is forecast for the mid-term, possibly turning neutral after that.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Oct 2019 Plume depicts temps are at +0.25 degs, and are to hold in the +0.25 deg range into May 2020, then fading slightly to +0.15 in June 2020. See chart here - link.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad) (11/12): The daily index was negative today at -9.17 and has been mostly negative the last 21 days. The 30 day average was negative and falling at -5.76. The 90 day average was steady at -8.39, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was developing.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): Sept +1.13, August +0.64, July +0.75, June -0.32, May +1.10, April +0.30, March +1.0, Feb +1.29, Jan +0.193. This index has been steadily positive but still indicates mostly ENSO neutral conditions (not El Nino).

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
Per NOAAs index recent values: June 2017 +0.21, July -0.50, Aug -0.62, Sept -0.25, Oct -0.61, Nov -0.45, Dec -0.13, Jan 2018 +0.29, Feb -0.19, Mar -0.61, April -0.89, May -0.69, June -0.85, July -0.09, Aug -0.43, Sept -0.46, Oct -0.75, Nov -0.78, Dec -0.12, Jan -0.23, Feb -0.55 This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO, even with La Nina, because the warm PDO appears to be dampening the effects of La Nina. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): June 2017 +0.79, July +0.10, Aug +0.09, Sept +0.32, Oct +0.05, Nov +0.15, Dec +0.50, Jan +0.70. Feb +0.37, Mar -0.05, April +0.11, May +0.11, June -0.04, July +0.11, Aug +0.18, Sept +0.09. No real negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data strongly suggests that could be a possibility. By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 


External Reference Material: El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), Kelvin Wave

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Local Interest

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