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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, November 12, 2020 3:51 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
2.9 - California & 2.1 - Hawaii
Using the 'Summer' 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 11/9 thru Sun 11/15

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   

N. Dateline Swell Pushing Southeast
Small Southerly Swell For Southern CA

On Thursday, November 12, 2020 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 3.6 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 2.2 ft @ 7.8 secs from 166 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 5.5 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 4.2 ft @ 8.1 secs from 36 degrees. Water temp 82.0 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 1.7 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 0.9 ft @ 13.9 secs from 175 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northeast at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 61.0 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.3 ft @ 13.4 secs from 309 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 0.7 ft @ 14.3 secs from 188 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.1 ft @ 13.3 secs from 194 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 1.3 ft @ 12.9 secs from 213 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 8.1 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 5.6 ft @ 12.9 secs from 314 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 12-14 kts. Water temp 51.4 degs (013), 56.5 degs (SF Bar) and 55.4 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 Thursday (11/12) in North and Central CA new swell was arriving from the Gulf with waves head high or so on occasion and lined up and glassy but with some northeast texture intermixed and mostly soft. Protected breaks were chest high and clean and soft and lined up. At Santa Cruz surf was flat and clean. In Southern California/Ventura waves were rarely thigh high and real clean but weak. Central Orange County had waves at barely thigh high and clean and soft. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at waist high or so on the peak and clean but rare. North San Diego was near flat with rare thigh high sets and clean. Hawaii's North Shore was getting wrap around east windswell at maybe thigh high and a little ruffled from northeast trades. The South Shore had some waist high sets and clean. The East Shore was getting northeast windswell with waves head high and chopped from solid east-northeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (11/12) small north angled sideband swell from the Northern Gulf of Alaska was starting to arrive in North CA but generally unremarkable. No swell was hitting Hawaii. Beyond a gale tracked east off the North Kuril Islands Mon-Tues (11/10) producing up to 38 ft seas aimed east then pushed through the Northern Gulf Wed- Thurs (11/12) with seas dropping from 25-26 ft. Small swell is radiating southeast. Beyond a weak system previously forecast developing in the Eastern Gulf on Fri (11/13) has vanished from the charts. Another gale is forecast developing on the North Dateline Region on Mon (11/16) tracking east into the Gulf Tues (11/17) then fading with up to 30 ft seas. And perhaps some sort of weak local system is forecast off North CA and Oregon Tues-Wed (11/18) producing 22 ft seas aimed east. Small swell is supposed to start hitting Southern CA today from a weak system previously in the Southeast Pacific. And beyond one last weak gale tracked east over the Southeast Pacific Tues-Thurs (11/12) producing 28-30 ft seas aimed east. Small swell is radiating northeast from it.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Thursday (11/12) the jet was consolidated ridging steadily east-northeast from off Japan to a point just south of the Eastern Aleutians with winds building to 170-180 kts then starting to fall southeast reaching to a point just off Oregon forming some degree of weak trough there. Over the next 72 hours more of the same is forecast with some sort of weak trough over the Northeastern Gulf with wind speeds in the jet steadily weakening to the 150 kts range early Sat (11/14) then fading more on Sun (11/15) but with a new area of northern winds pushing south over the Northwestern Gulf at 170 kts starting to dig out a new trough there offering some support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours that new trough is to push east still being fed by 160 kts winds but pretty pinched and pushing east pushing into the coast of British Columbia later Tues (11/17) still offering some support for gale development. Back to the west on Wed (11/18) the jet is to be somewhat split with two parallel streams running from Japan flat east with the southern branch down at 35N to the Central Gulf then consolidating in the Eastern Gulf falling into the aforementioned trough. A split pattern looks to hold into Thurs (11/19) and possibly starting to building into the Gulf of Alaska. A building Inactive Phase of the MJO over the West Pacific is likely to continue stealing energy from the jetstream.

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (11/12) background swell from a weak gale that developed in the extreme Northern Gulf on Mon (11/9) with seas to barely 26 ft and mostly east of the NCal swell window was weakly hitting North CA (see QuikCASTs for details). And swell from another gale that crossed the North Dateline region was pushing southeast (see North Dateline Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours another small system is to be developing just west of the dateline on Sun PM (11/15) producing 50 kt northwest winds over a tiny area with 32 ft seas at 45N 172E aimed east. On Mon AM (11/16) the gale is to be tracking east with 40 kt west winds over a small area with 33 ft seas 46.5N 179E aimed east. In the evening the gale is to push east and dissipate over the extreme North Dateline region with seas fading from 28 ft at 48N 175W aimed east. Something to monitor.

North Dateline Gale
A gale developed just off the Kuril Islands on Mon PM (11/9) producing 45 kt west winds over a small area and seas building from 26 ft at 47.5N 163E aimed east. The gale tracked east Tues AM (11/10) producing 50 kt west winds and seas building to 38 ft at 48.5N 168E aimed east (308 degs NCal). In the evening the gale raced east over the North Dateline region producing 40 kt west winds and seas 33 ft at 50N 178.5E aimed east. On Wed AM (11/11) the gale moved north of the Eastern Aleutians with 40 kt west winds still lingering south of the Aleutians producing 26-28 ft seas at 51N 164W aimed east. 30-35 kt west fetch lingered over the Northern Gulf in the evening producing 25 ft seas at 53N 158W aimed east. The gale was fading Thurs AM (11/12) in the extreme Northern Gulf with 30-35 kt northwest winds and seas fading from 23 ft up at 54.5N 154W aimed east. Small swell is radiating east. Additional fetch is to develop in the Northern Gulf in the evening at 35 kts with seas holding at 21 ft at 56N 150W aimed east. On Fri AM (11/13) the gale is to fall southeast with a building area of 35 kt northwest winds and seas building to 26 ft at 54.5N 145W aimed southeast and barely in the NCal swell window (319 degs). The gale is to fade in the evening with 30 kts northwest winds dissipating with 24 ft seas fading at 51N 137W aimed southeast and again barely in the NCal swell window (319 degs). The gale is to be gone from there. Given the extreme northerly angled little to no energy is expected reaching into Southern CA.

North CA: Expect swell arrival Sat AM (11/14) building to 5.0 ft @ 15 secs mid-day (7.5 ft) with windswell intermixed. Swell holding into Sun (11/15) at 6.2 ft @ 13 secs (8.0 ft) with a second pulse of swell at 14 secs building in later. Swell fading on Mon (11/16) from 6.0 ft @ 12-13 secs early (7.5 ft). Swell Direction: 308 degrees moving to 315+ degrees


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


Tropical Update
No tropical weather system of interest were being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday (11/12) a light local wind pattern was in place over North and Central CA early building to maybe 10 kts later from the northwest. On Fri (11/13) Cape Mendocino is to have southwest winds at 20-25 kts with light southwest winds into North CA early building to 15 kts later as low pressure moves into North Oregon later with a front pushing down to over Cape Mendocino. Central CA to have northwest winds 5 kts early turning southwest 5 kts later. Rain for Cape Mendocino starting at sunrise building south to the Golden Gate in the afternoon and down to Monterey Bay in the evening. Snow developing in the early evening for Tahoe fading late. Sat (11/14) northwest winds to be 5-10 kts early for North and Central CA building to 15-20 kts for Central CA in the afternoon but only 5-10 kts from Pigeon Point northward in the afternoon. Sun (11/15) west winds are forecast at 5 kts for North CA early and northwest at 15 kts for Central CA from Monterey Bay southward. Light rain expected south to Pt Arena through the day. Mon (11/16) light north winds are forecast for North CA early and 10-15 kts for Central CA fading all location to 5-10 kts later except south at 10 kts for north Cape Mendocino later as low pressure moves up to the coast. Tues (11/17) south winds are forecast at 10 kts for North and Central CA early building to 20-25 kts from Monterey Bay northward and south 10 kts south of there to Pt Conception. Wed (11/18) south winds to be 15-20 kts from Monterey Bay northward early and 10 kts south to Pt Conception fading through the day turning northwest 5-10 kts later. Rain moving in from the west for all of North CA early pushing south to Big Sur in the afternoon. Rain for Tahoe starting in the afternoon perhaps turning to snow at highest elevations. On Thurs (11/19) northwest winds to be 10 kts early for North and Central CA early building to 15-20 kts everywhere later as high pressure starts building in. Light rain early lingering in a line from Monterey Bay to Tahoe with light snow over the highest elevations at Tahoe and that line pushing slowly south through the day to Morro Bay to the mid Sierra.

Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 8 inches, 11 inches, 3 inches, and 0 inches respectively. Freezing level 7,000-8,000 ft into Sun AM then rising to 12,000 ft into Tues (11/17) then falling steadily to 5,000 ft late on Thurs 11/19.

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


South Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (11/12) swell from a weak gale that formed in the Southeast Pacific was supposedly starting to hit Southern CA (see Southeast Pacific Gale below).

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


Southeast Pacific Gale
Background swell is expected into Southern CA from a gale that weakly pushed east through the Southeast Pacific on Wed-Thurs (11/5) producing up to 29 ft seas aimed east.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (11/12) producing swell to 2.3 ft @ 17-18 secs (4.0 ft). Swell holding on Fri (11/13) at 2.6 ft @ 16 secs (4.0 ft). Swell fading on Sat (11/14) from 2.3 ft @ 14-15 secs early (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell fading out on Sun (11/15) from 1.6 ft @ 13 secs (2.0 ft) with secondary swell building underneath at 2.0 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft). That swell fading out on Mon (11/16) at 1.6 ft @ 14 secs early (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 195 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (11/12) producing swell to 1.6 ft @ 18 secs late (2.5 ft). Swell peaking on Fri (11/13) at 2.1 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.5 ft). Swell fading on Sat (11/14) from 2.1 ft @ 14-15 secs early (3.0 ft). Swell fading out on Sun (11/15) from 1.5 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 193 degrees


Last Southeast Pacific Gale
One last gale developed over the Southeast Pacific Tues AM (11/10) producing 35-40 kt west winds and seas 28 ft at 60S 143W aimed east. In the evening that fetch pushed east producing southwest winds at 30-35 kts with seas 28 ft at 57.7S 132.5W aimed northeast. On Wed (11/11) that fetch dissipated but a new fetch of 40 kt west winds built right behind producing a small area of 28 ft seas at 60.5S 146.5W aimed east. In the evening the fetch built with 40-45 kt west winds in the far Southeastern Pacific producing 32 ft seas at 59.5S 131W aimed east. Core fetch and seas moved just east of the Southern CA swell window Thurs AM (11/12) with 28 ft seas lingering at 56.5S 118W barely in the SCal swell window. There some odds for small southern hemi swell to result radiating north towards Southern CA and points south of there.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (11/17) building to 1.4 ft @ 18 secs late (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell building through the day Wed (11/18) to 2.1 ft @ 16-17 secs later (3.5 ft). Swell holding on Thurs (11/19) at 2.3 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft). Swell DIrection: 195 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (11/18) building to 1.6 ft @ 17 secs late (2.5 ft). Swell building through the day Thurs (11/19) to 1.8 ft @ 15-16 secs mid-day (2.5 ft). Swell DIrection: 192 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 another gale is to form in the far eastern Gulf off California on Mon PM (11/16) producing 30-35 kt northwest winds with seas building. On Tues AM (11/17) northwest fetch is to build off Southern CA at 35+ kts with seas 26 ft at 32.5N 139W aimed southeast. In the evening the gale is to lift northeast with 30+ kt northwest winds and seas 20 ft at 32N 134.5W aimed southeast. On Wed AM (11/18) the gale is to race northeast pushing into Oregon with 35-40 kt west winds and 21 ft seas at 40N 129W aimed east. Something to monitor.

Beyond yet another gale might develop over the Southern Bering Sea on Wed AM (11/18) with fetch approaching the Northern Dateline Region from the west at 30-35 kts with 23 ft seas at 48N 170E aimed east. In the evening a broad fetch of west winds is forecast at 30-35 kts filling the Northwest Pacific with 26 ft seas at 50N 174E aimed east. More of the same is forecast on Thurs AM (11/19) with a broad fetch of 35 kt west winds over the North Dateline region with 26 ft seas at 50N 176.5E aimed east. Fetch is to fade in the evening from 30 kts and seas fading from 24 ft at 50N 178W aimed east. Something to monitor.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast. The southern hemi is going to sleep.



MJO/ENSO Forecast


Inactive MJO Building - Forecast to be Strong

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: 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. A bit of a recovery occurred during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water held in a pool off Peru and had not changed until March 2020. By April the cool pool pushed east and by May subsurface cool waters erupted off Ecuador, forming a well defined cool tongue that looked like the start of La Nina, holding into July 2020.

Fall/Winter 2020/2021 = 3.0/3.5 (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 in 2014 and that a weak borderline El Nino from 2018 faded out in the Fall of 2019. A La Nina like ocean temperature pattern developed in the equatorial East Pacific in the summer of 2019, then faded and returned to a neutral if not weak warm status during the Winter of 2019-2020 only to return stronger in the Summer of 2020. We have been suspecting a turn towards a La Nina like atmospheric pattern to develop in the late Winter/early Spring of 2020. Our best hope is that moderation from the warm phase of the PDO might tamp down development of a full blown La Nina as we move into 2020. But at this time that does not appear likely. Given all that, for the 2020 there is decent probability for development of La Nina meaning a reduced number of storm days and storm intensity during the summer season, resulting in a below normal level of swell, with swell being below normal duration and period. And by the Fall and early Winter of 2020/21, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should fade even more, resulting in depressed swell production. This pattern is expected to hold through the Spring of 2021.

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 and moderate from the east over the KWGA. Anomalies were modest from the east over the East equatorial Pacific turning neutral to light westerly over the Central Pacific and light easterly over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, so they lag what is happening today by about 2 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (11/12) moderate east anomalies were over the KWGA with moderate west anomalies on the equator from a point south of California into Ecuador. The forecast calls for east anomalies building steadily in coverage and strength in the KWGA through the forecast period reaching strong status 11/14 and holding through the end of the model run on 11/19 with west anomalies holding from south of California to Ecuador. Support for energy transfer into the jet is weak and is expected to be getting progressively weaker.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (11/11) A modest Inactive MJO signal was over the KWGA today. The statistic model indicates the Inactive Phase is to build steadily to strong status by day 10 of the model run and holding on day 15. The dynamic model suggests the same thing with the Inactive Phase at strong status on day 10 holding some on day 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (11/12) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was nearly non-existent over the Atlantic today and is to track east into the West Indian Ocean and even weaker on day 15. The GEFS model suggests pretty much the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (11/11) This model depicts a modest Inactive Phase (dry air) over the Central Pacific tracking east while fading pushing into Central America at the end of the model run on 12/21. A very weak Active Phase is to set up over the West Pacific 11/28 pushing east and decaying to nothing over the Central Pacific at the end of the model run. At that time another Inactive/Dry Phase is forecast pushing over the KWGA at the end of the model run.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (11/11) This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO was building over the KWGA today with east anomalies building in strength and coverage. The forecast indicates east anomalies are to build in coverage reaching strong status and filling the KWGA starting 11/13 as the Inactive Phase of the MJO builds over the West Pacific tracking east through 11/26 with east anomalies all the way to a point south of California. After that a neutral MJO is forecast but with solid east anomalies holding in the KWGA with weaker east anomalies east of the KWGA to a point south of California through the end of the model run on 12/9.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (11/10 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO building over the KWGA with east anomalies in control. The Inactive Phase is to pushing over the KWGA through 12/6 producing east anomalies filling the KWGA and points east of there to Ecuador. A weak Active Phase is to follow on 12/1-12/14 fading quickly producing only limited west anomalies in the KWGA. A weak Inactive MJO is to return 12/15-1/6 with weak west anomalies in the west KWGA and east anomalies over the East KWGA and strong east anomalies over the East Pacific. Another Active Phase is forecast starting 1/1 through the end of the model run on 2/9 with west anomalies building and filling the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias is firmly in control over the dateline today with 2 contour lines reaching east to a point south of California and is to continue through the end of the model run with it's western periphery easing east to 170E at the end of the model run. A third contour line is to appear on 12/13 with a fourth contour line on 1/16. A single contour low pressure bias is over the Indian Ocean today and is to build in coverage holding through the end of the model run and its eastern periphery easing east to 160E at the end of the model run. Its core is to remain locked at 80E. East anomalies that have been previously solid in the Indian Ocean for over a year previous migrated east through the West Pacific to the East Pacific on 10/1 and are forecast stabilizing there for the foreseeable future. The trend is towards a building La Nina that is not likely to be dislodged anytime soon. This looks like a 2 year event now.

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 gone. The 29 deg isotherm was stable at 160E today. The 28 deg isotherm line was backtracking hard to 171E today. The 24 deg isotherm was easing east at 132W today. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +0-1 deg C were steady in the West Pacific pushing east to 160W at depth today but no warmth east of there and no sign of moving anytime soon. There was a pocket of cooler anomalies at -3 degs near 125W with cool anomalies filling the entire area east of the dateline and shallower west to 150E. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 11/4 indicates the same with a large cool water bubble at depth stronger and larger erupting to the surface from 160E eastward to Ecuador with a core to -5C at 130W. 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) Negative anomalies were forming a wave pushing west from the Galapagos to 160E building to -20 cms at 125W and -15 cms solid between 110W-145W. Negative anomalies were -5 to -10 cms along the coast of Peru up into Ecuador and then reaching north up to Baja and into South and North CA. Looking at the big picture, negative anomalies were forming a massive triangle from San Francisco south to Southern Chile and west out to the intersection of the dateline and the equator. No positive anomalies were over the equatorial Pacific, except from the dateline and points west of there.

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 indicate cold anomalies were on the equator from Ecuador west to the dateline and solid in density over that entire and large area. Colder anomalies were imbedded in that flow between 110W to 150W and steady in coverage today. Cool anomalies were also holding along the coasts of Chile and Peru through a small pocket of warming anomalies were indicated along southern Peru. This clearly indicates a well developed version of La Nina filling the entire equatorial Pacific and down into Chile. Warm water was all but gone off Central America north of the equator. Overall the cool pool on the equator was unmistakable and starting to show signs of rebuilding after previously being stalled.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (11/11): Temps were cooling on the equator between Ecuador to 120W and steady west of there.
Hi-res Overview: (11/11) A stream of consistent cool water is well entrenched from Chile up to Peru and Ecuador then tracking west on the equator out to the dateline and west to New Guinea with markedly cool anomalies between 110-150W. A clear La Nina signal is depicted.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (11/12) Today's temps were rising slightly to -1.364 today after having been on a seesaw rising trend since early October peaking at -0.910 degs on 11/5. Temps were previously down to -2.138 on 8/13. The overall trend has been steady but quite cold since June.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(11/12) Temps were rising today to -1.170 after bottoming out at -1.654 on 11/3, beating the previous low of -0.945 on 9/22. The previous low before that was -0.733 on 9/10. Temps have been on a steady decline since 7/25. Overall the trend appears to be in a steep decline.

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) Today the model indicates temps at -1.55 degs. The forecast depicts a steady downward trend to continue reaching -2.15 degs in mid-Jan then beginning to rise, rebuilding up to -0.10 degs in mid-July. This is becoming a 2 year event in that even after temps return to 0/normal it will take 3-5 months for the upper level circulation to respond in kind.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Oct 21, 2020 Plume depicts temps are at -1.10 degs today, and are to hold into Dec, then moderating and starting to rise some to -0.89 by Jan 2021 and then neutral by June. Most models are suggesting a moderate to La Nina returning to Neutral in the late Spring. 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) (11/12): The daily index was rising at +6.74. The 30 day average was falling at +2.01. The 90 day average was rising some at 7.93, suggesting the current fading Active MJO has had some limited impact on the deep state La Nina pattern. This index is a lagging indicator.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): June -0.67, May -0.46, April 2020 -0.69, March -0.09, Feb +0.65, Jan +0.42, This index was steady positive Aug 2018 through Feb 2020, and now is steady negative, but only weakly so.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
Per NOAAs index recent values: 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 2019 -0.18, Feb -0.50 Mar -0.23, April +0.10, May +0.14, June -0.11, July +0.44, Aug -0.14, Sept +0.05, Oct -0.96, Nov -0.28, Dec +0.01, Jan 2020 -1.17, This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2018 +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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