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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2018 7:05 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
2.0 - California & 1.0 - 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 11/5 thru Sun 11/11

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   

Another Gulf Gale Pushing East
Another Gale to Develop West of Dateline

On Thursday, November 15, 2018 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 2.7 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 1.3 ft @ 13.4 secs from 202 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 5.7 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 3.7 ft @ 11.3 secs from 336 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.6 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 2.2 ft @ 14.0 secs from 225 degrees. Wind at the buoy was west at 8-10 kts. Water temperature 66.6 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 2.3 ft @ 13.2 secs from 259 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.9 ft @ 13.6 secs from 241 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.7 ft @ 14.9 secs from 208 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.9 ft @ 15.7 secs from 226 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 8.3 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 5.7 ft @ 13.4 secs from 295 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 12-14 kts. Water temp 61.3 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 (11/15) in North and Central CA Gulf swell was hitting producing waves at 1-2 ft overhead and clean but a bit slow and not super organized. Protected breaks were head high and clean and closed out. At Santa Cruz surf was head high to 1 ft overhead and clean and lined up. In Southern California/Ventura surf was waist to maybe chest high and a bit warbled from northwest wind and unremarkable, but rideable. In North Orange Co background southern hemi swell was producing waves at waist to chest high and lined up if not closed out and mostly clean. South Orange Country's best breaks were chest to shoulder high with some bigger peaks and super clean and lined up but slow. In North San Diego surf was waist high and clean and lined up. Hawaii's North Shore was getting leftover Gulf swell with waves 2-3 ft overhead at top spots and clean and lined up. The South Shore was flat to thigh high and clean. The East Shore was getting wrap around West Gulf swell with waves chest high and pretty clean from light to modest east-northeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (11/15) in California swell was hitting from a gale previously in the Northwestern Gulf of Alaska Sat-Mon (11/12) with seas building to 25 ft then pushed east Tues (11/13) with seas to 26 ft later in the day aimed east. Rideable surf is hitting. Hawaii was getting leftover swell from the same Gulf Gale that was producing swell for California. And another gale tracked east through the Gulf Wed-Thurs (11/15) targeting Hawaii and the US West Coast with 26 ft seas aimed southeast and east. A somewhat stronger gale is forecast developing off the Kuril's Fri-Sat (11/17) with seas to 30 ft aimed east but fading once it hits the dateline with seas down to 18 ft as it moves into the Western Gulf on Sun (11/18) and fading out from there. A local gael is forecast off California on Wed (11/21) with 27 ft seas possible and perhaps a stronger system west of the dateline a week out. A fading Inactive Phase of the MJO and a turn to the Active Phase might usher in a period of better swell production.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Thursday AM (11/15) the jet was mostly consolidated pushing off Japan reaching to nearly the dateline with winds to 120 kts in 2 pockets then splitting with the northern branch ridging hard north then falling southeast forming a steep trough over the Gulf of Alaska being fed by 110 kt winds offering limited support for gale development. From there the northern branch tracking northeast again and pushed into Central Canada while the southern branch tracked east on the 22N latitude line eventually pushing into Baja. Over the next 72 hours more of the same is forecast with the jet a little less consolidated pushing off Japan to the dateline then splitting, with the trough in the Gulf pinching off Fri PM (11/16) and generally not supporting gale development. Beyond 72 hours starting Sun (11/18) a bit of a trough is to start digging out in the Gulf with winds 100-120 kts flowing into the trough perhaps offering some support for gale development into Tues (11/20) with it's apex moving to a point 900 nmiles west of Pt Conception offering some support for gale development. Back to the west wind energy is to be building over Japan at 120 kts on Sun (11/18) No real change is forecast until Mon (11/19) when the jet jet is to be reasonably cohesive tracking east off Japan and almost consolidated then splitting at 160E but not and holding and not easing east much until Wed (11/21), when winds to 140 kts are to start building off Japan and then to 160 kts on Thurs (11/22) reaching east to 170E, or almost to the dateline with the jet well consolidated. Better support for gale development is possible though not clear troughs are forecast. A weak split and muddled pattern is to be east of there offering no support for gale development. As the Inactive Phase weakens, and as we move deeper into a late Fall pattern, we are hoping the La Nina component will also start failing, increasing potential for energy and trough development.

Surface Analysis
On Thursday PM (11/15) swell from a gale that tracked through the Gulf of Alaska is fading in Hawaii and building in California (see Gulf Gale below). Also swell from another gale that tracked east through the West and Central Gulf was pushing towards Hawaii and California (see West Gulf Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a broad but ill formed gale is to develop in the Northwest Pacific just off the north Kuril Islands on Thurs PM (11/15) producing a tiny area of north winds at 45 kts starting to get traction on the oceans surface. Fri AM (11/16) the gale is to produce a moderate area of 40 kt northwest winds with a core to 45 kts and the gale tracking east with seas 30 ft at 45N 165E. In the evening fetch is to be racing east at 35+ kts positioned about half way to the dateline with seas 30 ft at 44N 173E pushing east. On Sat AM (11/17) the gale is to be fading with west winds barely 30 kts on the dateline with seas fading from 25 ft at 43N 178E aimed east. The gale is to fade to low pressure status with west winds 30 kts and seas 22 ft at 46N 171W. Fetch fading to 25 kts Sun AM (11/18) with seas 21 ft at 45N 165W aimed east. The gale to fade after that. Small swell is possible for Hawaii and less for exposed breaks in California. There's a slim chance remnants from this gale are to start redeveloping off California on Wed (11/21).

Gulf Gale
Starting Sat PM (11/10) a new gale was developing while falling southeast from the Central Aleutians over the Western Gulf with winds 30-35 kts over a solid area with a tiny core at 40 kts with seas 20 ft over a small area at 47N 173W aimed southeast. On Sun AM (11/11) the gale was building more with a decent fetch of 30-35 kts extending southeast from the Aleutians with a few pockets to 40 kts and seas 23 ft at 44N 167W aimed southeast targeting mainly Hawaii. In the evening fetch held over a broad area at 30-35 kts extending from the Aleutians southeast to a point 1000 nmiles north of Hawaii with seas 21 ft over a reasonably broad area aimed southeast centered at 43N 165W. On Mon AM (11/12) northwest winds were holding at 35 kts aimed more east now and over not as large an area with seas to 25 ft at 46N 166W aimed southeast. In the evening west winds were 30-35 kts with seas 24 ft at 43N 160W aimed southeast. On Tues AM (11/13) the gale was tracking east with winds 35-40 kts mainly in one pocket from the west with seas fading in coverage from 24 ft at 47N 156W aimed east. The gale is to fade fast from there while tracking northeast with winds 35 kts in the evening with seas 26 ft at 49N 149W. The gale is to dissipate from there. Swell is in the water heading towards Hawaii and the US West Coast.

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs AM (11/15) at 4.9 ft @ 13 secs (6.0 ft) building some late afternoon to 5.6 ft @ 14 secs (7.5 ft). Friday (11/16) swell to be fading from 6.2 ft @ 13 secs (8.0 ft) but shadowed in the SF Bay area. Dribbles on Sat (11/17) fading from 3.4 ft @ 11-12 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 293-307 degrees


West Gulf Gale
Starting Tues AM (11/13) a small gale was developing on the dateline with 30 kt southwest winds targeting Hawaii and seas building from 18-20 ft over a tiny area aimed southeast. In the evening fetch built to 35+ kt from the north while the gale tracked east steadily with seas to 22 ft at 37N 177W aimed south almost targeting Hawaii well. On Wed AM (11/14) the gale tracked east with north winds to 40 kts and seas 25 ft at 39N 169W aimed south targeting Hawaii well. In the evening the gale was start lifting northeast with winds 40 kts solid from the north and seas to 26 ft at 40N 162W targeting Hawaii and California well. On Thurs AM (11/15) the gale was over the Central Gulf with a moderate sized fetch of 35 kts northwest winds and seas 26 ft at 42.5N 157W targeting California well. In the evening the gale is to be fading while holding position with 30-35 kt northwest winds and seas fading fast from 21 ft at 45N 157W aimed southeast. The gale is to be fading Fri AM (11/16) with winds dropping from barely 35 kts and seas below 18 ft aimed southeast. The gale is to fade after that.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Fri AM (11/16) at 5.6 ft @ 13-14 secs early (7.5 ft) fading some later. Swell fading Sat AM (11/17) from 4.3 ft @ 12 secs (5.0 ft). Swell fading on Sun (11/18) from 4.1 ft @ 11-12 secs (4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 330 moving to 350 degrees

North CA: Swell arrival on Sun (11/18) at 4.5 ft @ 14 secs early (6.0 ft). Leftovers on Mon (11/19) fading from 3.4 ft @ 12 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 290 degrees


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


Tropical Update
No tropical weather systems of interest are forecast.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday (11/15) a weak pressure and wind pattern was in control locally with high pressure off Oregon ridging east with north winds 15 kts over Cape Mendocino streaming south but remaining decently well off the coast from Bodega Bay southward. Light winds nearshore over that area and no windswell resulting. Friday (11/16) high pressure is to be mostly inland with a light north flow at 5-10 kts forecast for all of North and Central CA. Saturday (11/17) a weak pressure and wind pattern is to set up. No real change on Sun (11/18) but with north winds 10 kts over all of North and Central CA later. Monday (11/19) a weak pressure and wind pattern is to hold. No change on Tues (11/20) with low pressure building well off the coast. Wed (11/21) south winds to start building to 10+ kts from Pt Conception northward in the afternoon as the low starts moving east. Thurs (11/22) south winds to be 15 kts over most of the Central CA coast and up to 20+ kts over Pt Arena northward. Rain developing from Pt Conception northward to Oregon late afternoon.


South Pacific

Surface Analysis  
No swell of interest was in the water.

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.


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 remnants of the West Pacific Gale are to possibly redevelop off North California on Wed AM (11/21) with 45 kt northwest winds and seas building to 28 ft at 38N 141W aimed southeast. northwest winds to be 40 kts in the evening with seas 26 ft at 36N 141W aimed east. The gale is to fade on Thurs AM (11/22) with northwest winds 35 kts and seas fading from 24 ft at 35N 135W. The gale is to track east and fade after that. Possible raw swell pushing into California if all goes as forecast. The model also suggest another tiny but building and stronger gale is to develop mid-way between Japan and the dateline on Thurs PM (11/22) producing 55 kt northwest winds and 41 ft seas aimed east. Maybe Fall is finally about to start.


South Pacific

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


MJO/ENSO Forecast


SST Temps Fading - ESPI Rising But Still Weakly Negative

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

Overview: La Nina started developing in early 2016, but westward displaced and generally weak. And by March 2017, it was gone with suspicious warming developing along South America and over the Galapagos to a point south of Hawaii. By May the atmosphere returned to a neutral configuration but then in July east anomalies started building in the KWGA and have not stopped, with cold water upwelling over the the Nino1.2 and 3.4 areas, indicative of La Nina. A double dip La Nina was in control and continued 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 beyond, but could not sustain itself, suggesting the demise of La Nina but not yet turning towards El Nino.

Fall/Winter 2018 = 6.5 (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: Assuming the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that El Nino develops as forecast, and assuming and an ocean-atmospheric coupling becomes established in the Sept timeframe and ocean temperature anomalies in Nino3.4 build to the +1.0 deg range, there is good probability for enhanced storm production in the North Pacific starting in the late Nov timeframe (specifically the Gulf of Alaska and Dateline regions) with an increased intensity in number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in increased odds for larger than normal swell, with increased duration and higher than normal period.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (11/143) 5 day average winds were solid from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific fading just west of the dateline, then solidly from the west over the bulk of the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East and Central equatorial Pacific, then turning moderate to strong westerly from 170E and points west of there over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (11/15) moderate west anomalies were over the core of the KWGA from 170E and points west of there with east anomalies on the dateline and points east of there. The forecast has the same pattern holding for the next week with modest to moderate west anomalies in the KWGA and east anomalies on the dateline maybe reaching west to 165E on 11/22 (at the end of the model run) not significantly affecting the KWGA.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (11/14) The fading remnants of a weak Inactive Phase of the MJO was east of the dateline and outside the KWGA while a weak Active Phase was building in the West Pacific. The statistical model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO is to continue pushing east through the West Pacific while building steadily peaking in the West Pacific at day 10 and still holding decently into the end of the model run at day 15. The dynamic model has the Active Phase being far less defined peaking now and then starting to fade gradually through day 10, then moving to the dateline at day 15 but weak. The 2 models are a bit divergent.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (11/15) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was modestly strong over the Maritime Continent, but is to be fading 5 days out while moving east then fading more while pushing east through the West Pacific 2 weeks out. The GEFS model depicts a variation on the same thing but close to the same. The 2 models are generally in sync.
40 day Upper Level Model: (11/15) This model depicts a very weak Active signal was over the dateline tracking east. The Active Phase is to continue tracking east weakly over the Central Pacific then pushing over the East Pacific and into Central America on 12/5. After that a very weak Inactive Phase is to again set up over the West Pacific on 11/25 and is to track to the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 12/25.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (11/14) This model depicts moderate west anomalies were over the core of KWGA and are forecast to hold through 11/26. After that west anomalies are to move east and out of the KWGA on 11/27. Weak east anomalies are to follow and hold through the end of the model run at 12/12. This run suggests that No El Nino pattern will develop.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (11/15) This model depicts weak west anomalies were in the core of the KWGA today with no clearly defined MJO signal present. By 11/17 a weak Active Phase of the MJO is to start building with modest west anomalies in the heart of the KWGA. West anomalies are to hold for the foreseeable future through the end of the model run 2/12//19 with no coherent MJO signal present. This is a significant difference from the previous model run, yet both at the CFS model. Strange. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias is fully in control of the KWGA reaching east over California and forecast holding beyond while slowly easing east, but still centered over the dateline at the end of the model run. A 4th contour line previously forecast to to develop in the 12/22-1/21/19 period is no longer on the charts. We think this whole El Nino setup is a bit overblown on this model and that it will not develop, or develop only weakly. Likewise, we think the other model is a bit overstating the negative situation. The atmosphere and ocean are theoretically to slowly become coupled towards an El Nino bias in the Pacific Ocean, but there's no objective evidence of it yet. If it hasn't happened yet (by Nov 1), it's doubtful there will be significant weather influence even if it does develop. Still this pattern is to slowly become more favorable to support storm production in the Pacific regardless of whether El Nino develops, especially compared to the 2 previous years given that we're still moving towards Winter and La Nina is gone. Our assumption is a normal Winter pattern will result, but nothing more.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (11/15) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs solid steady today at 180W, having retrograded from there the 2 weeks prior. The 28 deg isotherm line had retrograded west to 160W a few weeks back, then moved east to 154W 11/6, and today was at 157W. The 24 deg isotherm was 125 meters deep at 140W then getting progressively shallower east of there and no longer pushing into Ecuador, but was breaking the surface at 103W. It seems that Kelvin Wave #2 had already peaked in the West Pacific, and temps were retrograding, but starting 11/8 they surged east again, but started fading on 11/13. Anomaly wise warm anomalies are filling the entire subsurface Pacific with Kelvin Wave (#2) extending from 180W at +2-3 degs building to +5.0 degs centered at 100W down 90 meters then pushing into the coast of Ecuador. But temps were certainly weakening in the far West Pacific, down to +2.0 degs from 175E and points west of there. The peak of the Kelvin Wave cycle for this El Nino has already occurred, but upwelling from it is still to be ongoing for a few more weeks. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 11/9 paints the same picture with the Second Kelvin Wave starting in the West Pacific near 175W with building temps peaking at +5.0 degs at 100-110W and then pushing into Ecuador but weaker. A small pocket of neutral anomalies that was in the far West Pacific just east of the Maritime Continent appears to be getting cooler with negative anomalies present there now and building in coverage. Kelvin Wave #2 was breaching the surface from 100W to 155W solidly with secondary solid warm anomalies starting to fill the entire region on the equator from 100W-165E. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (11/9) Positive anomalies were solid from north of New Guinea over the Dateline, then weakening some from 170W to 140W , then rebuilding and solid into Ecuador and broad in coverage peaking at +10 cms from 105W-115W. This indicates that Kelvin Wave (#2) was peaking south of California and pushing quickly east. It was branching north to Baja and south to Southern Peru, a good sign.

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: (11/15) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate temps were warm in a Kelvin Wave pattern straddling 5 degrees north and south of the equator from Ecuador west to the dateline, with imbedded pockets of slightly stronger warming. But these temps are cooler over the past few days compared to 2 weeks prior. There was minimal slight warming along the coast of Chile unbroken up into Peru, but nothing indicative of a strong trend towards El Nino. Generic warm anomalies were north of the equator from Central America and south of Mexico building out to Hawaii and the dateline. This pattern looks somewhat like El Nino, but also like La Nina with no solid warming branching north and south along the Central and South American coast, and most warming still in the West Pacific, suggesting this developing El Nino is only weakly in control and still fragile but less fragile than day past over the East equatorial Pacific.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (11/14): A weak cooling trend is developing from Ecuador to the Galapagos on the equator on out to 130W. No warming was indicated there. Building warming was along the coasts of Peru and Chile Ecuador, and up to Central America up to South Mexico.
Hi-res Overview: (11/14) A tiny sliver of weak cool water was present just off the outer coast of North Chile and loosing coverage with warm water building over the coast of Chile and along the immediate coast of Peru. Otherwise moderate plus warm water was on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos building out to the dateline with a few pockets of stronger imbedded warming. We have turned the corner to a warm regime and are no longer in a mixed pattern where La Nina cool anomalies are present intermixed with warm anomalies. And one could kinda think we are moving towards a legitimate El Nino pattern just looking at the surface temps. But that would be a false conclusion based on what is going on sub-surface. And given the time of year, the warm signal should be much stronger if El Nino were truly developing.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (11/15) Today's temps were rising to +0.351 down from +0.502 degs 2 days earlier. They've been toggling between the 0.0 and +0.6 deg range for 2 weeks now. There were down to -0.628 on 10/22, after having fallen from the all time high for this event on 9/25 +1.316. Basically things are neutral here.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(11/15) Today temps were rising slightly at +0.594, down from the all time high for this event of +1.45 on 11/5, beating the previous peak temps of +0.795 on 10/9, and +0.649 on 9/27, and that beating the previous peak at +0.490 on 7/2. Overall temps are noodling around at +0.7 degs above normal adding some hope that perhaps El Nino is trying to develop, but nothing serious.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (11/15) The forecast calls for a slow but steady increase from here rising from +1.00 degs in mid-Nov then toggling from +1.00 to +1.20 degs from Dec into May 2019, then holding at +1.0 degs into July 2019. This suggests that perhaps El Nino is to build through the Fall of 2018 but weaker than previous model runs. But given the weak El Nino forecast, this somewhat dampens the odds of La Nina following in Fall of 2019. Most other models are also suggesting a possible turn to weak El Nino conditions by late Fall.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Oct Plume depicts temps are to slowly rise from here, to +0.90 degs in October and +0.9-+1.0 degs in Nov through March 2019, then slowly fading to 0.78 in June. See chart here - link. It looks like La Nina is fading out and there's a 76% chance of a weak El Nino developing.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad) (11/15): The daily index was falling today at -1.72. The 30 day average was falling some at +1.84 suggesting an Inactive MJO was fading. The 90 day average was falling some -1.71, the highest its been in months. The 90 degree average turned negative for the first time in a year on 6/30 suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was building in the atmosphere. This is expected for a month more before falling into steady negative territory by mid August.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (11/15) Today the index was rising some at -0.17, but still not positive as it should be if El Nino were developing. It was down to -0.22 the week of 10/22, after having risen to +0.39 on 10/10, the highest so far this event. This suggests that precip and evaporation are just slightly less than normal, and not above normal as one would expect if El Nino were in play. We are in an ENSO neutral pattern. The reading from 8/14 (+0.11) was the first time it's turned positive in a year.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly positive, even though La Nina is in play.
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 -0.42, Sept -0.42. 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

Powerlinessurf Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest

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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.

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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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