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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Monday, November 18, 2019 6:19 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
3.8 - 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 11/18 thru Sun 11/24

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   

WPac Gale Moving To Dateline
Another Dateline Gale to Follow

On Monday, November 18, 2019 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 3.4 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 2.4 ft @ 12.3 secs from 265 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 7.1 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 4.9 ft @ 11.1 secs from 317 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.1 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 2.1 ft @ 10.1 secs from 244 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north at 0-2 kts. Water temperature 65.3 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.8 ft @ 11.9 secs from 295 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.8 ft @ 12.7 secs from 243 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.4 ft @ 14.2 secs from 189 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.9 ft @ 13.2 secs from 235 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 6.6 ft @ 11.4 secs with swell 4.7 ft @ 10.7 secs from 298 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 12-14 kts. Water temp 53.1 degs (013), 57.7 degs (012) and 58.1 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 Monday (11/18) in North and Central CA Gulf swell was still producing waves at chest to head high or so and lined up and clean with decent form but pretty soft. Protected breaks were waist to chest high and pretty bumpy and soft with northwest winds coming up. At Santa Cruz surf was occasionally chest high and clean and line dup but soft. In Southern California/Ventura surf was waist high and textured and soft and crumbled. In North Orange Co residual Gulf swell was producing waves at waist high or so and clean and lined up and soft. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were getting some waves at chest to shoulder high and lined up and clean but with some textured on top and fun looking. North San Diego was thigh high and clean at best. Hawaii's North Shore was still getting dateline swell with waves 1-2 ft overhead and lined up but with northeast lump intermixed. The South Shore was near flat with thigh high sets and clean. The East Shore was getting northeast windswell with waves chest high and moderately chopped early from east-northeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Monday (11/18) in California swell was still hitting from a gale that developed in the Western Gulf Mon-Wed (11/13) with up to 41 ft seas aimed east. And swell was hitting Hawaii from another gale that pushed over the dateline on Thurs-Fri (11/15) with up to 37 ft seas over a modest area aimed southeast. Another gale was pushing off Japan on Sun-Mon (11/18) with up to 33 ft seas aimed east and is then to redevelop over the North Dateline Region Tues-Wed (11/20) with up to 37 ft seas aimed east. And yet another fragmented gale is to develop over the Dateline/Western Gulf on Wed-Thurs (11/21) with 28-32 ft seas aimed east. And maybe more to follow early the following week.

See all the details below...

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Monday (11/18) the jetstream was consolidated ridging slightly while pushing off Japan then falling into a developing trough on the dateline being fed by 170 kts offering decent support for gale development, then ridging slightly tracking east over the Gulf and pushing inland over Vancouver Island. In all not a bad pattern is setting up. Over the next 72 hours the dateline trough is to push east-northeast and fade on Wed AM (11/20) over the Eastern Aleutians no longer supporting gale development. But back to the west winds are to be building to 180 kts over a large area streaming off Japan and steadily pushing east forming a gentle trough just west of the dateline on Thurs (11/21) offering support for gale development there. At that time the jet is to be fully consolidated tracking east-northeast from Japan to the Northern Gulf. Beyond 72 hours the jet is to hold together decently with a semi permanent trough setting up again on the dateline on Sat (11/23) being fed by lighter winds at 120-130 kts offering some hope with that trough pushing east to the Northwestern Gulf on Mon (11/25) and starting to pinch off and loose support for gale development. But winds are to be building at 140 kts off the Kuril Islands at that time perhaps offering renewed hope.

Surface Analysis
On Monday (11/18) swell from a storm previously in the Western Gulf was fading in California (see Western Gulf Storm below). And swell from a smaller gale that developed on the dateline falling southeast was fading in Hawaii (see Dateline Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours another gale started building off Japan on Sat PM (11/16) with 35 kt west winds and seas building from 20 ft at 40N 150E aimed east. On Sun AM (11/17) winds built to 45 kts from the northwest in one pocket and 45 kts in another with seas 29 ft at 38N 156E aimed east. In the evening the gale built in coverage filling the Northwest Pacific pushing east moving over the dateline with 40 kt northwest fetch lingering back halfway between the dateline and Japan with 31 ft seas at 39N 164.5E aimed southeast at Hawaii well. The gale held together decently Mon AM (11/18) covering the dateline region with 35-40 kt northwest winds over a solid area and a core to 45 kts from the northwest producing seas at 33 ft at 41N 172E aimed southeast. Fetch is to lift north in the evening at 40-45 kts repositioned over the North Dateline region with residual fetch at 30-35 kts south of there with the largest area of seas at 34 ft at 44N 178W targeting Hawaii and the US West Coast. All fetch is to consolidate over the North Dateline region on Tues AM (11/19) at 45 kts with 37 ft seas at 47.5N 172W aimed east. The gale is to fade from there while tracking east just south of the Eastern Aleutians with 35-40 kt west winds and 36 ft seas at 49N 164W aimed east at the US West Coast. The gale is to fade Wed AM (11/20) with 30 kt west winds and seas dropping from 31 ft at 50N 160W aimed east. The gale is to dissipate from there.

Hawaii: Rough data suggests swell arrival late afternoon on Wed (11/20) building to 5.6 ft @ 17-18 secs at sunset (9.0 ft). Swell to hold solid Thurs AM (11/21) at 6.7 ft @ 15-16 secs (10 ft ) fading slightly through the day. Residual energy to continue Fri AM (11/22) fading steadily from 4.5 ft @ 14 secs (6.0 ft). Dribbles on Sat AM (11/23) fading from 2.8 ft @ 12-13 secs (3.5 ft). Swell DIrection: 317 degrees

North CA: Rough data suggests swell arrival on Fri (11/22) building to 6.4 ft @ 17-18 secs late (11 ft). Swell holding over night and still solid Sat AM (11/23) at 7.3 ft @ 16 secs early (11.5 ft). Swell to continue on Sun (11/24) at 7.4 ft @ 14-15 secs (10.5 ft). Swell Direction: 294 moving to 304 degrees


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 was peaking in the evening at 50-55 kts from the west with seas building to 41 ft over a solid area aimed east at 46.5N 161W. The gale was fading Wed AM (11/13) in the Northwestern Gulf with 40 kt northwest winds and seas fading from 34 ft at 46N 159.5W aimed east. Fetch is to be fading from 35 kts from the west in the evening with seas fading from 29 ft at 47.5N 156.5W aimed east. On Thurs AM (11/14) the gale was fading with 30-35 kt west winds and seas 27 ft at 48N 153W aimed east. The gale is to be gone after that.

North CA: Dribbles on Mon (11/18) fading from 3.5 ft @ 11-12 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 296-300 degrees

Southern CA: Residuals fading Mon AM (11/18) from 2.0 ft @ 12-13 secs (2.5 ft) Swell Direction: 301-305 degrees


Dateline Gale
Yet another gale was developing Tues PM (11/12) just off North Japan with 35-40 kt northwest winds and seas building from 21 ft at 39N 157E aimed southeast. On Wed AM (11/13) northwest winds built to 35 kts and seas 23 ft at 39N 162E aimed east. In the evening the gale built to storm status while falling southeast just west of the dateline with 50-55 kt northwest winds over a small area and seas 34 ft over a tiny area at 40N 170.5E aimed south-southeast. The gale was falling southeast fast on Thurs AM (11/14) with northwest winds 40-45 kts and seas 35 ft at 36N 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 32.5N 180W aimed southeast at Hawaii well. Fetch is to be fading from 30-35 kts on Fri AM (11/15) 700 nmiles north-northwest of the Islands with seas fading from 23 ft over a solid area at 33N 173W aimed southeast at Hawaii. The gale is to be gone in the evening with 20 ft seas from previous fetch fading at 34N 166W aimed east. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Residuals on Mon (11/18) fading from 3.5 ft @ 11 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 310 moving to 360 degrees

North CA: Rough data suggests swell arrival on Mon (11/18) building to 5.2 ft @ 12-13 secs later (6.5 ft). Swell fading Tues AM (11/19) from 3.9 ft @ 11 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 285-290 degrees


Windswell Outlook
No windswell production is forecast for California until Tues AM (11/19) when north winds are to start building along the North and Central CA coast at 20 kts early pushing 35 kts over Cape Mendocino later with windswell on the increase. On Wed (11/20) north winds are to be 30-35 kts over all of North CA and 30+ kts off the Central CA coast but almost calm nearshore with larger raw local windswell expected. That fetch is to be rapidly fading Thurs AM (11/21) fading from 20+ kts off the coasts of North and Central CA still producing some windswell early but with light winds nearshore. For Hawaii east trades are forecast at 15+ kts on Mon (11/18) generating local east windswell fading some on Tues (11/19) then trying to rebuild weakly on Wed (11/21) but likely not strong enough to produce meaningful windswell, then back in form on Thurs (11/21) at 15-20 kts solid up to 600 nmiles east of the Islands producing building 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
On Mon (11/18) light winds were in play nearshore though a small fetch of north winds at 15-20 kts is forecast building over North CA in the afternoon. Light rain expected for Cape Mendocino overnight. On Tues (11/19) north winds are forecast at 20 kts nearshore for all of North and Central CA early building to 30-35 kts over Pt Arena up to southern Cape Mendocino later. Light rain for Cape Mendocino early. Snow for higher elevations of Tahoe overnight. On Wed (11/20) north winds are forecast at 30-35 kts over North CA nearshore waters early and off the Central CA coast fading to 25-30 kts later up north and 20-25 kts well off the Central Coast later. Light snow for Tahoe early and building down into the Central Sierra only at high elevations and holding through the early evening. 4-5 inches accumulation possible at top Tahoe resorts. On Thurs (11/21) northwest winds are forecast at 20 kts well off the coast but 5-10 kts nearshore for all of North and Central CA holding in that pattern all day. On Fri (11/22) a light offshore flow is forecast holding all day Sat (11/23) but north at 15 kts later for Cape Mendocino. Sun (11/24) north winds are forecast at 15-20 kts for North CA building to 25 kts late afternoon and 10 kts from the north for Central CA early building to 15-20 kts later. Monday (11/25) the wind machine kicks back in with north winds 30-35 kts for all of North and Central CA early fading to 25 kts later.

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


South Pacific

Surface Analysis
No swell producing fetch is occurring.

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch is 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 yet another gale is to be pushing off North Japan on Tues PM (11/19) producing an area of 35-40 kt west winds. On Wed AM (11/20) west winds are forecast at 35-40 kts over a broad area streaming off the Central Kuril Islands reaching east to the dateline with seas building at 26-31 ft at 43N 156W aimed east. In the evening a broad area of 35-40 kt west winds are to be tracking east pushing over the dateline with seas building to 31 ft at 42N 163E aimed east and another pocket at 26 ft at 43N 175W aimed east. On Thurs AM (11/21) 30-35 kt west fetch is to be filling almost the entire North Central Pacific centered at 45N with 26-28 ft seas on the 44N latitude line extending from 160E to 160W (1700 nmiles in width). In the evening fetch is to be fading rapidly while lifting northeast at 30-45 kts with seas 30 ft in one small area at 45N 177E and another at 33 ft up at 51N 158W with 20+ ft seas connecting the two. The lagging fetch is to hold into Sat AM (11/23) producing 25 ft seas up at 50N 152W aimed east. Something to monitor.

Beyond the model suggest another gale developing in the Gulf on Mon (11/26) with 30 ft seas aimed east and a stronger one off Kamchatka with 37 ft seas aimed east. Something to monitor.

Windswell Outlook
On Fri-Sat (11/23) no windswell of interest is forecast for California. But then on Sun (11/24) north winds are to be building at 20 kts along the North CA coast early and up to 25 kts later and 20 kts just off the Central Coast starting to get some traction and generating building north windswell. On Mon (11/25) north winds are to be 30-35 kts over all of North CA and 25 kts off the Central Coast generating building north windswell. For Hawaii east trades are to be rock solid at 15-20 kts up to 1000 nmiles east of the Islands Fri (11/22) building to 20 kts solid on Sat (11/23) holding if not building in coverage extending up to 1500 nmiles east of the Islands at 20 kts solid generating solid east windswell. there's only a hint of some weakening on Mon (11/25).


South Pacific

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



MJO/ENSO Forecast


Active MJO Fading - Sea Surface Temps Warming Off Peru

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 (11/17) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific fading to moderate easterly over the dateline then turning west at moderate strength over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the far East equatorial Pacific turning light west over the Central Pacific fading over the dateline and then building to moderate westerly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (11/18) westerly anomalies were modest filling the KWGA today and moderate westerly on the eastern periphery of the KWGA. The forecast now calls for west anomalies building in the heart of the KWGA starting 11/21 and holding solid through the end of the model run on 11/25. This is an unexpected improvement.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (11/17) A modest Active MJO pattern was over the dateline (eastern KWGA) today with a solid Inactive Signal over the Maritime Continent and build in the Western KWGA. The statistic model indicates the Active Phase is to fade steadily on the dateline through day 5 then gone while the Inactive Phase builds over the West Pacific filling the KWGA at day 15. The dynamic model indicates the same thing initially but with the Inactive Phase fading at day 10 and nearly gone at day 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (11/18) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was modest over the Atlantic today and is to migrate steadily east and into the Central Indian Ocean at day 15. The GEFS model suggests the same thing but with it's strength exceedingly weak.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (11/18) This model depicts a moderate Inactive MJO over the West Pacific today. This Inactive Pattern is to track east fast pushing into the Central America and very weak on 12/8 and then gone. A moderate Active Phase is to start building in the West Pacific 12/8 tracking east while holding strength pushing into Central America at the end of the model run on 12/28. A new modest Inactive Phase is to be starting moving over the West Pacific at that time.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (11/17) This model depicts the Active Phase was past it's peak in the KWGA today with moderate west anomalies filling the KWGA pushing east. West anomalies and the Active Phase of the MJO are to hold at moderate strength in the core of the KWGA and filling it through 112/1 and then dissipating. Beyond the Inactive Phase of the MJO is to start building into the far West KWGA starting 11/27 and filling the KWGA on 12/1 holding till 12/14, then fading to neutral at the end of the model run on 12/15. Strong east anomalies are holding in the Indian Ocean at 80E today, and are the strongest so far in this Indian Ocean event. They are to hold into 12/7, then starting to track east through the end of the model run.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (11/18) This model depicts the Active Phase Phase of the MJO was past its peak over the KWGA with west anomalies weakly in control. The Active Phase is to track through the KWGA through 11/22 with west anomalies forecast in the KWGA. The Inactive Phase is to develop 11/23 in the west and building east through 12/9 with west anomalies limited to the dateline and light east anomalies moving east to 150E over the Central KWGA. Another weak Active Phase is to develop tracking east through the KWGA 12/10-12/21 with weak west anomalies holding through the period. Beyond a weak Inactive MJO pattern is forecast 12/25-1/10 with west anomalies on the dateline and east anomalies building to 170E late in the period. After that a weak Active MJO is forecast in the KWGA 1/10 building east in the KWGA through the end of the model run on 2/15 with weak weak anomalies limited to the dateline with east anomalies fading in the West KWGA on 2/2. 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. And the second contour is now forecast to start fading on 2/6 and almost gone at the end of the model run. A high pressure bias built in the Indian Ocean starting 10/22 and is to hold through the end of the model run through getting weaker at the end of the run. This model indicates that a weak El Nino like pattern is to rebuild from now to mid-January, then fading. 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: (11/18) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm was stable at 175E while the 29 deg isotherm was stable today after moving east from 173W to 167W. The 28 deg isotherm line was moving east from 162W to 153W 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 175E and a broader one at +3 degs centered at 103W 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 11/14 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: (11/14) A modest area of positive anomalies were present on the equator between 130W reaching east to Ecuador at +5 cms. A new pocket of +5 cms anomalies has redeveloped back at 140E-170E. Negative anomalies were gone along Peru. A mostly neutral sea height pattern is setting up with a a few pockets biased positive.

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: (11/17) The latest images ( 1.2 3.4 ) indicate warm anomalies were building along the immediate coast of Peru and stronger up along Ecuador with a stream of weak warm anomalies extending west on the equator over the Galapagos out to the dateline. Weak cool anomalies were south of the equator off Peru and up to 4S building west out to 120W today. Weak warm anomalies were on and north of the equator building while tracking west to the dateline.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (11/17): Today weak warming was indicated along Chile and Peru steaming west off Ecuador on the equator to 110W. The short term trend is now towards weak warming but only just above neutral.
Hi-res Overview: (11/17) A weak cool pool is holding south of the equator and off Peru reaching out to 125W. 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: (11/18) Today's temps were rising slightly at +0.277 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:
(11/18) Temps were falling today at +0.314 after rising on 11/14 to +0.509 degs, and that 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 (11/18) 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 fading to maybe +0.20 March and then forecast rising some to 0.4 degs on June, then fading to +0.00 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) (11/18): The daily index was negative today at -27.36 and has been mostly negative the last 26 days. The 30 day average was negative and falling some at -7.24. The 90 day average was falling some at -8.68, 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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