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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Saturday, November 18, 2023 1:04 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
3.5 - California & 3.5 - Hawaii
Using the 'Winter' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

Probability for presence of largest swells in near-shore waters of NCal, SCal or Hawaii.    
Issued for Week of Monday 11/20 thru Sun 11/26
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   

Gale Developing on Dateline
Stronger Storm Forecast for Dateline

Saturday, November 18, 2023 :

  • Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt): Seas were 3.4 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 2.7 ft @ 13.9 secs from 181 degrees. Water temp 78.8 (Barbers Pt), 78.8 (Pearl Harbor 233), NA (Lani 239).
  • Buoy 187 (Pauwela): Seas were 7.2 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 5.8 ft @ 10.4 secs from 46 degrees. Water temp 78.4 degs
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea)/Buoy 202 (Hanalei): Seas were 5.4 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 3.2 ft @ 11.6 secs from 29 degrees. Water temp 79.2 degs
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.5 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 3.6 ft @ 9.2 secs from 237 degrees. Wind east at 8-10 kts. Water temperature 63.7 degs, 62.4 (Harvest 071), 63.9 (Topanga 103), 62.8 (Long Beach 215), 64.8 (Oceanside Offshore 045), 63.7 (Del Mar 153), 64.8 (Torrey Pines Outer 100). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 4.4 ft @ 9.1 secs from 229 degrees. At E. Santa Barbara (46053) swell was 1.8 ft @ 9.2 secs from 242 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.6 ft @ 9.6 secs from 237 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.1 ft @ 15.2 secs from 187 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.1 ft @ 13.4 secs from 190 degrees. Water temperature was 62.6 degrees (Imperial Beach).
  • Buoy 029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 7.5 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 6.2 ft @ 8.9 secs from 182 degrees. Wind south-southeast at 14-18 kts (46026) and south-southeast at 12-13 kts (1801589). Water temp NA (Bodega Bay 46013), 59.4 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 57.9 (San Francisco 46026), 56.3 (SF Bar 142), 57.9 (1801589) and 58.8 (Monterey Bay 46042).

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

Swell Classification Guidelines

Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
- 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 Saturday (11/18) in North and Central CA waves were waist high and warbled and soft with irregular form and mushed with fairly clean surface conditions. Protected breaks were flat and clean. At Santa Cruz surf was chest high on the sets and effectively blown out. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist to nearly chest high and clean and reasonably lined up with good form and no wind and clean but a little soft. Central Orange County had sets at chest high coming from the south and slightly warbled from southerly wind and mushed but with decent form. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at chest high and lined up and clean with decent form but real soft. North San Diego had sets at waist high and reasonably lined up when they came and clean with good form but soft. Oahu's North Shore had waves at chest high and lined up with decent form and real clean early. The South Shore had waist high sets and lined up and fairly clean but with some warble in the water. The East Shore was getting tradewind generated windswell at head high and lightly warbled from modest southeast wind.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Saturday (11/18) local windswell was hitting California and Hawaii. A gale is forecast developing Sun-Mon (11/20) in the Gulf lifting northeast fast producing 28-30 seas aimed south targeting both Hawaii and CA. Another gale is forecast developing over the North Dateline region Tues-Thurs (11/23) tracking east producing up to 39 ft seas aimed at Hawaii and CA. Possibly another to develop off Kamchatka on Sat (11/25) with 39 ft seas aimed east.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Saturday (11/18) the jet was consolidated pushing east off Japan with winds 170 kts but ridging hard north up to the Western Aleutians then falling hard south over the dateline carving out a steep pinched trough offering only limited support for gale development before fragmenting and limping east eventually reconsolidating just off Southern CA and pushing onshore there. Over the next 72 hours the trough is to track east while becoming less pinched over the Northern Gulf and lifting north Sun-Mon (11/20) offering better support for gale formation. To the west winds are to start building in the jet on Mon (11/20) at 170 kts tracking east off Japan to the dateline starting to dig out a decent trough on the dateline. Beyond 72 hours that trough is to push east into Thurs (11/23) over the Northern Gulf offering some decent potential for gale development. And back to the west on Fri (11/24) the jet is to build with winds 170 kts pushing northeast off Japan forming a trough over Kamchatka with another trough developing just northwest of Hawaii being fed by 120 kts winds and both offering support for gale development into Sat (11/25).

Surface Analysis
On Saturday (11/18) only local windswell was occurring for California and Hawaii.

Over the next 72 hours a gale is forecast developing 1,200 nmiles north of Hawaii on Sat PM (11/18) producing 35 kt north winds and seas building. On Sun AM (11/19) north winds to build in coverage at 50+ kts 1,400 nmiles north-northeast of Oahu with seas 22 ft at 37N 160W aimed south. The gale is to lift north in the evening with 50-55 kt north winds and seas 28 ft over a small area at 45N 153W aimed south. Fetch is to drift north on Mon AM (11/20) at 45 kts from the northwest with seas 30 ft at 49N 150W aimed south targeting Hawaii and CA. In the evening fetch is to hold position with 40-45 kt northwest winds and seas 26-28 ft at 48N 145W aimed southeast at HI and CA. On Tues AM (11/21) fetch is to hold position fading from 35-40 kts from the northwest with seas fading from 25 ft at 51N 140W aimed southeast. The gale is to fade and move inland over Alaska from there. Something to monitor.


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


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest were being tracked.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Sun AM (11/19) high pressure starts to arrive with northwest winds 20 kts for North CA and 20-25 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds build to 20-25 kts for North CA and 25-30 kts for Central CA with high pressure centered over costal Oregon. No precip forecast.
  • Mon AM (11/20) northwest winds are to be 15-20 kts for North CA and 10-15 kts for Central CA nearshore but 20 kts just off the coast early. In the afternoon north to northeast winds to be 5 kts for North CA and 10 kts for Central CA.
  • Tues AM (11/21) north to northeast winds to be 5 kts for North CA and 5-10 kts for Central CA early. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 10 kts for North Ca and north winds 10 kts for Central CA.
  • Wed AM (11/22) northwest winds to be 10 kts early for North and Central CA. In the afternoon high pressure builds with northwest winds building to 25 kts for Cape Mendocino and 20 kts for the rest of North CA and 10-15 kts for Central CA.
  • Thurs AM (11/23) northwest winds to be 25-30 kts for North CA early and 20 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 30 kts for North CA and 20 kts for Central CA.
  • Fri AM (11/24) northwest winds to be 30 kts for Cape Mendocino but 10-15 kts for the rest of North CA and 5-10 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon no change is forecast.
  • Sat AM (11/25) north winds to be 10 kts nearshore for Cape Mendocino but 5-10 kts from the northeast for the rest of North Ca and north 5 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon northeast winds to be 10 kts for North Ca and 5-10 kts for Central CA.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth are projected at 10, 11, 12, and 7 inches respectively all on Sat (11/18). .

Temperatures for the Pacific Crest Trail and Tioga Pass Road intersection (8,700 ft): 25-30 degrees through Sat (11/18) then rising to 45 degrees Mon-Wed (11/22) before falling to 30 degs on Thurs (11/23) dropping to 20 degrees or less starting late Fri (11/24) and holding beyond.

- - -

Tioga Pass/Pacific Crest Trail intersection forecast: Temps - Freeze Level
More locations here (scroll down to 'Resort Snow Forecasts>Central CA or North CA Caltrans & Backcountry')

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


South Pacific

Surface Analysis
No swell of interest coming from the Southern Hemisphere was hitting Hawaii or California. Summer is over.

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 starting Mon PM (11/20) a gale is to be developing half way between Japan and the dateline producing 40 kt northwest winds and seas building from 21 ft at 37.5N 160E aimed east. On Tues AM (11/21) the gale is to build to storm status positioned just west of the dateline with 40-50 kt northwest winds with seas building from 26-28 ft at 37N 170E aimed east. In the evening northwest winds to be 45-50 kts on the dateline with seas 39 ft at 45N 179.25E aimed southeast. The storm is to stall Wed AM (11/22) with 45-50 kt northwest winds over a decent sized area over the Northern Dateline region with seas 46 ft at 46.25N 175.25W aimed southeast. In the evening fetch is to hold position with 45-50 kts west winds over the North Dateline region and seas 35 ft at 48.75N 174.5W aimed east. On Thurs (11/23) fetch is to be fading from 45 kts still stationary on the dateline from the northwest with seas 35 ft at 47N 176.5W aimed east. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 40 kts and still stationary on the dateline with seas 33 ft at 46N 178W aimed east. The gale is to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.

Perhaps another system is to be building while pushing off the Kuril Islands on Sat (11/25).


South Pacific

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


MJO/ENSO Forecast


El Nino Steadily Building
Kelvin Waves #4, #5 and #6 Erupting - NINO3.4 SSTs reflect El Nino
1 Kelvin Wave traversed the Pacific in Dec '22 with a 2nd in Jan-Feb and a 3rd and 4th in March-April, a 5th in May and a 6th in August. But after the last Active MJO in mid-to-late May (resulting in Kevin Wave #5), the MJO stalled. Finally the Active Phase restarted in later July Producing Kelvin Wave #6 which is erupting off Ecuador now. Sea Surface Temperatures in the east are warm and holding, and slightly expanding. And another Active Phase of the MJO is developing now (mid-Oct) likely starting to produce Kelvin Wave #7 which is pushing east. All these Active MJO/Kevin Wave pairs are backfilling warm water off Ecuador and helping push the atmosphere towards El Nino. And El Nino is finally starting to be evident in the atmosphere as evidenced by the SOI, OLR. ocean current, and wind anomalies.

MJO/ENSO Discussion
The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.And the El Nino/La Nino cycle (collectively know as ENSO - El Nino Southern Oscillation) is a less frequent (about once every 7 years) but more impactful cycle that affects world wide weather. Specifically, strong El Nino events promote storm production in the Pacific while La Nina events suppress storm production. These therefore have a significant impact on the production of swell and surf. The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO and ENSO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for upcoming activity (or inactivity depending on the state and interaction of these two oscillations).

Overview: In 2019 warm equatorial waters were fading, and by August a tongue of cool water was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos reaching to a point nearly south of Hawaii. A bit of a recovery tried to occur during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water held in a pool off Peru. By April 2020 a cool pool was starting to build, forming a well defined cool tongue that evolved into La Nina, with it fully developing through July 2020. That pattern continued until late Fall 2022 when trades started fading and by early 2023 multiple Kelvin Waves were in flight with significant warming developing over the East Equatorial Pacific. La Nina was dead on 3/18/2023 with El Nino apparently developing. But it was not coupled with the atmosphere as of 7/20/2023.

Winter 2023 = 7.7 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)

Rationale: A 3 year La Nina started fading in Jan 2023 and was gone by April. 6 Active MJO's produced 6 Kelvin Waves over early to mid 2023 with Kelvin Wave #7 in August building over the West Pacific and the 4th, 5th and 6th backed up off Ecuador now (10/20/23). The CFS model is predicting steady west anomalies from here forward and the leading edge of the low pressure bias moving over California now filling the Pacific. We are now under an El Nino status. We are moving into a period of enhanced storm production (starting late Sept 2023) and beyond, getting intense come late Fall and early Winter. This should result in an above normal level of swells, with swells being longer than normal duration from here forward as El Nino gets a stronger footprint on the atmosphere. The net result is a well above normal number of swells with above normal size and duration (i.e 15 significant class swells perhaps). Last year there were 0 and year before 5 or less.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (11/17) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the East equatorial Pacific and modest east over the Central Pacific and very strong west over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and moderate west over the Central Pacific and strong west over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, versus realtime, so they lag what is happening today (by about 2.5 days).
2 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (11/18) West anomalies were weak filling the KWGA today but were strong filling the rest of the equatorial Pacific east to Ecuador. The forecast indicates east anomalies are to take hold of the KWGA through 12/3 then fading to neutral. But west anomalies are to hold strong east of the KWGA now through 11/25.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (11/17) A weak Active MJO (wet air/cloudy skies) was over the KWGA focused on the dateline today. The statistic model indicates the Active signal fading out on day 5 of the model run with while the Inactive MJO (dry air/cloud free skies) builds over the West KWGA on days 5 and 10 then filling the KWGA through day 15. The dynamic model depicts the same thing but with the Inactive Phase fading some on day 10 of the model run and gone on day 15 with a neutral MJO filling the KWGA.
Phase Diagrams - 2 week forecast (CA and GEFS): (11/18) The statistical model depicts the Active signal was weak over Africa today. The forecast indicates it is to move to the Central Indian Ocean 15 days out and weak. The dynamic model indicates the Active signal tracking east over the East Indian Ocean 2 weeks out and weak.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (11/18) A weak Inactive MJO pattern (dry air) was indicated over the KWGA. The forecast has a moderate Inactive signal (dry air) pushing through the KWGA 11/23-12/13. Then another Active (wet air) pattern sets up moving east over the KWGA 12/13 filling the KWGA through the last day of the model run on 12/28.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (11/17)
Today the Active Phase of the MJO was fading fast over KWGA with strong west anomalies in control over the KWGA (since 11/5). The forecast has west anomalies and the Active Phase gone on 11/19 then pushing east over the East Pacific through 11/25. Light to modest east anomalies and the Inactive MJO are forecast over the KWGA 11/19 to 12/1. West anomalies are to return on the dateline 11/27 building in coverage and filling the KWGA 12/8 through the end of the model run on 12/15. Of note: Moderate east anomalies started building over the Indian Ocean on 9/2 holding at strong status 11/15 then moderating to moderate status through the end of the model run. That coupled with strong west anomalies in the West Pacific suggest massively falling air occurring near 120E (Maritime Continent), likely the downward branch of the Walker Circulation. The Indian Ocean Dipole is currently strong positive and building (the falling branch of the Walker Circulation). We're into a real El Nino pattern according to this model.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind):
(11/18) - using the 5th ensemble member - the mean of the 4 individual members which are all from the 00Z run - 1 run per day):
Today a weak Inactive Phase was all but gone over the KWGA but with modest to strong west anomalies in control. A weak Inactive Phase is to rebuild over the KWGA 11/21-12/8 with modest east anomalies holding through 11/24. After west anomalies are to start building in the KWGA on 12/1 building in coverage with the Active Phase developing 12/2-1/5 with moderate to strong west anomalies in control of the KWGA into 1/10. After that a weak Inactive Phase develops 12/25 in the far west KWGA then filling it through the end of the model run on 2/15 with west anomalies moving east to 150W and losing coverage with east anomalies moving east and nearly filling the KWGA starting 12/26 and beyond. Also note that east anomalies started building at 70E (West Indian Ocean) on 9/7 and peaked 10/15 forecast holding into 12/15, then moderating while pushing hard east on 12/27-1/30 into the West KWGA and holding through the end of the model run. This strong east and west anomaly pattern looks very much like falling air centered over the Maritime Continent (120E) associated with the downward branch of the Walker Circulation/+IOD. Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR) suggests cloud activity took over the KWGA weakly on 6/24 and started building in earnest then more solid starting Sept 15, It started building strongly on 10/16 and is continuing to build, strongly starting on 11/1 and continuing today. It is forecast building strongly from here forward while easing east to 140W on 1/11 then holding through the end of the model run. Conversely clear skies started building over the Maritime Continent in mid-May and have continued solidifying today and are forecast building to Jan 2, then fading while moving east to 150E in early January. This also suggests a rising air pattern associated with the upward branch of the Walker Circulation developing today on the dateline and moving east to 140W in January. The low pass filter indicates a broad low pressure bias is established over the KWGA centered at 175W with a 4th contour line (starting 11/5). A 5th contour line has dissolved from the model. The high pressure bias started to build over the Maritime Continent on 10/2. A second high pressure contour has faded from the model. It appears a strong El Nino is finally starting to develop in a classical sense and is to move east over the next 3 months.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (11/18) Today in the far West Pacific the leading edge of the 30 deg isotherm was easing east at 164W (previously 169W). The 29 degree isotherm was steady at 154W (previously 158W). The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 138W (previously 145W). The 24 degree isotherm extended the whole way across the Pacific and was getting shallower at 35m (25m earlier but at one point down to 65m). Anomaly wise, warm anomalies at +2 deg C started in the far West Pacific at 172E associated with newly developing Kelvin Wave #7 with a building core of up to +4 degs anomalies centered at 155W pushing east in a continuous stream (at +2 degs) feeding into Kelvin Wave #6 and other previous Kelvin Waves that have formed a broad pocket of +3 degs anomalies starting at 145W and +4-5 degs anomalies over the East Pacific starting from 132W (previously 136W). The warm pool in the east (originating from Kelvin Waves #6, 5, 4...) is discharging to the surface while being backfilled by more warm water/Kelvin Wave #7 and growing in coverage some. There's about 3 months of warm water backed up off the Ecuadorian Coast (previously 2 months) today with a stream of warm water backfilling into it. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 11/14 indicates a large very warm stream of +1-2 degs anomalies extending west to east starting at 160E and over a large section of the subsurface equatorial Pacific (Kelvin Wave #7) and building while tracking east with 3 deg anomalies from 170W with embedded +4 deg anomalies and points east of there and +4-5 degs anomalies from 110W and points east of there originating from Kelvin Waves #6, #5 and #4 erupting into Ecuador. A steady stream of +1-2 degree anomalies were falling off the Maritime Continent merging with the preexisting warm stream. In other words, this image suggests a steady flow of warm water flowing east from the Maritime Continent suggesting Kelvin Wave #8 is developing. No cool anomalies were indicated. El Nino is developing. The GODAS animation is 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately depicted since its satellite based.
Sea Level Anomalies: (11/14) Sea heights were positive across the equatorial Pacific starting at 165E (previously 165E) at +0-5 cms extending east into Ecuador. +5-10 cm anomalies were in the east from 175E east to 100W with weak anomalies into Ecuador. Positive anomalies extending north into Central America and south to Peru. This means no cool water was at depth. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram (11/14) warm water is building at +0.5 degs from 175E to Ecuador with a pocket of +1.00-1.50 deg anomalies between 174W to 125W. The full development of El Nino is starting with cooler water developing over the West Pacific and warm water building in the east and pushing east with a new Kelvin Wave in flight. But the demise of the warm pool in the west signals an eventual turn to La Nina (sometime next year).

Surface Water Temps
The more warm water in the equatorial East Pacific means more storm production in the North Pacific during winter months (roughly speaking). Cold water in that area has a dampening effect. Regardless of what the atmospheric models and surface winds suggest, actual water temperatures are a ground-truth indicator of what is occurring in the ocean. All data is from blended infrared and microwave sensors.
Satellite Imagery
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4 Qualitative Analysis: (11/17) The latest images depict a strong warm stream from Ecuador uniformly covering the area on the equator from Ecuador to the dateline. Pockets of stronger warming previously from Ecuador west out to 140W (previously 115W) have evaporated while being buffeted by east anomalies near the Galapagos. The warm pool is looking fairly solid and consistent from Ecuador to the dateline but not building. Heat also extends north up to Southern Baja and south down into Central Chile. There is a very clear El Nino signal with the classic El Nino triangle in-place and building towards a strong status.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (11/17): A small pocket of cooling water was on the equator over the Galapagos associated with fading east anomalies there. Otherwise a generally neutral pattern was in control. A warming trend had been well entrenched over the East Pacific since Nov 1 2022 with no cooling waters over the equatorial East Pacific since 12/15.
Hi-res Overview: (11/17) Warmer than normal waters are filling the East Pacific off Chile, Peru, Ecuador and north up to Mexico but previous strong warming pockets from Ecuador out to 120W are gone, due to east anomalies there. The classic El Nino tongue of more intense warming is building considerably over the equator west to the dateline. Everything is now looking like El Nino.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (11/18) (The official OISST temp record runs about +0.2 degrees higher). Today's temps are falling more at +1.230 after being at +1.657 (11/13) and up to +2.001 (11/6-11/10) then generally steady in the +1.9 degs range 9/28-11/9. Previous temps were down at +1.755 (10/22), down to +1.527 (10/6), up to +2.10 (9/17) and have been falling since 8/31 when they were up to +3.073 after rising to +3.164 (8/18) after being up to +2.925 on 8/10 after rising at +3.074 degs (8/7) after being up to +3.391 (on 7/20) and had been rising from +2.906 (starting 7/3) rising from +2.451 after peaking at +2.7926 on 6/13 and have been up in the +2.0 to +3.0 degs range since 4/1 having previously peaked at +2.891 (4/13). Previously temps reached +2.302 degrees on 4/6, +1.732 degs (3/22), up from +0.462 since 2/28. Temps had reached as high as +1.076 on 2/19 and were previously steady at +0.848 since 2/7. Previously they started steadily rising 11/13 when they were around -1.5 degs C.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(11/18) (OISST runs about +0.2 degrees higher). Today's temps were up sharply to +1.497 after falling into +1.236 (11/16) after being up to +1.449 on 11/2 and +1.300 on 10/20 after falling down to +1.149 (10/11). . Weekly OISST were steady at +1.8 degs (2 weeks running), the highest so far, and were at +1.6 the previous 2 weeks (10/18 & 1025), +1.5 the 3 weeks previous (through 10/11) after being up to +1.7 degs the week before and +1.6 degs 3 weeks in a row prior (starting 8/30) putting us in minimal strong El Nino status. Temps first time above +1.0 degs was on 8/7 after being up to +0.967 (8/1) up from +0.873 degs (7/25) after peaking at +0.985 (7/18). Previously temps were rising slightly at +0.882 (7/9) after being steady at +0.794 4-5 days and that after being steady at +0.895 (3 days near 6/25) after being in the +0.712 range the previous 9 days after previously rising to +0.975 on 6/9. We are now 31 days into a trend of being above the El Nino threshold (for the 2nd time). Temps reached the El Nino threshold for the first time on 5/17 at +0.507 then quickly fell over the next 10 days down to +0.378 (5/26). Previous peaks of +0.318 on 4/30 besting the previous peak at +0.199 on 4/21. Temps have been steadily increasing hitting 0.0 on 4/12 and were then more or less steady the previous 4 weeks. Temps previously rose to -0.402 on 2/23. Temps rose above the La Nina threshold (-0.5 degs) on 2/22 and had been rising slowly since 2/12 when they were about -1.0 degs C. They had been in the -1.0 deg range since at least Nov 2022.

Click for Full Sized Image Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Data (Nino3.4 Region)
Previous - Temps bottomed out at at -1.25 degs in early Nov 2020, up to -0.01 degs in mid-June 2021 then fading to -1.05 degs in mid-Nov then rebuilding to -0.7 in mid Feb 2022 then fading to -1.1 degs in May before starting an upward climb peaking in mid-June at -0.65 degs and mid July at -0.55 degs. A steady decline set in after that falling to -1.00 degs in Aug and Sept rising to -0.8 degs mid Oct then falling to -1.0 in Nov but then slowly rising to -0.75 degs in Jan 2023 and up to -0.5 degs (above the La Nina threshold) on 2/12. Temps rose to +0.50 degs mid-May and were at +0.9 degs in mid-June, and +1.05 mid July reaching up to +1.30 degs early Aug, +1.6 degs in Sept holding in Oct and , +1.75 in Nov..
Forecast (11/18) - Temps to are to fade to +1.65 degs into early Dec, then rising to +1.80 degs in mid- Jan and solidly in strong El Nino territory before starting a slow fade thereafter. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps are forecast falling to +1.65 degs in mid-Dec and holding at +1.65 degs in Jan before starting to fall. According to this version of the model we are building into a mid to upper level strong El Nino.
IRI Consensus Plume: The October 19, 2023 Plume (all models) depicts temps are +1.777 degs today and it's the 7th month above the La Nina threshold. Temps to rise steadily from here forward up to +1.836 degrees in November (that's a 3 months running mean) then fading from there. The dynamic model suggest temps peaking at +2.004 in Nov and +1.979 in Dec while the statistic models show +1.836 and +1.769 degrees respectively. The dynamic models are running a bit hotter than the statistic models. The CFS model is on the low end of the dynamic model range with 7 of 17 models above +2.0 degrees.
See chart here - link.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad - all but the Daily Index was a lagging indicator):
Today (11/18) the Daily Index was positive at +3.05 but had been negative for the previous 12 days, Previously they were toggling between weakly positive and negative for 12 days (starting 10/24), but were solidly negative for 65 days prior (starting 9/16). It was positive the previous 7 days, then negative the previous 29 days (7/14-8/11) with a peak down to -37.30 on 7/25.The SOI has effectively been negative since 7/12. It was positive the previous 21 days then was negative 11 days prior and positive 5 days previous then negative for 27 days previous ending 6/6 with a peak down to -29.32 on 5/31, -64.63 on 5/24 and -31.31 on 5/12. Previously readings were toggling between +10 and -10 for 13 days, but negative the 15 days previous to that, positive the 6 days prior to that after being mostly negative 25 days before that. It fell to -19.40 on 4/2. -17.44 on 2/22, the beginning of a change from which no return seemed likely. It was up to +21.85 on 2/10 and +55.74 on 12/22 and were in the +20 range the previous 22 days.
The 30 day average was rising at -9.39 after being down to -10.43 on 11/16 and up to -5.75 on 11/5 and previously down to -15.70 on 9/23. It fell below the neutral point on 7/26. It rose above positive 7/3-7/25. It previously fell to -19.64 on 6/5 had been falling to -4.13 on 4/4 (lagging indicator driven by the Active Phase of the MJO) after falling to -0.52 on 3/22 previously falling to +4.18 on 11/27 and peaking at +21.57 (10/16) after supposedly peaking at +19.66 on 9/28. It was down to +6.89 on 7/29. It peaked at +20.34 (5/12) the highest in a year and beating last years high of +19.51 (1/14).
The 90 day average was rising some at -11.00 and turned negative the first time in years on 5/12. Recent max lows were -11.14 on 11/17, -11.85 on 10/15, -8.90 on 8/8 and -7.57 on 6/6. It previously peaked at +14.63 on 2/20, +15.61 on 10/25 and +12.92 on 8/11 and that after peaking at +18.40 (7/2) beating it's previous peak of +16.86 (5/31), the highest in a year. It previously peaked at +9.80 (9/21) after falling to it's lowest point in a year at +1.06 (6/9). The 90 day average peaked at +15.75 (2/23/21 - clearly indicative of La Nina then). This index is a lagging indicator but suggests that the Active Phase occurring now is starting to drive the index down, hopefully with no upward trend in sight for at least a year.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
The PDO theoretically turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and was positive till Dec 2019, but has been negative ever since, driven by recent La Nina conditions. In May-July 2021 it was the most negative its been in the -1.80 to -2.04 range since Sept 2012 (-2.99) and then fell to -3.16 in Oct 2021 (the lowest since July 1933) then settled at -2.72 in Nov and Dec 2021. Looking at the long term record, it seems likely we are still in the Cool Phase of the PDO (La Nina 'like') with no signs of moving to the positive/warm phase (El Nino 'like').

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 

Powerlines Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest
Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for this week. See it Here
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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing:

Mavericks & Stormsurf on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel

Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:

Time Zone Converter By popular demand we've built and easy to use time convert that transposes GMT time to whatever time zone you are located. It's ion left hand column on every page on the site near the link to the swell calculator.

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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