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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Saturday, November 24, 2018 5:39 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
4.1 - California & 4.2 - 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 11/26 thru Sun 12/2

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   

Storm #1 Over Dateline
More Weather Scheduled for CA

On Saturday, November 24, 2018 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 3.1 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 1.4 ft @ 14.8 secs from 185 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 2.5 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 1.7 ft @ 7.9 secs from 46 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 6.5 ft @ 6.2 secs with swell 2.9 ft @ 11.6 secs from 252 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 16-20 kts. Water temperature 65.7 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 5.5 ft @ 6.3 secs from 276 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 4.7 ft @ 6.5 secs from 274 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 3.1 ft @ 6.7 secs from 276 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.8 ft @ 12.2 secs from 281 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 10.3 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 8.6 ft @ 10.6 secs from 292 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 14-18 kts. Water temp 59.2 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 Saturday (11/24) in North and Central CA local westerly windswell was hitting producing waves at head high or so at top breaks and lightly white capped early and raw and jumbled. Protected breaks were chest to head high and cleaner but still warbled and soft. At Santa Cruz surf was flat and clean and swamped by tide. In Southern California/Ventura surf was thigh to waist high and heavily textured and warbled and weak and looking like whitecaps were just a few minutes away. In North Orange Co north windswell was producing waves at waist to chest high and warbled and soft and a mess but rideable. South Orange Country's best breaks were waist to chest high and warbled and soft but lined up. In North San Diego surf was waist to chest high and warbled and soft and like everywhere else. Hawaii's North Shore was flat as a lake and clean. The South Shore was thigh high and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell with waves waist high and heavily textured from modest east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Saturday (11/24) local windswell was hitting California making for rideable but unremarkable and gutless surf. Hawaii was getting no swell whatsoever. An interesting pattern is in control now with a gale having already pushed off Kamchatka on Wed-Fri (11/23) with seas to 37 ft aimed east making it to the dateline then dissipating. A stronger system developed off Japan Fri-Sat (11/24) with 49 ft seas pushing over the dateline now aimed east and then forecast fading in the Western Gulf on Sun (11/25) with seas dropping from 42 ft Sat PM to 30 ft Mon AM (11/26). Solid swell to result. And a small system is to follow just off California Wed-Thurs (11/29) with 23 ft seas impacting the coast followed by another in the Northern Gulf on Fri (11/30) with with 30 ft falling southeast. And possibly another system behind that on Sat (12/1) off Kamchatka. So there's finally something to monitor. The Active Phase of the MJO is having the desired effect for a little while.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Saturday AM (11/24) the jet was consolidated over and just off Japan with winds building to 210 kts over the dateline pushing in the the far Western Gulf forming a broad trough with the trough filling the bulk of the Central North Pacific and easing into the Gulf of Alaska offering good support for gale development. East of there starting 900 nmiles off California the jet was split offering nothing to support gale development. Over the next 72 hours starting Sun AM (11/25) winds in the jet are to be fading from 190 kts over the dateline pushing east into the Western Gulf and well consolidated from Japan to about 140W with a broad trough over the dateline and into the Western Gulf offering great support for gale development. The trough is to slowly weaken and push east over the Western and Central Gulf on Tues (11/27) with winds still 160 kts continuing to offer support for gale development, but with the jet split just off Japan with the split point reaching to the dateline. Beyond 72 hours more wind energy is to be building over Japan starting Wed (11/28) with winds there to 150 kts and the split moving over the dateline, then reconsolidated in the Central Gulf with winds 140 kts there and pushing consolidated into North CA offering great support for gale development in the Gulf and another round of precipitation into the northern half of California. Fall is dramatically arriving aided by the onset of the Active Phase of the MJO.

Surface Analysis
On Saturday (11/24) windswell was hitting California (see QuikCASTs). A small gale pushed off Kamchatka producing minor swell (see Kamchatka Gale below). Of far more interest was a strong storm tracking over the dateline (see Dateline Storm #1 below).

Over the next 72 hours the main focus is to continue to be the Dateline Storm (see below). No other swell producing weather systems are forecast.


Kamchatka Gale
A gale developed just off Kamchatka on Wed AM (11/21) producing 40-45 kt northwest winds starting to get traction on the oceans surface. In the evening northwest winds built briefly to 55 kts over a tiny sliver with seas to 36 ft at 48.5N 165E tracking east. On Thurs AM (11/22) fetch was pushing east-southeast at 40 kts with seas building to 35 ft at 47.5N 169E aimed southeast. In the evening fetch was fading from 35 kts from the west approaching the North Dateline region with seas 32 ft at 46N 175E aimed east. The gale dissipated Fri AM (11/22) with winds below 30 kts from the west and seas fading from 28 ft at 45N 176W. Some degree of northwest swell is to be pushing towards Hawaii and the US West Coast but it will be easily be overtaken by what is developing behind it.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Sun (11/25) building to 4.8 ft @ 16-17 secs late (8.0 ft). Swell to be overtaken after that. Swell Direction: 320 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon (11/26) building to 2.8 ft @ 17-18 secs late (4.6 ft) and likely buried in windswell. Swell masked after that. Swell Direction: 300 degrees


Dateline Storm #1
On Fri AM (11/23) a new gale started building just off North Japan with west winds 45 kts over a solid area aimed east and seas building from 37 ft at 43,5N 166E and pretty far south aided by a strong jetstream flow aloft. In the evening winds were 50 kts from the west and seas building from 44 ft at 41N 171E. The Jason-2 satellite passed over the storm west quadrant at 2Z and confirmed seas at 37.4 ft with one reading to 42 ft where the model projected seas at 38 ft. The model was on track. On Sat AM (11/24) the storm was over the dateline with west winds 45-50 kts and seas 49 ft at 40N 179E aimed east over a decent sized area targeting Hawaii and the US West Coast. In the evening west winds are to start fading from 35-40 kts over a large area filling the Western Gulf with seas 42 ft at 38.5N 173.5W pushing east and aimed southeast at Hawaii and California. On Sun AM (11/25) the gale is to be fading with northwest winds 35 kts over a large area aimed east and seas 36 ft over a large area aimed east at 37.5N 166.5W. The gale is to fade some in the evening with 35 kt west winds still over a solid area aimed east and seas 34 ft over a large area aimed east at 38N 161W. On Mon AM (11/26) fetch is to fade from 30-35 kts from the west in the Central Gulf with seas fading from 32 ft at 39N 152.5W aimed east targeting only the US West Coast. The gale is to fade in the evening with west winds 30-35 kts lifting north in the Northern Gulf with seas fading from 28 ft at 40N 145W or 900 nmiles west of North CA. Possible large swell to result.

Hawaii/Oahu: Rough data suggests swell arrival on Mon AM (11/26) at sunrise with period 20 secs and large and building to 12.7 ft @ 18-19 secs mid-AM (23.5 ft Hawaiian). Swell fading some overnight and dropping on Tues AM (11/27) to 10.1 ft @ 16 secs (16 ft). Swell Direction: 317-319 degs peak energy but up to 335 degrees later


  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 Saturday AM (11/24) weak high pressure at 1024 mbs was well off Southern CA with light north winds for North and Central CA (10 kts) but building over all of CA to 15 kts later. No real rain forecast. Sunday (11/25) weak high pressure is to be holding well off the Southern CA coast with a broad low pressure system filling the Gulf of Alaska pushing east with north winds 15 kts for the southern half of Central CA and holding but light from Monterey Bay northward all day. Monday (11/26) high pressure is to barely be hanging on with north winds 5 kts over all of North CA and 10 kts for Central CA mainly from Morro Bay to Pt Conception. South winds building over Cape Mendocino late as a front approaches. Tuesday (11/27) things begin to deteriorate as high pressure weakens and falls south with light winds for Central CA but south winds 15 kts for Pt Reyes northward with the front fading out and falling south dropping to Monterey Bay late with south winds 15 kts there. Heavy rain developing for North CA early pushing south and weakening but with rain still reaching south to Big Sur late afternoon. Snow for higher elevation of the Sierra later. Wed (11/28) low pressure is to be building well off Central CA early reaching gale status mid-afternoon centered just off North CA with light winds at sunrise but building from the south at 5 kts from Pt Conception up to Monterey Bay and 15 kts from Pt Reyes northward by 10 AM and south at 20 kts nearshore at sunset from Big Sur northward. Light rain for extreme North CA early building south to Pt Conception and solid late afternoon. Heavy snow developing for the Sierra in the evening. Thurs AM (11/29) the low is to be just off Cape Mendocino with south winds 20 kts from Pt Conception northward turning northwest 20 kts late afternoon as the low moves inland. Rain for the entire state all day. Heavy snow for the Sierra all day. Fri AM (11/30) another gale is to be approaching from the northwest with high pressure locally and north winds 10 kts for NCal and 15+ kts for Central and South CA. South winds building for Bodega Bay northward at sunset. Snow fading for the Sierra early. Rain developing for all of NCal later afternoon into the evening. Snow for Tahoe later. On Sat (12/1) the low is to be moving over the Pacific Northwest with high pressure behind and north winds 15 kts for all of North and Central CA and building to 20 kts later. Rain fading early for the coast except Pt Arena and north of there, holding all day. Snow fading to snow showers early for the Central and North Sierra. Possible 50 inches of snow accumulation for North Lake Tahoe and 43 inches for Mammoth if one is to believe the models.


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 things are to settle down comparatively. But there is still to be activity.

Starting Wed AM (11/28) another fetch of 30 kt northwest winds is to develop in the Southern Gulf producing 19 ft seas at 35N 145W targeting Southern California well. In the evening that fetch is to track east still at 30 kts covering a decent sized area associated with low pressure hugging the North CA Coast with seas to 20 ft at 35N 135W aimed east. The gale is to build Thurs AM (11/29) with 30-35 kt northwest winds and the low stationary over North CA with 23 ft seas at 37N 129W or just west of Monterey Bay. The low is to move inland over NCal in the evening. A messy local weather pattern is expected for North and Central CA.

Another gale is to start developing over the Northern Dateline Tues PM (11/27) pushing east. By Thurs AM (11/29) it is to be in the Central Gulf producing 45 kt northwest winds over a small area with seas building from 22 ft at 47N 151W aimed southeast. In the evening 45 kt northwest winds are to be aimed southeast with 30 ft seas at 47N 145W targeting Oregon down to Pt Conception. On Fri AM (11/30) the gale is to be falling southeast just off Southern Oregon with 40 kt northwest winds and seas 30 ft at 44N 139W aimed at Southern Oregon down into Central CA. The gale is to push east and fade off Southern Oregon in the evening. Something to monitor.

And possibly another small gale is to form off the Northern Kurils/Kamchatka on Sat (12/1) with 39 ft seas aimed east.


South Pacific

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


MJO/ENSO Forecast


SST Temps Steady - ESPI Dead Neutral

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 = 6.0 (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: Assuming the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that El Nino does not develop as strong as previously forecast, and assuming and an ocean-atmospheric coupling becomes weakly established in the Jan timeframe and ocean temperature anomalies in Nino3.4 build to the +0.6 deg range, there is good probability for slightly enhanced storm production in the North Pacific starting in the late Nov timeframe (specifically the Gulf of Alaska and Dateline regions) with slightly increased intensity in number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in slightly increased odds for larger than normal swell, with increased duration and higher than normal period. This should be significantly better than the past 2 winter seasons.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (11/20) 5 day average winds were solid from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific to the dateline, then calm turning to west winds just west of the dateline and west over the bulk of the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East and Central equatorial Pacific, then turning to modest westerly anomalies from 170E and points west of there over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (11/24) modest west anomalies were filling the KWGA. The forecast has the same general pattern holding for the next week but with strong west anomalies starting to build on the dateline 11/29 and points east of the holding through the end of the model run (11/31).

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (11/23) The Active Phase of the MJO was modestly in control of the West Pacific. The statistical model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO is to ease east and be fading at day 5 then gone at day 10 with a weak Inactive Phase moving over the West Pacific, and than moving to the dateline at day 15. The dynamic model indicates the same thing but with the Inactive Phase building to a near strong state at day 15 in the far West Pacific.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (11/24) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was weak over the West Pacific. It is to build to modest strength in 1 day tracking east through the Pacific through day 7 then quickly racing east and back in the Indian Ocean at day 14. The GEFS model depicts a variation on the same theme. The 2 models are generally in sync.
40 day Upper Level Model: (11/24) This model depicted a modest Active signal over the Central Pacific tracking east. The Active Phase is to continue tracking east over the East Pacific and into Central America on 12/9. After that a moderate Inactive Phase is to set up over the West Pacific on 12/6 and is to track to the East Pacific and over Central America on 12/26. A moderate Active Phase of the MJO is to build in the West Pacific 12/22 tracking east to the dateline at the end of the model run on 1/3/19.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (11/23) This model depicts modest west anomalies were over the KWGA and is forecast to track east and out of the KWGA on 11/29, but building very strong filling the East Pacific 11/28-12/5.Back to the west east anomalies are to start building in the bulk of the KWGA 12/1 and holding through 12/21.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (11/24) This model depicts weak weak west anomalies were in the core of the KWGA today with a modest Active Phase of the MJO there. The Active Phase of the MJO is to hold with modest west anomalies and the Active Phase of the MJO slowly fading into 12/3. After that the Inactive Phase of the MJO is to develop in the KWGA 12/4 -12/21 with weak east anomalies in the KWGA reaching east to 170E and neutral anomalies east of there. The Active Phase is to rebuild 12/25 holding through 2/4 with west winds anomalies building, to WWB status 1/15-2/3. After that a weak Inactive MJO signal is forecast through the end of the model run on 2/21 with west anomalies holding in the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias is fully in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east over California and forecast holding through 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. If anything, the third contour line is to fade from 12/25-1/27, then reappear. It now appears El Nino development is becoming less certain per this model. The atmosphere and ocean are trying to 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. And this model is not suggesting they will not become coupled with the MJO coming back to life and steady west anomalies fading. 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: (11/24) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs solid but retreating west slightly from 180W to 179E. The 28 deg isotherm line had retrograded west to 160W a few weeks back, then moved east to 154W 11/6, and today was stable at 154W. The 24 deg isotherm was 125 meters deep at 140W then getting progressively shallower east of there but now pushing into Ecuador. Anomaly wise warm anomalies are filling the entire subsurface Pacific but with temps far weaker in the West Pacific than weeks and months past. Kelvin Wave (#2) starts at 180W at +2-3 degs and is building to +4.0 degs centered at 100W down 90 meters then pushing into the coast of Ecuador. But temps are certainly weakening in the far West Pacific, down to +2.0 degs from 175E and points west of there and covering a thinning area. So it seems this Kelvin Wave is fading. The peak of the Kelvin Wave cycle for this supposed El Nino has already occurred, but upwelling from it is still to be ongoing for a few more weeks. but after that, no more Kelvin Waves seem apparent. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 11/19 paints the same picture with the Kelvin Wave #2 starting in the Central Pacific near 140W but with warm water reaching west to 160E, and temps peaking at +5.0 degs at 95W-110W and then pushing into Ecuador but weaker. A small pocket of negative anomalies previously in the far West Pacific just east of the Maritime Continent have vanished. 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: (11/19) Positive anomalies were solid from north of New Guinea over the Dateline and into the East Pacific and Ecuador at +5 cms. There were no longer any pockets of +10 cms. Kelvin Wave (#2) was peaking south of California and pushing quickly east but not dissipating. It was branching north to Baja and south to Southern Peru along the coasts there, 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: (11/23) 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. These temps are no longer cooling, and if anything are warming slightly but mainly just stable. There is a thin stream of warming along the coast of Chile unbroken up into Peru and Ecuador reaching north to Central America, 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 at best in the East equatorial Pacific as it has been for weeks.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (11/23): No real pockets of cooling were present over the equator. Instead broad pockets of generic warming were indicated along the equator and along the coast of Chile and Peru. Overall a steady pattern is indicated.
Hi-res Overview: (11/23) Warm water was 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 but with no strong 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 El Nino pattern just looking at the surface temps. But that would be a false conclusion based on what is going on sub-surface (fading Kelvin Wave scenario). And given the time of year, the warm signal on the surface should be much stronger if El Nino were truly developing. We are in ENSO neutral and likely only going to move to a minimal warm regime, likely not reaching full El Nino status this winter.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (11/24) Today's temps were rising significantly to +1.364 and beating the peak of temps in this region on 9/25 at +1.316. Temps have been on a steady upward trend since falling down to -0.628 on 10/22. A warming trend seems apparent here.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(11/24) Today temps were holding at +0.582, and steady in this range since 11/12. The all time high for this event was +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 +0.5 to +0.7 degs above normal adding suggesting some sort of minimally weak 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 (11/23) The model indicates temps at +0.8 degs in mid-Nov (which isn't even close to reality) then rising some and toggling from +0.90 to +1.20 degs from Dec into July 2019, then steady at +1.0 degs into Aug 2019. If one is to believe the model then one would assume that El Nino is to build through the Fall of 2018. But given all the data we've seen, we believe odds of even a weak El Nino developing are fading. Most models are suggesting a turn to weak El Nino conditions by late Fall. It's not certain we're there yet.
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) (11/24): The daily index was steady today at 4.01. The 30 day average was rising some at 0.14 suggesting an Inactive MJO was fading and turning neutral but not moving towards the Active Phase. The 90 day average was steady at -2.09, unchanged the past 2 weeks and 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. Unfortunately we have made no progress from there towards a negative El Nino pattern.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (11/24) Today the index was stable at 0.00, 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 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

Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for the week starting Sunday (11/25):
For automatic notification of forecast updates, subscribe to the Stormsurf001 YouTube channel - just click the 'Subscribe' button below the video.

Powerline Productions New Movie Preimer - Next Level - Friday (11/9) at 7 PM. Details here:

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Stormsurf and Mavericks on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel

Mavericks Invitational 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.

Read all the latest news and happenings on our News Page here

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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