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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Monday, November 27, 2023 6:53 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
2.1 - California & 2.2 - 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 11/27 thru Sun 12/3
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   

Swell #2 Fading in CA
Multiple Smaller Gales Forecast Over the Next Week

Monday, November 27, 2023 :

  • Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt): Seas were 3.8 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 2.6 ft @ 13.4 secs from 294 degrees. Water temp 79.0 (Barbers Pt), 78.6 (Pearl Harbor 233), NA (Lani 239).
  • Buoy 187 (Pauwela): Seas were 7.2 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 4.9 ft @ 13.8 secs from 325 degrees. Water temp 78.8 degs
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea)/Buoy 202 (Hanalei): Seas were 6.5 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 4.0 ft @ 13.1 secs from 334 degrees. Water temp 78.6 degs
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.0 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 2.5 ft @ 15.2 secs from 309 degrees. Wind east at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 63.5 degs, 61.0 (Harvest 071), 63.5 (Topanga 103), 63.3 (Long Beach 215), 63.9 (Oceanside Offshore 045), 62.4 (Del Mar 153), 63.5 (Torrey Pines Outer 100). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 6.1 ft @ 16.1 secs from 297 degrees. At E. Santa Barbara (46053) swell was 3.4 ft @ 15.4 secs from 270 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.5 ft @ 16.1 secs from 264 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.8 ft @ 15.6 secs from 246 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 3.5 ft @ 16.1 secs from 279 degrees. Water temperature was 62.4 degrees (Imperial Beach).
  • Buoy 029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 6.5 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 5.3 ft @ 15.5 secs from 289 degrees. Wind east at 10-12 kts (46026) and southeast at 7-9 kts (1801589). Water temp NA (Bodega Bay 46013), 58.1 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 57.0 (San Francisco 46026), 56.3 (SF Bar 142), 60.1 (1801589) and 58.6 (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 Monday (11/27) in North and Central CA waves were 2-3 ft overhead and super lined up and clean with east winds and good form at reef breaks. Protected breaks were head high to 1 ft overhead and super lined up and closed out but clean. At Santa Cruz surf was 1 ft overhead on the sets and lined up and super clean with good form but softer. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist high and lined up with reeling lined but soft and textured from hard offshore winds early. almost textured from northwest wind and soft and inconsistent. Central Orange County had sets at 1 ft overhead and super lined up with decent form at select breaks with calm winds early. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at waist to chest high and lined up and clean but soft. North San Diego had sets at shoulder to near head high and lined up and clean but soft. Oahu's North Shore had waves at 2-3 ft overhead at top spots and lined up and clean with good form. The South Shore had some thigh high sets and lined up but soft and textured from trades. The East Shore was getting wrap around swell with waves waist high and chopped from moderate trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Monday (11/27) swell was still hitting Hawaii and California from a storm that developed while tracking east over the Dateline Tues-Thurs (11/23) producing up to 46-48 ft seas aimed midway between Hawaii and CA. Another gale is to develop off Kamchatka tracking east Wed-Thurs (11/30) with 42 ft seas aimed east barely making it to the dateline. Perhaps a small system to develop in the Northern Gulf on Fri (12/1) with 32 ft seas over a tiny area aimed southeast. And a small system is to develop on the North Dateline region Sat-Sun (12/3) producing up to 29 ft seas aimed southeast. And yet maybe another to develop in the Eastern Gulf Mon-Tues (12/5) producing 33 ft seas aimed east. The El Nino base state is continuing to be productive.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Monday (11/27) the jet was fairly consolidated pushing northeast off Japan with winds 140-150 kts ridging up and over the dateline then heavily splitting there with a weak flow east of there with one branch tracking east up into Central Canada and the southern branch tracking east over Baja. There was some support for gale development off the Kurils though no troughs were evident. Over the next 72 hours the jet in the west is to consolidate Tues (11/28) with winds 160 kts forming a trough off the North Kuril Islands reaching almost to the dateline early Thurs (11/30 offering support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours the dateline trough is to fade out but the jet is to remain consolidated and solid pushing east over the North Dateline region into the Northern Gulf just south of the Eastern Aleutians with winds 170 kts in one pocket Fri (12/1) then forming a trough over the Northwestern Gulf Sat-Sun (12/3) being fed by 190 kt winds offering support for gale development just east of the dateline. The trough is to push east to the Central Gulf on Mon (12/4) but the expanse of the winds are to fade though still 180 kts in one pocket. More support for gale development possible.

Surface Analysis
On Monday (11/27) swell from a storm previously over the Dateline was fading in Hawaii and California (see Dateline Storm #2 below).

Over the next 72 hours another broad but diffuse system is to be building while pushing off the Kuril Islands on Wed AM (11/29) with 40-45 kt west winds and seas 28 ft at 44.25 152.25E aimed east. In the evening fetch is to push east at 45-50 kts over a broader area half way to the dateline with seas 41 ft at 49.5N 168.25E aimed east. Thurs AM (11/30) fetch continues from the west at 45+ kts just south of the Central Aleutians with seas 42 ft at 49.5N 176.5E aimed east. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 35 kts over a broadish area on the North Dateline with seas 36 ft at 50.75N 178E aimed east. The gale to fade out from there. Maybe some longer period swell to result for Hawaii and the US West Coast.


Dateline Storm #2
On Mon PM (11/20) a gale was developing half way between Japan and the dateline producing 40-45 kt northwest winds and seas building from 24 ft at 42N 167E aimed east. On Tues AM (11/21) the gale built to storm status positioned just west of the dateline with 55 kt northwest winds with seas building from 35 ft at 43.5N 174.5E aimed southeast. In the evening northwest winds were 55 kts on the dateline with seas 48 ft at 45.5N 180W aimed southeast. The storm stalled on the dateline Wed AM (11/22) with 45 kt northwest winds over a decent sized area over the Dateline with seas 43 ft at 44.5N 172.5W aimed southeast. In the evening fetch held position with 45 kts northwest winds over the far Western Gulf and fading in coverage with seas 38 ft at 47N 170.5W aimed east. On Thurs AM (11/23) fetch is to be fading from 40 kts still stationary on the dateline/Northwestern Gulf from the northwest with seas 31 ft at 45N 170.5W aimed east. In the evening northwestern fetch is to be fading from 35 kts and still stationary on the dateline with seas 27 ft at 45N 170.5W aimed southeast. The gale is to quickly dissipate from there. Swell is heading towards Hawaii and California.

Oahu: Residuals on Mon (11/27) fading from 4.5 ft @ 13 secs early (5.5 ft). Swell Direction: 320-325 degrees

North CA: Swell fading Mon (11/27) from 5.4 ft @ 15 secs (8.0 ft). Residuals on Tues (11/28) fading from 3.1 ft @ 13-14 secs early (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 298-300 degrees

Southern CA: Swell fading Mon (11/27) from 2.3 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft). Residuals on Tues (11/28) fading from 1.6 ft @ 14 secs early (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 301-303 degrees


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


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest were being tracked.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Tues AM (11/28) weak low pressure is to be off the North CA coast with southeast winds 5-10 kts for North CA and southeast 5-10 kts for Central CA early. In the afternoon the low approaches with south winds 10-15 kts for North CA and south winds 10 kts for Central CA. Rain developing late for the coast of North CA.
  • Wed AM (11/29) the low falls southeast off San Francisco with southeast winds forecast at 15 kts for North CA and southwest 5-10 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon northeast winds are forecast at 10 kts for North and north-northeast 5 kts for Central CA. The low is to be dissolving over Central CA. Rain developing for North and Central CA along the coast then fading late afternoon. Maybe some showers for Southern CA in the afternoon.
  • Thurs Am (11/30) high pressure arrives with northwest winds 15 kts for North and Central CA early. in the afternoon northwest winds build to 15-20 kts for both North and Central CA. Rain for Cape Mendocino in the afternoon building south to Pt Reyes in the evening. Light snow for Tahoe late.
  • Fri AM (12/1) northwest winds continue at 20 kts for North CA and 25 kts for Central CA early. In the afternoon high pressure is to be off Central CA with northwest winds 15+ kts for North CA but 20-25 kts for Central CA. Light rain for Cape Mendocino early with snow for mainly Tahoe down to maybe Yosemite and clearing quickly. A strong front and rain develops for Cape Mendocino in the evening.
  • Sat AM (12/2) northwest winds are forecast at 15 kts for North and Central CA early. In the afternoon winds die for North CA northwest at 5 kts but still 15 kts south of Monterey Bay. Rain for North CA down to Pigeon Point early clearing by noon. Snow for the Sierra in the AM.
  • Sun AM (12/3) light winds continue for most of North and Central CA early but northwest 15 kts south of Monterey Bay and south 20 kts for North Cape Mendocino. In the afternoon no real change is forecast. Rain developing for Cape Mendocino early building only down to Pt Arena and holding.
  • Mon AM (12/4). More of the same early but with south winds 20+ kts for Cape Mendocino but calm from Pt Arena south to Monterey Bay and northwest 15 kts south of there. No change in the afternoon. No precip forecast.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth are projected at 5, 6, 8, and 1 inches respectively all on Nov 30-Dec 1.

Freeze Level for Tahoe Ski Resorts: Freeze Level falling to 6,200 ft late 11/29 dropping to 3,500 ft 12/1 then starting to rise 12/3 building to 12,000 ft 12/5.

- - -

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 a small gale is to develop in the Northern Gulf Thurs PM (11/40) producing 35 kts west winds with seas building. On Fri AM (12/1) west winds to be 45 kts over a tiny area aimed east with seas 32 ft over a tiny area at 53N 149.25W aimed east. Fetch fading in the evening from 35 kts from the northwest just off Central Canada with seas 27 ft at 51.5N 139.5W aimed east. Something to monitor.

And another small gale is forecast just off the North Kuril Islands on Fri PM (12/1) producing 40 kt northwest winds and seas building from 24 ft at 49N 172E aimed southeast. On Sat AM (12/2) 40 kts northwest winds are to be over the North Dateline region with 29 ft seas at 49N 177.75E aimed east. In the evening fetch is to be falling southeast with winds 35 kts and seas 26 ft at 47.25N 177W aimed southeast. Fetch fading Sun AM (12/3) from 30 kts with seas 24 ft at 47N 172.25W aimed southeast. Something to monitor.

And yet another gale is forecast developing in the Central Gulf Mon PM (12/4) with 45 kt northwest winds ands seas building to 30 ft at 40.25N 146.75W aimed southeast. The gale is to build from there.


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 (11/26) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the East equatorial Pacific and moderate east over the Central Pacific and light west over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and neutral over the Central Pacific and moderate 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): (11/27) East anomalies were modest over most of the KWGA today but with light west anomalies from the dateline and over the rest of the equatorial Pacific east to Ecuador. The forecast indicates east anomalies are hold lightly over the KWGA till 12/5 then west anomalies return 12/6 building in strength and coverage reaching strong status filling the KWGA 12/8 through the end of the model run on 12/12. East anomalies are to dissipate in the Indian Ocean on 11/29 (Indian Ocean Dipole).

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (11/26 The Inactive Phase of the MJO (dry air/cloud free skies) was modest over the KWGA today. The statistic model indicates the Inactive MJO (dry air/cloud free skies) is to be all but gone on day 5 of the model run turning neutral and holding on days 10 and 15. The dynamic model depicts the same thing.
Phase Diagrams - 2 week forecast (CA and GEFS): (11/27) The statistical model depicts the Active signal was modest over the Central Indian Ocean today. The forecast indicates it is to move to Maritime Continent 15 days out and very weak. The dynamic model indicates the Active signal tracking east over the West Pacific 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): (11/27) A weak Active MJO pattern (wet air) was indicated trying to develop over the KWGA. The forecast has a weak Active signal (wet air) pushing through the KWGA into 12/12. Then another Inactive (dry air) pattern sets up moving east over the KWGA 12/22 filling the KWGA through the last day of the model run on 1/6.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (11/26)
Today the Inactive Phase of the MJO was peaking over the KWGA with east anomalies filling 80% of the KWGA with west anomalies from 170R and points east of there. East anomalies and the Inactive MJO are forecast tracking east over the KWGA through 12/5 then fading. West anomalies and the Active Phase of the MJO are to return to the KWGA 12/4 and filling the KWGA 12/6 and holding through the end of model run on 12/24 getting strong on the dateline. Of note: Moderate east anomalies started building over the Indian Ocean on 9/2 holding at strong status 11/15 then moderating starting 11/21. They are forecast to get weak 11/29-12/6 as the ACtive Phase passes over that area then return at strong 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):
(11/27) - 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 Active Phase was all but gone over the KWGA and with weak east anomalies developing over the KWGA. The forecast has the Active Phase fading on 11/28 with the Inactive Phase and east anomalies continuing over the KWGA into 12/5. But west anomalies and the Active Phase are to start building in the KWGA on 12/6 filling the KWGA through 12/30. After that a weak Inactive Phase develops 12/20 in the far west KWGA then filling it through 1/15 with east anomalies over the Western half of the KWGA and west anomalies over the western half. A mixed alternating pattern is to continue through the end of the model run on 2/24 but with west anomalies holding from the dateline and points east of there with east anomalies taking over the bulk of the KWGA 12/29. 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 while weakening. 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 fourth contour line is to dissipate on 2/1. 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: (11/27) Today in the far West Pacific the leading edge of the 30 deg isotherm was steady at 163W (previously 169W). The 29 degree isotherm was steady at 150W (previously 152W). The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 130W (previously 145W). The 24 degree isotherm extended the whole way across the Pacific and deeper 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 173E associated with newly developing Kelvin Wave #7 with a building core of up to +4 degs anomalies centered at 162W pushing east in a continuous stream (at +4 degs) feeding into Kelvin Wave #6 and other previous Kelvin Waves that have formed a broad pocket of +5 degs anomalies over the East Pacific starting from 140W (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 3.5 months of warm water backed up off the Ecuadorian Coast with a stream of warm water backfilling into it. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 11/19 indicates a large very warm stream of +1-2 degs anomalies extending west to east starting at 158E 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 120W 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: (11/19) Sea heights were positive across the equatorial Pacific starting at 170E (previously 165E) at +0-5 cms extending east into Ecuador. +5-10 cm anomalies were in the east from 170E east to 90W 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 (11/19) warm water is building at +0.5 degs from 170E to Ecuador with a pocket of +1.00-1.50 deg anomalies between 175E to 110W and building. 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: (11/26) 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 are developing/reappearing from Ecuador west out to 120W (previously 115W) though they had evaporated while being buffeted by east anomalies near the Galapagos. The warm pool is looking solid and consistent from Ecuador to the dateline and 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 (11/26): A small thin stream of warming water was on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos out to 100W. 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: (11/26) Warmer than normal waters are filling the Equatorial Pacific from Ecuador to the dateline and building in intensity while extending north up to Mexico and south to Chile. 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: (11/27) (The official OISST temp record runs about +0.2 degrees higher). Today's temps are rising again now at +1.715 after falling to +1.0630 (11/20) 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:
(11/27) (OISST runs about +0.2 degrees higher). Today's temps were down at +1.519 after being up to +1.717 (11/22) 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 are up to +2.1 and were up at +1.9 (the highest so far the previous week) after being +1.8 degs (2 weeks running), and +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.

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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 , +1.95 in Nov.
Forecast (11/27) - Temps to are to fade to +1.75 degs into early Dec, then rising to +1.80 degs in mid- Jan and solidly in strong El Nino territory before starting a steady fade thereafter. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps are forecast falling to +1.60 degs in mid-Dec and holding at +1.60 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 November 20, 2023 Plume (all models) depicts temps are +1.897 degs today and it's the 8th month above the La Nina threshold. Temps to rise steadily from here forward up to +1.839 degrees in December (that's a 3 months running mean) then fading from there. The dynamic model suggest temps peaking at +2.014 in Nov/Dec/Jan and are forecast at +2.016 in Dec/Jan/Feb before falling while the statistic models show +1.647 Nov/Dec/Jan and +1.462 degrees Dec/Jan/Feb before falling. The dynamic models are running a bit hotter than the statistic models and are likely more accurate. 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 (11/27) the Daily Index was rising at +8.01 and has been positive the last 3 days. It was negative the previous 5 days after being neutral 3 days previous but was negative 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 -8.12 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 -10.00 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

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

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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