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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Sunday, December 29, 2019 4:29 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
4.5 - California & 4.0 - Hawaii
Using the 'Winter' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

Probability for presence of largest swells in near-shore waters of NCal, SCal or Hawaii.    

Issued for Week of Monday 12/30 thru Sun 1/5

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   

Strong Storm #2 Tracks Over Dateline
Weak Weather Pattern to Follow

On Sunday, December 29, 2019 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Barbers Point (Buoy 238) : Seas were 3.3 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 1.3 ft @ 17.3 secs from 237 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 6.4 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 3.3 ft @ 11.7 secs from 332 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.4 ft @ 12.8 secs with swell 1.2 ft @ 12.1 secs from 257 degrees. Wind at the buoy was east at 12-14 kts. Water temperature 60.3 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 4.1 ft @ 12.4 secs from 303 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.1 ft @ 12.9 secs from 257 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 0.9 ft @ 11.7 secs from 263 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) this buoy was not operating.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 6.5 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 4.4 ft @ 12.3 secs from 304 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was west at 6-10 kts. Water temp 54.1 degs (013), 55.9 degs (012) and 56.5 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 Sunday (12/29) in North and Central CA waves from residual Gulf windswell were head high and soft and pretty warbled from weak onshore wind. Protected breaks were up to chest high and a little bit warbled and weak but reasonably clean early. At Santa Cruz surf was chest high on the occasional sets and clean and soft. In Southern California/Ventura waves were occasionally waist high and lined up and soft and weak but clean with a light offshore flow. In North Orange Co surf was thigh high and mushy and clean. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were maybe knee high and clean. North San Diego had waves at knee to thigh high on the occasional sets and clean with light offshore wind early. Hawaii's North Shore was far better than the buoys would indicate with waves 2 ft overhead at top spots and lined up and clean with steady offshore winds. The South Shore was getting rare sets at thigh to waist high and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell with waves waist to chest high or so and chopped from moderate east-southeast winds.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Sunday (12/29) in California residual Gulf windswell was producing waves at chest to head high at exposed breaks. Hawaii was getting the same residual swell. A small gale developed in the far northwestern Gulf on Fri (1028) tracking east producing up to 34 ft seas in the Central Gulf on Sat (12/28) producing small swell that is radiating mainly east. But of most interest is strong Storm #2 that developed well off South Japan on Fri-Sat (12/28) producing up to 59 ft seas just west of the dateline and crossed the dateline early Sun (12/29) with 53 ft seas and is forecast to fade through the day Mon (12/30). Large long period swell to result radiating mainly east. Something to look forward too. A bit of a break is to follow with a brief gale developing in the Northern Gulf on Wed (1/1) producing 31 ft seas aimed east. And maybe a cutoff low to develop north-northeast of Hawaii Thurs-Fri (1/3) producing 23 ft seas targeting Hawaii well.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Sunday (12/29) the jetstream was fully consolidated pushing east off Japan with winds 190 kts falling into a broad trough centered just west of the dateline offering great support for storm development. from there the jet lifted northeast reaching up to the northern Gulf with winds still 150 kts then fell into a developing trough along the US West coast reaching south to Central CA offering odds for weather development there. In all a very consolidated an strong jetstream flow was in effect. Over the next 72 hours the dateline trough is to ease east reaching a point just west of the dateline late Tues (12/31) and collapsing no longer supporting gale development. And the trough off the US West Coast is to move onshore late Sunday (12/29) except for a small portion of it falling steadily south forming a backdoor trough pushing down to and over the southern tip of Baja late Wed (1/1) before fading out. On Wed (1/1) the jet is to remain consolidated with winds at 120-130 kts pushing east off Japan tracking to the dateline trough then ridging northeast slightly and building to 170 kts off the Pacific Northwest and starting to push onshore there likely producing weather there. The core of the jet is to continue pushing into the Pacific Northwest into Sat (1/4) likely setting up a wet weather pattern there. And back to the west on Sat (1/4) the jet is to remain consolidated pushing off Japan forming a weak trough just off the coast being fed by 150 kts winds offering weak support for gale development there. but east of the the jet is to split starting on the dateline and not reconsolidating until it reaches a point off the Pacific Northwest forming the wet pattern previously mentioned there. By Sun (1/5) there's some sense that the jet is to continue losing coherence with the split becoming more pronounced over the core of the North Pacific and that split moving east into the US West Coast. No support for gale development is suggested.

Surface Analysis
On Sunday (12/29) the weak residuals of swell that developed from a gale previously in the Northern Gulf was all but gone in California and Hawaii and no longer of interest. A small gale tracked through the Central Gulf Fri-Sat (12/28) producing swell radiating towards the US West Coast (see Small Gulf Gale below). Of far more interest is large Storm #2 tracking through the Central North Pacific (see Storm #2 below).


Small Gulf Gale
A small gale formed Fri AM (12/27) over the Northwestern Gulf producing a small area of 45 kt west winds and seas 30 ft at 48N 168W aimed east. Fetch built in coverage in the evening at 35-40 kts with seas 30 ft at 46N 167W aimed east. The gale eased east on Sat AM (12/28) producing 35-40 kt west winds and seas to 36 ft over a small area at 47N 158.5W aimed east. The gale was fading fast in the evening with 35 kt west winds and seas 30 ft at 47N 150W aimed east. The gale dissipated from there. Small swell to result.

North California: Expect swell arrival on Mon (12/30) building to 6.7 ft @ 16 secs mid-day (10.5 ft) mixed with a fair amount of local northwesterly windswell and shadowed in the SF Bay Area. Swell fading on Tues AM (12/31) with combined windswell and ground swell dropping from 9.0 ft @ 15 secs early (10.5 ft). Swell Direction: 300 degrees


Storm #2
A storm started building just off Japan on Fri AM (12/27) with 55-60 kt northwest winds and seas building fast from 26 ft at 35N 150E aimed east. In the evening 55-60 kt northwest winds were tracking east mid-way to the dateline with 49 ft seas building at 36.5N 160.5E aimed east. On Sat AM (12/28) a broad area of 55 kt northwest and west winds were approaching the dateline with 58 ft seas at 36N 170E aimed east. In the evening the storm moved over the dateline with 45-50 kt west winds over a huge area aimed east and seas 57 ft at 38.5N 177.5E aimed east. The storm faded to gale status and stalled some over the dateline Sun AM (12/29) with 40-45 kt west winds still over a large area and seas fading from 48 ft at 39.5W 178W aimed east. The gale is to be fading in the evening with 35-40 kt west winds covering the dateline region and seas fading from 41 ft at 39.5N 174.5W aimed east. The gale is to dissipate Mon AM (12/30) with 30 kt west winds lifting northeast and seas fading from 33 ft at 41.5N 169.5W aimed east. Large, long period swell is in the water pushing east.

Hawaii (Oahu): Expect swell arrival on Mon (12/30) at 2 AM local time with period 25 secs and size tiny but building. By 8 AM period is to drop to 22 secs with size building to 7.6 ft @ 22 secs (16.5 ft). Swell is to start peaking at 5 PM with pure swell 11.2 ft @ 20 secs (22.4 ft Hawaiian) and holding till 3 AM Tues (12/31). Swell fading at sunrise Tuesday from 9.8 ft @ 18-19 secs (18 ft Hawaiian) dropping to 8.4 ft @ 17 secs at sunset (14 ft Hawaiian). Swell dropping Wed AM (1/1) from 6.7 ft @ 16 secs (10.5 ft Hawaiian). Swell fading Thurs AM (1/2) from 5.2 ft @ 14 secs (7 ft Hawaiian). Swell Direction: 307-314 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues PM (12/31) at sunset with period 25 secs and size tiny, building through the evening. Swell to be building through the day Wed (1/1) peaking at 9.2 ft @ 20 secs late (18.5 ft) and holding till the early morning hours. Swell starting to fade at sunrise Thurs (1/2) from 10.8 ft @ 17-18 secs (18.5 ft). Swell fading Fri AM (1/3) from 8.4 ft @ 15 secs (12.5 ft). Residuals fading on Sat AM (1/4) from 4.2 ft @ 14 sec (5.5 ft). Swell Direction: 290-291 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues 10 PM (12/31) with period 25 secs and size tiny, building through the evening. Swell to be building through the day Wed (1/1) pushing 3 7 ft @ 21 secs late (7.5 ft) and then peaking starting at 11 PM. Swell holding at peak size at sunrise Thurs (1/2) at 4.9 ft @ 19 secs (9.0 ft) holding till mid-afternoon. Swell fading Fri AM (1/3) from 4.1 ft @ 16-17 secs (6.5 ft). Residuals fading on Sat AM (1/4) from 2.7 ft @ 14 sec (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 293-294 degrees


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


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Sunday (12/29) local low pressure is to be moving onshore over North CA with high pressure off CA producing south winds 10 kts early turning north at 10-15 kts later. Light rain for Cape Mendocino mid-Am reaching south to morro Bay later. Light snow for Tahoe overnight. On Mon (12/30) high pressure is to build over out waters with north winds 20-25 kts off the coast of North and Central CA early but 10 kts nearshore holding through the day. Rain forecast for Central and South CA early falling south and fading in SCal later. light snow for the Central Sierra early. On Tues (12/31) north winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for Cape Mendocino and 10 kts south of there to Pt Conception continuing through the day.No precip forecast. On Wed AM (1/1) northwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for North and Central CA early building to 15 kts for North CA later and 15-20 kts for Central CA. Light rain for Cape Mendocino mid-AM and holding through the day. On Thurs (1/2) high pressure and north winds are to be in control with north winds 20 kts for Pt Arena southward to Pt Conception holding all day. On Fri (1/3) high pressure is to fade while moving onshore with a light wind pattern in control for North and Central CA. More of the same is forecast on Sat (1/4) but with north winds 5-10 kts early for North and Central CA building to 10-15 kts later. Light rain for Cape Mendocino later. Sun (1/5) north to northeast winds are forecast at 20 kts early for all of North and Central CA as high pressure builds into the Pacific Northwest. No precip forecast.

Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 2, 1, 1 and 0.7 inches respectively.

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


South Pacific

Surface Analysis
No swell producing fetch is occurring.

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.


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




Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a small gale is forecast developing in the Northern Gulf on Wed AM (1/1) producing west winds at 40-45 kts with seas building from 28 ft at 53N 153W aimed east. In the evening west winds are to hold at 35-40 kts from the west with 29 ft seas at 54N 150W. On Thurs AM (1/2) the gale is to be fading with west winds dropping from 35-40 kts with seas fading from 23 ft at 53N 145W. Low odds of small sideband swell radiating southeast.

On Thurs AM (1/2) AM a cutoff gale is to form 800 nmiles north of Hawaii producing 30-35 kts north winds producing a small area of 25 ft seas at 37N 158W aimed south. In the evening the gale is to fall south with 35 kt north winds producing 23 ft seas 900 nmiles north of Oahu aimed south. The gale is to continue on Friday (1/3) but tracking east with little fetch left aimed at the Islands. Possible small north windswell to result for the state of Hawaii.


South Pacific

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



MJO/ENSO Forecast


Active Phase and West Anomalies Fading in KWGA

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

Overview: A double dip La Nina was in control through the Winter of 2017-2018. But warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018 associated with two upwelling Kelvin Waves, and continued trying to build over equatorial waters over the Summer and Fall, but not enough to declare El Nino and not coupled with the atmosphere. In January 2019, those warm waters were fading, but then rebuilt late in Feb associated with Kelvin Wave (#3). But as of early June 2019 warm water was fading and by August a tongue of cool water was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos reaching to a point nearly south of Hawaii. El Nino was dead.

Fall/Winter 2019/2020 = 5.0/4.0 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)

Rationale: It is assumed the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that a weak borderline El Nino from 2018 is fading out, but not yet completely gone, especially in the atmosphere. Likewise it looks like a La Nina ocean temperature pattern is developing in the equatorial East Pacific, with cooler than normal waters tracking west on the equator. We assumed El Nino like momentum will hold for a while in the atmosphere will take a while to sense that the ocean temperature pattern has changed. But once it does, a turn towards a La Nina like atmospheric pattern will start to develop. that transition is expected in the late Nov-early Dec timeframe. Even so, moderation from the PDO might prevent La Nina from fully developing. Given all that, there is decent probability for a normal start to the Fall surf season (in the Northern Hemisphere) meaning a normal amount of number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in a normal levels of swell, with normal duration and normal period. But by mid-Dec 2019, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start fading and as a result, swell production should fade slightly as well. This pattern is expected to hold through April 2020.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (12/28) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing to the dateline then turning hard and strong from the west over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the far East equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific and dateline then turning hard west filling the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (12/29) moderate west anomalies were filling the KWGA today. The forecast calls for west anomalies holding through 12/31, then moving east to the dateline with east anomalies building in from the west reaching east to 170E holding till the end of the model run on 1/5.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (12/28) A modest Active MJO signal was over the KWGA centered over the dateline. The statistic model indicates the Active Phase is to very slowly ease east but still with a portion covered in the dateline at day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model indicates the same thing initially but with the Active Phase fading at day 10 to neutral fading out at day 15 with a new stronger Active Phase back-building over the Maritime Continent reaching half way into the KWGA.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (12/29) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the West Pacific today and is hold there for the next 15 days and getting steadily weaker. The GEFS model suggests the Active Phase is to race east and reappear weakly over the Maritime Continent pushing towards the West Pacific at day 15.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (12/29) This model depicts a modest Active MJO over the Central and East Pacific today with a moderate inactive Phase building in the far West Pacific. The Active Phase is to push east and over Central America on 1/13. A moderate Inactive MJO signal is forecast setting up over the West Pacific on 1/3 pushing to the East Pacific and Central America on 2/2. A weak Active Phase is to start setting up over the far west KWGA on 1/23 pushing to the Central Pacific at the end of the model run on 2/7.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (12/28) This model depicts a solid Active Phase over the KWGA with strong west anomalies filling the KWGA today. The Active Phase is to push east and out of the KWGA on 1/4 but with west anomalies holding in the KWGA through the end of the model run on 1/25 even while the Inactive Phase is to develop pushing east through the KWGA 1/6-1/20. Regardless west anomalies are to prevail. Nice.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (12/29) This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO was very weak over the KWGA but with moderate plus strength west anomalies over the KWGA. Westerly wind anomalies are to hold in some weak capacity into 1/22 as the Inactive Phase pushes east and fades out. A modest version of the Active Phase is to develop tracking east through the KWGA 1/18 holding through 3/10 with weak to modest west anomalies holding through that period. A weak Inactive phase is to set up 3/6 through the end of the model run on 3/27 but with weak west anomalies holding in that window. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias with 2 contour lines in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to the California coast. The second contour line is to hold till 3/19, then collapse. A high pressure bias built in the Indian Ocean starting 10/22 and is to hold through the end of the model run. A strong area of east anomalies in the Indian Ocean is forecast to significantly weaken by 2/22 and is to fade from there to almost nothing by 3/2. At no point is it to move into the KWGA.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (12/29) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm was retrograding falling back to 170E while the 29 deg isotherm was retrograding from 172W to 174W today. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 163W today. The 24 deg isotherm was again pushing into Ecuador after backtracking to 115W previously. Anomaly wise, gentle warm anomalies are filling the entire Pacific with a pocket at 2-3 degs tracking from the Maritime Continent moving east with it's leading edge at 145W indicative of new Kevin Wave #6 pushing east. Kelvin Wave #5 has now fully pushed into Ecuador now. Warm water was filling the entire equatorial subsurface Pacific from 110 meters upwards. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 12/24 indicates warm water had formed a Kelvin Wave extending from 120E under the Dateline east to 135W at +2-3 degrees with lesser warm water pushing east from there then rebuilding to +2-4 degrees and impacting Ecuador. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (12/24) A pocket of +5 cms anomalies is tracking east between 160E-135W. Negative anomalies were gone along Peru and being replaced by very weak positive anomalies in pockets.

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: (12/28) The latest images ( 1.2 3.4) indicate weak warm anomalies were building from Chile along Peru up to Ecuador then streaming west on the equator over the Galapagos out to the dateline. Weak cool anomalies were south of the equator off Peru reaching no further north than 10S reaching west to 110W. Weak warm anomalies were on and north of the equator building while tracking west to the dateline.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (12/28): Today a building area of warming was filling the entire area from Chile and Peru steaming west out to 100W and also off Ecuador on the equator out to 140W. A few pockets of cooling were interspersed along the equator from Ecuador to 140W and fading. The short term trend is now towards warming in the Southeast Pacific. This is a step in the right direction.
Hi-res Overview: (12/28) A weak fading area of cool anomalies is trying to hold on south of the equator off Peru reaching out to 120W but further south than weeks past. Otherwise gentle warming was along Chile up to Peru lifting north up to Ecuador then pushing west on the equator, out to the dateline. Warmer than normal water was north of the equator from the remnants of El Nino, but mostly gone south of the equator. Water temps appear to be stable mildly favoring El Nino.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (12/29) Today's temps were steady at -0.232 after bottoming out down at -0.900 on 12/12. Temps peaked prior at +1.55 degrees on 12/2 after a long runup from negative anomalies in October. It now appears we are in a falling trend.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(12/29) Temps were holding steady today at +0.120. Temps peaked on 11/14 at +0.509 degs, fell some to -0.018 on 11/28, and are now trying to rebuild. The trend has been steadily generally upwards since Sept when they bottomed out at -0.6 degs (9/14).

Click for Full Sized Image Click for Full Sized Image

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

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (12/29) Actual's indicate a cooling trend set up late summer with temps -0.2 degs in mid-Sept then then trend started rising to +0.25 degs in early Oct holding to Dec 1. The forecast has temps rising to +0.7 degrees on Jan 1 holding till Feb 1 then slowly falling from there to 0.0 on June 15 then diving negative appearing to be moving to La Nina down at -0.7 in early Sept. According to this model a neutral sea surface temperature pattern biased slightly warm is forecast for the Winter and Spring, then possibly turning towards La Nina in the Summer.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Oct 2019 Plume depicts temps are at +0.25 degs, and are to hold in the +0.25 deg range into May 2020, then fading slightly to +0.15 in June 2020. See chart here - link.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad) (12/29): The daily index was negative today at -0.94 and has been negative the last 18 days. The 30 day average was negative and falling at -6.83. The 90 day average was falling at -7.22, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was developing.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): Nov +1.03, Oct +0.33 Sept +1.13, August +0.64, July +0.75, June -0.32, May +1.10, April +0.30, March +1.0, Feb +1.29, Jan +0.193. This index has been steadily positive but still indicates mostly ENSO neutral conditions (not El Nino).

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
Per NOAAs index recent values: June 2017 +0.21, July -0.50, Aug -0.62, Sept -0.25, Oct -0.61, Nov -0.45, Dec -0.13, Jan 2018 +0.29, Feb -0.19, Mar -0.61, April -0.89, May -0.69, June -0.85, July -0.09, Aug -0.43, Sept -0.46, Oct -0.75, Nov -0.78, Dec -0.12, Jan -0.23, Feb -0.55 This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO, even with La Nina, because the warm PDO appears to be dampening the effects of La Nina. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): June 2017 +0.79, July +0.10, Aug +0.09, Sept +0.32, Oct +0.05, Nov +0.15, Dec +0.50, Jan +0.70. Feb +0.37, Mar -0.05, April +0.11, May +0.11, June -0.04, July +0.11, Aug +0.18, Sept +0.09. No real negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data strongly suggests that could be a possibility. By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 


External Reference Material: El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), Kelvin Wave

Powerlinessurf Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest

Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for the week starting Sunday (12/29):
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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing:

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.

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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