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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Saturday, July 13, 2019 12:36 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
3.8 - California & 3.2 - Hawaii
Using the 'Summer' 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 7/15 thru Sun 7/21

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   

New Zealand Swell Poised for CA
Final One Behind

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Saturday, July 13, 2019 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/ Buoy 239 (Lanai) Seas were 3.9 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 2.1 ft @ 11.0 secs from 175 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.3 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 2.3 ft @ 12.5 secs from 321 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.1 ft @ 6.2 secs with swell 2.4 ft @ 6.4 secs from 268 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southeast at 8-10 kts. Water temperature 64.0 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 6.0 ft @ 8.1 secs from 309 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.2 ft @ 6.4 secs from 265 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 0.8 ft @ 20.2 secs from 218 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 0.8 ft @ 20.1 secs from 196 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 8.2 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 6.3 ft @ 7.5 secs from 319 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 18-25 kts. Water temp 50.5 degs (013) and 55.0 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).
Summer
- 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).
Summer
- 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.
Summer
- up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.

Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
Current Conditions
On Saturday (7/13) in North and Central CA locally generated northwest windswell was producing waves at chest high or so and weak and warbled and nearly chopped from local northwest wind with a low fog deck. Protected breaks were chest high and warbled and soft and mushy and foggy. At Santa Cruz surf was waist high on the sets and clean but soft and weak looking more like clean windswell than anything. In Southern California/Ventura windswell was producing waves at waist high and crumbled and soft with light fog and calm wind. In North Orange Co southern hemi swell was present producing set waves at chest to shoulder high but with south lump in the water making for warbled conditions. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were getting what appeared to be northwest windswell with waves waist to maybe chest high and clean and weak and very soft. North San Diego had surf at waist high on the sets and peaky and weak and soft with no winds and fog off the surface. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was small and rideable with waves chest high on the sets and clean but inconsistent. The East Shore was knee high and nearly chopped from modest east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Saturday (7/13) in California no swell of interest was hitting other than locally generated northwest windswell. But the buoys were indicating the very first signs of a new building southern hemi swell from New Zealand. In Hawaii lingering swell from a gale that developed southeast of New Zealand was still hitting. That gale formed southeast of New Zealand Thurs-Fri (7/5) with up to 37 ft seas aimed northeast then redeveloped over the Central and Southeast Pacific Sat-Sun (7/7) generating up to 36 ft seas aimed east. Swell from it is just starting to show at the buoys in CA. And yet another gale developed Sun-Mon (7/8) with up to 38 ft seas aimed northeast and that swell is poised to hit Hawaii and then eventually CA. These are the last 2 swell in what has been a good run of southern hemi swell. Unfortunately no swell producing weather systems are projected for at least then next 7 days.

See all the details below...

 

SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast other than local windswell (see below).

Windswell Outlook
On Saturday (7/13) high pressure was weakly building off Central CA producing north winds at 15-20 kts from Pt Arena south to Pt Conception producing junky windswell for mainly from Pt Reyes southward down into Central CA. For Hawaii east winds were 15 kts mainly targeting the Big Island offering some very limited windswell production there. On Sun (7/14) north winds are to be fading at 15-20 kts mainly from Pt Arena south to Monterey Bay offering limited short period windswell production potential down into Central CA. Trades are to hold at 15 kts targeting only the Big Island offering weak windswell potential there. Monday (7/15) the gradient is to remain generally weak for California producing north winds at 15-20 kts from Pt Reyes south to Pt Conception making for gutless short period windswell focused on Central CA. Relative to Hawaii trades are to be building northward at 15 kts in pockets from the east extending from California to a point 500 nmiles east of Hawaii offering some improvement for windswell generation potential for all east facing shores later in the day. On Tues (7/16) in California north winds are to be building at 20-25 kts for all of North and Central CA offering improved potential for windswell production. Trades for Hawaii to build in coverage at 15 kts extending from California to Hawaii offering good odds for windswell production.

 

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical weather systems of interest are being monitored at this time.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Saturday (7/13) north winds were 15-20 kts for all of North and Central CA making for a pretty warbled mess. Sun (7/14) the gradient is to be smaller early with north winds still 15-20 kts from Pt Arena south to Pt Conception making for a bumpy mess at exposed breaks. Monday (7/15) north winds to be 20 kts for all of North and Central CA again making for messy conditions. On Tues (7/16) north winds to be 20-25 kts over all of North and Central CA holding through the day again making for messy conditions. On Wed (7/17) north winds to be 25-30 kts limited to North CA with a weak eddy flow (south winds) possible over Central CA offering improving conditions there. On Thurs (7/18) north winds to be 25 kts limited only to Cape Mendocino with an eddy flow established over Central CA. Friday (7/19) north winds to be 20 kts limited to Cape Mendocino with the eddy flow (south wind) holding for all of Central CA and up to Pt Arena. Sat (7/20) the eddy flow is to collapse with north winds 15 kts building south to Pt Conception and up to 20 kts over North Ca with messy conditions again returning.

Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts).

 

South Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Saturday (7/13) a weak trough was in-place over the Southeast Pacific being fed by up to 120 kt south winds offering some little support for gale formation there. But in the west a weak ridge was pushing south under New Zealand with winds 90 kts actively suppressing gale production there. Over the next 72 hours starting Sunday (7/14) more of the same is expected with the ridge holding under New Zealand with the trough in the Southeast Pacific but with both moving east incrementally into Tues (7/16). And if anything a new a trough is to be building under the Tasman Sea possibly offering some hope long term. Beyond 72 hours starting Wednesday (7/17) more of the same is forecast with the trough holding over the Tasman Sea with the big ridge squashing south just southeast of New Zealand and then tracking east from there down at 70S and effectively over Antarctica effectively filling the South Pacific and actively suppressing gale development and that pattern is to hold into Sat (7/20).

Surface Analysis  
A small gale developed under New Zealand and tracked east rebuilding in the Southeast Pacific (see Another New Zealand Gale below). And yet one more gale developed while tracking up the east coast of New Zealand (see Final New Zealand Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.

 

Another New Zealand Gale
Yet another gale developed south of New Zealand on Thurs AM (7/4) producing 45-50 kt southwest winds and seas building from 33 ft just off the northern edge of the Ross Ice Shelf at 61S 176.5E. In the evening the gale lifting northeast with 45 kt southwest winds and seas building to 37 ft at 60.5S 1705W (207 degs SCal and not shadowed, 206 degs NCal and shadowed by Tahiti). The gale raced east on Fri AM (7/5) with 40 kts west winds producing 32 ft seas at 56S 164 aimed east-northeast (203 degs SCal and not shadowed, 202 degs NCal and shadowed). In the evening fetch rebuilt with 45 kt west winds aimed east and seas fading to 31 ft at 55S 162W aimed east-northeast (204 degs SCal and not shadowed, 202 degs NCal and just barely shadowed). This gale significantly rebuilt Sat AM (7/6) with 40-45 kt southwest winds and seas building to 34 ft at 51S 147.58W aimed northeast (197 degs SCal and not shadowed,196 degs NCal and unshadowed by Tahiti). In the evening the gale pushed east with 35 kts southwest winds over a large area with 40-45 kts southwest winds embedded in it with seas 37 ft at 51S 130.5W aimed east-northeast (187 degs SCal, 185 degs NCal). Fetch is to fade from 30-35 kts Sun AM (7/7) with seas fading from 34 ft at 50S 120W and no longer of interest (182 degs SCal, 179 degs NCal). Possible swell radiating northeast over a broad area.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (7/11) building to 1.4 ft @ 20 secs later (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell building some through the day on Fri (7/12) reaching 2.1 ft @ 17 secs early afternoon (3.5 ft). Swell fading on Sat (7/13) dropping from 2.0 ft @ 15-16 secs early (3.0 ft). Residuals on Sun (7/14) fading from 1.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 187 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (7/12) evening pushing 1.3 ft @ 21-22 secs late (2.5 ft). Swell building on Sat (7/13) to 2.9 ft @ 19 secs at sunset (5.5 ft with sets to 7.0 ft). Swell to hold on Sun (7/14) at 3.1 ft @ 17-18 secs (5.0-5.5 ft with sets to 6.5 ft). Swell fading some on Mon (7/15) from 2.6 ft @ 16 secs early (4.0 ft with sets to 5.0 ft). Swell fading Tues (7/16) from 2.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0 ft) and being overridden by new swell. Swell Direction: 187-207 degrees, focused on 197 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (7/12) at sunset with period 22+ secs but not rideable. Swell building on Sat (7/13) to 2.2 ft @ 20 secs at sunset (4.5 ft with sets to 5.5 ft). Swell to hold on Sun (7/14) at 2.5 ft @ 18 secs early (4.5 ft with sets to 5.5 ft). Swell fading on Mon (7/15) from 2.3 ft @ 16-17 secs (4.0 ft with sets to 5.0 ft). Tues (7/16) swell fading from 1.8 ft @ 15 secs (2.5) ft and being overridden by new swell. Swell Direction: 185-202 degrees focused on 196 degrees

 

Final New Zealand Gale
Yet another gale developed south of New Zealand on Sat AM (7/6) with 40-45 kt southwest winds and seas building from 33 ft at 59.5S 173.5E aimed east. This was just a primer gale serving only to rough up the oceans surface there. In the evening a new broad fetch of 40+ kt south-southwest winds built south of New Zealand with seas building quickly from 34 ft at 53S 166E aimed northeast (218 degs SCal and unshadowed by Tahiti, 217 degs NCal and unshadowed by Tahiti). The gale tracked northeast fast on Sun AM (7/7) with 40-45 kt southwest winds over a solid area and seas 38 ft at 50S 173.5E aimed northeast (218 degs SCal, 217 degs NCal). The gale continued lifting northeast in the evening with 40-45 kts southwest winds and seas 36 ft at 48S 179W aimed northeast (214 degs SCal and 213 degs NCal). The gale started pushing east and fading on Mon AM (7/8) with 40 kt west winds and seas 36 ft at 47.5S 166W aimed east-northeast (207 degs SCal and unshadowed, 204 degs NCal and shadowed). The gale is to fade from there in the evening with seas dropping from 32 ft at 47.5 154.5W. This system dissipated from there.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Sat (7/13) building to 2.9 ft @ 19 secs late (5.0-5.5 ft). Swell holding on Sun (7/14) at 3.1 ft @ 17 secs early (5.0 ft). Swell fading on Mon (7/15) from 3.0 ft @ 15 secs (4.5 ft with sets to 5.5 ft). Swell fading Tues (7/16) from 2.3 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Residuals on Wed (7/17) fading from 1.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 194 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon (7/15) building to 1.5 ft @ 19-20 secs (3.0 ft). Swell building on Tues (7/16) to 2.3 ft @ 17-18 secs (4.0 ft with sets to 5.0 ft). Swell continues on Wed (7/17) at 2.6 ft @ 16-17 secs (4.0-4.5 ft with sets to 5.5 ft). Swell fading on Thurs (7/18) from 2.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Residuals on Fri (7/19) fading from 1.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 214-218 degrees

North CA: Swell arrival expected on Mon (7/15) to 1.6 ft @ 20 secs (3.0 ft). Swell building on Tues (7/16) to 2.6 ft @ 17-18 secs (4.5 ft with sets to 6.0 ft). Swell continues on Wed (7/17) at 2.6 ft @ 16-17 secs (4.0-4.5 ft with sets to 5.5 ft). Swell fading on Thurs (7/18) from 2.1 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Residuals on Fri (7/19) fading from 1.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 213-217 degrees

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

 

QuikCAST's

 

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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.

Windswell Outlook
On Wed (7/17) high pressure at 1028 mbs is to be building 1000 nmiles north of Hawaii ridging east generating the usual pressure gradient along the North and Central CA coast producing north winds at 25-30 kts for North CA early and almost an eddy flow for Central CA offering decent odds for windswell production down into Central CA. For Hawaii trades to be solid at 15-20 kts up to 1600 nmiles east of all the Hawaiian Islands offering good potential for windswell along exposed east facing shores of all the Islands. On Thursday (7/18) north winds to be 25 kts limited to North CA waters and fading fast down to 20 kts later offering only limited windswell production for North and Central CA. For Hawaii trades to continue solid at 15-20 kts up to 1500 nmiles east of all Islands offering continued potential for windswell production along east facing shores. On Friday (7/19) north winds are to be at 20 kts but displaced off the North and Central CA coast fading to 15+ kts later offering only weak potential for generating windswell while and eddy flow holds nearshore for Central CA. For Hawaii east trades to remain solid at 15-20 kts but shallower extending only 750 nmiles east of the Islands still offering windswell production potential for all exposed east shores. On Saturday (7/20) a weak gradient is to hold for North CA with north winds 15-20 kts extending south to Monterey Bay and building to Pt Conception later offering decent odds for weak short period north windswell production at exposed breaks. For Hawaii trades to hold at 15 kts extending 600 or so nmiles to the east offering weak odds for windswell production for exposed eastern shores.

South Pacific

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

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

Westerly Wind Burst in Progress - Equatorial Temps Continue Falling

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 did not stop, 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 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 warm water was fading and the outlook did not favor El Nino come Fall.

LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Summer 2019 = 5.5 (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 weak borderline El Nino condition continue, and assuming a weak ocean-atmospheric coupling holds and ocean temperature anomalies in Nino3.4 hold in the +0.8 deg range, there is good probability for slightly enhanced storm production in the South Pacific during the Northern Hemisphere Summer time months. There is 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 Summer seasons.

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 (7/12) 5 day average winds were solidly from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific fading some over the Central Pacific and turning fully westerly at moderate strength over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific turning light westerly over the Central Pacific and building to strong westerly over the KWGA, at Westerly Wind Burst strength. Interesting.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (7/13) solid west anomalies were in the core of the KWGA. The forecast is for those west anomalies are to quickly fade turning light on 7/15 with weak west anomalies holding after that mostly filling the KWGA through the end of the model run on 7/18. A small area of weak east anomalies are to be building in the far Western KWGA starting on 7/16 building in coverage some at the end of the model run on 7/20. There is to be slowly fading support for storm development over the next 7 days.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (7/12) A weak Inactive MJO pattern was indicated over the far West KWGA today. The statistic model indicates this Inactive MJO pattern is to weaken 5 days out then all but gone at day 10, and non-existent at day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model suggests the same pattern initially with a Inactive Phase fading substantially in the West Pacific at day 5, then rebuilding to moderate strength at day 10 and and filling the KWGA at day 15. The 2 models are starting to diverge.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (7/13) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase exceedingly weak over Africa and it is forecast to remain that way while tracking east over the next 2 weeks to the East Indian Ocean. The GEFS model suggests the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (7/13) This model depicts a mixed neutral MJO-less pattern over the Pacific today. A very weak Active MJO signal is to develop in the West Pacific 7/23 moving to the mid Pacific at the end of the model run.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (7/12) This model depicts a weak Active MJO signal over the Dateline today with a concentrated area of modest west anomalies in the core of the KWGA with weaker west anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast has weak to modest west anomalies holding mainly on the dateline through the end of the model run on 8/9 but with weak east anomalies developing in the far West Pacific 7/19 reaching east to 150E and slowly retrograding west and gone in the KWGA at the end of the model run. There remains some support for gale development given the west anomaly pattern on the dateline.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (7/13) This model depicts a weak Active Phase fading over the KWGA with weak west anomalies mainly over the dateline and points east of there. The Active Phase and modest westerly anomalies are to hold over the dateline and east of there through 7/17 then fading out, with the Inactive Phase developing on 7/18 but with west anomalies holding on the dateline. The Inactive Phase is to hold through 8/22 with east anomalies reaching east to 150E peaking 8/2 but weak west anomalies holding on the dateline. After that an Active Phase is forecast moving over the KWGA on 8/23 holding through 9/29 with modest west anomalies filling the entirety of the KWGA. An Inactive MJO is to be moving into the KWGA at the end of the model run on 10/1-10/10 with west anomalies holding in the KWGA. The low pass filter continues to indicate a low pressure bias with 1 contour lines in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to California. This single remaining contour line is to hold till 8/29 then dissipating and migrating west to the Indian Ocean at the same time and holding through the end of the model run while building in coverage. This model indicates that a weak El Nino pattern is to fade in late August and not return, moving towards the Indian Ocean, symptomatic of La Nina. Basically we are moving from a pattern biased towards El Nino to one biased towards ENSO neutral if not La Nina.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (7/13) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs over a steady area reaching east to 175W while the 29 deg isotherm was steady at 162W today. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 150W. The 24 deg isotherm previously pushed into Ecuador at 30 meters down, retrograded to 105W, then again pushed into Ecuador down 20 meters on 6/25 but retrograded again on 7/11 and holding today at 107W. Anomaly wise, gentle warm anomalies are filling the entire subsurface Pacific at +1 degs from the surface to 150 meters down (deepest on the dateline). A pocket of +2 deg anomalies were developing under the dateline today. And +2 degs anomalies were in another pocket in the far East Pacific pushing into Ecuador. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 7/7 indicates warm water from Kelvin Waves #4 have formed a small pocket of warm water under the Central equatorial Pacific from 160E to 120W at +1.0 degs above normal, and shrinking in coverage and shallow reaching down only 90 meters. A small pocket of cool water was drawing up from depth to the surface in the east at 100W. And cool water was filling the depths just under the remainder of the warm water pocket in the Central Pacific. A previous stream of warm water flowing into the far West Pacific from the Maritime Continent was gone. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (7/7) A small pocket of positive anomalies were building over the dateline at +5 cms reaching east to 160W. Otherwise no positive anomalies are indicated over the equatorial Pacific with neutral anomalies over the bulk of the equator and a small area of negative anomalies at -5 cms was over the Galapagos.

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: (7/12) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate warm anomalies are rebuilding weakly off Peru and Central America west to 120W from 10S and point northward to Mexico. Stronger warm anomalies were steady from 140W and points west of there to the dateline from 20S to 20N. But cooler water was still present nearshore along Peru and Chile and has been present for the past 2 weeks. There is no longer any real indication of El Nino.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (7/12): A neutral trend was indicated everywhere except strong pockets of cooling strung from Ecuador west to 140W interspersed with a few tiny pockets of warming water. A solid stream of cool water previously streaming west off Africa on the equator is gone now with warming temps indicated. In general the trend towards a cooler pattern in the equatorial Pacific is dominating.
Hi-res Overview: (7/12) Warmer than normal water was from Ecuador west over the Galapagos 20 degrees north of the equator and 10 degrees south of it continuing west of there to the dateline. But there is an area of developing cooling along and just off the Peruvian Coast and in pockets around the Galapagos west on the equator to 135W. And warm temps south of the equator from Peru west to 140W were quickly fading to nearly neutral. El Nino appears to be in retreat.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (7/13) Today's temps were steady today up to -0.763, up from -1.016 degs on 7/9, and that was the lowest since April 14. Otherwise the trend has had temps at -0.500 degs since early June, and that down from a peak of +1.235 on 5/27.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(7/13) Today temps were rising slightly at +0.043 today. The trend has been downward since early June.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (7/13) The model indicates a cooling trend setting up with temps falling from +0.50 degs in mid-June falling steadily to 0.0 degs in mid-July and forecast down to -0.50 degs Sept 1 holding through Sec. temps to be rising in Jan reaching 0.0 degs by late March 1 and +0.10 April 1.. A weak La Nina pattern is to set up.
IRI Consensus Plume: The June 2019 Plume depicts temps are at +0.60 degs in June, and are to hold in the +0.70 range into November, then fading slightly to +0.65 in February 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) (7/13): The daily index was negative today at -19.82, mostly negative the last 28 days. The 30 day average was falling at -13.01. The 90 day average was steady at -8.33, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern biased towards El Nino (for now).
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (April) +0.34, March +1.0, Feb +1.29, Jan +0.193. It is approaching El Nino territory but still indicted mostly ENSO neutral conditions.
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 -0.43, 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 

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


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Local Interest

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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing: https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/climate-change-good-surfing-other-sports-not-so-much-ncna1017131

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http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/surfs-up-for-mavericks-invitational-in-calif/

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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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