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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 7:42 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
Swell Potential Rating = 2.5 - California & 2.5 - 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 8/11 thru Sun 8/17

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   

Small Southern Hemi Swell for HI and CA
Moderately Better Pattern Shaping Up Under New Zealand

Next Update: Sun 8/17

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.

 

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
Current Conditions
On Tuesday
(8/12) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing surf in the thigh to maybe waist high range with southerly warble on it but clean at protected breaks. Down in Santa Cruz surf was thigh to waist high on the sets and warbled, with small whitecaps outside the kelp. In Southern California up north surf was flat with texture if not light chop building out of the north. Down south waves were waist high or so on the sets and warbled if not lightly chopped. Hawaii's North Shore was getting nice tropical swell with waves head high and a bit textured but not too bad. The South Shore was getting Tasman Sea swell with waves waist to chest high and clean. On the East Shore trade wind generated windswell was chest high and chopped.     

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

Meteorological Overview
Swell producing fetch for the North Pacific was limited to residual swell from Julio for the North and East Shores of the Hawaiian Islands. A gale was still circulating in the Northwestern Gulf of Alaska producing 25 kt northwest winds and windswell. Small south angled swell was still hitting Southern CA from a gale in the Southeast Pacific a week ago, but on it's way down. And swell is hitting Hawaii and bound for California from a small storm that tracked under Southern New Zealand with 52 ft seas barely in the CA swell window, then faded 12 hrs later with 40 ft seas targeting California and Hawaii. The model continue teasing about a gale developing under New Zealand on Wed-Thurs (8/14) with a small area of up to 40 ft seas aimed well northeast.  3 more pulses to follow in the same area too, but only with 30 ft seas each and all aimed flat east. At least there's hope. 

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

North Pacific

Overview 
Surface Analysis  - On Tuesday (8/12) a far more placid pattern was in control as compared to the previous week. Swell was still arriving in Hawaii from Julio (detail below in Tropics section). Otherwise trades were blowing at 15 kts east of the Islands, but not quite reaching the Islands. Only minimal easterly windswell was resulting along east facing shores. Relative to California no summer time pressure gradient was in play, with no real north local short period windswell resulting. But low pressure was over the Eastern Aleutians, having migrated from the Central Aleutians on Mon (8/11) originally generating generating up to 35 kt west winds and now down to 20-25 kt northwest winds producing limited windswell targeting mainly the Pacific Northwest down into Central CA. No other swell producing fetch of interest was in play.

Over the next 72 hours no pressure gradient induced local north windswell is forecast for the US West Coast. Julio is to stall 600 nmiles north of Oahu likely resulting in small swell for the Islands and the US West Coast, but nothing dramatic. And the GFS model suggests yet more tropical development is to occur east of Hawaii. 

 

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

Tropical Update
As of Tues (8/12):
Tropical Storm Julio was 450 nmiles north of Maui slowly plodding northwest with winds 60 kts and seas 22 ft.  Julio is to continue on this track into Wednesday (8/13) with winds down to 55 kts, then turning northeast and accelerating with winds dropping to 35 kts by Saturday night (8/16). Limited swell production is expected relative to Hawaii and even less so for the US West Coast.  Still some small background swell from 260-266 degrees is possible relative to North CA. (see QuikCASTs for details)

California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday AM (8/12) high pressure was retrograded from the coast with a weak wind flow pattern in play. No change is forecast until Thurs (8/14) when the high eases east some generating 15 kt north winds over Cape Mendocino maybe pushing barely 20 kts on Friday then back to 15 kts on Saturday. Those winds to start reaching south some into Central CA on Sun-Mon then reconsolidating to the north over Cape Mendocino on Tues (8/19) at barely 20 kts. In all a light northerly flow to eventually result for Central CA.  Southern CA to remain in a weak eddy flow pattern. 

South Pacific

Overview
Jetstream - On Tuesday (8/12) a zonal flow (flat west to east winds) was in control of the bulk of the southern branch of the jetstream with winds very weak. A weak ridge was pushing into Antarctica just southeast of New Zealand while a new batch of wind energy at 150 kts was building south of Tasmania pushing northeast, suggestive of a newly developing trough. No support for gale development was indicated at this time though. Over the next 72 hours the ridge is to take over the South Central Pacific while the trough under Tasmania builds east reaching well up into and east of New Zealand on Wed (8/13) powered by 130 kts winds holding into late Thursday before getting cut off. Decent support for gale development is suggested. Beyond 72 hours the ridge is to hold in the Central Pacific while a zonal flow sets up under New Zealand starting Sat (8/16) aligned on the 61S latitude continuing into Tues (8/19) then lifting north some with winds again 130 kts, suggesting a new trough might be setting up again under New Zealand. Limited support for gale development under New Zealand during the zonal flow, perhaps improving a week out when and if a new trough start developing. 

Surface Analysis - On Tuesday (8/12) swell from a small gale that developed in the far Southeast Pacific was fading in Southern CA. Small swell from a small but strong storm under New Zealand on Mon PM (8/4) was hitting Hawaii and pushing towards the US West Coast (see Tiny New Zealand Storm below). Another small swell was pushing towards Southern CA from the Southeast Pacific (see Tiny Southeast Pacific Gale below). Otherwise no swell producing f etch of interest was occurring. 

Over the next 72 hours a new gale is to start building well south of Tasmania on Tues PM (8/12) lifting northeast. By Wed AM (8/13) 50 kt southwest winds are to be in-play south of New Zealand generating 32 ft seas at 57S 160E. A small area of 50-55 kt south winds to hold into the evening with 42 ft seas projected at 51S 169E (218 degs SCal, 217 degs NCal, 201 degs HI). By Thurs AM (8/14) a thin area of 45 kt southwest winds to be tucked up against East New Zealand aimed well to the north with 38 ft seas forecast at 46S 176E. Winds to be fading from 40 kts off Northeast New Zealand in the evening with seas fading from 34 ft at 41S 180W (222 degs SCal, 221 degs NCal, 201 degs HI). This system to dissipate after that.  Assuming all develops as forecast a nice solid shot of swell could result for Tahiti with significant class swell for Hawaii, with minimal significant class swell for California. Something to monitor.         

 

Tiny New Zealand Storm
A
storm with 55 kt southwest winds developed southwest of New Zealand on Mon PM (8/4) producing 52 ft seas at 51S 155E mostly shadowed by New Zealand relative to California. The Jason-2 satellite passed near the core of the storm and reported average seas 43 ft with a peak reading to 52.3 ft where the model suggested 43 ft seas. The model was on track. Perhaps a sliver of 48 ft seas on the south side of the fetch was not shadowed relative to CA. 50-55 kt southwest fetch pushed east into Tues AM (8/5) generating more 40 ft seas at 52S 167E unshadowed and on the 220 degree path to CA and barely on the 201 degree path to Hawaii. Winds were fading from 45 kts in the evening with seas fading from 33 ft at 54S 177E (212 degs NCal and not shadowed by Tahiti, 214 degs SCal and shadowed, 195 degs HI) and gone after that. Perhaps a small pulse of background swell to result for all.   

Hawaii: Swell fading some Wed (8/13) from 2 ft @ 15-16 secs (3 ft). Swell to continue on Thurs (8/14) at 2 ft @ 15-16 secs (3 ft) then dropping out fast. Swell Direction: 212 degrees.

South CA: Swell arrival expected on Thurs (8/14) at 1.6 ft @ 19 secs (3 ft). Swell to peak on Fri (8/15) at 2.0 ft @ 17 secs later (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell still present on Sat (8/16) at 2.0 ft @ 16 secs (3.0 ft) then fading from there. Swell Direction: 221 degrees

North CA: Swell arrival expected on Thurs (8/14) at 1.5 ft @ 19 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell to peak on Fri (8/15) at 1.7 ft @ 17 secs later (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell still present on Sat (8/16) at 1.6 ft @ 16 secs (2.5 ft) then fading from there. Swell Direction: 222 degrees

 

Tiny Southeast Pacific Gale
A small gale was building in the far Southeast Pacific on Tues (8/5) with 45 kt south winds mostly encased in Antarctic Ice. By evening  40 kt southwest winds were lifting northeast with seas building to 30 ft at 59S 120W targeting Southern CA. Fetch turned more towards Chile on Wed AM (8/6) with seas 30 ft at 57S 109W and outside the SCal swell window.

Maybe a pulse of background swell to result for Southern CA late on Thurs (8/14) at 1.3 ft @ 16 secs (2 ft) from 175-180 degrees.  Swell peaking on Fri (8/15) at 1.5 ft @ 15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft) then fading Sat from 2 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.5 ft).

Tahiti Gale
A cutoff gale developed east of North New Zealand on Sat AM (8/9) producing a infinitesimal sized area of 26-28 ft seas targeting Tahiti at 40S 174W, then  fading but not dissipate with more 22 ft seas continuing in that area (40S 162W) into Monday AM (8/11) 1200 nmiles out, then dissipating. 

Small swell for Tahiti peaking on Tues (8/12) at 6.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (9 ft) from 217-220 degrees, pulsing again on Wed (8/13) to 8.1 ft @ 14 secs (11 ft) then slowly fading.

 

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 real high pressure is to be in play off the California coast with no pressure gradient and no local north windswell of interest projected.  Tropical Storm formation is forecast just east of the Hawaiian Islands by early next week.     

MJO/ENSO Update
Note: 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 equatorial Pacific it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slack if not an outright reversal of trade winds and enhanced 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. 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. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. 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).

On Tuesday (8/12) the daily Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) was holding at -8.44. The 30 day average was up some to -4.46 and the 90 day average was down some at -0.80. The near term trend based on the 30 day average was indicative of a weak Active Phase of the MJO. The longer term pattern was indicative of a neutral Phase of the MJO.

Current equatorial surface wind analysis indicated light east anomalies were over the eastern Maritime Continent turning neutral over the dateline. Neutral anomalies extended from there east of a point south of Hawaii and continued on to the Galapagos. A week from now (8/20) weak east anomalies are forecast over the Maritime Continent turning to moderate west anomalies on the dateline reaching to a point south of Hawaii.  Neutral anomalies are projected east of there to the Galapagos. There has not been a extended period of trades so far this year, and we're over 225 days into the year.  If anything the trend is clearly towards westerly anomalies. Since the big westerly winds bursts of Jan-April, there was a neutral period in May to early June. The TOA array (surface sensors - the ground truth) indicated westerly anomalies started re-developing on 6/25 west of the dateline holding moderate through 7/6, turning neutral on 7/7. But by 7/11 they were back trending light westerly and holding through 7/20.  A legitimate Westerly Wind Burst then formed on 7/23 and held through 8/10, and was weak on 8/11. Another Kelvin Wave (weak at this point) is developing. Compared to La Nina where enhanced trades (20+ kts) would be blowing non-stop, we're in great shape and have been all year. 

See our new Kelvin Wave Generation Area monitoring model here.

Previously a series of WWBs occurred 1/8-4/20 creating a large Kelvin Wave that impacted Ecuador, the Galapagos and Peru, May and June. This was very similar situation that led up to the big El Nino's of '82/32 and '97/98. But in those instances the WWBs and Kelvin Wave generation progressed non-stop through the Summer and Fall months. An article presenting a Comparison between the genesis of the 1997 El Nino and this 2014 WWB event has been posted here. A second analysis from 5/28 is posted here.  

The longer range Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR) models (dynamic and statistical) run on 8/11 are generally in sync. They both suggest a moderate Inactive MJO signal is in effect in the far West Pacific reaching to the dateline. 5 days out it is to hold. Then 8 days out it is to be gone per the Statistic model, while the Dynamic model has it continuing unchanged though the end of the model run 15 days out. The ultra long range upper level model has gotten more aggressive suggesting a weak Inactive Phase over the West Pacific and it is to ease east and fade over Central America  9/167. A weak Active Phase to follow starting in the West Pacific 9/1 tracking east through through 9/21. This model has tended to overhype Inactive Phases so far this year. As such, we suspect further weaken to express itself as we move into August. We're looking for a very weak MJO pattern biased Active if an El Nino were developing. This is what happened during July, even though the model suggested an Inactive Phase was to develop. This suggests that warming water in the equatorial East Pacific is starting to have some impact on the atmosphere above. The upper level model tends to be a leading indicator, with surface level anomalies lagging behind 1 week or more.    

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.  As of the most recent low res imagery (8/11), a weakly warm water regime remains in control of the equatorial East Pacific, but is in decline compared to the peak of the Kelvin Wave eruptions in late June, but not much. And it's actually holding up better than we expected. Cool water that was depicted along the immediate Peruvian Coast has backfilled with warm anomalies, in the 2.25-4 degs range off the entire coast to the Galapagos and tracking west from there. Cool pockets still exist in the heart of the Nino 3.4 region between 120W-160W, but not as bad as even 3 days ago, trending towards neutral. +0.5 degs C anomalies remain over the dateline, likely the start of a new Kelvin Wave. Hi-res SST data depicts nothing different, showing the backfilling of warmer water noted above. Even though the bulk of the massive Kelvin Wave generated by Westerly Wind Bursts in Jan-April has erupted at the surface near Ecuador in late May peaking late June is now dispersing, at least at this moment, another source of warm water is in play. Perhaps trades are dying there, like most everywhere else in the North Pacific, enabling the sun to provide warming to the top most layer. Still, reinforcements are needed, but are not coming immediately. Water temps off Peru are the proverbial tail of the dog, while Westerly Wind Bursts are the nose. The issue remains getting more warm water into the pipe to eventually erupt near the Galapagos.

Elsewhere, the entire North Pacific Ocean is full of warmer than normal water. There are virtually no signs of high pressure induced upwelling streaming southwest off California as would be expected this time of year. And serious warm water is building along the California coast, the exact opposite of the trend of the past 3+ years. Waters temps in San Francisco are 62 degrees.  Very rare. But this is expected if El Nino were in play. This is significant in that is suggests the Gulf of Alaska High pressure system is much weakened relative to normal years, with north winds and upwelling much suppressed. The South Pacific is mostly normal/neutral except for cool water streaming off Southern Chile pushing west reaching up to the equator just south of Hawaii feeding the cool pool developing on the equator there. Overall the total amount of warmer than normal water in the North Pacific remains impressive, while the South Pacific presents cooler than normal. 

Subsurface Waters Temps on the equator are no longer in decline in the east. Residual warm subsurface water from the previous Kelvin Wave dissipated on 7/31. And -1 degs C anomalies that were in place just west of the Galapagos at depth last week have vanished. Temps previously peaked at +6 degs C above normal on 6/21 from the aforementioned Kelvin Wave.  Now a generic +0.5 C anomaly patch is in place from the West Pacific to the East at depth. This is great news indicating the pipe is open and light warm waters are pushing east. Satellite data from 8/1 depicts one small pocket of elevated surface water heights +5 cm just northwest of the Galapagos region, a recent addition and confirming the warm flow from other sources. Otherwise +5 cm anomalies are building over the dateline. Subsurface models depict a building pocket of +2.0 deg anomalies is theoretically in place under the dateline and building in coverage while easing east suggestive of a new Kelvin Wave trying to take shape, driven by non-stop weak westerly anomalies if not an out and out WWB on the dateline. At this point it's what can be classified a weak Kelvin Wave, but would not warm waters above what they already are in the Galapagos region. If westerly anomalies continue, they will feed more warm water into the building Kelvin Wave and into the open pipe. A solid Kelvin Wave is required to warm waters more, but it appears some other process is in play at this point in time favoring warm water accumulation in the Galapagos region. If this unknown process holds, along with the developing Kelvin Wave who's leading edge will arrive at the Galapagos 2-3 months later (~Sept 30), we theoretically could be over the hump. But we will not declare that until late August.  

Pacific Counter Current data is again available. It suggests the current was pushing west to east over the entire West and Central Pacific  north of the equator over the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) reaching to about 120W. Easterly current and anomalies were over the Galapagos reaching to maybe 150W, with anomalies south of the equator to the dateline. But over all the situation is vastly improved from June and July. the question remains, will the westerly current build and overtake the easterly component? We suspect this is all tied to whether westerly winds continue or build in the West Pacific reaching over the dateline over the next 30-45 days.   

Projections from the monthly CFSv2 model run 8/12 are relatively unchanged suggesting water temps building to +1.0 deg C by early Oct peaking at +1.3-1.45 deg C in Dec (down from the +1.55 deg C predicted in early July and +1.75 in May) holding into Jan 2015, then fading. Interestingly this model actually depicts warm waters dissipating in the Nino1+2 regions in August then redeveloping in the Nino 3.4 regions in Sept and gaining momentum and areal coverage while building back into Nino1.2 into Jan 2015 link.

Analysis: The massive Kelvin Wave that was generated by successive Westerly Wind Bursts in Jan-April has erupted in the Galapagos region and is now all but dispersed. The WWB ended on 5/1 with all warm water from it arriving 3 months later over the Galapagos, or by 8/1. The immediate future looked like neutral water temps would be taking over the Galapagos-Ecuador-Peru triangle in the next few weeks with no immediate reinforcements projected. But previous evidence that clearly suggested the warm pool was in rapid decline, have reversed themselves. And a new weak WWB and west anomalies appear to be developing in the West Pacific (starting 6/28). But even if it were to continue, it would not reach the Galapagos till 9/28. So there's a 8 week 'hole' with no significant warm water to resupply the Ecuador triangle between 8/1 and 9/28. We had been thinking this would cause water temps to decease in the Nino1+2 regions, likely to near neutral. And that means that even if another weak Kelvin Wave were to arrive in the Galapagos, it will have to warm water temps from dead neutral, rather than acting as reinforcements to already warmed waters. And if no additional Westerly Wind Bursts occur, warm water in all Nino regions will dissipate completely. The good news is that does not appear to be the case, with westerly winds and a new Kelvin Wave currently in development (strength TBD). And at least for the moment, some other process is at work keeping water temp stable in the Galapagos region (as of 8/7).

Assuming westerly anomalies continue in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (west of the dateline), more warm water will migrate east. This is a reasonable assumption seeing how there has been virtually no easterly anomalies for the first 7 months of this year. And trades tend to weaken during Fall months in the northern hemi, meaning we're just now starting to reach the point in time where Westerly Wind Bursts should have the best support for development.  Current thinking is that we just coming out of the 'upwelling' Phase of the Kelvin Wave relative to wind anomalies, and the resulting cooler water is in the pipe pushing east. It's normal after a downwelling Kevin Wave impacts the Ecuador coast, especially a massive one like just experienced, that some period of upwelling (cooling) occurs. And for that to be true, the upwelling Phase of the Kelvin Wave cycle would be facilitated by a lack of westerly winds in the West Pacific (as what occurred during May and June). Most El Nino's do not develop till the Fall, including the Super El Nino of '83/83. Only a few (namely the '97 Super El Nino) developed and survived strong through the summer and over the span of an entire year. A more 'normal' development life cycle would favor the alternating 'downwelling/upwelling' Kelvin Wave cycle. See currently Upper Oceanic Heat Content chart here. Notice the alternating eastward migrating 'cool' and 'warm' cycles (upwelling/downwelling Kelvin Waves).

The CFSv2 model depicts exactly this scenario playing out, with water temps in Nino1.2 fading in August then redeveloping in September, exactly filling the 'hole' scenario described above. The redevelopment of westerly winds started in July and is hoped to continue into at least August if not beyond, resulting in a new Kelvin Wave. All evidence at this time suggests this is the case. Monitoring surface wind anomalies in the West Pacific remains critical to determining the future of this years potential El Nino pattern. 

And finally, there's the 'feedback loop' consideration.  We suspect it might already be in-play. The largest argument in favor of that is the total breakdown of the Gulf of Alaska high pressure system, resulting in very high water temps off California. Also the early season recurving of multiple tropical low pressure systems tracking northeast off Japan bound for the dateline. And the sudden pulse of tropical activity near Hawaii on the week of 8/4 and continued evolution in the West Pacific, is most telling. The only argument against the feedback loop is the development of a west moving Pacific Counter Current, a dissipating Kelvin Wave and the degradation of peak water temps in the Ecuador triangle and only a neutral 90 day SOI (rather than a negative one). But all these could easily just be symptoms of the upwelling Phase of the Kelvin Wave cycle. Only once the ocean and atmosphere are coupled on a global level (that is, the ocean has imparted enough heat into the atmosphere to start changing the global jetstream pattern) can one begin to have confidence that a feedback loop is developing and a fully matured El Nino can result. About 3 months of undisturbed heating is required for the atmosphere to start responding on a global level where the point of 'no return' could be achieved. The warm pool starting forming in earnest on 5/1, and so the atmosphere would not trip over the 'no-return' point till 8/1. We have reach that threshold. Assuming current cooling of the equatorial Pacific is temporary and associated with the upwelling Kelvin Wave phase, then one can conclude the ocean and atmosphere are now linked/teleconnected.  Considering the size and duration of the westerly wind bursts in Jan-April, it seem hard to believe that some global level 'change' is not already well entrenched, and has been developing since perhaps as early and Oct of 2013 (when the first Kelvin Wave of the series started taking shape). Monitoring the number, location and track of tropical systems in the North Pacific over the next few weeks will help to sort things out, as will monitoring westerly wind anomalies and warm subsurface water buildup in and under the Kelvin Wave Generation area. Also monitoring of the NPac jetstream (which remain unimpressive at this time) and Atlantic hurricane activity. But at this time odds are stacking in favor of a global teleconnection now being established. If that's true, deepening of the ENSO cycle could begin in the next month or so, and perhaps rapidly once it starts.    

But for now we'll remain cautious. Overall the immediate outlook remains unchanged, but potentially trending towards something that would be considered warm by Aug-Sept 2014. At a minimum the ocean is well past recharge mode, with cold water from the 2010-2011 La Nina dispersed and temperatures on the rise. Regardless of the WWBs etc, we are still in a neutral ENSO atmospheric pattern at this time with neither any form of El Nino in-play. But given all current signs, atmospheric transition appears to be underway, and hopefully intensifying into Fall.  Still this is a far better place than previous years (2010-2011, 2011-2012 and 2012-2013) under the direct influence of La Nina. And it seems apparent we've recovered from the 2009-2010 El Nino. We've turned the corner, but we'll remain cautious and not say to much yet, especially in light of what appears to be a decadal bias towards a cooler regime (since 1998).

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool and more details in the  El Nino Update Updated 12/4/13 

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a decent gale is forecast building under New Zealand just north of the Ross Ice Shelf tracking flat east on Fri (8/15) with 40 kt west winds and seas building to 31 ft at 57S 163E in the evening. Winds fading Sat AM (8/16) from 35-40 kts with seas fading from 30 ft at 57S 172E. This system is to be gone after that. Limited swell for all the usual targets with the flat eastward track being the biggest issue. 

Another small gale is forecast for the same area on Sun (8/17) with 30 ft seas aimed east.

This situation is worth monitoring.  

Details to follow...

****

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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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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