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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Sunday, August 17, 2014 5:40 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 = 2.1 - California & 2.8 - 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 8/18 thru Sun 8/24

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   

Modest New Zealand Swell Pushing Northeast
Warm Water Stabilizing in the Galapagos-Peru Triangle

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 Sunday
(8/17) in North and Central CA  a mixture of small south and westerly swell was producing surf in the waist high range and a bit textured with underlying warble at exposed break but not too bad. It was clean at protected breaks. Down in Santa Cruz surf was waist to chest high from swell coming from under New Zealand and clean. In Southern California up north a mix of southern hemi and westerly swell was producing surf in the waist high range and a bit crumbled with warble intermixed. Down south waves were shoulder high coming from southern hemi swell and warbled early with the northwest flow still in control even early. Hawaii's North Shore was getting still getting leftover tropical swell with waves waist high and a bit warbled from sideshore trades early. The South Shore was getting new background southern hemi swell with waves chest high and clean. On the East Shore trade wind generated windswell was maybe thigh 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 local north windswell, and small at that for Central California, and perhaps very limited northwest windswell from the Gulf of Alaska. The models suggest some limited tropical development between Mexico and Hawaii, with the strongest of the systems being minimal tropical storm Karina, but nothing likely to produce swell of interest. From the southern hemisphere swell from a storm that tracked under New Zealand was fading along California shores. The good news is new swell is pushing northeast from a small but decent gale that developed under New Zealand on Wed-Thurs (8/14) with a small area of up to 40 ft seas aimed well northeast.  One weak pulse followed Fri (8/15) with 34 ft seas but aimed due east. Beyond a small gale is forecast forming southwest of Tahiti on Fri-Sat (8/23) with with 28-30 ft seas, but small in coverage. Maybe some swell to result for Tahiti and Hawaii.  

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

North Pacific

Overview 
Surface Analysis  - On Sunday (8/17) a placid pattern continued in control. Small northwest swell was still arriving in Hawaii and California from what previous was Hurricane Julio but more of just a blip on the buoys than anything really rideable. Relative to California no local north windswell was being produced. Otherwise trades were blowing at 15 kts east of the Hawaiian Islands, perhaps producing minimal easterly windswell along east facing shores there. Weak low pressure was tracking through the extreme Northern Gulf of Alaska, having previously migrated from the Western Gulf on Fri (8/15) generating a small area of 25 kt west winds and maybe 12 ft seas. No windswell of interest is expected to result.

Over the next 72 hours no pressure gradient induced local north windswell is forecast for the US West Coast. Trades are to weaken some relative to Hawaii resulting in less easterly windswell than the minimal windswell currently present. Tropical Storm Karina is not expected to develop, but another tropical system is theoretically to build behind Karina perhaps lifting north long term and targeting Southern CA with minimal swell if one is to believe the models. But nothing of interest is expected tropically in the West Pacific or in the Aleutian storm channel with the Inactive Phase of the MJO likely putting a damper on things there.  

 

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

Tropical Update
Tropical Storm Karina on Sun AM (8/17) was 1800 nmiles east of the Hawaii with winds 35 kts tracking west-southwest at 9 kts producing 15 ft seas. Karina is forecast to track a bit more to the southwest over the coming 5 days with winds building slowly to 45 kts, but not making alot of westward progress, positioned 1400 nmiles east-southeast of the Big Island on 8/22 (Fri). Maybe some small easterly swell possible for the Big Island long term.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Sunday AM (8/17) high pressure was positioned weakly off the Pacific Northwest coast forming a very weak pressure gradient over Oregon but not reaching down to Cape Mendocino. A light wind flow was in play for the California coast other than 15 kt northwest winds near Pt Conception. On Monday the high is to east east some and become marginally better organized generating 20 kt north winds over Cape Mendocino maybe pushing barely 25 kts late Tuesday then back to 20 kts on Wednesday holding through Saturday (8/23) before fading. Those winds to not reach any further south than Pt Arena this week. Southern CA to remain in a weak eddy flow pattern. 

South Pacific

Overview
Jetstream - On Sunday (8/17) the southern branch of the jet was in a zonal configuration running flat west to east and if anything tracking southeast over the Eastern South Pacific pushing into Antarctica . No troughs were present and winds over the width of the South Pacific were below 100 kts meaning there was no support from the jetstream for gale development in lower levels of the atmosphere. Over the next 72 hours a weak northward lift of the jet is projected under New Zealand with winds starting to build to the 100 kt range suggesting improved support for gale development under New Zealand aloft. But a strong ridge is to continue to dominate the Southeastern Pacific. Beyond 72 hours the trough is to build under New Zealand pushing east with winds to near 140 kts on Thurs (8/21) centered just west of due south of Tahiti, perhpas offering some limited support for gale development there. The ridge is to hold in the Southeast Pacific. But the trough is to collapse by late Friday (8/22) with the zonal flow again taking over the Southern Hemisphere and support for gale development in the upper levels of the atmosphere fading.

Surface Analysis - On Sunday (8/17) swell from a small storm that developed under New Zealand on Tues PM (8/12) was pushing northeast, bound first for Tahiti, then Hawaii and finally the US West Coast. Otherwise a fetch of 30-35 kt west winds was pushing under New Zealand and positioned just barely clear of the north edge of the Ross Ice Shelf resulting in 24 ft seas there, but nothing strong enough to result in swell for the usual targets north of the equator. North winds were blowing over the Eastern South Pacific offering nothing relative to South America.  

Over the next 72 hours a small patch of 35-40 kt west winds to track under New Zealand on Sun PM into Mon AM (8/18) resulting in 30 ft seas over a tiny area 06Z Mon (8/18) at 57S 170E and then again at 18Z in the same location, then dissipating. Perhaps some small 16 sec background swell to result for Tahiti and Hawaii, but nothing more. Nothing else of interest is charted.

 

New Zealand Gale
A new gale started building well south of Tasmania on Tues PM (8/12) lifting northeast. By Wed AM (8/13) 50 kt southwest winds were in-play south-southwest of New Zealand generating 32 ft seas at 56S 160E. A small area of 50 kt south winds held into the evening with 40 ft seas covered a tiny area 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 were tucked up against East New Zealand aimed well to the north with 35 ft seas at 46S 175E. Winds were fading from 40 kts off Northeast New Zealand in the evening with seas fading from 32 ft at 41S 179W (222 degs SCal, 221 degs NCal, 201 degs HI). This system to dissipated after that.  

A nice solid shot of swell was been produced relative to Tahiti with solid utility class swell expected for Hawaii, and the standard utility class swell for California. There was no shadowing by Tahiti relative to California and the storm track was decidedly to the northeast which should increase the number of waves per set. But fetch size was limited, which will mitigate set wave numbers some.

Tahiti: Expect swell arrival late on Sun afternoon (8/17) pushing 4.5 ft @ 18 secs (8 ft). Swell to peak Mon AM (8/18) at 8.7 ft @ 15-16 secs (13 ft Hawaiian). Swell fading Tues AM (8/19) at 6.9 ft @ 13 secs (9 ft faces). Swell Direction: 220 degrees New swell from another fetch south of New Zealand on Fri (8/15) to arrive on Wed (8/20) at 4.8 ft @ 17 secs (8 ft) peaking Thurs (8/21) at 7.5 ft @ 14-15 secs early (10.5 ft). Residuals on Fri (8/22) at 5.1 ft @ 12-13 secs (6.0-6.5 ft).  Swell Direction: 205 degrees

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Wed AM (8/20) with period 19 secs and building late to 2.0 ft @ 18 secs (3.5 ft). Swell building over night pushing Thurs AM (8/21) at 2.6 ft @ 16 secs (4 ft with 5 ft sets) and building late to 3.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.7 ft with sets to 5.8 ft). Swell fading Fri AM (8/22) from 3.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Residuals on Sat AM (8/23) at 2.6 ft @ 13 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 201 degrees    

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat AM (8/23) with period 18 secs early and size building to 2.0 ft @ 17 secs late (3.4 ft with sets to 4.3 ft). Swell to peak Sun AM (8/24) at 2.5 ft @ 16-17 secs early (4.1 ft with sets to 5.1 ft). Swell Direction: 218-222 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat AM (8/23) with period 18 secs early and size building to 1.7 ft @ 17 secs late (3.0 ft with sets to 3.7 ft). Swell to peak Sun AM (8/24) at 2.0 ft @ 16-17 secs early (3.3 ft with sets to 4.1 ft). Swell Direction: 217-22 degrees

 

Another New Zealand Fetch
On Fri PM (8/15) a fetch of 45 kt west winds built under New Zealand. Seas building to 34 ft at 60S 165E. Fetch fading fast thereafter with seas from previous fetch peaking Sat AM (8/16) at 34 ft at 60S 178E. This system was gone by Sat PM.

Sideband swell is radiating north towards Tahiti (see forecast above) and Hawaii.

Hawaii: Swell expected arriving on Sat AM (8/23) building to 1.7 ft @ 17 secs late (3.0 ft with sets to 3.7 ft). Swell to continue on Sun (8/24) building to 2.3 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft with sets to 4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 193 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 real high pressure is to be in play off the California coast with no pressure gradient and no local north windswell of interest projected.  The models project a weak tropical system forming behind Tropical Storm Karina lifting north into Thurs (8/21) perhaps resulting in minimal swell relative to Southern CA. Otherwise we're in the seasonally appropriate dead zone between the end of Summer and the start of Fall.      

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 Sunday (8/17) the daily Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) was up to -1.64. The 30 day average was down some to -7.33 and the 90 day average was down some at -1.78. 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 the Active Phase of the MJO.

Current equatorial surface wind analysis indicated neutral anomalies were over the Maritime Continent holding over the dateline. Neutral anomalies extended from there to a point south of Hawaii and continued on to the Galapagos. A week from now (8/25) weak east anomalies are forecast over the Maritime Continent turning to modest west anomalies on the dateline reaching to a point south of Hawaii.  Moderate west anomalies are projected from there midway 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 moderate westerly anomalies re-developed west of the dateline on 6/25 holding through 7/6, turning neutral on 7/7. But by 7/11 light west anomalies redeveloped holding through 7/20.  A legitimate Westerly Wind Burst formed on 7/23 and held through 8/10, then weakened. Per the TAO array neutral anomalies were in play on 8/17. 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 8/16 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 building though the end of the model run 15 days out. The ultra long range upper level model has backed off aging suggesting a weak Inactive Phase over the West Pacific and it is to ease east and fade over Central America  9/11. A weak Active Phase to follow starting in the West Pacific 9/11 tracking east through through 9/26. 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 (8/14), 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. It's actually holding up better than expected. No significant cool water is depicted anywhere along the immediate Peruvian Coast, the Galapgos or out into the Nino 3.4 region other than some neutral anomalies (-0.5 degs below normal) near 130W. Cool pockets that were previous exhibited in the heart of the Nino 3.4 region between 120W-160W, are all but gone. +0.5 degs C anomalies remain over the dateline, the start of a new Kelvin Wave. 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 entrenched along the California coast and building in coverage, 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. But even the areal coverage of that pocket is in decline, suggesting a warm regime is getting the upper hand over the entire Pacific Basin. Overall the total amount of warmer than normal water in the North Pacific remains impressive, while the South Pacific is starting to trend in the same direction. . 

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. Temps from it peaked at +6 degs C above normal on 6/21.  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 8/6 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. Data as of 8/12 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 only to 120W. West to east anomalies were building at 120W targeting the Galapagos. This is very good news. The situation is vastly improved from June and July. The question remains, will the westerly current build and overtake the easterly component? Latest data suggests that is in fact occurring now and 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 8/15 are relatively unchanged suggesting water temps building to +1.0 deg C by early Oct peaking at +1.36-1.45 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 dispersed. The WWB ended on 5/1 with all warm water from it arriving 3 months later over the Galapagos, or by 8/1. At one point it looked like neutral water temps would be taking over the Galapagos-Ecuador-Peru triangle with no immediate Kelvin Wave reinforcements projected. But that has not occurred. Instead water temps have stabilized and still warm. And a new weak WWB and west anomalies are developing in the West Pacific (starting 6/28). Still that new Kelvin Wave is not expected to 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. But that has not happened. Instead water temps are holding in the Galapagos triangle in the +1.5 degree range with westerly winds and a new Kelvin Wave in development in the dateline region. And at least for the moment, some other process is at work keeping water temp stable in the Galapagos region (as of 8/17).

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 cutoff gale is forecast developing east of New Zealand on Fri AM (8/22) producing 35 kt south winds over a small and thin area aimed due north with 24 ft seas at 41S 164W building to 26 ft in the evening at 38S 160W. The gale is to get more organized Sat AM (8/23) with 40 kt sooth winds building and seas building to 28 ft at 37S 159W targeting Tahiti and Hawaii well. More of the same forecast in the evening with up to 30 ft seas over a tiny area at 36S 159W again targeting Tahiti and Hawaii. This system to fade thereafter. Something to monitor.

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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