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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, November 27, 2018 3:42 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
4.1 - California & 4.2 - Hawaii
Using the 'Winter' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

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

Issued for Week of Monday 11/26 thru Sun 12/2

Swell Potential Rating Categories
5 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Significant swell
4 = Good probability for 1-2 days of Significant swell
3 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Intermediate/Advanced swell
2 = Good probability for  1-2 days of
Intermediate/Advanced swell
1 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Impulse or Windswell
0 = Low probability for 1-2 days of Impulse or Windswell   

Swell #1 Pushing Towards CA
Models Tease Long Term

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Tuesday, November 27, 2018 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 4.7 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 2.6 ft @ 15.9 secs from 297 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 11.5 ft @ 16.7 secs with swell 9.7 ft @ 15.9 secs from 318 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.2 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 0.9 ft @ 15.3 secs from 336 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 10-12 kts. Water temperature 65.8 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.2 ft @ 16.3 secs from 255 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.0 ft @ 16.1 secs from 246 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.0 ft @ 15.3 secs from 203 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.2 ft @ 17.3 secs from 256 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 12.7 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 10.1 ft @ 14.5 secs from 296 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was south at 8-10 kts. Water temp 61.5 degs (042).

See Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (bottom of the page)

Swell Classification Guidelines

Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
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 Tuesday (11/27) in North and Central CA preliminary northwest swell from the dateline was hitting making surf in the 8-10 ft range and relatively clean but with some surface texture and minimal underlying south lump. Get what you can now. Protected breaks were 2 ft overhead and clean and closed out. At Santa Cruz surf was 1 ft overhead and clean and lined up. In Southern California/Ventura surf was flat to knee high and clean. In North Orange Co surf was flat to thigh high and clean. South Orange Country's best breaks were knee to thigh high and clean and weak. In North San Diego surf was knee high or so and clean with modest offshore's blowing. Hawaii's North Shore was still getting dateline swell, but down considerably from the day before but with waves still occasionally in the 12-15 ft range. The South Shore was knee high and clean. The East Shore was getting wrap around swell from the Dateline with waves waist to chest high and heavily textured from modest east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (11/27) swell was fading in Hawaii and poised for California from a strong weather system that developed off Japan Fri-Sat (11/24) with 49 ft seas pushing over the dateline aimed east and then faded in the Western Gulf on Sun (11/25) with seas dropping from 42 ft Sat PM to 30 ft Mon AM (11/26). Solid swell is in the water. And a small system is to follow just off California Wed-Thurs (11/29) with 23 ft seas impacting the coast followed by another in the Northern Gulf on Thurs-Fri (11/30) with with 20 ft falling southeast. But of far more interest is another strong storm forecast developing off North Japan late Sat (12/1) moving up to the dateline late Sun (12/2) with seas to 53 ft aimed east then fading while pushing over the dateline Mon (12/3) with seas fading from 50 ft. It's still a long ways from actually forming, but it provides hope. The Active Phase of the MJO is having the desired effect for a little while.

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
Jetstream
On Tuesday AM (11/27) the jet was semi consolidated over Japan then splitting just off the coast to the dateline then reconsolidating over the Western Gulf with winds building to 160 kts with the jet focused over the 35N latitude line forming a trough north of Hawaii offering good support for gale development with energy in the jet pushing from there over the North California coast. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to push east and be developing a bit more right before impacting the Central CA coast on Thurs (11/29) likely mainly making for weather there. Back to the west the jet is to be rebuilding some on Thursday over Japan with winds in the 140 kts range and consolidated, with the split limited to a small area on the dateline moving to a point north of Hawaii on Fri (11/30). But during that window no clearly defined trough are forecast offering no real support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours the jet is to be generally running flat east on the 37N latitude line but not real energetic with the split point moving to the Central Gulf on Sun (12/2) but with a trough starting to develop off the Northern Kurils. That trough is to get pretty well developed Mon AM (12/3) as it pushes east over the dateline then fading in the Northwestern Gulf later Tues (12/5) offering some support for gale development. But overall, the jet is to be somewhat ill formed and weak not super supportive of gale development, at least from N upper level atmospheric perspective. Fall has arrived.

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday (11/27) swell from a strong storm that tracking over the dateline was fading in Hawaii and pushing towards the US West Coast (see Dateline Storm #1 below).

Over the next 72 hours the main focus is to continue to be the Dateline Swell (see below). But two other weak systems are forecast (see below).

Starting Wed AM (11/28) a fetch of 30 kt northwest winds is to develop in the Southern Gulf with seas building. In the evening that fetch is to track east still at 30 kts covering a decent sized area associated with low pressure hugging the North CA Coast with seas 18-20 ft at 36N 135W aimed east. The gale is to build Thurs AM (11/29) with 35 kt northwest winds just off San Francisco and the low stationary over North CA with 23 ft seas at 36N 129W or just west of Monterey Bay. The low is to move inland over NCal in the evening with 30-35 kt northwest winds over all Central CA nearshore waters and 24 ft seas just off the coast of Big Sur CA. A messy local weather pattern is expected for North and Central CA.

North CA: Raw protoswell is to be produced mixing with Dateline Swell #1 below. See forecast below.

Southern CA: Raw protoswell is to be produced mixing with Dateline Swell #1 below. See forecast below.

 

Another gale is to started developing over the Northern Dateline Tues PM (11/27) pushing east. By Thurs AM (11/29) it is to be in the Northwestern Gulf producing 35-40 kt northwest winds over a small area with seas building from 21 ft at 48N 154W aimed southeast. In the evening fetch is to fade from 30-35 kts from the northwest aimed southeast with 22 ft seas at 47.5N 150W targeting Oregon down to Pt Conception. On Fri AM (11/30) the gale is to be falling southeast just off Southern Oregon and fading with 30 kt northwest winds and seas 20 ft over a tiny area at 45N 142W aimed at Southern Oregon down into Central CA. The gale is to push east and fade off Southern Oregon Sat PM (12/1). Something to monitor but again relative to California it is only to produce protoswell. See QuikCASTs for details.

 

Dateline Storm #1
On Fri AM (11/23) a new gale started building just off North Japan with west winds 45 kts over a solid area aimed east and seas building from 37 ft at 43,5N 166E and pretty far south aided by a strong jetstream flow aloft. In the evening winds were 50 kts from the west and seas building from 44 ft at 41N 171E. The Jason-2 satellite passed over the storm west quadrant at 2Z and confirmed seas at 37.4 ft with one reading to 42 ft where the model projected seas at 38 ft. The model was on track. On Sat AM (11/24) the storm was over the dateline with west winds 45-50 kts and seas 49 ft at 40N 179E aimed east over a decent sized area targeting Hawaii and the US West Coast. In the evening west winds are to start fading from 35-40 kts over a large area filling the Western Gulf with seas 42 ft at 38.5N 173.5W pushing east and aimed southeast at Hawaii and California. On Sun AM (11/25) the gale is to be fading with northwest winds 35 kts over a large area aimed east and seas 36 ft over a large area aimed east at 37.5N 166.5W. The gale is to fade some in the evening with 35 kt west winds still over a solid area aimed east and seas 34 ft over a large area aimed east at 38N 161W. On Mon AM (11/26) fetch is to fade from 30-35 kts from the west in the Central Gulf with seas fading from 32 ft at 39N 152.5W aimed east targeting only the US West Coast. The gale is to fade in the evening with west winds 30-35 kts lifting north in the Northern Gulf with seas fading from 28 ft at 40N 145W or 900 nmiles west of North CA. Possible large swell to result.

Hawaii/Oahu: Swell fading some overnight and dropping on Tues AM (11/27) to 10.1 ft @ 16 secs (16 ft). Swell fading Wed AM from 6.2 ft @ 13-14 secs (8.5 ft). Swell Direction: 317-319 degs peak energy but up to 335 degrees later

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (11/27) at 10 AM with period 22 secs (2.8 ft @ 22 secs - (6.0 ft) then size building as period hits 20 secs at 5 PM (5.6 ft @ 20 secs - 11 ft). Swell to peak on Wed (11/28) at 5 AM with period 18 secs. Pure swell to be 10 ft @ 18 secs (18 ft). Swell fading some from there. Swell fading Thurs AM (11/29) from 9.5 ft @ 15 secs early (14 ft) with copious locally generated protoswell in the water at the same time. Swell Direction: 288-294 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (11/27) at 7 PM with period 22 secs and not really noticeable. Size building as period hits 20 secs at 4 AM Wed (11/28) at 2.9 ft @ 20 secs (5.5 ft) peaking at 3 PM with period 18 secs (pure swell to be 4.5 ft @ 18 secs - 8.0 ft). Swell fading some from there. Swell fading Thurs AM (11/29) from 4.3 ft @ 16 secs early (6.5 ft) with locally generated protoswell in the water at the same time. Swell Direction: 293-299 degrees

 

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical weather systems of interest are forecast.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday (11/27) high pressure off Southern CA was weakening with a front pushing south down the North CA coast with south winds 15-20 kts for Pt Reyes northward and light for Central CA early with the front fading out and falling south dropping to Monterey Bay late with south winds 10-15 kts there. Moderate rain developing for North CA early pushing south and weakening but with rain still reaching south to Big Sur late afternoon and stalling there. Snow for higher elevation of the Sierra starting at sunset. Wed (11/28) low pressure is to be building well off Central CA early nearly reaching gale status late evening centered just off North CA with light winds at sunrise but building from the south at 5 kts from Pt Conception up to Monterey Bay mid-AM and 10-15 kts from the Golden Gate northward by 4 PM and south at 15-20 kts nearshore mid-evening from Pt Conception northward. Light rain for Morro Bay northward early and holding all day if not building while pushing south focused on Pt Conception. Moderate snow building for Tahoe down to the Southern Sierra through the day and into the evening. Thurs AM (11/29) the low is to be just off Pt Arena with south winds 20 kts from Pt Conception northward turning northwest 25-30 kts late afternoon as the low moves inland. Heavy rain for North CA early and solid for the entire state all day. Heavy snow developing for the Sierra mid-AM and holding all day. Fri AM (11/30) another gale is to be approaching from the northwest with high pressure locally and north winds 20 kts for Central CA and South CA and 10-15 kts for North CA fading through the day. South winds building at 10-15 kts for Bodega Bay northward at sunset. Snow fading for the Sierra early. Rain developing for NCal late evening. On Sat (12/1) the low is to be moving over the Pacific Northwest with high pressure behind and northwest winds 15-20 kts for all of North and Central CA and building to 25 kts later. Heavy rain early for North CA with moderate rain reaching south to Big Sur early and into San Diego at sunset. Moderate to heavy snow developing 10 AM for the entire Sierra slowly fading through the evening. On Sunday (12/2) north winds driven by high pressure to be 20 kts for the entire state early fading some later. Light rain early for the entire CA coast. Snow showers in the Sierra mainly early. Monday (12/3) north winds are forecast at 10 kts for North and Central CA fading later with low pressure approaching from the west. Tues (12/4) light east winds are forecast early for the entire state turning to southeast at 10 kts late morning. Total snow accumulation for Tahoe in the 42-48 inch range and 38 inches for Mammoth.

 

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis  
No swell of interest was in the water.

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

 

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

 

QuikCAST's

 

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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours supposedly a new strong storm is to develop. Give the upper level forecast, this seems a bit over stated. Regardless, here's the details: On Sat PM (12/1) a new storm is to start building off North Japan producing 50-55 kt northwest winds over a solid area aimed southeast with seas building from 27 ft at 36.5N 157E. On Sun AM (12/2) northwest winds are to be building at 55 kts solid with seas building from 41 ft at 39N 166E. The storm is to be tracking east-northeast in the evening with fetch still 55 kts from the northwest with seas building to 52 ft at 41N 170.5E aimed east. ON Monday AM (12/3) the storm is to move to the dateline with winds still 50-55 kts from the northwest with seas building to 57 ft at 42N 179E. The gale is to fade in the evening on the dateline with 45 kt northwest winds and seas fading from 47 ft at 43N 178W over a solid area. On Tues AM (12/4) the gale is to dissipating with fetch 45 kts over a small area and seas fading from 39 ft at 42.5N 170W aimed east. Something to monitor.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

SST Temps Building Slightly - ESPI Dead Neutral

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 have not stopped, 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 beyond, but could not sustain itself, suggesting the demise of La Nina but not yet turning towards El Nino.

LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Fall/Winter 2018 = 6.0 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)

Rationale: Assuming the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that El Nino does not develop as strong as previously forecast, and assuming and an ocean-atmospheric coupling becomes weakly established in the Jan timeframe and ocean temperature anomalies in Nino3.4 build to the +0.6 deg range, there is good probability for slightly enhanced storm production in the North Pacific starting in the late Nov timeframe (specifically the Gulf of Alaska and Dateline regions) with 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 winter seasons.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (11/26) 5 day average winds were solid from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific to the dateline, then calm turning to west winds just west of the dateline and west over the bulk of the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East and Central equatorial Pacific, then turning to modest westerly anomalies from 170E and points west of there over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (11/27) moderate west anomalies were filling the KWGA. The forecast has west anomalies fading some in the central KWGA by 12/2 and with weak east anomalies taking over that area with strong west anomalies building on the dateline 11/30 and then easing to just east of the dateline and just barely in the KWGA at the end of the model run on 12/4. But west anomalies are to be completely filling the entire Pacific from the dateline eastward from 11/29 to the end of the model run.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (11/26) The Active Phase of the MJO was modest over the dateline. The statistical model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO is to ease east and be fading at day 5 then gone at day 10 then possibly regenerating over the West Pacific at day 15. The dynamic model indicates the same thing initially but with the Inactive Phase building to a near strong status in the West Pacific at day 10 and filling the KWGA at day 15. the 2 models are diametrically opposed.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (11/27) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was weak over the Central Pacific. It is to track east steadily at weak strength and almost be over the western Maritime Continent 2 weeks out. The GEFS model depicts the MJO far weak and only making it to the Indian Ocean 2 weeks out. The 2 models are generally in sync.
40 day Upper Level Model: (11/27) This model depicts a weak Active signal over the Central Pacific tracking east. The Active Phase is to continue tracking east over the East Pacific and into Central America on 12/5. After that a moderate Inactive Phase is to set up over the West Pacific on 12/5 and is to track to the East Pacific and over Central America on 12/20. A modest Active Phase of the MJO is to build in the West Pacific 12/22 tracking east to the Central Pacific at the end of the model run on 1/6/19.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (11/26) This model depicts moderate west anomalies were over the KWGA and is forecast to track east and out of the KWGA on 12/2, but building very strong filling the East Pacific 11/25-12/5. Back to the west east anomalies are to start building in the bulk of the KWGA 12/3 and holding through 12/17, then fading out with weak west anomalies taking over through the end of the model run on 12/24.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (11/27) This model depicts weak weak west anomalies were in the core of the KWGA today with a modest Active Phase of the MJO there. The Active Phase of the MJO is to hold with modest west anomalies and the Active Phase of the MJO slowly fading into 12/4. After that the Inactive Phase of the MJO is to develop in the KWGA 12/4 -12/23 with weak east anomalies in the KWGA reaching east to 170E to 12/13 then west anomalies taking over from there. The Active Phase is to rebuild 12/22 holding through 2/4 with west winds anomalies building, to WWB status 1/6-2/3. After that a weak MJO signal is to take over through the end of the model run on 2/24 with west anomalies holding solid if not a WWB status in the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias is fully in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east over California and forecast holding through the end of the model run. A 4th contour line previously forecast to to develop in the 12/22-1/21/19 period is no longer on the charts. If anything, the third contour line is to fade from 12/25-1/15, then reappear. It now appears El Nino development is becoming less certain per this model. The atmosphere and ocean are trying to become coupled towards an El Nino bias in the Pacific Ocean, but there's no objective evidence of it yet. If it hasn't happened yet (by Nov 1), it's doubtful there will be significant weather influence even if it does develop. And this model is not suggesting they will not become coupled with the MJO coming back to life and steady west anomalies fading. Still this pattern is to slowly become more favorable to support storm production in the Pacific regardless of whether El Nino develops, especially compared to the 2 previous years given that we're still moving towards Winter and La Nina is gone. Our assumption is a normal Winter pattern will result, but nothing more.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (11/27) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs solid to 180W. The 28 deg isotherm line had retrograded west to 160W a few weeks back, then moved east again and stable at 154W. The 24 deg isotherm was 125 meters deep at 140W then getting progressively shallower east of there but now pushing into Ecuador. Anomaly wise warm anomalies are filling the entire subsurface Pacific but with temps far weaker in the West Pacific than weeks and months past. Kelvin Wave (#2) starts at 140W at +2-3 degs building to +4.0 degs centered at 100W down 90 meters then pushing into the coast of Ecuador. One pocket of +3 deg anomalies holds at 170W. Temps are certainly weakening in the far West Pacific, down to +2.0 degs from 175E and points west of there and covering a thinning area. So it seems this Kelvin Wave is fading. The peak of the Kelvin Wave cycle for this supposed El Nino has already occurred, but upwelling from it is still to be ongoing for a few more weeks. but after that, no more Kelvin Waves seem apparent. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 11/19 paints the same picture with the Kelvin Wave #2 starting in the Central Pacific near 140W pushing into Ecuador with temps peaking at +5.0 degs at 95W-110W. Modest warming at +2 degs were from the far West Pacific to 140W. A small pocket of negative anomalies previously in the far West Pacific just east of the Maritime Continent remain vanished. Kelvin Wave #2 was breaching the surface from 100W to 155W solidly with secondary solid warm anomalies starting to fill the entire region on the equator from 100W-165E. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (11/19) Positive anomalies were solid from north of New Guinea over the Dateline and into the East Pacific and Ecuador at +5 cms. There were no longer any pockets of +10 cms. And if anything, the coverage of +5 cm anomalies appears to be fading. Kelvin Wave (#2) was peaking south of California and pushing quickly east but not dissipating. It was branching north to Baja and south to Southern Peru along the coasts there, a good sign.

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: (11/26) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate temps were warm in a Kelvin Wave pattern straddling 5 degrees north and south of the equator from Ecuador west to the dateline, with imbedded pockets of slightly stronger warming. There is a building stream of deep warming along the coast of Chile up into Peru and Ecuador and far weak er reaching north to Central America, but nothing indicative of a strong trend towards El Nino. Generic warm anomalies were north of the equator from Central America and south of Mexico building out to Hawaii and the dateline. This pattern looks somewhat like El Nino, but also like La Nina with no solid warming branching north and south along the Central and South American coast, and most warming still in the West Pacific centered at 140W, suggesting this developing El Nino is only weakly in control and still fragile at best in the East equatorial Pacific as it has been for weeks.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (11/26): No pockets of cooling were present over the equator. Instead broad pockets of generic warming were indicated along the equator and along the coast of Chile and Peru. Overall a steady pattern is indicated.
Hi-res Overview: (11/26) Warm water was building along the immediate coast of Chile and Peru. Otherwise moderate plus warm water was on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos building out to the dateline but with no strong imbedded warming. We have turned the corner to a warm regime. And one could kinda think we are moving towards a El Nino pattern just looking at the surface temps. But that would be a false conclusion based on what is going on sub-surface (fading Kelvin Wave scenario). And given the time of year, the warm signal on the surface should be much stronger if El Nino were truly developing. We are in ENSO neutral and likely only going to move to a minimal warm regime, likely not reaching full El Nino status this winter.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (11/27) Today's temps were rising significantly to +1.534 and beating the previous peak of temps in this region on 9/25 at +1.316. Temps have been on a steady upward trend since falling down to -0.628 on 10/22. A warming trend seems apparent here.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(11/27) Today temps were rising at +0.766, and steady in this range since 11/12. The all time high for this event was +1.45 on 11/5, beating the previous peak temps of +0.795 on 10/9, and +0.649 on 9/27, and that beating the previous peak at +0.490 on 7/2. Overall temps are noodling around at +0.5 to +0.7 degs above normal adding suggesting some sort of minimally weak El Nino is trying to develop, but nothing serious.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (11/26) The model indicates temps at +0.8 degs in mid-Nov (which isn't even close to reality- the were about +0.5) then rising some and toggling from +0.90 to +1.20 degs from Dec into July 2019, then steady at +1.0 degs into Aug 2019. If one is to believe the model then one would assume that El Nino is to build through the Fall of 2018. But given all the data we've seen, we believe odds of even a weak El Nino developing are fading. Most models are suggesting a turn to weak El Nino conditions by late Fall. It's not certain we're there yet.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Nov Plume depicts temps are to slowly rise from here, to +1.00 degs in November and +1.0-+1.1 degs through Feb 2019, then slowly fading to 0.71 in July. See chart here - link. There's a 90% chance of a weak El Nino developing through January.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad) (11/27): The daily index was steady today at 5.66. The 30 day average was rising some at 0.74 suggesting a neutral MJO and not moving towards the Active Phase. The 90 day average was rising some at -1.92, unchanged the past 2 weeks and the highest its been in months. The 90 degree average turned negative for the first time in a year on 6/30 suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was building in the atmosphere. Unfortunately we have made no progress from there towards a negative El Nino pattern.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (11/27) Today the index was falling some at -0.02, not positive as it should be if El Nino were developing. It was down to -0.22 the week of 10/22, after having risen to +0.39 on 10/10, the highest so far this event. This suggests that precip and evaporation are normal, and not above normal as one would expect if El Nino were in play. We are in an ENSO neutral pattern. The reading from 8/14 (+0.11) was the first time it's turned positive in a year.
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 -0.42, Sept -0.42. 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


Powerlinessurf Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest

Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for the week starting Sunday (11/25):
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Powerline Productions New Movie Preimer - Next Level - Friday (11/9) at 7 PM. Details here: http://www.stormsurf.com/page2/forecast/forecast/NextLevel.html

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Stormsurf and Mavericks on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luQSYf5sKjQ

Mavericks Invitational Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:
http://www.bloomberg.com/video/how-to-predict-the-best-surfing-waves-EsNiR~0xR5yXGOlOq2MqfA.html
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/surfs-up-for-mavericks-invitational-in-calif/

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

Read all the latest news and happenings on our News Page here

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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