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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Friday, December 20, 2019 4:33 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
3.8 - California & 3.7 - Hawaii
Using the 'Winter' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

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

Issued for Week of Monday 12/16 thru Sun 12/22

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   

Another Dateline Swell Hitting CA
N. Pac to Become More Active

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Friday, December 20, 2019 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Barbers Point (Buoy 238) : Seas were 3.4 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 2.4 ft @ 13.7 secs from 307 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 6.5 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 2.8 ft @ 14.6 secs from 309 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.2 ft @ 12.8 secs with swell 1.8 ft @ 13.6 secs from 235 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north at 4 kts. Water temperature 60.1 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 5.6 ft @ 13.0 secs from 302 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.1 ft @ 12.4 secs from 261 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.5 ft @ 13.3 secs from 254 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 3.5 ft @ 12.3 secs from 272 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 10.7 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 6.2 ft @ 15.8 secs from 310 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was east at 10-14 kts. Water temp 55.4 degs (013), 56.5 degs (012) and 56.7 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 Friday (12/20) in North and Central CA waves were 3-4 ft overhead and lined up and clean with no wind but a bit unorganized. Protected breaks were 2 ft overhead and lined up and mostly closed out but clean. At Santa Cruz surf was 2 ft overhead on the sets and lined up and clean but a bit inconsistent. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist high and clean and lined up with light offshore winds. In North Orange Co surf was waist high and weak breaking just off the beach but clean. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were maybe waist high and lined up and clean but weak and crumbled. North San Diego had waves at waist high on the sets and clean with moderate offshore's and lined up. Tops spots were 1 ft overhead. Hawaii's North Shore was head high or so and clean with some northerly lump intermixed. The South Shore was flat and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell with waves waist high or so and chopped from brisk east-northeasterly trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Friday (12/20) in California residual swell was still hitting from a storm that pushed off the North Kuril Islands Fri-Sat (12/14) with seas at first up to 39 ft aimed east, then faded with seas down to 29 ft as it tracked east approaching the dateline, but pulsed slightly in the Northwestern Gulf Sun-Mon (12/16) with seas up to 30 ft aimed east. In Hawaii remnant swell was still hitting from another gale that developed off the Kuril Islands tracking east over the dateline Sun-Mon (12/16) with 32 ft seas aimed east then rebuilt some in the Western Gulf on Wed-Thurs (12/19) with seas again building to the 31 ft range. That swell is poised to hit California today also. Another storm is forecast developing on the North Dateline region moving into the Northwestern Gulf on Sat-Sun (12/22) with 33-34 ft seas aimed east then rebuilding in the Gulf Mon-Tues (12/24) with up to 39 ft seas aimed east. Yet another storm is to follow tracking over the Northeastern Gulf Wed-Thurs (12/26) producing 46 ft seas aimed east. And another gale is to form at the same time off the Kuril Islands producing 43 ft seas aimed southeast initially then fading on the dateline on Fri (12/27). The storm pattern continues to look solid.

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 Friday (12/20) the jetstream was consolidated pushing east over and off Japan with winds 160 kts then splitting on the dateline only to regroup in the Central Gulf forming a steep trough there being fed by 150 kts winds in it's apex offering decent support for gale development then ridging northeast and pushing inland over Washington. Over the next 72 hours the Gulf trough is to steadily track east being fed by 130 kt winds while getting steeper providing continued support for gale development moving to over California coast on Mon (12/23). The split over the dateline is to fade some and stall with a trough forming over the North Dateline region on Sat (12/21) offering decent support for gale development and slowly pushing east being fed by 170 kt winds then redeveloping in the Northern Gulf on Mon (12/23) again starting to support gale development. Beyond 72 hours the Gulf trough is to push southeast moving over California Tues-Wed (12/25) no longer supporting gale development. Back to the west a new trough is to develop off the Kuril Islands on late Wed (12/25) moving to the dateline with 130-140 kt winds feeding it offering some support for gale development. But 180 kts winds are to be building over and pushing off Japan on Fri (12/27) starting to form a new trough likely offering significantly improved odds for gale development. The storm machine is to possibly crank up.


Surface Analysis
On Friday (12/20) swell from another gale that traversed the North Pacific was fading in Hawaii and poised to hit California (see Another Dateline Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a new gale is to develop over the Dateline Sat AM (12/21) producing northwest winds at 40 kts and west winds to 45 kts starting to get traction and producing 28 ft seas at 46N 177E aimed east with the gale lifting northeast fast. In the evening the gale is to be repositioned over the North Dateline region producing a broad area of 40-45 kt northwest winds with seas building from 26-28 ft over a small area at 50N 176.5W aimed east. On Sun AM (12/22) west winds to build to 45-50 kts over a shrinking area south of the Central Aleutians with most fetch north of there in the Bering Sea with 31 ft seas at 51N 175W aimed east just south of the Aleutians. In the evening the gale is to move fully into the Bering Sea with 40 kt west winds barely holding south of the Aleutians and seas 36 ft at 52N 170W aimed east. Secondary fetch is to be building lifting northeast from the North Dateline Region with 45 kt west winds and seas building. On Mon AM (12/23) 45 kt west winds from the secondary fetch are to be building while moving in the the Northwestern Gulf with 35 ft seas at 48.5N 166W aimed east. Fetch to fade in the evening from barely 45 kts from the west with 39 ft seas at 47.5N 156W aimed east. The gale is to fade on Tues AM (12/24) in the Northeastern Gulf with 30-35 kt northwest winds and seas fading from 31 ft at 45.5N 148W aimed southeast. The gael to dissipate from there. Swell possible mainly targeting the US West Coast. Something to monitor.

 

Another Dateline Gale
Another gale developed Sun AM (12/15) while tracking just off the Kuril Islands producing northwest winds at 45 kts resulting in 33 ft seas at 42N 158.5E aimed east. In the evening 40-45 kt northwesterly winds were tracking east over a tiny area with 32 ft seas at 41.5N 166.5E aimed east-southeast. On Mon AM (12/16) a moderate sized area of 40 kt west-northwest winds were approaching the dateline with 32 ft seas at 42.5N 174E aimed east. In the evening the gale moved over the Dateline with 40 kt west winds producing 31 ft seas at 45N 179W aimed east. On Tues AM (12/17) a broad area of west winds were rebuilding over the Northwestern Gulf at 35-40 kts producing 30 ft seas at 47.5N 175W aimed east. More of the same occurred in the evening with 35-40 kt west winds over a solid area in the Gulf aimed east producing 31 ft seas at 47N 163.5W aimed east. The gale held together Wed AM (12/18) with 30-35 kt west winds filling the Gulf resulting in 31 ft seas at 48N 155.5W aimed east. In the evening the gale stalled in the Gulf with 30 kt west winds over a large area and 29 ft seas at 47.5N 148W aimed east. The gale was fading Thurs AM (12/19) with 25-30 kt northwest winds and 24 ft seas filling the Gulf centered at 48N 143W aimed east. Secondary fetch developed in the evening at 30 kts from the northwest and seas 18 ft at 42N 158W aimed southeast and 20 ft seas at 38N 135W aimed southeast. The gale faded from there with 19 ft seas fading Fri AM (12/20) at 38N 155W aimed southeast and 18 ft seas associated with a front off the Central CA coast. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (12/19) building to 5.2 ft @ 15 secs (7.5 ft) later in the afternoon. Swell fading on Fri AM (12/20) from 3.9 ft @ 14 secs (5.5 ft) early. Dribbles fading Sat AM (12/21) from 3.1 ft @ 12 secs (3.5 ft). Swell DIrection: 315-318 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (12/20) building to 5.0 ft @ 17-18 secs (8.5 ft) with much local windswell intermixed at 7.8 ft @ 15 secs (11.5 ft). Mixed distant and local swell to continue on Sat (12/21) at 7.6 ft @ 15 secs (11.0 ft). On Sun (12/22) swell 5.9 ft @ 13-14 secs (8.0 ft) early and slowly fading. Windswell fading on Mon (12/23) from 6.0 ft @ 12 secs (7.0 ft). Swell fading from there. Swell Direction: 298 degrees

 

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Fri (12/20) a front is to remain stalled over North Cape Mendocino with south winds there 25 kts building to 30 kts later and 15 kts or less from the south from the Golden Gate northward. Light winds for Central CA. Light rain mainly for Cape Mendocino early. Sat AM (12/21) the front is to push south to Pt Conception late evening with south winds 20-25 kts in the front turning northwest 10 kts behind the front. Rain pushing south to the Golden gate and solid. No show for the Sierra yet. On Sun (12/22) northwest winds are forecast at 15-20 kts for North and Central CA early fading to calm later. Rain for the coast down into Southern CA mid-morning and getting lighter everywhere later in the day. Snow developing for the Sierra fading in the evening. Monday (12/23) a light north flow is forecast early for North and Central CA building to 15 kts in the late afternoon. Light rain continuing for Southern CA through the day. No snow forecast. On Tues (12/24) weak local low pressure is to be pushing onshore over Baja with north winds 10 kts nearshore forecast for North and Central CA and up to 15 kts offshore fading some later. Northwest winds 15+ kts for Pt Conception and Southern CA later. Light rain only for Southern CA fading later in the day. Wed AM (12/25) a new local low is to set up off Central CA with south winds forecast at 15 kts for North and Central CA early turning east 10-15 kts later and south winds building for Southern CA at 20 kts later. Rain developing along Central CA becoming focused on Southern CA later afternoon. No snow forecast. Thurs (12/26) a light north to northeast flow is forecast all day. Light rain for Cape Mendocino in the evening. Fri (12/27) northwest winds are forecast for North and Central CA at 10 kts or less. Rain building south over all of North Ca and down to Monterey Bay. Moderate snow for the Sierra.

Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 3, 3, 3 and 2 inches respectively.

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

 

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis
No swell producing fetch is occurring.

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

 

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

 

QuikCAST's

 

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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours:

A cutoff gale is to develop 600-800 nmiles west of Kauai Sat (12/21) drifting slowly northeast into Wed (12/25) while fading and never making it north of Hawaii nor producing any fetch of interest targeting the Islands. No swell production is forecast from it.

Of more interest is a gale forecast building while tracking well off North Japan on Mon AM (12/23) producing 35-40 kt westerly winds while lifting northeast. In the evening west winds are to be 40 kts over a moderate area with seas 26 ft at 44N 177E aimed east. The gale is to race northeast over the dateline on Tues AM (12/24) producing 35 kt west winds and seas 23 ft at 45N 170W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to move to the Western Gulf with 30-35 kts west winds and seas 22 ft at 46N 160W. On Wed AM (12/25) the gale is to build to storm status with 50 kt northwest winds in the Northern Gulf with 30 ft seas building at 49N 153W aimed east. In the evening 55 kt northwest winds are to be in the Northeastern Gulf with 44 ft seas at 49.5N 144W aimed southeast. The storm is to hold position on Thurs AM (12/26) with 50-55 kt northwest winds and 48 ft seas at 50N 140W aimed southeast. the storm is to fade some in the evening just off the British Columbia coast with 40 kt northwest winds and seas fading from 39 ft at 49N 135W. Something to monitor.

Also on Tues AM (12/24) a new gale is to be building off North Japan producing 40-45 kt northwest winds and seas building. In the evening the gale is to build to storm status while pushing east with 55 kt west winds and seas building to 42 ft at 43N 158E aimed east. On Wed AM (12/25) the storm is to have 50 kt northwest winds and 43 ft seas at 43.5N 163E aimed east. In the evening 45 kt northwest winds are to be slowly pushing towards the dateline with 38 ft seas at 44N 167E aimed southeast. The gale to slowly fade through Fri AM (12/27) never quite making it to the dateline. Something to monitor.

 

South Pacific

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

 

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

Kelvin Wave #5 Impacting Ecuador

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

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

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

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

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (12/19) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific fading to moderate from the east over the Central Pacific building to moderate strong on the dateline over into the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the far East equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific and the dateline then very weak westerly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (12/20) weak west anomalies were filling the KWGA today. The forecast continues to call for west anomalies building in coverage and strengthening to moderate to strong status by 12/25 and holding through the end of the model run on 12/27.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (12/19) A weak Inactive MJO signal was all but gone over the dateline today with a weak Active Phase over the Maritime Continent. The statistic model indicates a weak Active Phase is to push east moving to the dateline at day 15. The dynamic model indicates the same thing initially but with the Active Phase building stronger at moderate status days 10-15 filling the KWGA. The 2 models are mostly in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (12/20) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the Maritime Continent today and is to move to the West Pacific and very weak at day 15. The GEFS model suggests the same thing but with the Active Phase moving to the West Pacific and moderately strong at day 15.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (12/20) This model depicts a modest Active MJO filling the Pacific today. The Active Phase is to push east to the East Pacific and over Central America on 1/9. A weak Inactive MJO signal is forecast setting up over the West Pacific on 1/7 pushing to the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 1/29. At that time a weak Active Phase is to start setting up over the far west KWGA.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (12/19) This model depicts a weak Active Phase over the Indian Ocean pushing east with moderate west anomalies filling the KWGA today. Weak west anomalies are to hold in the KWGA through the end of the model run on 1/16. A pocket of east anomalies is to start developing in the far west KWGA on 1/7 pushing east an getting some traction in the West KWGA at the end of the model run on 1/16.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (12/20) This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO was very weak over the KWGA but with weak west anomalies over the KWGA. A generally weak to weak westerly wind anomaly pattern is to hold within the Inactive Phase which is to fade on 1/2. A weak version of the Active Phase is to develop tracking east through the KWGA 1/4 holding through 3/1 with weak west anomalies holding through 1/18, then fading out only to redevelop 1/30 holding through the end of the model run on 3/18. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias with 2 contour lines in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to the California coast. The second contour line is to hold till 3/10, then collapse. A high pressure bias built in the Indian Ocean starting 10/22 and is to hold through the end of the model run through getting a little weaker at the end of the run. A strong area of east anomalies in the Indian Ocean is forecast to significantly weaken by 2/12 and appears to try and then make slow progress to the east tracking into the west KWGA later in Feb.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (12/20) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm was steady at 175E while the 29 deg isotherm was steady at 172W today. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 163W today. The 24 deg isotherm was backtracking to 117W today after previously pushing east into Ecuador. Anomaly wise, gentle warm anomalies are filling the entire Pacific with a pocket at 2-3 degs building from the Maritime Continent moving east with it's leading edge at 135W indicative of new Kevin Wave #6 pushing east. A smaller area of warm water at +1 degs was all but gone while pushing into Ecuador indicative of Kelvin Wave #5 mostly inland now. Warm water was filling the entire equatorial subsurface Pacific from 110 meters upwards. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 12/14 indicates warm water had formed a Kelvin Wave extending from 120E under the Dateline east to 145W at +2-3 degrees with lesser warm water pushing east from there then rebuilding to +2-4 degrees and impacting Ecuador. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (12/14) A building pocket of +5 cms anomalies was tracking east between 155E-145W. Negative anomalies were gone along Peru and being replaced by very weak positive anomalies in pockets.

Surface Water Temps
The more warm water in the equatorial East Pacific means more storm production in the North Pacific during winter months (roughly speaking). Cold water in that area has a dampening effect. Regardless of what the atmospheric models and surface winds suggest, actual water temperatures are a ground-truth indicator of what is occurring in the ocean. All data is from blended infrared and microwave sensors.
Satellite Imagery
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4: (12/19) The latest images ( 1.2 3.4) indicate weak warming anomalies were building from North Chile along Peru up to Ecuador then streaming west on the equator over the Galapagos out to the dateline. Weak cool anomalies were south of the equator off Peru starting at 10S reaching west to 110W. Weak warm anomalies were on and north of the equator building while tracking west to the dateline.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (12/19): Today a building area of warming was filling the entire area from Chile and Peru steaming west out to 90W and also off Ecuador on the equator out to the dateline. A few pockets of cooling were interspersed along the equator from Ecuador to 140W and steady. The short term trend is now towards warming in the Southeast Pacific. This is a step in the right direction.
Hi-res Overview: (12/19) A weak fading area of cool anomalies is trying to hold on south of the equator off Peru reaching out to 120W but further south than weeks past. Otherwise gentle warming was along Peru lifting north up to Ecuador then pushing west on the equator, out to the dateline. Warmer than normal water was north of the equator from the remnants of El Nino, but mostly gone south of the equator. Water temps appear to be stable mildly favoring El Nino.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (12/20) Today's temps were rising some at +0.178 after bottoming out down at -0.900 on 12/12. Temps peaked prior at +1.55 degrees on 12/2 after a long runup from negative anomalies in October. It now appears we are in a falling trend.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(12/20) Temps were falling slightly today at +0.080. Temps peaked on 11/14 at +0.509 degs, fell some to -0.018 on 11/28, and are now trying to rebuild. The trend has been steadily generally upwards since Sept when they bottomed out at -0.6 degs (9/14).

Click for Full Sized Image Click for Full Sized Image

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

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (12/20) Actual's indicate a cooling trend set up late summer with temps -0.2 degs in mid-Sept then then trend started rising to +0.25 degs in early Oct holding to Dec 1. The forecast has temps holding in the +0.2-+0.4 degree range into May, then fading steadily to -0.0 in early Sept. According to this model a neutral sea surface temperature pattern biased slightly warm is forecast for the foreseeable future.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Oct 2019 Plume depicts temps are at +0.25 degs, and are to hold in the +0.25 deg range into May 2020, then fading slightly to +0.15 in June 2020. See chart here - link.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad) (12/20): The daily index was negative today at -8.46 and has been negative the last 9 days. The 30 day average was negative and rising at -4.38. The 90 day average was rising at -5.62, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was developing.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): Oct +0.33 Sept +1.13, August +0.64, July +0.75, June -0.32, May +1.10, April +0.30, March +1.0, Feb +1.29, Jan +0.193. This index has been steadily positive but still indicates mostly ENSO neutral conditions (not El Nino).

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

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 

****

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


Powerlinessurf Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest

Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for the week starting Sunday (12/15):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhUhQ3fg1b8&feature=youtu.be&hd=1
For automatic notification of forecast updates, subscribe to the Stormsurf001 YouTube channel - just click the 'Subscribe' button below the video.

- - -

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

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.

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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