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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Monday, December 31, 2018 3:33 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
3.1 - California & 3.8 - 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 12/31 thru Sun 1/6

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   

West Pacific Swell Tracking East
Series of Small Gales Forecast Longterm

Happy New Year!
Thanks to everyone for using and supporting Stormsurf over the past year. Please have a safe and happy holiday.

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Monday, December 31, 2018 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/ Buoy 239 (Lanai): At Barbers Point (238) seas were 3.3 ft @ 7.7 secs with swell 2.6 ft @ 7.8 secs from 172 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 5.0 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 3.5 ft @ 8.2 secs from 22 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.8 ft @ 6.2 secs with swell 1.4 ft @ 15.5 secs from 241 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 16-21 kts. Water temperature 60.6 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 3.0 ft @ 9.9 secs from 274 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.5 ft @ 15.7 secs from 260 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.9 ft @ 9.9 secs from 276 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.4 ft @ 15.8 secs from 276 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 13.5 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 9.8 ft @ 8.9 secs from 325 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 20-23 kts. Water temp 56.8 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 Monday (12/31) in North and Central CA surf was head high to 1 ft overhead on the sets and warbled and mushed with north wind pushing lump through it. Protected breaks were chest high to 1 ft overhead and junky and a chopped/whitecapped mess. At Santa Cruz surf was waist to maybe chest high and lined up but pretty weak but at least it was clean. In Southern California/Ventura surf was waist high and weak and not real well organized but reasonably clean early. In North Orange Co surf was waist to maybe chest high and clean but weak and gutless. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were thigh high and heavily textured from onshore winds and barely rideable. In North San Diego surf was waist high and junky though a bit lined up with light chop on it. Hawaii's North Shore was waist to chest high at top breaks on the sets but pretty weak and reasonably clean with just touch of northerly texture running through it. The South Shore was flat and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell with waves head high and chopped with easterly trades blowing.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Monday (12/31) no swell of interest was hitting Hawaii or California, with only windswell in effect in those locations now. Starting on Sat (12/29) a large but ill formed gale developed in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean producing a broad but unfocused area of 26-27 ft seas pushing east and targeting Hawaii through today (Mon 12/31). On Thurs (1/3) a gale is to start developing 900 nmiles north of Hawaii pushing east producing 32 ft seas fading, then redeveloping off Southern CA on Sat (1/5) with 33 ft seas aimed southeast. After that another gale is to form off North CA and Oregon Sun-Mon (1/8) with up to 44 ft seas aimed east while yet another forms on the dateline with 38 ft seas aimed east. So a strong gale pattern is forecast starting a few days out.

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 Monday AM (12/31) the jetstream was consolidated pushing east off Japan down on the 35N latitude line with winds building to 190 kts then pushing over the dateline and reaching 160W before splitting with most energy in the northern branch tracking northeast and up into Alaska then falling hard south just inland down through interior Washington and California. There was some limited support for gale development over the Northwestern Pacific just north of where the jet was strongest, but no real trough was indicated offering no clear support for organized gale development. Over the next 72 hours the same basic pattern is to hold with the jet consolidated and tracking hard east on the 35N latitude line but reaching east now to 140W (800 nmiles west of San Francisco) before splitting with winds to 170-180 kts mainly in the Western Gulf but no clearly defined troughs forming offering only generic support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours starting Sat (1/5) a bit of a trough is to start building just west of the dateline with another just off North CA offering decent support for gale development. At that time the jet is to be consolidated across the width of the North Pacific and pushing onshore over Central CA with winds in pockets to 170-180 kts. Fairly impressive. The trough off California is to push onshore on Sun (1/6) while the dateline trough fades only to redevelop in the Central Gulf on Mon (1/7) being fed by 180 kts winds over the dateline. Improving support for gale development in the aforementioned troughs. Overall a fairly impressive jetstream flow is indicated.

Surface Analysis
On Monday (12/31) swell from a broad ill formed gale that developed filling the Western North Pacific was moving towards the Hawaii (see West Pacific Gale below).

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

 

West Pacific Gale
A broad area of low pressure started building over and just east of Japan on Fri PM (12/28) with west winds 30-35 kts in pockets pushing well off Japan with seas to 20+ ft over a large area from Japan to the dateline aimed east with the leading edge at 40N 180W and peak seas to 30 ft at 42N 158E. Fetch held into Sat AM (12/29) with 35-40 kt west winds off Japan and seas 27 ft at 37N 161E. More of the same occurred in the evening with 27 ft seas at 36N 168E aimed east. Fetch was fading Sun AM (12/30) with 35 kt northwest winds mid-way between Japan and the Dateline with 26 ft seas at 35N 170E aimed southeast. In the evening fetch was fading from 30-35 kts just west of the dateline with seas 27 ft at 37N 161E aimed southeast. On Mon AM (12/31) northwest winds were fading from 35 kts over a modest area with 27 ft seas at 34N 169E targeting Hawaii well. In the evening west winds to be fading from 30 kts with seas fading from 24 ft at 33N 176E aimed east. Possible moderate swell to result for Hawaii eventually reaching the US West Coast but smaller and less consistent.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival late on Tues (1/1) pushing 4.9 ft @ 16 secs (7.5 ft). Swell continues on Wed (1/2) at 5.5 ft @ 15 secs (8.0 ft). Swell holding stable early Thurs (1/3) at 5.5 ft @ 14-15 secs (8.0 ft) then starting to fade late afternoon. Swell fading Fri AM (1/4) from 3.2 ft @ 13-14 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 310 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (1/2) building to 4.7 ft @ 15 secs (7.0 ft). Swell continues on Thurs (1/3) 5.6 ft @ 16-17 secs (9.0 ft). Swell continues on Fri (1/4) 6.7 ft @ 14 secs (9.0 ft). After that new swell might override this swell. Swell Direction: 294 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 Monday (12/31) high pressure was locked 600 nmiles off the North Coast at 1032 mbs generating north winds at 25-30 kts over all of North and Central CA. Tuesday (1/1) the high weakens and starting ridging into Oregon again with light northeast winds developing mid- AM along the entire CA coast. A weak wind pattern is forecast Wed and Thurs (1/3) with a local storm lifting northeast a bit west of the North California coast Thursday making for south winds over Cape Mendocino building to 20 kts late afternoon. No rain just yet. Friday (1/4) low pressure is to be building off the Central Coast with south winds 10 kts over all of North and Central CA. Light rain for Cape Mendocino. Sat (1/5) the low is to hold off the coast with south winds 10-15 kts for the entire state. Rain building late for Central CA and more so for Southern CA. Snow building for the Southern Sierra late. Sunday (1/6) the low is to edging over Southern CA with offshore winds for all of North and Central CA and 15-20 kt southwest winds for Southern CA. modest rain for Southern CA northward up to Monterey Bay. Snow for the entire Sierra but focused on the Southern end of the range. Monday (1/7) another broad gale is to be off the North Coast with light winds for the Central Coast early but south winds 30 kts for Cape Mendocino and 10 kts down to the Golden Gate. Rain limited to Cape Mendocino.

Total snow accumulation for for the week for North Lake Tahoe: 0 inches and 3 inches for Mammoth. It appears the Inactive Phase of the MJO is supporting high pressure over California a little bit longer. .

 

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.

 

  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 Monday (12/31) high pressure was locked 600 nmiles off the North Coast at 1032 mbs generating north winds at 25-30 kts over all of North and Central CA. Tuesday (1/1) the high weakens and starting ridging into Oregon again with light northeast winds developing mid- AM along the entire CA coast. A weak wind pattern is forecast Wed and Thurs (1/3) with a local storm lifting northeast a bit west of the North California coast Thursday making for south winds over Cape Mendocino building to 20 kts late afternoon. No rain just yet. Friday (1/4) low pressure is to be building off the Central Coast with south winds 10 kts over all of North and Central CA. Light rain for Cape Mendocino. Sat (1/5) the low is to hold off the coast with south winds 10-15 kts for the entire state. Rain building late for Central CA and more so for Southern CA. Snow building for the Southern Sierra late. Sunday (1/6) the low is to edging over Southern CA with offshore winds for all of North and Central CA and 15-20 kt southwest winds for Southern CA. modest rain for Southern CA northward up to Monterey Bay. Snow for the entire Sierra but focused on the Southern end of the range. Monday (1/7) another broad gale is to be off the North Coast with light winds for the Central Coast early but south winds 30 kts for Cape Mendocino and 10 kts down to the Golden Gate. Rain limited to Cape Mendocino.

Total snow accumulation for for the week for North Lake Tahoe: 0 inches and 3 inches for Mammoth. It appears the Inactive Phase of the MJO is supporting high pressure over California a little bit longer. .

 

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 a more energetic pattern is forecast.

On Thurs (1/3) a small storm is forecast developing 900 nmiles north of Hawaii producing a small area of 50 kt northwest wind with seas 34 ft at 38N 163W aimed east. The gale is to continue east in the evening with winds down to 45 kts from the northwest with seas 31 ft at 37N 156W. On Fri AM (1/4) fetch is to be fading from 40 kts from the northwest with seas 27 ft at 36N 150W aimed southeast. The gale is to dissipate after that.

Remnants of the above gale are to redevelop 600 nmiles off Central CA Fri PM (1/4) generating a area of 50+ kt north winds with seas building from 27 ft at 36N 135W aimed south and mostly bypassing any major landmass. On Sat AM (1/5) 45 kt north winds are forecast well off Pt Conception with 34 ft seas at 33N 133W aimed south. The gale is to fall south in the evening a be fading with 35 kt northwest winds and seas fading from 29 ft at 30N 132W pushing towards Southern Baja. The gale to fade from there.

Also a gale is to be developing in the Western Gulf on Fri PM (1/4) with 45 kt southwest winds ands seas 31 ft at 44.5N 166W aimed east. On Sat AM (1/5) the gael is to track northeast up into the Northern Gulf with 45 kt northwest winds and seas 33 ft at 46N 156W aimed east. The gale is to hold in the evening with 45 kt west winds and seas 30 ft near 49N 153W aimed east. the gale to fade from there.

And on Sat Am (1/5) another gale is to be developing off Japan tracking east and then northeast finally stalling over the Northern Dateline region Sun PM (1/6) with 45 kt northwest winds and seas building to 31 ft at 43N 172E aimed southeast. The gale is to hold position Mon AM (1/7) with 45-50 kt northwest winds a bit south of the Central Aleutians with seas 35 ft at 44N 177E aimed east. Something to monitor.

 

South Pacific

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

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

Sea Surface Temps Just Above Normal - No Sign of El Nino

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 Fall, but not enough yet to declare El Nino and not coupled with the atmosphere.

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 January 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 (12/23) Not updated due to government partial shutdown. 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific to the dateline, then pushing moderately from the east over the whole of the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific turning moderately easterly near the dateline and continuing into the core of the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (12/31) moderate plus west anomalies were over the entirety of the KWGA. The forecast is for west anomalies holding if not building in coverage filling the KWGA at the end of the model run on 1/7. Support for storm development appears to be building but limited to the West Pacific for the next week with the Active Phase building there.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (12/30) The Inactive Phase of the MJO was east of the dateline with a moderate Active Phase of the MJO over the far West Pacific. The statistical model indicates the Active Phase is to ease east still filling the KWGA at the end of the model run at day 15. The dynamic model indicates the same thing but with the Active Phase not quite as strong. The 2 models are generally in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (12/31) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was moderate over the Eastern Maritime Continent. It is to track east steadily losing strength reaching the East Pacific 1 week out and back to the Indian Ocean 2 weeks out and very weak. The GEFS model is contrary suggesting the Active MJO is to be moving slowly west and moderately strong over the West Pacific 5 days out then stalling there and holding 15 days out. There is an interesting divergence between the 2 models.
40 day Upper Level Model: (12/31) This model depicts a strong Active Phase of the MJO in the West Pacific today moving east slowly east and reaching Central America on 1/25. A solid Inactive signal is to set up over the far West Pacific 1/17 tracking east and is to move over the East Pacific and into Central America on 2/9. Another solid Active Phase of the MJO is to build in the West Pacific 2/2 tracking east to the dateline at the end of the model run on 2/9.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (12/30) This model depicts west anomalies were strong over the western KWGA with weaker west anomalies reaching east to the dateline. West anomalies are to push east associated with the Active Phase of the MJO building there reaching a point just west of the dateline 1/5 and holding through through 1/11, then fading but still moderate in the heart of the KWGA through the end of the model run on 1/27.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (12/31) This model depicts a strong Active Phase of the MJO was over the core of the KWGA with moderate west anomalies just about filling the KWGA. The Active MJO pattern is to build east over the KWGA today through 1/5 with west anomalies filling the KWGA, possibly to WWB status 1/3-1/10 then fading some as the Active MJO moves east and out of the KWGA on 1/25. A weak Inactive Phase to follow starting 1/18 in the far West Pacific holding and weak through 3/5. But modest west anomalies are to continue through 2/12, then dissipating as the above Inactive Phase takes control with weak east anomalies in the KWGA 2/12-3/1. After that the active Phase is to return with weak west anomalies 3/5 through the end of the model run on 4/1. 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 third contour line faded 12/17 and to remain suppressed from here forward. It appears from this model that a tendency towards El Nino is in control, but that El Nino itself is not in control. The atmosphere and ocean are trying to become coupled towards El Nino in the Pacific Ocean, but there's no objective evidence of it occurring or any suggestion that it will. Still this pattern is to slowly become more favorable to support storm production in the Pacific regardless of whether El Nino develops, because the atmosphere is still turning from a La Nina pattern (that has been entrenched for the past 2 years) at a minimum towards a neutral one. Our assumption is a normal Winter pattern will result, or perhaps slightly enhanced, but nothing more.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (12/24) Not updated due to government partial shutodwn. Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs and steady (after previously reaching east to 175W on 12/11) reaching east today to 180W. The 28 deg isotherm line had retrograded west to 160W mid-Nov, then moved east and walled up to 153W, but retrograded and is steady today back at 160W. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador 25 meters down. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies are filling the entire subsurface Pacific with temps rebuilding in the Central Pacific at +3 degs at 140W (Possible Kelvin Wave #3). Temps are stable at 3 degs east of there the whole way into Ecuador. It appears Kelvin Wave #2 is gone and fully erupted off Ecuador. We were thinking the peak of the Kelvin Wave cycle for this supposed El Nino has already occurred associated with Kelvin Wave #2, but upwelling over Ecuador looks poised to continue nonstop for the next 2-3 months with the development and merging of Kelvin Wave #3 with Kelvin Wave #2. So there's good surface oceanic warming potential to feed jetstream core energy through the entirety of the 2018/2019 winter cycle. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 12/19 paints the same picture with the Kelvin Wave #2 in the East Pacific and almost gone with 2 little pockets at +5 degs at 100W pushing into Ecuador and a separate area of modest warming building at +3 degs under the dateline associated with Kelvin Wave #3. Kelvin Wave #2 was breaching the surface from 90W to 165E solidly. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (12/24) Positive anomalies were steady from the interior Maritime Continent tracking east at 0 to +5 cms over the equator north of New Guinea then over the dateline and extending steady into Ecuador at 0-+5 cms, but with one +5 cm pocket embedded near 120W, suggesting a potentially fading Kelvin Wave pattern in the future.

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: (12/30) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate temps were weakly warm in a Kelvin Wave pattern straddling 5 degrees north and south of the equator from Ecuador west to the dateline, but still fading significantly compared to days and weeks past. Warm water that was previously steady along the coast of Chile and Peru up into Ecuador is all but gone. Generic warming was off Central America and Mexico and steady. There is no indications that El Nino is building. A concerning pocket of cool waters elongated east to west off Peru to 130W has gained ground. Overall the pattern looks more like El Nino than La Nina, but not strongly like El Nino. In all this supposed El Nino is weak and becoming more fragile by the day.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (12/30): A broad area of warm water was off Peru. Otherwise no clear indications of warming or cooling was on the equator or in any Nino region.
Hi-res Overview: (12/30) Weak warm water was along the immediate coast of Chile and Peru. But more important, moderate warm water was on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos building out to the dateline. We have turned the corner from a cool regime a year ago to a warm regime now. 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 because the warm signal on the surface should be much stronger at this time of the year if El Nino were truly developing. We are in an ENSO neutral pattern biased warm 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: (12/31) Today's temps were stable after falling hard, at -0.010, after having risen to +1.265 on 12/20. Previously temps fell to +0.212 on 12/3, after having previously built to +1.534 on 11/27. That peak on 11/27 was the all time high for this event in this region.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(12/31) Today temps were falling some at +0.730 after having previously risen to +1.050 degs on 12/6 and previously in the +0.5-+0.6 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.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (12/31) The model indicates temps are to be +0.95 degs on Jan 1 (which wasn't even close to reality - they were actually about +0.6) then forecast rising some to +1.20 degs by Feb 1 fading to +1.0 in early May 2019, falling to +0.75 into early August 2019. If one is to believe the model then one would assume that El Nino is to build in the Winter of 18/19. But given all the data we've seen, we believe there no odds of El Nino developing.
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) (12/31): The daily index was falling some at -0.42. The 30 day average was falling some at +9.23 suggesting a Inactive MJO. The 90 day average was rising some at +4.67, rising the past 3 weeks and no longer negative and the highest its been in months. There is no indication that El Nino is present in the atmosphere.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (12/31) The index has fallen slightly from +0.28 on 12/15 down today to -0.22 and not positive or anywhere near as strongly positive as it should be if El Nino were developing.
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 

****

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 (12/30):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MisFtygih7E&feature=youtu.be&hd=1
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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

- - -

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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