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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, February 13, 2020 4:24 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
2.5 - California & 2.5 - 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 2/10 thru Sun 2/16

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   

2 Small Swells In Water
2 Gales Charted

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Thursday, February 13, 2020 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Barbers Point (Buoy 238) : Seas were 2.7 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 1.4 ft @ 13.4 secs from 231 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 6.2 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 4.3 ft @ 9.7 secs from 22 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.3 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 15.1 secs from 197 degrees. Wind at the buoy was calm. Water temperature 59.2 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.5 ft @ 15.7 secs from 294 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.5 ft @ 16.3 secs from 240 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.0 ft @ 14.6 secs from 214 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 1.7 ft @ 16.7 secs from 276 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 8.8 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 5.2 ft @ 14.8 secs from 283 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was southeast at 4-8 kts. Water temp 50.5 degs (013), 53.1 degs (012) and 54.1 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 Thursday (2/13) in North and Central CA Kuril Island swell was fading with waves in the head high to 1 ft overhead range and somewhat clean but soft and crumbly with southerly lump intermixed. Protected breaks were up to head high and lined up and clean but soft and a bit closed out. At Santa Cruz surf was waist to chest high on the sets and clean and lined up with no wind early and looking decently fun. In Southern California/Ventura waves were small at thigh to waist high but lined up and super clean and with decent form when they came. In North Orange Co surf was thigh to waist high on the sets and soft and weak but real clean. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were waist to maybe chest high on rare sets and lined up and real clean but generally soft. North San Diego had surf in the waist to maybe chest high range and lined up when it came and clean and soft but well rideable. Hawaii's North Shore had some shoulder to head high peaks on the sets and soft and inconsistent but at least if was finally clean. The South Shore was waist high on the sets and lined up and clean. The East Shore was getting northeast windswell at head high or so and nearly chopped from east-southeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (2/13) in California swell was hitting from a gale that developed off the Kuril Islands pushing east Thurs-Fri (2/8) producing up to 37 ft seas aimed east then fading over the North Dateline region on Sat (2/8) with seas dropping from 30 ft early. Hawaii was getting leftover windswell from a cutoff low previously north of the Islands. Another broad but diffuse gale developed limited to the far Northwest Pacific lifting northeast Sun-Wed (2/12) offering no meaningful swell production potential. Beyond a small gale developed over the North Dateline region Wed-Thurs (2/13) producing a small area of 38-40 ft seas aimed mainly due east. And an equally small gale tracked through the Northern Gulf on Wed (2/12) producing up to 34 ft seas aimed east. Some small swell to result mainly for the Pacific Northwest and down into North CA. Beyond a small gale is forecast over the Northwestern Gulf Mon-Tues (2/18) producing up to 32 ft seas aimed east. And another tiny gale is to form off the Kuril Islands Tues (2/18) producing up to 35 kts seas then tracking east over the North Dateline Thurs (2/20) with seas down to 33 ft region and heading east from there. But overall the storm track is to be displaced well north and genrally weak targeting mainly the Pacific Northwest. Our big hope is that a forecast Active Phase of the MJO feeds the storm track late Feb into early March. After that Spring is to bloom.

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 Thursday (2/13) the jetstream was consolidated pushing east off Japan on the 30N latitude line with winds up to 150 kts in two pockets forming a weak trough nearly over the dateline offering some support for gale development. The jet was lifting northeast from there over the Northwestern Gulf then weakly splitting 150W in the Central Gulf of Alaska with the northern branch weak and tracking into British Columbia with the southern branch very weak and barely falling over Hawaii still forming a small trough just south of the Islands and then falling southeast towards the equator there. Over the next 72 hours the dateline trough is to ease east and wash out and gone early Sat AM (2/15). By Sun (2/16) the jet is to be very weakly consolidated but broad and unfocused tracking west to east across the width of the North Pacific from Japan rising gently east-northeast pushing over the Oregon-Washington border but winds weak except for one pocket at 150 kts just off the Southern Kiril Islands forming a weak trough there offering some support for gale formation. Beyond 72 hours starting on Mon (2/17) that trough is to track east moving over the dateline and into the Northwestern Gulf on Tuesday (2/18) being fed by 140 kt winds and still offering some support for gale formation, then fading. A broader plume of wind energy is to be developing over Japan with winds 170 kts and pushing east to the dateline on Thurs (2/20) but not obviously forming a trough but likely supporting gale formation all the same. At that time the jet is to become more focused and penetrating deeper into the Gulf of Alaska before splitting (near 150W) possibly signaling the start of a more productive storm track, but not guaranteed.


Surface Analysis
On Thursday (2/13) swell was fading in California originating from a gale that previously formed off the Kuril Islands tracking to the dateline (see Kuril Storm below). Minimal swell is in the water tracking towards Hawaii from another diffuse gale that formed off the Kuril Islands (see Another Kuril Island Gale below). Small swell is also tracking towards the US West Coast from a gale in the Northern Gulf (See North Gulf Gale below). And another gale formed over the North Dateline region perhaps sending more small swell east (see North Dateline Gale below).

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

 

Kuril Storm
Yet another small gale developed just off the Kuril Islands on Thurs AM (2/6) with 45-50 kt west winds over a small area and 35 ft seas at 45N 161E aimed east. In the evening this system stalled with 50+ kt northwest winds holding over a modest sized area and 35 ft seas at 45.5N 162.5E aimed east. More of the same occurred on Fri AM (2/7) with 45 kt northwest winds and the gale holding position with 33 ft seas aimed east at 45N 164E. The gale eased east in the evening with 40 kt west winds and 37 ft seas at 44.5N 167.5E aimed east. The gale started fading Sat AM (2/8) with fetch fading from 35 kts and lifting northeast with seas fading from 30 ft at 45N 174E aimed east. A rapid fade occurred in the evening with fetch fading from 30 kts on the dateline and seas fading from 24 ft at 45N 180W aimed east. Small swell to track east.

North CA: Swell fading on Thurs (2/13) from 4.2 ft @ 15 secs (6.0 ft). Nothing left on Fri (2/14). Swell Direction: 302-303 degrees

 

Another Kuril Island Gale
A broad but fragmented gale developed just west of the dateline Sun AM (2/9) with 45-50 kt south winds lifting northeast in it's east quadrant continuing into the evening producing 28 ft seas at 42N 178E targeting only the Aleutians. But no meaningful fetch is forecast developing in the gales important west quadrant. A secondary core is to develop just east of the Kuril's Mon AM (2/10) producing a limited area of 45-50 kt west winds and 35 ft seas aimed east at 48N 170E and aimed south at 50N 162E but not targeting even Hawaii. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 45 kts from the northwest and west with 29 ft seas over a small area at 48N 164E. The gale is to fade while lifting north from there producing only 30-35 kt west winds Tues AM (2/11) with 24 ft seas at 44N 173E aimed east. This system is to fade from there. No meaningful swell is expected to result.

Hawaii: Low odds of swell arriving on Sat (2/15) building to 3.2 ft @ 13-14 secs later (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell fading on Sun (2/16) from 2.8 ft @ 12-13 seas (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 322 degrees

 

North Gulf Gale
On Tues PM (2/11) a small gale started developing just south of the Eastern Aleutians with 40 kt west winds over a small area with seas building from 23 ft at 50N 167W aimed east. On Wed AM (2/12) the gale built some with 45 kt west winds and seas 34 ft at 51.5N 156.5W aimed east. In the evening the gale tracked east into the Central Northern Gulf with 35 kt west winds and 31 ft seas at 51N 149W aimed east. The gale faded on Thurs AM (2/13) with northwest winds dropping from 30 kts and 27 ft seas at 51.5N 141W aimed east. Swell likely from British Columbia down to the Pacific Northwest with some energy seeping into North CA.

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (2/14) sunset pushing 4.0 ft @ 18 secs. Swell to peak sunrise Sat (2/15) at 6.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (9.5 ft) holding through the day. Swell fading Sun AM (2/16) from 5.0 ft @ 12 secs (6.0 ft). Swell Direction: 311 degrees and well shadowed in the SF Bay Area.

 

North Dateline Gale
Another gale developed over the North Dateline region on Wed AM (2/12) with 40-45 kt west winds and seas building from 28 ft at 43N 176E aimed east. In the evening west winds were 50-55 kts over a small area with seas building to 38 ft at 45.5N 179.5E aimed east. On Thurs AM (2/13) the gale was stalled over the North Dateline region with west winds at 40-45 kts and seas 43 ft at 50N 177.5W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to be fading with west winds 35 kts and 30 ft seas fading at 49N 174W aimed east. On Fri AM (2/14) residual 30-35 kt westerly fetch is to be fading with seas 25 ft at 50N 175W aimed east. Small swell is possible for Hawaii and the US West Coast. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Sat AM (2/15) pushing to 4.2 ft @ 13-14 secs late morning. Swell continues on Sun AM (2/16) at 4.5 ft @ 14-15 secs (6.5 ft) fading some as the day progresses. Residuals on Mon AM (2/17) at 3.4 ft @ 13 secs (4.5 ft). Swell fading from there. Swell Direction: 328-331 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 Thursday (2/13) north winds to be 15-20 kts for Pt Arena early but calm south of there and fading some up north later. Fri (2/14) high pressure is to try and ridge into the North Coast with north winds at 20-25 kts from Bodega Bay northward but 10 kts south of there to Pt Conception and maybe a little more in the afternoon. Sat (2/15) north winds are forecast at 20 kts from Pt Arena northward and 10 kts or less south of there and down over all of Central CA early holding through the day and turning weaker (15 kts) up north later. On Sun (2/16) a front with north winds at 15 kts is forecast over Cape Mendocino early pushing south with north winds at 15-20 kts over all of North and Central CA late. Cold rain is forecast for Cape Mendocino early pushing to Pt Arena late morning and dissipating there. No snow for the Sierra. Monday (2/17) north winds are forecast at 25 kts for all of North and Central CA and 30 kts from San Francisco up to Pt Arena pretty much holding all day. Tues (2/18) north winds are to be 30 kts for Cape Mendocino and 10-15 kts for everywhere south of there early fading to 10-15 kts later and 20 kts for Cape Mendocino later. Wed (2/19) light winds are forecast early for Central CA and north to northeast winds 10-15 kts for North CA early turning north 10 kts for North CA later and unchanged south of there. Thurs (2/20) north winds are forecast at 5-10 kts early for North and Central CA building to 15 kts over North CA and Pt Conception later.

Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 0, 0, 0 and 0 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 another small gale is forecast developing over the North Dateline region on Sun PM (2/16) producing 35-40 kt west winds over a fragmented area and seas 22 ft at 43N 172E aimed east. On Mon AM (2/17) northwest winds are to become more focused just south of the Aleutians at 40-45 kts with seas 23-27 ft over a range from 43-50N and 177W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to consolidate with west winds 40-45 kts and seas 33 ft at 48.5N 160.5W aimed east. The gale is to track east Tues AM (2/18) with 30-35 kt west winds and seas fading from 27 ft at 48N 160W aimed east. The gale is to fading fast in the evening with winds all but gone and seas dropping from 24 ft up at 53N 151W aimed east. Something to monitor.

And maybe another gale is to form on Tues PM (2/18) off the Kuril Islands with 45 kt west winds and 34 ft seas at 45N 163E. On Wed AM (3/19) west winds are to be 50 kts with 39 ft seas at 46.5N 170.5E. In the evening the gale is to be approaching the dateline with 45 kt west winds and 40 ft seas at 46N 174.5E aimed east. On Thurs AM (2/20) west winds are to be 40 kts on the dateline with 37 ft seas at 47N 178.5W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to be in the far Northwestern Gulf with 35 kt west winds and seas 31 ft at 47.5N 172W. Something to monitor.

 

South Pacific

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

 

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

Active MJO Developing

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. A bit of a recovery occurred during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water hold in a pool off Peru and has not changed as of late Jan 2020.

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 (2/12) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the North Dateline and North KWGA but moderately from the west over the South Dateline and into the south KWGA. Anomalies were light east over the East equatorial Pacific fading to neutral over the Central Pacific then moderate plus westerly over the dateline and KWGA mainly south of the equator.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (2/13) west anomalies were strong in the KWGA. The forecast calls for strong west anomalies through 2/16 over the KWGA, then fading to moderate strength and holding through the end of the model run on 2/20 focused on the dateline.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (2/12) A moderate Active MJO signal was filling the KWGA reaching to the dateline. The statistic model indicates the Active MJO is forecast slowly easing east filling the KWGA on days 5-10 of the model run and then building some into day 15 while holding position. The dynamic model indicates the same thing but with the Active Phase pushing a bit further east centered over the dateline at day 15. The 2 models are in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (2/13) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was modest over the far West Pacific today and is to slowly track east and losing strength over the Atlantic at day 15 of the model run. The GEFS model suggests the same thing initially, but with the Active Phase building to moderate strength at day 6 in the far West Pacific moving to the Central Pacific at day 15 and holding strength.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (2/13) This model depicts a moderate Active Phase over the Dateline region today. It is to push east moving into Central America on 3/9 while the Inactive Phase starts to develop in the KWGA 2/23. It is to push steadily east while holding strength moving into Central America on 3/19. A weak Active MJO is to start building in the West Pacific on 3/14 moving to the Central Pacific at the end of the model run on 3/24.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (2/12) This model depicts a weak Inactive MJO east of the dateline today but with moderate west anomalies in control in the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Inactive signal is to track east and fade by 2/19 over the East equatorial Pacific while a moderate plus strength Active MJO is building in the Central KWGA and pushing east with strong west anomalies taking root 2/23 and holding in the KWGA through 2/28. The Active Phase is to be pushing east of the KWGA 3/7 with moderate west anomalies still in control, then fading as the Inactive Phase starts to build on the last day of the model run on 3/11..
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (2/13-using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a neutral MJO biased Inactive but with modest west anomalies in the KWGA today. In reality a weak Inactive Phase was rushing through the KWGA today and is to continue through 2/19 but with west anomalies holding if not building to moderate strength. A moderate Active MJO Phase is to set up 2/21 with moderate to strong west anomalies building into the KWGA holding till 3/11. Beyond that a moderate Inactive Phase is forecast 3/8-4/12 with modest west anomalies holding in the KWGA other than 3/24-4/2 when east anomalies are forecast. Another Active Phase is to develop 4/9 holding through 5/11 with modest west anomalies building to strong status in the KWGA. A weak Inactive Phase to follow building in the far West KWGA at the end of the model run on 5/12. 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. A third contour line is to briefly appear near 3/8. The second contour line is to hold unchanged. A high pressure bias built in the Indian Ocean and is to hold. East anomalies set up in the Indian Ocean starting 10/22/19 and are to hold. The model keeps switching between the continuation of the Indian Ocean high pressure/east wind bias and the low pressure bias over the dateline and the demise of all three in the April timeframe.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (2/13) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm backtracked from 175E to 173E to 172E with the 29 deg isotherm steady at 171W. The 28 deg isotherm line was a brick wall aligned and steady at 162W today. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador a bit thicker than days past. Anomaly wise, Kelvin Wave #6 was under the dateline at +4 degs tracking from the Maritime Continent moving east with it's leading edge at 138W. Lesser warm water was pushing into Ecuador at +2 degs. Warm water was filling the entire equatorial subsurface Pacific from 150 meters upwards. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 2/2 indicates warm water had formed a Kelvin Wave with warm water falling from 120E down into the dateline at 180m deep peaking there at +3 degrees then pushing and rising east to 140W with lesser warm water pushing and rising east from there (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: (2/2) A broad pocket of +5 cms anomalies is filling the equatorial Pacific between 170E pushing into Ecuador. Fairly impressive.

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: (2/10) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate warm anomalies were building just off the coast of Chile up into Peru but with cool anomalies nearshore there, then building warm anomalies along Ecuador up into Central America then tracking west on the equator to the Galapagos out to 120W mainly on and north of the equator. A broad pocket of cool anomalies still was south of the equator and well off Peru filling the area from 2S south down to 20S reaching west to 115W and east to 90W. A new building pocket of solid cool anomalies was also on the equator and north of it between 122W to 155W and getting cooler.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (2/12): Today a shrinking to almost nonexistent area of warming was fading in the area from Chile and Peru west out to 100W. Weak warming also extended on the equator from Ecuador out to 120W but also weaker with a thin stream of cooling tracking through the middle of it. The short term trend is towards weak warming in the Southeast Pacific.
Hi-res Overview: (2/12) A steady pocket of cool anomalies is holding south of the equator starting at 5S and just off Peru reaching west out to 130W and steady. Warm anomalies were breaking up along Chile and Peru then stronger up to Ecuador and Central America up to Mexico and stronger on the equator out to 100W. A cool pocket was on the equator from 115-135W and weakening. Warmer than normal water was west of there out to the dateline and beyond. Water temps appear to be stable and neither El Nino or La Nina.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (2/13) Today's temps were noodling around at +0.085 but previously much lower 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:
(2/13) Temps were rising some at +0.347. 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 (2/12) Actual's indicate a cooling trend set up late last summer with temps -0.2 degs in mid-Sept then started rising to +0.25 degs in early Oct holding to Dec 1 rising to +0.70 degs Jan 1 and forecast holding there to Feb 1. From there the forecast depicts temps holding steady to mid-March then starting to fall, down to 0.0 in early May then diving negative appearing to be moving to La Nina down at -1.40 in early Oct and stabilizing there. According to this model a neutral sea surface temperature pattern biased slightly warm is forecast for the Winter and Spring of 2020, then turning strongly towards La Nina in the core of Summer.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Jan 2020 Plume depicts temps are at +0.42 degs, and are to slow fade to neutral +0.00 in June 2020, then holding there till Sept 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) (2/13): The daily index was negative today at -12.49. The 30 day average was weakly negative at -1.61. The 90 day average was falling slightly at -4.11, 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): Dec +0.46, Nov +1.03, Oct +0.27 Sept +1.11, August +0.60, 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: 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 2019 -0.18, Feb -0.50 Mar -0.23, April +0.10, May +0.14, June -0.11, July +0.44, Aug -0.14, Sept +0.05, Oct -0.96, Nov -0.28, Dec +0.01, Jan 2020 -1.17, This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2018 +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 (2/9):
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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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