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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Saturday, August 29, 2020 3:23 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
1.5 - California & 1.2 - Hawaii
Using the 'Summer' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

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

Issued for Week of Monday 8/31 thru Sun 9/6

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   

New Zealand Gale Developing
More To Follow

On Saturday, August 29, 2020 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 2.5 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 1.7 ft @ 9.9 secs from 171 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 2.2 ft @ 4.5 secs with swell 1.2 ft @ 6.1 secs from 30 degrees. Water temp 81.1 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.0 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 1.4 ft @ 14.1 secs from 174 degrees. Wind at the buoy was south at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 71.2 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 4.4 ft @ 9.4 secs from 313 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.3 ft @ 15.2 secs from 200 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.3 ft @ 15.7 secs from 199 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 1.4 ft @ 15.8 secs from 191 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 4.5 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 3.5 ft @ 8.1 secs from 315 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was southeast at 8-12 kts. Water temp 53.1 degs (013), 58.6 degs (SF Bar) and 57.9 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).
- 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).
- 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.
- up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.

Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.

Current Conditions
On Saturday (8/29) in North and Central CA local northwest windswell was producing waves at thigh high and warbled with onshore southerly wind and nearly whitecapped and not really rideable. Protected breaks were thigh high and weak and soft but clean. At Santa Cruz surf was thigh high on the sets and clean and soft and weak and inconsistent. In Southern California/Ventura windswell was producing waves from the northwest to maybe waist high and clean and pretty but weak. Central Orange County had set waves to maybe chest high on the peak and fairly clean early and unremarkable. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had set waves at waist high with a few chest high peaks and clean but inconsistent and weak. North San Diego had sets at thigh to maybe waist high and clean and weak. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was small with up to thigh high sets and clean and weak. The East Shore was getting no real east windswell with waves knee to thigh high and heavily textured and warbled early from modest east-northeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Saturday (8/29) no real locally generated windswell was occurring in North and Central CA or the East Shores of the Hawaiian Islands. There was no meaningful southern hemi swell hitting CA or Hawaii today either with dribbles fading originating from a gale that tracked east through the South Central Pacific on Tues-Wed (8/19) producing up to 32 ft seas aimed due east. Beyond a gale was tracking under New Zealand on Sat-Sun (8/30) producing up to 45 ft seas aimed east-northeast. A small secondary gael is to follow tracking through the Central South Pacific Tues-Wed (9/2) producing up to 41 ft seas aimed east. And maybe another weak one to follow southeast of New Zealand Wed-Thurs (9/3) producing up to 34 ft seas aimed northeast. So there is some hope. And also on Sun (8/30) a weak gale is to develop in the extreme Northern Gulf producing up to 28 ft seas aimed east-northeast. We'll monitor this situation.

See all the details below...


Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Saturday (8/29) no swell of interest was in the water.

Over the next 72 hours a weak gale is forecast building in the Northwestern Gulf on Sat PM (8/29) producing 35-40 kt southwest winds trying to get some traction on the oceans surface. On Sun AM (8/30) west winds at 50 kts over a tiny area are to be positioned just south of the Eastern Aleutians producing seas at 22 ft at 52N 168W aimed east-northeast. In the evening 40 kt west winds are forecast moving into the extreme northern Gulf of Alaska and over the Eastern Aleutians tracking northeast with seas 26 ft at 54S 160W aimed northeast. Low odds of any swell resulting for California but perhaps sideband swell into the Pacific Northwest.


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


Tropical Update
No tropical system are being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Saturday (8/29) north winds were blowing at 20-30 kts off and along the Cape Mendocino area and reaching up to Oregon and south to a point well off Monterey Bay but with a light eddy flow (south winds) nearshore from Bodega Bay southward and expected to hold all day. Windswell holding if not building some. On Sun (8/30) the gradient is to build with north winds forecast at 30-35 kts for Cape Mendocino down to Pt Arena with a light eddy flow south of Pt Arena. Windswell building some through the day. Mon (8/31) north to northeast winds to continue just over and off Cape Mendocino at 30-35 kts but aimed more out to sea with the eddy flow from south of Cape Mendocino south to Pt Conception all day. Windswell production starting to fade. On Tues (9/1) northeast winds are forecast at 20-30 kts off Cape Mendocino with a light eddy flow over all of North and Central CA nearshore waters. Windswell production fading. Wed (9/2) northeast winds to continue at 20+ kts streaming well off Cape Mendocino pushing out to sea offering no real windswell production potential. Light winds are forecast over all of CA nearshore waters. On Thurs (9/3) a light northwest windflow at 5 kts is forecast for all of North and Central CA offering no windswell production potential. On Fri (9/4) northwest winds are to start building over Central CA at 15-20 kts early getting better footing in the afternoon and reaching up to Pt Arena but not enough to produce meaningful windswell. On Sat (9/5) northwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts from Pt Conception north to near Cape Mendocino making for a choppy mess of things but with no real windswell production potential forecast.

Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 0, 0, 0 and 0 inches respectively. Freezing level 14,000 ft or higher for the week.

Snow Models: (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!


South Pacific

On Saturday (8/29) the jetstream was the southern branch of the jet was redeveloping pushing just under New Zealand up at 50S being fed by 130 kts winds forming something that looked like a trough on it's leading edge offering some support for gale development. In the east the jet was falling south at 160W and points east of there pushing into Antarctica and actively suppressing support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours the trough under New Zealand is to tracking east into Mon (8/31) offering some support for gale development then moving over the Central South Pacific on Tues (9/1) while weakening likely not offering much in terms of support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours starting on Wed (9/2) a new weak ridge is to start pushing south under New Zealand reaching down to 67S and suppressing support for gale development then starting to push east before vaporizing on Fri (9/4). By Sat 99/5) there's some suggestion of a new trough trying to develop under New Zealand being fed by 130 kts winds perhaps offering some support for gale development beyond. And to the east the jet is to running due east on the 60S latitude line looking better positioned to perhaps offering some hope.

Surface Analysis
On Saturday (8/29) swell from a gale that tracked east through the Central South Pacific was fading out in California (see South Central Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a gale is forecast tracking east from under New Zealand (see Fresh New Zealand Gale below).

And another small gale is forecast developing southeast of New Zealand on Mon PM (8/31) producing 45-50 kt southwest winds and seas building to 40 ft over a tiny area at 54.4S 173W aimed east-northeast. On Tues AM (9/1) the gale is to track east producing 45 kt southwest winds over a small area and seas building to 42 ft at 54S 163W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to track east with 40-45 kt southwest winds and seas 37 ft at 53S 152W aimed east. More of the same is forecast Wed AM (9/2) with a decent sized area of 40 kt southwest winds forecast and seas 35 ft at 54.5S 143W aimed east. The gale is to be fading in the evening over the Southeast Pacific with 35 kt west winds and seas fading from 33 ft at 53.5S 132W aimed east. The gale is to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.


South Central Pacific Gale
Starting Tues AM (8/18) a gale developed well southeast of New Zealand producing a broad area of northwest winds at 45 kts with seas building to 29 ft at 58.5S 176.5W aimed east. In the evening fetch is to push quickly east and build in coverage at 40-45 kts from the west-northwest with 31 ft seas at 57.5S 162W aimed east-southeast. Fetch moved rapidly east on Wed AM (8/19) over a building area at 40-45 kts with seas 34 ft down at 62S 131W aimed east. The gale pushed east with west winds 35 kt over a large area and seas 31 ft over a broad area aimed east at 58.5S 125W aimed northeast. The gale pushed east of the Southern CA swell window after that. Something to monitor.

Southern CA: Swell fading Sat (8/29) from 1.5 ft @ 15 secs early (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 194 degrees

North CA: Swell fading Sat (8/29) from 1.3 ft @ 15-16 secs early (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 193 degrees


Fresh New Zealand Gale
A small but strong system developed just south of New Zealand on Fri PM (8/28) producing 55-60 kt west-southwest winds and getting traction on the oceans surface producing 46 ft seas at 53.5S 166.5E aimed east. On Sat AM (8/29) the gale was building in coverage producing a decent sized fetch of 40-45 kt southwest winds with seas 42 ft at 52.5S 176.5E aimed east-northeast. In the evening the gale is to be fading while tracking east producing a broad area of 35 kt southwest winds with seas fading from 37 ft at 52S 177W aimed east-northeast. On Sun AM (8/30) the gale is to track northeast with 30-35 kt southwest winds and seas fading from 32 ft at 49S 169W aimed east-northeast. The gale is to be gone in the evening with winds down to 30-35 kts and seas fading from 29 ft at 47.5S 163.5W aimed east-northeast. Perhaps some fetch is to redevelop Mon AM (8/31) producing 30 kt southwest winds and a core to 45 kts with seas 26 ft over a broad area at 46S 156W aimed northeast. The gale to fade from there. Something to monitor.


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




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

North Pacific

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


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours another gale is forecast developing under New Zealand Tues PM (9/1) producing 35-40 kt southwest winds and starting to get some traction on the oceans surface producing 25 ft seas. On Wed AM (9/2) the gale is to be building with a decent sized area of 40 kt southwest winds just southeast of New Zealand producing 29 ft seas at 58S 173E aimed northeast. In the evening the gale is to be lifting northeast with 40-45 kts southwest winds and seas 32 ft at 58S 179W aimed northeast. The gale is to be fading Thurs AM (9/3) with southwest fetch fading from 35 kts lifting northeast with seas fading from 31 ft at 54.5S 169W aimed northeast. The gale is to fade out from there. Something to monitor.


MJO/ENSO Forecast


Cold Water Controls Equatorial Pacific

MJO/ENSO Discussion
The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) 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.

And the El Nino/La Nino cycle (collectively know as ENSO - El Nino Southern Oscillation) is a less frequent (about once every 7 years) but more impactful cycle that affects world wide weather. Specifically, strong El Nino events promote storm production in the Pacific while La Nina events suppress storm production. These therefore have a significant impact on the production of swell and surf. The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO and ENSO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for upcoming activity (or inactivity depending on the state and interaction of these two oscillations).

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 held in a pool off Peru and had not changed until March 2020. By April the cool pool pushed east and by May subsurface cool waters erupted off Ecuador, forming a well defined cool tongue that looked like the start of La Nina, holding into July 2020.

Fall/Winter 2020/2021 = 3.0/3.5 (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 in 2014 and that a weak borderline El Nino from 2018 faded out in the Fall of 2019. A La Nina like ocean temperature pattern developed in the equatorial East Pacific in the summer of 2019, then faded and returned to a neutral if not weak warm status during the Winter of 2019-2020 only to return stronger in the Summer of 2020. We have been suspecting a turn towards a La Nina like atmospheric pattern to develop in the late Winter/early Spring of 2020. Our best hope is that moderation from the warm phase of the PDO might tamp down development of a full blown La Nina as we move into 2020. But at this time that does not appear likely. Given all that, for the 2020 there is decent probability for development of La Nina meaning a reduced number of storm days and storm intensity during the summer season, resulting in a below normal level of swell, with swell being below normal duration and period. And by the Fall and early Winter of 2020/21, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should fade even more, resulting in depressed swell production. This pattern is expected to hold through the Spring of 2021.

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 (8/28) 5 day average winds were solid from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific and then building from the east at moderate strength over the KWGA. Anomalies were moderate east over the East equatorial fading to neutral over the Central Pacific then neutral to light west over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, so they lag what is happening today by about 2 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (8/29) moderate east anomalies were filling the KWGA today with weak to modest west anomalies fading over the far East Pacific. The forecast calls for east anomalies building in coverage and strength over the KWGA continuing to fill it through the end of the forecast period (on 9/5) and near strong strength and building east to a point south of the California on the equator. Any lingering west anomalies in the East Pacific are to be gone by 9/1. Support for energy transfer into the jet is fading and will continue on that trend for at least the next week.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (8/28) A moderate to strong Inactive MJO was in control of the KWGA today. The statistic model indicates the Inactive Phase is to hold at strong status filling the KWGA on day 5 of the model run holding in strength on day 10 and then fading some to modest status on day 15. The dynamic model is corrupt again.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (8/29) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was modest over the North Africa today and is to steadily track east into the Maritime Continent and steadily weakening to weak status at day 15. The GEFS model suggests the same thing but with the Active Phase moving to the West Pacific and very weak at day 15.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (8/28) This model depicts a strong Inactive MJO filling the KWGA and all of the Pacific today. The forecast depicts the Inactive Phase is to move east through the Central equatorial Pacific and into Central America on 9/18 while holding solid strength with remnants lingering beyond. A moderate to strong Active MJO is to follow pushing into the far West Pacific 8/17 moving through the Central Pacific and into the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 10/7. A new solid Inactive Phase of the MJO is to start building over the Maritime Continent poised to push into the KWGA at that time.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (8/28) This model depicts an Inactive MJO starting to move into the far West KWGA with moderate east anomalies filling the KWGA and all of the equatorial Pacific. The forecast indicates the Inactive Phase of the MJO to build in earnest in the KWGA on 9/2 filling it through the end of the model run on 9/25 with moderate to strong east anomalies in control through the period over the whole equatorial Pacific. Overall a long run of easterly anomalies are to take over the KWGA.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (8/29 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a building strong Inactive MJO over and filling the KWGA today and is to traverse the Pacific through 10/8 with another bout of strong east anomalies firmly controlling the KWGA and filling the whole equatorial Pacific and strong over the East Pacific during that window. A moderate Active Phase of the MJO is forecast to follow trying to organize in the west on 9/15 but getting pushed back, then starting it's eastward push in earnest on 9/30 exiting east of the KWGA on 10/24 with west anomalies filling the western 75% of the KWGA while east anomalies remain strong and in control east of there. A weak Inactive Phase is to follow 10/20 through the end of the model run on 11/27 but with weak west anomalies filling the KWGA. This is a step in the right direction. But east anomalies to hold over the East Pacific. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias is in control over the dateline today reaching east to a point south of California and is to hold in coverage through the end of the model run with a second contour setting up on 9/6 on the dateline holding through the end of the model run. There's a building trend suggesting the high pressure bias is to be slowly moving east at the end of the model run midway east of the KWGA at 155E. A single contour low pressure bias is building weakly over the Indian Ocean today and is to build in coverage through the end of the model run while its eastern periphery eases east to 140E and over the far West KWGA at the end of the model run and a second contour line developing on 11/15. East anomalies that have been previously solid in the Indian Ocean for over a year are migrating east into the West Pacific and should track east becoming stationary over the Central Pacific early Sept and holding for the foreseeable future. The trend is turning towards La Nina.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (8/29) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm was gone. The 29 deg isotherm was pushing east to 180W today. The 28 deg isotherm line was tracking east at 165W today. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing east to 131W today. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +0-1 deg C were fading in the West Pacific reaching east to 165W. There was a large pocket of cooler anomalies at -2 degs filling the entire area east of 170W and bubbling up to the surface over that entire area. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 8/21 indicates the cool water bubble at depth was far stronger and larger erupting to the surface from the dateline eastward to Ecuador. Almost no warm water was below the surface or at the surface east of the dateline. In effect a river of cool water was at depth under the entirety of the equatorial Pacific 150m tracking east. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (8/21) Negative anomalies greater than -5 cms with a large embedded area at -10-15 cms were building over the Central equatorial Pacific between 110W to 155W. Interestingly negative anomalies were dissolving along Ecuador and down into Peru but still covering a large area at -5 cms there and reaching north up to Baja and into Southern CA. No positive anomalies were over the equatorial Pacific, except west of 160E.

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: (8/28) The latest images indicate cold water was solid on the equator from Ecuador west to the dateline and consistent in density over that entire and large area. Cool water was also holding along Peru tracking northwest to Ecuador. This clearly indicates a well developing version of La Nina. Warm water was off Central America reaching west to the dateline but only north of the equator, remnants of a fading El Nino like pattern. Overall the cool pool on the equator was unmistakable and starting to show signs of rebuilding after previously being stalled.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (8/28): A clear stream of cooling water was pushing west from the Galapagos west to 150W tough weaker over the past few days. Small pockets of warming were interspersed but rapidly fading. The short term trend is looking like development of a large scale cooling trend centered in the Central Equatorial Pacific.
Hi-res Overview: (8/28) A stream of consistent cool water is well entrenched from Peru up to Ecuador then tracking west on the equator out to the dateline. A clear La Nina signal is depicted.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (8/29) Today's temps were steady at -1.783 degs after previously reaching a low of -2.138 on 8/13. The trend has been steadily downward since March 26. Overall the trend is towards cooling after having previously been in a warmer range at +0.6 degs between 2/25-3/26.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(8/29) Temps were rising slightly at -0.570 after bottoming out at -0.632 on 8/27, the lowest so far in the La Nina event. Before that temps were stable between 6/27-7/25 at near 0.0. And before that temps were rising after bottoming out down at -0.595 on 5/27. Overall the trend was warming but now appears to be in a steep decline.

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 (8/29) Actual temperatures were in the +0.65 deg range early this year through March, then started falling down to -0.20 in late-May then stabilized near neutral into late June. They began falling in July down to -0.6 degs early Aug. The forecast depicts a steady downward trend from here reaching down to -1.50 degs in late Oct then immediately begriming to rise, rebuilding up to +0.0 degs in late April. We think the dynamic models might be overstating the magnitude of the coming cooling trend for the equatorial Pacific, but maybe not too much.
IRI Consensus Plume: The August 21, 2020 Plume depicts temps are at -0.52 degs today, and are to fall in early Nov to -0.60 degs then moderating and starting to rise some to -0.35 by Jan 2021 and then neutral by March. The low outlier is a dynamic models (NASA GMAO). But a good plethora of models are now suggesting a developing modest La Nina. 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) (8/29): The daily index was positive today at 18.63. The 30 day average was rising at +6.66. The 90 day average was falling slightly to 0.82, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was in control and trending perhaps to La Nina. This index is a lagging indicator.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): June -0.67, May -0.46, April 2020 -0.69, March -0.09, Feb +0.65, Jan +0.42, This index was steady positive Aug 2018 through Feb 2020, and now is steady negative, but only weakly so.

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 


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 (8/30):
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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing:

Stormsurf and Mavericks on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel

Mavericks Invitational Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:

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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