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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, September 5, 2019 3:20 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
2.2 - California & 2.6 - 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 9/2 thru Sun 9/8

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   

3 New Zealand Swells for CA & HI
Waiting for NPac to Come On-line

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Thursday, September 5, 2019 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai) Seas were 3.1 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 1.7 ft @ 14.4 secs from 186 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.7 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 2.0 ft @ 11.3 secs from 332 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.9 ft @ 11.4 secs with swell 2.2 ft @ 11.4 secs from 173 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 70.3 degs (46086). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 5.4 ft @ 13.7 secs from 295 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.4 ft @ 11.7 secs from 190 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.7 ft @ 11.0 secs from 185 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 3.6 ft @ 10.2 secs from 184 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 7.0 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 5.4 ft @ 12.6 secs from 294 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 8-10 kts. Water temp 53.1 degs (013) and 58.6 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 (9/5) in North and Central CA swell from the Western Gulf was still producing surf with waves chest high or so and a bit uneven and soft with light northwest winds on it. Protected breaks were waist to maybe chest high and clean but a little warbled. At Santa Cruz surf was waist to chest high coming from the northwest and soft but clean. In Southern California/Ventura waves were knee to thigh high and clean and weak and with alot of windswell crosswave in the water. In North Orange Co waves hurricane swell was hitting with waves shoulder to head high and lined up pushing out of the south with lightly textured conditions. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were chest to shoulder high on the sets from southerly hurricane swell and clean but a little crossed up from northwest swell. North San Diego had surf at waist high on the sets and clean but soft. Hawaii's North Shore was still getting some Gulf swell with waves up to chest high early and clean. The South Shore was chest to head high on occasional sets and real clean and lined up early. The East Shore was getting thigh high east windswell and modestly chopped from northeasterly trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (9/3) in California swell from a gale previously in the Western Gulf of Alaska Sat-Mon (9/1) with 36 ft seas aimed east was still hitting while exposed breaks in Southern CA were getting swell from what was Hurricane Juliette. For Hawaii the same Gulf swell was fading out and the first faint dribbles of energy from New Zealand were starting to show. That swell is the first from a series of small gales that developed under New Zealand. The first meaningful one (it was actually the second in the series) developed Thurs-Fri (8/30) producing up to 43 ft seas aimed due east. And a third developed Fri-Sun (9/1) producing up to 41 ft seas aimed east-northeast offering some better hope. And yet a fourth developed Sun-Tues (9/3) with seas building to 43 ft aimed northeast nearly traversing the South Pacific. But in all cases, fetch size was small, limiting the fetch's footprint and ability to generate significant swell momentum. But after that a weak storm and swell pattern is forecast both North and South. That said a small gale might develop in the Northern Gulf on Thurs (9/12) producing 24 ft seas aimed east. But down south no swell production is forecast. The transition towards Fall is starting to occur.

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
Surface Analysis
Swell was hitting Hawaii and California from a gale previously in the Northwestern Gulf (See Northwestern Gulf Gale below). No meaningful swell is expected to result from a low currently fading in the Gulf of Alaska (see North Gulf Low below).

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

 

Northwestern Gulf Gale
A small gale started to develop on the northern dateline region on Fri PM (8/30) producing 35-40 kt north to northwest winds with seas starting to build. On Sat AM (8/31) the gale was blooming with 45-50 kt northwest winds and seas 32 ft over a tiny area at 47N 176W aimed southeast. In the evening the gale swept east comfortably in the Northwestern Gulf with 45 kt west winds with 37 ft seas at 49N 169.5W aimed east. On Sun AM (9/1) the gale was lifting northeast slightly with 35 kt west winds reasonably well south of the Eastern Aleutians with 33 ft seas at 51.5N 163W aimed east. In the evening 30 kt easterly fetch was holding somewhat exposed south of the Aleutians with 25 ft seas fading at 54N 157.5W aimed east. On Mon AM (9/2) the gale was gone with it's core in the Eastern Bering Sea offering no more sea production potential. The first modest swell of the Fall 2019-2020 season is to result.

Oahu: Residuals fading on Thurs (9/5) from 2.2 ft @ 11 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 332 degrees

North CA: Swell fading on Thurs (9/5) from 4.0 ft @ 13 secs (5.0 ft). Residuals on Fri (9/6) fading from 3.0 ft @ 11-12 secs (3.5 ft). Swell DIrection: 303 degrees

 

North Gulf Low
A small low pressure system developed in the Central Gulf lifting north on Wed AM (9/4) producing 30+ kt north winds no getting good traction on the oceans surface. The gale continued lifting north in the evening with 30-35 kts north and northwest winds producing 14 ft seas at 45N 149W aimed south and southeast. The gale stalled Thurs AM (9/5) with 25-30 kt northwest winds and seas fading from 13 ft targeting the Pacific Northwest down into Northern CA at 44N 146W. In the evening the gale is to start fading while easing northeast with 25 kt northwest wind and seas fading from 11 ft at 48N 146W aimed southeast. No real swell to result.

 

Windswell Outlook
On Thurs (9/5) no north winds are occurring offering no support for windswell production relative to CA. A weak tropical low is was 600 nmiles south-southeast of the Big Island producing an area of east winds at 15 kts extending up to 900 nmiles east of the Islands offering some odds for weak windswell production radiating west. Fri (9/6) no fetch is expected along the California coast. A building fetch of east winds at 15 kts is forecast over the Hawaiian Islands and extending east 900 nmiles offering improved odds for windswell production along east facing shores of all the Islands. Sat (9/7) high pressure is to be building in the Gulf of Alaska but not yet reaching California other than Pt Conception generating northwest winds at 15-20 kts there but near calm from Big Sur northward early offering no real windswell production potential. But northwest winds to start building late afternoon at 15+ kts for all of North and Central CA. For Hawaii trades are to hold at 15 kts solid up to 900 nmiles east of the Hawaiian Islands producing windswell there. On Sun (9/8) a gradient and north winds are to develop over all of North and Central CA at 20+ kts starting to produce short period junky north windswell. For Hawaii the tropical low is to be south of the Big Island producing east winds at 15 kts and that fetch starting to link up with the remnants of Tropical Storm Juliette resulting in up to 1500 nmiles of east fetch targeting all the Islands resulting in windswell.

 

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

 

Tropical Update
Hurricane Juliette was positioned 360 nmiles southwest of Cabo San Lucas Mexico on Tues AM (9/3) tracking northwest with winds 100 kts (115 mph) producing 25 ft seas. Julliette built in the evening with winds to 105 kts (121 mph) at 18.5N 115.5W or on the 168 degree path to Dana Point and 950 nmiles away aimed only tangentially in that direction with seas 35 ft. Swell peaking in Southern CA in 47 hours assuming a 13 sec period or on Thurs PM (9/5). On Wed (9/4) Julliette was turning a little more westerly with winds fading from 85 kts (98 mph) offering less support for swell development. On Wed PM Juliette had winds 80 kts (92 mph) tracking west-northwest from a position 900 nmiles south of Los Angeles CA with seas 29 ft. On Thurs AM (9/5) Juliette was 800 nmiles south-southwest of Los Angeles CA with winds 80 kts (92 mph) tracking northwest with seas 26 ft and offering less swell energy pushing north. A slow downward progression is expected after that with Juliette continuing on a northwest to westerly track and falling below hurricane strength on Fri (9/6), no longer of interest.

Southern CA: Swell building some through the day Thurs (9/5) to 3.5 ft @ 12-13 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell holding on Fri (9/6) at 3.4 ft @ 11-12 secs (4.0 ft). Residuals on Sat (9/7) fading from 3.1 ft @ 10-11 secs (3.0 ft). Swell gone by Sun (9/8). Swell Direction: 168 moving to 180 degrees

California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday (9/5) north winds were 10 kts over most of the coast but up to 15 kts in pockets off Pt Conception and Pt Arena. On Fri (9/6) north winds are to be 10 kts or less but up to 15 kts for the Pt Conception area. Sat (9/7) north winds are to be 10 kts early for all of North and Central CA but at 15 kts over Pt Conception, and building to 15+ kts everywhere later. Sunday (9/8) northwest winds to be on the increase at 20 kts over all of the region and building to 25 kts for Pt Conception and Pt Arena later. Mon (9/10) northwest winds are to be 20-25 kts for all of North and Central CA. On Tues (9/10) north winds to be 10-15 kts for NCal and 20 kts for SCal. On Wed (9/11) north winds to be 10 kts for North CA but 15 kts for Central CA. Thursday (9/12) north winds to be 15-20 kts for North CA and 10 kts for Central CA.

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

 

South Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Thursday (9/5) the jetstream was mostly split but with the northern branch ridging hard south joining the southern branch just east of New Zealand pushing south to 65S with winds 120 kts completely squashing any support for gale formation from south of New Zealand east to 135W. And west and east of that ridge the southern branch was at 63S or points south of there offering no support for gale development over the entirety of the South Pacific. Over the next 72 hours that ridge is to be holding while pushing east reaching south to 72S and over Antarctica offering no support for gale development over the entirety of the South Pacific. Beyond 72 hours starting Sun (9/8) the southern branch of the jet is to be ridging south traversing the entire South Pacific down at 65S or further south from under New Zealand reaching down over Antarctica in the Southeast Pacific and offering nothing in terms of support for gale development through Wed (9/11). But on Thurs (9/12) there suggestions of a weak trough starting to build under New Zealand with the ridge evaporating and winds pushing northeast over the Tasman Sea and building to 110 kts over Tasmania offering a faint glimmer of hope.

Surface Analysis  
A gale developed under New Zealand falling southeast (See First New Zealand Gale below) followed by a more interesting gale behind (see Second New Zealand Gale below). A third gale developed under New Zealand behind that tracking northeast (See Third New Zealand Gale below). And yet a 4th gale developed behind that (See 4th new Zealand Gale below). Swell from these systems is tracking northeast.

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

 

First New Zealand Gale
A tiny storm developed just south of New Zealand on Wed AM (8/28) with 50-55 kts west winds over a small sized fetch area and seas building from 39 ft aimed east to southeast at 59S 171.5E. In the evening 45 kt west winds were over a small area with the core of the gale falling southeast with seas 39 ft at 61S 177.5 aimed east to southeast. On Thurs AM (8/29) fetch was fading from 35 kts from the west with the core of the gale tracking east and seas fading from 31 ft at 62.5S 168W aimed east and nearly impacting Antarctic Ice. The gale is to dissipate and track southeast from there over the Ross Ice Shelf. Doubtful much if any swell will be radiating northeast given it's southeasterly trajectory.

 

Second New Zealand Gale
Another gale developed south of New Zealand on Thurs AM (9/29) with 45-55 kt southwest winds with the gale itself tracking east and up to 39 ft seas at 57.5S 168E aimed east. In the evening a core of 45 kt southwest winds built pushing east with a tiny area of 43 ft seas building at 55S 178.5E aimed east. On Fri AM (8/30) southwest winds were building in coverage but fading in velocity at 35-40 kts with 37 ft seas at 55S 171W aimed northeast. Fetch was collapsing through the day and gone by evening with seas mainly from previous fetch fading from 30 ft at 57S 161W aimed east. Maybe some small swell to result.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (9/5) building to 1.6 ft @ 18 secs later (2.5-3.0 ft). On Fri (9/6) swell holding at 1.6 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.5 ft) but getting swamped by stronger swell. Swell Direction: 198 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri afternoon (9/6) with period 19 secs and size not noticeable. Swell building on Sat (9/7) to 1.6 ft @ 18 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell getting swamped by other stronger swell on Sun (9/8). Swell Direction: 213 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri afternoon (9/6) with period 19 secs and size not noticeable. Swell building on Sat (9/7) to 1.6 ft @ 18 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell getting swamped by other stronger swell on Sun (9/8). Swell Direction: 212 degrees

 

Third New Zealand Gale
Yet a third small gale developed under New Zealand on Fri AM (9/30) with 50 kts southwest winds and seas on the increase from 30 ft at 57S 168E aimed east. In the evening southwest winds were 50-55 kt over a modest area aimed northeast with seas 44 ft over a tiny area at 55S 179.5E aimed east-northeast. On Sat AM (8/31) 45 kt southwest winds were in-play with 36 ft seas at 50.5S 169W aimed east-northeast. In the evening 40 kts southwest winds were fading aimed northeast with 33 ft seas at 48.5S 159W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (9/1) the gale was fading with barely 35 kts southwest winds remaining and 29-30 ft seas fading at 47S 151W aimed northeast. More swell is to be radiating northeast.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Fri (9/6) building to 2.0 ft @ 18 secs later (3.5 ft). On Sat (9/7) swell to be fading from 2.2 ft @ 16-17 secs early (3.5 ft). Residuals fading on Sun (9/8) from 2.0 ft @ 14 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 193 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat afternoon (9/7) with swell building to 1.6 ft @ 19 secs (3.0 ft). Swell building on Sun (9/8) to 2.4 ft @ 18 sec (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell building on Mon (9/9) to 2.5 ft @ 16-17 (4.0 ft). Swell fading Tues (9/10) from 2.1 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft). Residuals on Wed (9/11) fading from 1.8 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 213 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat afternoon (9/7) with swell building to 1.6 ft @ 19 secs (3.0 ft). Swell building on Sun (9/8) to 2.2 ft @ 18 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell steady on Mon (9/9) at 2.3 ft @ 17 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell fading on Tues (9/10) from 2.1 ft 15-16 secs early (3.0 ft). Residuals on Wed (9/11) fading from 1.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 206-211 degrees

 

4th New Zealand Gale
And yet a larger 4th gale is to follow under New Zealand on Sat PM (8/31) producing a broad area of 35-40 kt west winds and seas building from 29 ft at 55S 155E aimed east. On Sun AM (9/1) a broad fetch of southwest winds developed with a core at 50 kts just south of New Zealand with 35 ft seas building at 56S 170.5E aimed northeast. In the evening the gale was lifting solidly northeast with 50-55 kt southerly fetch developing with 43 ft seas building at 53S 177.5W aimed northeast. On Mon AM (9/2) a solid fetch of 50 kt southwest winds were pushing northeast with seas 43 ft at 50S 166W aimed northeast. In the evening southwest winds were fading and pushing northeast at 45 kts with seas 41 ft at 48S 157.5W aimed northeast. On Tues AM (9/3) southwest winds were 35 kts over a broad area in the Central South Pacific with 35 ft seas at 45.5S 151W. Fetch is to be fading fast from 30-35 kts in the evening with seas fading from 29 ft at 45S 143W aimed northeast. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Sat (9/7) building to 2.0 ft @ 20-21 secs late (4.0 ft). Swell peaking on Sun (9/8) at 2.3 ft @ 18 secs (4.0 ft) holding all day. Swell fading some on Mon (9/9) from 2.1 ft @ 16 secs early (3.0 ft). Residuals fading on Tues (9/10) from 1.7 ft @ 14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 189 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon (9/9) at sunset with period 20-21 secs and size barely noticeable (1.4 ft @ 20-21 secs - 2.5 ft). Swell building on Tues (9/10) to 2.0 ft @ 18-19 secs later (3.5 ft). Swell peaking on Wed (9/11) at 2.6 ft @ 16-17 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell fading Thurs (9/12) from 2.3 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 206 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon (9/9) at sunset with period 20-21 secs and size barely noticeable (1.4 ft @ 20-21 secs - 2.5 ft). Swell building on Tues (9/10) to 2.0 ft @ 18-19 secs later (3.5 ft). Swell peaking on Wed (9/11) at 2.6 ft @ 16-17 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell fading Thurs (9/12) from 2.3 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 206 degrees

 

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 small gale is forecast developing in the Northern Gulf on Tues AM (9/10) producing south winds at 40 kts lifting northeast. In the evening 35-40 kt west winds are to start wrapping around it's core aimed east with seas building to 24 ft at 52N 152W aimed east. On Wed AM (9/11) northwest winds to build to 40 kts solid targeting the US West Coast with seas 21 ft at 53N 155W aimed southeast. In the evening 35+ kt northwest winds to hold position with 22 ft seas at 51N 150W aimed southeast. On Thurs AM (9/12) fetch is to be fading and lifting northeast at 35-40 kts with seas 24 ft at 53N 144W aimed northeast and swell production fading out. This system is to dissipate after that. Something to monitor.

 

Windswell Outlook
On Monday (9/9) high pressure at 1030 mbs is to be in the Western Gulf producing northwest winds at 20 kts well off the Pacific Northwest linking up with local northwest fetch at 20+ kts over North and Central CA generating northerly windswell along the North and Central CA coast. East winds east of Hawaii are to hold up to 600 nmiles east of the Islands but in patches further out resulting in continued easterly windswell along the east shores of the Hawaiian Islands. On Tues (9/10) northwest winds to be fading from 15 kts in patches along the North and Central CA Coast focused mainly on Pt Conception offering limited odds for windswell production. East trades are to be 15 kts only in patches relative to Hawaii offering little to no windswell production potential. On Wednesday (9/11) no windswell producing fetch is forecast relative to either California or Hawaii. Thurs (9/12) north winds to again develop over North and Central CA at 15-20 kts resulting in small junky windswell at exposed breaks. No east fetch of interest is forecast for Hawaii.

 

South Pacific

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

 

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

SSTs Warming Some over Equatorial EPac

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

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

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

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

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (9/4) 5 day average winds were solidly from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific shrinking in coverage but still present over the Central Pacific with east winds at moderate strength extending west to the dateline then into the core of the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East and Central equatorial Pacific and also neutral over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (9/5) moderate westerly anomalies were building in the core of the KWGA and with some flavor of westerly anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast is for westerly anomalies building in the KWGA over the coming week filling the KWGA with west anomalies getting nearly strong 9/8-9/11 and moderate west anomalies holding at the end of the model run on 9/12. A building Active Phase of the MJO is forecast over the next 7 days.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (9/4) A weak Active MJO pattern was in control of the KWGA today. The statistic model indicates it is to hold for the next 5 days, then start fading returning to a neutral pattern if not trending towards the Inactive Phase at day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model indicates the same thing initially, but turning towards a neutral Pattern by day 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (9/5) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak in strength over the Eastern Maritime Continent and is to migrate slowly east to the West Pacific 15 days out and moderately weak. The GEFS model suggests the Active Phase migrating to the far West Pacific then backtracking some and weak at day 15 of the model run and stalling in the far Eastern Maritime continent.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (9/5) This model depicts a modest Active Phase over the West Pacific and is to slowly ease east moving over the Central Pacific and into Central America on 9/30. A moderate Inactive MJO is to be setting up over the far West Pacific 9/25 easing east through the end of the model run on 10/15 and over the East Pacific at that time.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (9/4) This model depicts no MJO signal present in the Pacific today but with modest west anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast depicts these west anomalies building in coverage completely filling the KWGA and areas east of there by 9/6 and holding solidly through the end of the model run on 10/2.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (9/5) This model depicts a weak Active MJO pattern starting to build over the KWGA today and with weak west anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast has a weak Active MJO signal holding from now through 10/3 when a very weak Inactive Phase develops moving through the KWGA through 10/22 followed by a continued weak MJO pattern through the end of the model run (12/2). During that entire period weak west anomalies are to hold in the core of the KWGA if not building pretty solid from 10/22 through 11/25. The low pass filter changed on 7/25 and is building yet more today with a low pressure bias with 1 contour line in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to California. This single contour line is to hold while a second contour line develops 10/15 and possibly a third contour line on 11/25 while a high pressure bias builds in the Indian Ocean. If this pattern holds into early Fall it would constitute a significant upgrade. This model indicates that a weak El Nino pattern is to maybe rebuild. That is not believable at this early date given the water temperature anomaly situation over the equatorial West (cool) and East Pacific (cooler) today.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (9/5) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs over a decent size area retrograding west to 178E while the 29 deg isotherm was steady at 172W today. The 28 deg isotherm line was retrograding to 162W today. The 24 deg isotherm previously pushed into Ecuador at 30 meters down, but retrograded on 7/11 from 107W to 125W and was holding today. Anomaly wise, gentle warm anomalies are filling the West Pacific at +1-2 degs from the surface to 150 meters down (deepest on the dateline) and indicative of a possible stationary Kelvin Wave #5 there reaching east to 150W. East of there in the East Pacific NO warm anomalies remained with a cool pocket with a core at -1 degs down 100 meters at 130W but fading compared to days past. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 8/26 indicates warm water from Westerly Wind Burst #5 has formed a small stationary Kelvin Wave under the Dateline with cool anomalies from 150W into Ecuador drawing up from depth to the surface. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (8/31) A small area of weak positive anomalies were on the dateline from 165E to 170W. Negative anomalies were still present pushing west from Ecuador at -5 cms reaching to 150W forming a cool triangle reaching up into Central America and down to Chile suggestive of La Nina.

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: (9/4) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate weak warm anomalies are present north of the equator from Central America west to 140W and holding in coverage and then with broader coverage west of 140W to the dateline. Of more interest was a pool of cool waters building today along the coasts of Chile up to Peru then streaming west on the equator off Ecuador over the Galapagos and out to 160W solidly suggestive of La Nina. But that stream between the Galapagos and 120W was pretty choked off today. Warm anomalies south of the equator are steady but very weak today from just of Peru east to 140W centered on 10S. There had been a steady push towards the evaporation of El Nino in the East equatorial Pacific with La Nina developing there.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (9/4): A solidly warming trend has set up on the equator from Ecuador to 115W with a pockets of cooling from there to 150W. The trend today was towards warming, but the trend has been oscillating between cooling an warming with the balance towards cooling over the past 2 months.
Hi-res Overview: (9/4) A clear La Nina cool stream was pushing west starting with a broad bubble of cool water along Chile and Peru then streaming west off Ecuador to 175W indicative of La Nina. Warmer than normal water was straddling the equator from the remnants of El Nino, mainly north of the equator and all but gone south of the equator starting to form a cool triangle from South Chile northwest to the dateline then to Ecuador. El Nino appears to be in retreat and La Nina appears to be trying to develop.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (9/5) Today's temps were falling hard at -1.106 degs, and have been pretty consistently negative since June 1.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(9/5) Today's temps were steady at -0.405 degs after bottoming out on 8/28 at -0.510 degs. The trend has been generally downward since mid-June.

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 (9/5) The model indicates a cooling trend set up with temps down to -0.05 degs in early August. The forecast has temps rising through Sept into early Oct reaching +0.45 degs then rising from there to +0.65 degrees by late Dec. On Jan 1 2020 temps are to be holding at about +0.70 holding steadily into May 2020. According to this model a neutral to weak El Nino sea surface temperature pattern is forecast.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Aug 2019 Plume depicts temps are at +0.30 degs in August, and are to hold in the +0.50 range into Dec/Jan, then fading slightly to +0.45 in May/April 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) (9/5): The daily index was negative today at -12.54. The 30 day average was negative at -4.27. The 90 day average was falling at -6.55, 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): July +0.82, June -0.32, May +1.10, April +0.34, March +1.0, Feb +1.29, Jan +0.193. This index has been steadily positive but still indicates mostly ENSO neutral conditions (not El Nino).

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

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 

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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 (9/1):
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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/

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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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