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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Saturday, September 7, 2019 12:37 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
3.5 - California & 3.1 - 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 9/9 thru Sun 9/15

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 New Zealand Swells Hitting HI
Same Swell Poised for CA

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Saturday, September 7, 2019 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai) Seas were 4.2 ft @ 16.7 secs with swell 2.7 ft @ 16.1 secs from 181 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.0 ft @ 6.2 secs with swell 3.0 ft @ 6.2 secs from 41 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.2 ft @ 10.0 secs with swell 1.8 ft @ 10.1 secs from 169 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north at 8-10 kts. Water temperature 70.5 degs (46086). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.8 ft @ 10.6 secs from 245 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.0 ft @ 10.5 secs from 192 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.3 ft @ 20.2 secs from 218 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 3.4 ft @ 10.2 secs from 198 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 4.4 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 2.1 ft @ 11.7 secs from 271 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 10-12 kts. Water temp 54.1 degs (013) and 58.5 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 Saturday (9/7) in North and Central CA local north windswell as producing waves at waist high or so and pretty torn up from northwest winds though not whitecapped and mushy and not really rideable. Protected breaks were up to waist high and pretty clean but soft. At Santa Cruz surf was knee to waist high on the rare sets and soft and short but clean. In Southern California/Ventura set waves were waist high and sort of lined up but pretty warbled from wind off the coast though local wind was calm. In North Orange Co waves were waist to chest high coming from the south but a little jumbled and warbled but with calm local winds. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks had slightly overhead sets on the outside but pretty broken up and with some warble intermixed and with textured conditions. North San Diego had surf at waist to maybe chest high on the sets and clean and lined up but soft. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was still pretty solid getting New Zealand swell with waves head high to maybe 1 ft overhead and real clean and lined up and peeling early. The East Shore was getting east windswell at chest high and fully chopped from solid easterly trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Saturday (9/7) in California no real swell was hitting though the first signs of New Zealand swell was showing on the buoys. For Hawaii the same New Zealand was hitting solidly. That swell (the first meaningful one but 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. After that a weak storm and swell pattern is forecast both North and South. That said the models suggest some ill formed gale might start developing in the Northern Gulf on Wed-Thurs (9/12) producing 16 ft seas aimed east. 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
No real swell was hitting Hawaii or California. No meaningful swell is expected to result from a low that was previously in the Gulf of Alaska (see North Gulf Low below).

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast other than windswell (see below).

 

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 started 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 Saturday (9/7) high pressure was building east from 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 and 25 kts near Pt Conception. 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 15+ kts early and up to 25 kts at Pt Conception 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 more windswell. 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 15-20 kts over North CA and up to 20 kts over 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 but declining 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 fading east of Hawaii at 15 kts only in a few patches offering little to no windswell production potential.

 

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

 

Tropical Update
Tropical Storm Juliette was positioned 800 nmiles southwest of Pt Conception California with winds 40 kts tracking west and no longer offering any support for swell production. Swell from previous fetch was fading mainly in Southern CA (see forecast below).

Southern CA: 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

Typhoon Faxai on Sat AM (9/7) was 400 nmiles south of Tokyo Japan with winds 105 kts tracking northwest and expected to turn to the north with winds 115 kts then recurve northeast Sun evening (9/8) after just brushing the Tokyo area with 100 kts winds and heading out to sea while fading and down to tropical storm status on Tues AM (9/10). Remnants of this system are to possibly become assimilated with a cold core low developing over Kamchatka on with the merged system pushing over the North Dateline region Wed-Thurs (9/12) possibly producing some fetch. Something to monitor.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Saturday (9/7) north winds were 10 kts early for all of North and Central CA but building to 15-20 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 in pockets and building to 25 kts for Pt Conception later. Mon (9/10) northwest winds are to be 10-15 kts for North CA early and 20-25 kts for Central CA south of Monterey Bay . On Tues (9/10) north winds to be 10-15 kts for NCal and 20 kts for Central CA south of Monterey Bay. On Wed (9/11) north winds to be 15 kts for North and Central CA all day. Thursday (9/12) north winds to be 20 kts for Pt Arena but 10 kts or less south of Bodega Bay all day. On Fri (9/13) no change is forecast but north winds building to 25 kts for all of North Ca later and 15 kts down over all of Central CA later. On Sat (9/14) north winds to be up to 30 kts for all of North CA and 20 kts over Central CA nearshore waters.

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

 

South Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Saturday (9/7) the jetstream was mostly split but with the northern branch ridging hard south over the Central South Pacific joining the southern branch and pushing south to 72S with winds 110 kts pushing over Antarctic Ice if not Antarctica proper completely squashing any support for gale formation from south of New Zealand east to 100W, effectively shutting down the entire South Pacific in terms of storm production. And west of that ridge the southern branch was tracking down over Antarctica too south of the Tasman Sea also squashing support there. 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 the southern branch of the jet is to continue ridging south traversing the entire South Pacific down at 65-70S from under New Zealand reaching down over Antarctica in the Southeast Pacific and offering nothing in terms of support for gale development through Tues (9/10). Beyond 72 hours starting Wed (9/11) a weak trough is to start building under New Zealand pushing east reaching north to 60S but with winds only 60 kts offering no support for gale development. That trough is to hold in the area into Fri (9/13) and possibly being reinforced with winds pushing northeast over the Tasman Sea at 120 kts reaching north over Tasmania offering some support for gale development there and pushing east almost over New Zealand on Sat (9/14) offering a glimmer of hope (upgraded from last reports '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). Residuals on Fri (9/13) fading from 2.2 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Dribbles on Sat (9/14) fading from 2.2 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.5-3.0 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). Residuals on Fri (9/13) fading from 2.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Dribbles on Sat (9/14) fading from 1.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 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 30 kts lifting northeast. In the evening 35 kt west winds are to start wrapping around it's core aimed east with seas building to 20 ft at 47N 152W aimed east. On Wed AM (9/11) northwest winds to hold at 30 kts targeting the US West Coast with seas 19 ft at 48N 147W aimed southeast. In the evening fetch to fade from 25 kts from the northwest with seas fading from 16 ft at 48N 144W aimed southeast. The gale is to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.

 

Windswell Outlook
On Wednesday (9/11) north winds to be 15 kts along the coast of North and Central CA producing only very limited short period windswell for California. no trades of interest are forecast relative to Hawaii resulting in no windswell production there. Thurs (9/12) north winds are to hold focused on North CA at 15-20 kts resulting in small junky windswell at exposed breaks. No east fetch of interest is forecast for Hawaii. On Fri (9/13) the usual summer time pressure gradient is to result in a small fetch of north winds at 20 kts pushing south along the North CA coast and off the coast of Central CA offering some limited windswell production potential. No easterly fetch of interest is forecast relative to Hawaii. On Sat (9/14) high pressure is to build in the Gulf at 1030 mbs ridging into North CA producing north winds at 30 kts and 20 kts down over Central CA resulting in building local raw windswell. No east fetch is forecasts for Hawaii.

 

South Pacific

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

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

SSTs Continue Warming Some Over East Equatorial Pacific

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 (9/6) 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 and 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 (9/7) moderate plus 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 and peaking on 9/11 filling the KWGA. After that west anomalies are to start fading but still well present at the end of the model run on 9/14. 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: (9/6) A moderate 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 quickly and returning to a neutral pattern if not trending weakly towards the Inactive Phase at day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model indicates the same thing initially, but turning towards a pure neutral pattern by day 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (9/7) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak to modest in strength over the far West Pacific and is to migrate steadily east to the Atlantic 15 days out and getting steadily weaker to weak status. 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 West Pacific.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (9/7) This model depicts a moderate Active Phase over the West Pacific today and is to slowly ease east moving over the Central Pacific and into Central America on 9/30. A moderate Inactive MJO is to set up over the far West Pacific 9/25 easing east and moving over Central America at the end of the model run on 10/17. A weak Active Phase is to start building over the West Pacific at the end of the model run.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (9/6) This model depicts no MJO signal present in the Pacific today but with moderate west anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast depicts these west anomalies building in coverage completely filling the entire equatorial Pacific by 9/13 and holding solidly through the end of the model run on 10/4.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (9/7) 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 10/20 followed by another very weak Active MJO 10/24-11/5. After that a weak Inactive Pattern is to follow through the end of the model run (12/5). During that entire period weak west anomalies are to hold in the core of the KWGA if not building pretty solid starting 10/10 through 11/22. 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 10/6 and possibly a third contour line on 11/18 while a high pressure bias builds in the Indian Ocean starting 10/25. 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: (9/7) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs over a decent size area retrograding west to 177E while the 29 deg isotherm was retrograding to 174W today. The 28 deg isotherm line was retrograding to 163W today. The 24 deg isotherm previously pushed into Ecuador at 30 meters down, but retrograded on 7/11 from 107W to 120W 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 were present but some warm anomalies were building at the surface from Ecuador to 120W reaching down 50 meters likely indicative of fading trades there. A cool pocket was holding with a core at -2 degs down 100 meters at 130W and rebuilding down some compared to days past. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 8/31 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. Weak shallow warming was at the surface from Ecuador to 110W. 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 165W. 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 and a cool wave pushing west from the Ecuadorian Coast.

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: (9/6) 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 started getting pretty choked off 9/3 and was holding today. There were some warm anomalies south of the equator extending from just off Peru west to the dateline but they were very weak today centered on 10S. There has 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 (9/6): 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: (9/6) 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. But warming water was choking off the stream on the equator between 90W to 115W. 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, but very haltingly.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (9/7) Today's temps were steady after falling hard and at -1.101 degs, and have been pretty consistently negative since June 1.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(9/5) Today's temps were steady after a steady negative trend down at -0.321 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 (9/7) The model indicated 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 start slow fading slowly to +0.5 degs in early 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) (9/7): The daily index was negative today at -15.27. The 30 day average was negative at -6.34. The 90 day average was falling at -6.71, 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/

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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