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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, October 16, 2018 3:07 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
2.4 - California & 2.4 - 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 10/15 thru Sun 10/21

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   

NPac Swell Arriving in HI
New Zealand Swell Pushing Northeast - 2 More Forecast

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Tuesday, October 16, 2018 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 2.3 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 1.3 ft @ 13.7 secs from 167 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.5 ft @ 20.0 secs with swell 1.6 ft @ 20.7 secs from 335 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.3 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 1.7 ft @ 15.4 secs from 233 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north at 10-12 kts. Water temperature 66.9 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 0.9 ft @ 15.5 secs from 183 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.9 ft @ 15.6 secs from 214 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.7 ft @ 14.9 secs from 215 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.9 ft @ 14.9 secs from 209 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 3.8 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 2.2 ft @ 15.6 secs from 209 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 10 kts. Water temp 61.9 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).
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 Tuesday (10/16) in North and Central CA southern hemi swell was producing waves at chest to shoulder high and very soft with lightly textured conditions even in the afternoon. Protected breaks were flat to waist high and clean and soft. At Santa Cruz southern hemi swell was down considerably producing waves at waist high with chest high sets and clean and soft and slow. In Southern California/Ventura southern hemi swell was producing waves at waist high or so on the sets and very clean and lined up but slow. In North Orange Co set waves were shoulder to head high and clean and lined up but soft and inconsistent. South Orange Country's best breaks were chest to head high and clean and soft. In North San Diego surf was waist to maybe chest high and lined up and clean but soft. Hawaii's North Shore was getting forerunners of a new Dateline swell with waves chest to head high and clean but with some northerly lump running through it. The South Shore was getting fading New Zealand swell with waves waist high or so and clean and lined up. The East Shore was thigh to maybe waist high and and heavily textured from moderate northeast wind.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (10/16) swell from the second of of three gales that previously passed under New Zealand was fading out in California. Swell from the third gale in the series was building in California and fading in Hawaii. Another gale developed under New Zealand Fri-Sat (10/13) with up to 37 ft seas aimed northeast. That swell is pushing northeast. Yet maybe one more is to develop there on Wed-Thurs (10/18) with 37 ft seas again aimed well northeast. And now yet another is to be right behind Fri-Sat (10/20) with 37 ft seas aimed northeast. And up north a gale developed over the dateline pushing into the Northwestern Gulf Sat-Mon (10/15) with up to 38 ft seas aimed east. Swell from it is starting to hit Hawaii now. Another small gael is forecast for the Central Gulf of Alaska on Sat (10/20) with 28 ft seas aimed east. And maybe some more behind that. So maybe Fall is to start in earnest. See all the details are below...

 

SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis
On Tuesday AM (10/16) swell from a gale that developed on the Dateline was pushing southeast and starting to hit Hawaii (See Dateline Gale below)

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

 

Dateline Gale
A gale developed mid-way between Kamchatka and the dateline on Sat AM (10/13) producing a tiny area of 45 kt northwest winds ands seas building. In the evening a broader fetch of up to 50 kt northwest winds were pushing over the dateline with 36 ft seas on the dateline at 48N 180E over a small area targeting Hawaii and California. On Sun AM (10/14) the gale tracked east into the Northwestern Gulf with 45 kt northwest winds and seas to 38 ft at 46N 173W pushing east. In the evening the gale was fading in the Gulf with 40 kt northwest winds and seas fading from 32 ft at 45N 167W. Monday (10/15) the gale was fading while stalling in the Northwestern Gulf with northwest winds 30+ kts and seas 24 ft at 44.5N 162W targeting both Hawaii and California. The gale held position in the evening and faded with winds barely 30 kts from the west and seas fading from 19 ft at 45N 160.5W. The gale dissipated from there. Teaser Fall swell to result for Hawaii and California.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Tues (10/16) building to 5.3 ft @ 17 secs late (9.0 ft). Swell fading Wed AM (10/17) from 6.7 ft @ 14-15 secs (9.5 ft) early. Swell fading Thurs AM (10/18) from 4.9 ft @ 12-13 secs (6.0 ft). Dribbles early Fri (10/19) fading from 3.5 ft @ 11 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 335 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival late on Wed (10/17) building to 3.9 ft @ 17 secs (6.5 ft). Swell peaks Thurs AM (10/18) at 5.3 ft @ 15 secs (8.0 ft) and shadowed in the SF Bay Area. Swell fading Fri (10/19) from 4.8 ft @ 13 secs (6.0 ft). Swell fading Sat AM (10/20) from 3.2 ft @ 11-12 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 298 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival late on Thurs (10/18) building to 2.0 ft @ 17 secs (3.0 ft at exposed breaks). Swell peaking Fri AM (10/19) at 2.5 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5 ft faces). Swell fading on Sat AM (10/20) from 2.2 ft @ 13 secs (2.5 ft) Swell Direction: 304 degrees

 

Windswell Forecast
California: No locally produced windswell of interest is forecast. See QuikCAST's for details.

Hawaii: No locally produced windswell of interest is forecast. See QuikCAST's for details.

 

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are forecast.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday (10/16) seasonally correct light winds were in control of the entire California coast. A light wind regime is to stay in control through Fri (10/19). On Sat (10/20) north winds to build over North CA at 15 kts early fading in the afternoon and light winds over Central CA all day. A light north flow is to set up on Sun (10/21) at 5-10 kts for North and Central CA mainly in the afternoon. On Mon (10/22) north winds to be 10-15 kts over most of North and Central CA all day. On Tues (10/23) a front is to be pushing into Oregon and extreme North CA with south winds 10 kts but calm over most of the region down to Big Sur with north winds there 15 kts building to 20 kts over Pt Conception and holding all day.

 

South Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Tuesday AM (10/16) the southern branch of the jetstream was ridging hard under New Zealand pushing over Antarctica then lifting hard north-northeast over the Central Pacific pushing up to 50S at 150W being fed by 90-110 kt southwest winds offering some support for gale development. East of there the jet fell hard south pushing into Antarctica again and squashing support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours the trough is to generally hold but by late Wed (10/17) another batch of wind energy is to start building under New Zealand building to 140 kts and lifting gently northeast again opening up the storm window then fading a little on Thurs (10/18) then building again on Fri (10/19) while retrograding west some being fed by 140+ kts south west winds continuing to offer good support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours the trough is to move east to the Central South Pacific on Sat (10/20) with winds fading from 110 kts offering less support for gale development with the trough getting cut off on Sunday (10/21) and support for gale development dissipating. After that the jet is to pushing east and displaced well south running west to east on the 63S latitude line in the West falling to 72S in the East and offering no support for gale development.

Surface Analysis  
On Tuesday (10/16) swell was radiating northeast from 2 gales that previously tracked under New Zealand, with swell from the second fading in California now (see New Zealand Gale 2 below) and swell from the third gale fading in Hawaii and starting to hit CA (see New Zealand Gale 3 below). Also swell from another gale that developed under New Zealand on Fri-Sat (10/13) was also radiating northeast (see Another New Zealand Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours yet another gale is to develop under New Zealand on Wed AM (10/17) producing 40+ kt southwest winds and seas building from 25 ft at 58S 167E aimed northeast. In the evening southwest winds to continue lifting northeast at 45 kts with seas building to 33 ft at 56.5S 175.5E. On Thurs AM (10/18) southwest fetch is to be fading from 40 to barely 45 kts lifting northeast with 35 ft seas aimed northeast at 53S 171W tracking northeast. Fetch is to fade from 35 kts in the evening with seas fading from 35 ft at 52S 161.5W. The gale to fade from there. Something to monitor.

Another gale is to build right behind the above gale on Fri AM (10/19) with 40-45 kt southwest winds building aimed northeast with seas building to 28 ft at 57.5S 174W. In the evening fetch is to develop nicely at 40-45 kts from the southwest with 36 ft seas at 54.5S 166W aimed northeast. Fetch on Sat AM (10/20) is to fade from 40 kts from the southwest with 37 ft seas at 50S 160W aimed northeast. Fetch is to fade from 35-40 kt from the south in the evening with 322 ft seas at 45S 155W aimed northeast. Sunday AM (4/21) south winds to fade from 30 kts with seas fading from 29 ft at 46S 148W aimed northeast. Possible solid southwest swell to result for Hawaii and CA.

 

New Zealand Gale 2
On Wed AM (10/3) another fetch followed behind generating 40 kt west winds with seas building from 33 ft at 58S 159.5E. On Wed PM (10/3) 40 kt west winds continued pushing east with with 35 ft seas aimed east at 58.5S 172E. On Thurs AM (10/4) west winds were fading at 35-40 kts from the west with seas 32 ft at 57S 177E. Fetch faded from there in the evening with seas fading from 30 ft at 57S 178.5W. Maybe some small sideband swell to radiate northeast.

South California: Swell fading Tues (10/16) from 1.8 ft @ 15 secs early (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 216 degrees.

North California: Swell fading Tues (10/16) from 1.8 ft @ 15 secs early (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 215 degrees.

 

New Zealand Gale 3
Another gale passed under New Zealand Sat AM (10/6) producing an area of 35-40 kt southwest winds and seas building from 29 ft at 56.5S 173.5E aimed east. A generalized fetch of 35-40 kt west winds held in the evening with seas building to 32 ft at 57.5S 175.0E aimed east. Fetch started fading Sun AM (10/7) with west winds 35 kts and seas 30 ft at 56S 171W. By evening a new fetch of 35 kt west winds developed under New Zealand with 29 ft seas at 56S 172E aimed east. By Mon (10/8) seas were below 30 ft and of no interest. Some odds for small sideband swell radiating northeast.

Hawaii: Swell fading Tues (10/16) from 1.6 ft @ 15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Dribbles on Wed (10/17) fading from 1.1 ft @ 13-14 secs (1.5 ft). Swell Direction: 198 degrees

Southern CA: Swell building Tues (10/16) to 2.0 ft @ 17 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell peaking on Wed (10/17) at 2.4 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft). Swell fading on Thurs (10/18) from 2.3 ft @ 15 secs (3.5 ft). Swell continues on Fri (10/19) at 2.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell fading on Sat (10/20) from 1.9 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Nothing after that. Swell Direction: 210 degrees

North CA: Swell building Tues (10/16) to 2.0 ft @ 17 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell peaking on Wed (10/17) at 2.4 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft). Swell fading on Thurs (10/18) from 2.3 ft @ 15 secs (3.5 ft). Noting meaningful on Fri (10/19) and buried in northwest swell Swell Direction: 210 degrees

 

Another New Zealand Gale
On Fri AM (10/12) a gale developed directly under New Zealand with 50-55 kt southwest winds and seas building from 32 ft at 59S 159E aimed east. In the evening southwest winds built in coverage at 45 kts tracking east with 37 ft seas at 57S 170E aimed east. On Sat AM (10/13) fetch was fading from 40 kts from the southwest with seas 34 ft at 53.5S 173.5E aimed east-northeast. In the evening southwest fetch was 35 kts with 29-30 ft over a broad area at 55S 179W aimed northeast. Some 40 kt southwest fetch rebuilt Sun AM (10/14) aimed well northeast in the same area with barely 29 ft seas at 52S 173W. In the evening fetch is to fade from 35 kts aimed northeast with a decent area of 29 ft seas at 46S 168W. Fetch is to fade from there. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Fri (10/19) building to 1.6 ft @ 19 secs later (3.0 ft). Swell building through the day Sat (10/20) to 2.6 ft @ 16-17 secs later (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell holding on Sunday (10/21) at 3.1 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.5-5.0 ft). Swell fading some on Mon (10/22) from 2.7 ft @ 14-15 secs (4.0 ft). Possible new swell arriving overriding this swell beyond. Swell Direction: 192 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (10/21) building to 1.1 ft @ 20 secs late (2.0 ft). Swell builds on Mon (10/22) to 2.0 ft @ 17-18 secs late (3.5 ft). Swell builds on Tues (10/23) to 2.5 ft @ 16-17 secs mid-day (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 215-220 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (10/21) building to 1.0 ft @ 20 secs late (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell builds on Mon (10/22) to 2.1 ft @ 18 secs late (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell builds on Tues (10/23) to 2.5 ft @ 16-17 secs mid-day (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 215-220 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 there's low odds of a small gale developing in the Western Gulf on Fri PM (10/19) with 40 kt west and southwest winds and seas building to 20 ft at 43N 160W. On Sat AM (10/20) the gale is to be lifting northeast producing 45 kts northwest winds and seas to 28 ft at 45N 154W tracking northeast. In the evening the gale is to be racing north with 45 kt northwest winds and seas 37 ft but all in the gale southeast quadrant aimed at Alaska. Maybe a small area of 32 ft seas are to be in it's south quadrant aimed east at the Pacific Northwest at 49N 152W. Something to monitor.

At 180 hrs out the model suggest perhaps 2 weak gales are to develop off the Pacific Northwest coast on Tues (10/23) producing 21 ft seas at 42N 150W and 48N 133W aimed east.

Windswell Forecast
California:
No locally produced windswell of interest is forecast.

Hawaii: No locally produced windswell of interest is forecast until maybe Mon (10/22) when east winds (trades) build to 15 kts over an area up to 900 nmiles east of the Islands perhaps offering small east windswell. More of the same is forecast on Tues (10/23).

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no further swell producing weather systems are forecast.

Details to follow...

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

Inactive MJO Taking It's Toll on SSTs, SOI and ESPI

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

Overview: La Nina started developing in early 2016, but westward displaced and generally weak. And by March 2017, it was gone with suspicious warming developing along South America and over the Galapagos to a point south of Hawaii. By May the atmosphere returned to a neutral configuration but then in July east anomalies started building in the KWGA and have not stopped, with cold water upwelling over the the Nino1.2 and 3.4 areas, indicative of La Nina. A double dip La Nina was in control and continued through the Winter of 2017-2018. But warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018 associated with two upwelling Kelvin Waves, and continued trying to build over equatorial waters in July and beyond, but could not sustain itself, suggesting the demise of La Nina but not yet turning towards El Nino.

LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Fall/Winter 2018 = 6.5 (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: Assuming the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that El Nino develops as forecast, and assuming and an ocean-atmospheric coupling becomes established in the Sept timeframe and ocean temperature anomalies in Nino3.4 build to the +1.0 deg range, there is good probability for enhanced storm production in the North Pacific starting in the late Nov timeframe (specifically the Gulf of Alaska and Dateline regions) with an increased intensity in number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in increased odds for larger than normal swell, with increased duration and higher than normal period.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Mon (10/15) 5 day average winds were from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the KWGA though not quite as strong. Anomalies were light easterly starting south of Hawaii and continuing over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (10/16) modest east anomalies were over the dateline but with weak west anomalies over the Western KWGA. East anomalies are to hold on the dateline for 4 days then evaporate on 10/20 with building west anomalies again filling the entire KWGA from then till the end of the model run on 10/23. What was feared to be rather robust version of the Inactive Phase of the MJO is now looking to be rather anemic, just what we need. Impact on storm production could be minimal.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (10/15) A modest Inactive/Dry signal was over the West Pacific into the KWGA. The statistical model depicts that this pattern is to hold for 2-3 days then fading fast and gone by day 5 with a neutral MJO signal present and holding through the end of the model run at day 15. The dynamic model depicts the same thing initially but with the Inactive Phase of the MJO rebuilding steadily from day 5-10 and solid over the KWGA at day 15. The 2 models are in direct opposition to each other.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (10/16) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was weak over the Indian Ocean and is to slowly fade to nothing maybe retrograding back over Africa 2 weeks out but incredibly weak. The GEFS model depicts a variation on the same thing but with the Active Phase rebuilding far stronger (to strong status) and retrograding over East Africa 10 days out then tracking east from there.
40 day Upper Level Model: (10/16) This model depicts solid Dry/Inactive pattern is over the East Pacific and is to track east pushing into Central America on 10/21. A modest Active/Wet signal is developing in the West Pacific starting 10/19 pushing east to the Eastern equatorial Pacific and Central America on 11/10. A new very weak Inactive Phase of the MJO is to be moving into the West Pacific on 11/8 and pushing to the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 11/25.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (10/15) This model depicts weak east anomalies in the KWGA. But theses anomalies are to retrograde west and dissipate 10/19 with weak west anomalies backfilling into the KWGA from the east starting 10/20 and filling the KWGA 10/22. From there west anomalies to hold through then end of the model run on 11/12. It seems that El Nino is trying to take root, but not coupled yet with today's Inactive Phase of the MJO likely to only slightly dampen further coupling.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (10/16) This model depicts the middle of a weak Inactive/Dry MJO signal was over the KWGA with neutral to perhaps light east anomalies over the Western KWGA. But western anomalies are to start rebuilding in the core of the KWGA on 10/20 and steadily building in coverage continuing forward even though the Inactive Phase is to hold through 11/5. The Active Phase of the MJO is to take root 11/10 with west anomalies building to Westerly Wind Burst (WWB) status even before then on 11/7 holding while the Active Phase starts fading on 11/25. A weak Inactive Phase is to develop 12/1 but west anomalies are to hold at WWB status till 12/20 as the Inactive Phase fades and the Active Phase develops. West anomalies holding through the end of the model run on 1/13/19. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias is fully in control of the KWGA reaching east to 125W at 3 contour lines building east to 120W (over California) by 10/2 and is forecast to 115W late-October. A 4th contour line previously forecast to start 12/2 and holding through the end of the model run has again reappeared starting 12/25. The atmosphere and ocean are slowly becoming coupled towards an El Nino bias in the Pacific Ocean. But the coupling is developing a bit less aggressively than expected. It's not clear when full coupling will occur, though we're now tempted to say mid to late Oct. This pattern is slowly becoming more favorable to support storm production in the Pacific regardless of whether El Nino develops, especially compared to the 2 previous years.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (10/15) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs solid holding at 179E. The 28 deg isotherm line was easing east at 153W. The 24 deg isotherm was 125 meters deep at 140W then setting progressively shallower east of there but now reaching east to 102W. Anomaly wise warm anomalies are building indicative of the new Kelvin Wave (#2) at +3-4 degs centered under 165W down 150 meters and reaching east with +3 degree anomalies just off the coast of Ecuador at 104W and +1-2 degree anomalies impacting the coast there. Basically warm anomalies are filling the entire Pacific subsurface region. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 10/10 paints the same picture with the Second Kelvin Wave pushing aggressively east from the Maritime Continent spilling into the West Pacific pushing under the dateline at +4.0 degs reaching east to 100W in the +2 degrees range. The remnants of the Upwelling Phase of the Kelvin Wave cycle are gone. Kelvin Wave #2 was breaching the surface from 105W to 140W solidly with secondary solid warm anomalies starting to fill the entire region on the equator from 105W-165E. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (10/10) Positive anomalies were solid from the Maritime Continent over the West Equatorial Pacific and dateline and broad in coverage east to 100W at +5-15 cms indicative of a new Kelvin Wave (#2) building and pushing east. East of there it weakened some with 5 cms anomalies in a thin but continuous stream continuing on or near the equator to Ecuador and branching out along the Central American Coast but not down into South America. El Nino appears to be developing.

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: (10/15) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate temps were biased weakly cool along the outer coast of Peru and Chile but warming some nearshore, but not as strong as days previous. A thin stream of warm anomalies were stretched directly over the equator from Ecuador westward to 130W but not a strong as days past. and modestly out to 160W. Generic warm anomalies were north of there from Central America and south of Mexico building out to Hawaii and the dateline. Previous small pockets of persistent cool upwelling on the equator are gone. Previous warming building south of the equator from Peru west to 160W down to 12S has retrograded to 8S. It's actually starting to look like El Nino.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (10/15): A cooling trend is setting up on the equator from the Galapagos west to 120W. No clear warming pattern was indicated there anymore. West of there a modest warming pattern is in place extending continuously from 120W to the dateline. Temps were neutral along the coasts of Chile and Peru.
Hi-res Overview: (10/15) A pocket of weak cool water was present just off the outer coast of Chile but warm water was building along the immediate coast of Peru. Otherwise moderate warm water was on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos out to the 140W then weaker out to the dateline. There were no pockets of imbedded cool anomalies. It seems we've turned the corner to a warm regime and are no longer in a mixed pattern where La Nina cool anomalies are present intermixed with warm anomalies.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (10/16) Today's temps were falling down to -0.003 down from the all time high for this event on 9/25 +1.316. Two previous peaks occurred of +0.510 degs on 9/17 and +0.459 on 5/13. Otherwise temps have been steady in the -0.50 deg range.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (10/16) Today temps were down slightly at +0.688, below the peak of +0.795 on 10/9, beating the previous all time high of +0.649 on 9/27, and that beating the previous peak at +0.490 on 7/2. Overall temps are slowly and markedly rising from the +0.25 degs range the past month. This looks like perhaps El Nino is developing.

Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (10/16) The forecast calls for a steady increase from here forward rising to +1.00 degs in mid-Oct and +1.1 degs in early Nov and to +1.25 degs in Dec and Jan 2019, then fading slowly from there to +1.20 degs in April 2019 then slowly fading through July 2019 down to +0.50 degs. This suggests that perhaps El Nino is to build through the Fall of 2018. But perhaps La Nina to follow in Fall of 2019. Most other models are also suggesting a possible turn to weak El Nino conditions by late Fall.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Sept Plume depicts temps at +0.52 degs in August (predicted at +0.6 last month) and are to slowly rise from here forward, to +0.71 in October (+0.8 per last months forecast) and +0.8 to +0.9 in Nov through March 2019, then slowly fading to 0.7 in May. See chart here - link. It looks like La Nina is fading out and there's a 76% chance of a weak El Nino developing.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad) (10/16): The daily index was solidly positive at +15.92 today. The 30 day average was rising at -3.67 suggesting an Active MJO was fading. The 90 day average was falling some at -3.77 and has been steady for a month now. The 90 degree average turned negative for the first time in a year on 6/30 suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was building in the atmosphere. This is expected for a month more before falling into steady negative territory by mid August.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (10/16) Today the index was falling some to +0.10 after having risen to +0.39 on 10/10, the highest so far this event. This suggests the Inactive Phase of the MJO was building. The reading from 8/14 (+0.11) was the first time it's turned positive in a year. In reality, we're in ENSO neutral state now and it's not unexpected that the Index will toggle between weakly positive to weakly negative. Recent points of interest in reverse chronological order are: -1.04 on 6/5, -0.70 on 5/20, -0.60 on 5/17, -0.36 on 5/11 and -0.38 on 5/10, -0.35 on 4/26, -1.02 on 4/5, -1.13 on 3/27. The trend suggests La Nina is all but gone. This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina situations.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly positive, even though La Nina is in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values: June 2017 +0.21, July -0.50, Aug -0.62, Sept -0.25, Oct -0.61, Nov -0.45, Dec -0.13, Jan 2018 +0.29, Feb -0.19, Mar -0.61, April -0.89, May -0.69, June -0.88, July -0.23. 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. 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

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