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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, November 14, 2019 3:06 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
4.1 - California & 3.8 - Hawaii
Using the 'Winter' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

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

Issued for Week of Monday 11/11 thru Sun 11/17

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   

Stronger West Gulf Gale Developing
More Gales to Follow

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Thursday, November 14, 2019 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 2.0 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 1.4 ft @ 10.2 secs from 198 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.4 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 1.3 ft @ 18.4 secs from 346 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.2 ft @ 11.4 secs with swell 2.7 ft @ 11.5 secs from 230 degrees. Wind at the buoy was west at 10-12 kts. Water temperature 65.3 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.7 ft @ 11.3 secs from 295 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.2 ft @ 11.6 secs from 246 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.4 ft @ 11.5 secs from 222 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.4 ft @ 12.5 secs from 246 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.2 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 3.7 ft @ 11.1 secs from 295 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was east at 8-10 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 Thursday (11/14) in North and Central CA Gulf primer swell was still hitting producing waves at chest head high and lined up and clean with decent form but a little closed out. Protected breaks were waist high and clean but slow and swamped by tide. At Santa Cruz surf was occasionally chest to shoulder high and pretty warbled from south winds. In Southern California/Ventura surf was thigh to waist high and clean but with a little texture on top. In North Orange Co Gulf swell was producing waves at up to chest high and clean and lined up but with a little warble intermixed. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were still getting some southern hemi swell with set waves chest to shoulder high and lined up and clean but inconsistent. North San Diego was waist high and clean but real lined up if not closed out with overcast above it. Hawaii's North Shore was getting some sets in the head high range on occasion and clean and lined up. The South Shore was near flat with thigh high sets and clean. The East Shore was getting minimal northeast windswell at knee to thigh high and pretty clean with light east wind early.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (11/14) in California swell was hitting from a small gale that developed in the Central Gulf on Sun-Mon (11/11) with up to 23 ft seas aimed east. And in Hawaii the start of a new was was showing originating from a stronger and broader system that developed in the Western Gulf Mon-Wed (11/13) with up to 41 ft seas aimed east. And another gale was developing while pushing over the dateline on Thurs-Fri (11/15) with up to 37 ft seas over a modest area aimed southeast at Hawaii. And maybe another to follow pushing off the Kuril Islands on Sun-Mon (11/18) with up to 35 ft seas aimed east then redeveloping over the North Dateline Region Tues-Wed (11/20) with up to 41 ft seas aimed east. And yet possibly another is to develop over the Dateline/Western Gulf on Wed-Thurs (11/21). The focus is now solely on the Northern Hemisphere.

See all the details below...

 

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

North Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Thursday (11/14) the jetstream was consolidated ridging slightly while pushing off Japan with winds to 170 kts in one small pocket there then falling into a small trough on the dateline offering some support for gale development then continuing east at 130-140 kts over the Western Gulf before ridging hard north over the Eastern Gulf pushing up into Alaska. Over the next 72 hours the dateline trough is to push east to a point 700 nmiles northwest of Hawaii on Fri (11/15) and starting to pinch off some and losing it's ability to support gale development. Back to the west winds are to be building to 170 kts pushing off Japan and fully consolidated falling into the remainder of that pinched trough with those remainders holding north of Hawaii into Sun (11/17). Beyond 72 hours starting Mon (11/18) a new trough is to start building in the jet being fed by 160-170 kt winds winds pushing off the Kuril Islands offering good support for gale development. That trough is to sweep east continuing to support gale development until early Wed (11/20) when it reaches the Northwestern Gulf and pinches off. At that time a large area of 170 kt winds is to be pushing off Japan consolidating and reaching the whole way to the Northwestern Gulf then reaching to the Central Gulf on Thurs (11/21) and looking better than at any point so far this season. The ridge that has held control over the far Eastern Gulf looks doomed.


Surface Analysis
On Thursday (11/14) swell from a Primer Gale previously in the Gulf was hitting California but past it's prime (see Gulf Primer Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours swell from a broader and stronger gale previously in in the Gulf is poised for Hawaii and California (see Western Gulf Storm below). And another but smaller gale is developing on the dateline targeting primarily Hawaii (see Dateline Gale below).

 

Western Gulf Storm
A broad gale started developing in the far Western Gulf fueled by the remnants of Super Typhoon Halong on Mon AM (11/11) with 35 kt west winds and seas building from 17 ft at 37N 176W aimed east. In the evening 40 kt northwest winds were developing with the gale lifting northeast and seas building from 21 ft at 40N 164.5W aimed east. Tues AM (11/12) west winds were 50 kts over a solid area in the Northwestern Gulf with seas 39 ft over a small area at 46N 163W aimed east. Fetch was peaking in the evening at 50-55 kts from the west with seas building to 41 ft over a solid area aimed east at 46.5N 161W. The gale was fading Wed AM (11/13) in the Northwestern Gulf with 40 kt northwest winds and seas fading from 34 ft at 46N 159.5W aimed east. Fetch is to be fading from 35 kts from the west in the evening with seas fading from 29 ft at 47.5N 156.5W aimed east. On Thurs AM (11/14) the gale was fading with 30-35 kt west winds and seas 27 ft at 48N 153W aimed east. The gale is to be gone after that.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Thurs afternoon (11/14) building to 6.2 ft @ 17 secs late (10 ft). Swell fading Fri AM (11/15) from 6.2 ft @ 15-16 sec early (9.0 ft). Dribbles on Sat (11/16) fading from 2.8 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 345-348 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (11/14) well after sunset and building through the night. Swell to peak Fri (11/15) mid-morning at 7.6 ft @ 16-17 secs (12.5 ft) but partially shadowed in the SF Bay area and holding through the day. Swell continues on Sat (11/16) fading from 7.8 ft @ 15 secs early (11.5 ft) and partially shadowed again in the SF Bay Area. Residuals on Sun (11/17) fading from 5.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (7.5 ft). Dribbles on Mon (11/18) fading from 3.5 ft @ 11-12 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 296-300 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (11/15) afternoon building to 2.7 ft @ 17 secs (4.5 ft) at exposed breaks. Swell building overnight peaking Sat AM (11/16) at 3.5 ft @ 16 secs early (5.5 ft) holding decently through the day. Swell fading Sun (11/17) from 3.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Residuals fading Mon AM (11/18) from 2.0 ft @ 12-13 secs (2.5 ft) Swell Direction: 301-305 degrees

 

Dateline Gale
Yet another gale was developing Tues PM (11/12) just off North Japan with 35-40 kt northwest winds and seas building from 21 ft at 39N 157E aimed southeast. On Wed AM (11/13) northwest winds built to 35 kts and seas 23 ft at 39N 162E aimed east. In the evening the gale built to storm status while falling southeast just west of the dateline with 50-55 kt northwest winds over a small area and seas 34 ft over a tiny area at 40N 170.5E aimed south-southeast. The gale was falling southeast fast on Thurs AM (11/14) with northwest winds 40-45 kts and seas 35 ft at 36N 175E aimed southeast targeting Hawaii well. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 30-35 kts northwest of Hawaii but over a building area with 29 ft seas at 32.5N 180W aimed southeast at Hawaii well. Fetch is to be fading from 30-35 kts on Fri AM (11/15) 700 nmiles north-northwest of the Islands with seas fading from 23 ft over a solid area at 33N 173W aimed southeast at Hawaii. The gale is to be gone in the evening with 20 ft seas from previous fetch fading at 34N 166W aimed east. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Rough data suggests swell arrival later on Sat (11/16) building to 5.6 ft @ 16-17 secs late (9.0 ft). Swell fading Sun AM (11/17) from 7.6 ft @ 14 secs (10.5 ft) early down to 5.6 ft @ 13 secs later (7.0 ft). Residuals on Mon (11/18) fading from 3.5 ft @ 11 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 310 moving to 360 degrees

North CA: Rough data suggests swell arrival on Mon (11/18) building to 5.2 ft @ 12-13 secs later (6.5 ft). Swell fading Tues AM (11/19) from 3.9 ft @ 11 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 285-290 degrees

 

Gulf Primer Gale
A small gale is to start building in the Central Gulf on Sun AM (11/10) with 30-35 kt west winds and seas building. In the evening 40 kt west wind are forecast in it's southern quadrant aimed east with seas building to 25 ft at 43N 147.5W. The small gale is to lift north on Mon AM (11/11) with 35 kt northwest winds and seas fading from 21 ft at 45.5N 142.5W aimed east. The gale is to fade from there. Small swell to result targeting Central CA and points northward.

North CA: Residuals fading on Thurs AM (11/14) from 3.5 ft @ 11 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 294 degrees

 

Windswell Outlook
No windswell production is forecast for California over the next 72 hours. For Hawaii a building area of easterly fetch is forecast starting Fri AM (11/15) at 15 kts extending from 300 nmiles east of the Islands up to 1500 nmiles out possibly starting to produce east windswell and that fetch holding into Sun (11/17).

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
Light winds were in play on Thurs (11/14) and are forecast holding through Fri AM (11/15). But on Fri (11/15) late morning a northwesterly flow is forecast building to 15 kts in Central CA and then 15 kts building north to Monterey Bay at sunset. Light rain for Cape Mendocino Fri AM . Sat (11/16) northwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts nearshore early for all of North and Central CA building to 15-20 kts over North CA in the afternoon and 10+ kts for Central CA. On Sun (11/17) north winds are forecast at 15 kts for North CA north of Bodega Bay early fading to 10-15 kts later mainly around Cape Mendocino and light south of there. Mon (11/18) a light flow is forecast as low pressure approaches the Pacific Northwest. On Tues (11/19) light winds are forecast early turning northwest at 10-15 kts everywhere north of Pt Conception in the afternoon. Some rain is forecast for Cape Mendocino in the afternoon building south to Bodega Bay Wed AM then dissipating. Maybe a dusting of snow for the Tahoe area over the highest elevations Wed AM. Winds on Wed (11/20) are to be northwest at 20 kts early for all of North and Central CA building to 25 kts in the afternoon. Thurs (11/21) northwest winds are forecast at 15-20 kts nearshore all day for all of North and Central CA.

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

 

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis
No swell producing fetch is occurring.

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

 

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

 

QuikCAST's

 

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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours yet another gale is to building off Japan on Sat PM (11/16) with 35 kt west winds and seas building from 21 ft at 40N 150E aimed east. On Sun AM (11/17) winds to build to 45 kts from the northwest in one pocket and 40 kts in another with seas 29 ft at 38N 155.5E aimed east. In the evening the gale is to build in coverage filling the Northwest Pacific pushing east moving over the dateline with 45 kt northwest fetch linger back halfway between the dateline and Japan with 31 ft seas at 40N 162E aimed southeast at Hawaii well. The gale is to fragment some on Mon AM (11/18) covering the entire dateline region with 30-35 kt northwest winds over a large area and a core to 45 kts from the northwest producing seas at 35 ft at 40N 173E aimed southeast. Fetch is to lift north in the evening at 50-55 kts repositioned over the North Dateline region with residual fetch at 35-40 kts south of there with the largest area of seas at 34 ft at 41N 180W targeting Hawaii and the US West Coast with a developing area of 34 ft seas up at 47.5N 180W aimed east. All fetch is to consolidate over the north dateline region on Tues AM (11/19) at 45 kts with 39 ft seas at 48.5N 176.5W aimed east. The gale is to fade from there while tracking east just south of the Eastern Aleutians with 40 kt west winds and 39 ft seas at 49N 168.5W aimed east at the US West Coast. The gale is to fader from there.

And yet another gale is to be pushing off North Japan on Tues PM (11/19) with a broad area of 35-40 kt west winds developing. On Wed AM (11/20) west winds are forecast at 35-40 kts over a broad area streaming off the Central Kuril Islands and seas building to 29-30 ft at 43.5N 160W aimed east. In the evening a broad area of 35-40 kt west winds are to be tracking east pushing over the dateline with seas building to 32 ft at 43N 164E aimed east. On Thurs AM (11/21) 30-35 kt west fetch is to be filling almost the entire North Pacific centered at 45N with 26-30 ft seas on the 45N latitude line extending from 165E to 153W (1770 nmiles in width). Something to monitor.

Windswell Outlook
On Mon (11/18) no windswell of interest is forecast for California or Hawaii. No change is forecast until Wed (11/20) when high pressure rebuilds off the California coast with low pressure inland forming a gradient and north winds at 20 kts over North and Central CA early building to 25 kts in the afternoon and holding at 20 kts on Thurs (11/21).

there.

 

South Pacific

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

 

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

Active MJO Steady for the Moment - Sea Surface Temps Warming Off Ecuador

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 (11/13) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific fading to modest easterly over the dateline fading to light over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the far East equatorial Pacific turning light west over the Central Pacific holding over the dateline and neutral over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (11/14) westerly anomalies were moderate in the heart of the KWGA today and light elsewhere in the KWGA. The forecast calls for west anomalies weakening and light westerly if not only neutral over the entirety of the KWGA 11/16 through the end of the model run on 11/21.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (11/13) A modest Active MJO pattern was over the dateline (eastern KWGA) today with a solid Inactive Signal in the Indian Ocean reaching east to 150E today. The statistic model indicates the Active Phase is to fade steadily on the dateline through day 15 while the Inactive Phase moves into the far West Pacific at day 15. The dynamic model indicates the same thing but with no Active signal left at day 15 on the dateline, but the Inactive signal far weaker then too in the West Pacific.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (11/14) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was moderate over the East Pacific today and is to migrate steadily east and out of the KWGA at day 2, over the Atlantic and back to the Central Indian Ocean at day 15. The GEFS model suggests the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (11/13) This model depicts a modest Active MJO over the East Pacific today. The Active Pattern is to track east pushing into the Central America still modest in strength on 11/18 and then gone. A strong Inactive Phase is to start building in the West Pacific 11/23 tracking east while rapidly losing strength pushing into Central America on 12/8. A new moderate plus Active Phase is to be starting moving over the West Pacific 12/8 tracking east into the Central Pacific at the end of the model run on 12/23.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (11/13) This model depicts the Active Phase was just past it's peak in the KWGA today with moderate west anomalies filling the KWGA today pushing east. West anomalies and the Active Phase of the MJO are to hold at moderate strength in the West Pacific holding through 11/16 and then moving over the entire equatorial Pacific through 11/21. Beyond weak east anomalies are to hold over the KWGA on 11/24, After that weak east anomalies are forecast around the periphery of the KWGA with weak west anomalies in the core of the KWGA till 12/3, then fading to dead neutral through the end of the model run on 12/11. Strong east anomalies are holding in the Indian Ocean at 80E today, and are to start fading some there at the end of the model run.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (11/14) This model depicts the Active Phase Phase of the MJO was peaking over the KWGA with west anomalies weakly in control. The Active Phase is to track through the KWGA through 11/22 with west anomalies forecast in the KWGA. The Inactive Phase is to develop 11/22 in the west and building east through 12/8 with west anomalies limited to the dateline and light east anomalies moving east to 150E over the Central KWGA. Another weak Active Phase is to develop tracking east through the KWGA 12/10-1/18 with weak west anomalies holding through the entire period. Beyond a weak MJO pattern is forecast with mixed west and east anomalies in the KWGA through the end of the model run on (2/12). Strong east anomalies are in the core of the Indian Ocean today at 80E and are to build to 11/25, then fading but still solid through 2/2. Maybe some of it is to ease east moving into the KWGA 1/10 fading and nearly gone by 2/5. The low pass filter changed on 7/25 and is holding today with a low pressure bias with 2 contour lines in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to California. A third contour line was to develop on 12/1 but has disappeared and reappeared periodically over the past month. Today it is gone. And the second contour is now forecast to start fading on 2/10, A high pressure bias built in the Indian Ocean starting 10/22 and is to hold through the end of the model run. This model indicates that a weak El Nino like pattern is to rebuild from now to mid-January, then fading. That is not believable given all current observations concerning subsurface and surface water temperature anomalies over the equatorial Pacific.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (11/14) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm was pushing east to 175E while the 29 deg isotherm was moving east from 173W to 167W today. The 28 deg isotherm line was moving east from 162W to 156W today. The 24 deg isotherm moved east on 10/20 from 120W to 107W and is at 106W today. Anomaly wise, gentle warm anomalies are filling the entire Pacific with an interesting pocket at +2 degs pushing east from the Maritime Continent moving east from 166E to 150E and a broader one at +3 degs centered at 103W pushing into Ecuador indicative of Kelvin Wave #5 pushing east there. Warm water was filling the entire equatorial subsurface Pacific from 110 meters upwards. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 11/9 indicates warm water from Westerly Wind Burst #5 had formed a Kelvin Wave extending from 150E under the Dateline east and is now starting to impact Ecuador with temps +2-3 degs over the whole area with a small pocket of cool anomalies just off Ecuador all but gone now being forced east by the Kelvin Wave. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (11/9) A modest area of positive anomalies was present on the equator between 130W to 85W at +5 cms. A new pocket of +5 cms anomalies has redeveloped back at 155E-170E/ Negative anomalies were gone along Peru. A mostly neutral sea height pattern is setting up with a a few pockets biased positive.

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: (11/13) The latest images ( 1.2 3.4 ) indicate cool anomalies were steady along Peru but with a stream of weak warm anomalies along the coast of Ecuador covering a the equator over a thin area stretching west over the Galapagos out to the dateline. Weak cool anomalies were mostly south of the equator from Peru west building west to 120W today. Weak warm anomalies were north of the equator building while tracking west to the dateline.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (11/13): Today a steam of weak warming was tracking west from Peru just south of the equator out to 160W. The short term trend is now towards weak warming but only just above neutral.
Hi-res Overview: (11/13) A weak cool pool is holding south of the equator reaching north to 3S between Peru out to 125W. Otherwise gentle warming is pushing west on the equator, strongest from 100W and points west of there on the equator and south to 5S. Warmer than normal water was north of the equator from the remnants of El Nino, but mostly gone south of the equator. Water temps appear to be stable mildly favoring El Nino.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (11/14) Today's temps were rising slightly at -0.185 after previously dropping to -1.921 degs on 10/10, that after falling to -1.8 degs on 9/15, then up to +0.030 on 10/2. Temps have been pretty consistently negative since June 1.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(11/14) Temps were rising today at +0.509 degs after previously bottoming out on 8/28 at -0.510 degs and 9/15 at -0.60 degs. The trend has been generally upwards since Sept.

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 (11/14) Actual's indicate a cooling trend set up late summer with temps -0.2 degs in mid-Sept then rising to +0.25 degs in early Oct rising to +0.3 degs in early Nov. The forecast has temps rising reaching +0.45 degs by Dec 31 and then forecast fading slightly to +0.25 degs on March 1 and holding near there to May 1 2020, then fading to +0.10 later in July. According to this model a neutral sea surface temperature pattern biased slightly warm is forecast for the mid-term, possibly turning neutral after that.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Oct 2019 Plume depicts temps are at +0.25 degs, and are to hold in the +0.25 deg range into May 2020, then fading slightly to +0.15 in June 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) (11/14): The daily index was negative today at -6.49 and has been mostly negative the last 23 days. The 30 day average was negative and steady at -5.67. The 90 day average was rising slightly at -8.17, 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): Sept +1.13, August +0.64, July +0.75, June -0.32, May +1.10, April +0.30, March +1.0, Feb +1.29, Jan +0.193. This index has been steadily positive but still indicates mostly ENSO neutral conditions (not El Nino).

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
Per NOAAs index recent values: 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


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Local Interest

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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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