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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Sunday, January 9, 2022 4:03 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 & 4.0 - 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 1/10 thru Sun 1/16

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   

Solid Swell Hits Hawaii
Multiple Gales Forecast to Follow - Winter Arrives


Sunday, January 9, 2022 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt): Seas were 7.2 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 5.3 ft @ 13.3 secs from 310 degrees. Water temp 76.8 degs (Barbers Pnt), NA (Lani 239), 75.6 (Pearl Harbor 233).
  • Buoy 202 (Hanalei): Seas were 13.3 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 9.3 ft @ 13.7 secs from 311 degrees. Water temp 76.5 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.7 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 1.8 ft @ 15.2 secs from 271 degrees. Wind east at 2 kts. Water temperature 56.1 degs, 57.7 (Topanga 103), 57.6 degs (Long Beach 215), 58.8 (Del Mar 153), 58.5 (Imperial Beach 155). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 4.1 ft @ 14.8 secs from 299 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.7 ft @ 15.7 secs from 262 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.7 ft @ 15.4 secs from 261 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 25 ft @ 15.3 secs from 271 degrees. Water temp 59.5 degs.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.6 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 4.3 ft @ 14.2 secs from 281 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was southeast at 6-10 kts. Water temp NA (Pt Reyes 029), 52.7 (46026), 52.5 degs (SF Bar 142), and 53.8 (Santa Cruz 254).

See Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (bottom of the page)

Swell Classification Guidelines

Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
- Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
- Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
- up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.

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

Current Conditions
On Sunday (1/9) North and Central CA had set waves at 1-2 ft overhead and lined up with good form and glassy offshore conditions early. Protected breaks were chest to maybe head high on the sets and clean and lined up with decent form. At Santa Cruz surf was up to head high and lined up and clean but very weak. In Southern California/Ventura waves were shoulder high and lined up and peeling with clean conditions and good form. Central Orange County had sets at waist high to chest high and lined up with good form and clean super clean but inconsistent. South Orange County's best summertime breaks were thigh to waist high and lined up and real clean but weak. North San Diego had sets at thigh high and clean and weak. Hawaii's North Shore was getting some solid swell with waves at 12 ft (Hawaiian) and clean and lined up. The South Shore was thigh to waist high and clean and lined up but weak. The East Shore was getting wrap around northwest swell at waist to chest high and clean with just a faint flow out of the north.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Sunday (1/9) North and Central California was getting swell from a weak but broad gale previously on the dateline Sun-Tues (1/4) that produced seas in the 26-28 ft range. Hawaii was getting much larger westerly swell from a gale that tracked easterly Wed-Sat (1/8) over the dateline to a point north of Hawaii generating up to 32 ft seas. And another is developing in the Central Gulf Sun-Mon (1/10) producing 34-36 ft seas aimed east well at the US West Coast. A weaker system is to follow Mon-Tues (1/11) on the dateline falling southeast producing up to 24 ft seas in close proximity and targeting the Islands well. And of more interest is a small storm forecast for the Western Gulf Tues-Thurs (1/13) producing up to 51 ft seas aimed east. And weaker energy is to be off Japan tracking almost to the dateline producing 26-34 ft seas aimed east. So there's real hope now!

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Sunday (1/9) the jet was well consolidated pushing east off Japan on the 30N latitude line running flat east with winds 160-170 kts peaking on the dateline the pushing to a point 1100 nmiles off California before splitting with the northern branch tracking hard north up into Alaska. Though no clear cut troughs were indicated the jet was well supportive of gale development. Over the next 72 hours starting Mon (1/4) a trough is to start developing just east of the dateline pushing east into Tues (1/11) to a point just northeast of Hawaii accelerating support for gale development then pinching off while lifting northeast on Wed (1/12). But another trough is to start building just east of the dateline and being fed by 160 kts winds offering great support for gale development getting deeper though the day Wednesday moving to a point north of Hawaii in the evening. Beyond 72 hours starting Thurs (1/13) that trough is to start losing energy while lifting northeast. But more wind energy is to start building off Japan and still consolidated with winds to 170 kts streaming to the dateline and building on Sat (1/15) to 180 kts reaching east to about 170W with a broad trough developing west of the dateline offering support for gale development and building more into Sun (1/16). At that time the split point is to retrograde to about 150W of just east of Hawaii providing much protection for California from weather.

Surface Analysis
On Sunday (1/9) swell from a gale previously over the dateline was hitting Hawaii (see Dateline Gale below). And swell from a previous dateline gale was fading in California (see Small Dateline Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a Local Hawaiian Gale is to start building on Mon AM (1/10) producing 35-40 kt northwest winds 800 nmiles northwest of the Islands generating 24 ft seas at 34N 177W aimed southeast. Fetch is to fall southeast in the evening at 35 kts just 500 nmiles northwest of the Islands with 25 ft seas at 29.5N 166.5W aimed southeast directly at the Islands. Fetch fading Tues AM (1/11) from 30 kts north of the Islands with seas 21 ft at 27.5N 160W 300 nmiles out. Fetch to dissipate quickly after that.

Oahu: Rough data suggests swell arrival on Tues (1/11) building to 9.8 ft @ 13-14 secs later (13 ft). Swell fading on Wed (1/12) from 7.4 ft @ 13-14 secs (10 ft). Dribbles early Thurs (1/13) fading from 5.0 ft @ 12-13 secs (6.5 ft). Swell Direction: 312-320 degrees


Of more interest is a stronger storm forecast building on the dateline Tues AM (1/11) producing 55 kt northwest winds and seas building from 22 ft at 35N 180W aimed east. In the evening a solid fetch of 50-55 kt west winds is forecast sweeping east with 37 ft seas at 38.5N 170.25W aimed east. On Wed AM (1/12) 50-55 kt west winds are to be pushing east with seas building to 51 ft at 41.5N 162.75W aimed east. The storm is to start fading and lifting northeast in the evening with west winds 45 kts and seas fading from 45 ft at 45.5N 156.75W aimed east. Secondary seas of 25 ft are to be positioned at 37N 162-172W aimed east as well. On Thurs AM (1/13) fetch is to be fading from 35 kts from the west with 33 ft seas up at 48N 155W and secondary seas at 24 ft at 38N 160W aimed east. Something to monitor.


Small Dateline Gale
On Sun AM (1/2) a fetch of 30-45 kt northwest winds developed just west of the dateline generating a decent sized area of seas at 23 ft positioned at 33N 165E aimed east. That fetch pushed east in the evening at 35-40 kts with seas to 25-26 ft at 38N 170E aimed southeast. On Mon AM (1/3) the fetch was lifting northeast producing northwest winds at 35-40 kts with 27 ft seas at 38N 176E aimed southeast. More of the same in the evening with 28 ft seas at 41.5N 177E aimed southeast. On Tues AM (1/4) northwest fetch was fading from 35-40 kts on the dateline with 25 ft seas at 40.5N 177.5W aimed southeast. Fetch was fading in the evening from 30-35 kts with seas fading from 24 ft at 41N 175.5W aimed east. Lingering west winds at 30 kts continued into Wed AM (1/5) with seas fading from 22 ft at 40N 171W aimed east. The gale faded from there.

North CA: Swell holding Sun (1/9) at 3.5 ft @ 13-14 secs early (4.5 ft). Swell fading Mon (1/10) from 2.8 ft @ 13 secs early (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 285 degrees


1st Dateline Gale
A gale developed off Japan on Wed AM (1/3) with 30-40 kt northwest winds and seas building from 23 ft over a fragmented area near 37N 159E aimed southeast. In the evening a far broader fetch of 35-40 kt west winds were pushing pushing east with seas to 25 ft near 35N 164E aimed southeast and moving east. On Thurs AM (1/6) west winds to built in coverage at 35-40 kts on the dateline with seas to 26 ft at 35N 169E aimed southeast and with good coverage. In the evening fetch moved to the dateline at 30-35 with a core to 40 kts with seas 26-30 ft at 35N 169E aimed east and reaching to the dateline. On Fri AM (1/7) the gale plodded east from there with 30-40 kt west winds and seas 32 ft at 33.25N 179.25W aimed east. Fetch was to be fading in the evening from 30-35 kts located northwest of Hawaii with seas fading from 26 ft at 31.5N 170.5W aimed east. Fetch was fading Sat AM (1/8) from 30-35 kts pushing east with seas fading from 23 ft at 32N 158W aimed east positioned due north of Hawaii. Perhaps the first semi-real gale of the season is to develop.

Oahu: Swell arrived well before sunrise Sun (1/9) and is to peak at sunrise at 8.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (11.5 ft Hawaiian). Swell fading some through the day to 6.7 ft @ 14-15 secs at sunset (9.5 ft Hawaiian). Swell steady on Mon (1/10) at 6.4 ft @ 15 secs early (9.5 ft) fading some through the day. Residuals on Tues (1/11) fading from 6.0 ft @ 13 secs (7.5 ft). Swell Direction: 308-315 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (1/11) and buried from potential swell from a 2nd Date Gale (below) building to 4.7 ft @ 15 secs later (7.0 ft). Swell fading and buried in energy from the 2nd Dateline Gale (above). Swell Direction: 283 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival late on Tues (1/11) building to 2.2 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.0 ft). On Wed (1/12) swell to be buried in energy from the 2nd Dateline Gale (below). Swell Direction: 288 degrees


2nd Dateline/West Gulf Gale
A gale started developing just east of the dateline on Sat AM (1/8) with 35-40 kts west winds and seas building from 26 ft seas at 36.25N 175.25W aimed east. In the evening the fetch was north of Hawaii producing 45-55 kt west winds over a small area and seas building from 35 ft at 38.25N 164.25W aimed east. The gale pushed east on Sun AM (1/9) with 45 kt west winds and seas 38 ft over a tiny area aimed east at 39.25N 154.5W aimed east. The gale is to lift northeast in the evening with west winds 40 kts and seas 33 ft at 41.25N 146.5W aimed east. Remnants to pushing northeast and fade from there Mon AM (1/10) with 35 kt west winds and seas fading from 26 ft at 44.5N 140W aimed east.

Oahu: Expect swell arrival on Mon (1/10) mixing with previous Dateline Gale swell (see below) at 6.4 ft @ 15 secs early (9.5 ft) fading some through the day. Residuals from both swells fading on Tues (1/11) from 6.0 ft @ 13 secs (7.5 ft). Swell Direction: 320 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (1/11) building to 7.5 ft @ 16-17 secs (12.5 ft). Swell fading on Wed AM (1/12) from 6.3 ft @ 14-15 secs early (9.0 ft). Residuals on Thurs (1/13) fading from 5.3 ft @ 13-14 secs (7.0 ft). Swell Direction: 284 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (1/11) building to 1.9 ft @ 18 secs later (3.0 ft). Swell fading some Wed AM (1/12) from 3.2 ft @ 15 secs early (4.5 ft). Swell fading on Thurs AM (1/13) from 2.4 ft @ 14 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Dribbles on Fri AM (1/14) fading from 2.2 ft @ 13 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 288 degrees


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


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are forecast.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Mon (1/10) a front is to glance the North CA coast with south winds 15-20 kts for North CA early and 10 kts for Central CA. But in the afternoon a light wind regime is to set up except maybe south winds 5 kts for Cape Mendocino. Sprinkles for Cape Mendocino late morning.
  • Tues (1/11) weak high pressure sets up over California with light winds everywhere early maybe turning north 10 kts in the afternoon. No precip forecast .
  • Wed (1/12) no change with light winds early holding all day.
  • Thurs (1/13) AM a weak low pressure system is to be off the CA-OR border with south winds 15 kts for Cape Mendocino but light winds from Pt Arena southward. No change is forecast in the afternoon with maybe northwest winds 10 kts for North and Central CA. Light rain for Cape Mendocino in the afternoon.
  • Fri (1/14) northwest winds are forecast at 5 kts early for North and Central CA building to 15-20 kts for Central CA in the afternoon.
  • Sat (1/15) early northwest winds are forecast at 15 kts for all of North and Central CA but a bit off the coast and holding all day.
  • Sun (1/16) north winds are forecast at 10 kts along the coast for North and Central CA early fading to 5 kts later.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 0, 0, 0, and 0 inches.

Freezing level at 8,000 ft through 1/10 then building to 10,000 ft on 1/11 and 12,000 ft on 1/12 falling back to 8,500 ft on 1/13 before rebuilding to 10,500 ft on 1/15 and holding till 1/18 before falling down to 6,000 ft.


Tioga Pass/Pacific Crest Trail intersection forecast: Temps - Freeze Level (more here - scroll down to 'Resort Snow Forecasts>Central CA or North CA Caltrans & Backcountry')

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


South Pacific

Surface Analysis
No swell producing fetch has occurred of is forecast.

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


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




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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours yet another gale is possible well north of Hawaii on Fri AM (1/14) producing 35-40 kt west winds and seas building from 24 ft at 34.5N 169W aimed east. In the evening a decent fetch of 40-45 kt northwest to west winds are forecast with 27 ft seas building at 36.5N 157.75W aimed east. The gale is to lift northeast in the evening with 40 kt northwest winds and seas 28 ft at 38N 150W aimed east. Fetch fading and lifting northeast in the evening at 30-35 kts with seas fading from 26 ft at 42N 145W aimed east. Something to monitor.

And yet a broader system is forecast developing just off Japan on Sat AM (1/15) with 35 kts west winds ands seas building from 25 ft at 37N 153E aimed east. More of the same in the evening with 26 ft seas at 34N 160E aimed east. On Sun PM 35 kt west winds are to be fading just west of the dateline with 26 ft seas at 32.5N 174.5E aimed east. Something to monitor.

Winter is starting!


South Pacific

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


MJO/ENSO Forecast


La Nina Likely Fading as SubSurface Cool Pool Discharges - Possible Kelvin Wave In-Flight
Summary - Cool subsurface water volume peaked under the equatorial Pacific on 10/15/21, beating last years volume, and now is discharging to the surface. A stronger than expected Active Phase of the MJO today is producing west anomalies forecast to hold over the KWGA into mid-January filling 75% of the KWGA as the low pressure bias slowly builds in from the west. And warm subsurface water appears to be moving east from the West Pacific (a Kelvin Wave). A return to a more normal cadence of Active and Inactive MJO phases is starting now. It seems the the peak of La Nina is behind us, but the atmosphere will be slow to respond.

MJO/ENSO Discussion
The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.
And the El Nino/La Nino cycle (collectively know as ENSO - El Nino Southern Oscillation) is a less frequent (about once every 7 years) but more impactful cycle that affects world wide weather. Specifically, strong El Nino events promote storm production in the Pacific while La Nina events suppress storm production. These therefore have a significant impact on the production of swell and surf. The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO and ENSO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for upcoming activity (or inactivity depending on the state and interaction of these two oscillations).

Overview: In 2019 warm equatorial waters were 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. A bit of a recovery tried to occur during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water held in a pool off Peru. By April 2020 a cool pool was starting to build, forming a well defined cool tongue that evolved into La Nina, with it fully developing through July 2020. A slow dissolving of La Nina started in March 2021 with 2 Kelvin Waves sweeping east and arriving over the Galapagos in June. Weak warming set up over the equator with no cool waters present. NOAA declared La Nina dead. But cold water returned in July 2021 and a second pulse of La Nina developed and is continuing today, though possibly weaker with its foundation appearing to be in decline.

Fall /Winter 2021-2022 = 1.5 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)

Rationale: It was assumed that the moderate La Nina from the Winter of 2020/2021 was on the wane and that a return to neutral ENSO state would set up over the Pacific Basin through the summer of 2021. But La Nina made a strong return by the end of Sept much like what the CFS model suggested would happen. A full double dip La Nina pattern took hold as we moved into November with this second La Nina dip being nearly as strong as the previous one. But a quick fade is forecast as we move into late December with the CFS predicting a return to a neutral wind anomaly pattern at that time and the low pressure bias making headway in to the KWGA in early Jan. Still it will take some time for the atmosphere to fully respond, resulting in a less than normal swell production forecast especially for Fall into early Winter. But by later in Feb 2022 perhaps a return to a more normal pattern might take hold. But it will be too little too late. As a result a significantly reduced number of storm days and storm intensity is expected Oct-Feb 2022, resulting in a below normal level of swells, with swell being below normal duration and period. But by March 2022, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start improving as La Nina fades out. The status of the PDO is not known, though it appears to be returning to at least a neutral state, rather than the warm phase as previously projected thereby having no significant positive or negative effect on the long term outlook.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (1/8) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific but moderate east over the KWGA. Anomalies were light east over the East equatorial Pacific and neutral over the Central Pacific and light east over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, versus realtime, so they lag what is happening today (by about 2.5 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (1/9) weak west anomalies were filling the KWGA. The 7 day forecast calls for more of the same until 1/14 when west anomalies fade and weak east anomalies develop over the entire KWGA.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (1/4) A moderate Active MJO signal was filling the KWGA today. The statistical model suggests the Active Phase is to slowly lose strength while moving east and out of the KWGA on day 10 of the model run the a weak Inactive Phase building over and filling the KWGA on day 15. The dynamic model projects the Active MJO holding over the KWGA through day 10 of the model run then nearly east of it on day 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (1/5) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the East Pacific and is forecast tracking over Africa to the Central Indian Ocean at day 15 of the model run and very weak. The dynamic model suggests the Active Phase holding over the East Pacific the next 5-10 days at modest strength then moving to the Atlantic on day 15 of the model run and very weak.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (1/8) A weak Active MJO signal (wet air) was over the KWGA today. The forecast indicates the Active Phase (wet air) tracking east pushing into Central America 1/23. The Inactive Phase (dry air) is to start developing over the West Pacific on 1/16 and weak moving to the Central America at the end of the model run on 2/17. A new Active Phase (wet air) is forecast starting to build over the far West Pacific on 2/5 moving east to the Central Pacific from there.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (1/8) This model depicts the Active Phase was weak holding over the Central KWGA today with west anomalies at modest strength. The forecast indicates the Active MJO signal holding over the KWGA through 1/12 with west anomalies on the dateline then fading moving east of the KWGA near 1/24. After that weak east anomalies are to try and start getting a foothold over the KWGA on 1/29 with with the Inactive Phase of the MJO forecast developing 2/3 over the dateline holding through the end of the model run on 2/5.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (1/9 - using the 5th ensemble member - the mean of the 4 individual members which are all from the 00Z run - 1 run per day): Today the Active Phase of the MJO was just barely holding over the dateline with weak west anomalies still filling the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Active MJO is to track east and out of the KWGA on 1/11 but with weak west anomalies filling the KWGA through 1/28. The Inactive Phase is already building over the West KWGA today though not particularly strong or impactful till 2/10 when weak east anomalies start building over the KWGA holding through 2/26. A moderate Active Phase is to develop on 2/6 pushing east through the KWGA through 4/2 with moderate west anomalies during that window. An Inactive Phase is to follow starting 3/20 through the end of the model run on 4/8 with weak east anomalies trying to set up. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias with 2 contour lines was centered over the dateline and is to hold till 1/27, then nudge east with its western perimeter on or near the dateline. The second contour is to fade out on 1/10, never to return. A broad single contour low pressure bias is established centered over the Maritime Continent at 100E with it's leading edge at 125E and barely in the KWGA and is forecast starting to move east further into the KWGA to 150E on 1/27 filling 50% of the KWGA and building further east to nearly the dateline on 3/22 and moving east from there. Today a solid east anomaly pattern that had been in control of KWGA since early July is fading. A return to a more normal MJO alternating pattern is forecast moving forward. This could signal the demise of La Nina in the next 6 weeks (mid-Feb). That said, there is only one more Active MJO forecast for this winter, in the Feb to March timeframe.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (1/9) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was pushing east to 172E and solid. The 28 deg isotherm line was easing east to 177W. The 24 deg isotherm was backtracking to 140W. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +4 deg C were building with their leading edge at about 140W and showing signs of drifting east some. All sensors are down at 140W so there is some doubt concerning the above statement. Cool anomalies were fading at -3 degs C 75 meters down at 125W and tracking east. No Kelvin Waves were obvious and cool water was in control in the east at depth but definitely less of a force than weeks and months past with warm water building in the west. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 1/3 was blank but previously indicated no warm water east of 150W at depth with a bubble of cold water at -4C below normal east of there extending upward to the surface off Ecuador and rebuilding compared to weeks past. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (1/3) Sea heights were negative over the East equatorial Pacific from Ecuador to 145W at -5 to -10 cms now with a pocket of -15 cms anomalies between 110W and 130W and losing coverage. -10 cms anomalies cover a broad area between 80W to 138W. Positive anomalies were creeping east from 178E previously to 155W today. Perhaps a Kelvin Wave is creeping east. A warm water 'horseshoe' pattern appears to be quickly losing definition in the West Pacific. La Nina made a return but appears to be getting challenged by warmer water encroaching from the west. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram La Nina subsurface cold temperatures peaked in coverage in mid-Oct, far broader than last year (-2.5 degs C), but as of 1/3 that coverage is gone with a second cold pulse quickly tracking east with its core between 133W to 113W. Warm water was fast moving east with it's leading edge today at 155W. It appears a Kelvin Wave is moving east, the first since last summer.

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 Qualitative Analysis: (1/4) The latest images depict a broad stream of cool water on the equator and extending north from Chile up to Peru then turning west and peaking from the Galapagos west to 115W then weaker but still solid west of there to at least the dateline. A classic La Nina pattern was evident. But the coolest part of that flow is warming compared to a week ago. There were still some signs of warming along the coast of Chile and Ecuador. An area of warm water was holding just north of the equator from Ecuador west to 150W and up along Central America into Southern Baja. Overall this indicates the return of cold water temps in the Central Equatorial Pacific indicative of La Nina, at least for now.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (1/4): Temps were warming along Chile and Peru.Also strong warming was on the equator from Ecuador west to 110W. A pocket of cooling was on the equator at 115W and another near 125W. But there were equal amounts of warming water on the equator too. A cold water Kelvin Wave is erupting at the surface in the East equatorial Pacific resulting from the discharge of subsurface water below it.
Hi-res Overview: (1/4) No real change though the magnitude of the coolness appears to be fading some with the coolest pocket at 115W. A broad stream of cooler than normal water was aligned on the equator from Ecuador to 110W then weaker but still solid out to 180W. Cooler than normal waters were also south of that line down to 20S. Warmer than normal waters were limited to a line north of the equator up to Mexico and along the US Coast up to Pt Conception. A previous cool outflow from South California southwest to the a point over Hawaii's Big Island was gone. La Nina is solid but not building anymore focused over the equatorial Central Pacific.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (1/9) Today's temps were up dramatically at -1.004 after being down at -1.871 on 1/3 after rising to -1.319 on 12/30 after falling hard to -1.954 on 12/18, the lowest this year so far. Previously temps rose to -1.432 on 11/29 and that after dropping on 11/24 at -1.700, the lowest in months after previously toggling steady at about -0.6 degs from mid Aug to Oct 6, then falling from there. Before that temps were toggling around neutral 6/13-8/5 except for one dip to -0.411 on 7/8. Prior to that temps peaked on 3/16 when they briefly hit +0.714 degs. Last year temps bottomed out at -2.138 on 8/13/20. The longterm trend has been steadily downward.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(1/9) Todays temps were rising slowly at -0.998 after falling reaching a new peak low -1.096 on 1/3 beating the previous low of -1.080 on 11/2, the lowest in a year. Prior to that temps had been in a freefall starting from the -0.175 range in early Sept. Before that temps peaked up at 7/1 +0.332, the highest in a year. Temps previously had been steady near -0.222 since early March. Temps bottomed out at -1.654 on 11/3/2020.

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 (1/9) - Temps rose in early Nov 2020 after bottoming out at -1.25 degs, up to -0.01 degs in mid-June then fading to -0.3 degs through Aug and to -0.75 degs in mid Oct and -1.0 degs in mid-Nov. The forecast indicates temps steady from here to mid-Jan at -1.05 then starting a push up to -0.50 degs in July 2022. This model suggests we are at the peak of La Nina temperatures this Winter. There is no indication that El Nino will develop. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps have already bottomed out at -1.05 in mid-Dec, rising in mid-Jan to -1.0 degs then starting a slow steady rise to -0.50 degs in July. At this point it is safe to say peak La Nina has been reached.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Dec 20, 2021 Plume depicts temps are at -1.032 degs today and have bottomed out. They are to warm to -0.47 degrees in March, then rising to -0.00 degs in July and neutral after that. A solid return of La Nina is expected peaking about now then warming thereafter.
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 - this is a lagging indicator):
Today (1/9) the daily index was negative at -27.74 after peaking at +46.71 on 12/26. The trend has been towards positive readings with previous notable peaks at +30.98 on 11/26, +36.90 on 9/28, +27.75 on 9/13 and +37.86 on 7/15.
The 30 day average was falling at +8.33 after peaking at 13.07 on 12/31 (the highest in a year) after previously falling to +6.06 on 11/6 after peaking at +11.58 on 10/22. Before that it fell to -3.36 on 6/22, the lowest in a year. It peaked at +19.51 on 1/14.
The 90 day average was falling at +9.43 today after previously peaking at +10.90 on 12/26, falling to +7.10 on 11/1. It previously peaking on 9/21 at +9.80 after falling to it's lowest point in a year on 6/9 at +1.06. The 90 day average peaked at +15.75 on 2/23 (clearly indicative of La Nina then). This index is a lagging indicator but suggest La Nina is returning.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
The PDO theoretically turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and was positive till Dec 2019, but has been negative every since, driven by recent La Nina conditions. In May-July 2021 it was the most negative its been in the -1.80 to -2.04 range since Sept 2012 (-2.99). 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'). If anything it appears more likely we are still in the cool phase of the PDO.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 

Powerlines Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest
Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for this week. See it Here
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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