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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, January 13, 2022 4:57 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   

Smaller Swell for Now
Jetstream to Start Raging - Split Jet to Hold Off CA


Thursday, January 13, 2022 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt): Seas were 4.7 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 3.4 ft @ 13.7 secs from 307 degrees. Water temp 76.5 degs (Barbers Pnt), NA (Lani 239), 76.1 (Pearl Harbor 233).
  • Buoy 202 (Hanalei): Seas were 9.9 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 7.7 ft @ 13.3 secs from 315 degrees. Water temp 76.3 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 5.6 ft @ 12.8 secs with swell 4.6 ft @ 13.5 secs from 263 degrees. Wind northwest at 4-6 kts. Water temperature 58.3 degs, 57.7 (Topanga 103), 57.9 degs (Long Beach 215), 58.3 (Del Mar 153), 58.5 (Imperial Beach 155). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 6.0 ft @ 14.7 secs from 292 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 3.5 ft @ 13.5 secs from 274 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.4 ft @ 13.7 secs from 261 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 5.1 ft @ 14.7 secs from 275 degrees. Water temp 59.4 degs.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 7.8 ft @ 12.0 secs with swell 5.4 ft @ 13.4 secs from 292 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was north at 18-20 kts. Water temp NA (Pt Reyes 029), 52.9 (46026), 53.1 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 Thursday (1/13) North and Central CA had set waves at 2-3 ft overhead and lined up with good form and glassy conditions early. Protected breaks were head high on the sets and clean and lined up with decent form but slightly wonky. At Santa Cruz surf was head high or so and lined up and clean but weak. In Southern California/Ventura waves were head high and lined up and peeling with clean conditions and good form when the sets came. Central Orange County had sets at chest to near head high and lined up with good form and clean. South Orange County's best summertime breaks were waist high and lined up and real clean but weak. North San Diego had sets at 1-2 ft overhead and lined up and clean and peeling. Hawaii's North Shore was getting some decent swell with waves 3-4 ft overhead and clean and lined up with good form. The South Shore was thigh to maybe waist high and clean but weak. The East Shore was near flat and textured from light east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (1/13) North and Central California was getting fading swell from a gale that previously was in the Central Gulf Sun-Mon (1/10) producing 34-36 ft seas aimed east. Hawaii was getting swell from a modest system that developed Mon-Tues (1/11) on the dateline falling southeast producing up to 24 ft seas in close proximity and targeting the Islands well. A small storm developed over the Western Gulf Wed-Thurs (1/13) producing up to 35 ft seas aimed east. A weaker system is to form in the Northwestern Gulf on Thurs-Fri (1/14) producing 28-32 ft seas aimed east. And another small on is to cross the dateline Thurs-Fri (1/14) generating 25-28 ft seas targeting Hawaii well. of some more interest is a far broader gale forecast developing mid-way to the dateline Sun-Tues (1/18) producing 25 ft seas aimed well at the Islands. And beyond a stronger system is forecast for the dateline Tues-Thurs (1/20) producing 36-39 ft seas aimed east with the jetstream raging on top. So there's more hope!

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Thursday (1/13) the jet was reasonably well consolidated pushing east off Japan on the 30N latitude line running flat east to a point 800 nmiles north of Hawaii with winds 170 kts off Japan fading while pushing east then rebuilding in a new trough well north of the Hawaiian Islands to 170 kts with that trough offering decent support for gale development while lifting northeast. The jet was split east of 155W with the northern branch pushing well up into Alaska. Over the next 72 hours starting Fri (1/14) the aforementioned trough is to quickly dissipate with the jet starting to split back at 165W while wind energy starts building in the jet just off Japan to 180 kts pushing east and then totally covering the area from Japan to 165W on Sun (1/16) at 180 kts solid with a broad trough starting to develop just west of the dateline. Good support for gale development is forecast. Beyond 72 hours starting Mon (1/17) more of the same is forecast but with winds building more to 200 kts and then 210 kts on Wed (1/19) reaching to the dateline with the split point moving east to 155W on Thurs (1/20) but the jet still flat, with no obvious troughs defined. Still good support for gale development is indicated just based on the wind speeds alone. East of the split point much protection is expected for California from weather.

Surface Analysis
On Thurs (1/13) swell from a gale previously in the Western Gulf was fading in California (see 2nd Dateline/West Gulf Gale below). And swell from a previous gale in close proximity to Hawaii was fading (see Local Hawaiian Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a small gale started developing on the dateline Tues AM (1/11) producing a tiny area of 45 kt west winds and seas building. In the evening a solid fetch of 45 kt west winds were sweeping east with 25 ft seas at 36.5N 168.25W aimed east. On Wed AM (1/12) 40-45 kt west winds were lifting northeast over the Western Gulf with seas building to 31 ft at 42.25N 162W aimed east. The gale was fading while lifting northeast in the evening with west winds 40-45 kts with seas fading from 34 ft up at 45.5N 156.75W aimed east. On Thurs AM (1/13) fetch was fading from 35 kts from the west with 28 ft seas up at 49N 152.5W. Something to monitor.

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (1/15) building to 5.4 ft @ 14-15 secs later (7.5-8.0 ft). Swell fading on Sun (1/16) from 5.3 ft @ 13-14 secs early (7.0 ft). Swell DIrection: 284 sweeping to 296 degrees


Also a small gale is to form on the dateline on Thurs AM (1/13) producing 45 kts northwest winds over a small area aimed well at Hawaii with seas building. In the evening 45 kt northwest winds are to be just east of the dateline with 28 ft seas at 36.25N 179.5W aimed decently at Hawaii but small in coverage. On Fri AM (1/14) residual west winds are to be 35 kts from the west positioned 800 nmiles northwest of the Islands with 24 ft seas fading at 34.5N 171W aimed southeast. The gael is to be gone after that. Small swell is to radiate towards Hawaii.

Oahu: Expect swell arrival later on Sat (1/15) building to 5.6 ft @ 12-13 secs (7.0 ft). Swell fading Sun AM (1/16) from 6.0 ft @ 12-13 secs (7.5 ft). Swell Direction: 320 degrees


And a small gale is to form in the Northeastern Gulf on Thurs PM (1/13) producing 30-35 kt west winds over a decent sized area aimed east at North Ca and Oregon with 20-22 ft seas building at 42N 143W aimed east. On Fri AM (1/14) 35-45 kt west winds are to be off Washington with seas 29 ft at 46.8N 144.5W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to be poised to impact North British Columbia with 40-45 kt southwest winds and seas 33 ft at 51.5N 136.25W and east of the NCal swell window.

North CA: Rough data suggest swell arrival on Sun AM (1/16) at 5.5 ft @ 14 secs (7.5 ft). Swell Direction: 302-309 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.

North CA: Residuals on Thurs (1/13) fading from 5.3 ft @ 13-14 secs (7.0 ft). Swell Direction: 284 degrees

Southern CA: 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


Local Hawaiian Gale
A gale started 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: Dribbles early Thurs (1/13) fading from 5.0 ft @ 12-13 secs (6.5 ft). Swell Direction: 312-320 degrees


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


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are forecast.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Fri (1/14) northwest winds are forecast at 15-20 kts early for North CA and continuing off the coast of Central CA but 5-10 kts nearshore early. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 20 kts for Cape Mendocino and 10 kts from Pt Arena southward and maybe 5 kts down into Central CA.
  • Sat (1/15) early northwest winds are forecast at 5 kts for Pt Arena northward and northeast 5-10 kts south of there down to Pt Conception. In the afternoon northeast winds are to be 5 kts for all of North and Central CA.
  • Sun (1/16) light east winds are forecast early for North and Central CA and holding all day.
  • Mon (1/17) light winds are forecast early for North and Central CA early holding all day.
  • Tues (1/18) light northwest winds are forecast at 5 kts for North and Central CA early maybe building to 10 kts later.
  • Wed (1/19) northwest winds are forecast at 5-10 kts early for all of North and Central CA building to 10 kts later.
  • Thurs (1/20) northwest winds are forecast at 10 kts early for North and Central CA holding all day.

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 10,500 ft through 1/13 building to 12,000 ft on 1/14 then falling to 8,500 ft on 1/16 before rebuilding to 10-12k ft on 1/19-1/20 then falling down to 7,000 ft on 1/21 and holding.


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 a broader system is forecast developing just off Japan on Sat AM (1/15) with 35 kts west winds and seas building from 25 ft at 37.5N 155.25E aimed east. More of the same in the evening with 24 ft seas tracking east at 35N 166.5E aimed east. On Sun AM (1/16) 30-35 kt west winds are to be fading just west of the dateline with 23 ft seas at 36.5N 175E aimed east. In the evening 40 kt west winds to build just west of the dateline with seas building from 26 ft over a small area at 35N 171E aimed east. On Mon AM 35-40 kt northwest winds to build up to the north with seas building from 25 ft over a broad area at 36N 177W aimed southeast. Fetch is to be fading from 35 kts in the evening with seas 24 ft at 36N 178W aimed southeast. Fetch dissipating from there. Something to monitor but likely more 14 secs period swell to result for Hawaii from a rather westerly direction.

On Tues AM (1/18) a stronger and broader gale is to be developing between Japan and the dateline with 40-45 kt northwest winds and seas 26 ft seas at 35.75N 160.5e aimed east. In the evening winds to build to 40-50 kts from the west with 32 ft seas at 35N 170E aimed east. Fetch is to push east on Wed AM (1/19) at 45 kts with seas 36 ft at 36.5N 178.5E aimed east. In the evening a huge fetch of west winds at 35 kts is to be straddling the dateline with 32 ft seas at 38.25N 170.5W and 20 ft seas over a huge area around that core. Fetch holding position and size at 35 kts on Thurs AM (1/20) with 29 ft seas at 43.25N 167W aimed east. Something to monitor.

Winter has started!


South Pacific

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


MJO/ENSO Forecast


La Nina Fading - Kelvin Wave Pushing East
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 in the East Equatorial Pacific. A stronger than expected Active Phase of the MJO in Dec has produced a Kelvin Wave that is plodding east through the Central Pacific. And water temps appear to be warming along Peru and Chile. 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 take much time 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 (1/12) 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 modest east over the East equatorial Pacific and neutral over the Central Pacific and neutral 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 (1/13) weak east anomalies were somewhat covering the KWGA. The 7 day forecast calls for a weak mix of east and west anomalies filling the 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): (1/12) A weak Active MJO signal (wet air) was over the East Pacific today with the Inactive Phase (dry air) just starting to develop over the West Pacific today. The forecast indicates the Active Phase (wet air) tracking east pushing into Central America 1/27. The Inactive Phase (dry air) is to be building over the West Pacific in earnest starting 1/17 at modest strength and moving over Central America on 2/11. A new very weak Active Phase (wet air) is forecast starting to build over the far West Pacific on 2/16 moving east to the Central Pacific from there.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (1/12) This model depicts the Active Phase was weak moving over the East KWGA today (dateline) with west anomalies at modest strength. The Inactive Phase is starting to build over the far West Pacific. The forecast indicates the Active MJO signal is to be gone in a few days with the Inactive Phase pushing east reaching almost the dateline on 2/2 then dissipating but with east anomalies building starting 1/24 peaking on 1/27-2/2 then fading some while holding on the dateline through the end of the model run on 2/9 filling the KWGA.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (1/13 - 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 moving east of 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 1/14 but with weak west anomalies filling the KWGA through 1/22. The Inactive Phase is already building over the West KWGA today though not particularly strong or impactful till 1/25 when weak east anomalies start building over and filling the KWGA holding through 3/10. A moderate Active Phase is to develop on 2/9 pushing east through the KWGA through 4/12 with moderate west anomalies during that window. An Inactive Phase is to follow starting 3/26 through the end of the model run on 4/12 with weak west anomalies holding. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias with 1 contour line was centered over the dateline and is to hold till 1/27, then nudge east with its western perimeter on or near the dateline. A broad single contour low pressure bias is established centered over the Maritime Continent at 100E with it's leading edge at 130E and barely in the KWGA and is forecast starting to move east further into the KWGA to 150E on 2/6 filling 50% of the KWGA and building further east to nearly the dateline at the end of the model run. 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: (1/13) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was pushing east to 175E and solid. The 28 deg isotherm line was easing east to 176W. The 24 deg isotherm was easing east to 138W. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +4 deg C were building with their leading edge moving east to about 140W and showing signs of drifting east more. All sensors are down at 140W so there is some doubt concerning the above statement but it seems likely a Kelvin Wave has developed and is pushing east. Cool anomalies were fading at -2 degs C 75 meters down at 110W and tracking east. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 1/8 indicates a Kelvin Wave pushing east with 4-5 degs warm anomalies with its eastern edge at 145W with cool anomalies at -5Degs C pushing to the surface down 50 meters at 120W. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (1/8) Sea heights were negative over the East equatorial Pacific from Ecuador to 150W at -5 to -10 cms with a pocket of -15 cms anomalies between 110W and 125W and losing coverage. -10 cms anomalies cover a broad area between 85W to 135W. Positive anomalies were creeping east from 178E previously to 155W today. It appears 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 1/8 that coverage is gone with a second cold pulse quickly tracking east with its core between 125W to 115W. Warm water was fast moving east with it's leading edge today at 152W. 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: (1/12) The latest images depict a broad stream of cool water on the equator and extending north from Peru then turning west and peaking near 120W 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 are solid signs of warming along the entire 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 potential demise of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (1/12): Temps were warming strongly along Chile and Peru. Also strong warming was on the equator from Ecuador west to 115W. No pockets of cooling were evident.
Hi-res Overview: (1/12) No real change though the magnitude of the coolness appears to be fading some with the coolest pocket at 118W. A broad stream of cooler than normal water was aligned on the equator from Ecuador to the dateline. 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 appears to be fading focused over the equatorial Central and East Pacific.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (1/13) Today's temps were up dramatically at -0.857 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:
(1/13) Todays temps were rising slowly at -0.865 after falling reaching a new peak low of -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 (1/13) - 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 -1.05 degs in mid-Nov and holding. The forecast indicates temps slowly toggling upwards to -0.65 degs in July 2022 then holding there into Oct. This model suggests we are at or almost past 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 (1/13) the daily index was positive at 5.14 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 +5.64 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 +8.43 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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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing:

Mavericks & Stormsurf on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel

Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:

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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