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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Sunday, January 16, 2022 4:59 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
3.3 - California & 4.1 - 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 1/17 thru Sun 1/23

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   

Pacific Takes Short Break
Another Pulse of Storm Forecast

 

BUOY ROUNDUP
Sunday, January 16, 2022 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt): Seas were 5.7 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 4.4 ft @ 14.7 secs from 310 degrees. Water temp 77.2 degs (Barbers Pnt), NA (Lani 239), 76.1 (Pearl Harbor 233).
  • Buoy 202 (Hanalei): Seas were 10.2 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 6.2 ft @ 14.6 secs from 316 degrees. Water temp 77.4 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.0 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 3.3 ft @ 13.4 secs from 265 degrees. Wind northwest at 2-4 kts. Water temperature 58.3 degs, 58.1 (Topanga 103), 57.9 degs (Long Beach 215), 58.8 (Del Mar 153), 58.1 (Imperial Beach 155). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 6.9 ft @ 13.5 secs from 287 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 3.4 ft @ 14.0 secs from 264 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.2 ft @ 14.6 secs from 259 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 4.3 ft @ 13.8 secs from 273 degrees. Water temp 59.5 degs.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 8.4 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 7.2 ft @ 13.9 secs from 294 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northeast at 4-8 kts. Water temp NA (Pt Reyes 029), 53.1 (46026), 53.1 degs (SF Bar 142), and 54.0 (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).
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 Sunday (1/16) North and Central CA had set waves at 3 ft overhead and lined up with good form and glassy conditions. Protected breaks were 1-2 ft overhead on the sets and clean and lined up but mostly closed out. At Santa Cruz surf was head high with some bigger sets and lined up and clean but soft. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist to chest high and lined up and clean with decent form but inconsistent. Central Orange County had sets at 2-3 ft overhead and lined up and clean but a bit closed out. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at waist to chest high and lined up and super clean and fun looking. North San Diego had sets at shoulder to head high and lined up and clean and peeling. Hawaii's North Shore was 10 ft and clean and lined up with good form. The South Shore was chest high and clean with decent form and no wind. The East Shore was waist high and clean with no wind.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Sunday (1/16) North and Central California was getting swell from a local gale that was off the Pacific Northwest on Thurs-Fri (1/14) producing up to 26 ft seas aimed east. Hawaii was getting swell from a local gale that passed north of the Islands on Thurs-Fri (1/14) producing up to 26 ft seas over a small area aimed well at Hawaii. A bit of a break is forecast until swell from a new poorly organized gale arrives. That gale is broader and projected to track east to the dateline Sun-Tues (1/18) producing 20-23 ft seas aimed well at the Islands. A stronger system is forecast developing west of the dateline tracking to a point norht of the Islands Tues-Fri (1/21) producing up to 42 ft seas aimed east. And yet another small but solid system is to form on the dateline Fri (1/21) tracking to the Western Gulf on Sun (1/23) producing 40 ft seas aimed east. So the swell production machine is finally in gear.

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 Sunday (1/16) the jet was well consolidated pushing east off Japan on the 30N latitude line running flat east to a point 800 nmiles north of Hawaii with winds 180-190 kts between Japan and the dateline forming abroad but shallow trough offering good support for gale development. the jet split at 155W with the northern branch weak and tracking up into Alaska offering nothing but high pressure east of the split point. Over the next 72 hours starting Mon (1/17) the situation is to remain unchanged except for winds building to 200-210 kts in the jet with the same broad trough holding and the split point immovable. Good support for gale developemnt to continue. Beyond 72 hours no real change is forecast through Sat (1/22) but winds fading some in the ejt to maybe 180-190 kts still offering good support for gale development. But by Sun (1/23) winds in the jet are to start fading to 130 kts off Japan and 170 kts just west of the split point with te broad shallow trough still in place over the dateline. The split point is to move east splightly to 148W. Continued support for gale developement is suggested. But there's some concern the jet might start to fade and unravel in the west long term as the Active Phase of the MJO fades over the Pacific.

Surface Analysis
On Sunday (1/16) swells from 3 separate and small weather systems were impacting both Hawaii and California (see West Gulf Gale, Small Dateline Gale and Northeast Gulf Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a broad system started developing just off Japan on Sat AM (1/15) with 30-35 kts west winds and seas building from 22 ft roughly centered at 36N 160E aimed east. More of the same occurred in the evening with 23 ft seas tracking east at 36N 167.5E aimed east. On Sun AM (1/16) 30-35 kt west winds were fading just west of the dateline with 23 ft seas at 39N 174.5E aimed east. In the evening 30-35 kt west winds to rebuild some just west of the dateline with seas 22 ft over a small area at 35N 171E aimed east. On Mon AM 30-35 kt northwest winds to build up to the north with seas building from 22 ft over a broadish area at 36N 177W aimed southeast. Fetch is to be fading from 30 kts in the evening with seas 22 ft at 40N 172W aimed southeast. Fetch and seas dissipating fast from there. Something to monitor but likely more 13-14 secs period swell to result for Hawaii from a rather westerly direction starting Wed (1/19).

Oahu: Expect swell arrival on late Tues (1/18) building to 3.8 ft @ 13-14 secs at sunset (5.0 ft). Swell peaking on Wed (1/19) at 4.6 ft @ 13-14 secs early (6.5 ft). Swell still decent on Thurs (1/20) fading from 4.8 ft @ 13 secs early (6.0 ft). Swell fading Fri (1/21) from 3.8 ft @ 13 secs (5.0 ft). Swell Direction: 308 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (1/21) building to 4.6 ft @ 14 secs later (6.0 ft). Swell fading on Sat (1/22) from 3.4 ft @ 13-14 secs (4.5 ft). Dribbles on Sun (1/23) fading from 3.1 ft @ 14 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 285-290 degrees

 

West Gulf Gale
A small gale developed 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.

North CA: Swell fading on Sun (1/16) from 5.3 ft @ 13-14 secs early (7.0 ft). Swell DIrection: 284 sweeping to 296 degrees

 

Small Dateline Gale
A small gale formed 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 werefading from 35 kts from the west positioned 800 nmiles northwest of the Islands with 22 ft seas fading at 34.5N 171W aimed southeast. The gale was 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

 

Northeast Gulf Gale
A small gale formed 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 27 ft at 46.8N 144.5W aimed east. In the evening the gale was poised to impact North British Columbia with 40-45 kt southwest winds and seas 31 ft at 51.75N 137W and east of the NCal swell window.

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun AM (1/16) at 5.5 ft @ 15 secs (8.0 ft). Swell Direction: 302-309 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 (1/17) light northerly 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 and 15 kts for Cape Menodcino.
  • Wed (1/19) northwest winds are forecast at 15 kts early for all of North CA and 10-15 kts for Central CA pretty much holding all day but possibly to 20 kts for Cape Mendocino later.
  • Thurs (1/20) northwest winds are forecast at 10 kts early for North and Central CA holding all day excep north at 15 kts for Cape Mendocino later.
  • Fri (1/21) high pressure tried to set up with north winds 20 kts for Cape Menodcino early but northwest 5-10 kts for the remainder or North and Central CA early. In the afternoon north winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for Cape Mendocino and 5 kts south of there from the north or northeast.
  • Sat (1/22) light winds from the northeast are forecast early for all of North and Central CA fading to calm later.
  • Sun (1/23) light winds are forecast 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 falling steadily to 7,500 ft on 1/18 then rebuilding to 10,500 ft on 1/19-1/21 then falling down to 6,000 ft on 1/22 holding before rebuilding to 10,500 ft on 1/25.

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

 

South Pacific

Overview
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

 

QuikCAST's

 

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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours starting Tues AM (1/18) a stronger and broader gale is to start developing off Japan and the dateline with 35-40 kt northwest winds and seas building from 21 ft at 33N 153E aimed east. In the evening winds to build to 40-50 kts from the west with 27 ft seas at 33N 161.5E aimed east. Fetch is to push east on Wed AM (1/19) at 45-55 kts over a small area with seas 34 ft at 37.25N 171.75E aimed east. In the evening a solid fetch of 35-40 kt west winds are forecast on the dateline with a core at 45-50 kts producing 39 ft seas at 37.75N 178.5E aimed east. On Thurs AM (1/20) fetch is to be holding position at 45 kts just east of the dateline with 39 ft seas at 37.25N 178W aimed east. In the evening fethc is to push east at 45 kts with seas 37 ft at 37.75N 171W aimed east. On Fri AM (1/21) fetch is to be fading from 30+ kts with sas fading from 32 ft at 38.5N 163.5W aimed east. The gale is to dissipate after that. Something to monitor.

And yet another decent system is forecast developing Fri AM (1/210 west of the datleine on a similar track to the ones before it with 45 kts northwest winds and seas building from 28 ft over a small area at 32.5N 167E aimed east. In the evening 45+ kt west winds are to be lifting northeast with seas 29 ft at 35N 180W aimed east. On Sat AM (1/22) the gael is to lift northeast with 45-50 kt west winds ands seas building to 36 ft at 40.25N 172W aimed east. More of the same in the evening with 34 ft seas at 45N 166.5W aimed east. The gale is to fade from there.

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.

LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
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 (1/15) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific and t moderate to strong east over the KWGA. Anomalies were modest east over the East equatorial Pacific and neutral over the Central Pacific and weak 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 (1/16) 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 though the balance is more towards east anomalies focused just west of the dateline and buidling on 1/22.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (1/15) A weak Active MJO signal was centered just west of the dateline today. The statistical model suggests an Inactive Phase is to build over the West KWGA on day 5 of the model run at moderate strength and holding unchanged through days 10 and 15 of the model run. The dynamic model projects the Inactive Phase developing far weaker if at all but then trying to get established in the far West KWGA on day 15 of the model run.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (1/16) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the Atlantic and is forecast tracking to the Central Indian Ocean at day 15 of the model run and very weak. The dynamic model suggests the Active Phase was even weaker over nearly Africa today and is to move to the Central Indian Ocean and so weak as to not even be present on day 15 of the model run.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (1/15) A modest Active MJO signal (wet air) was depicted over the entire equatorial Pacific today. The forecast indicates the Active Phase (wet air) unchanged through 1/30 then tracking east pushing into Central America 2/4. The Inactive Phase (dry air) is to be building over the West Pacific in earnest starting 2/9 at modest strength and moving over Central America on 2/24. A new very weak Active Phase (wet air) is forecast starting to build over the far West Pacific on 2/19 moving east to the Central Pacific from there.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (1/15) This model depicts the Active Phase was weak moving over the far East KWGA today with west anomalies at modest strength filling the KWGA. No change is forecast until 1/22 when east naomies start building filling the KWGA and the Inactive Phase builds over the far West Pacific on 1/24. The forecast indicates the Inactive MJO signal is to ease east through 2/9 then fade but with east anomalies holding filling the KWGA through the end of the model run on 2/12.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (1/16 - 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 Inactive Phase was building over the KWGA today though not particularly strong or impactful till 1/24 when the prevailing weak west anomalies give way to weak east anomalies filling the KWGA and holding through 3/10. A moderate Active Phase is to develop on 2/6 pushing east through the KWGA through 4/6 with modest west anomalies during that window. An Inactive Phase is to follow starting 3/24 through the end of the model run on 4/15 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 3/5 filling 50% of the KWGA and building further east quicker 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: (1/16) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was pushing east to 176E and solid. The 28 deg isotherm line was easing east to 175W. The 24 deg isotherm was easing east to 135W. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +4 deg C were building with their leading edge moving east to about 135W 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 140W at -5 to -10 cms with a pocket of -15 cms anomalies at 115W and losing coverage. -10 cms anomalies cover a fading area between 85W to 130W. Positive anomalies were creeping east from 178E previously to 150W 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 at 119W and collapsing. Warm water was fast moving east with it's leading edge today at 150W. 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: (1/13) The latest images depict a broad stream of cool water on the equator extending from Ecuador west peaking near 125W then weaker but still solid west of there to the dateline. A classic La Nina pattern was evident but appears to be in retreat. There were obvious signs of warming along the coasts of Chile and Peru. 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 demise of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (1/15): Temps were warming strongly along Chile and Peru. Also a pocket of strong warming was on the equator at 110W. A few stray pockets of cooling were between Ecuador to 100W.
Hi-res Overview: (1/15) No real change though the magnitude of the coolness appears to be steadily fading with the coolest pocket at 119W. 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 aligned from 3N and above over the entire North Pacific. La Nina is solid but appears to be fading focused over the equatorial Central and East Pacific.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (1/16) Today's temps were down slightly at -0.920 after rising to -0.650 degs on 1/9and that 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:
(1/16) Todays temps were steaady at -0.776 after 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 (1/16) - 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 -0.70 degs in Feb then falling some only to resettle at -0.70 degs in the July and beyond 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 and if anything we'll fall into a weak steady state La Nina beyond. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests the same thing. At this point it is safe to say peak La Nina has been reached but any sort of a whole sale recovery seems unlikely for now.
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 (1/16) the daily index was negative at -14.46 after peaking at +46.71 on 12/26. The trend of late has been more towards negative readings after previously being 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 +2.47 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 +7.12 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
For automatic notification of forecast updates, subscribe to the Stormsurf001 YouTube channel - just click the 'Subscribe' button below the video.

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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

Mavericks & Stormsurf on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luQSYf5sKjQ

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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