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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Wednesday, January 18, 2023 2:34 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
3.8 - 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 1/16 thru Sun 1/2

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   

Small Gulf Swell for CA
Storm #3 Projected - Drying Pattern for CA


Wednesday, January 18, 2023 :

  • Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt)/Buoy 239 (Lani): Seas were 4.1 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 2.3 ft @ 13.1 secs from 304 degrees. Water temp 77.5 degs (Barbers Pt), 77.4 (Pearl Harbor 233), 77.5 (Lani 239).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 5.2 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 3.5 ft @ 13.6 secs from 324 degrees. Water temp 77.7 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 6.3 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 3.7 ft @ 13.8 secs from 281 degrees. Wind east at 12-14 kts. Water temperature 57.7 degs, 57.4 (Topanga 103), 57.2 degs (Long Beach 215), 57.6 (Oceanside Offshore 045), 57.6 (Del Mar 153), 58.6 (Torrey Pines Outer 100). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 6.0 ft @ 13.2 secs from 298 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.7 ft @ 1204 secs from 265 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.8 ft @ 9.6 secs from 268 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 4.0 ft @ 11.7 secs from 278 degrees. Water temperate was 59.0 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 8.1 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 5.2 ft @ 11.8 secs from 292 degrees. Wind northwest at 7-10 kts. Water temp 54.0 (Bodega Bay 46013), 54.0 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 52.7 (San Francisco 46026), 52.7 (SF Bar 142), 53.8 (Pt Santa Cruz 254) and 55.2 (Monterey Bay 46042).

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 Wednesday (1/18) North and Central CA had sets at 2 ft overhead and lined up but a bit warbled though wind was light and moderately soft. Protected breaks were 1-2 ft overhead and lined up and somewhat closed out and slightly warbled but not horrible. At Santa Cruz surf was up to 1 ft overhead and mushed and a little warbled but with light winds and soft but decent form. In Southern California/Ventura waves were head high and lined up and clean but soft and somewhat mushed with decent form. Central Orange County had sets at chest high and lined up and clean with a little warble intermixed and soft. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at waist high or so and clean and lined up but soft and mushed. North San Diego had sets at waist to chest high and lined up and clean but soft. Hawaii's North Shore had sets at 3-4 ft overhead and clean and lined up with good form. The South Shore had some thigh high sets with decent form and soft but clean. The East Shore was near flat and clean with no wind and clean conditions.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Wednesday (1/18) California getting the tail end of swell that originated from a gale that developed just west of the dateline Wed-Thurs (1/12) with 41 ft seas aimed east with secondary energy continuing on the dateline into early Sat (1/14) producing 23 ft sea aimed southeast. And another gale developed over the Gulf Mon-Tues (1/17) producing 20-24 ft seas aimed east. Swell arrival later in the week in NCal. Another gale was developing while tracking from the dateline to the Northwestern Gulf Mon-Thurs (1/19) with 39 ft seas initially fading to 35 ft and on a more northerly track than previous systems courtesy of a new jetstream pattern. A stronger system is to develop on the dateline Fri-Sat (1/21) with up to 46 ft seas aimed east then moving into the Northwestern Gulf on Sun (1/22) while fading with seas 35 ft. Another gale is to be right behind developing off North Japan on Sun (1/22) falling southeast to the dateline on Mon (1/23) with 33 ft seas aimed east then fading. And more is expected behind that. Something to monitor.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Wednesday (1/18) the jetstream was consolidated pushing off Japan at 180 kts then splitting on the dateline with a trough just north of the split point offering support for gale formation. The split flow over the Eastern Gulf was supporting high pressure development. Over the next 72 hours the dateline trough is to lift northeast into the Northwestern Gulf on Fri (1/20) and weakening offering less support for gale formation. A backdoor trough is to develop pushing down the California coast on Wed PM-Thurs AM (1/19) supporting light precipitation. Back to the west over and off Japan winds are to build to 200 kts late on Thurs (1/19) starting to carve out a new trough on the dateline offering great support for gale if not storm development moving over the Western Gulf into Sat (1/21) before fading. Beyond 72 hours a gentle trough is forecast developing over the dateline on Mon (1/23) being fed by 150 kts winds offering support for gale formation with the trough getting steeper on Wed (1/25) while moving to the Western Gulf offering better support for gale development. On Mon (1/22) the jet is to be consolidated from Japan to a point north of Hawaii (155W) with a split flow east of there. By Wed (1/25) winds to again starting building off Japan to 200 kts over a small pocket carving out yet another trough over Japan tracking east offering support for gale development. No shortage of hope.

Surface Analysis
On Wednesday (1/18) swell from a gale that formed over the dateline was fading in Hawaii with limited energy masked along the mainland by local energy (see Another Dateline Gale below). Swell from a local gale previously off CA was fading along the US West Coast (see Local CA Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours swell from another gale in the Gulf of Alaska is to produce some swell for North and South CA (see Another Gulf Gale below).

And another gale started building west of the dateline on Mon PM (1/16) producing west winds at 35-40 kts with seas building from 20 ft at 37N 160E aimed east. On Tues AM (1/17) west winds were pushing east at 50 kts approaching the dateline with seas 32 ft at 39.75N 170.25E over a small area. In the evening west winds tracked over the dateline at 50-55 kts with seas 39 ft over a small area at 41N 180W aimed east. Wed AM (1/18) fetch was lifting northeast into the far Northwestern Gulf at 40-45 kts from the west with seas 35 ft at 42.5N 170.5W aimed east. In the evening 40 kt west winds are to be in the Northwestern Gulf with seas 35 ft at 45.75N 164.5W aimed east. Fetch fading Thurs AM (1/19) in the Northern Gulf from 30-35 kts from the west with seas 29 ft at 48.5N 156.75W aimed east. The gale is to be gone after that. Something to monitor.

Oahu: Expect swell arrival on Fri (1/20) building to 5.6 ft @ 16 secs early (8.5 ft) and holding. Swell fading Sat AM (1/21) from 4.2 ft @ 13-14 secs (5.6 ft). Swell Direction: 320 degrees

North CA: Rough data suggests swell arrival sunset on Sat (1/21) building to 5.9 ft @ 17 secs (9.5 ft). Swell continue on Sun (1/22) at 6.2 ft @ 15-16 secs early (9.5 ft). Residuals on Mon (1/23) fading from 5.9 ft @ 13 secs (7.5 ft). Swell Direction: 293 moving to 297 and then 300 degrees


And perhaps another storm (Possible Storm #3) is to develop west of the dateline on Thurs AM (1/19) with 45 kt northwest winds and seas building from 23 ft at 34N 161E aimed east. In the evening fetch is to be building in coverage and strength fast from 45-50 kts from the northwest over a good sized area approaching the Southern Dateline with seas 23 ft at 36.25N 169E aimed east and southeast. On Fri AM (1/20) northwest winds to be 50 kts and seas 35 ft at 37.5N 177.75E aimed east and southeast. In the evening the storm is to track east with 45-50 kt northwest winds and seas building to 40 ft at 39.75N 176W aimed southeast. The gale is to stall Sat AM (1/21) with a broad fetch of 45 kts northwest winds with a core to 55 kts and seas 45 ft at 40.75N 169.75W aimed southeast and east. In the evening the storm is to ease east with 45-50 kt northwest winds over a solid area and seas 46 ft at 40.75N 167.75W aimed southeast. On Sun AM (1/22) the gale is to fading while lifting northeast into the Northwestern Gulf with 40 kt west winds and seas fading from 40 ft at 43.25N 163.75W aimed east. Fetch fading in the evening from 30-35 kts in the Northwestern Gulf with seas fading from 32 ft at 46.5N 147.75W aimed east. Something to monitor.


Another Dateline Gale
Another gale started building off the Kuril Islands on Tues PM (1/10) with 50-55 kt northwest winds and seas building from 32 ft at 41.5N 158E aimed southeast. On Wed AM (1/11) 50-55 kt northwest winds were tracking east with seas 41 ft at 40.75N 165E aimed east. In the evening west winds were 45 kts approaching the dateline while lifting north with 40 ft seas at 42.75N 171.5E aimed east. On Thurs AM (1/12) fetch was holding stationary at 35-40 kts just west of the dateline with seas 34 ft at 43N 179E aimed east.In the evening fetch was fading from the northwest and west at 30-35 kts over a large area on the dateline with seas 29 ft at 41N 177.5W aimed east. Fetch continued fading Fri AM (1/13) from 30-35 kts from the northwest with seas 25 ft over a large area at 37N 178W aimed east. Fetch faded in the evening from 30-35 kts from the northwest over the North Dateline region with seas 20-24 ft centered roughly at 34N 178W aimed southeast. Fetch fading Sat AM (1/14) from 30 kts with seas 22 ft at 43N 178W aimed southeast. Swell has been generated.

Oahu: Residuals on Wed (1/18) fading from 3.0 ft @ 12-13 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 320 degrees


Local CA Gale
Also on Sat PM (1/14) another gale is to start building northeast of Hawaii tracking east to wards the mainland with west winds 35 kts and building. On Sun AM (1/15) west winds were 35 kts off San Francisco with seas 21 ft at 37.5N 143W aimed east. In the evening the gale fell southeast and off Central CA with west winds 30-35 kts and seas 21 ft at 35N 133W aimed east. The gale started moving onshore Mon AM (1/16) over Central CA with 30 kt northwest winds off the coast and 16 ft seas at 33N 127W aimed southeast. Raw jumbled swell likely for all of California Mon-Tues (1/17).

North CA: Swell fading on Wed (1/18) from 5.8 ft @ 13-14 secs (7.5 ft). Swell possibly being overridden by Gulf swell beyond (see another Gulf Gale below). Swell Direction: 294 degrees

South CA:Swell fading on Wed (1/18) from 3.0 ft @ 14 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 298 degrees


Another Gulf Gale
Yet another small system developed in the Northwestern Gulf on Sun PM (1/15) producing 40 kt west winds and seas 23 ft at 45N 168W aimed east. Fetch tracked east on Mon AM (1/18) at 35 kts producing 24 ft seas at 45N 160W aimed east. Fetch was fading in the Gulf in the evening from 30-35 kts with seas 23 ft at 45.25N 153.25W aimed east. Residual fetch fading Tues AM (1/17) well off Oregon from 35 kts with seas 21 ft at 44N 145W. Something to monitor.

North CA: Swell arriving on Thurs (1/19) at 7.8 ft @ 13-14 secs early (10 ft). Swell fading on Fri (1/20) from 6.2 ft @ 13 secs early (8.0 ft). Dribbles on Sat (1/21) fading from 4.3 ft @ 12-13 secs (5.0 ft). Swell Direction: 302 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (1/19) mid-AM building to 3.1 ft @ 14 secs (4.0 ft) at exposed breaks. On Fri (1/20) swell is to be slowly fading from 3.4 ft @ 13 (4.0 ft). Residuals on Sat (1/21) fading from 2.4 ft @ 12-13 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 305 degrees


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


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored at this time.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Thurs AM (1/19) northwest winds are forecast at 15 kts for all of North and Central CA early building to 20+ kts in the afternoon. High pressure taking control ridging into the Pacific Northwest. Light rain for Central CA early and fading fast while moving over South CA in the afternoon. Snow early for Tahoe and fading fast while tracking south down the Sierra and gone by early evening. The dry-out begins.
  • Fri AM (1/20) north winds are to be 15 kts for Cape Mendocino and 10 kts for North and Central CA south of Cape Mendocino with the core of high pressure moving closer to the coast and into the Pacific Northwest. In the afternoon north winds are forecast at 10 kts for all of North and Central CA. No precip forecast.
  • Sat AM (1/21) north winds to be 10 kts for North and Central CA early. In the afternoon north winds to be 15 kts for Cape Mendocino and north 10 kts for the rest of North and Central CA.
  • Sun AM (1/22) north winds to be 20 kts for the Pt Arena area but otherwise 10 kts for North and Central CA early. In the afternoon north winds to be 20-25 kts solid for all of North CA and 10-15 kts for Central CA nearshore but 20 kts just off the coast.
  • Mon AM (1/23) north winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for Cape Mendocino but north 10 kts south of Pt Arena and over all of Central CA. In the afternoon winds north 20 kts for Cape mendocino but turning northeast at 10 kts for the rest of North and Central CA.
  • Tues AM (1/24) winds to be light if not calm for all of CA continuing through the day.
  • Wed AM (1/25) winds to be calm all day.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth are projected at 12, 13, 8, and 3 inches forecast with all on Wed (1/18). The change is coming.

Freezing level for Lake Tahoe is 4,000 ft on Wed (1/18) and holding then a big warm up starts on 1/20 with freeze level rising to 10,500 ft on 1/21 and holding for the foreseeable future. Possible flooding from rapid snow melt below 10,000 ft.

- - -

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

Snow Models: (Scroll down for Resort specific forecasts).


South Pacific

Surface Analysis
No swell producing fetch has occurred with no swell in the water or radiating towards the coast.

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


South 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 starting Sun AM (1/22) another gale is to building off North Japan with 40 kt northwest winds and seas building from 30 ft at 43N 163.75E aimed east. In the evening 40 kt northwest winds to be falling southeast half way to the dateline with seas 31 ft at 41N 164E aimed southeast. On Mon AM (1/23) west winds to continue at 40 kts approaching the dateline with seas 33 ft at 38.5N 169.5E aimed southeast. Fetch fading in the evening from 35+ kts straddling the dateline with 30 ft seas at 34.5N 175.75E aimed east. Fetch is to be stalled on Tues AM (1/24) on the dateline at 30-35 kts with seas fading from 27 ft at 33.75N 178.75E aimed southeast. Something to monitor.

Perhaps another gale is to be building just off Japan too on Wed (1/25).

No lack of potential swell production forecast.


South Pacific

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


MJO/ENSO Forecast


Kelvin Wave Crosses Pacific - Cool Pool Collapsing
West Wind Anomaly Pattern Stabilizing over West KWGA
Cool subsurface water volume peaked under the equatorial Pacific on 10/15/21, faded in May and June 2022, but rebuilt in late July and held till mid-Nov, then started to retreat east. La Nina conditions are in control at the oceans surface but appear to be weakening while the foundations of it subsurface collapse. And atmospherically anomalous Westerly Winds are getting steadily more established over the KWGA while building in coverage and forecast to continue that trend for the foreseeable future. The last link in the chain is to see SSTs actually rising and the SOI falling (but that has not happened yet). The outlook is cautiously optimistic.

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 through the Winter of 2022 and is continuing today, though possibly weaker with its foundation appearing to be in decline.

Fall/Winter 2022 = 4.0 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)

Rationale: It 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 and a full double dip pattern took hold through the Winter of 21/22. But a quick fade is forecast as we move into late December 2022 with the CFS predicting a return to a neutral wind anomaly pattern 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 2022. But by later in Jan or early Feb 2023 a return to a more normal pattern might take hold. As a result a significantly reduced number of storm days and storm intensity is expected Oct 22-Jan 23, resulting in a below normal level of swells, with swell being below normal duration and period. But by Feb 2023, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start improving as La Nina fades out. The net result is we're currently thinking a near normal number of swells with normal size and duration is to result, but all focused sometime after Jan 2023. The swell pattern will be below normal before Jan and above normal after Jan 23 with the average of the two being 'normal'. Of course this is all highly speculative at this early date.

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 (1/17) 5 day average winds were moderate to strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific and moderate east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral to light east over the East equatorial Pacific and modest east over the Central Pacific and modest to moderate 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).
1-2 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (1/18) Moderate east anomalies were over the dateline today with weak west anomalies retreating west from the KWGA. The 7 day forecast calls for east anomalies building to strong status over the dateline through the model run ending 1/23 with weak east anomalies in the west KWGA to 1/19 then turning east westerly on 1/21 and holding through end of the model run on 1/23.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (1/17) A modest Inactive signal was indicated building over the West KWGA today. The statistical model indicates the Inactive MJO building over the KWGA and tracking slowly east building to strong status on day 15 filling the KWGA. The dynamic model indicates the same thing but with the Inactive signal a but stronger on days 10 and 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (CA and GEFS): (1/18) The statistical model depicts the Active signal was weak over Africa and is track east to the Central Indian Ocean on day 15 of the model run and at moderate strength. The dynamic model indicates almost the same thing but with the Active Phase far stronger over the Indian Ocean 10 days out (strong status) then collapsing to moderate status on day 15.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (1/18) A modest Active signal (wet air) was developing over the KWGA today. The forecast has the Active signal (wet air) tracking steadily east over the PAcific pushing into Ecuador on 2/17. A weak Inactive signal (dry air) is forecast moving over the KWGA on 2/17 filling the KWGA by the end of the model run on 2/27.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (1/17)
The Active Phase of the MJO was gone over the KWGA today with west anomalies from it holding. West anomalies are to hold solid through 1/23 then dissipating. East anomalies are to develop over the KWGA on 1/27 as the Inactive Phase of the MJO traverses the KWGA 1/20-2/13. But west anomalies are to be building strong in the far west KWGA on 2/7 making greater inroads at the end of the model run on 2/14 reaching to 140E filling 30% of the KWGA.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind):
(1/12) - 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 fading over the KWGA with west anomalies at modest strength filling the western KWGA to 165E. The forecast has the Active Phase of the MJO tracking through the KWGA through 1/21 with west anomalies in control of the western KWGA (from 165E and points west of there). Looks like a weak Westerly Wind Burst (WWB) developed as a result of the ACtive Phase 12/26-1/16 with perhaps another Kelvin Wave resulting. After that a weak Inactive Phase of the MJO started 1/16 tracking east through the KWGA through 2/22 but with very weak westerly anomalies holding over the KWGA to 160E with east anomalies east of there centered on the dateline. After that the Active Phase of the MJO is to traverse the Pacific 2/16-3/20 producing moderate to strong west anomalies traversing the entire Pacific. Perhaps another WWB event to result. The Inactive MJO is forecast beyond traversing the Pacific but with west anomalies filling the entire equatorial Pacific beyond till the end of the model run on 4/17. If that happen some form of El Nino seems likely to result. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias with 2 contour lines centered at 180W with its western perimeter at 150E today. The second contour is to collapse or push east of the KWGA on 2/26 with the primary contour moving east of the KWGA by 3/15. A broad double contour low pressure bias is established centered over the West Maritime Continent at 90E with it's leading edge at 130E today and is already slowly pushing east and that is to continue, with a hard push east starting 2/24 and on the dateline on 3/27 and east of the dateline at the end of the model run. This is all a big deal and is being repeated in some form consistently from one run of the model to the next for 2 months now. It appears that the high pressure lockdown of the KWGA is fading with no return in sight, indicating the demise of La Nina is underway.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (1/18) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was gone. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 176E. The 26 degree isotherm was easing east from 158W to 152W. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing east into Ecuador and thickening. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies at +5 deg C were in a broad pocket with the leading edge at 150W and a thin stream of 1 degs anomalies pushing east into the East Pacific but that stream starting to fade. A small pocket of cooling was developing in the east down 150 m at 135W at -2 degs C. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 1/13 indicates remnants of a weak Kelvin Wave that pushed east lingering in pockets lifting upwards towards the surface in the far East equatorial Pacific. A cool pocket was centered at 120W down 100m (the upwelling phase of the Kelvin Wave cycle). The cool upwelling event that has been in play since July has been undercut and is fading. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (1/13 Sea heights were neutral over the entire East Equatorial Pacific except for a cool pocket at -5 cms between 110-135W. A broad pocket of positive anomalies were over the equator in the far West Pacific reaching east to 175W with pockets of positive anomalies at +5 cms strung east across the 5N latitude line to Ecuador. No real negative anomalies remain over the equatorial Pacific. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram cool anomalies have retreated to the East Equatorial Pacific between 100W to Ecuador. But a generic pool of weak cool waters now is developing between 112W to 146W. Warm waters continue building in intensity and coverage in the West.

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: (1/17) The latest images depict a broad generic pool of cool-ish water extending west from off Peru to the dateline mainly south of the equator in the East but fully on the equator in the west and extending south down to about 20S near 125W. Pockets of warming are present along the equator from Ecuador west to 140W (like results of the recent Kelvin Wave). And warmer than normal temps were present along the coasts of Chile and Peru. A thin cool stream was along the immediate coast of Peru but going nowhere. Overall this indicates the collapse of La Nina was underway.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (1/17): Moderate warming was occurring along the equator from the Galapagos to 110W. A broad pool of generic warming water was locked well off the coasts of Peru, Chile and Ecuador and west to the dateline. No cooling temps were indicated. A warming trend is well entrenched and building.
Hi-res Overview: (1/17) Coolish waters cover a large area from Ecuador to 160E on and south of the equator from off South America down to 20S with the coolest waters between mainly from 140W to 160E over the equator. The east equatorial Pacific is finally and steadily warming. Warmer than normal waters were along the coasts of Chile and Peru. La Nina remains in control over the West Equatorial Pacific for the moment but the density and intensity of the cooling appears to be fading fast and warming water seems to be building.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (1/18) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs compared to official sources). Today's temps were steady at -0.396. Temps previously were up to -0.695 on 12/22 after rising to -0.750 on 12/18, and that after rising from -1.267 in early Dec and then modestly in the -1.5 degs range late Oct and all Nov. Previously temps were in the -1.0 range since 7/29. Temps were down on 7/20 to -1.6 degs. Previously temps were stable near -1.4 degrees 6/12 through 7/27. Peaks in that time frame were -1.189 (7/7), -1.534 (7/5). Previously temps were at -1.822 on 6/9 after being up to -1.506 (5/21) and that after hovering around -2.0 degs since 4/21/22. Prior to that temps were fading after peaking at +0.760 on 3/18. Temps had been moving upwards since 2/20, and beat a previous high of -0.650 degs on 1/9 and that after being down at -1.871 on 1/3/22 and -1.954 on 12/18/21, the lowest this year so far. Previously temps dropped on 11/24/21 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. That 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:
(1/18) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs). Today's temps were steady at -1.040 after falling hard to -1.187 on 1/7 but otherwise have been holding around -1.0 degree since 11/3 and up to -0.900 on 10/18 beating a previous peak of -0.819 on 9/22. In general temps have been in the -1.0 range since 8/16. Temps had fallen since 7/15 reaching La Nina threshold on 7/27 after being more or less steady the previous 3 weeks peaking at -0.25 on 7/14 and -0.275 on 7/5. Previously temps had been on an upward trend since 5/15/22 rising to -0.414 degs (6/19) and -0.493 on 6/9, the first reading above La Nina threshold values since Sept 2021. Temps were down to -0.929 (5/2/22) and that after rising to a peak at -0.704 on 3/27 and had been on a gentle rising trend since falling to -1.012 on 3/8. Previously temps were rising slightly to -0.505 on 2/2 and that after reaching a peak low of -1.096 on 1/3/22 beating the previous low of -1.080 on 11/2/21, the lowest in a year. Prior to that temps had been in a freefall starting from the -0.175 range in early Sept/21. Before that temps peaked up at 7/1/21 +0.332, the highest in a year. Temps previously had been steady near -0.222 since early March 2021. Temps bottomed out at -1.654 on 11/3/2020.

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CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Data
Previous - Temps rose in early Nov 2020 after bottoming out at -1.25 degs, up to -0.01 degs in mid-June 2021 then fading to -1.05 degs in mid-Nov then rebuilding to -0.7 in mid Feb 2022 then fading to -1.1 degs in May before starting an upward climb peaking in mid-June at -0.65 degs and mid July at -0.55 degs. A steady decline set in after that falling to -1.00 degs in Aug and Sept rising to -0.8 degs mid Oct then falling to -1.0 in Nov but slowly rising to -0.75 degs in Jan 2023.
Forecast (1/18) - Temps are to start rising dramatically from now forward reaching above the La Nina threshold (-0.5 degs) in late-Jan and neutral (0.0 degs) mid-March and up to +0.95 degs in Oct and well into El Nino territory. This model suggests we are going to steadily transition towards ENSO neutral in Jan. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps rising quickly and above La Nina threshold the last week of Jan and neutral (0.0 degs) mid-March and rising from there forward to +0.70 degs in Oct. According to this version of the model we are starting a trend towards neutrality in Feb with momentum towards El Nino in Spring. The surface temp coverage model suggests a steady erosion of the coldest waters south of Nino3.4 (down at 20S) has begun. Near neutral temps are expected over the entire equatorial Pacific in March with a warming trend starting in May and building beyond.
IRI Consensus Plume: The December 19, 2022 Plume depicts temps are -0.661 degs today. Temps to rise steadily from here forward to -0.415 degs in Jan and above the La Nina Threshold and -0.170 in Feb rising to +0.604 in July and +0.648 in Aug. This is an upgrade from the previous run.This model suggests a continuation of minimal La Nina temps through early Dec then transitioning to ENSO neutral. This model is in line with the CFS model.
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 - all but the Daily Index was a lagging indicator):
Today (1/18) the Daily Index was steady at 6.36 after reaching +55.74 on 12/22 and were in the +20 range the last 22 days, neutral 5 days before that, but above +10 the previous 13 days and then generally below +10.0 before that (from 11/5-11/27). It was negative for 5 days dropping to -31.05 on 11/7. This was the first negative run in months and suggests that the westerly anomaly wind activity in the West Pacific might be having an impact on the SOI. Previous peaks were +37.19 (10/5), +33.57 (5/24), +40.77 (5/10), +31.44 (4/27), +31.80 (4/6), +27.33 (1/31) and +46.71 (12/26). The trend has been solidly positive. Previous other notable peaks were +30.98 (11/26/21), +36.90 (9/28), +27.75 ( 9/13) and +37.86 (7/15).
The 30 day average was falling at +18.25 after falling to +4.18 on 11/27 and peaking at +21.57 (10/16) after supposedly peaking at +19.66 on 9/28. It was down to +6.89 on 7/29. It peaked at +20.34 (5/12) the highest in a year and beating last years high of +19.51 (1/14).
The 90 day average was falling at +12.31 previously peaking at +15.61 on 10/25 and previously peaking at +12.92 on 8/11 and that after peaking at +18.40 (7/2) beating it's previous peak of +16.86 (5/31), the highest in a year. It previously peaked at +9.80 (9/21) after falling to it's lowest point in a year at +1.06 (6/9). The 90 day average peaked at +15.75 (2/23/21 - 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 ever 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) and then fell to -3.16 in Oct 2021 (the lowest since July 1933) then settled at -2.72 in Nov and Dec 2021. Looking at the long term record, it seems likely we are still in the Cool Phase of the PDO (La Nina 'like') with no signs of moving to the positive/warm phase (El Nino 'like').

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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