Surf Forecasts and Marine Weather - No Hype - Just the Facts!
3rd NZ Swell Poised for CA & Analysis of El Nino 2023! - Video Forecast HERE (6/16/24)
Buoys | Buoy Forecast | Bulletins | Models: Wave - Weather - Surf - Altimetry - Snow | Pacific Forecast | QuikCAST | El Nino | Tutorials | Great Circles | Video


Stormsurf Mobile App

Create Your Own Surf Forecast
Swell Calculator
Swell Decay Tables
Sea Height Tables
Swell Category Table
Convert from GMT:
 to timezone:


Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Friday, February 3, 2023 1:34 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
2.1 - California & 2.3 - 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 1/30 thru Sun 2/5

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   

Gulf to Stir
Longer Term Forecast Improving


Friday, February 3, 2023 :

  • Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt)/Buoy 239 (Lani): Seas were 3.7 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 2.5 ft @ 13.8 secs from 269 degrees. Water temp 76.5 degs (Barbers Pt), 76.8 (Pearl Harbor 233), 76.8 (Lani 239).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.7 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 3.1 ft @ 9.2 secs from 329 degrees. Water temp 76.3 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.4 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 1.8 ft @ 15.5 secs from 278 degrees. Wind northwest at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 57.4 degs, 57.2 (Topanga 103), 57.2 degs (Long Beach 215), 57.2 (Oceanside Offshore 045), 56.7 (Del Mar 153), 57.6 (Torrey Pines Outer 100). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.7 ft @ 15.9 secs from 277 degrees. At E. Santa Barbara (46053) swell was 1.5 ft @ 15.4 secs from 249 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.2 ft @ 16.1 secs from 211 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.2 ft @ 16.0 secs from 217 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.7 ft @ 16.2 secs from 237 degrees. Water temperate was 58.1 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 7.6 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 3.9 ft @ 15.4 secs from 275 degrees. Wind southeast at 6-8 kts. Water temp 51.6 (Bodega Bay 46013), 52.7 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 53.2 (San Francisco 46026), 52.7 (SF Bar 142), 52.7 (Pt Santa Cruz 254) and 54.0 (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 Friday (2/3) North and Central CA had sets at head high to 1 ft overhead on the face and somewhat lined up with light southeast offshore winds but with pretty solid south lump intermixed. Protected breaks were chest to shoulder high and lined up and clean but soft with mist. At Santa Cruz surf was chest high and reasonably lined up and fairly clean but with a fair amount of south lump intermixed. In Southern California/Ventura waves were thigh to maybe waist high and lined up with good form and clean but weak and inconsistent. Central Orange County had sets at waist to chest high and lined up and real clean but weak and mushed. South Orange County's best summertime breaks were waist to chest high and lined up with good form and clean but soft. North San Diego had sets at waist high high and somewhat lined up and clean with decent form but weak. Hawaii's North Shore had sets at chest high and clean and lined up coming from the north but with northeast lump intermixed and weak. The South Shore was waist to chest high and clean with decent form and rideable but with some warble intermixed. The East Shore was getting east windswell at thigh to waist high and somewhat clean early with a very light east-northeast breeze early.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Friday (2/3) California was getting fading swell from a system that developed off Kamchatka on Sat (1/28) with 42 ft seas aimed briefly east and mixed with local windswell from a cold front. Hawaii had no real swell of interest. A bit of a pause in the swell machine was occurring. But on Sat-Sun (2/5) a gale is to weakly build in the Gulf tracking east with 21 ft seas aimed east moving very close to the North CA coast on Sunday. And another gale was building while tracking east from the Kuril Islands Thurs-Fri (2/3) with 33 ft seas aimed east and is to then fade on the dateline on early Sun (2/5) with 21 ft seas. A small system is forecast for the Gulf Sun-Mon (2/6) with 22-23 ft seas aimed east. And yet another system is to develop in the Western Gulf Wed (2/8) tracking east with 26 ft seas over a small area aimed east. And then a strong system is forecast west of the dateline Wed (2/8) tracking northeast to the North Dateline region on Fri (2/10) producing up to 54 ft seas aimed east. The swell machine is to warm up some.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Friday (2/3) the jetstream was consolidated pushing off Japan running due east with winds 180-190 kts to the dateline then splitting some but with decent energy at 120 kts pushing east from the split point forming a trough in the Gulf almost poised to push onshore over California and offering some support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to move onshore over North CA on Sun (2/5) supporting weather production. At that time the split point is to be north of Hawaii with 140-160 kts winds running due east from Japan to the split point with a generic gentle trough near the North Dateline region perhaps offering some hope. Beyond 72 hours more of the same is forecast but with a trough developing over the dateline on Tues (2/7) being fed by a pocket of 170 kts winds offering support for gale development and building while moving over the Gulf on Wed-Thurs (2/9) offering yet more hope. And on Thurs (2/9) a solid trough is forecast developing off the Kuril Islands being fed by 150 kts winds moving to the North Dateline region on Fri (2/10). At that time the split point is to retrograde some to 170W with remnants of a previous trough pinching off in the Central Gulf.

Surface Analysis
On Friday (2/3) swell was fading in California from a storm previously off Kamchatka (see Kamchatka Storm below). Things were pretty quiet surf wise.

Over the next 72 hours a gale is forecast developing in the Eastern Gulf on Sat AM (2/4) producing 30-35 kt northwest winds over a decent sized area aimed southeast and seas building from 22 ft at 43.75N 142.25W aimed southeast. In the evening fetch is to be 30-35 kts from the northwest just off Oregon with 21 ft seas at 42.5N 137W aimed southeast. Fetch fading Sun AM (2/5) off Cape Mendocino at 30 kts with seas 20 ft at 41N 131W aimed southeast. The gael fading from there. Something to monitor.

North CA: For planning purposes expect swell arrival on Mon AM (2/6) building to 10.3 ft @ 12-13 secs early (12 ft). Residuals on Tues AM (2/7) fading from 5.0 ft @ 10-11 secs (5.0 ft). Swell Direction: 298 degrees

And another system started building over the South Kuril Islands on Thurs AM (2/2) with 40-45 kt west winds over a small area and seas building from 25 ft at 44N 155E aimed east. In the evening the gale tracked east with 45 kts west winds and seas 33 ft at 45.5N 157.5E aimed east. On Fri AM (2/3) the gale was easing east with 40 kt west winds and seas 32 ft over a tiny area at 46N 162E aimed east. In the evening the gale is to moving towards the North Dateline Region with 30-35 kt west winds and seas fading from 27 ft at 46.25N 165.75E aimed east. On Sat AM (2/4) fetch is to be fading out from 30 kts approaching the dateline with residual seas 21 ft at 45N 173E aimed east. Some degree of west fetch is to hold into Sun AM (2/5) over the dateline at 30 kts with seas 21 ft at 45N 176W aimed east. Seas and fetch fading from there. Something to monitor.

And starting Sat PM (2/4) a gale is forecast developing in the Western Gulf with 35-40 kts southwest winds and seas building from 19 ft at 44N 166W aimed east. On Sun AM (2/5) southwest winds to be 35-40 kts with seas 22 ft at 43.5N 155.75W aimed east. In the evening 35 kt southwest winds to push into the Eastern Gulf with seas 23 ft at 44N 148.5W aimed east. Fetch fading on Mon AM (2/6) at 30-35 kts off North Oregon with seas 22 ft at 44N 143.5W aimed east. The gale is to be approaching Washington in the evening and fading.


Kamchatka Storm
A small storm developed off Kamchatka on Sat AM (1/28) producing 50-55 kt west winds with seas building from 29 ft at 43.25N 159.5E aimed east. In the evening the storm was lifting northeast with winds 55 kts from the west and seas building from 42 ft over a small area at 47.25N 168.5E aimed east. 50 kt west winds were lifting north pushing over the Aleutians on Sun AM (1/29) with seas 42 ft before sunrise at 49.5N 170.5E aimed east and becoming shadowed by the Aleutians soon after. Limited small swell radiating east with luck.

North CA: Swell fading Fri (2/3) from 2.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 307 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

  • Sat AM (2/4) the next gale and associated front queue up off CA with south winds 15-20 kts for Cape Mendocino early and south at 5-10 kts for the rest of North and Central CA. In the afternoon south winds to be 20-25 kts for Cape Mendocino and 15 kts down to Big Sur and 10 kts to Pt Conception. The front is to be pushing onshore overnight. Rain developing for all of North and Central CA in the evening. Snow developing near 10 PM for Tahoe and building south over night.
  • Sun AM (2/5) low pressure is to be moving over South Oregon with west winds 15-20 kts for all of North CA and northwest winds 15 kts over Central CA early. In the afternoon high pressure take over with northwest winds 15-20 kts for all of North and Central CA and 20 kts for Southern CA. Rain for all of North, Central and South CA early clearing south of Big Sur quickly but continuing north of there through the day. Heavy snow for all the Sierra early then slowly fading through the day and gone by early evening.
  • Mon AM (2/6) northwest winds continue at 20-25 kts for all of North and Central CA and 15+ kts for Southern CA early. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 20+ kts for North CA and 15-20 kts for Central CA. No rain or snow forecast.
  • Tues AM (2/7) northwest winds fading from 20 kts for Cape Mendocino early and 10 kts for the remainder of North and Central CA if not weakly northeast nearshore. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 15-20 kts for Cape Mendocino and 10 kts for the rest of North and all of Central CA if not weakly northeast. No precip forecast beyond as high pressure fully builds in.
  • Wed AM (2/8) high pressure holds with north winds at 15+ kts for North CA and 10 kts for Central CA early. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 15-20 kts for North CA and 10-15 kts for Central CA.
  • Thurs AM (2/9) north winds are forecast at 15-20 kts for Cape Mendocino and 10 kts south of there early. In the afternoon north winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for Cape Mendocino and 5-10 kts south of there.
  • Fri AM (2/10) light northeast winds are forecast for all of California early turning calm in the afternoon.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth are projected at 30, 29, 40, and 15 inches with most on 2/4-2/5 and a little possibly on 2/12. .

Freezing level for Lake Tahoe is 6,800 ft on Fri (2/3) falling to 2,000 ft briefly on 2/6. A warm spike is expected on 2/7-2/8 with freeze level up to 9,000 ft then falling to 6,000 ft 2/9 rising roughly to 7,500 ft beyond.

- - -

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 a gale is forecast developing 1200 nmiles north of Hawaii Wed AM (2/8) with 35-40 kt northwest and west winds and seas 26 ft over a small area at 40.25N 163,75W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to track east with 35 kt west winds and seas building from 27 ft at 43N 156W aimed east. Fetch fading Thurs AM (2/9) from 30 kts from the northwest still pretty much north of Hawaii with seas fading from 19-20 ft at 43N 153W aimed east. Something to monitor.

And of more interest is a storm forecast developing off Japan Wed AM (2/8) with northwest winds building from 45+ kts and starting tog et traction on the oceans surface. In the evening 55k northwest and west winds are forecast with the gael tracking east-northeast and seas building from 42 ft at 40.5N 162E aimed east. On Thurs AM (2/9) 55-60 kt west winds are forecast approaching the dateline lifting northeast with seas 52 ft at 43.5N 169.75E aimed east and up to 54.5 ft at 18Z at 45.5N 173,75E aimed east. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 50 kts from the west over the North Dateline region with 51 ft seas at 46.75N 177.5E aimed east. on Fri AM (2/10) the gale is to be moving into the Bering Sea with 40-45 kts west winds holding south of the Aleutians and seas 39 ft at 51N 179W aimed east. In the evening west and northwest fetch is to be fading from 35-40 kts over a broad area from Kamchatka to the dateline with seas fading from 28-30 ft centered roughly at at 50N 175E. Something to monitor.


South Pacific

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


MJO/ENSO Forecast


2nd Kelvin Wave Crossing Pacific - Cool Pool Collapsing
3rd Active Phase of the MJO Forecast
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. 1 Kelvin Wave has traversed the Pacific with a stronger one developing now. And Westerly Winds are forecast getting fully established filling the KWGA if not the Pacific later in Feb. And Sea Surface Temperature are warming and are to be approaching neutral in the next few weeks,. The last link in the chain is to see the SOI falling. The outlook is turning slowly but steadily optimistic. The next 3 weeks are critical.

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 (2/2) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific and strong east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and neutral over the Central Pacific and 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 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (2/3) East anomalies were modest to moderate filling the KWGA today. The 7 day forecast has west anomalies starting to slowly build over the far west KWGA on 2/4 and reaching 150E on 2/9 with very strong east anomalies developing but limited to the dateline 2/6-2/9.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (2/2) A moderate to strong Inactive signal was indicated over the KWGA today. The statistical model indicates the Inactive MJO easing slowly east while weakening over the KWGA and almost east of the KWGA on day 10 of the model run and gone on day 15 with a moderate Active Phase moving into the West KWGA. The dynamic model indicates the Inactive Phase holding through day 10 but then quickly dissipating and looking the same as the statistical model on day 15 of the run.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (CA and GEFS): (2/3) The statistical model depicts the Active signal was moderate over the East Indian Ocean and is to track east to the East Maritime Continent if not west West Pacific and very weak 15 days out. The dynamic model indicates it moving squarely into the West Pacific 15 days out but weak.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (2/3) A modest Active signal (wet air) was over the KWGA today with the Inactive Phase (dry air) moving over Ecuador. The forecast has the Active signal (wet air) tracking steadily east over the Pacific pushing into Ecuador on 3/10. A modest Inactive signal (dry air) is forecast moving over the KWGA on 2/28 filling the equatorial Pacific by the end of the model run on 3/15.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (2/2)
A solid Inactive Phase of the MJO was pushing over the KWGA today with east anomalies filling the KWGA. East anomalies are to hold filling the KWGA till 2/6. At that time the Inactive Phase is to be pushing to the dateline and holding till 2/12, then dissolving but with very strong east anomalies setting up on the dateline 2/4-2/12, the peak of the Inactive Phase. West anomalies are to start building over far West KWGA from now forward and pushing to 150E on 2/9 and holding solidly through 2/25, and then just a bit weaker through the end of the model run on 3/2 as a strong Active Phase of the MJO pushes over the dateline and the rest of the equatorial Pacific and east anomalies all but gone.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind):
(2/3) - 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 of the MJO was pushing over the KWGA with east anomalies filling the KWGA. East anomalies are to build to strong status on and east of the dateline 2/5-2/15, the peak of the Inactive Phase. But the Active Phase of the MJO is to start pushing into the West KWGA today with weak west anomalies starting to build over the West KWGA on 2/5 and pushing through the KWGA through 3/19 with west anomalies filling the KWGA by 2/25 and strong 2/18-2/27. After that a weak Inactive Phase of the MJO is to move over the KWGA starting 3/9 holding through the end of the model run on 5/3 but with weak west anomalies in control of the entire Pacific. 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 3/15 with the primary contour moving east of the KWGA by 3/31. A broad double contour low pressure bias is established centered over the West Maritime Continent at 90E with it's leading edge at 135E today and is to slowly push east, with a hard push east starting 3/7 and on the dateline 4/22 and filling the KWGA 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 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 assuming the Active Phase of the MJO in mid-Feb produces as forecast.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (2/3) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was gone. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 174E. The 26 degree isotherm had backtracked from 157W to 162W and was steady there. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing east into Ecuador and reasonably thick. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies at +4 deg C were in a broad pocket with the leading edge at 133W. A pocket of -1 deg negative anomalies were at 117W 100m down and dissolving while tracking east. A small pocket of warm waters from a previous Kelvin Wave were off Ecuador. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 1/28 indicates a huge very warm ball of 5+ degs anomalies stretching from the far West Pacific downward to 137W. Remnants of a previous Kelvin Wave were lingering in a pocket lifting upwards towards the surface in the far East equatorial Pacific. A cool pocket was centered at 117W down 70m (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: (1/28) Sea heights were neutral over the entire East Equatorial Pacific except for a cool pocket at -5 cms between 105-130W and shrinking. A broad pocket of positive anomalies were over the equator in the far West Pacific reaching east to 150W 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 90W to Ecuador. A generic pool of weak cool waters is retreating east between 105W to 133W. Warm waters continue building in intensity and coverage in the West at the same time reaching east to 145W. It looks like another Kelvin Wave is pushing east.

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: (2/2) The latest images depict a broad generic pool of barely cool water extending west from well off Peru to the dateline mainly south of the equator in the East down to 20S but centered on the equator in the west. Pockets of warming are present along the equator building from Ecuador west to 120W (likely results of Kelvin Wave #1). And warmer than normal temps were present along the coasts of Chile and Peru. Overall this indicates the collapse of La Nina was underway.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (2/2): Moderate warming was occurring along the equator from the Galapagos to the dateline in pockets. A broad pool of generic warming water was locked well off the coasts of Peru, Chile and strong along Ecuador and west to 110W. No cooling temps were indicated. A warming trend is well entrenched over the East Pacific since Nov 1 with no cooling waters over the equatorial East Pacific since 12/15.
Hi-res Overview: (2/2) Weakly cool waters cover a large area from well west of Peru (17S 100W) to 160E on the equator with the coolest waters between mainly from 150W to 160E on the equator. And even those were losing intensity. The east equatorial Pacific is finally and steadily warming. Warmer than normal waters were along the coasts of Chile, Peru and Ecuador and on the equator from Ecuador to 120W. La Nina remains in control over the West Equatorial Pacific for the moment but the density and intensity of the cooling is steadily fading while warming water is building around it's edges and migrating in from the East.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (2/3) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs compared to official sources). Today's temps were rising at +0.471. 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:
(2/3) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs). Today's temps were falling at -0.933. But this is nonsense. Other data from NOAA indicates temp anomalies were at -0.6 degs. Temp fell 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.

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 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 (2/3) - Temps are starting to rise dramatically and are forecast continuing to rise reaching above the La Nina threshold (-0.5 degs) in mid-Feb and neutral (0.0 degs) mid-April and up to +1.05 degs in Oct and into El Nino territory. This model suggests we are going to steadily transition towards ENSO neutral in Feb. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps rising quickly and above La Nina threshold mid-Feb and neutral (0.0 degs) mid-April and rising from there forward to +0.70 degs in July and +0.8 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 and neutral by April with a warming trend starting in May and building decently by July.
IRI Consensus Plume: The January 19, 2023 Plume depicts temps are -0.492 degs today. Temps to rise steadily from here forward to -0.229 degs in Feb and above the La Nina Threshold and -0.031 in March rising to +0.736 in July and +0.753 in Sept. This is consistent with the previous run. This model suggests a transition 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 (2/3) the Daily Index was rising at +20.41 (driven by the Inactive Phase of the MJO) 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 rising from +10.00 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 rising slightly at +12.15 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 one last Inactive Phase occurring now is to drive the index up.

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
For automatic notification of forecast updates, subscribe to the Stormsurf001 YouTube channel - just click the 'Subscribe' button below the video.

- - -

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


Contact | About | Disclaimer | Privacy
Advertise/Content | Links
Visit Mark Sponsler on Facebook Visit Stormsurf on Instagram Visit Stormsurf on YouTube
Copyright © 2024 STORMSURF - All Rights Reserved
This page cannot be duplicated, reused or framed in another window without express written permission.
But links are always welcome.
Buoys | Buoy Forecast | Bulletins | Models: Wave - Weather - Surf - Altimetry - Snow | Pacific Forecast | QuikCAST | El Nino | Tutorials | Great Circles | Calculator