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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, February 7, 2023 2:44 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
2.3 - California & 2.4 - 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 2/6 thru Sun 2/12
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 Tracking Southeast
Stronger Gale to Follow - 3 Stronger Systems Forecast Beyond


Tuesday, February 7, 2023 :

  • Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt)/Buoy 239 (Lani): Seas were 3.2 ft @ 16.7 secs with swell 1.0 ft @ 16.4 secs from 278 degrees. Water temp NA degs (Barbers Pt), 76.1 (Pearl Harbor 233), 77.0 (Lani 239).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.9 ft @ 16.7 secs with swell 2.8 ft @ 15.9 secs from 311 degrees. Water temp 76.5 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.0 ft @ 11.4 secs with swell 2.5 ft @ 11.4 secs from 246 degrees. Wind north at 8-10 kts. Water temperature 57.6 degs, 56.5 (Topanga 103), 56.5 degs (Long Beach 215), 57.0 (Oceanside Offshore 045), 55.9 (Del Mar 153), 57.6 (Torrey Pines Outer 100). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 5.8 ft @ 11.4 secs from 302 degrees. At E. Santa Barbara (46053) swell was 3.1 ft @ 11.7 secs from 275 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.6 ft @ 10.1 secs from 275 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.0 ft @ 13.0 secs from 251 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 4.1 ft @ 12.7 secs from 275 degrees. Water temperate was 57.6 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 9.4 ft @ 10.8 secs with swell 7.3 ft @ 10.0 secs from 297 degrees. Wind northwest at 14-16 kts. Water temp 51.8 (Bodega Bay 46013), 51.8 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 53.2 (San Francisco 46026), 52.9 (SF Bar 142), 52.5 (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 Tuesday (2/7) North and Central CA had sets at head high to 1 ft overhead and somewhat lined up but warbled and wonky though winds were light. Protected breaks were chest high and lined up and fairly clean but soft and mushed. At Santa Cruz surf was chest high and fairly lined up with clean conditions but soft and mushed with some intermixed warble and light sideshore wind. In Southern California/Ventura waves were chest high and lined up with good form and long walls with glassy conditions. Central Orange County had sets at waist to maybe chest high and weak and soft crumbling on the bars but fairly clean with a light northwest flow. South Orange County's best summertime breaks were knee to thigh high and lined up but not really even breaking with clean conditions. North San Diego had sets occasionally to head high and lined up and clean with decent form. Hawaii's North Shore had sets at 3 ft overhead and lined up and clean with good form but long waits between sets. The South Shore was flat to thigh high and soft with sideshore texture. The East Shore was getting east windswell at waist to chest high and chopped from solid easterly trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (2/7) Hawaii was getting swell from another gale that developed while tracking east from the Kuril Islands Thurs-Fri (2/3) with 33 ft seas over a tiny area aimed east and then started fading on the dateline early Sun (2/5) with seas dropping from 22 ft. California was getting local windswell, remnant energy from a previous local gale. Looking beyond for California a gale developed in the Gulf on Sun-Mon (2/6) with 22-24 ft seas aimed east. And for both Hawaii and CA yet another system is to develop in the Western Gulf Wed-Thurs (2/9) tracking east with 28-30 ft seas over a small area aimed east possibly and moving off Oregon on Fri (2/10) with seas to 26 ft before impacting the coast there. And then another small system is forecast developing on the dateline Thurs (2/9) tracking northeast to the Northwestern Gulf on Fri (2/10) producing up to 45 ft seas aimed east and then through the Northern Gulf on Sat (2/11) with seas fading from 33 ft. And maybe another to follow on the dateline on Mon-Wed (2/15) with up to 43 ft seas aimed east. The swell machine is warming up.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Tuesday (2/7) the jetstream was weakly consolidated pushing off Japan running due east generally on the 35N latitude line with winds 160 kts in 2 pockets in the west then fully splitting north of Hawaii with a trough developing in the Northwestern Gulf north of the split point offering some support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to track east into the Central and East Gulf being fed by 130 kt winds on Wed-Thurs (2/9) offering good support for gale development before moving onshore over North CA late Fri (2/10). And back to the west the jet is to become better consolidated being fed by 150 kts winds streaming off Japan reaching to the dateline with the split point at 170W. Beyond 72 hours a broad trough is forecast forming north of the split point over the North Dateline region on Sat (2/11) tracking east through the North Gulf on Mon offering support for gale development. And another steeper trough is forecast setting up on the dateline on Mon (2/13) being fed by 140 kt winds offering support for gale development while moving to the Northwestern Gulf then pinching off there on Tues (2/14). The split point is to be on the dateline then while winds build to 190 kts pushing off Japan. Hopefully a more energetic pattern to result.

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday (2/7) residual windswell from a previous gale off the US West coast was fading over California (see Small Gulf Gale below). And modest swell was hitting Hawaii from a gale previously tracking east from the Kuril Islands to the Dateline (see Kuril-Dateline Gale below). And swell is tracking towards California from a gale in the Gulf (see Weak Gulf Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a gale is forecast developing 1,200 nmiles north-northwest of Hawaii on Tues PM (2/7) with 45 kt northwest winds starting to get traction on the oceans surface and seas building from 29 ft at 41.75N 164W aimed southeast. On Wed AM (2/8) the gael is to have 45-50 kt northwest and west winds north-northeast of Hawaii with seas 28-30 ft over a small area at 41.5N 156.5W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to track east with 35-40 kt northwest winds and seas 28-30 ft at 40.25N 147.25W aimed southeast. Fetch pushing east Thurs AM (2/9) at 40 kts off the Pacific Northwest from the northwest with seas 28 ft at 45N 144W aimed southeast. In the evening 40 kt northwest winds are to be off Washington with seas 27 ft at 45N 135W aimed southeast. Fetch moving inland over Washington and BC after that with seas poised to impact Washington. Something to monitor. Possible sideband swell for Oahu late on Thurs (2/9) and North CA at the same time.

Oahu: Possible swell arrival Late Thurs (2/9) building to 4.3 ft @ 15 secs right before sunset (6.5 ft). Swell fading Fri (2/10) from 3.5 ft @ 13 secs early (4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 345 degrees. Northeast windswell hitting over the same time frame.

North CA: Possible swell arrival on Thurs PM (2/9) building to 4.3 ft @ 14 secs later (6.0 ft). Swell Continues Fri AM (2/10) at 4.8 ft @ 13 secs (6.2 ft). Swell Direction: 298-302 degrees

Also starting Wed PM (2/8) a fetch is to be building on the dateline with 45-50 kt northwest winds and seas building from 26 ft at 41N 173E aimed southeast. On Thurs AM (2/9) 50 kts west winds are to be building on the North Dateline with seas 38 ft at 44.5N 178.75W aimed east. On Thurs PM 50 kt west winds are to be tracking over the North Dateline region with seas 45 ft at 48N 171.75W aimed east. On Fri AM (2/10) the gale is to be tracking east-northeast in the Northwestern Gulf with 50 kt west winds and seas 42 ft at 50.75N 165.5W aimed east. In the evening west fetch is to be just south of the Eastern Aleutians at 45 kts over a decent sized area with seas 41 ft at 52N 159W aimed east. On Sat AM (2/11) fetch is to be moving over the North Gulf at 35 kts with seas fading from 33 ft at 54.75N 151.5W aimed east. Something to monitor.


Small Gulf Gale
A gale started 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 20 ft at 44N 142.25W aimed southeast. In the evening northwest fetch was tracking east at 30-35 kts just off Oregon with 19 ft seas at 42.5N 137W aimed southeast. Fetch was fading Sun AM (2/5) off Cape Mendocino at 30 kts with seas 19 ft at 42N 131W aimed southeast. The gale is to be fading from there. Something to monitor.

North CA: Residuals on Tues AM (2/7) fading from 5.0 ft @ 10-11 secs (5.0 ft). Swell Direction: 298 degrees


Kuril-Dateline Gale
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 moved towards the North Dateline Region while fading with 30-35 kt west winds and seas 27 ft at 46N 165E aimed east. On Sat AM (2/4) fetch was fading out from 30 kts approaching the dateline with residual seas 21 ft at 45N 173E aimed east. Some degree of west fetch held into Sun AM (2/5) over the dateline at 30-35 kts with seas 22 ft at 4N 179W aimed east. Fetch is to hold in the evening at 30 kts from the northwest over the Western Gulf with seas 21 ft at 43N 173W aimed east. Seas and fetch fading from there. Something to monitor.

Oahu: Expect swell arrival on Tues (2/7) building through the day to 3.4 ft @ 14-15 secs later (4.5 ft). Swell fading on Wed (2/8) from 3.7 ft @ 13-14 secs early (5.0 ft). Dribbles on Thurs (2/9) fading from 2.5 ft @ 12 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 320-325 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (2/8) building to 2.2 ft @ 15-16 secs later (3.0 ft). Swell continues on Thurs (2/9) at 3.1 ft @ 14 secs early (4.0 ft). Swell becoming lost in other swell beyond. Swell Direction: 295-302 degrees


Weak Gulf Gale
On Sat PM (2/4) a gale started developing in the Western Gulf with 35-40 kts southwest winds and seas building from 22 ft at 42N 166.25W aimed east. On Sun AM (2/5) southwest winds were 35-40 kts with seas 22 ft at 44.5N 155.25W aimed east. In the evening 35-40 kt southwest winds were pushing into the Eastern Gulf with seas 25 ft at 45N 147.5W aimed east. Fetch was fading on Mon AM (2/6) at 30 kts off North Oregon with seas 23 ft at 45N 140W aimed east. The gale was approaching if not impacting Washington in the evening and fading. No fetch was aimed at the Islands.

North CA: Swell arrival Tues PM (2/7) after dark peaking Wed AM (2/8) at 5.5 ft @ 13-14 secs early (7.0 ft) and fading through the day. Swell fading Thurs AM (2/9) from 4.6 ft @ 12 secs (5.5 ft). Swell Direction: 298-302 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

  • Wed AM (2/8) high pressure to hold locally with north winds at 10-15 kts for North CA and Central CA early. No change in the afternoon. No precip forecast.
  • Thurs AM (2/9) north winds are forecast at 10 kts for North and Central CA early. In the afternoon light winds are forecast for North CA except south winds 10 kts for Cape Mendocino with a front just off the coast there. Northwest winds 15 kts for Central CA. Light rain for Cape Mendocino in the evening.
  • Fri AM (2/10) high pressure behind the front builds well off the coast with northwest winds 10 kts for North CA and 10-15 kts for Central CA early. In the afternoon high pressure builds in with northwest winds 20-25 kts for all of North and Central CA. Light rain for Cape Mendocino late afternoon pushing south to San Francisco in the evening.
  • Sat AM (2/11) northwest winds build to 30-35 kts for all of North and Central CA early and 25 kts for South CA. No change in the afternoon northwest winds to be 30-35 kts for North CA but and 20-25 kts for Central CA and northwest winds 20+ kts for Southern CA. Light rain for the coast of Central CA pushing south to Pt Conception through the day and into Southern CA overnight. Light steady snow for the Sierra through the day.
  • Sun AM (2/12) northwest winds continue at 25 kts for North CA early and 10 kts for Central CA early nearshore but 25 kts off the coast. In the afternoon northwest winds far to 30 kts for Cape Mendocino and 10-15 kts south of there to Pt Conception but 20 kts from the north well off the coast. Light rain for Southern CA early.
  • Mon AM (2/13) north winds to be 25-30 kts for Cape Mendocino but 10 kts south of there to Pt Conception but 25 kts off the coast. in the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 25 kts for all of north Ca and 15 kts for Central CA.
  • Tues AM (2/14) more high pressure builds in with northwest winds 25 kts for Cape mendocino early and 20+ kts down to Pt Conception. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 25-30 kts and 25 kts working their way down into Southern CA. A backdoor front with rain is forecast moving over Cape Mendocino early reaching south to Big Sur late afternoon. Snow for Tahoe late morning moving over the Sierra in the afternoon.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth are projected at 12, 12, 12, and 4 inches with 50% late on 2/11 and again on 2/14.

Freezing level for Lake Tahoe is 8,700 ft and holding through 2/9 falling to 4,000 ft on 2/10 rising to 10,000 ft 2/12-2/13 then falling to 2,000 ft 2/14 and holding 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 perhaps a tiny gale is to track east-northeast through the Gulf starting Sat AM (2/11) with 40 kt west winds over a small area and seas 27 ft at 43N 168W aimed east. Fetch lifting east-northeast in the evening at 40 kts with seas 32 ft at 47N 160.25W aimed east. Fetch fading in the Northern Gulf on Sun AM (2/12) at 40+ kts with seas 29 ft at 48.5N 150.75W aimed east. Fetch tracking northeast in the evening at 40+ kts with seas 29 ft at 52.5N 141W aimed east and mostly east of the NCal swell window (323 degs).

On Sun PM (2/12) a small fetch is to be developing on the dateline producing northwest winds at 40+ kts with seas building from 18 ft at 37.5N 175E aimed east. On Mon AM (2/13) 55 kt west winds are to be tracking east over a decent sized area with seas building from 34 ft at 43.75N 177.5W aimed east. In the evening west winds are to be 50 kts solid just east of the dateline with seas 43 ft at 44N 174W aimed east. Fetch is to be fading Tues AM (2/14) while drifting east with seas fading from 35 ft at 45N 172W aimed east. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 40 kts with seas 32 ft at 44N 164W aimed east. Something to monitor.

And on Mon PM (2/12) some sort of a gale is to develop just off North Japan.


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 Starting - La Nina to be Gone Atmospherically on 2/15 (Ocean to Follow)
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 (2/6) 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 modest east 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): (2/7) East anomalies were strong on the dateline but with west anomalies moderate pushing east to 150E today filling 50% of the KWGA. The 7 day forecast has east anomalies holding at strong status on the dateline through 2/10, then fading and almost gone at the end of the model run on 2/14 while west anomalies hold over the west KWGA reaching east to 150E holding through the end of the model run if not building in strength to moderate status with hints of build east to the dateline the last day of the model run.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (2/6) 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 east of the KWGA on day 10 of the model run and gone on day 15 with a moderate Active Phase filling the KWGA. The dynamic model indicates the same thing.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (CA and GEFS): (2/7) 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 weak 15 days out. The dynamic model indicates it moving squarely into the West Pacific 15 days out at weak to modest status.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (2/7) A moderate Active signal (wet air) was developing over the West 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 and at solid status pushing into Ecuador on 3/14. A modest Inactive signal (dry air) is forecast moving over the KWGA on 3/4 filling the equatorial Pacific by the end of the model run on 3/19.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (2/6)
A solid Inactive Phase of the MJO was pushing over the KWGA today focused on the dateline with east anomalies filling the KWGA and very strong on the dateline. On 2/7 the Inactive Phase is to be pushing to the dateline and holding till 2/12, then dissolving with very strong east anomalies on the dateline fading with it. West anomalies are to start building over far West KWGA from now forward and pushing to 150E on 2/9 and then to 170E on 2/13 and over the dateline to a point south of California on 2/22 as the Active Phase of the MJO pushes from the dateline and the rest of the equatorial Pacific through 2/27. After that weak west anomalies are to hold from 150E and point west of there filling 50% of the KWGA with weak east anomalies on the dateline.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind):
(2/7) - 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 fading fast while pushing over the dateline with strong east anomalies on the dateline. East anomalies are fade on the dateline 2/15 as the Inactive Phase of the MJO tracks east of the KWGA. The Active Phase of the MJO is building over West KWGA today with weak west anomalies starting to build over that area and are forecast pushing through the KWGA through 3/9. West anomalies are to start filling the KWGA on 2/14 and strong 2/15-2/25. After that a weak Inactive Phase of the MJO is to move over the KWGA starting 2/28 holding in weak pockets through the end of the model run on 5/7 but with weak west anomalies setting up in earnest on the dateline 3/11 and in control of the entire Pacific for the foreseeable future and possibly building to strong status over the dateline towards the end of the model run. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias with 2 contour lines centered at 180W with its western perimeter at 150E today. The high pressure bias is to start moving east on 2/14 with the second contour collapsing/pushing east of the KWGA on 2/25 with the primary contour moving east of the KWGA by 4/15. 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 start slowly pushing east on 2/15, with a hard push east starting 3/7 and on the dateline 4/15 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 and will be gone by 2/15 with no return in sight.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (2/7) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was gone. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 175E. The 26 degree isotherm had backtracked from 157W to 162W but was pushing east to 156W today. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing east into Ecuador and reasonably thick and solidifying. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies at +4 deg C were in a broad pocket with the leading edge at 132W and connected to warm water from a previous Kelvin Wave off Ecuador. A pocket of -1 deg negative anomalies were at 115W 100m down under the easterly moving stream and dissolving while tracking east. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 2/2 indicates a huge very warm ball of 5+ degs anomalies stretching from the far West Pacific downward to 135W. 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: (2/2) Sea heights were rising at +5 cms or greater over the entire West Equatorial Pacific reaching east to 145W. Otherwise they were neutral over the entire East Equatorial Pacific except for a lingering cool pocket at -5 cms between 105W-122W and shrinking. 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 125W. Warm waters continue building in intensity and coverage in the West at the same time reaching east to 140W. 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: (2/6) The latest images depict a broad generic pool of barely cool water extending west from well off Peru (100W) to the dateline mainly south of the equator in the East down to 20S near Tahiti then centered on the equator in the west. A building pool of warming water is present along the equator 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 and over all of the deep South Pacific. Overall this indicates the collapse of La Nina was underway.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (2/6): A broad pool of warming water was locked well off the coasts of Peru, Chile and strong along Ecuador and west to 130W with solid warming along Ecuador to 140W. 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: (2/6) 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: (2/7) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs compared to official sources). Today's temps were rising at +0.920 and have been rising since 11/13. 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:
(2/7) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs). Today's temps were steady at -0.939. But this is nonsense. Other data from NOAA indicates temp anomalies were at -0.6 degs. Temps 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 (2/7) - 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 +1.15 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 +0.75 degs in July and +0.95 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 (2/7) the Daily Index was falling +12.78 (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 falling at +9.39 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 +13.47 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
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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing:

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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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