Friday, February 10, 2023
- Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt) (Out of Service - using Buoy 239 (Lani): Seas were 4.3 ft @ 6.7 secs with swell 3.4 ft @ 6.4 secs from 142 degrees. Water temp NA degs (Barbers Pt), 76.1 (Pearl Harbor 233), 76.8 (Lani 239).
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 9.6 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 5.3 ft @ 13.4 secs from 351 degrees. Water temp 76.1 degs.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.5 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 1.6 ft @ 14.2 secs from 295 degrees. Wind northeast at 4-6 kts. Water temperature 57.9 degs, 56.3 (Topanga 103), 56.8 degs (Long Beach 215), 57.4 (Oceanside Offshore 045), 56.1 (Del Mar 153), 57.9 (Torrey Pines Outer 100). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.2 ft @ 15.1 secs from 295 degrees. At E. Santa Barbara (46053) swell was 2.0 ft @ 13.6 secs from 251 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.4 ft @ 15.4 secs from 237 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.5 ft @ 14.6 secs from 221 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.3 ft @ 14.8 secs from 252 degrees. Water temperate was 57.9 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 6.5 ft @ 12.8 secs with swell 5.5 ft @ 12.6 secs from 306 degrees. Wind northwest at 10-12 kts (46026). Water temp 51.8 (Bodega Bay 46013), 51.8 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 53.1 (San Francisco 46026), 53.1 (SF Bar 142), 52.0 (Pt Santa Cruz 254) and NA (Monterey Bay 46042).
Swell Classification Guidelines
Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
Summer - Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
Summer - Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
Summer - up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.
Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.
On Friday (2/10) North and Central CA had sets at head high and reasonably lined up and clean with light wind early. Protected breaks were chest to maybe head high and lined up and fairly clean but with a little warble on top and soft. At Santa Cruz surf was waist to rarely chest high and weakly lined up with clean conditions but with some intermixed warble and soft and mushed with no wind. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist to sometimes near chest high and lined up with good form with glassy conditions but soft. Central Orange County had sets at chest to shoulder high and lined up but weak and soft but clean early. South Orange County's best summertime breaks were waist to sometime chest high on the peak and lined up with decent form when they rarely came with clean conditions. North San Diego had sets at waist to maybe chest high and lined up and clean with decent form. Hawaii's North Shore had sets at chest to head high early and up to 2 ft overhead at top spots and clean with decent form and rideable. The South Shore was thigh to maybe waist high and soft with sideshore texture and lump. 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.
On Friday (2/10) Hawaii was getting fading swell from for a gale that developed in the Western Gulf Wed-Thurs (2/9) tracking east with 28-30 ft seas over a small area aimed east then moving off Oregon on Fri (2/10) with seas to 26 ft before impacting the coast there. That swell is bound for California too. And another system started developing on the dateline Thurs (2/9) tracking northeast to the Northwestern Gulf on Fri (2/10) producing 40-42 ft seas aimed east and then fading fast in the Northern Gulf on Sat (2/11). And another small gale is to follow on the dateline tracking northeast to the Northern Gulf Fri-Mon (2/13) with up to 32 ft seas aimed east. And yet another is forecast for the North Dateline region Sun-Tues (2/14) with up to 43 ft seas aimed east. The swell machine is warming up some. But after that a break is possible. Get what you can.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Friday (2/7) the jetstream was consolidated pushing off Japan running due east generally on the 35N latitude line with winds 160 kts reaching to 170W (just east of the dateline) then splitting with a trough developing north of the split point on the dateline offering some support for gale development. The northern branch of the jet was ridging over the Northern Gulf then falling into a steep and nearly pinched trough just off the Pacific Northwest offering the opportunity to support local weather there. Over the next 72 hours the Pacific Northwest trough is to fall southeast pushing over Central CA on Sat (2/11) supporting a little rain and that's it. The trough on the dateline is to follow the jet northeast and into the Northern Gulf on Sun (2/12) supporting gale formation then pushing inland over British Columbia late Mon (2/13). And another trough is forecast developing west of the dateline on Sun (2/12) lifting northeast over the North Dateline region into late Mon (2/13) supporting gale formation. Beyond 72 hours the split in the jet is to retrograde west to 150E later Mon (2/13) but then pushing east as more wind energy builds in the jet off Japan on Wed (2/15) to 190 kts with the split point back on the dateline by late Thurs (2/16) also supporting formation of a trough off Kamchatka during that window supporting gale formation in lower levels of the atmosphere. But the split is to remain over the eastern half of the North Pacific not offering much hope.
On Friday (2/10) residual swell from a gale previously in the Gulf was fading in Hawaii and poised to arrive in California (see Gulf Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours 3 gales are forecast tracking over the North Dateline region:
North Dateline Gale 1
Starting Wed PM (2/8) a fetch developed on the dateline with 45 kt west winds and seas building from 29 ft at 41.25N 173.5E aimed southeast. On Thurs AM (2/9) 50 kts west winds were building on the North Dateline lifting northeast with seas 39 ft over a small area at 44.5N 179.75W aimed east. In the evening 45-50 kt west winds were tracking over the North Dateline region with seas 42 ft at 47.25N 172.5W aimed east. On Fri AM (2/10) the gale was tracking east-northeast in the Northwestern Gulf with 45 kt west winds and seas 39 ft at 50.75N 166.5W aimed east. In the evening west fetch is to be just south of the Eastern Aleutians at 40 kts over a decent sized area with seas 37 ft at 52.25N 160.25W aimed east. The gale is to dissipate after that. Something to monitor.
Oahu: Most energy to bypass Oahu to the east and be masked by local easterly windswell.
North CA: Swell arrival on Mon (2/13) building to 4.4 ft @ 16-17 secs early 97.0 ft) but shadowed in the SF Bay Area and quickly getting overrun by locally generated north windswell. Swell Direction: 304-308 degrees
North Dateline Gale 2
And a small gale started building while tracking east-northeast over the dateline Fri AM (2/10) producing 45 kt northwest winds and seas building from 30 ft at 37.5N 174E aimed east. In the evening winds to build to 55 kts over a tiny area just east of the dateline with seas 34 ft at 39N 178W aimed east. On Sat AM (2/11) the gael is to be lifting northeast over the Northwestern Gulf with 40 kt west winds over a moderate area and seas 29 ft at 41.5N 170W aimed east. Fetch lifting east-northeast in the evening at 35 kts with seas 29 ft at 44.75N 159.25W aimed east. Fetch fading in the Northeastern Gulf on Sun AM (2/12) at 30+ kts with seas 29-30 ft at 46.5N 148.5W aimed east. Fetch tracking northeast in the evening at 40+ kts in the far Northern Gulf with seas 23 ft at 47.5N 141W aimed east and mostly east of the NCal swell window (323 degs).
North Dateline Gale 3
On Sun AM (2/12) a fetch of west winds are to be building on the dateline at 45 kts with seas building from 30 ft at 39.5N 172E aimed east. In the evening west winds to build to 55 kts with seas building from 42 ft at 43.75N 179E aimed east. On Mon AM (2/13) 50 kt west winds are to be tracking east over the dateline and over a decent sized area with seas building to 45 ft at 45.75N 177.75W aimed east. In the evening west winds are to be 45 kts just east of the dateline with seas 41 ft at 47N 171.75W aimed east. Fetch is to be fading Tues AM (2/14) while drifting east over the Northwestern Gulf 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.
A gale developed 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 27 ft at 42.25N 164W aimed southeast. On Wed AM (2/8) the gale had 40-45 kt northwest and west winds north-northeast of Hawaii with seas 28-30 ft over a small area at 42.5N 155W aimed east. In the evening the gale tracked east with 35-40 kt northwest winds and seas 28-30 ft at 41.25N 149W aimed southeast. Fetch pushed east Thurs AM (2/9) at 40 kts off the Pacific Northwest from the northwest with seas 28 ft at 47N 144W aimed southeast. In the evening 35-40 kt northwest winds were off Washington with seas 25 ft at 45N 136W aimed southeast. Fetch moving inland over Washington and BC after that. Possible sideband swell for Oahu late on Thurs (2/9) and North CA at the same time.
Oahu: 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: Swell arrival on Fri AM (2/10) building to 6.0 ft @ 14 secs later (8.0 ft). Swell fading Sat AM (2/11) from 7.3 ft @ 14-15 secs (10 ft) becoming swamped by locally generated northwest windswell. Swell Direction: 286-291 with local components from 308 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored at this time.
California Nearshore Forecast
- Sat AM (2/11) high pressure starts showing (early Spring?) with northwest winds building to 30 kts for most of North CA early but just off the coast of Central CA at 25-30 kts and 20-25 kts for South CA mid-AM. No change in the afternoon with northwest winds 25-30 kts for North CA and 25 kts off the coast of Central CA and 10-15 kts nearshore and below 15 kts for Southern CA. Light rain for North CA down to Big Sur early pushing south to Central CA in the afternoon and into Southern CA overnight. Light steady snow for the Sierra through the day.
- Sun AM (2/12) north 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 to 25+ kts for Cape Mendocino and 10-15 kts south of there to Pt Conception but 20 kts from the north off the coast. Light rain for Southern CA early clearing mid-day. no snow forecast.
- Mon AM (2/13) high pressure rebuilds with north winds 25-30 kts for all of North CA but 10 kts from the Golden Gate southward to Pt Conception but 25 kts off the coast. In the afternoon high pressure arrives in earnest with northwest winds 25-35 kts for all of North and Central CA.
- Tues AM (2/14) more of the same driven by strong high pressure with northwest winds 25 kts for Cape Mendocino early and 30+ kts from Pt Arena southward to Pt Conception. In the afternoon northwest winds continue at 30-35 kts for off of California including Southern CA. A backdoor front with rain is forecast moving over Cape Mendocino early reaching south to Pt Conception late afternoon and Southern CA in the evening. Snow showers for the Sierra through the day then clearing early evening.
- Wed AM (2/15) northwest winds moderate at 20-25 kts for all California early including Southern CA. In the afternoon the moderating trend continues with northwest winds 15-20 kts for North and Central CA. A few sprinkles for Southern CA at sunrise.
- Thurs AM (2/16) north winds are forecast at 10 kts early for all of North and Central CA. In the afternoon a light wind regime is forecast. No precip forecast.
- Fri AM (2/17) low pressure is to be well off Central CA with light winds for all of North and Central CA. In the afternoon north winds to be 5-10 kts for North and Central CA.
Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth are projected at 4, 3, 6, and 2 inches with all on 2/10- 2/11.
Freezing level for Lake Tahoe is falling to 4,000 ft on 2/11 rising to 10,000 ft 2/12-2/13 then falling to 2,000 ft 2/14 and slowly rising in spurts to the base at 6,000 ft early on 2/18 and holding around 7,500 ft beyond.
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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: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for Resort specific forecasts).
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
Beyond 72 hours starting Tues PM (2/14) a gale is forecast developing just off Kamchatka producing 40 kts west winds and seas 28 ft at 47N 165E aimed east. On Wed AM (2/15) west winds to be 45-50 kts just off the North Kuril Islands with seas building to 36 ft at 48.5N 165.5E aimed east. In the evening west winds to be migrating east at 45 kts approaching the Aleutians with 40 ft seas at 50.75N 170.25E becoming shadowed by the Aleutians relative to the US West Coast. Fetch is to be moving into the Bering Seas after that and of no interest. Something to monitor.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is 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.
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.
LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
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 (2/9) 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 strong 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): (2/10) 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 collapsing and at modest strength by 2/12 and holding over a thin area migrating to 150E at the end of the model run (2/17) with west anomalies in the far west KWGA and building over the dateline then. This has not happened in years.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
- MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:
OLR Models: (2/9) A moderate Inactive signal was indicated over the KWGA today with west anomalies trying to build in from the west. The statistical model indicates the Inactive MJO east of the KWGA on day 5 of the model run with west anomalies taking over and filling the KWGA on day 10 of the model run and holding solid on day 15. The dynamic model indicates the same thing but with the Active Phase getting weak on day 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (CA and GEFS): (2/10) The statistical model depicts the Active signal was moderate over the West t Maritime Continent moving east to the West Pacific and weak 15 days out. The dynamic model indicates it moving squarely into the West Pacific 12 days out at modest status and then moving to the East Pacific 15 days out.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (2/10) A moderate Active signal (wet air) was almost filling 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 east of the KWGA on 3/2 pushing into Ecuador on 3/12. A modest Inactive signal (dry air) is forecast moving over the KWGA on 3/2 filling the equatorial Pacific by the end of the model run on 3/22.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (2/9) A solid Inactive Phase of the MJO was exiting the KWGA today with east anomalies limited to the dateline area and fully exiting the KWGA on 2/12. The Active Phase of the MJO was building over the West KWGA with west anomalies build over far West KWGA reaching to 150E. The Active Phase of the MJO is to continue traversing the KWGA through 2/27 with west anomalies filling the KWGA through 2/23 with occasional pockets reaching strong strength. It is to push to a point south of California on 2/23. After that weak west anomalies are to hold from 150E and point west of there filling 50% of the KWGA with weak east anomalies lingering on the dateline.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (2/10) - 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 collapsing on the dateline. East anomalies are disappear on the dateline 2/13 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 building over that area. West anomalies are to start filling the KWGA on 2/16 and holding solid as the Active Phase traverses the KWGA through 3/14 and pushing south of California on 2/17-3/23. 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 5/11 but with weak west anomalies filling the KWGA and in control of the entire Pacific by 3/25 and holding for the foreseeable future. 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 3/14 with the primary contour moving east of the KWGA by 3/30. 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 3/12 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: (2/10) 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 152W 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 solidly to warm water from a previous Kelvin Wave off Ecuador. A pocket of -1 deg negative anomalies were at 110W 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 one tiny cool pocket at -5 cms at 110W 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 122W and shrinking. 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.
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4 Qualitative Analysis: (2/9) 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 and reaching south 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 (2/9): 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 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: (2/9) 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: (2/10) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs compared to official sources). Today's temps were steady at +0.889 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: (2/10) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs). Today's temps were steady at -0.921. 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.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
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 (2/10) - 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 +1.20 degs in Oct and solidly 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 (2/10) the Daily Index was rising at +21.85 (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 to +10.56 (also drivien by the Inactve Phase of the MJO) 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 +13.60 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
Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for this week. See it Here
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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing: https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/climate-change-good-surfing-other-sports-not-so-much-ncna1017131
Mavericks & Stormsurf on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luQSYf5sKjQ
Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:
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