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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, February 23, 2023 1:36 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
2.8 - California & 1.2 - 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 2/20 thru Sun 2/26
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   

Equatorial Sea Surface Temps Rising
Raw Windswell for CA - Stubborn High Pressure Over NPac

 

BUOY ROUNDUP
Thursday, February 23, 2023 :

  • Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt) (Out of Service - using Buoy 239 (Lani): Seas were 4.6 ft @ 7.7 secs with swell 3.3 ft @ 7.7 secs from 164 degrees. Water temp NA degs (Barbers Pt), 75.7 (Pearl Harbor 233), 76.5 (Lani 239).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Buoy Down. Using Buoy 202 (Hanalei) Seas were 10.6 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 8.1 ft @ 9.4 secs from 60 degrees. Water temp 75.6 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.4 ft @ 5.9 secs with swell 3.1 ft @ 7.3 secs from 257 degrees. Wind southwest at 10-12 kts. Water temperature 54.1 degs, 52.2 (Topanga 103), 52.7 degs (Long Beach 215), 55.4 (Oceanside Offshore 045), 55.9 (Del Mar 153), 56.1 (Torrey Pines Outer 100). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 8.4 ft @ 15.7 secs from 322 degrees. At E. Santa Barbara (46053) swell was 3.6 ft @ 9.8 secs from 274 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 3.0 ft @ 7.5 secs from 260 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.0 ft @ 9.3 secs from 270 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.5 ft @ 12.6 secs from 276 degrees. Water temperate was 56.1 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 12.2 ft @ 12.0 secs with swell 8.8 ft @ 12.6 secs from 312 degrees. Wind southwest at 8-12 kts (46026). Water temp 49.1 (Bodega Bay 46013), 49.5 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 48.9 (San Francisco 46026), 50.2 (SF Bar 142), 49.3 (Pt Santa Cruz 254) and NA (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).
Summer
- Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
Summer
- Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
Summer
- up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.

Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
Current Conditions
On Thursday (2/23) North and Central CA had sets head high to 2 ft overhead and a bit lined up and mushed and pretty warbled but with lighter southwest wind. Protected breaks were head high to 1 ft overhead on the sets and lined up but mushed and a bit closed out but also clean. At Santa Cruz surf was waist to chest high and reasonably lined up but soft and a bit warbled and wonky. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist high or so and and reasonably lined up with decent form and soft and clean with light offshore wind and rain. Central Orange County had sets at thigh to waist high pushing south sideshore down the beach and somewhat lined up and fairly clean but with strong north wind and rain. South Orange County's best summertime breaks were thigh high and mushed and a bit lined up and clean with light wind. North San Diego had sets at thigh high and lined up breaking just off the beach and clean but closed out and raining. Hawaii's North Shore had sets at waist high or so and somewhat lined up and soft but clean with rain on it. The South Shore was thigh high and soft and clean with sideshore east texture. The East Shore was getting east windswell at 2 ft overhead and chopped from strong east-southeasterly trades. And it's snowing on the beach in Oregon.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (2/23) Hawaii was getting local east windswell. California was getting locally generated northwest windswell. Looking forward gale of sorts is just off the Pacific Northwest falling south off California Tues-Fri (2/24) producing 24-26 ft seas aimed south. And maybe another gale is forecast falling southeast through the Gulf on Sun-Mon (2/27) and pushing into North CA with 21-24 ft seas aimed southeast. And maybe another is to develop in the far Northern Gulf on Wed-Thurs (3/2) with 27 ft sea aimed east. But high pressure looks to be in control of the North PAcific for the foreseeable future. Make the most of it.

See all the details below...

 

SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Thursday (2/23) the jetstream was weakly consolidated pushing off Japan running east on the 35N latitude line with winds to 120 kts then splitting on the dateline with most energy ridging northeast in the northern branch of the jet tracking up through the Northern Gulf of Alaska and over Alaska and Canada proper then falling south moving off the coast of British Columbia forming a backdoor trough with winds 140 kts offering limited support for gale development there. Over the next 72 hours that backdoor trough off British Columbia is to slowly fall south forming a backdoor front pushing south down over North CA and beyond through Sat (2/25) offering limited support for fetch and swell production before moving inland. Back to the west the split in the jet is to retrograde to 160E late on Fri (2/24) then build back to the dateline on Mon (2/27). No other troughs of interest are forecast. Beyond 72 hours starting Sun (2/26) a strong ridge is to be building from the dateline east with the northern branch of the jet tracking up into the Bering Sea then falling south over the Northeastern Gulf off British Columbia forming a trough and falling south down the US West Coast supporting gale formation moving over North CA on Tues (2/28). At that time the split in the jet is to move east to about 175W but then looking to split further west back at 160E on Thurs (3/2) continuing the lockdown of the North Pacific with high pressure at the surface. Spring is here.


Surface Analysis
On Thursday (2/23) local fetch is to continue associated with a local low pressure system producing windswell for California (see California Gradient below).

Over the next 72 hours a gale is forecast developing in the Northwestern Gulf on Sat PM (2/25) producing 35-40 kt northwest winds with seas building. On Sun AM (2/26) 35+ kt northwest winds are to be falling southeast through the Gulf with seas 24 ft at 50.75N 150.25W aimed southeast. In the evening fetch is to be well off the Pacific Northwest at 35 kts from the northwest with seas 23 ft at 45N 142.75W aimed southeast. On Mon AM (2/27) 30-35 kt northwest winds to be off the OR-CA border with seas 24 ft at 41.25N 134.25W aimed southeast. Fetch is to be pushing onshore over North CA in the evening with 23 ft seas impacting North CA at 39.75N 128W. Something to monitor.

 

California Gradient
A gradient started developing off British Columbia on Mon PM (2/20) producing 35-40 kts northwest winds just off the Canadian Coast with seas building to 26 ft but totally shadowed relative to California. On Tues AM (2/21) winds built to 35-40 kts off North Vancouver Island with seas 23 ft at 49N 130W aimed southeast and of interest only to the Pacific Northwest. In the evening north to northwest winds were building at 35-40 kts over a broad area from BC south to Pt Conception with seas 26 ft at 48N 130W aimed southeast (off the Pacific Northwest) and shadowed relative to even North CA. On Wed AM (2/22) winds held at 35 kts over the entire US West Coast and BC with seas 25 ft at 45N 128.25W aimed southeast starting to become unshadowed for North CA. Fetch was stationary in the evening at 30-35 kts with seas 26 ft at 44.75N 128W or off Southern Oregon and North CA aimed south. Fetch holding Thurs AM (2/23) a bit off the coast of Washington at 35 kts from the north with seas 22 ft at 45N 129 aimed southeast. Fetch is to fall south in the evening at 35 kts off the OR-CA border with seas 24 ft at 42.25N 132.25W aimed south. Fetch fading Fri AM (2/24) off Central CA at 30-35 kts from the north with seas 26 ft at 39.25N 129.75W aimed south. Fetch dissipating off North and Central CA in the evening from 30 kts with seas 21 ft at 34.25N 129.75W aimed south. Mostly just a bunch of raw ill formed windswell to result for California. Something to monitor.

North CA: Windswell fading Thurs (2/23) from 8 ft @ 13 secs (8.0 ft). Windswell fading on Fri (2/24) from 6.0 ft @ 12 secs (7.0 ft). Dribbles on Sat (2/25) fading from 5.0 ft @ 11-12 secs (6.0 ft). Swell Direction 310+ 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

  • Fri AM (2/24) the core of the low is to be over Bodega Bay CA with a front pushing south over Pt Conception with north to northeast winds forecast at 10-15 kts for North CA early and west 20-25 kts south of Monterey Bay and southwest 15+ kts for Southern CA early. In the afternoon north winds to be 15 kts for Cape Mendocino but 30 kts off the coast but north to northeast 5-10 kts for Bodega Bay southward to Pt Conception. Southwest winds and the leading edge of the front are to be over San Diego at 20-25 kts. Rain for the entire state early but clearing from the north late afternoon though the evening. Moderate to heavy snow for the Sierra through the day strongest in the afternoon then thinning some overnight except still strong for Mammoth southward.
  • Sat AM (2/25) north winds to be 15-20 kts for Cape Mendocino and north 5-10 kts from Pt Arena southward to Pt Conception if not northeast early. West to southwest winds 15 kts for Southern CA. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 10-15 kts for North CA and 10 kts for Central CA and northwest 15 kts for Southern CA. Light rain for Central CA early and solid for Southern CA early but holding like that through the day then starting to fade overnight focused mainly on Southern CA. Heavy snow for the Sierra early but limited to the Mammoth area southward and slowly fading through the evening.
  • Sun AM (2/26) the next teaser front hits North CA roaches with northwest winds 20 kts for Cape Mendocino and 10 kts for the rest of North and Central CA early. Northwest winds 15-20 kts for Southern CA. In the afternoon low pressure is to be building off the OR-CA border with southwest winds 5-10 kts for North CA and northwest 10-15 kts for Central CA. Rain developing for Cape Mendocino early reaching Morro Bay in the afternoon and Pt Conception in the evening. Snow developing for Tahoe late morning continuing in the evening.
  • Mon AM (2/27) southwest winds are forecast at 25 kts for Cape Mendocino and 15-20 kts for the rest of North CA and northwest 0 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon the front hits CA with low pressure lingering just off Cape Mendocino and west winds 20 kts from Pt Arena south to Pt Conception. Light rain for Pt Conception to Big Sur early and rain developing for Cape Mendocino early building south through the day and pushing into Southern CA in the afternoon and overnight. Snow for the Sierra early building to heavy snow late afternoon continuing overnight.
  • Tues AM (2/28) northwest winds are forecast at 15 kts for North and Central CA early. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 10 kts for all of North and Central CA. Rain for all of North and Central CA holding through the day. Steady snow for the Sierra slowly backing off through the evening.
  • Wed AM (3/1) northwest winds are forecast at 15-20 kts early for all of North and Central CA. In the afternoon high pressure arrives with northwest winds 15-20 kts for Cape Mendocino and 20-25 kts south of there to Pt Conception and also over Southern CA. Scattered showers for the state strongest down south early clearing in the afternoon. Light snow for the Sierra dissipating overnight.
  • Thurs AM (3/2) northwest winds are forecast at 20 kts early for all of North, Central and Southern CA. No precip liquid or frozen forecast.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth are projected at 74, 84, 81, and 53 inches.

Freezing level for Lake Tahoe down to 1,000 ft early on the 2/23 then building slowly to the 5,000 ft level briefly early on 2/25 then falling and and holding at 3,500 ft through 2/1 then building quickly to 8.500 ft late on 2/2 but falling from there below 5,500 ft on 2/4.

- - -

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).

 

South Pacific

Overview
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

 

QuikCAST's

 

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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours some sort of a gale is forecast developing over the extreme Northern Gulf on Wed PM (3/1) producing 35-40 kt west winds and seas 26 ft at 55N 152.25W aimed east. 40 kt west winds to continue Thurs AM (3/2) producing 26 ft seas at 55.75N 152.25W aimed east. Something to monitor.

 

South Pacific

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

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

El Nino Developing
Kelvin Wave #2 is Coming - Active MJO #3 In Control - West Anomalies Forecast Beyond
1 Kelvin Wave traversed the Pacific in Dec '22 with another building now. And Westerly Winds are in control and forecast getting fully established filling the KWGA and the Pacific over the next month. And Sea Surface Temperature are warming and near neutral. The last link in the chain is to see the SOI falling. The outlook is turning steadily optimistic.

MJO/ENSO Discussion
The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.And the El Nino/La Nino cycle (collectively know as ENSO - El Nino Southern Oscillation) is a less frequent (about once every 7 years) but more impactful cycle that affects world wide weather. Specifically, strong El Nino events promote storm production in the Pacific while La Nina events suppress storm production. These therefore have a significant impact on the production of swell and surf. The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO and ENSO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for upcoming activity (or inactivity depending on the state and interaction of these two oscillations).

Overview: In 2019 warm equatorial waters were fading, and by August a tongue of cool water was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos reaching to a point nearly south of Hawaii. A bit of a recovery tried to occur during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water held in a pool off Peru. By April 2020 a cool pool was starting to build, forming a well defined cool tongue that evolved into La Nina, with it fully developing through July 2020. A slow dissolving of La Nina started in March 2021 with 2 Kelvin Waves sweeping east and arriving over the Galapagos in June. Weak warming set up over the equator with no cool waters present. NOAA declared La Nina dead. But cold water returned in July 2021 and a second pulse of La Nina developed through the Winter of 2022 and is continuing today, though possibly weaker with its foundation appearing to be in decline.

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 (2/22) 5 day average winds were moderate from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific and moderate to strong east over the Central Pacific and moderate east over the KWGA. Anomalies were weak westerly over the East equatorial Pacific and weak east over the Central Pacific and neutral 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): (2/23) West anomalies filled the KWGA today and were also reaching east to a point south of California. This is the first time west anomalies have covered the entire KWGA in years. The 7 day forecast has a mix of east and west anomalies holding over the KWGA through the end of the model run on 3/2 but the balance towards weak east anomalies.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (2/22) A moderate Active MJO signal was indicated over the KWGA today. The statistical model indicates the Active MJO signal holding mostly unchanged for the 15 days model duration. The Inactive Phase is to be building over the Maritime Continent. The dynamic model indicates the Active Phase slowly fading and gone on day 5 but with the Active signal returning weakly to the KWGA on day 10 and then strong by day 15. The Inactive Phase is to be limited to the Indian OCean and only on day 15 of the model run.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (CA and GEFS): (2/23) The statistical model depicts the Active signal was weak over the Atlantic moving east over Africa to the Indian Ocean 15 days out and weak. The dynamic model indicates the Active Phase retrograding west over the West Pacific at weak status 6 days out building to strong status over the Central Pacific 15 days out. That would be nice!
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (2/23) A weak Active signal (wet air) was filling the KWGA today. The forecast has the Active signal (wet air) tracking steadily east over the Pacific and pushing into Ecuador on 3/25. A weak Inactive signal (dry air) is forecast moving over the KWGA on 3/25 very weakly filling the equatorial Pacific at the end of the model run on 4/4. A weak Active signal is to follow at that time over the far West Pacific.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (2/22)
A solid Active Phase of the MJO was in control of the KWGA today with west anomalies filling the KWGA. The Active Phase of the MJO is to continue traversing the KWGA through 2/29 with west anomalies filling most of the KWGA but pockets of weak east anomalies developing. The Active Phase is to slowly push east finally dissipating over Ecuador on 3/19 with west anomalies solid from the dateline eastward 3/1-3/19. . After that a very weak Inactive MJO signal is forecast traversing the KWGA 3/5-3/22 but with neutral anomalies in the West KWGA from 3/8 and beyond and weak east anomalies east of there. through the end of the model run on 3/22. La Nina is dead but it's remnants/momentum are still evident in the atmosphere.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind):
(2/23) - using the 5th ensemble member - the mean of the 4 individual members which are all from the 00Z run - 1 run per day):
Today the Active Phase of the MJO was filling the KWGA with west anomalies in control. The Active Phase of the MJO is to track east over the entirety of the KWGA through 3/17 with west anomalies filling the KWGA. West anomalies and the Active Phase are pushing east and south of California today through 3/11. After that a weak Inactive Phase of the MJO is to move over the KWGA starting 2/27, collapsing 3 days later then returning on 3/16 holding through the end of the model run on 5/23 but with weak west anomalies filling the KWGA and in control of the entire Pacific by 3/23 and holding for the foreseeable future. West anomalies are forecast strong over the dateline 3/30 through the end of the model run. The last pocket of easterly anomalies are to fade on the dateline on 3/5 never to return.The shift to El Nino is starting. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias with 2 contour lines centered at 170W with its western perimeter at 150E today. The high pressure bias started moving east on 2/15. The second contour is forecast collapsing/pushing east of the KWGA on 3/10 with the primary contour moving east of the KWGA by 3/29. A broad double contour low pressure bias is established centered over the West Maritime Continent at 100E with it's leading edge at 140E today and started slowly pushing east on 2/15, with a hard push east forecast starting 3/17 and on the dateline 4/10 and filling the Pacific 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 since Oct 2022. It appears that the high pressure lockdown of the KWGA is over with no return in sight.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (2/23) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was not present. The 28 deg isotherm line had retrograded to 170E but was moving east to 174E. The 26 degree isotherm had backtracked from 157W to 162W but was easing east to 140W today if not further east. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing east into Ecuador and building in thickness. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies at +3 deg C were in a broad pocket with the leading edge at 155W and connected solidly to warm water from a previous Kelvin Wave off Ecuador. No negative anomalies of interest were present. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 2/17 indicates a huge very warm ball of 5+ degs anomalies stretching from the far West Pacific and reaching east upwards to 118W. 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 95W down 40m (the upwelling phase of the Kelvin Wave cycle) and was lifting towards the surface while weakening and discharging. The cool upwelling event that has been in play since July has been undercut and is all but gone. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (2/17) Sea heights were very positive from 170E and points west of there over the West Pacific and 0 cms over the remainder of the Equatorial Pacific reaching east to Ecuador. this mean no cool water was at depth. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram cool anomalies have retreated to the East Equatorial Pacific between 93W to Ecuador. And a previous pool of weak cool waters is collapsing between 101W to 110W. Warm waters continue building in intensity and coverage in the West at the same time reaching east to 121W. Kelvin Wave #2 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: (2/22) The latest images depict building warm waters extending well west along the equator from Ecuador to 140W (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. A broad generic pool of barely cool water was collapsing from extending west from well off Peru from 105W to the dateline mainly south of the equator in the East and reaching south to 18S near Tahiti then centered on the equator in the west and losing coverage and intensity daily. The cool pool is in a state of rapid collapse.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (2/22): A broad and building pool of warming water was locked well off the coasts of Peru, Chile and a strong pocket off Ecuador and west over the equatorial Pacific to 150W and in pockets east of there to New Guinea. 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: (2/22) Warming waters are filling the East Pacific off Chile, Peru and Ecuador. Cool waters were on the equator from about 140W to 160E and shrinking in coverage and intensity daily. The east equatorial Pacific is finally and steadily warming. 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: (2/23) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs compared to official sources). Today's temps were falling from +0.700 degs and were up to +1.076 on 2/19 and otherwise were steady at +0.848 since 2/7. Longterm they have been steadily rising since 11/13 when they were around -1.5 degs C.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(2/23) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs). Today's temps were rising at -0.402 and have been rising slowly since 2/12 were they were about -1.0 degs C and had been holding there since at least Nov 2022. Other data from NOAA indicates temp anomalies were at -0.5 degs (see CFSv2 Data below).

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 then slowly rising to -0.75 degs in Jan 2023 and up to -0.5 degs above the La Nina threshold on 2/12. .
Forecast (2/23) - Temps are to move to neutral (0.0 degs) early-April and up to +0.8 degs in July and +1.30 degs in Oct and solidly into El Nino territory. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps are to hit neutral (0.0 degs) late March/early-April and rising to +0.65 degs in July and +1.05 degs in Oct. According to this version of the model we are building into ENSO neutral in Spring and into El Nino in Summer.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Feb 19, 2023 Plume depicts temps are -0.228 degs today and above the La nina threshold. Temps to rise steadily from here forward to -0.018 degs in March rising to +0.758 in July and +0.759 in Sept. This is consistent with the previous run. This model suggests a transition to ENSO neutral if not weak El Nino. 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 (2/23) the Daily Index was falling at -16.91 after reaching +21.85 on 2/10 and +55.74 on 12/22 and were in the +20 range the previous 22 days.
The 30 day average was falling at +10.13 (lagging indicator driven by the Inactive 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 falling slightly at +14.00 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 suggests that the Active Phase occurring now is starting to drive the index down, hopefully with no upward trend in sight for at least a year.

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.

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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing: https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/climate-change-good-surfing-other-sports-not-so-much-ncna1017131

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

Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:
http://www.bloomberg.com/video/how-to-predict-the-best-surfing-waves-EsNiR~0xR5yXGOlOq2MqfA.html
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/surfs-up-for-mavericks-invitational-in-calif/

Time Zone Converter By popular demand we've built and easy to use time convert that transposes GMT time to whatever time zone you are located. It's ion left hand column on every page on the site near the link to the swell calculator.

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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