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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, February 24, 2022 3:09 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
3.9 - California & 4.2 - 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 2/21 thru Sun 2/27

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   

Solid Swell Hitting Hawaii
Multiple Weaker Gales to Follow

 

BUOY ROUNDUP
Thursday, February 24, 2022 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt): Seas were 3.3 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 1.6 ft @ 12.3 secs from 295 degrees. Water temp 76.8 degs (Barbers Pt), NA (Lani 239), 76.6 (Pearl Harbor 233).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.4 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 2.7 ft @ 11.7 secs from 324 degrees. Water temp 76.6 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.1 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 1.9 ft @ 7.7 secs from 261 degrees. Wind east at 10-14 kts. Water temperature 57.0 degs, 56.5 (Topanga 103), 56.1 degs (Long Beach 215), 58.5 (Del Mar 153), 58.8 (Imperial Beach 155). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 4.5 ft @ 10.2 secs from 315 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.1 ft @ 15.4 secs from 202 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.0 ft @ 15.2 secs from 200 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 3.4 ft @ 6.7 secs from 281 degrees. Water temp 58.8 degs.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.1 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 3.5 ft @ 8.7 secs from 314 degrees. Wind at buoy 46012 was northwest at 6-8 kts. Water temp 51.4 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 51.3 (46026), 52.3 (SF Bar 142), and NA (Santa Cruz 254).

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 (2/24) North and Central CA had set waves at chest high on the sets and fairly clean and lined up but still with some warble in the water. Protected breaks were near chest high and fairly clean but with some light texture on it and closed out and soft. At Santa Cruz surf was waist high or so on the sets and clean and soft. In Southern California/Ventura waves were thigh to waist high on the sets and lined up and somewhat rideable but with heavy texture on it from northwest wind. Central Orange County had sets at thigh to maybe waist high and clean and lined up when they came but generally weak with light offshore wind. South Orange County's best summertime breaks were thigh high and somewhat lined up and weak with texture on it. North San Diego was thigh to maybe waist high on the sets and clean and soft. Hawaii's North Shore had sets at waist to chest high on the sets and clean and lined up but inconsistent and weak. The South Shore had thigh high sets and clean with sideshore texture and weak. The East Shore was chest high and lightly chopped from moderate east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (2/24) locally generated windswell was hitting California and Hawaii with remnant Dateline swell fading in Hawaii too. of more interest is swell pushing east originating from a broad system that developed just off the Kuril Islands Mon-Tues (2/22) producing 39 ft seas aimed east then dissipating before reaching the dateline. Swell from it is poised for Hawaii. After that two weak gales are forecast in the Central Gulf Sun-Tues (3/1) producing 26 and 29 ft seas respectively targeting from Pt Conception northward. And perhaps a stronger system to develop over the dateline Wed-Thurs (3/3) producing up to 39 ft seas aimed east.

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 (2/24) the jet was consolidated pushing firmly east off Japan on the 36N latitude line with winds to 190 kts pushing flat over the dateline to 155W not forming any troughs though still supportive of gale development just based on wind speeds alone. The jet was split east of 155W with the northern branch weak and pushing towards British Columbia but not reaching there yet. Over the next 72 hours the jet is to continue marching east reaching 135W on Sun (2/27) or 600 nmiles west of Central CA with winds fading slowly to the 160 kt range but still with no troughs but still offering some support for gale development based on wind speeds alone. Beyond 72 hours the jet is to hold consolidated still reaching to 135W on Mon (2/28) while slowly weakening with winds down to 150 kts over the area from Japan to a point north of Hawaii but with something that looks like a weak trough developing over the Central Gulf of Alaska and another over the dateline, but weak is the operative word. Starting Wed (3/2) the jet is to start splitting on the dateline with 160 kt winds reaching that point, then far weaker east of there. But then reconsolidating and poised to push weakly over California. Doubtful meaningful weather will result.

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (2/24) swell from a broad gale that developed in the far West Pacific is pushing east, poised to impact Hawaii (see west Pacific Storm below). Residual swell from a small Dateline gale was also fading out in Hawaii (see Tiny North Dateline Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.

 

West Pacific Storm
A broad gale started building over and just east of the Kuril Islands and North Japan on Sun PM (2/20) generating a fetch of 45 kt west winds with seas building from 27 ft at 39.75N 150E aimed east. On Mon AM (2/21) the gale started plodding east producing westerly winds at 45 kts over a broad area with a core at 50-55 kts and seas building to 34 ft at 39.75N 152E aimed east. In the evening west winds were 45 kts over a solid area just west of North Japan and the South Kuril Islands with 39 ft seas at 41.25N 157.5E aimed east. On Tues AM (2/22) west winds were 40-45 kts half way to the dateline with seas 39 ft at 38.75N 162.5E aimed east. Fetch was fading in the evening from 40 kts over a large area aimed east with seas fading from 36 ft at 39N 167.25E aimed east. Fetch was fading from 35 kts Wed AM (2/23) over a large area filling the West Pacific with seas fading from 31 ft at 35N 169.25E. In the evening fetch was fading from 30 kts approaching the dateline with seas 29 ft near at 40N 173E. On Thurs AM (2/24) fetch was fading from 30 kts from the west on the dateline with seas fading from 27 ft at 39N 173E aimed east. Something to monitor.

Oahu: Expect swell arrival on Fri (2/25) building from 5.6 ft @ 18 secs at sunrise (10 ft) to 7.2-7.9 ft @ 17-18 secs late afternoon (13.0 ft). Swell holding overnight then starting to fade first light Sat (2/26) from 6.6 ft @ 16 secs (10.5 ft). Swell fading Sun (2/27) from 5.6 ft @ 14-15 secs early (8.0 ft). Residuals on Mon (2/28) fading from 4.3 ft @ 13 secs (5.5 ft). Dribbles on Tues (3/1) holding at 4.4 ft @ 12 secs (5.0 ft). Swell DIrection: 306-309 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (2/26) building to 3.4 ft @ 20 secs late (7.0 ft). Swell building some on Sun (2/27) to 6.0 ft @ 17 secs late (9.6 ft). Swell steady on Mon (2/28) at 6.3 ft @ 16 secs (10 ft). Swell fading on Tues (3/1) from 6.4 ft @ 15 secs early (9.5 ft). Swell Direction:292-295 degrees

 

Tiny North Dateline Gale
A tiny and weak gale developed over the North Dateline region on Sun AM (2/20) producing a short lived fetch of 45 kt west winds just south of the Central Aleutians with 24 ft seas at 46N 169.25W aimed east. In the evening residual west fetch at 30-35 kts was producing 23 ft seas at 52N 165W. This system was gone after that. Low odds of any meaningful swell resulting.

Also on Mon PM (2/22) a short lived tiny fetch of north winds produced 20 ft seas 650 nmiles north of Hawaii at 35.5N 159W aimed south. Small swell is radiating south from it.

Oahu: Swell fading on Thurs AM (2/24) from 2.6 ft @ 12 secs early (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 315 & 340 degrees

 

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are forecast.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Fri (2/25) north winds are forecast at 10-15 kts early for North and Central CA turning northwest at 10 kts in the afternoon. A front is to be pushing south from well off the Pacific Northwest with high pressure significantly pushed south.
  • Sat (2/26) light winds are forecast early for North and Central CA holding all day. The front is to stall and weaken over South Oregon.
  • Sun (2/27) south winds are forecast at 15-20 kts for Cape Mendocino with light winds south of there. In the afternoon light winds are forecast for North CA with northwest winds building to 10-15 kts for Central CA south of Monterey Bay. Light rain for Cape Mendocino early.
  • Mon (2/28) a front is to be impacting Oregon with light winds forecast for North CA early except south at 15-20 kts for Cape Mendocino and northwest at 10-15 kts for Central CA early. No change in the afternoon.
  • Tues (3/1) light northwest winds are forecast for North CA at 5-10 kts early and northwest at 15 kts for Central CA south of Monterey Bay holding in the afternoon.
  • Wed (3/2) light northwest winds are forecast for North CA at 5-10 kts early and northwest at 15 kts for Central CA south of Monterey Bay holding in the afternoon. Light rain for Cape Mendocino in the late afternoon and evening.
  • Thurs (3/3) high pressure builds in with northwest winds 15 kts early for all of North and Central CA building to 20 kts for North CA in the afternoon.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 0, 0, 0, and 0 inches.

Freezing level 1.500 ft rising to 4,000 ft during the heat of the day through 2/25, then building to 7-8.000 ft on 2/26-2/27 then building to 10,000 ft on 2/28 and holding. Freezing level falling steadily from there down to 4,000 ft on 3/6.

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Tioga Pass/Pacific Crest Trail intersection forecast: Temps - Freeze Level (more 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). Updated!

 

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis
No swell producing fetch has occurred of is forecast.

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest 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 the models are teasing about a tiny gale developing on Sun AM (2/27) in the Eastern Gulf of Alaska with 40 kt west winds over a small area and 29 ft seas at 41.5N 147W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to be fading while lifting northeast off the Pacific Northwest with 40 kt west winds and seas 24 ft at 43N 140W aimed east. Mon AM (2/28) the gale is to be just off British Columbia with 30-35 kt west winds and seas 25 ft at 47N 133W. The gale is to move in land from there. Possible small swell from Pt Conception northward. Something to monitor.

Perhaps another small gale to develop in the Western Gulf on Sun PM (2/27) with 45 kt west winds over a tiny area and seas building from 24 flat 43N 157.5W aimed east. On Mon AM (2/28) winds to build to 40 kts with seas 29 ft at 42N 154.75W aimed east. Fetch fading in the evening from 35 kts with seas 24 ft at 42.5N 151.25W aimed east. The gale to dissipate from there.

On Wed AM (3/2) a broader gale is to be developing just west of the dateline with 45-50 kt west winds and seas building from 27 ft at 42N 164.5E aimed east. In the evening 50-55 kt westerly winds are to be just west of the dateline with 38 ft seas at 44.5N 173.5E aimed east. Fetch fading on Thurs AM (3/3) form 45 kts over the dateline with 38 ft seas at 44.75N 178.5W aimed east. Fetch fading in the evening from 35 kts and lifting north with seas 31 ft at 45N 176W aimed east.

 

South Pacific

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

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

La Nina Evaporating - Kelvin Wave Still Pushing East
Summary - Cool subsurface water volume peaked under the equatorial Pacific on 10/15/21, beating last years volume, but is quickly fading at the surface in the East Equatorial Pacific. A stronger than expected Active Phase of the MJO in Dec has produced a Kelvin Wave that is plodding east through the Central Pacific. Water temps appear to be warming over the entire East Pacific, though still in La Nina territory for the moment. A return to a more normal cadence of Active and Inactive MJO phases is starting now. It seems the the peak of La Nina is behind us. But the atmosphere will take much time to respond.

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 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 2021-2022 = 1.5 (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. A full double dip La Nina pattern took hold as we moved into November with this second La Nina dip being nearly as strong as the previous one. But a quick fade is forecast as we move into late December with the CFS predicting a return to a neutral wind anomaly pattern at that time 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. But by later in Feb 2022 perhaps a return to a more normal pattern might take hold. But it will be too little too late. As a result a significantly reduced number of storm days and storm intensity is expected Oct-Feb 2022, resulting in a below normal level of swells, with swell being below normal duration and period. But by March 2022, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start improving as La Nina fades out. The status of the PDO is not known, though it appears to be returning to at least a neutral state, rather than the warm phase as previously projected thereby having no significant positive or negative effect on the long term outlook.

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 (2/23) 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 moderate east over the East equatorial Pacific and moderate 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): On (2/24) moderate east anomalies were filling the KWGA. The 7 day forecast calls for east anomalies building to strong status in the core of the KWGA on 2/26 while expanding in coverage to strong or more status holding through the end of the model run on 3/3.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (2/23) A moderate Inactive MJO was filling the KWGA. The statistical model suggests the Inactive Phase is to slowly fade on day 5 of the model run to weak status filling the KWGA then gone on day 10 with a weak Active Phase building into the Western KWGA on day 15 of the model run at modest strength. The dynamic model projects the Inactive Phase holding strength and moving slower just east of the dateline at day 15 of the model run with the Active Phase starting to push solidly into the West KWGA then.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (2/24) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was modest over the East Indian Ocean and is forecast slowly moving to the West Pacific while fading in strength to very weak status over the next 15 days. The dynamic model suggests Active Phase moving slower east to the East Maritime Continent at day 15 of the model run at modest strength.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (2/24) The Inactive Phase of the MJO (dry air) was over the far East Pacific today with the Active Phase moving over the far West Pacific. The forecast indicates the Active Phase (wet air) moving into the KWGA on 3/1. The Active Phase (wet air) is to track east filling the equatorial Pacific weakly on 3/6 then moving east and over Central America while weakening on 3/21. A new coherent Inactive Phase (dry air) is to build over the KWGA on 3/21 moving rapidly east and into Central America at the end of the model run on 4/5 and fairly strong.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (2/23) The Inactive Phase of the MJO was depicted peaking while filling the KWGA today with modest to moderate easterly anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast has east anomalies building in coverage and strength filling the KWGA at strong status 2/24-3/10 as the Inactive Phase makes it's final push east across the KWGA. The Active Phase is to start moving into the the West KWGA on 2/26 and holding through the end of the model run on 3/23. West anomalies are to only move west to 150E at moderate strength by 2/26 then holding there with east anomalies filling the eastern KWGA through the end of the model run while weakening to modest strength.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (2/24 - 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 was over the Eastern KWGA trying to hold on with moderate to strong east anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast has east anomalies slowly tracking east over the KWGA holding in strength through 3/5 on the dateline as the Inactive Phase pushes east and fully east of the KWGA with east anomalies fading fast. The Active Phase of the MJO today was over the western KWGA but stalled, but is forecast to start pushing east 3/2 and filling it on 3/6 with west anomalies moving east from the Maritime Continent into the West KWGA on 2/25 then filling it on 3/10. The Active Phase is to hold over the KWGA through 4/6 with moderate west anomalies filling the KWGA. The Inactive Phase is to develop 3/26 in the West KWGA tracking east through the end of the model run on 5/24 with neutral to weak west anomalies in control the whole time. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias with 1 contour line was centered east of the dateline at 150W with its western perimeter at 175E today and forecast holding then pushing to and east of the dateline 3/30 and slowly easing east from there. A broad single contour low pressure bias is established centered over the Maritime Continent at 100E with it's leading edge at 140E and barely in the KWGA but is forecast starting to move decidedly east into the KWGA starting 3/18 quickly filling 75% of the KWGA and building further east to the dateline on 5/1 as a second contour builds starting 4/17. Today a solid east anomaly pattern that had been in control of KWGA since early July is gone. A return to a normal MJO alternating pattern is setting up. And the low pressure bias is to start building over the dateline region in later March signaling the full demise of La Nina. That said, there is only one more Active MJO forecast for this winter, in the late Feb/early March timeframe meaning only one more shot at support for some sort of gale/swell production.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (2/24) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was retrograding to 168E. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 179E. The 24 deg isotherm was easing east to 95W. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +2 deg C were steady filling the entire subsurface equatorial Pacific. No cool anomalies were under the Pacific. If anything, another pulse of +3 degs anomalies were building in the far West Pacific. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 2/17 indicates a Kelvin Wave pushing east with 2-3 degs warm anomalies with its eastern edge at 95W with only a tiny pocket of cool anomalies at -3 degs C 25 meters down and pushing to the surface at 95W while rapidly fading in coverage. 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 neutral over the Equatorial Pacific except one small area of -5 cms anomalies between 95W to 85W and losing coverage quickly. Otherwise positive anomalies were steady, locked at the dateline but with a finger of 0 to -5 cms on the equator from the dateline to 95W. A weak Kelvin Wave is pushing east. La Nina is trying to hold on but appears to be getting significantly challenged by warmer water encroaching from the west. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram La Nina subsurface cold temperatures are rapidly collapsing while being pushed east by the Kelvin Wave. Warm water was fast moving east with it's leading edge today at 100W. All this signals the demise of La Nina.

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: (2/23) The latest images depict a broad generic stream of cool water on the equator extending west from just off Ecuador over the Galapagos out to 140W then weaker west of there before dissipating on the dateline. A previous core of cooler water near the Galapagos (the core of La Nina) is gone. The classic La Nina pattern is in quick retreat. There are signs of warming along the coasts of Chile. But deep cool waters were along the immediate coast of Peru. An area of warm water was holding just north of the equator across the entire North Pacific. Overall this indicates the demise of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (2/23): neutral trend was occurring from Ecuador west on the equator to the dateline. Warming was occurring off of Peru out to 130W. A small pocket of cooling was indicated over the Galapagos.
Hi-res Overview: (2/23) The magnitude of the core of the La Nina cool pool is gone. But weaker residual cool waters were still covering a large area from Peru up to the equator and west to 140W and weaker to the dateline. Cooler than normal waters were also south of that line down to 20S though losing coverage and intensity. Warmer than normal waters were aligned from 3N and above over the entire North Pacific. La Nina is solid but appears to be fading focused over the equatorial East Pacific.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (2/24) Today's temps were up some at -1.367 after rising to -0.650 degs on 1/9 and that after being down at -1.871 on 1/3 and -1.954 on 12/18, the lowest this year so far. Previously temps dropped on 11/24 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. Last 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:
(2/24) Today's temps were steady at -0.710 after rising slightly to -0.505 on 2/2 and that after reaching a peak low of -1.096 on 1/3 beating the previous low of -1.080 on 11/2, the lowest in a year. Prior to that temps had been in a freefall starting from the -0.175 range in early Sept. Before that temps peaked up at 7/1 +0.332, the highest in a year. Temps previously had been steady near -0.222 since early March. 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 Uncorrected 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.
Forecast (2/24) - T
emps are to fall to -1.35 degs in May only to rise some to -1.15 degs in the July and holding beyond. This is not believable. This model suggests we are at or almost past the peak of La Nina temperatures this Winter. But there is no indication that El Nino will develop and if anything we'll fall into a weak steady state La Nina beyond. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps falling to -1.15 degs in June then rising to -0.75 degs in July and fading before holding near -1.0 degs beyond. Still, neither of these forecasts seems realistic (see IRI Consensus forecast below).
IRI Consensus Plume: The Feb 18, 2022 Plume depicts temps are -0.704 degs today and have bottomed out. They are to warm to -0.438 degrees in April, then rising to -0.026 degs in July and hovering near 0,0 degs after that. A return to ENSO neutral is expected this summer.
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 - this is a lagging indicator):
Today (2/24) the daily index was negative at -0.96 after peaking at +27.33 on 1/31/22 and +46.71 on 12/26. The trend of late has been towards positive readings. Previous other notable peaks were +30.98 on 11/26, +36.90 on 9/28, +27.75 on 9/13 and +37.86 on 7/15.
The 30 day average was falling some at +9.31 after falling to +0.83 on 1/27 then peaking at +13.07 on 12/31 (the highest in a year) after previously falling to +6.06 on 11/6 after peaking at +11.58 on 10/22. Before that it fell to -3.36 on 6/22, the lowest in a year. It peaked at +19.51 on 1/14.
The 90 day average was falling at +7.44 today after previously peaking at +10.90 on 12/26, falling to +7.10 on 11/1. It previously peaking on 9/21 at +9.80 after falling to it's lowest point in a year on 6/9 at +1.06. The 90 day average peaked at +15.75 on 2/23 (clearly indicative of La Nina then). This index is a lagging indicator but suggest La Nina is returning.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
The PDO theoretically turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and was positive till Dec 2019, but has been negative ever since, driven by recent La Nina conditions. In May-July 2021 it was the most negative its been in the -1.80 to -2.04 range since Sept 2012 (-2.99) and then fell to -3.16 in Oct 2021 (the lowest since July 1933) then settled at -2.72 in Nov and Dec 2021. Looking at the long term record, it seems likely we are still in the Cool Phase of the PDO (La Nina 'like') with no signs of moving to the positive/warm phase (El Nino 'like').

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 


Powerlines Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest
Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for this week. See it Here
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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