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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Saturday, February 25, 2023 11:36 AM
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
2.5 - California & 1.5 - 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   

More Weather for CA
Raw Swell for CA - High Pressure In Control of NPac

 

BUOY ROUNDUP
Saturday, February 25, 2023 :

  • Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt) (Out of Service - using Buoy 239 (Lani): Seas were 5.2 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 4.2 ft @ 8.5 secs from 167 degrees. Water temp NA degs (Barbers Pt), 75.9 (Pearl Harbor 233), 75.7 (Lani 239).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Buoy Down. Buoy 202 (Hanalei) Down.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 8.0 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 7.0 ft @ 8.0 secs from 185 degrees. Wind southwest at 16-29 kts. Water temperature 54.5 degs, 54.3 (Topanga 103), 53.2 degs (Long Beach 215), 56.3 (Oceanside Offshore 045), 55.4 (Del Mar 153), 56.3 (Torrey Pines Outer 100). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 5.8 ft @ 12.4 secs from 315 degrees. At E. Santa Barbara (46053) swell was 4.1 ft @ 8.6 secs from 273 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 6.0 ft @ 8.1 secs from 201 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 6.7 ft @ 8.0 secs from 204 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 7.2 ft @ 7.8 secs from 218 degrees. Water temperate was 56.5 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 7.4 ft @ 12.0 secs with swell 5.7 ft @ 11.5 secs from 313 degrees. Wind northeast at 6-8 kts (46026). Water temp 49.6 (Bodega Bay 46013), 49.8 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 49.1 (San Francisco 46026), 49.8 (SF Bar 142), 49.8 (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 Saturday (2/25) North and Central CA had sets head high or so and reasonably lined up with decent form and light offshore winds but a bit warbled and uneven. Protected breaks were chest high on the sets and lined up if not closed out but real clean. At Santa Cruz surf was waist high or so and reasonably lined up with decent form with light offshore wind but soft. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist high to chest high and somewhat lined up with decent form and calm winds and glassy conditions but a bit warbled and water was brown. Central Orange County had sets at head high to 1 ft overhead pushing north up the beach and somewhat lined up but junky from strong south wind. South Orange County's best summertime breaks were head high and trashed from south wind with rain. North San Diego had sets at chest to shoulder high and a warbled mess with onshore wind and rain. Hawaii's North Shore had sets at waist to chest high and somewhat lined up with decent form but soft and clean. The South Shore was thigh to waist high and soft and clean with light wind early. The East Shore was getting east windswell at 2 ft overhead and chopped from strong east-northeasterly trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Saturday (2/25) Hawaii was getting local east windswell. California was getting locally generated northwest windswell, remnant energy from a gale of sorts that tracked from just off the Pacific Northwest to a point off California Tues-Fri (2/24) producing 24-26 ft seas aimed south. 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 35 ft sea aimed east. And a secondary low is to develop from it falling southeast Fri-Sat (3/4) with 23 ft seas aimed at California. But overall high pressure is to retain control of the North Pacific for the foreseeable future.

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 Saturday (2/25) the jetstream was consolidated pushing off Japan running east on the 35N latitude line with winds to 170 kts but splitting well west of the dateline at 160E with most energy ridging hard northeast in the northern branch of the jet tracking up through the Central Bering Sea then falling southeast over the East Aleutians forming a weak trough in the north most Gulf of Alaska offering limited support for gale development there. Over the next 72 hours a backdoor trough is to develop from it off British Columbia on Sun (2/26) falling south before moving inland over North CA on Tues-Wed (3/1) likely only offering support for weather there. Back to the west the split in the jet is to move east reaching the dateline on Tues (2/28) being supported by a thin stream of 140 kts winds. No other troughs are forecast. Beyond 72 hours starting Wed (2/26) the jet is to start splitting again just off Japan with the jet a fragmented mess east of there. Perhaps a trough is to develop in the extreme Northern Gulf on Thurs (3/2) falling southeast into Sat (3/4) wit winds 120 kts offering some support for gale development but also likely producing weather for the US West Coast. The split jetstream flow looks like it's here to stay and is only continuing to get reinforced with each run of the model. Spring is here.


Surface Analysis
On Saturday (2/25) locally generated northwest windswell was fading in California (see California Gradient below). Enhanced east trades were generating yet more windswell for Hawaii.

Over the next 72 hours a gael is forecast falling southeast through the Eastern Gulf (see East Gulf Gale below).

 

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: Dribbles on Sat (2/25) fading from 5.0 ft @ 11-12 secs (6.0 ft). Swell Direction 310+ degrees

 

East Gulf Gale
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 23 ft at 52.75N 151.5W aimed southeast. In the evening fetch is to be well off the Pacific Northwest at 35 kts from the northwest with seas 24 ft at 46.5N 139.5W aimed southeast. On Mon AM (2/27) 30-35 kt northwest winds to be off the OR-CA border with seas 24 ft at 43N 133.25W aimed southeast. Fetch is to be pushing onshore over North CA in the evening with 22 ft seas impacting North CA at 40N 130W. Something to monitor.

North CA: Rough data suggests swell arrival on late on Mon (2/27) building to 7 ft @ 11 secs (7.5 ft). Swell peaking early on Tues (2/28) at 8.5 ft @ 13-14 secs (10 ft) and likely very raw. Swell continues on Wed (3/1) fading from 7.0 ft @ 12-13 secs early (8.0 ft). Windswell fading on Thurs (3/2) from 5.5 ft @ 11 secs early (6.0 ft). Swell Direction: 295 moving to 305 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

  • Sun AM (2/26) the next teaser front hits North CA with northwest winds 20-25 kts for Cape Mendocino and 10 kts for the rest of North and Central CA early. Northwest winds 15 kts for Southern CA. In the afternoon low pressure is to be building off the Oregon with northwest winds 15 kts for North CA and northwest 10-15 kts for Central CA. Rain 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) the front hits North CA with southwest winds forecast at 20-25 kts and northwest wind 10 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon the front moves down over Central CA with low pressure lingering just off Oregon and west to southwest winds 20 kts for North CA and west winds 15-20 kts for Central CA. Light rain for Pt Conception and Santa Barbara County early and heavy rain for Cape Mendocino early building south through the day and pushing to Pt Conception 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 15 kts for all of North and Central CA. Rain for all of North, Central and Southern CA holding through the day. Near heavy snow for the Sierra slowly backing off in the evening.
  • Wed AM (3/1) the last of unstable low pressure moves over CA with northwest winds forecast at 15-20 kts early for all of North, Central and Southern CA. In the afternoon high pressure arrives with northwest winds 25 kts for all of California including Southern CA. Scattered showers for the state strongest down south early clearing from north to south in the afternoon and for Southern CA overnight. Light snow for the Sierra dissipating in the afternoon.
  • Thurs AM (3/2) northwest winds are forecast at 15-20 kts early for North and Central CA and 10 kts for southern CA. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 15 kts for North and Central CA. No precip liquid or frozen forecast.
  • Fri AM (3/3) northwest winds relent at 10-15 kts for North and Central CA. In the afternoon a new front starts building off the North Coast with west to southwest winds 10 kts for North CA and northwest winds 10-15 kts for Central CA. Rain developing for North CA in the evening.
  • Sat AM (3/4) the front hits North CA with west winds 20+ kts and west winds 15 kts for most of Central CA.Rain for all of North and Central CA down to Morro Bay early and to Pt Conception mid-day. Heavy snow for the Sierra focused on Tahoe early.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth are projected at 99, 107, 102, and 64 inches.

Freezing level for Lake Tahoe is 3,500 ft today and forecast holding there, dropping to near sea level on 3/1 then rising to 5,000 ft 3/2-3/3 before falling from 4,000 ft on 3/4 to near seas level beyond.

- - -

Tioga Pass/Pacific Crest Trail intersection forecast: Temps - Freeze Level
More locations here (scroll down to 'Resort Snow Forecasts>Central CA or North CA Caltrans & Backcountry')

Snow Models: 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 AM (3/1) producing 35-40 kts northwest winds an seas building from 27 ft at 49.75N 159.5W aimed east. In the evening northwest winds to be 40-45 kts and seas 27 ft at 53.75N 148.75W aimed east. 45 kt west winds to continue Thurs AM (3/2) producing 35 ft seas at 54.25N 146.25W aimed east. Fetch and seas fading from there. Something to monitor.

On Fri AM (3/3) perhaps a secondary low is to develop in the Northeastern Gulf with 30-40 kt northwest winds and seas building from 18-20 ft at 50N 142W aimed southeast. In the evening fetch is to fall southeast with 30-35 kts northwest winds and 24 ft seas at 52N 148W aimed southeast. On Sat AM (4/4) 30-35 kts northwest winds to be off of North CA with seas 22 ft at 40N 134W aimed southeast. Likely more junky swell and weather to result for CA.

 

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 (2/24) 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 neutral 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): (2/25) A mix of light east and west anomalies filled the KWGA today. The 7 day forecast has a mix of east and west anomalies holding over the KWGA through 3/1 and then modest west anomalies start filling the entire KWGA through the end of the model run on 3/4.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (2/24) A weak Active MJO signal was indicated over the KWGA today. The statistical model indicates the Active MJO signal holding while slowly easing east with the Inactive Phase starting to move into the West KWGA on day 15 (the end) of the model run. The dynamic model indicates the Active Phase slowly fading and gone on day 5 but with the Active signal returning moderately to the KWGA on day 10 and then strong by day 15. The Inactive Phase is to be limited to the Indian Ocean.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (CA and GEFS): (2/25) The statistical model depicts the Active signal was exceedingly weak over the West PAcific moving east over Africa to the Indian Ocean 15 days out and weak. The dynamic model indicates the Active Phase rebuilding to moderate strength over the West Pacific 8 days out then drifting to the East 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): (2/25) A modest Active signal (wet air) was filling the KWGA today. The forecast has the Active signal (wet air) tracking steadily east out of the KWGA on 3/15 and pushing into Ecuador on 3/27. A weak Inactive signal (dry air) is forecast moving over the KWGA on 3/27 very weakly filling the equatorial Pacific at the end of the model run on 4/6..
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (2/24)
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 3/12 with west anomalies filling the KWGA. And even after that it is to track intact south of California 3/7-3/24 then into Ecuador on 3/17- 3/24. Impressive. After that a very weak Inactive MJO signal is forecast traversing the KWGA 3/14 through the end of the model run on 3/24 with weak east anomalies filling the KWGA. La Nina is dead.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind):
(2/25) - 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 to push east and south of California today through 3/25. After that a weak Inactive Phase of the MJO is to move over the KWGA starting 2/27, building some on 3/15 holding through 5/12 but with weak west anomalies filling the KWGA and in control of the entire Pacific 3/15 and holding for the foreseeable future. The last pocket of easterly anomalies are to fade on the dateline on 3/13 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 3/8 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 3/13 and on the dateline 4/12 and filling the West 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: (2/25) 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 175E. The 26 degree isotherm has now pushed the whole way across the Pacific but shallow in the East. This is a big deal and the first time this has happened in years. 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 162W 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 119W. 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 90W 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 means no cool water was at depth. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram cool anomalies have retreated to the East Equatorial Pacific between 110W to Ecuador. Warm waters continue building in intensity and coverage in the West at the same time reaching east to 119W. 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: (2/24) 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 17S 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 (2/24): 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 cool pocket was over Ecuador to 90W. Overall 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: (2/24) 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: (2/25) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs compared to official sources). Today's temps were falling from +0.599 degs today 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:
(2/25) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs). Temps rose to -0.402 on 2/23 and were falling today at -0.544 today. Temps have been rising slowly since 2/12 when 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 (2/25) - Temps are to move to neutral (0.0 degs) late March 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 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 (2/25) the Daily Index was rising at +13.93 after falling to -17.44 on 2/22 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 +10.03 (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 steady at +14.10 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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