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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, March 1, 2022 2:31 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   

Gulf Swell for CA
North Dateline Region Up Next

 

BUOY ROUNDUP
Tuesday, March 1, 2022 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt): Seas were 3.5 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 15.5 secs from 194 degrees. Water temp 77.2 degs (Barbers Pt), NA (Lani 239), 77.0 (Pearl Harbor 233).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 7.0 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 4.4 ft @ 12.3 secs from 324 degrees. Water temp 76.8 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.2 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 2.6 ft @ 15.3 secs from 275 degrees. Wind east at 2-4 kts. Water temperature 58.1 degs, 58.1 (Topanga 103), 56.3 degs (Long Beach 215), 58.1 (Del Mar 153), 57.7 (Imperial Beach 155). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 4.8 ft @ 15.6 secs from 291 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.0 ft @ 16.0 secs from 264 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.3 ft @ 15.8 secs from 255 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 3.0 ft @ 14.7 secs from 275 degrees. Water temp 59.4 degs.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 9.9 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 6.2 ft @ 14.8 secs from 288 degrees. Wind at buoy 46012 was north at 12-16 kts. Water temp 52.3 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 52.2 (46026), 52.5 (SF Bar 142), and 53.2 (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 Tuesday (3/1) North and Central CA had set waves at 3 ft overhead and lined up with good form but pretty warbled from northwest wind and fogged in at some breaks. Protected breaks were 1-2 ft overhead on the sets and lined up if not closed out and fairly clean but inconsistent. At Santa Cruz surf was head high to 1 ft overhead on the rare sets and clean but with some warble in the water. In Southern California/Ventura waves were chest to shoulder high on the sets and lined up and clean with decent form and long lines with sideshore northwest wind. Central Orange County had sets at head high and clean and lined up with decent form and calm wind. South Orange County's best summertime breaks were waist high or so and lined up and clean. North San Diego was head high on the sets and lined up and clean with long lines but decent form. Hawaii's North Shore still had waves in the 2 ft overhead range but pretty warbled from northeast trades. The South Shore had a few thigh high sets and clean and weak. The East Shore was waist high and warbled from weak east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (3/1) swell was still hitting Hawaii and poised for California 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. Also a weak gale developed in the Central Gulf Sun-Tues (3/1) producing 27-28 ft seas targeting from Pt Conception northward and sideband energy towards Hawaii. A broader system was developing over the dateline Tues-Wed (3/2) producing up to 27 ft seas aimed east. And maybe a smaller one to follow over the Northwestern Gulf on Thurs (3/3) with 27 ft seas aimed east. After that perhaps another gale is to push off Japan Sun-Tues (3/8) but not make it to the dateline with seas to 28 ft 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 Tuesday (3/1) the jet was consolidated pushing firmly east off Japan on the 34N latitude line with winds to 170 kts pushing flat over the dateline to 145W forming a weak trough in the Central Gulf and perhaps another weak trough on the dateline offering limited support for gale development. The jet was split east of 140W with the northern branch pushing decently into the Pacific Northwest. Over the next 72 hours wind energy in the eastern portion of the jet is to evaporate but with the jet still pushing firmly east of Japan on Thurs (3/3) with winds 160 kts reaching to 175W then splitting. No troughs are forecast in the energetic portion of the jet but a backdoor trough is forecast pushing down the US West Coast on Fri (3/4) perhaps offering some hope for precip there. Beyond 72 hours starting Sat (3/5) the jet is to retrograde more with the split point on the dateline with winds 180 kts west of there carving out a bit of a trough off the Kuril Islands offering some support for gale development into Tues (3/8) with winds building to 190 kts then. The split point is to get pushed east some to 165W at that time. And another backdoor trough is forecast pushing south down the Pacific Northwest Coast offering potential for precip for CA beyond.

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday (3/1) swell from a broad gale that developed in the far West Pacific is still impacting Hawaii and the US West Coast (see West Pacific Storm below). Also swell from a gale that developed off the US West Coast is moving towards the mainland (see Small Gulf Gale below)

Over the next 72 hours starting Mon PM (2/28) a broad gale developed west of and on the dateline producing a broad fetch of 35-40 kt northwest winds with seas to 25 ft at 40.25N 172.75E aimed southeast. On Tues AM (3/1) fetch was 35-40 kts over a more consolidated area just west of the dateline with seas building to 26 ft at 46.25N 166.5E aimed southeast. Fetch is to be fading in the evening from 30-35 kts over the North Dateline region with seas still 27 ft at 46.5N 173.5E aimed southeast. The gale to fade Wed AM (3/2) with 30-35 kts west winds over the North Dateline Region with seas fading from 24 ft at 50N 180W aimed east. Something to monitor.

Oahu: Expect swell arrival on Fri (3/4) building to 4.7 ft @ 13-14 secs early (6.0-6.5 ft) holding all day. Swell fading on Sat (3/5) from 3.9 ft @ 12-13 secs (5.0 ft). Residuals on Sun (3/6) fading from 3.4 ft @ 12-13 secs (4.0 ft). Dribbles on Mon (3/7) fading from 2.2 ft @ 11 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 319 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (3/6) building to 4.1 ft @ 14-15 secs early (6.0 ft) but buried in local windswell. Swell fading on Mon (3/7) from 3.4 ft @ 14 secs early (4.5 ft) and still buried in windswell. Swell Direction: 300 degrees

A secondary gale is to develop in the Northwestern Gulf on Wed PM (3/2) with 45 kt west winds and seas building from 25 ft at 41.5N 179.5E aimed east. On Thurs AM (3/3) the gale is to be in the Northwestern Gulf just south of the East Aleutians with 40-45 kts west winds and seas 27 ft at 46.75N 171.5W aimed east. In the evening the gael is to be moving north of the far East Aleutians with 40 kt west winds and seas 27 ft at 51.5N 165.5W aimed east. The gale is to be gone after that.

 

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: Dribbles on Tues (3/1) holding at 4.4 ft @ 12 secs (5.0 ft). Swell DIrection: 306-309 degrees

North CA: Swell fading on Tues (3/1) from 6.4 ft @ 15 secs early (9.5 ft). Swell Direction:292-295 degrees

 

Small Gulf Gale
A small gale developed in the Western Gulf on Sun PM (2/27) with 35-45 kt west winds over a tiny area and seas building from 25 ft at 40.75N 156.75W aimed east. On Mon AM (2/28) winds were fading from 35 kts with seas 26 ft at 39N 148.5W aimed east. Fetch was fading in the evening from 30 kts with seas 24 ft at 42.5N 142W aimed east. The gale dissipated from there. Possible swell for California and sideband energy for Hawaii.

Oahu: Expect swell arrival on Tues (3/1) at 4.6 ft @ 12 secs early (5.5 ft) and fading through the day. Residuals on Wed (3/2) fading from 4.0 ft @ 11 secs early (4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 330 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed AM (3/2) building to 6.6 ft @ 14-15 secs early (9.5 ft). Swell fading on Thurs (3/3) from 4.8 ft @ 12-13 secs early (6.0 ft). Swell Direction: 285-290 degrees

 

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are forecast.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Wed (3/2) light winds are forecast for North CA from the northwest at 5-10 kts early and northwest at 10-15 kts for Central CA south of Monterey Bay. Light winds everywhere in the afternoon. Light rain for Cape Mendocino in the late afternoon building south in the evening.
  • Thurs (3/3) high pressure builds in with northwest winds 20 kts early for Cape Mendocino but light south of there. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 30 kts for North CA down to Pt Arena and the northwest for Central CA at 15-20 kts but possibly south 10 kts in between with a small local low over the SF-Santa Cruz coast. Light rain for North CA falling south from Pt Arena down to Pt Conception in the late afternoon but isolated mainly along the coast except north of Pt Arena.
  • Fri (3/4) northwest winds continue early at 25-30 kts early for all of North and Central CA and building to 20 kts early for all of Southern CA. In the afternoon winds continue at 20-25 kts for all of North, Central and Southern CA. A real mess. Light rain early for all of the state including Southern CA with snow for the entire Sierra fading some through the day but rebuilding for the Tahoe area late afternoon and overnight.
  • Sat (3/5) northwest winds continue at 25-30 kts for all of North and Central CA and even 20-25 kts early for Southern CA. No change in the afternoon. Rain for North and Central CA early with light snow early for higher elevations of the Sierra. Rain developing for Southern CA in the afternoon while fading up north.
  • Sun (3/6) northwest winds continue at 20-25 kts for all of North and Central CA early fading to 15-20 kts in the afternoon but building back to 15-20 kts for Southern CA in the afternoon. Low odds of light scattered showers for all the state.
  • Mon (3/7) northwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts early for North and Central CA early fading to 10 kts in the afternoon.
  • Tues (3/8) northwest winds are forecast at 15-20 kts early for North CA down to Pt Arena but light at 10 kts south of there. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 15-20 kts for all of North CA and 10-15 ks for Central CA.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 24, 21, 28, and 12 inches evenly split between 3/4 and 3/9.

Freezing level 10,000 ft today holding through 3/2 then falling down to 3-4.000 ft on 3/4 slowly rising to 7,000 ft on 3/7 and 3/8 then falling again to 2,000 ft on 3/9-10..

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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 another broad gale is to start building just east of Japan on Sun PM (3/6) with 40-45 kt northwest winds and seas building from 27 ft at 44.5N 150W aimed east. On Mon AM (3/7) northwest winds to be 30-40 kts over a broad area with seas 29 ft at 40N 158E aimed east. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 30-35 kts with seas 27 ft at 41N 163E aimed east. On Tues AM (3/8) west winds are to be fading from 30-35 kts with seas 23-24 ft at 42N 169E aimed east. More of the same in the evening with no forward motion of the gale and seas 27 ft at 42.75N 163.5E aimed east. Something to monitor.

 

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 East 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. And an influential model persistently suggests a return back to La Nina this coming Summer.

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 (2/28) 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 to strong east over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, versus realtime, so they lag what is happening today (by about 2.5 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (3/1) moderate east anomalies were filling the KWGA. The 7 day forecast calls for moderate east anomalies holding in the core of the KWGA to the end of the model run on 3/8 but steadily shrinking in coverage with weak west anomalies building in from the west to 135E.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (2/28) A modest Inactive MJO was filling the KWGA. The statistical model suggests the Inactive Phase is to fade on day 5 of the model run to small in coverage over the KWGA holding unchanged through day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model projects the same thing but with the Inactive Phase fading away on day 10 then returning on day 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (3/1) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was exceedingly weak over the East Indian Ocean and is forecast slowly moving to the far West Pacific while fading in strength more over the next 15 days. The dynamic model suggests Active Phase moving at the same speed to the far West Pacific at day 5 of the model run then retrograding and back where is started at day 15 of the model run.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (2/28) The Active Phase (wet air) was moving into the KWGA today and reasonably strong. The forecast has the Active Phase (wet air) tracking east holding decently over the Central Pacific on 3/15 then moving east and weakening over Central America on 3/25. A new coherent Inactive Phase (dry air) is to build over the KWGA on 3/20 moving rapidly east and into Central America at the end of the model run on 4/9 and fairly strong.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (2/28) The Inactive Phase of the MJO is depicted fading over the KWGA today with moderate easterly anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast has east anomalies fading in coverage and strength as the Inactive Phase dissipates on 3/2 but not gone. The Active Phase is moving into the the West KWGA and is to continue tracking east through 3/14. West anomalies are to only move west to 160E at moderate strength peaking on 3/6 then backtracking and near 150E into 3/15 with east anomalies filling the eastern KWGA through the end of the model run, and possibly building in coverage 3/18-3/23 then weakening in strength and coverage.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (3/1 - 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 then fading as the Inactive Phase pushes east and fully east of the KWGA on 3/5. The Active Phase of the MJO was pushing east over the western KWGA forecast to be filling it on 3/9 with west anomalies moving east from the Maritime Continent into the West KWGA. The Active Phase is to hold over the KWGA through 4/23 with modest west anomalies filling it. before fading on 4/23. The Inactive Phase is to develop 4/1 in the West KWGA tracking east through the end of the model run on 5/29 with neutral to weak east 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 east of the dateline 3/25 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 150E filling half the KWGA and is forecast starting to creep east more decidedly in the next few day reaching 175E on 4/26 then stalling there as a second contour builds starting 4/20. Today a solid east anomaly pattern that had been in control of KWGA since early July is all but gone. A return to a normal MJO alternating pattern is setting up. And the low pressure bias is to start building approaching the dateline region in later April signaling the full demise of La Nina. That said, there is only one more Active MJO forecast for this winter, starting now 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: (3/1) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was retrograding to 164E. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 175E. The 24 deg isotherm was easing east to 95W. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +2 deg C were in a pocket in the far West Pacific down 150 m reaching east to about 142W with a previous Kelvin Wave in the East Pacific at +2C down 65m centered at 110W pushing east. No cool anomalies were under the Pacific. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 2/22 indicates a potential second Kelvin Wave in the West Pacific with it's leading edge at 155W and a second Kelvin Wave pushing east with 2-3 degs warm anomalies with its eastern edge at 95W with a tiny pocket of cool anomalies at -3 degs C 25 meters down and pushing to the surface at 85W 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: (2/22) Sea heights were neutral over the Equatorial Pacific except one small area of -10 cms anomalies limited to the Galapagos. A string of positive anomaly pockets were north of the equator from just west of the Galapagos to the dateline. Otherwise positive anomalies were mostly locked west of the dateline but with a finger of 0 to -5 cms on the equator from the dateline to 90W. A weak Kelvin Wave is pushing east. La Nina appears to be in sharp decline. 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 95W. 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: (2/28) 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 late stages of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (2/28): Warming was occurring from Ecuador west on the equator to 125W. Warming was occurring off of Peru out to 130W. No cooling was indicated.
Hi-res Overview: (2/28) The cold core of the La Nina cool pool is gone. But 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: (3/1) Today's temps were up some at -0.926 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:
(3/1) Today's temps were falling at -0.861 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 (3/1) - T
emps are to fall to -1.45 degs in early May then rising slightly to -1.30 degs in July and holding beyond. This model suggests we are at going to fall into a third year of La Nina. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps falling to -1.30 degs in May then rising to -1.00 degs in July and holding beyond. Still, neither of these forecasts are consistent with the IRI forecast (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 (3/1) the daily index was positive at 11.97 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 +8.21 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 rising some at +7.70 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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