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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Friday, March 18, 2022 12:41 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 & 3.5 - 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 3/14 thru Sun 3/20

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   

Small Dateline Swell For HI
West Gulf Gale Developing

 

BUOY ROUNDUP
Friday, March 18, 2022 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor)/Buoy 239 (Lanai) NA/Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt) NA: Seas were 2.9 ft @ 5.7 secs with swell 0.9 ft @ 14.7 secs from 161 degrees. Water temp 77.9 degs (Barbers Pt), NA (Lani 239), 77.4 (Pearl Harbor 233).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.6 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 3.1 ft @ 11.7 secs from 317 degrees. Water temp 77.5 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.3 ft @ 12.8 secs with swell 2.3 ft @ 12.7 secs from 246 degrees. Wind north at 8-12 kts. Water temperature 59.0 degs, 58.8 (Topanga 103), 57.2 degs (Long Beach 215), 59.9 (Del Mar 153), 59.4 (Imperial Beach 155). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 4.6 ft @ 13.2 secs from 275 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.7 ft @ 13.7 secs from 237 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.7 ft @ 12.9 secs from 231 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 3.3 ft @ 12.7 secs from 266 degrees. Water temp 60.6 degs.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 6.2 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 4.0 ft @ 10.3 secs from 287 degrees. Wind at buoy 46012 was northwest at 10-14 kts. Water temp 53.1 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 51.4 (46026), 52.9 (SF Bar 142), and 54.5 (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 Friday (3/18) North and Central CA had set waves pushing head high but mostly smaller and reasonably lined up with a fair amount of northwest lump intermixed and heavily textured. Protected breaks were chest high on the sets and lined up and pretty clean though soft. At Santa Cruz surf was waist to chest high and clean and lined up but soft. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist to near chest high and lined up with decent form but a bit wonky from lump with northwest winds blowing though surface conditions were near clean. Central Orange County had sets at waist high and reasonably lined up but soft and weak with decent form but soft with a developing texture. South Orange County's best summertime breaks were thigh to waist high and clean and soft and inconsistent. North San Diego had sets to chest high and lined up and clean but inconsistent. Hawaii's North Shore had sets at chest to head high and lined up with decent form but soft with some north wind lump intermixed. The South Shore was waist to maybe chest high on the sets and clean and weak. The East Shore was thigh to maybe waist high and chopped from moderate east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Friday (3/18) California was getting the last remnants of swell from a small but respectable system that developing north of Hawaii on Sat (3/12) then pushed east up to British Columbia on Mon (3/14) with seas to 46 ft aimed east. Hawaii was getting nothing of interest. A weak system developed over the dateline Wed (3/16) producing 26 ft sea aimed east but faded out in 24 hours later. Small swell is radiating towards Hawaii for the weekend. And another system is to be developing on the dateline Fri-Sun (3/20) with seas to 27 ft with residuals tracking northeast through the Gulf on Mon (3/21) rebuilding with seas to 28 ft over a tiny area. Small swell expected for Hawaii and the US West Coast. Beyond the outlook is unclear and not encouraging.

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 Friday (3/18) the jet was re-energizing itself and consolidated pushing off Japan with winds to 140 kts forming a trough west of the dateline offering some support for gale development then pushing east over the Gulf still consolidated forming a weaker second trough also being fed by 140 kts winds offering some support for gale development before pushing inland over Southern Oregon. Over the next 72 hours the Gulf trough is to push inland over North CA on Sat (3/19) while the second trough moves just east of the dateline still supporting gale formation. But on Sun (3/20) the jet is to split heavily just west of the dateline and west of the aforementioned trough with the northern branch pushing well up into the North Bering Sea then falling hard south back down into the trough still supporting gale development over the Western Gulf. Beyond 72 hours on Tues (3/22) the split is to heal with a consolidated flow over the entire North Pacific and the trough still holding together in the Central Gulf but weak with only 110 kt winds feeding it. An a weak split is to develop just off Japan siphoning energy down to the equator. That pattern is to hold until the split dissipates on Fri (3/25) with a fairly energetic flow ridging over the dateline at 180 kts pushing to a point just off the CA-OR border perhaps starting to form a trough there. But a split is to be developing off Japan too. A Springtime pattern is becoming evident.

Surface Analysis
On Friday (3/18) residual swell from a storm that tracked through the Western Gulf was all but gone in Hawaii and fading fast in California (see West Gulf Storm below). And tiny swell from a small gale that developed over the dateline was propagating towards Hawaii (see small Dateline Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours starting Thurs PM (3/17) a small gale was developing west of the dateline with 40 kts northwest winds and seas building. On Fri AM (3/18) two fetch areas were developing with 40 kt northwest winds west of the dateline and 40 kt southwest winds on the dateline with seas building from 25 ft only in the one west of the dateline at 40N 169.25E aimed east. Fetch is to consolidate while building in the evening to 45-50 kts from the northwest and west with seas building to 23 ft over a broadish area at 41.75N 175.5W aimed east. On Sat AM (3/19) northwest winds to be 40-45 kts over a decent sized area just west of the dateline with 27 ft seas at 40.75N 174.5W aimed east. In the evening fetch is to fall southeast at 40 kts with seas 27 ft at 40N 175.25W targeting Hawaii well. The gale is to continue falling southeast on Sun AM (3/20) with a small area of 35-40 kt north winds in the Western Gulf with seas 24 ft at 38N 170W still targeting Hawaii well. Something to monitor.

Oahu: Rough data suggest swell arrival on Mon afternoon (3/21) building to 4.6 ft @ 14 secs late (6.0 ft). Swell building some on Tues (3/22) to 6.2 ft @ 13-14 secs mid-day (8.0 ft). Swell steady on Wed (3/23) at 4.5 ft @ 12 secs (5.0 ft). Swell fading on Thurs (3/24) from 3.6 ft @ 11-12 secs early (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 320 moving to 350 degrees

 

West Gulf Storm
A storm developed Fri PM (3/11) just east of the dateline with 50-55 kt west winds and seas building from 23 ft at 37.5N 176.5W aimed east. On Sat AM (3/12) the storm had 50-55 kt northwest winds with seas 39 ft over a small area at 4.251N 167.75W aimed east. In the evening the storm was pushing east positioned 1,200 nmiles north of Hawaii with 50 kt west winds and seas 46 ft at 43.75N 160W aimed due east. On Sun AM (3/13) the storm was fading to gale status continuing east with 45 kt west winds and seas 41 ft at 45N 153W aimed east. In the evening 40-45 kt west winds were off the Pacific Northwest Coast with 36 ft seas at 46.75N 148.25W aimed east. On Mon AM (3/14) 30-35 kt west winds were off Washington with 31 ft seas at 49.5N 141.5W aimed east. The gale dissipated in the evening off Central Canada.

Oahu: Dribbles on Thurs (3/17) fading from 2.8 ft @ 11 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 3330 degrees

North CA: Residuals on Fri (3/18) fading from 4.4 ft @ 12 secs (5.0 ft). Swell Direction: 292-298 with some energy up to 302 degrees

 

Small Dateline Gale
On Tues PM (3/15) a tiny gale was developing over the dateline producing 45 kts north west winds and seas building from 23 ft at 41.75N 176.25E aimed southeast. On Wed AM (3/16) the gale was just east of the dateline with 30-35 kt west winds and seas fading from 24 ft over a small area at 41N 179W aimed east. In the evening 25 kt west winds are to be fading fast aimed east with 18 ft seas at 40N 172W aimed east. The gale is to be gone after that. Small swell possible mainly for Hawaii.

Oahu: Expect swell arrival on Sat (3/19) at 3.4 ft @ 13 secs early (4.5 ft). Swell fading out Sun AM (3/20) from 2.1 ft @ 11 secs early (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 322 degrees

 

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are forecast.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Sat (3/19) light winds are forecast early from the northwest at 5-10 kts for North CA and 10 kts for Central CA. High pressure builds strong in the afternoon with northwest winds 20-25 kts for all of North CA and 15-20 kts for Central CA with 15 kt northwest winds building for Southern CA.. Rain for Cape Mendocino early covering all of North CA mid AM building south to Santa Cruz in the afternoon. Light snow for the Sierra in the afternoon and evening.
  • Sun (3/20) the springtime wind machine cranks up with northwest winds 25-30 kts for North CA early and 30 kts for Central CA and 15-20 kts for Southern CA and 30 kts for waters just off Southern CA. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 25 kts for North and Central CA but 10 kts or less for Southern CA.
  • Mon (3/21) high pressure holds early with northwest winds 25 kts for all of North and Central CA but light winds for Southern CA. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 25 kts for all of North and Central CA.
  • Tues (3/22) morning northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for North CA and 10-15 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 150 kts limited to Cape Mendocino with northwest winds 5-10 kts from Pt Arena southward.
  • Wed (3/23) northwest winds are forecast at 10 kts limited to Cape Mendocino and 5-10 kts south of there. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 15-20 kts for all of North CA down to Pigeon Point and 10 kts south of there.
  • Thurs (3/24) morning northwest winds are forecast at 15-20 kts from Bodega Bay northward and 10 kts south of there. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 15 kts for North CA and 10 kts for Central CA.
  • Fri (3/25) morning light winds are forecast for all of North and Central CA.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 4, 5, 5, and 4 inches all on 3/19.

Freezing level 9,000 ft today falling down to 2,000 ft late on 3/19 then rising steadily 3/20-3/21 to 12,500 on 3/21 and stable. Freezing level falling 3/24 falling to 4,000 ft on 3/27.

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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 previous gale targeting Hawaii from the dateline is to start redeveloping Sun PM (3/20) lifting northeast through the Gulf with 35-40 kt west winds over a tiny area and 22 ft seas at 38N 161W aimed east. On Mon AM (3/21) 40 kt west winds are to be lifting northeast in the Northern Gulf with 23 ft seas at 43.5N 151W aimed east at the Pacific Northwest. In the evening the gale is to be holding well off Central Canada with 40-45 kt west winds and seas 29 ft at 47.5N 148.5W aimed east. The gale is to be pushing up to the coast on Tues AM (3/22) and no longer in the CA swell window with seas 27 ft at 50.5N 142.75W aimed east. Something to monitor.

Perhaps another weak gale is to develop in the Central Gulf on Fri (3/25) producing 35 kt northwest winds and seas at 23 ft at 42.75N 152W aimed east. Something to monitor.

 

South Pacific

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

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

La Nina Weakening - Kelvin Wave Erupting - No Warm Water Behind
Summary - Cool subsurface water volume peaked under the equatorial Pacific on 10/15/21 and is now fading. A stronger than expected Active Phase of the MJO in Dec produced a Kelvin Wave that is erupting over the Galapagos with water temps on the rise there, but still solidly in La Nina territory over the Central Pacific. A much hoped for Active Phase of the MJO (and westerly anomalies) has been delayed per the models (was early March/now late March). It seemed the the peak of La Nina was behind us. But a solid bout of east anomalies is now to hold to late-March per the CFS model with a 3rd year of La Nina projected. But that is not certain either. The outlook is unclear but seems biased towards another year of La Nina.

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 (3/17) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific and strong east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and 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 (3/18) strong east anomalies were filling the KWGA. The 7 day forecast calls for strong east anomalies holding in the core of the KWGA through 3/21 then collapsing to neutral on 3/24 if not starting to turn weak westerly at the end of the model run on 3/25.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (3/15) A solid Inactive MJO signal was indicated today in the KWGA. The statistical model indicates the Inactive signal slowly tracking east and almost east of the dateline on day 10 of the model run then fading and gone on day 15 of the model run with the Active Phase starting to push into the West KWGA. The dynamic model projects the same thing.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS):
(3/18) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was modest over the East Indian Ocean and is forecast tracking east to the Central Maritime Continent at day 15 of the model run and weak. The dynamic model suggests the Active Phase moving to the West Pacific and very weak.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (3/17) A moderate Inactive MJO signal (dry air) was moving over Central America today. The forecast depicts the Inactive Phase (dry air) is to continue moving inland with the Active Phase (wet air) moving east over the West Pacific on 3/22 pushing east and moving into Central America on 4/9. The Inactive Phase is to follow moving over the KWGA on 4/9 and over the East equatorial Pacific at the end of the model run on 4/26.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (3/17) A weak Inactive MJO signal was indicated today in the far West KWGA but with strong easterly anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast has the Inactive MJO signal holding through 3/20 then fading and hardly making progress into the KWGA with strong east anomalies through the same time period then rapidly collapsing on 3/23. Beyond the model suggests the Active Phase of the MJO is to push east through the KWGA 3/25-4/5 with east anomalies fading to weak status. Then east anomalies are to rebuild to moderate status filling the KWGA 4/6 through the end of the model run on 4/14 while west anomalies try to get a toe in the door in the far West KWGA 4/29 holding through the end of the model run.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (3/18 - 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 retreating some over the KWGA with strong east anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast depicts the Active Phase backtracking the next few days with east anomalies holding strong then the Active Phase is to push hard east fully over the KWGA on 3/28 holding through 5/13. West anomalies are to rapidly take over the entirety of the KWGA 4/1 and beyond, even as the Active Phase fades. A weak Inactive MJO signal is to follow starting 4/27 holding through the end of the model run on 6/15 but with west anomalies filling most of the KWGA to the dateline through the end of the model run. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias with 2 contour lines was centered east of the dateline at 150W with its western perimeter at 175E today and forecast holding there until pushing east of the dateline on 5/13 with the second contour fading on 5/28. A broad single contour low pressure bias is established centered over the Maritime Continent at 110E with it's leading edge at 150E filling half the KWGA and is forecast stalled there till 4/3, then starting to move slowly but steadily east reaching 175E on 5/21 and to nearly the dateline at the end of the model run. Today a solid east anomaly pattern that had been in control of KWGA since early July is supposedly taking it's last stand and will be gone before the end of March. A return to a normal MJO alternating pattern is setting up. And the low pressure bias is to start building reaching the dateline region in late May 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. And the model has been constantly shifting the arrival of the low pressure bias into the KWGA almost daily. So the future remains uncertain. The demise of La Nina all hinges on the eastward progress of the low pressure bias.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (3/18) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was gone. The 28 deg isotherm line was backtracking to 172E. The 24 deg isotherm was steady at 95W but the 25 degree isotherm was weakening and almost gone at 125W. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +2 deg C were in a pocket in the far West Pacific down 150m backtracking to 155W with a previous Kelvin Wave in the East Pacific at +2C down 65m centered at 105W pushing east. A broad area of neutral to -1C cool anomalies were in between the two centered at 120W but have lost intensity the last 2 days. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 3/14 indicates the same the pocket of cool anomalies between 160W-110W and appearing to be expanding 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: (3/14) Sea heights were neutral over the Equatorial Pacific. A string of weakly positive anomaly pockets were north of the equator from just west of the Galapagos to the dateline but fading. A broad pocket of weakly negative anomalies was just south of the equator at 140W. Otherwise positive anomalies were mostly locked west of the dateline. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram the previous Kelvin Wave was holding between 90W-112W with weak cool anomalies between 115W-175W. It is unknown whether cool anomalies will return in earnest moving forward.

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: (3/17) The latest images depict a broad generic pool of cool water on the equator extending west from a point south of California (120W) dissipating on the dateline. Warming waters were building from Ecuador west beyond the Galapagos to 120W. A shallow area of 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 (3/17): Solid warming was holding from Ecuador west on the equator to 150W and reaching 10 degrees north and south of the equator. No cooling was indicated.
Hi-res Overview: (3/17) The deep cold core of the La Nina cool pool is gone. Residual cool waters were still covering a large area starting well off Peru from 90W and on the equator from 117W and points west to 160E. 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 Central Pacific.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (3/18) Today's temps continue upward at +0.760 and have been moving upwards since 2/20, and beating a previous high of -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:
(3/18) Today's temps were rising slightly at -0.906 (slowly rising since 3/9) after falling to -1.012 on 3/8 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 (3/18) - T
emps are to fall to -1.5 degs in early May and then slowly rising to -1.30 degs in Dec. 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 roughly holding there. 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 (3/16) the daily index was positive at 7.13 after peaking at +27.33 on 1/31/22 and +46.71 on 12/26. The trend of late has been solidly positive. 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 rising some at +12.16 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 steady at +8.16 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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