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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Saturday, March 18, 2023 2:22 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
1.8 - California & 0.5 - 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 3/20 thru Sun 3/26
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   

Local Gale for CA
Stronger Gale Behind for Northern Gulf

 

BUOY ROUNDUP
Saturday, March 18, 2023 :

  • Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt)/Buoy 239 (Lani): Seas were 2.7 ft @ 5.9 secs with swell 2.2 ft @ 6.1 secs from 185 degrees. Water temp 77.0 degs (Barbers Pt), 77.9 (Pearl Harbor 233), 77.0 (Lani 239).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Out of Service Buoy 202 (Hanalei) Out of Service
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.0 ft @ 12.8 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 12.5 secs from 200 degrees. Wind southwest at 4 kts. Water temperature 56.3 degs, 57.7 (Topanga 103), 56.5 degs (Long Beach 215), 58.1 (Oceanside Offshore 045), 58.1 (Del Mar 153), 58.6 (Torrey Pines Outer 100). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 1.7 ft @ 10.0 secs from 282 degrees. At E. Santa Barbara (46053) swell was 0.9 ft @ 9.8 secs from 267 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.1 ft @ 12.5 secs from 211 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.1 ft @ 13.2 secs from 201 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.4 ft @ 12.4 secs from 225 degrees. Water temperature was 57.9 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay) Out of Service /029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 2.2 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 12.6 secs from 208 degrees. Wind east at 12-16 kts (46026). Water temp 51.1 (Bodega Bay 46013), 50.5 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 52.2 (San Francisco 46026), 52.3 (SF Bar 142), 56.1 (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 (3/18) North and Central CA had sets at up to waist high and clean but soft. Protected breaks were flat and clean. At Santa Cruz surf was flat to knee high and clean. In Southern California/Ventura waves were thigh high and heavily textured and soft. Central Orange County had sets at thigh to waist high and soft with nearly clean conditions. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets to waist high and somewhat lined up but soft with light texture on top and weak. North San Diego had sets at thigh high and textured and soft. Hawaii's North Shore had sets at maybe waist high on the sets and clean and soft. The South Shore was thigh to waist high and warbled and soft and not really rideable. The East Shore was flat and clean with light southeast wind.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Saturday (3/18) Hawaii and California were getting no swell of interest. Beyond a small gale is forecast developing Mon-Tues (3/20) in the Eastern Gulf falling southeast targeting CA with seas to 24 ft aimed east. And a gale is forecast over the Northwestern Gulf on Wed-Thurs (3/23) with up to 26 ft seas aimed southeast. But overall the transition to Spring has started.

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 (3/18) the jetstream was split just off Japan with most energy pushing northeast in the northern branch of the jet up to the Aleutian Islands at their intersection with the dateline then falling southeast. The southern branch of the jet was pushing east on the 25N latitude line before lifting northeast on the dateline pushing just north of Hawaii and merging with energy falling southeast from the Northern branch of the jet. Wind speed dramatically increased at the intersection point pushing 190 kts and forming a trough there over the Central Gulf of Alaska offering some support for gale development. The consolidated jet then pushed east and was poised to push over land near Central CA. Over the next 72 hours the jet is to surge onshore over North and Central CA with winds to 150 kts into early Tues (3/21) then start falling south in the form of a backdoor trough finally moving onshore over Southern CA on Thurs (3/23). Steady support for gale development is expected but close to land. Beyond 72 hours the jet is to be pretty fragmented and ill formed until Fri (3/24) when most energy consolidates in the northern branch tracking over the Aleutian Islands then falling hard southeast from the Northern Gulf down along the US and Canadian west coast before pushing inland over Central CA forming a trough but mostly just producing weather for the US West Coast into Sat (3/25). A cutoff trough is forecast developing over the dateline imbedded in the above pattern slowly tracking east reaching a point north well of Hawaii on Saturday perhaps offering some support for low pressure development.


Surface Analysis
On Saturday (3/18) no swell producing weather systems have occurred resulting in no swell in the water.

Over the next 72 hours a gale is to develop in the Eastern Gulf on Mon AM (3/20) producing 30 kt northwest winds over a small area with seas building. In the evening the gale is to be falling southeast and building with 45 kts northwest winds over a small area and seas 22 ft at 44N 145W well off Oregon. Fetch is to be falling southeast fast on Tues AM (3/21) at 35 kts off North and Central CA with seas 23 ft at 37N 140.5W aimed southeast at Central CA. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 30 kts from the northwest just off Central CA with 19 ft seas at 34N 133W aimed southeast. Fetch fading while tracking southeast over Pt Conception on Wed AM. Something to monitor.

North CA: Rough data suggests windswell arriving on Wed (3/22) building to 8 ft @ 11 secs (8.0 ft). Windswell fading on Thurs (3/23) from 6.5 ft @ 10-11 secs early (6.0 ft). Swell Direction: 280 moving to 300 degrees

Southern CA: Rough data suggests windswell arriving on Wed (3/22) building to 4.0 ft @ 12 secs (4.5 ft). Windswell fading on Thurs (3/23) from 3.3 ft @ 12 secs early (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 260 moving to 295 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 (3/19) low pressure is to be just off the North CA coast with south winds forecast at 20 kts for North and Central CA early. The front is to quickly push onshore over all of North and Central CA with west winds 10-15 kts in the afternoon for the same areas. Steady rain is forecast for North and Central CA early clearing in Central CA late afternoon and starting to clear in North CA but with light rain building for Southern CA. Light snow for Tahoe mid-AM building to moderate strength over the Sierra in the afternoon then fading in the evening.
  • Mon AM (3/20) new low pressure is to start building well off the coast but locally northwest winds are forecast at 15 kts early for North CA and 10-15 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon light winds are forecast for North and Central CA with low pressure approaching from the Central Gulf. Light scattered rain showers are forecast for all of CA early and fading by mid-day. Light lingering snow fading over the Sierra mid-day.
  • Tues AM (3/21) the low and associated front are to be just off San Francisco falling southeast with east winds forecast at 5-10 kts for North CA early and south winds 15 kts for Central CA and 5 kts southwest winds for Southern CA. In the afternoon the low moves onshore over San Francisco with north winds 15-20 kts for North CA and west winds 25 kts for Central CA and west at 20 kts for Southern CA. Rain developing for Pt Arena southward to San Diego mid-AM and continuing into the evening. Snow for the Sierra developing in the afternoon and pretty heavy in the evening.
  • Wed AM (3/22) the low falls south down the Central CA coast with northwest winds 25-30 kts for North CA and north 10 kts for Central CA and west 20 kts for Southern CA. In the afternoon high pressure starts building in with northwest winds 20 kts for North and Central CA and 15-20 kts for Southern CA. Rain for Bodega Bay southward including Southern CA early slowly and steadily fading through the day and evening. Snow fading through the day for the Sierra and dry overnight.
  • Thurs AM (3/23) high pressure weakens with northwest winds 20 kts for North and Central CA early and 15 kts for Southern CA. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 10 kts for Cape Mendocino and 15 kts for the rest of North CA and 15-20 kts for Central CA. Maybe a couple of widely scattered showers early randomly across the state. No snow forecast.
  • Fri AM (3/24) a backdoor front approaches from the northwest with northwest winds 10-15 kts for all of North and Central CA early. In the afternoon high pressure builds in with northwest winds build to 20-25 kts for North CA and 25 kts for Central CA and 20 kts for Southern CA. Light rain for North CA early building south to Pt Conception in the afternoon and over Southern CA in the evening. Snow developing for Tahoe early building steadily over all the Sierra in the afternoon and holding overnight.
  • Sat AM (3/25) northwest winds are forecast at 30-35 kts for North CA and 35 kts for Central CA and up to 40 kts for Southern CA. Scattered showers early but steady rain for Southern CA early clearing everywhere mid-AM. Snow quickly fading by mid-AM for the Sierra.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth are projected at 35, 38, 48, and 20 inches with accumulation 3/19 then redeveloping 3/21-22, and 3/24.

Freezing level for Lake Tahoe 7,000 ft today and steady through 3/18 then falling to 5,500 ft on 3/19 before falling to 4,000 ft on 3/21 and holding beyond with lower dips in the evenings.

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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 on Tues PM (3/21) fetch is to start building over the Northwestern Gulf at 30 kts from the northwest with seas building from 23 ft at 49.5N 165.75W aimed southeast. On Wed AM (3/22) northwest winds are to build in coverage at 30 kts with seas 25 ft at 51N 154.75W aimed southeast. In the evening northwest winds to be 35 kts over the Northern Gulf with seas 29 ft at 53.75N 150.25W aimed southeast. On Thurs AM (3/23) northwest winds are to be falling southeast some in the Northern Gulf at 30-35 kts with seas 26 ft at 55.25N 147.25W aimed southeast. The gale is to fade from there. Something to monitor. This is the first semi-real swell producing system on the charts in weeks.

 

South Pacific

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

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

Major Global Weather Pattern Change Occurring - El Nino Developing
Kelvin Wave #2 in Flight - Active MJO #3 Strong - Sea Surface Temps Rising Fast
1 Kelvin Wave traversed the Pacific in Dec '22 with Kelvin Wave #2 in-flight and Kevin Wave #3 developing now. And Westerly Winds are fully established filling the KWGA and forecast filling the Pacific over the next month. And Sea Surface Temperatures are warming to neutral. The last link in the chain is to see the SOI falling (which it is showing preliminary signs of doing). The outlook is turning 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. But in late Fall 2022 trades started fading a by early 22023 multiple Kelvin Waves were in flight with significant warming developing over the East Equatorial Pacific. La Nina was dead on 3/18/2023 with El Nino apparently developing.

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 (3/17) 5 day average winds were moderate from the east over the East equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific and strong east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and neutral to weak east over the Central Pacific and moderate east over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, versus realtime, so they lag what is happening today (by about 2.5 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (3/18) Modest to moderate east anomalies were developing over the KWGA today but with a few lingering pockets of westerly anomalies present. The 7 day forecast has west anomalies tracking east and out of the KWGA by 3/20 with moderate east anomalies taking over the KWGA through 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: (3/18) A weak Active MJO signal was all but gone over the east KWGA today with a solid Inactive Phase of the MJO building over the west KWGA. The statistical model indicates the Inactive MJO taking over and in control on day 5 holding through day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model indicates the same thing but with the Inactive Phase dissolving some on day 10 and gone by day 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (CA and GEFS): (3/18) The statistical model depicts the Active signal was moderate over the Africa and is to move east to the East Indian Ocean 15 days out and weak. The dynamic model indicates the Active Phase fading to very weak status over the Indian Ocean 7 days then perhaps moving towards the West Pacific 15 days out.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (3/18) A strong Inactive signal (dry air) was filling the East equatorial Pacific today. The forecast has the Inactive signal (dry air) moving over Ecuador into on 4/2. A modest Active Phase of the MJO (wet air) is to start moving over the KWGA 3/26 and filling the bulk of the Pacific by 4/2 easing to Ecuador on 4/22 with a weak Inactive Phase of the MJO developing over the KWGA at the end of the model run on 4/22-4/27.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (3/17)
The Inactive Phase of the MJO was building over the KWGA today with modest east anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Inactive Phase of the MJO is to traverse the KWGA peaking on 3/24 with moderate east anomalies over the dateline then fading through the end of the model run on 4/14. The Active Phase of the MJO and associated west anomalies are to start building over the Western KWGA on 3/28 filling nearly half the KWGA at the end of the model run on 4/14.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind):
(3/16) - 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 of the MJO was building over the KWGA with east anomalies at modest strength over the entirety of the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Inactive Phase of the MJO moving fully over the KWGA and holding to 4/8 with but east anomalies at modest strength holding only through 3/25 then fading to neutral and weak westerly by 3/28 even as the Inactive Phase still is in control. The Active Phase is to follow starting 4/3 with west anomalies redeveloping and building steadily from there. By 4/15 solid west anomalies are to be in control over the KWGA and most of the Pacific and if anything building to strong status 4/23 and holding through 6/1 then weaker but still filling the KWGA beyond.Sure looks like a major El Nino is developing. The shift to El Nino started on 2/15. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias with 1 contour line centered at 150W with its western perimeter at 178E today and moving east fast and forecast east of the KWGA by 3/27. A broad double contour low pressure bias is established centered over the West Maritime Continent at 120E with it's leading edge steadily pushing east to 150E today (it started pushing east on 2/15). A hard push east is forecast moving forward and on the dateline 4/17 filling the KWGA and then filling the most of the Pacific at the end of the model run centered at 175E. 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 in total collapse and over with no return in sight. Finally!

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 present at 160E. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 178E. The 26 degree isotherm has now pushed the whole way across the Pacific and building in thickness in the east with shallow temps to 27 degs. This is a big deal and the first time this has happened in years. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies at +4 deg C were in a broad pocket with the leading edge at 145W and recharging and connected to warm water from a previous Kelvin Wave #1 off Ecuador. A pocket of negative anomalies at -2 deg C were at 130W down 100m under the warm water flow. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 3/14 indicates a huge very warm ball of 5+ degs anomalies stretching from the far West Pacific and reaching east to 140W (leading edge of Kelvin Wave #2) and then upwards across and into the East Pacific. No cool anomalies were indicated. El Nino is developing. 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 very positive from the far West equatorial Pacific to 140W and +0-5 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 are gone no longer in the Equatorial Pacific. Warm water continues building in intensity and coverage in the West to 140W at +2.25 degs with a second pocket at +0.5 to +1.0 degs between 95W to 140W effectively filling the Equatorial Pacific.

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 building warm water tongue extending west along the equator from Ecuador to 142W (results of Kelvin Wave #1) and building in intensity. And warmer than normal temps were present along the coasts of Chile and Peru and building in intensity and weaker over the entirety of the deep South Pacific. A tiny patch of barely cool water was collapsing on the equator extending west from 155W, the last remnants of La Nina. .
Hi-res 7 day Trend (3/17): A massive and building pool of warming water was locked well along the coasts of Peru and Chile and from Ecuador west over the equatorial Pacific to 160W reaching north to 30N and south to 30S. imbedded was a strong warming area from Ecuador to 110W and spreading north and south from Ecuador down to peru and up to Central America. This pool remains at impressive status today and is building. 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: (3/17) Warming waters are filling the East Pacific off Chile, Peru and Ecuador. And an El Nino tongue of intense warming is developing in the East Equatorial Pacific. Cool waters were on the equator limited to one small pocket from about 160W to 165E and collapsing rapidly and almost indiscernible. There no legitimate sign of La Nina on the oceans surface and everything is pointing to El Nino now. The east equatorial Pacific is finally and steadily warming.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (3/18) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs compared to official sources). Today's temps were rising to +1.159 degs today up from +0.462 since 2/28. Temps had reached as high as +1.076 on 2/19 and were previously steady at +0.848 since 2/7. Previously they started steadily rising 11/13 when they were around -1.5 degs C.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(3/18) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs). Temps were at -0.074 today but had risen to -0.023 on 3/16. Temps previously rose to -0.402 on 2/23. Temps rose above the La Nina threshold (-0.5 degs) on 2/22 and had been rising slowly since 2/12 when they were about -1.0 degs C. Then had been in the -1.0 deg range since at least Nov 2022.

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 (3/18) - Temps are neutral (0.0 degs) or close to it and are forecast rising to +0.95 degs in July and +1.65 degs in Nov and solidly into El Nino territory. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps are at or near neutral (0.0 degs) and are forecast rising to +0.70 degs in July and +1.35 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 (3/18) the Daily Index was negative again at -4.79 and has been negative the last 8 days and near 0 since 3/4. It fell to -17.44 on 2/22, the beginning of a change from which no return seems likely. It was up to +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 to +0.49 (lagging indicator driven by the Active Phase of the MJO) after falling to +4.18 on 11/27 and peaking at +21.57 (10/16) after supposedly peaking at +19.66 on 9/28. It was down to +6.89 on 7/29. It peaked at +20.34 (5/12) the highest in a year and beating last years high of +19.51 (1/14).
The 90 day average was falling at +11.19 after peaking at +14.63 on 2/20, +15.61 on 10/25 and +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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