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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, March 24, 2022 2:06 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
1.5 - California & 2.5 - 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 3/21 thru Sun 3/27

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   

Dateline Swell Hitting CA
A Few More Gales Projected


Thursday, March 24, 2022 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor)/Buoy 239 (Lanai) NA/Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt) NA: Seas were 3.5 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 1.6 ft @ 15.6 secs from 159 degrees. Water temp 77.4 degs (Barbers Pt), NA (Lani 239), 77.0 (Pearl Harbor 233).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 8.8 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 5.1 ft @ 12.3 secs from 347 degrees. Water temp 76.8 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.3 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 1.6 ft @ 14.3 secs from 202 degrees. Wind west at 4-6 kts. Water temperature 60.6 degs, 61.2 (Topanga 103), 59.0 degs (Long Beach 215), 60.1 (Del Mar 153), 58.6 (Imperial Beach 155). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.3 ft @ 14.8 secs from 281 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.5 ft @ 15.6 secs from 259 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.0 ft @ 13.6 secs from 213 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.8 ft @ 15.2 secs from 247 degrees. Water temp 61.0 degs.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 7.7 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 4.9 ft @ 13.1 secs from 284 degrees. Wind at buoy 46012 was northwest at 12-14 kts. Water temp 50.0 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 50.5 (46026), 52.7 (SF Bar 142), and 55.6 (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).
- 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).
- 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.
- up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.

Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.

Current Conditions
On Thursday (3/24) North and Central CA had set waves at 1-2 ft overhead and lined up but modestly warbled and aggressively mushed with textured conditions. Protected breaks were shoulder to head high on the sets and lined up and clean but a bit on the soft side. At Santa Cruz surf was shoulder high and clean and lined up but soft. In Southern California/Ventura waves were chest high or so and lined and clean with good form but soft. Central Orange County had sets at waist to maybe chest high and reasonably lined up and soft but heavily textured from building northwest wind. South Orange County's best summertime breaks were waist high and clean but very soft and somewhat closed out and foggy. North San Diego had sets to waist high and lined up and clean but soft and a little closed out and weak. Hawaii's North Shore had sets at 1-2 ft overhead and lined up but with a fair amount of northeast warble in the water making things a bit junky. The South Shore was waist high on the sets and clean but weak with textured from strong trades. The East Shore was head high and chopped from strong east-northeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (3/24) California and Hawaii were getting swell from from a moderate system that developed 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 25 ft over a tiny area. Hawaii was on the tail end of that swell while California was getting the meat of it. Beyond a local gale is forecast off the California coast on Sat-Sun (3/27) with 27 ft seas aimed southeast. And a decent systems is now forecast to develop in the Central Gulf on Sun-Tues (3/29) with 26 ft seas aimed east. And maybe a third to develop over the Northern Dateline on Wed-Thurs (3/31) with 24 ft seas aimed east. Down south a small gale formed well southeast of New Zealand on Mon (3/21) with 33 ft seas aimed east but quickly faded. Nothing to result. But the longer range models suggest the South Pacific is going to start trying in earnest first on Sat (3/28) with a gale producing 30 ft seas aimed east and southeast and then another on Mon (3/28) with 33-36 ft seas tracking east and then northeast. So there's more hope.

See all the details below...


Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

On Thursday (3/24) the jet was consolidated forming a trough just off North Japan then ridging hard up to the North Dateline region with winds building to 180 kts then falling southeast over the Central Gulf forming a broad trough offering support for gale development before ridging some over the Pacific Northwest. Not a bad late season configuration. Over the next 72 hours the Gulf trough is to deepen on Fri-Sat (3/26) being fed more directly with 170 kt winds offering good support for gale development. The Japan trough is to push east mid-way to the dateline being fed by 130 kts winds but a bit pinched offering some limited support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours starting Sun (3/27) the trough in the Gulf is to now be pushing into North and Central CA likely producing weather for CA. The Japan trough is to be moving over the Western Gulf no longer pinched and being fed by 120 kt winds offering good support for gale development then pushing east while fading later Tues (3/29) in the Northeastern Gulf. On Wed (3/30) the jet is to remain consolidated with a new trough building in the Western Gulf possibly deepening more on Thurs (3/31) with 140 kts winds starting to fall into the trough offering improving support for gale development. Not a bad setup.

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (3/24) swell from a gale that developed over the dateline was fading in Hawaii and hitting California (see Dateline Gale below). Secondary swell from a gale in the Northern Gulf was intermixed (see Secondary Gale below). Tiny swell from a gale previously in the Gulf is pushing towards California for the weekend (See Gulf Low Pressure below).

Over the next 72 hours another gale to develop off California starting Sat PM (3/26) generating a small area of near 40 kt north winds and seas building from 21 ft at 40.5N 137W. On Sun AM (3/27) northwest winds to be 45 kts falling southeast off Pt Arena producing 27 ft seas at 39.5N 134.75W aimed southeast. In the evening northwest winds to be 35-40 kts off Monterey Bay with 27 ft seas at 36.25N 131.5W targeting Central and Southern CA well. On Mon (3/28) the gale is to be fading just off Pt Conception with 30-35 kt northwest winds and seas fading from 22 ft at 34N 126W aimed well at Southern CA. Something to monitor.

North CA: Rough data for planning purposes suggest swell arrival on Mon (3/28) at 10.5 ft @ 12-13 secs (13 ft) and raw, jumbled and unfocused given the fetch's close proximity to the coast (500 nmiles out). Swell Direction: 285-265 degrees

Southern CA: Rough data suggests swell arrival late on Mon (3/28) building to 5.0 ft @ 13-14 secs (6.5 ft at exposed breaks). Swell Direction: 295-275 degrees


Dateline Gale
On 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 consolidated while building in the evening to 45-50 kts from the northwest and west with seas building to 26 ft over a broadish area at 40N 175.75W aimed east. On Sat AM (3/19) northwest winds were 40-45 kts over a decent sized area just west of the dateline with 27 ft seas at 40N 174.5W aimed east. In the evening fetch fell southeast at 40 kts with seas 27 ft at 39.25N 175.5W targeting Hawaii well. The gale continued falling southeast on Sun AM (3/20) with a small area of 35 kt north winds in the Western Gulf with seas 24 ft at 38N 170W still targeting Hawaii well. In the evening the gale was fading with 30 kt northwest winds and 20 ft seas at 36N 165W. The gale is to maybe redevelop on Mon PM (3/21) with 40 kt west winds and 23 ft seas at 48.5N 146.5W. In the evening west winds to be 30-35 kts in the Northern Gulf with 23 ft seas at 51N 144W aimed east. Something to monitor.

Oahu: Swell fading on Thurs (3/24) from 3.6 ft @ 11-12 secs early (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 320 moving to 360 degrees

North CA: Swell holding on Thurs (3/24) at 4.6 ft @ 12 secs (5.5 ft) and with much intermixed local windswell. Swell fading on Fri (3/25) from 3.6 ft @ 10-11 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 290 degrees


Secondary Gale
A small gale developed Mon PM (3/21) in the Northern Gulf with 45 kt west winds producing 24 ft seas aimed east at 49.75N 145.75W targeting mainly the Pacific Northwest. The gale moved north on Tues AM (3/22) with 40 kt southwest winds and seas 27 ft at 54.25N 142.25W aimed east. Swell expected mainly for the Pacific Northwest with whatever hits California mixed with the Dateline swell above.


Gulf Low Pressure
Low pressure started organizing in the Central Gulf Wednesday AM (3/23) producing 30-35 kts west winds with seas 16 ft at 43.5N 157.25W. In the evening 30-35 kts west winds were pushing east over the Central Gulf resulting in 21 ft seas at 45N 150.5W aimed east. On Thurs AM (3/24) 30 kt west winds were fading in the Northeastern Gulf with 19 ft seas at 46.25N 146W aimed east. Potential 11-12 sec period windswell for North CA on Sat (3/26).

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (3/26) at 5.0 ft @ 12 secs mid-AM (6.0 ft). Swell fading on Sun (3/27) from 3.8 ft @ 11 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 293 degrees


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


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are forecast.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Fri (3/25) morning northwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for North CA and Central CA. In the afternoon North CA to have northwest winds 10-15 kts and Central CA to have 15 kt northwest winds.
  • Sat (3/26) northwest winds to be 5-10 kts for North CA and 10-15 kts Central CA. In the afternoon south winds are forecast building to 10-15 kts for Cape Mendocino with light west winds at 5-10 kts for North CA northwest at 5-10 kts for Central CA.
  • Sun (3/27) morning low pressure is to be just off the coast with south winds 15-20 kts for Cape Mendocino and 10-15 kts for North CA and 5-10 kts for Central CA. East winds possible in the afternoon at 10 kts for Cape Mendocino and south winds 10 kts for the remainder of North CA and southwest 15-20 kts for all of Central CA. South winds 15 kts for all of Southern CA. Rain for all of North and Central CA developing in the later afternoon and continuing into the evening. Snow developing for high elevations of the Central Sierra in the late evening.
  • Mon (3/28) south to southeast winds are forecast at 10 kts for all of North CA with the low just off Monterey Bay and south winds 15+ kts for all of Central CA and west winds 15 kts for all of Southern CA. In the afternoon northwest winds start building at 10-15 kts for North CA and 15 kts for Central CA with west winds 10-15 kts for Southern CA. Rain for the entire state in the morning fading through the except holding for Southern CA even into the evening. Snow for the Sierra holding through the evening.
  • Tues morning (3/29) northwest winds are forecast at 25+ kts for all of North CA and 15-20 kts for Central CA and northwest 10-15 kts for Southern CA. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for North CA and 15-20 kts for Central CA. Rain fading for Southern CA early. Snow showers fading for the Sierra early.
  • Wed (3/30) northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for North CA early and 15-20 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for North CA and 15-20 kts for Central CA. No precip forecast.
  • Thurs (3/31) high pressure starts building with northwest winds 25 kts for North CA and 20 kts for Central CA. No change in the afternoon.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 4, 3, 10, and 6 inches all on 3/27 into early 3/28.

Freezing level 12,000 today and stable through 3/25, then falling to 5,000 ft briefly on 3/27-28 then building back to 10,000 ft late on 3/29 and holding beyond.


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: (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!


South Pacific

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

Over the next 72 hours a series of small gales are to traverse the far South Central Pacific with seas in the 30 ft range, but all aimed due east if north slightly southeast likely not producing meaningful swell. Still, it's a step in the right direction and indicative of the slow awakening of the South Pacific.


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




Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours starting Sun AM another gale is to develop over the dateline with 35-40 kt northwest winds over a decent sized area with sea building from 26 ft at 38N 176W aimed east. In the evening the gael is to move into the far Western gulf with 40 kt northwest winds and seas building from 26 ft at 42N 168W aimed southeast. On Mon AM (3/28) northwest winds to be 35 kts over a broad area in the Northwestern Gulf with seas 27 ft @ 44N 162.75W aimed southeast. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 30-35 kts over a broad area with 24 ft seas at 43N 156W aimed southeast. Fetch holding while moving east on Tues AM (3/29) with 27 ft seas at 45.75N 150.25W aimed east. The gale is to be fading from there. Something to monitor.

And maybe a third gale is to develop pushing over the North Dateline region on Thurs (3/31) producing 25 ft seas aimed east.

Winter is not quite over yet.


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.

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 (3/23) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific and strong east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and light 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 (3/24) east anomalies were weak and fading fast barely filling the core of the KWGA with weak west anomalies building over the West and East portions of the KWGA. The 7 day forecast calls for weak westerly anomalies filling the KWGA through the end model run on 3/31.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (3/23) A modest Inactive MJO signal was indicated today in the KWGA with a weak Active signal starting to push into the far West KWGA. The statistical model indicates the Inactive signal tracking east while fading and east of the dateline on day 5 of the model run with the Active Phase moving more into the west KWGA. On day 10 the Active Phase is to be fully over the KWGA at moderate strength and holding on day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model projects the Active Phase trying to move east on day 5, then gone on days 10 and 15 of the model run with a weak Inactive Phase over the West KWGA. So the 2 models are out of sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS):
(3/24) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was modest over the West Maritime Continent and is forecast tracking east to the West Pacific at day 15 of the model run and weak. The dynamic model suggests the Active Phase moving fast to the East Atlantic 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): (3/23) A moderate Active MJO signal (wet air) was moving over the West Pacific today. The forecast depicts the Active Phase (wet air) moving east over the Central Pacific and into Central America on 4/14. The Inactive Phase is to follow moving over the KWGA on 4/9 and strong solidly tracking east and over the East equatorial Pacific and into Central America on 5/2. The Active Phase is to start building over the West Pacific at the end of the model run on 4/27 and solid.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (3/23) A solid Active signal was starting to develop over the West Pacific today with easterly anomalies barely filling the KWGA and fading fast. The forecast has west anomalies building as the Active Phase of the MJO moves over the KWGA pushing east through 4/6 with west anomalies in control of the KWGA. Then east anomalies are to rebuild to moderate to strong status filling the KWGA 4/2 to strong status on 4/5-4/12 as the Inactive MJO signal traverses the KWGA. Beyond east anomalies are to be fading some by the end of the model run on 4/20. Also west anomalies are to try to get a toe in the door in the far West KWGA 3/29 holding through 4/13 then backtracking out of the KWGA.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (3/24 - using the 5th ensemble member - the mean of the 4 individual members which are all from the 00Z run - 1 run per day):
Today the Active Phase of the MJO has retreated mid-way over the KWGA with strong east anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast depicts the Active Phase pushing hard east starting 3/25 and fully over the KWGA on 3/28 holding through 5/11 with west anomalies taking over the entirety of the KWGA 4/10 and beyond, even as the Active Phase fades. A weak Inactive MJO signal is to follow starting 5/3 holding through the end of the model run on 6/21 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 170E today and forecast slowly easing east and pushing east of the dateline on 5/29 with the second contour fading on 6/6. 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 3/28 then starting to move slowly but steadily east reaching 175E on 5/27 and to nearly the dateline at the end of the model run. Of note, the leading edge of the low pressure bias has been stalled at 150E since 1/31, but is to finally start moving east in the next few days. Something to monitor. Today a solid east anomaly pattern that had been in control of KWGA since early July 2021 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 which is to be starting to move east in the next 3 days.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (3/24) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was gone. The 28 deg isotherm line was backtracking to 168E. The 24 deg isotherm was steady at 95W. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +3 deg C were in a pocket in the far West Pacific down 150m with it's leading edge stable at 165W with a previous Kelvin Wave in the East Pacific at +2C down 25m centered at 105W pushing east and fading. A broad area of neutral to -1C cool anomalies were in between the two centered at 120W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 3/19 indicates the same pocket of cool anomalies between 170W-110W at -3 degs C and appearing to be expanding in coverage while the remnants of the Kelvin Wave in the east fading. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (3/19) Sea heights were neutral over the Equatorial Pacific. Remnants of a string of weakly positive anomaly pockets were north of the equator from just west of the Galapagos to the dateline and fading. A broad pocket of weakly negative anomalies was over the equator between 170W to 110W building to -15 cms at 145W. Otherwise positive anomalies were mostly locked west of the dateline. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram the previous Kelvin Wave was holding between 87W-103W with weak cool anomalies between 105W-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: (3/23) The latest images depict a broad generic pool of cool water on the equator extending west from 130W dissipating on the dateline. Warming waters were building from Ecuador west beyond the Galapagos to 130W. 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 (3/23): Solid warming was holding from the Galapagos west on the equator to 140W and reaching 10 degrees north and south of the equator. No cooling was indicated.
Hi-res Overview: (3/23) 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 120W 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: (3/24) Today's temps were falling some at +0.041 after peaking at +0.760 on 3/18 and had 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:
(3/24) Today's temps were steady at -0.865 after rising some to -0.876 on 3/20 (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 then fading some after that.
Forecast (3/24) - T
emps are to continue falling to -1.40 degs in early May and then slowly rising to -1.30 degs July rising to -1.25 degs in Dec, then rising more directly 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 -1.05 degs in May then rising to about -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 March 18, 2022 Plume depicts temps are -0.738 degs today and have bottomed out. They are to warm to -0.315 degrees in May, then rising to -0.287 degs in July and hovering there through Sept then rising to near 0,0 degs after that. A return to ENSO neutral is expected this summer. Still, this latest update is cooler and slower in returning to normal than the previous forecast.
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 (3/24) the daily index was positive at +4.55 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 falling some at +13.33 after falling to +0.83 on 1/27 then peaking at +13.07 on 12/31 (the highest in a year) after previously falling to +6.06 on 11/6 after peaking at +11.58 on 10/22. Before that it fell to -3.36 on 6/22, the lowest in a year. It peaked at +19.51 on 1/14.
The 90 day average was falling some at +9.07 today after previously peaking at 9.36 on 3/22 and +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
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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing:

Mavericks & Stormsurf on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel

Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:

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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