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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Sunday, March 26, 2023 1:42 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
2.4 - California & 1.9 - 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 3/27 thru Sun 4/2
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
A Local Gale for CA - Some Southern Hemi Swell Too

 

BUOY ROUNDUP
Sunday, March 26, 2023 :

  • Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt)/Buoy 239 (Lani): Seas were 3.5 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 2.4 ft @ 8.4 secs from 176 degrees. Water temp 76.8 degs (Barbers Pt), 77.0 (Pearl Harbor 233), 77.7 (Lani 239).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Out of Service Buoy 202 (Hanalei) Out of Service
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 5.7 ft @ 5.6 secs with swell 2.9 ft @ 8.5 secs from 255 degrees. Wind northwest at 16-20 kts. Water temperature 55.9 degs, 54.1 (Topanga 103), 56.5 degs (Long Beach 215), 58.1 (Oceanside Offshore 045), 57.2 (Del Mar 153), 58.6 (Torrey Pines Outer 100). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 6.2 ft @ 7.9 secs from 305 degrees. At E. Santa Barbara (46053) swell was 3.9 ft @ 10.0 secs from 284 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 3.5 ft @ 6.2 secs from 267 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.8 ft @ 7.5 secs from 275 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 4.2 ft @ 9.3 secs from 283 degrees. Water temperature was 57.7 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay) Out of Service /029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 9.8 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 5.6 ft @ 12.6 secs from 306 degrees. Wind northwest at 20-25 kts (46026). Water temp 50.4 (Bodega Bay 46013), 50.7 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 50.4 (San Francisco 46026), 52.2 (SF Bar 142), 52.3 (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 Sunday (3/26) North and Central CA had sets at waist high and glassy at select breaks but warbled, with whitecaps well outside the break. Protected breaks were waist high and clean and lined up but very soft. At Santa Cruz surf was thigh to maybe waist high and clean and lined up but very soft. In Southern California/Ventura waves were knee to thigh high and mushed and a bit warbled but with clean conditions. Central Orange County had sets at chest high and somewhat lined up and soft with decent form and fairly clean. South Orange County's best summertime breaks were knee high and warbled and not really rideable. North San Diego had sets at waist high and somewhat lined up and soft but clean with light offshore wind. Hawaii's North Shore had sets at waist high or so and soft but somewhat lined up and clean. The South Shore was thigh to maybe waist high and clean but soft. The East Shore was chest high and chopped from east-southeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Sunday (3/26) California was getting locally generated windswell. Hawaii was getting minimal easterly windswell. A gale developed over the Northwestern Gulf on Wed-Thurs (3/23) with up to 27 ft seas aimed southeast. Small swell is tracking towards the US West Coast. And a tiny gale developed on the dateline Fri-Sat (3/25) falling southeast producing 26 ft seas with small swell pushing towards Hawaii. And another is forecast developing off North CA on Mon-Tues (3/28) producing 24 ft seas aimed southeast. Also down south a storm formed over the Central South Pacific on Tues-Wed (3/22) with 43 ft seas aimed mostly east. Sideband swell is radiating northeast. After that nothing is on the charts.

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 Sunday (3/26) the jetstream was split over Japan with most energy tracking northeast just off Kamchatka up into the Bering Sea then falling south just off the Canadian Coast and inland over North CA starting to form a backdoor trough there. The southern branch was tracking east down on the 18N latitude line pushing into Baja offering nothing. Over the next 72 hours the Canadian backdoor trough is to develop more while falling south off Oregon on Tues (3/28) and then California on Wed (3/29) moving inland over Southern CA on Thurs (3/30) perhaps offering some support for gale development but mainly just a weather producer. A cutoff trough is forecast developing northwest of Hawaii Tues-Wed (3/29) but likely offering nothing but windswell production. Beyond 72 hours the jet is to remain well split but with the split point moving to 170E on Fri (3/31) with another trough forecast building off the Canadian Coast on Fri (3/31) falling southeast and pushing inland over Oregon on Sun (4/2) offering some weather there. But the split pattern is to dominate over the greater North Pacific offering no support for gale development.


Surface Analysis
On Sunday (3/26) swell from a gale previously in the Gulf was fading over North CA (see Northwestern Gulf Gale below) and limited east windswell was producing small windswell for Hawaii.

Over the next 72 hours and small swell from a gale previously over the dateline is to reach Hawaii (see Small Dateline Gale below).

And a local gael is forecast developing off California offering some potential for raw swell development there (see Local CA Gale below).

Otherwise no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.

 

Northwestern Gulf Gale
On Tues PM (3/21) fetch started building over the far Northwestern Gulf at 35 kts from the northwest with seas building from 21 ft at 50.75N 167W aimed southeast. On Wed AM (3/22) northwest winds built in coverage at 40 kts with seas 25 ft at 51.5N 158.5W aimed southeast. In the evening northwest winds were 35-40 kts over the Northern Gulf with seas 26 ft at 51N 150W aimed southeast. On Thurs AM (3/23) northwest winds were falling southeast some in the Northern Gulf at 30-35 kts with seas 23 ft at 50N 142W aimed southeast. The gale faded from there. This is the first semi-real swell producing system on the charts in weeks.

North CA: Swell fading on Sun (3/26) from 4.2 ft @ 12 secs (5.0 ft) and still buried in windswell. Swell Direction: 310-315 degrees

 

Small Dateline Gale
A tiny gale developed just west of the dateline Thurs AM (3/23) generating 45 kt north winds with seas building. In the evening the gale moved up to the dateline with 45 kt north winds and seas 26 ft at 38N 174.75E aimed southeast. On Fri AM (3/24) the gale was falling southeast with northwest winds 35 kts and seas 25 ft at 36N 175.75E aimed southeast at Hawaii. In the evening the gale is to dissipate with residual seas fading from 20 ft at 34N 179E aimed well at Hawaii.

Oahu: Expect swell arrival early on Mon (3/27) at 2.7 ft @ 12-13 secs early (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell fading Tues (3/28) from 2.0 ft @ 11 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 310 degrees

 

Local CA Gale
On Mon AM (3/27) low pressure is forecast starting to develop off the OR-CA border producing 25 kt west winds trying to get traction on the oceans surface. In the evening northwest winds to build to 45 kts Just off Oregon while the gale slowly falls south with seas 20 ft at 42.5N 130.5W aimed a bit south at CA. On Tues AM (3/28) the gale is to be off Cape Mendocino with 35-40 kt northwest winds and seas 23 ft at 42N 132W aimed south and southeast at North and Central CA. In the evening the gale is to be circulating off Cape Mendocino with northwest winds 35 kts and 23 ft seas at 39.25N 131.75W aimed southeast. On Wed AM (3/29) fetch is to be fading from 30-35 kts from the northwest falling south off San Francisco with seas 23 ft at 38.5N 127.75W aimed southeast at Central CA. In the evening the gale is to fall south off Central CA with 35 kts northwest winds and sea fading from 21 ft at 35.25N 126.75W aimed southeast. The gale is to dissipate Thurs AM (3/30) off Southern CA with 30 kt northwest winds ands seas fading from 19 ft at 31.75N 123,75W aimed southeast. Something to monitor.

North CA: Rough data suggest swell arrival on Wed (3/29) building to 9.0 ft @ 12 secs mid-day (10 ft). Swell fading out early Thurs (3/30) from 3.2 ft @ 9-10 secs early (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 280 degrees moving to 300 degrees

Southern CA: Rough data suggests swell arrival late on Wed (3/29) building to 2.7 ft @ 12 secs (3.0 ft). Swell peaking early Thurs (3/30) at 3.4 ft @ 12-13 secs (4.0 ft). Dribbles on Fri AM (3/31) fading from 2.0 ft @ 9 secs early (1.5 ft). Swell Direction: 295 moving to 285 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

  • Mon AM (3/27) low pressure develops off Oregon and North CA with south winds 5 kts for Cape Mendocino early and northwest 5-10 kts for the rest of North and Central CA. In the afternoon south winds to be 35 kts for Cape Mendocino and south at 15 kts for the rest of North CA and northwest at 5 kts for Central CA. Rain developing for Cape Mendocino in the afternoon building in the evening over all of North CA.
  • Tues AM (3/28) the core of the low is to be just off Cape Mendocino with south winds 25-30 kts for Cape Mendocino and southwest 20-25 kts for the rest of North and Central CA down to Monterey Bay and 10-15 kts down to Pt Conception. In the afternoon the low is to ease south still off Cape Mendocino with south to southwest winds forecast at 20-25 kts for all of North CA and west 15 kts for Central CA. Heavy rain for all of North CA down to Monterey Bay mid-AM building to Pt Conception in the afternoon and Southern CA in the evening. Heavy snow for Tahoe early building over the the Sierra through the afternoon then fading some in the late evening.
  • Wed AM (3/29) the core of the low is to be off Bodega Bay with south winds 15-20 kts for North CA and southwest 10-15 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon the core of the low is to be falling south off Central CA with north winds 10 kts for North CA and southwest to south 10-15 kts for Central CA. Rain for the entire state early falling to the area south of Pt Arena in the afternoon. Light snow for the Sierra in the afternoon.
  • Thurs AM (3/30) the low is to be just off Southern CA with high pressure behind producing northwest winds 10-15 kts for all of North CA and northeast at 10-15 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon the low is to move onshore over South CA with west winds 10 kts for North CA and northwest 15 kts for Central CA and northwest winds at 15 kts for Southern CA. Light rain from Big Sur southward early and fading fast while moving over Southern CA. No snow forecast.
  • Fri AM (3/31) a secondary low is to be building off the North CA coast early with southwest winds 10 kts for North CA and northwest winds at 10 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon south winds to build to 35 kts for Cape Mendocino and south 15-20 kts down to the Golden Gate. Winds to be south 10 kts for Central CA. Rain developing for North CA in the afternoon and evening.
  • Sat AM (4/1) west winds to be 10 kts for the northern half of North CA and south winds 15 kts for the SF Bay Area and south 5-10 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 10-15 kts for North CA and 5 kts for Central CA. Rain for North CA early reaching south to Big Sur in the afternoon fading some in the evening. Snow for Tahoe early maybe reaching south to Kirkwood in the evening.
  • Sun AM (4/2) northwest winds to be 15 kts for North and Central CA. Light rain for Cape Mendocino early. Light snow for Tahoe early.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth are projected at 53, 61, 44, and 18 inches with accumulation Tues-Wed (3/29) then redeveloping 4/1 and 4/3-4/4.

Freezing level for Lake Tahoe is to build to 6,000 ft on 3/27 far a few hours in the morning falling to about 5.000 ft in the evening and holding there (down to 2.000 ft in the evenings) through the end of the model run.

- - -

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
A storm developed traversing the Central South Pacific (see Central South Pacific Storm below).

Otherwise no swell producing weather systems have occurred.

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.

 

Central South Pacific Storm
A gale developed in the Central South Pacific Tues AM (3/21) producing 50-55 kt southwest winds tracking east with seas building. In the evening southwest winds were 60-65 kts with seas 43 ft at 58.25S 146W aimed east-northeast. On Wed AM (3/22) south winds were 50 kts with seas 41 ft at 57.25S 133.5S aimed northeast. Fetch is to be fading in the evening from 45 kts moving east of the Southern CA swell window with seas 36 ft at 55S 121.75W aimed northeast. Some odds of small southerly swell radiating north.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (3/29) building to 1 ft @ 20 secs late (1.5 ft). Swell building on Thurs (3/30) to 1.3 ft @ 17-18 secs later (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell fading Fri (3/31) from 1.3 ft @ 16-17 secs early (2.0-2.5 ft). Dribbles on Sat (4/1) fading from 1.3 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 188 degrees

Otherwise no swell producing weather systems of interest have occurred.

 

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 no swell producing weather systems are forecast.

 

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 (3/25) 5 day average winds were moderate from the east over the East equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific and moderate to strong east over the KWGA. Anomalies were weak east over the East equatorial Pacific and weak east over the Central Pacific and modest 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): (3/26) Modest to moderate east anomalies were filling the KWGA today east of 140E and weak west anomalies were from 125E to 140E. The 7 day forecast has the same thing holding but with west anomalies building in the far west KWGA.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (3/25) A moderate Inactive Phase of the MJO was filling KWGA today. The statistical model indicates the Inactive MJO fading some on day 5 then turning dead neutral on days 10 and 15. The dynamic model indicates the same thing initially but with the Active Phase starting to build on day 10 and fully in control of the KWGA on day 15 at moderate status.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (CA and GEFS): (3/26) The statistical model depicts the Active signal was weak over the Central Indian Ocean and is to move east fast to the West Pacific and so weak as to not be present. The dynamic model indicates the Active Phase building quickly over the West Pacific at weak status 12 days out.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (3/26) A weak Active (wet air) pattern was over the far West Pacific today with dry air exiting the East Pacific. The forecast has a weak Active signal (wet air) slowly building over the KWGA on 3/31 and filling the bulk of the Pacific by 4/5 then starting to ease to Ecuador on 4/20 with a weak Inactive Phase of the MJO (dry air) developing over the KWGA on 4/25 through the end of the model run on 5/5.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (3/20)
The Inactive Phase of the MJO was in control of the KWGA today with modest east anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Inactive Phase of the MJO is to traverse the KWGA and the Pacific through 3/28 with moderate east anomalies over the dateline during that winds then fading but still lingering there through the end of the model run on 4/17. 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 but only holding there at the end of the model run on 4/17.
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 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 is to peak on 3/27 then starting to fade and gone by 4/7 with but east anomalies holding only through 4/3 then turning weak westerly by 4/1 even as the Inactive Phase still is in control. The Active Phase is to follow starting 4/2 with west anomalies redeveloping and building steadily from there. By 4/17 west anomalies to build to strong status and holding through the end of the model run on 6/23. 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 180W 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 at 165E today (it started pushing east on 2/15). A hard push east is forecast moving forward and on the dateline 4/16 filling the KWGA and then filling the most of the Pacific with it's leading edge at 130W at the end of the model run and is center 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 an El Nino is developing.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (3/26) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was building at 165E. The 28 deg isotherm line was easing east to 179W. The 26 degree isotherm has now pushed the whole way across the Pacific and building in thickness in the east with shallow temps to 28 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 -1 deg C were at 130W down 150m under the warm water flow. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 3/19 indicates a huge very warm ball of 5+ degs anomalies stretching from the far West Pacific and reaching east to 130W (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: (3/19) Sea heights were very positive in the far West equatorial Pacific and now connected in a solid line to the East Pacific at +5 cms over the entirety of the Equatorial Pacific reaching east to Ecuador and building to +5-10 cms there. 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 connected to a second pocket starting at 110W at at +1.0-1.5 degs reaching east to Ecuador.

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: (3/25) The latest images depict a strong warm signal along the coasts of Peru and Ecuador with a tongue extending west along the equator from Ecuador to 130W (results of Kelvin Wave #1) and building in intensity. And warmer than normal temps were present well off 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 150W, the last remnants of La Nina. .
Hi-res 7 day Trend (3/25): Warming is collapsing along the coasts of Peru, Chile and Ecuador. Weak warming is along and south of the equator across the bulk of the equatorial Pacific. Weak cooling waters previously over the equator from the Galapagos west to 140W is fading fast, likely driven by the current Inactive MJO. So the warm pool has backed off some for the moment. A warming trend has been well entrenched over the East Pacific since Nov 1 with no cooling waters over the equatorial East Pacific since 12/15 except for the time frame from 4/23 to today.
Hi-res Overview: (3/25) Warming waters are filling the East Pacific off Chile, Peru and Ecuador with strong warming along the immediate cost of Per and Ecuador. And an El Nino tongue of more intense warming is developing in the East Equatorial Pacific. Cool waters were on the equator limited to one small pocket from about 150W 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: (3/26) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs compared to official sources). Today's temps were again rising at +1.655 degrees after rising to +1.732 degs (3/22), 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:
(3/26) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs). Temps were steady today at -0.205 degs and have been steady the past 4 days 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 (3/26) - Temps are neutral (0.0 degs) and are forecast rising to +1.2 degs in July and +2.0 degs in Nov and solidly into El Nino territory. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps are at neutral (0.0 degs) and are forecast rising to +0.95 degs in July and +1.65 degs in Nov. 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 Mar 20, 2023 Plume depicts temps are +0.038 degs today and finally above the La nina threshold. Temps to rise steadily from here forward to +0.493 degs in May rising to +0.779 in July and holding there beyond. 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 (3/24) the Daily Index was negative at -1.53 and had been mostly negative the last 16 days. 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 steady at +0.43 (lagging indicator driven by the Active Phase of the MJO) after falling to -0.52 on 3/22 previously 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 +8.31 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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