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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Sunday, March 27, 2022 1:52 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
2.9 - California & 2.8 - 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 3/28 thru Sun 4/3

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 California
2 More Gales for North Dateline Region

 

BUOY ROUNDUP
Sunday, March 27, 2022 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor)/Buoy 239 (Lanai) NA/Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt) NA: Seas were 2.4 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 1.1 ft @ 13.0 secs from 165 degrees. Water temp 77.0 degs (Barbers Pt), NA (Lani 239), 76.6 (Pearl Harbor 233).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.6 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 3.4 ft @ 10.2 secs from 246 degrees. Water temp 76.3 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.0 ft @ 12.8 secs with swell 2.2 ft @ 13.4 secs from 226 degrees. Wind southeast at 12-14 kts. Water temperature 60.4 degs, 60.4 (Topanga 103), 58.1 degs (Long Beach 215), 59.9 (Del Mar 153), 60.4 (Imperial Beach 155). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 4.5 ft @ 12.2 secs from 291 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.5 ft @ 12.7 secs from 249 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.8 ft @ 14.9 secs from 205 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.6 ft @ 13.3 secs from 242 degrees. Water temp 61.9 degs.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.9 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 3.7 ft @ 13.1 secs from 290 degrees. Wind at buoy 46012 was southeast at 14-20 kts. Water temp 50.4 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 50.5 (46026), 52.3 (SF Bar 142), and 54.1 (Santa Cruz 254).

See Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (bottom of the page)

Swell Classification Guidelines

Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
Summer
- Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
Summer
- Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
Summer
- up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.

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

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
Current Conditions
On Sunday (3/27) North and Central CA had set waves at waist to chest high and fairly lined up with decent form but soft and marred by warble coming from the south. Protected breaks were waist to maybe chest high on the sets and lined up and clean but inconsistent. At Santa Cruz surf was waist to chest high and clean and reasonably lined up but soft with impending south lump outside. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist to rarely chest high and lined and clean with decent form but soft. Central Orange County had sets to chest high and lined up with good form but starting to get torn apart by south wind. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had a few chest high sets and lined up with good form but pretty textured. North San Diego had sets at thigh to maybe waist high weakly lined up and unremarkable but at least it was clean. Hawaii's North Shore had sets at waist high and lined up but with a fair amount of northeast warble intermixed though local conditions were clean. The South Shore was waist high on the sets and clean with decent form and clean. The East Shore was waist high and nearly chopped early from moderate east-northeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Sunday (3/27) California was getting windswell from a low pressure system previously in the Northwestern Gulf. Hawaii was getting locally generated east wrap around windswell. A local gale developed just off the North and Central California coast on Sat-Sun (3/27) with 27 ft seas aimed southeast. Swell is radiating east. And a decent system developed in the Western Gulf on Sun-Tues (3/29) with up to 27 ft seas aimed east. Swell is pushing towards Hawaii. And maybe a third to develop tracking east from Kamchatka to the Northern Dateline on Tues-Thurs (3/31) with 24 ft seas aimed east. But nothing else to follow. 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. And another formed over the same area Sat (3/28) producing 30 ft seas aimed east but was gone in 24 hours. No swell is expected from it. Beyond the models keep teasing but then fade as the time comes for the gales to form. So nothing believable is projected just yet.

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 (3/27) the jet was reasonably consolidated ridging off Japan pushing up to the far Western Aleutians then falling south over the far Western Gulf forming a trough there being fed by 150 kts winds offering support for gale development. The jet ridged again almost reaching the far Eastern Aleutians then again fell south forming a trough off the North CA coast supporting a gale before riding up over the Pacific Northwest and pushing inland there. Over the next 72 hours the trough off California is to push inland on Mon (3/28) while the Gulf trough pushes east eventually pushing over Vancouver Island late on Tues (3/29) still offering some support for gale development. And on Tues (3/29) a new trough is to build over the North Dateline region being fed by 160 kts winds offering support for gale development while pushing east. Beyond 72 hours the North Dateline trough is to fade over the Western Gulf early Thurs (3/31). At that time back to the west wind energy is to again start building into the jet with 140-160 kt winds pushing consolidated from over Japan to the east-northeast moving just south of the East Aleutians on Sat (4/2) forming no troughs and holding while starting to fall south some on Sun (4/3) while more 150 kts winds start building over Japan starting to feed into the existing flow. Maybe something to develop longer term. and it certainly appears that Winter is not quite over yet across the North Pacific.

Surface Analysis
On Sunday (3/27) swell from a low pressure system previously in the Gulf was fading in California for the weekend (See Gulf Low Pressure below). And swell from a local gale off California was radiating east (see California Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours starting Sat PM (3/26) a gale started building on the dateline pushing east with 40 kt northwest and west winds over a small area getting traction with seas building from 24 ft at 38.5N 175W aimed southeast. On Sun AM (3/27) the gale was moving east over the Western Gulf with 30-35 kt northwest winds over a decent sized area with sea 23 ft at 40N 170W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to move into the far Northwestern Gulf with 30-35 kt northwest winds and seas fading from 21 ft at 42N 166W aimed east. On Mon AM (3/28) northwest winds to be 30-35 kts over the Northwestern Gulf with seas 20 ft at 45N 163W aimed southeast. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 30 kts with 20 ft seas at 48N 159W aimed southeast. Fetch and seas to fade from there. Something to monitor.

Oahu: Expect swell arrival on Tues (3/29) building to 3.3 ft @ 12-13 secs (4.0 ft). Swell continues on Wed (3/30) at 3.9 ft @ 12 secs early (4.5 ft). Residuals on Thurs (3/31) fading from 3.6 ft @ 11-12 secs early (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 320 moving to 340 degrees

 

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: Swell fading on Sun (3/27) from 3.8 ft @ 11 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 293 degrees

 

California Gale
Another gale develop off California starting Sat PM (3/26) generating a small area of 45 kt north winds and seas building from 22 ft at 40.5N 138W. On Sun AM (3/27) northwest winds were 40 kts falling southeast off Pt Arena producing 27 ft seas at 39.75N 136.75W aimed southeast. In the evening northwest winds to be 30-35 kts off Morro Bay with 23 ft seas at 33.5N 134W targeting Central and Southern CA well. On Mon (3/28) the gale is to be fading just off Pt Conception with 25-30 kt northwest winds and seas fading from 18 ft at 32.5N 130W aimed well at Southern CA. Something to monitor.

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon (3/28) AM at 8.2 ft @ 12-13 secs (10 ft) and raw, jumbled and unfocused given the fetch's close proximity to the coast (500 nmiles out). Dribbles on Tues (3/29) fading from 5.9 ft @ 10 secs (5.5 ft). Swell Direction: 285-265 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival late on Mon (3/28) building to 3.5 ft @ 13-14 secs (4.5 ft at exposed breaks). Swell fading Tues AM (3/29) from 3.1 ft @ 11-12 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 295-275 degrees

 

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are forecast.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Mon (3/28) south to southeast winds are forecast at 10 kts for all of North CA with the low just off Morro Bay and south winds 10 kts for all of Central CA and southwest winds 15 kts for all of Southern CA. In the afternoon northwest winds start building at 10-15 kts for North CA and northeast winds 10-15 kts for Central CA with southwest winds 10-15 kts for Southern CA. Rain for the entire state in the morning fading some in the afternoon except holding for Southern CA even into the evening. Snow developing for the Sierra around sunrise holding through the early evening.
  • Tues morning (3/29) northwest winds are forecast at 15+ kts for North and Central CA and northwest wind 15 kts for Southern CA. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 15 kts for North CA and 15-20 kts for Central CA and northwest at 15+ kts for Southern CA. Maybe some scattered showers for Southern CA early. Snow showers fading for the Sierra early.
  • Wed (3/30) northwest winds are forecast at 20 kts for North CA early and 20 kts for Central CA. Light winds for Southern CA. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for North CA and 20-25 kts for Central CA. No precip forecast.
  • Thurs AM (3/31) high pressure starts building in harder with northwest winds 25-30 kts for North CA and 20-25 kts for Central CA. No change in the afternoon.
  • Fri (4/1) northwest winds continue at 25-30 kts for North CA early and 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.
  • Sat AM (4/2) northwest winds are forecast at 20 kts for North CA and 15 kts for the north portion of Central CA and 10 kts from Monterey Bay southward. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for North CA and 10 kts for Central CA.
  • Sun AM (4/3) northwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for North and Central CA early. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 15 kts for North CA and 15-20 kts for Central CA.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 8, 9, 5, and 5 inches all on 3/28.

Freezing level falling to 5,500 ft briefly on 3/27-28 then building back to 10,000 ft late on 3/29 and generally holding between 8,500 to 10,500 ft beyond.

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Tioga Pass/Pacific Crest Trail intersection forecast: Temps - Freeze Level (more here - scroll down to 'Resort Snow Forecasts>Central CA or North CA Caltrans & Backcountry')

Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!

 

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis
No swell producing weather systems have occurred or are forecast.

Small New Zealand Pulse
A small gale developed southeast of New Zealand over a week ago producing a small area of 29 ft sea aimed east to northeast. Small swell is possible for Southern CA.

Southern CA: Small swell hit on Sun (3/27) building to 1.8 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 ft). Swell to hold on Mon (3/28) at 1.7 ft @ 14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Residuals on Tues (3/29) fading from 1.4 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 195 degrees

 

Another South Pacific Pulse
Another small fetch developed southeast of New Zealand on Mon AM (3/21) producing 45-50 kt west winds and seas building to 33 ft at 62.75S 172W aimed east. in the evening fetch was fading from 35 kts from the southwest with seas fading from 29 ft at 60.25S 158.25W aimed east. Things faded till Tues PM (3/22) when 40 kt west winds redeveloped over the Southeast Pacific with 31 ft seas building at 64S 131.5W aimed east. Seas and fetch faded from there.

Southern CA: Expect swell swell arriving on Thurs (3/31) building to 1.3 ft @ 16-17 secs later (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell building on Fri (4/1) to 1.6 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.5 ft). Swell fading on Sat (4/2) from 1.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Dribbles on Sun (4/3) fading from 1.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 195 moving to 188 degrees

 

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

 

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

 

QuikCAST's

 

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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours another gale is to develop moving from Kamchatka over the North Dateline region starting Tues AM (3/29) producing 35 kts northwest winds pushing off Kamchatka with 24 ft seas at 46N 165E aimed southeast. In the evening 35 kt northwest winds to push east with seas building to 25 ft at 45.5N 172E aimed southeast. Fetch is to fade Wed AM (3/30) from 30 kts from the northwest over the dateline with seas 24 ft at 42N 178.5E aimed southeast. Fetch fading from 30 kts in the evening with seas 21 ft at 43N 175W aimed southeast. The gale is to dissipate from there.

Winter is not quite over yet.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours the models suggest a series of gales developing across the South Pacific on Fri (4/1) with one possibly building with seas to 40 ft just south of New Zealand on Sun (4/3). Something to monitor.

 

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) previously delayed is starting to develop. It seemed the the peak of La Nina was behind us. But a 3rd year of La Nina is projected by the CFS model, though that is not certain. The outlook is unclear but seems biased towards another year of La Nina.

MJO/ENSO Discussion
The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.
And the El Nino/La Nino cycle (collectively know as ENSO - El Nino Southern Oscillation) is a less frequent (about once every 7 years) but more impactful cycle that affects world wide weather. Specifically, strong El Nino events promote storm production in the Pacific while La Nina events suppress storm production. These therefore have a significant impact on the production of swell and surf. The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO and ENSO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for upcoming activity (or inactivity depending on the state and interaction of these two oscillations).

Overview: In 2019 warm equatorial waters were fading, and by August a tongue of cool water was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos reaching to a point nearly south of Hawaii. A bit of a recovery tried to occur during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water held in a pool off Peru. By April 2020 a cool pool was starting to build, forming a well defined cool tongue that evolved into La Nina, with it fully developing through July 2020. A slow dissolving of La Nina started in March 2021 with 2 Kelvin Waves sweeping east and arriving over the Galapagos in June. Weak warming set up over the equator with no cool waters present. NOAA declared La Nina dead. But cold water returned in July 2021 and a second pulse of La Nina developed and is continuing today, though possibly weaker with its foundation appearing to be in decline.

LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Fall /Winter 2021-2022 = 1.5 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)

Rationale: It was assumed that the moderate La Nina from the Winter of 2020/2021 was on the wane and that a return to neutral ENSO state would set up over the Pacific Basin through the summer of 2021. But La Nina made a strong return by the end of Sept much like what the CFS model suggested would happen. A full double dip La Nina pattern took hold as we moved into November with this second La Nina dip being nearly as strong as the previous one. But a quick fade is forecast as we move into late December with the CFS predicting a return to a neutral wind anomaly pattern at that time and the low pressure bias making headway in to the KWGA in early Jan. Still it will take some time for the atmosphere to fully respond, resulting in a less than normal swell production forecast especially for Fall into early Winter. But by later in Feb 2022 perhaps a return to a more normal pattern might take hold. But it will be too little too late. As a result a significantly reduced number of storm days and storm intensity is expected Oct-Feb 2022, resulting in a below normal level of swells, with swell being below normal duration and period. But by March 2022, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start improving as La Nina fades out. The status of the PDO is not known, though it appears to be returning to at least a neutral state, rather than the warm phase as previously projected thereby having no significant positive or negative effect on the long term outlook.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (3/26) 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 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 (3/27) west anomalies were light to modest filling the KWGA. The 7 day forecast calls for light to moderate west anomalies filling the KWGA through the end model run on 4/3 but with weak east anomalies setting up on the dateline on 4/2.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (3/26) A neutral MJO signal was indicated today in the KWGA. The statistical model indicates no change on day 5 of the model run then on day 10 an Inactive signal starts building over the far West KWGA tracking east while nearly filling the KWGA on day 15 of the model run at moderate strength. The dynamic model projects a neutral MJO signal holding for the next 15 days. The 2 models contradict each other.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS):
(3/27) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was very weak over the Maritime Continent and is forecast tracking east to the East Pacific at day 15 of the model run and weak. The dynamic model suggests the Active Phase moving fast to the East Atlantic and then backtracking to the Maritime Continent on day 15 of the model run and very weak the whole time.
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 modest 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 4/10 and strong solidly tracking east and over the East equatorial Pacific and into Central America on 4/30. The Active Phase is to start building over the West Pacific on 4/25 at moderate strength.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (3/26) A solid Active signal was moving over the KWGA today with west anomalies barely filling the KWGA. The forecast has west anomalies holding for a few days then giving way to weak west anomalies on 4/1 even as the Active Phase of the MJO moves over the KWGA through 4/7 but with west anomalies holding over the East Pacific. East anomalies are to rebuild to moderate to strong status filling the KWGA 4/7 through the end of the model run on 4/23 with the Inactive MJO traversing the KWGA 4/10-4/22. West anomalies are to try to get a toe in the door in the far West KWGA again starting on 4/21.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (3/27 - using the 5th ensemble member - the mean of the 4 individual members which are all from the 00Z run - 1 run per day):
Today the Active Phase of the MJO was pushing east through the KWGA with modest west anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast depicts the Active Phase continuing pushing fully over the KWGA on 3/28 holding through 5/14 with west anomalies filling east to 170E. A weak Inactive MJO signal is to follow starting 5/8 holding through the end of the model run on 6/24 but with west anomalies filling most of the KWGA to 175E 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 to the dateline 6/7 with the second contour fading on 6/8. 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 moving slowly but steadily east from now on reaching 175E on 6/7. Of note, the leading edge of the low pressure bias has been stalled at 150E since 1/31, but finally started moving east on 3/27. 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. And today's run of the model now suggests east anomalies centered at 150W later May into June. 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: (3/27) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was gone. The 28 deg isotherm line was pushing east to 172E after falling back to 168E on 3/23. The 24 deg isotherm was steady at 95W and if anything deepening. 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 160W with a previous Kelvin Wave in the East Pacific at +2C down 25m centered at 105W pushing east and fading. A broad area of -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 -4 degs C and appearing to be expanding in coverage and getting colder while the remnants of the Kelvin Wave in the fade. 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 falling 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. But the highlight was a broad pocket of negative anomalies 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-102W with cool anomalies at -1.75 degs 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: (3/26) The latest images depict a broad generic pool of cool water on the equator extending west from 135W dissipating on the dateline. Warming waters were building from Ecuador west beyond the Galapagos to 135W. 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 (3/26): Solid warming was moving west extending from 110W to almost the dateline and modestly weak. Weak cooling was building from Ecuador west to 110W.
Hi-res Overview: (3/26) 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 130W 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: (3/27) Today's temps were steady down at -0.073 after peaking at +0.760 on 3/18. Temps had been moving upwards since 2/20, and beat 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:
(3/27) Today's temps were rising at -0.704 and have been on that trend since 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 (3/27) - T
emps are to continue falling to -1.25 degs in early May and then slowly rising to -1.20 degs July holding into 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 (3/27) the daily index was positive at +11.49 after peaking at +27.33 on 1/31/22 and +46.71 on 12/26. The trend of late has been solidly positive. Previous other notable peaks were +30.98 on 11/26, +36.90 on 9/28, +27.75 on 9/13 and +37.86 on 7/15.
The 30 day average was rising some at +13.46 and the highest in a year, after falling to +0.83 on 1/27 then peaking at +13.07 on 12/31 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 +7.90 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
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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