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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, March 31, 2022 2:07 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   

Final NPac Swell for Hawaii
Southern Hemi Showing Signs of Life

 

BUOY ROUNDUP
Thursday, March 31, 2022 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor)/Buoy 239 (Lanai) NA/Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt) NA: Seas were 2.5 ft @ 5.4 secs with swell 1.9 ft @ 6.1 secs from 148 degrees. Water temp 76.8 degs (Barbers Pt), NA (Lani 239), 77.4 (Pearl Harbor 233).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 6.6 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 4.3 ft @ 13.0 secs from 341 degrees. Water temp 77.0 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.0 ft @ 6.2 secs with swell 2.3 ft @ 8.5 secs from 262 degrees. Wind north at 10-12 kts. Water temperature 60.3 degs, 60.3 (Topanga 103), 59.4 degs (Long Beach 215), 60.8 (Del Mar 153), 61.0 (Imperial Beach 155). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 4.6 ft @ 14.6 secs from 307 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.3 ft @ 17.1 secs from 220 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.3 ft @ 17.2 secs from 196 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 4.2 ft @ 8.6 secs from 277 degrees. Water temp 60.8 degs.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 15.3 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 11.0 ft @ 9.5 secs from 320 degrees. Wind at buoy 46012 was northwest at 23-31 kts. Water temp 49.6 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 50.7 (46026), 53.6 (SF Bar 142), and 52.9 (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 Thursday (3/31) North and Central CA had set waves at 1-2 ft overhead and warbled and uneven and mush and just windswell. Protected breaks were head high on the sets and mostly closed out and warbled. At Santa Cruz surf was head high or so on the sets and clean and fairly lined up but soft and a little uneven. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist to near chest high and warbled and mushed and chopped though local wind was light. Central Orange County had sets at chest high and somewhat lined up with decent form but pretty textured and soft from southerly wind. South Orange County's best summertime breaks were thigh to maybe waist high and somewhat lined up but mushed and soft with south bump intermixed. North San Diego had sets at waist high and somewhat lined up but with much bump intermixed and onshore wind. Hawaii's North Shore had sets at head high and lined up with decent form but with some sideshore northerly lump running through it. The South Shore was thigh high on the sets and clean with decent form but weak. The East Shore was waist high and chopped from modest east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (3/31) California was getting locally generated northwest windswell. Hawaii was getting fading swell from a system that developed in the Western Gulf on Sun-Tues (3/29) with up to 27 ft seas aimed east. A third system is developing while tracking east from Kamchatka to the Northern Dateline on Tues-Thurs (3/31) with 24 ft seas aimed east. Swell arrival for the Island on Fri (4/1). There low odds of a pair of weak gales developing in the Northern Gulf on Sat (4/2) and Sun-Mon (4/4) producing 22 and 27 ft seas respectively. But beyond that nothing is projected. Winter is over. Down south a small gale formed well southeast of New Zealand on 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 about a system developing southeast of New Zealand on Sun (4/3) tracking east-northeast across the South Pacific through Thurs (4/7) with seas to maybe 40 ft. Something to monitor.

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 Thursday (3/31) the jet was reasonably consolidated tracking east off Japan with winds 150 kts then fading on the dateline falling into a gentle and weak trough in the Northern Gulf but being fed by only 90 kts winds offering nothing, then ridging northeast and moving over the Canadian Coast. In all a pretty weak set up. Over the next 72 hours wind energy is to again start building into the jet starting Fri (4/1) with 140-160 kt winds pushing consolidated from over Japan to the east-northeast moving just south of the East Aleutians forming a weak trough in the Northern Gulf on Sat (4/2) offering some limited support for low pressure development before pushing over Canada on Sun (4/3). Beyond 72 hours more of the same is forecast with a trough developing in the Western Gulf on Mon (4/4) perhaps offering some support for gale development then pushing east and fading. But back to the west the jet is to start splitting over the Kuril Islands on Mon (4/4) with the split point pushing east to the Western Gulf on Thurs (7/7) with no trough indicated and no support for gale development suggested. This perhaps signals the demise of the Winter.

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (3/31) swell from a gale previously near the dateline was fading in Hawaii (see Dateline Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours fetch is to develop in the Central Gulf on Fri PM (4/1) generating 35 kt west winds with sea building to 22 ft at 47.75N 154.5W aimed east. On Sat AM (4/2) 35 kt west winds to push up toward Canada producing seas of 24 ft at 51.75N 145.75W aimed east and just barely in the North CA swell window (318 degs). This system is to fade just off North Canada in the evening. Something to monitor.

North CA: Potential small swell to arrive on Mon (4/4) late afternoon at 5 ft @ 14 secs (7.0 ft) and likely buried in local windswell. Swell Direction: 303-318 degrees

 

Dateline Gale
On 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 moved 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 were 30-35 kts over the Northwestern Gulf with seas 20 ft at 45N 163W aimed southeast. In the evening fetch was fading from 30 kts with 20 ft seas at 48N 159W aimed southeast. Fetch and seas faded from there. Something to monitor.

Oahu: Residuals on Thurs (3/31) fading from 3.6 ft @ 11-12 secs early (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 320 moving to 340 degrees

North CA: Swell arrived late on Wed (3/30) with period 14-15 secs but totally buried in local windswell and invisible.

 

Weak Dateline Gale
A gale developed while moving from Kamchatka over the North Dateline region starting Tues AM (3/29) producing 35 kts northwest winds pushing off Kamchatka with 23 ft seas at 46N 165E aimed southeast. In the evening 35 kt northwest winds pushed east with seas holding at 23 ft at 45N 172.5E aimed southeast. Fetch was fading Wed AM (3/30) from 30 kts from the northwest over the dateline with seas 23 ft at 43N 179.5E aimed southeast. Fetch continued fading from 30 kts in the evening with seas 23 ft at 47N 178.25W aimed southeast. The gale dissipated from there.

Oahu: Expect swell arrival late on Fri (4/1) building to 3.6 ft @ 16 secs late (5.5 ft). Swell continues on Sat (4/2) fading from 4.5 ft @ 14-15 secs early (6.5 ft). Residuals on Sun (4/3) fading from 3.2 ft @ 13 secs early (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 325-330 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 (4/1) northwest winds continue 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.
  • Sat AM (4/2) 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 10-15 kts for Central CA.
  • Sun AM (4/3) northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for North CA and 15-20 kts for Central CA early. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 20 kts for North CA and 20-25 kts for Central CA.
  • Mon (4/4) west winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for North CA early and northwest 20-25 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 10 kts for North CA and 20-25 kts for Central CA.
  • Tues (4/5) northwest winds are forecast at 10 kts for Cape Mendocino early and and 20-25 kts for Pt Arena southward and and 25 kts for the south end of Monterey Bay southward. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 25-30 kts for North and Central CA.
  • Wed (4/6) morning northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for North CA and 15-20 kts for Central CA.
  • Thurs (4/7) morning northwest winds at forecast at 15-20 kts for North CA early and 15 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 15 kts for Cape Mendocino but 10 kts for the remainder of North CA and 5-10 kts for Central CA.

 

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 0, 0, 0, and 0 inches.

Freezing level around 9,000 ft through 4/3 falling to 7,000 ft on 4/4 then building to 10,500 ft on 4/5 and up to 12,000 ft starting 4/6. Freezing level possibly falling to 4,000 ft on 4/9.

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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
Small swell from a gale previously southeast of New Zealand was poised to hit Southern CA (see Another South Pacific Pulse below).

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.

 

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

 

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 starting Sun AM (4/3) another gale is to build in the Northwestern Gulf with 40-45 kts west winds over a small area and seas building from 22 ft at 48.25N 156.75W aimed east. In the evening 45 kt west winds are to be over the Northeastern Gulf with seas 28 ft at 49.75N 148W aimed east. On Mon AM (4/4) it is to move east with 45 kts west winds off North British Columbia with 274 ft seas at 50.5N 138.25W aimed east. Something to monitor.

It's the last gasp of winter. Nothing else is on the charts behind.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours the models suggest a gale developing southeast of New Zealand on Sun PM (4/3) producing 45 kt west-southwest winds and seas 32 ft at 59.5S 176.5E aimed east-northeast. On Mon AM (4/4) 45-50 kt south winds are forecast building with seas 35 ft at 54.75S 164W aimed northeast. In the evening a solid fetch of 40-45 kts southwest winds are forecast with seas 36 ft at 58.5S 151.5W aimed northeast. On Tues AM (4/5) fetch is to be rebuilding at 45 kts from the southwest with seas 39 ft at 57.5S 142.75W aimed east-northeast. In the evening 45 kt west winds are to be tracking east with seas 41 ft at 55.5S 140.25W aimed east-northeast. Fetch is to be fading Wed AM 94/6) over the Southeastern Pacific from the southwest at 35-40 kts with seas 37 ft at 53S 136.25W aimed east-northeast. Fetch fading in the evening from 35 kts from the southwest with seas fading from 30 ft at 53.25S 129.25W aimed northeast. Fetch and seas to be dissipating from there. 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 developing. It seemed 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. Much steady west anomalies are forecast from here forward. 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 (3/30) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific and moderate east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral to light east over the East equatorial Pacific and light east over the Central Pacific and light 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 (3/31) west anomalies were moderate filling the West KWGA with light east anomalies over the dateline. The 7 day forecast calls for more of the same but with west anomalies building to near strong status filling the West KWGA to 155E on 4/5 with east anomalies building to strong status over the dateline and holding through the end model run on 4/7. This is a surprising improvement if it develops.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (3/30) A neutral MJO signal was indicated today in the KWGA. The statistical model indicates no change until day 10 with a weak Inactive Signal in the far West KWGA moving to the dateline on day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model projects a dead neutral pattern for the next 10 days turning to an Active Phase on day 15 in the KWGA. The 2 models are mostly in sync except 2 weeks out.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS):
(3/31) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was very weak over the West Pacific and is forecast to track east some but still very weak. The dynamic model suggests the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (3/30) A weak Active MJO signal (wet air) was over the West Pacific today. The forecast depicts the Active Phase (wet air) moving east weakly over the Central Pacific and into Central America on 4/17. The Inactive Phase is to follow moving over the KWGA on 4/12 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 4/29 at moderate strength pushing east to the Central Pacific at the end of the model run on 5/9.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (3/30) A solid Active signal was moving over the KWGA today with west anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast has west anomalies building in coverage and strength filling the KWGA through 4/8 then east anomalies are to start building on the dateline 4/10. After that east anomalies are to take over the KWGA holding through the end of the model run on 4/27 with the Inactive MJO traversing the KWGA 4/10 through the end of the model run. West anomalies are to totally be gone from the KWGA starting 4/13.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (3/31 - 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 to the dateline with modest west anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast depicts the Active Phase continuing pushing over the KWGA through 4/24 with west anomalies filling east to 170E or more. A weak Inactive MJO signal is to follow starting 4/14 in the west holding through 6/5 with west anomalies fading some but still filling the entirety of the KWGA. The Active Phase is to reappear on 6/3 filling the KWGA through the end of the model run on 6/28 with west anomalies building and filling the entirety of the KWGA. 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 6/5 with the second contour fading away on 6/10. 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 6/20. 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 done. And today's run of the model now suggests those east anomalies are to recenter themselves at 150W starting 4/25 and holding into June. All this suggest the full demise of La Nina if this occurs as forecast. 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 now.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (3/31) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was barely present at 161E. The 28 deg isotherm line was pushing east to 174E after falling back to 168E on 3/23. The 24 deg isotherm was steadily deepening across the East Pacific. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +2 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 3/24 indicates the same pocket of cool anomalies between 170W-120W at -5 degs C and appearing to be expanding in coverage and getting colder while the remnants of the Kelvin Wave in the east fade. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (3/24) Sea heights were falling over the Equatorial Pacific. A string of weakly positive anomaly pockets were at 5N pushing from the dateline into the Galapagos. But the highlight remains a broad pocket of negative anomalies over the equator between 170W to 120W building to -15 cms at 140W. Otherwise positive anomalies were mostly locked west of the dateline. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram the previous Kelvin Wave was holding between 83W-102W with cool anomalies at -2.25 degs between 120W-167W. 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: (3/30) 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 broad pocket of cool water was off the coast of Peru starting at 95W extending west and reaching up to the equator out at 135W continuing to the dateline. 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 (3/30): Weak warming was moving west extending from 130W to almost the dateline and north and south of the equator east of there. Weak cooling was present from Ecuador west to 120W a degree of 2 north and south of the equator.
Hi-res Overview: (3/30) 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: (3/31) Today's temps were steady down at -0.119 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:
(3/31) Today's temps were steady at -0.715 after rising to -0.704 on 3/27 and had been on a gentle rising trend since falling to -1.012 on 3/8. Previously temp were 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 (3/31) - T
emps are to continue falling to -1.25 degs in early May and then slowly rising to -1.10 degs July more or less holding there 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 -0.80 degs in July and roughly holding there before falling to -1.00 degs in Nov. 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 (3/31) the daily index was positive at +6.17 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 +11.93 down some from the highest in a year on 3/27 at + 13.46, 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 +7.32 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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