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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, August 16, 2022 1:38 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
1.7 - California & 0.5 - Hawaii
Using the 'Summer' 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 8/15 thru Sun 8/21

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   

Weak New Zealand Swell Pushing North
Broader Gale Forecast for Central South Pacific

 

BUOY ROUNDUP
Tuesday, August 16, 2022 :

  • Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt)/Buoy 239 (Lani): Seas were 2.5 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 1.9 ft @ 9.3 secs from 169 degrees. Water temp 80.6 degs (Barbers Pt), 80.2 (Pearl Harbor 233), 80.8 (Lani 239).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 2.8 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 1.7 ft @ 9.4 secs from 270 degrees. Water temp 80.2 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.7 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 13.2 secs from 200 degrees. Wind northwest at 4-6 kts. Water temperature 70.7 degs, 68.2 (Topanga 103), 62.8 degs (Long Beach 215), 73.2 (Del Mar 153), 74.3 (Torrey Pines Outer 155). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 5.0 ft @ 8.6 secs from 306 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.3 ft @ 13.2 secs from 196 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.4 ft @ 13.1 secs from 187 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.7 ft @ 13.4 secs from 180 degrees. Water temp 73.9 degs.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 7.7 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 6.5 ft @ 8.4 secs from 321 degrees. Wind at buoy 46012 was northwest at 16-20 kts. Water temp 50.9 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 50.5 (Pt Reyes 46013), 55.8 (46026), 60.3 (SF Bar 142), 61.2 (Pt Santa Cruz 254) and 54.7 (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 Tuesday (8/16) North and Central CA had set waves at to maybe chest high to shoulder high at top breaks and slightly warbled but fairly clean and lined up though soft with fog on it early. Protected breaks had chest high sets and lined up and fairly clean with a slight warbled running through it and mushed with light fog early. At Santa Cruz surf was flat and clean. In Southern California/Ventura waves were knee to thigh high and clean and soft and not really rideable with fog early. Central Orange County had sets at waist to maybe chest high and reasonably lined up and fairly clean but soft coming from the south with light northwest winds and texture on it early. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had set at waist high or so and soft and lined up and clean. North San Diego had sets at waist high and soft but clean. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore had sets a thigh high or so and soft and clean. The East Shore had windswell with waves thigh high and nearly clean from light to near calm east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (8/16) California and Hawaii were getting no swell of interest. A broad but weak gale developed southeast of New Zealand Sat-Sun (8/14) producing up to 33 ft seas aimed northeast. And another modest system is to develop in the deep Central South Pacific Thurs-Fri (8/19) producing up to 34 ft seas aimed northeast. But after that, nothing. We're waiting for Fall at this point.

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
Surface Analysis
On Tuesday (8/16) no swell of interest was in the water and
no swell producing weather systems have occurred. But a weak early season low pressure system developed in the the Gulf of Alaska Mon-Tues (8/16) with west winds to 25 kts targeting the Pacific Northwest. Maybe some windswell to result with a lot of luck.

Over the next 72 hours reinforcing low pressure is to build over the North Dateline area Thurs-Fri (8/19) with 35 kt west winds with 23 ft seas aimed east. Will believe it when it happens. Something to monitor.

 

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest were occurring.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Wed (8/17) a weak version of the typical summertime pressure gradient is to continue with northwest winds 20 kts for Cape Mendocino and a weak eddy flow (south winds) from Bodega Bay southward early. In the afternoon the gradient is to start fading with northwest winds 15-20 kts limited to Cape Mendocino. A light northwest flow is forecast south of there at 5-10 kts Windswell fading later.
  • Thurs (8/18) light northwest winds are forecast at 5-10 kts along the North and Central CA coast but up to 15 kts over outer waters well off both coasts early. In the afternoon northwest winds build to 15 kts nearshore for North and Central CA. Weak junky windswell for exposed breaks at best.
  • Fri (8/19) northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for North CA early and 15-20 kts for Central CA. More of the same in the afternoon for North CA with 20-25 kts northwest winds and 15 kts for Central CA. Short period junk windswell building some.
  • Sat (8/20) low pressure from the Gulf of Alaska is to be pushing east starting to have influence just off the California coast. Northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for North CA early and 10 kts for Central CA. Winds fading in the afternoon at 20 kts for North CA and 5-10 kts for Central CA. Windswell fading quickly.
  • Sun (8/21) low pressure is to be fading well off the coast with northwest winds 10 kts for North CA and calm to light south for Central CA early. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 10-15 kts for both North and Central CA. No windswell production forecast.
  • Mon (8/22) high pressure start building with northwest winds 15 kts for North CA early and 10-15 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 15 kts for North and Central CA and 20+ kts south of Monterrey Bay. No windswell forecast.
  • Tues (8/23) a building fetch of northwest winds at 15-20 kts is forecast for North and Central CA early . Windswell building.

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

Freezing level for the Tioga Pass Road is 14,000+ ft today and unchanged for the foreseeable future. A summertime pattern is in effect.

- - -

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
Jetstream
On Tuesday (8/16) the influential southern branch of the jetstream was ridging south under New Zealand running east on the 64S latitude line and over the Ross Ice Shelf offering no support for gale development. East of there a trough was fading over the Central South Pacific lifting north to 55S being fed by 120 kt winds and likely not supportive of gale development. Over the next 72 hours starting late Wed (8/17) a new trough is forecast developing over the deep Central South Pacific being fed by a broad area of 120 kt winds lifting northeast to 57S offering some support for gale development while pushing east into Fri (8/19). But west of there a strong ridge is forecast setting up pushing south under New Zealand on Fri (8/19) and into Antarctica then sweeping east into Sun (8/21) locking down the South Pacific and offering no support for gale development if not actively hindering it. Perhaps a trough is to develop on the leading edge of that ridge on Sun (8/21) over the southeast Pacific being fed by 120 kts winds but east of the Southern CA swell window by late Mon (8/22) no longer supporting gale development. At that time the ridge is to be taking over the entirety of the South Pacific offering no support for gale development through Tues (8/23).


Surface Analysis
No swell of interest was hitting Hawaii or California from the Southern Hemi.

Over the next 72 hours small swell is to be radiating north towards Southern CA from a gale previously in the far Southeast Pacific (see Southeast Pacific Gale below).

And small swell is radiating northeast from a gale previously under New Zealand (see New Zealand Gale below).

And a gale is to be building off the northern edge of Antarctic Ice over the Central South Pacific on Wed PM (8/17) with 40-45 kt southwest winds pushing off the ice shelf and seas building from 25 ft at 59.5S 157 aimed northeast. On Thurs AM (8/18) a broad fetch of 40 kt southwest winds are forecast north of the ice line with seas building from 31 ft at 55S 147W aimed northeast. In the evening a broad area of 40+ kt south to southwest winds are to be moving over the Southeast Pacific aimed well northeast with seas 34 ft at 53S 138.25W aimed northeast. Fetch is to be fading Fri AM (8/19) over the Southeast Pacific at 35-40 kts aimed well north with seas 31 ft at 52.25S 127.5W. In the evening fetch is to be fading in coverage from the south at 35-40 kts with seas 31 ft at 55S 123.5W. On Sat AM (8/20) fetch is to be fading from 30-35 kts on the eastern edge of the CA swell window aimed north with seas 29 ft at 52.5S 119W aimed northeast. The gale is to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.

 

Southeast Pacific Gale
A gale developed on the very eastern edge of the the Southern CA swell window Thurs AM (8/11) producing 40 kt west winds and seas 28 ft at 49.5S 132W aimed east. In the evening a new fetch of 45-50 kt southwest winds developed in the same area tracking east with seas 30 ft at 47S 119W aimed northeast. On Fri AM (8/12) fetch was well east of the Southern CA swell window with seas from previous fetch 28-30 ft on the eastern edge of the Southern CA swell window at 48S 118W aimed northeast. Low odds of small swell radiating north into Southern CA.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (8/18) building to 1.0 ft @ 16-17 secs late (1.5 ft). Swell building more on Fri (8/19) to 1.7 ft @ 14-15 secs later (2.5 ft). Swell fading Sat (8/20) from 1.6 ft @ 14 secs early (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 180-185 degrees

 

New Zealand Gale
A gale started developing south of New Zealand on Sat PM (8/13) with 35-45 kt southwest winds and seas building from 33 ft at 57S 167E aimed northeast. On Sun AM (7/14) southwest winds were 40 kts over a decent sized area with seas 31 ft at 53S 179E aimed northeast. In the evening fetch was fading from 35-40 kts from the southwest lifting northeast with seas 29-30 ft at 47S 170W aimed northeast. On Mon AM (8/15) the gale was fading with 30 kt southwest winds and seas from previous fetch fading from 24 ft at 47S 164W aimed northeast. Secondary fetch developed in the evening at 35-40 kts from the southwest getting traction on an already agitated seas state producing 28 ft seas at 48.25S 159.50W aimed northeast. On Tues AM (8/16) fetch was fading from 30 kts with seas fading from 24 ft at 45S 152W aimed northeast. Small swell is possible for Hawaii and the US West Coast.

Oahu: Expect swell arrival on Sat (8/20) building to 1.8 ft @ 18-19 secs late (3.0 ft). Swell building Sun (8/21) to 2.3 ft @ 16-17 secs mid-day (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell continues on Mon (8/22) at 2.9 ft @ 14-15 secs (4.0 ft). Swell fading on Tues (8/23) from 2.2 ft @ 13-14 secs early (3.0 ft). Residuals on Wed (8/24) fading from 2.3 ft @ 12-13 secs (3.0 ft). Dribbles on Thurs (8/25) fading from 1.9 ft @ 11-12 secs ((2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 190 degrees moving to 180 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (8/23) building to 1.7 ft @ 17 secs later (3.0 ft). Swell builds some on Wed (8/24) at 2.1 ft @ 16 secs later (3.0 ft). Swell continues on Thurs (8/25) at 2.1 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft) early. Swell fading on Fri (8/26) from 2.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0 ft) and starting to be overrun by new swell. Swell Direction: 212 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (8/23) building to 1.8 ft @ 17-18 secs later (3.0 ft). Swell builds some on Wed (8/24) at 2.1 ft @ 16 secs later (3.0 ft). Swell continues on Thurs (8/25) at 2.2 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft) early. Swell fading on Fri (8/26) from 1.5 ft @ 15 secs (2.0 ft) and starting to be overrun by new swell. Swell Direction: 210 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 no swell producing weather systems are forecast.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.

 

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

Upwelling Phase Underway
Models Suggesting this to be the Final La Nina Surge
Cool subsurface water volume peaked under the equatorial Pacific on 10/15/21, faded in May and June 2022, but is stating to rebuild in late July. A Kelvin Wave traversed the equatorial Pacific May-June, but was discharged by late July. The SOI appears to be past its peak. La Nina conditions are projected reinforcing in Nino3.4 in Fall then fading by Winter turning neutral. Overall cool water volume over the entire equatorial Pacific is to be fading steadily from here forward. The outlook is turning more 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 and is continuing today, though possibly weaker with its foundation appearing to be in decline.

LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Summer 2022 = 2.5 (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 (8/15) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific and moderate to strong east over the KWGA. Anomalies were weak easterly over the East equatorial Pacific and modest 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): (8/16) Modest east anomalies were over the KWGA today. The 7 day forecast calls for modest to moderate east anomalies continuing filling the KWGA through 8/20 then starting to build to near strong status at the end of the model run on 8/23 with the strongest east anomalies over the dateline.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (8/15) A neutral MJO signal was indicated today over the KWGA. The statistical model indicates a building Inactive Phase developing on day 10 of the model run and at moderate status on day 15. The dynamic model suggests the Inactive signal building to moderate strength on day 10 of the model run then weakening some on day 15. The 2 models are mostly in sync now.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS):
(8/16) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was very weak over Indian Ocean and is to hold position perhaps building some over the Indian Ocean 15 days out. The dynamic model suggest the Active Phase backtracking then racing east and over the Indian Ocean and modest in strength on day 15 of the model run.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (8/16) A moderate Active MJO signal (wet air) was trying to push east into the West Pacific/KWGA. The forecast depicts a moderate Active Phase of the MJO (wet air) is to be pushing east tracking over the Central Pacific and then building on 8/26 while moving into Central America on 9/15. The Inactive Phase (dry air) is to be building over the KWGA starting 9/10 tracking to the East Equatorial Pacific at the end of the model run on 9/25.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (8/15) A weak Active MJO was over the KWGA today and starting to interact with a Equatorial Rossby Wave producing stray pockets of west anomalies over the West KWGA with east anomalies holding over the dateline (West KWGA). Looking forward the Active Phase is forecast traversing the KWGA through 8/22 as the Rossby Wave dissipates producing a few pockets of westerly anomalies in the KWGA, then fading. East anomalies are to start building in earnest on 8/23 with the Inactive Phase of the MJO building over the KWGA on 8/27-9/5. East anomalies are to build to strong status by 8/23 and holding through the end of the model run on 9/12 as the Inactive Phase peaks in the core of the KWGA.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind):
(8/16) - using the 5th ensemble member - the mean of the 4 individual members which are all from the 00Z run - 1 run per day):
Today a weak pulse of the Active Phase of the MJO was peaking over the west KWGA with intermixed pockets of west and east anomalies over the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Active Phase is to traverse the KWGA through 8/24 with weak west anomalies continuing in pockets over the KWGA. A stronger pulse of the Inactive Phase is to set up in the KWGA 8/21-9/25 with east anomalies retaking control of the KWGA and strong just east of the dateline starting 9/8. On 9/10 a coherent Active Phase of the MJO is to start pushing through the KWGA exiting at the end of the model run on 11/13 with west anomalies strong over the Maritime Continent bleeding east to about 150E starting 9/23 holding, then then pushing east while weakening with west and neutral anomalies filling the KWGA from 10/27 and beyond. East anomalies are to slowly give way and dissolve over the vast majority of the equatorial Pacific by 11/8. This is an interesting development. It seems east anomalies are to become less locked and strong even over the dateline as we get deeper into October. A weak Inactive MJO is to follow moving over the KWGA on 11/2 but insignificant and not making any real eastward progress. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias with 1 contour line was centered at 180W with its western perimeter at 165E today. A second contour is to redevelop on 8/12 with the western edge of the high pressure bias retrograding west to 145E at 9/20 then possibly starting to east east from there. A broad single contour low pressure bias is established centered over the Maritime Continent at 115E with it's leading edge at 135E today filling 10% of the KWGA but is forecast retrograding to 125E on 9/20 then starting to east east slightly at the end of the model run. A second contour line is to appear on 8/12. Of note, the leading edge of the low pressure bias has been stalled at 150E since 1/31. But east anomalies have now recentered themselves at 170W (previously on the dateline) and are to continue to have some solid influence over the KWGA into early Oct, then fading.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (8/16) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was steady at 171E. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 180E. The 26 degree isotherm was retrograding to 146W from 142W. The 24 deg isotherm was backtracking from 105W now reaching the surface at 130W. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +1 deg C were in a pocket in the far West Pacific down 150m with it's leading edge easing east to 156W, A pocket of cool anomalies at -4 degs C were centered at 137W and filling the area from 150W and points east of there. The remnants of a previous Kevin Wave were at +1 degs in the East Pacific off Ecuador starting at 120W and slowly losing coverage while pushing east and erupting to the surface. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 8/11 indicates the same broad area of warm anomalies in the west pushing east to 165W and far warmer. A cool pocket was filling the area east of 160W and reaching the surface. The faint fading remnants of a previous Kelvin Wave were all but gone in the east at the surface only. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (8/11) Sea heights were falling over the Equatorial Pacific. A broad pocket of positive anomalies were over the equator in the far West Pacific reaching east to only 165E. A pocket of negative anomalies were building in coverage between Ecuador and 160W with 2 cores with one at -15 cms at 140W and the second at -10 cms at 120W. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram cool anomalies were positioned between 108W to 166W but no longer expanding coverage and if anything moving east. A cool cycle is underway. Hopefully it is only a single pulse similar to the last on in March and not a triple pulse like last year at this time. If a second pulse develops, La Nina will last through the Winter and the models will all be wrong.

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: (8/15) The latest images depict a broad generic pool of cool water extending west from Chile and Peru to the dateline and filling well south of the equator. The coolest water was on the equator between 120W-140W but temps weaker but still cool from there and points west to 160E. An area of warm water was present on the equator from Ecuador west to 105W and losing coverage fast. A weak area of warm water was present north of the equator (15 deg N) extending off mainland Mexico to 145W. Overall this indicates the late stages of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (8/15): A strong of cool pockets were on the equator between Ecuador to 160W. Cooling has the edge today.
Hi-res Overview: (8/15) Persistent cool waters cover a large area from Ecuador to 160E on and south of the equator from South America down at 20S with the coolest waters between 120W to 180W on the equator. Warmer than normal waters were on the equator in the east aligned in a thin stream from Ecuador to 110W reaching 3 degrees north and south of the equator. Previous equatorial warming between 110W to 140W was gone. La Nina remains in control over the East Equatorial Pacific and the density and intensity of the cooling appears to be rebuilding with warm water from a previous Kelvin Wave breaking up over the East equatorial Pacific.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (8/16) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs compared to official sources). Today's temps were rebounding slightly at -1.053 degs and have been in the -1.0 range the past 2 weeks. Temp were down on 7/20 to -1.6 degs. Previously temps were stable near -1.4 degrees 6/12 through 7/27. Peaks in that time frame were -1.189 (7/7), -1.534 (7/5). Previously temps were at -1.822 on 6/9 after being up to -1.506 (5/21) and that after hovering around -2.0 degs since 4/21. Prior to that temps were fading 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:
(8/16) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs). Today's temps continue falling hard at -0.916. Temps fell into La Nina territory on 7/27. Temps have been falling since 7/15 after being more or less steady the previous 3 weeks peaking at -0.25 on 7/14 and -0.275 on 7/5. Previously temps had been on an upward trend since 5/15 rising to -0.414 degs (6/19) and -0.493 on 6/9, the first reading above La Nina threshold values since Sept 2021. Temps were down to -0.929 (5/2) and that after rising to a peak at -0.704 on 3/27 and had been on a gentle rising trend since falling to -1.012 on 3/8. Previously temps 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 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 -1.0 degs in Aug.
Forecast (8/16) - Temps are to holding at -1.0 degs before falling in Nov to -1.2 degs then starting a quick rise and reaching above the La Nina threshold in Jan 2023 and up to +0.50 degs in May. This model suggests we are going to steadily transition towards ENSO neutral in the coming Winter. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps rising some through Oct to -0.80 degs, falling back to -1.0 degs in Nov, then starting a steady upward climb rising above La Nina threshold in Dec and rising from there forward to +0.35 degs in April/May. According to this version of the model we will hold in weak La Nina conditions through Fall before starting a trend towards neutrality in Dec. That said - the surface temp coverage model suggests a temps holding steady through Oct. then a steady erosion of the coldest waters south of Nino3.4 (down at 20S) to begin. By Dec a clear discharge of La Nina is to be nearly complete with near neutral temps prevailing over the entire equatorial Pacific and turning fully neutral in Jan and beyond into Feb. The greater equatorial Pacific cool signature looks to be weakening starting from Nov and beyond.
IRI Consensus Plume: The July 19, 2022 Plume depicts temps are -0.665 degs today. Temps to fall more to -0.821 in Nov then are to warm to +0.024 in March. This model suggests a continuation of minimal La Nina temps through Nov. then transitioning to ENSO neutral. 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 (8/16) the Daily Index was falling some at +9.04. Previous peaks were at +33.57 (5/24), +40.77 (5/10), +31.44 (4/27), +31.80 (4/6), +27.33 (1/31) and +46.71 (12/26). The trend has been solidly positive but starting in July weakness is starting to take hold. Previous other notable peaks were +30.98 (11/26), +36.90 (9/28), +27.75 ( 9/13) and +37.86 (7/15).
The 30 day average was rising from 10.76 after falling 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 slightly at +12.81 previously down at +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 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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