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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Sunday, August 21, 2022 2:04 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
3.0 - California & 3.2 - 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 8/22 thru Sun 8/28

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   

New Zealand Swell Hitting HI
Bound For CA - Central South Pacific Swell Heading North Too


Sunday, August 21, 2022 :

  • Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt)/Buoy 239 (Lani): Seas were 4.5 ft @ 16.7 secs with swell 2.8 ft @ 16.3 secs from 191 degrees. Water temp 81.3 degs (Barbers Pt), 81.1 (Pearl Harbor 233), 80.2 (Lani 239).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.2 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 2.3 ft @ 9.5 secs from 348 degrees. Water temp 81.0 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.6 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 13.7 secs from 188 degrees. Wind east at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 69.8 degs, 64.9 (Topanga 103), 64.4 degs (Long Beach 215), 73.9 (Del Mar 153), 74.7 (Torrey Pines Outer 155). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 2.3 ft @ 13.6 secs from 180 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.4 ft @ 13.4 secs from 203 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.7 ft @ 14.9 secs from 180 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.9 ft @ 13.7 secs from 179 degrees. Water temp 74.3 degs.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.9 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 4.7 ft @ 8.1 secs from 319 degrees and southern hemi swell 1.5 ft @ 15.7 secs from 170 degrees. Wind at buoy 46012 was northwest at 11-16 kts. Water temp 57.9 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 52.9 (Pt Reyes 46013), 55.8 (46026), 59.9 (SF Bar 142), 58.5 (Pt Santa Cruz 254) and 56.8 (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).
- Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
- Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
- up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.

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

Current Conditions
On Sunday (8/21) North and Central CA had set waves at waist high or so at top breaks coming from the north with whitecaps coming from the south. Protected breaks had some sets at waist high and pretty heavily textured from south wind. At Santa Cruz surf was flat and clean. In Southern California/Ventura waves were flat to maybe thigh high and clean and soft. Central Orange County had sets at waist high and lined up and slightly warbled from southerly wind early. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at chest to near head high on the peak and soft and lined up with a good amount of southerly warble. North San Diego had sets at waist high and soft but fairly lined up and a little warbled from south wind. Hawaii's North Shore had a few stray thigh high sets and clean. The South Shore was awake again with sets at head high or so and lined up and clean but inconsistent. The East Shore had easterly windswell at thigh to waist high and chopped from moderate east-northeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Sunday (8/21) Hawaii was starting to see swell from a broad but weak gale that developed southeast of New Zealand Sat-Sun (8/14) producing up to 33 ft seas aimed northeast. Swell is building in Hawaii and bound for the US West Coast. And another modest system developed in the deep Central South Pacific Thurs-Fri (8/19) producing 26-30 ft seas aimed northeast. But after that, nothing is forecast. Up north a gale produced 24 ft seas over the North Dateline region for 24 hours on Fri (8/19). Tiny swell is propagating towards Hawaii. At this point we're waiting for Fall to start, likely another 4-6 weeks out.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Sunday (8/21) small swell from a gale previously over the North Dateline was radiating towards Hawaii (see North Pacific Gale below).

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


North Dateline Gale
A small gale developed over the North Dateline area Thurs-Fri (8/19) with 35 kt west winds and up to 24 ft seas at 51N 176.75E at 06Z Fri (8/19) aimed east. Small swell is pushing towards Hawaii.

Oahu: Expect swell arrival on Tues (8/23) building to 2.1 ft @ 12-13 secs later (2.5 ft). Swell fading Wed (8/24) from 2.0 ft @ 11 secs early (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 335 degrees


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


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest were occurring.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Mon AM (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 most of North CA and 20+ kts for all of Central CA but shallow. No windswell forecast.
  • Tues AM (8/23) a building fetch of northwest winds at 20 kts is forecast for North and Central CA early. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 20 kts over all of North and Central CA and building in coverage north of California. Windswell building.
  • Wed AM (8/24) northwest winds to be 20-25 kts for Cape Mendocino early and 10-15 ks from Pt Arena southward to Pt Conception. In the afternoon the gradient is to be isolated to Cape Mendocino with northwest winds 20 kts with light northwest winds at 5-10 kts from Bodega Bay southward. Windswell fading.
  • Thurs AM (8/25) northwest winds to be 20 kts for Cape Mendocino with a light northwest flow at 10 kts for most of greater North and Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds to be limited to Cape Mendocino at 15-20 kts with northwest winds 10 kts south of there. No real windswell expected.
  • Fri (8/26) morning the gradient rebuilds with northwest winds 25+ kts for Cape Mendocino and a light eddy flow from Pt Arena southward. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts over a solid area over most of North CA winds northwest winds 5-10 kts south of there. Windswell rebuilding.
  • Sat (8/27) morning northwest winds are forecast at 25-30 kts over Cape Mendocino with 20 kt winds down to Bodega Bay and alight northwest flow at 10 kts from Pt Reyes southward. More of the same in the afternoon but with northwest winds 15 kts for Central CA. Windswell building.
  • Sun (8/28) more of the same is forecast early with northwest winds 25+ kts for Cape Mendocino and 5-10 kts from Pt Reyes southward. The gradient looks to be fading in the afternoon. Windswell fading.

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: (Scroll down for Resort specific forecasts).


South Pacific

On Sunday (8/21) the influential southern branch of the jetstream was ridging hard south under New Zealand pushing into Antarctica and over the Ross Ice Shelf offering no support for gale development. East of there the jet was in a zonal flow tracking west to east on the 60S latitude line just over the northern edge of Antarctic Ice offering no support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours that ridge is to push east with 130-140 kts winds all over Antarctic Ice offering no support for gale development through Wed (8/24). Beyond 72 hours starting Thurs (8/25) the jet is to continue in a zonal flow displaced south running east on the 60S latitude line offering nothing. A new ridge is to start building under New Zealand on Sun (8/28) pushing well over the Ross Ice Shelf and sweeping east likely continuing the lockdown on gael formation beyond.

Surface Analysis
Swell was starting to hit Hawaii from a gale previously under New Zealand and is radiating towards the US West Coast (see New Zealand Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours the above swell is to reach California. And small swell is to be radiating north from a gale previously over the Central South Pacific (see Central South Pacific Gale below).

Otherwise no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.


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: 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 Central South Pacific 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 Central South Pacific swell. Swell Direction: 210 degrees


Central South Pacific Gale
A gale developed off the northern edge of Antarctic Ice over the Central South Pacific on Wed PM (8/17) with 35-40 kt southwest winds pushing off the ice shelf and seas building from 22 ft at 60S 158W aimed northeast. On Thurs AM (8/18) a broad fetch of 40 kt southwest winds were developing north of the ice line with seas building from 29 ft at 56S 151.5W aimed northeast. In the evening a broad area of 35+ kt south to southwest winds were moving over the Southeast Pacific aimed well northeast with seas 28 ft at 50.75S 136.75W aimed northeast. Fetch persisted Fri AM (8/19) over the Southeast Pacific at 35+ kts aimed well north with seas 27 ft at 55S 132.5W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch was fading in coverage from the south at 30-35 kts with seas 25 ft at 49S 126W. On Sat AM (8/20) fetch was fading from 30 kts on the eastern edge of the CA swell window aimed north with seas 23 ft at 47S 123W aimed northeast. The gale dissipated from there. Small swell is radiating north towards the US West Coast.

Hawaii: No swell to reach the Islands.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (8/26) building to 1.8 ft @ 17-18 secs later (3.0 ft). Swell builds on Sat (8/27) to 3.0 ft @ 16 secs mid-day (4.5 ft). Swell fading on Sun (8/28) from 2.9 ft @ 14-15 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell fading Mon (8/29) from 2.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.5 ft). Residuals on Tues (8/30) fading from 2.1 ft @ 13 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Dribbles Wed (8/31) fading from 1.7 ft @ 12-13 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 190 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (8/26) building to 1.5 ft @ 18 secs late (2.5 ft). Swell builds on Sat (8/27) to 2.9 ft @ 16-17 secs later (4.5 ft). Swell fading on Sun (8/28) from 2.9 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.5 ft). Swell fading Mon (8/29) from 2.6 ft @ 14 secs (3.5 ft). Residuals on Tues (8/30) fading from 2.3 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.0 ft). Dribbles Wed (8/31) fading from 1.8 ft @ 12-13 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 188 degrees


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




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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest 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.

Fall/Winter 2022 = 5.0 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)

Rationale: It was assumed that the moderate La Nina from the Winter of 2020/2021 was on the wane and that a return to neutral ENSO state would set up over the Pacific Basin through the summer of 2021. But La Nina made a strong return by the end of Sept much like what the CFS model suggested would happen with a full double dip La Nina pattern took hold through the Winter of 21/22. But a quick fade is forecast as we move into late December 2022 with the CFS predicting a return to a neutral wind anomaly pattern and the low pressure bias making headway in to the KWGA in early Jan. Still it will take some time for the atmosphere to fully respond, resulting in a less than normal swell production forecast especially for Fall into early Winter 2022. But by later in Jan 2023 a return to a more normal pattern might take hold. As a result a significantly reduced number of storm days and storm intensity is expected Oct 22-Jan 23, resulting in a below normal level of swells, with swell being below normal duration and period. But by Feb 2023, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start improving as La Nina fades out. The net result is we're currently thinking a normal number of swells with normal size and duration is to result. but it will be below normal before Jan and above normal after Jan 23 with the average of the two being 'normal'. Of course this is all highly speculative at this early date.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (8/20) 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 light easterly over the East equatorial Pacific and modest 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): (8/21) Modest east anomalies were over the KWGA today. The 7 day forecast calls for modest east anomalies building coverage over the KWGA filling most of the Equatorial Pacific on 8/25 and holding through the end of the model run on 8/28 building to moderate to near strong status.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (8/20) A weak Inactive MJO signal was indicated today over the KWGA. The statistical model indicates literally no change is forecast for the next 15 days other than perhaps the weak Inactive signal getting weaker through day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model suggests the Inactive signal building to strong status on days 5 and 10 of the model run then weakening and almost gone at day 15. The 2 models are somewhat divergent.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (8/21) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over Africa and is to slowly plod east perhaps reaching the West Maritime Continent 15 days out. The dynamic model suggest the Active Phase building to moderate strength over Africa 4 days form now then starting to race east over the West Maritime Continent and weak 15 days from now.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (8/21) A weak Inactive MJO signal (dry air) was over the West Pacific and the KWGA. The forecast depicts the weak Inactive MJO (dry air) is to be pushing east over the East Pacific on 9/5 then dissipating there. A weak Inactive Phase (dry air) is to be building just north of the KWGA starting 8/31 tracking east while fading into 9/20. A weak MJO signal is forecast beyond through the end of the model run on 9/30.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (8/20) A weak Active MJO was over the dateline today producing one pocket of west anomalies there with east anomalies holding over the bulk of the KWGA. Looking forward the Active Phase is forecast fading on 8/24 with east anomalies in control of the KWGA at modest strength. East anomalies are to start building in earnest on 8/27 as the Inactive Phase of the MJO starts pushing east over the KWGA 8/23 and holding through 9/7. East anomalies are to build and peak at strong status 8/31 then fading some but still holding at moderate plus status through the end of the model run on 9/17. A strong Active Phase of the MJO is to be building over the Maritime Continent 8/31 sliding east through the end of the model run but not quite in the KWGA yet at the end of the model run.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind):
(8/21) - 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 fading over the KWGA with intermixed pockets of west and east anomalies over that area. The forecast indicates the Active Phase is to dissipate on 8/24. A stronger pulse of the Inactive Phase is to set up in the KWGA 8/23-9/14 with weak to modest east anomalies taking control of the KWGA. But on 9/8 a coherent Active Phase of the MJO is to start pushing through the KWGA and in control through the end of the model run on 11/28 but now centered over the dateline if not east of there. West anomalies are to be strong over the Maritime Continent bleeding east to about 150E starting 9/16, then pushing east while weakening with west anomalies filling the KWGA from 11/5 and beyond. East anomalies are to slowly give way and dissolve over the vast majority of the equatorial Pacific by then. 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 10/21 but insignificant and not making any real eastward progress with west anomalies still in control. 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: (8/21) 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 backtracking to 150W after recently retrograding from 142W. The 24 deg isotherm was backtracking from 105W now reaching the surface at 132W today. 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 161W, A pocket of cool anomalies at -3 degs C were centered at 135W and filling the area from 155W and points east of there. The remnants of a previous Kevin Wave were at +1 degs in the East Pacific off Ecuador starting at 112W and slowly losing coverage while pushing east and erupting to the surface. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 8/16 indicates the same broad area of warm anomalies in the west pushing east to 160W 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 now gone in the east. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (8/16) Sea heights were stabilizing 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 steady in coverage between Ecuador and 155W with a core at -15 cms at 140W. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram cool anomalies were positioned between Ecuador to 160W easing east. A cool cycle is underway. Hopefully it is only a single pulse similar to the last one 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: (8/20) 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 105W-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 (8/20): A string of cool pockets were on the equator between Ecuador to 140W and losing intensity. Cooling has the edge today.
Hi-res Overview: (8/20) 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 110W 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. La Nina remains in control over the East Equatorial Pacific and the density and intensity of the cooling appears to be building with warm water from a previous Kelvin Wave breaking up over the East equatorial Pacific.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (8/21) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs compared to official sources). Today's temps were falling some at -1.077 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 4/21/22. 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 1/3/22 and -1.954 on 12/18/21, the lowest this year so far. Previously temps dropped on 11/24/21 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. That 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:
(8/21) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs). Today's temps continue falling at -0.962. 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 5/15/22 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 (5/2/22) 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 1/3/22 beating the previous low of -1.080 on 11/2/21, the lowest in a year. Prior to that temps had been in a freefall starting from the -0.175 range in early Sept/21. Before that temps peaked up at 7/1/21 +0.332, the highest in a year. Temps previously had been steady near -0.222 since early March 2021. Temps bottomed out at -1.654 on 11/3/2020.

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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 -1.05 degs in Aug.
Forecast (8/21) - Temps are to hold at about -1.0 degs into Sept then slowly falling to -1.15 degs in Nov then start a quick rise beyond 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 Dec. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps rising some through Oct to -0.85 degs, falling back to -0.95 degs in Nov, then starting a steady upward climb rising above La Nina threshold in late 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 hold through mid-Oct then quickly dissolving beyond.
IRI Consensus Plume: The August 19, 2022 Plume depicts temps are -0.809 degs today. Temps to fall more to -0.862 in Oct then are to warm to the La Nina threshold at -0.589 in Dec and -0.393 in Jan rising to +0.182 in April. This model suggests a continuation of minimal La Nina temps through early Dec 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 (8/21) the Daily Index was rising at +3.88. 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 at +9.11 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 +11.44 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
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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing:

Mavericks & Stormsurf on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel

Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:

Time Zone Converter By popular demand we've built and easy to use time convert that transposes GMT time to whatever time zone you are located. It's ion left hand column on every page on the site near the link to the swell calculator.

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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