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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Wednesday, August 31, 2022 12:42 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
1.5 - California & 1.0 - 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 8/29 thru Sun 9/4

Swell Potential Rating Categories
5 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Significant swell
4 = Good probability for 1-2 days of Significant swell
3 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Intermediate/Advanced swell
2 = Good probability for  1-2 days of
Intermediate/Advanced swell
1 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Impulse or Windswell
0 = Low probability for 1-2 days of Impulse or Windswell   

Small SPac Swell Pushing North
Another Behind It - Possible Better NZ Swell Forecast


Wednesday, August 31, 2022 :

  • Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt)/Buoy 239 (Lani): Seas were 2.4 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 0.9 ft @ 15.6 secs from 193 degrees. Water temp 81.5 degs (Barbers Pt), 81.1 (Pearl Harbor 233), 81.0 (Lani 239).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 2.6 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 1.7 ft @ 7.8 secs from 38 degrees. Water temp 81.3 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.1 ft @ 6.2 secs with swell 1.1 ft @ 13.5 secs from 209 degrees. Wind north at 10-12 kts. Water temperature 71.2 degs, 69.6 (Topanga 103), 61.3 degs (Long Beach 215), 65.1 (Del Mar 153), 69.4 (Oceanside Offshore 045), 72.5 (Torrey Pines Outer 155). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 1.4 ft @ 13.3 secs from 195 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.0 ft @ 13.0 secs from 204 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.2 ft @ 13.0 secs from 188 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.2 ft @ 12.6 secs from 196 degrees. Water temp 71.2 degs.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 2.7 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 1.9 ft @ 13.6 secs from 193 degrees. Wind at buoy 46012 was northwest at 8-10 kts. Water temp 63.7 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 55.9 (Pt Reyes 46013), 59.2 (46026), NA (SF Bar 142), 60.8 (Pt Santa Cruz 254) and 57.7 (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).
- 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 Wednesday (8/31) North and Central CA had set waves at waist high on the sets coming from the north and somewhat cleanish but with some intermixed heavy texture and soft. Protected breaks were flat to knee high and clean and soft. At Santa Cruz surf was flat to knee high and clean. In Southern California/Ventura waves were flat and warbled but with no local wind. Central Orange County had sets at waist to maybe chest high and lined up coming from the south and fairly clean but with some weak southerly warble running through it. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at waist high and soft and crumbled with warble in the water. North San Diego had sets at knee to thigh high and weak and soft and fairly clean. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore had a few thigh to waist high sets and soft and clean. The East Shore was flat to knee high and warbled from modest east-northeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Wednesday (8/31) Hawaii and California had not swell of interest. was still getting swell from a gale that developed southeast of New Zealand Sat-Sun (8/14) producing up to 33 ft seas aimed northeast. Swell is starting to show on the buoys in California from this system too. And another modest system developed in the deep Central South Pacific Thurs-Fri (8/19) producing 26-30 ft seas aimed northeast. Swell is propagating towards California. After that, nothing is forecast until Sat-Mon (8/29) when a small gale is forecast developing in the deep Central South Pacific tracking northeast with seas in the 30-33 ft range. Up north a gale produced 24 ft seas over the North Dateline region for 24 hours on Fri (8/19). Tiny swell is starting to hit Oahu's North Shore. But its now becoming a game of waiting for Fall to start, but likely not for another 4-6 weeks.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Wednesday (8/31) no swell was in the water relative to Hawaii or the US West Coast.

Over the next 72 hours a small low pressure system is forecast developing off the Oregon-California border in the Eastern Gulf of Alaska Wed AM (8/31) starting to produce 30 kt west winds over a tiny a tiny area with seas building. In the evening 35 kt west and northwest winds are forecast building with seas 18 ft at 42N 162W aimed east. By Thurs AM (9/1) fetch is to be rapidly fading from 25-30 kts with seas 16 ft at 40N 140W aimed east. Small windswell is possible targeting Southern Oregon down into Central CA. 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

  • Thurs AM (9/1) northwest winds to be 15 kts for North CA and 20 kts for Central CA mainly south of Monterey Bay. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 15-20 kts from the south end of Cape Mendocino southward to Pt Conception. Limited short period windswell developing later.
  • Fri AM (9/2) northwest winds to be 15-20 kts for North and Central CA while low pressure start building in the Northern Gulf of Alaska. In the afternoon northwest winds build at 20 kts for all of North and Central CA. Windswell building some.
  • Sat AM (9/3)northwest winds are to build at 20 kts solid over all of North and Central CA. More of the same in the afternoon. Low pressure starting to fade later in the Northern Gulf. Windswell holding.
  • Sun AM (9/4) northwest winds are forecast at 20 kts for all of North CA and down into Central CA to Morro Bay with northwest winds 10 kts south of there. In the afternoon northwest winds to hold unchanged. Windswell continues.
  • Mon AM (9/5) northwest winds are to be 20-25 kts mainly off the coast of North CA with northwest winds 15 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon the gradient builds over North CA at 25 kts with northwest winds 15 kts from the Golden Gate southward. Windswell building.
  • Tues AM (9/6) northwest winds to fade to 20 kts for all of North CA and 10-15 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon more of the same is forecast. Windswell fading some.
  • Wed AM (9/7) northwest winds are forecast at 20 kts for North CA and 10 kts of less for Central CA. Windswell fading slightly.

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 remains 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 Wednesday (8/31) the influential southern branch of the jetstream was ridging south under New Zealand pushing well over the Ross Ice Shelf down to nearly Antarctica at 70S then lifting northeast and free of Antarctic Ice almost starting to form a trough over the South Central Pacific being fed by 120-130 kt winds perhaps starting to offer some support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to lift north to 45S while moving over the Southeast Pacific early Thurs (9/1) with winds only 90 kts perhaps offering some more support for gale development then fading out later in the day. Beyond 72 hours starting Sat (9/3) the jet is to settle into a zonal flow running east on the 60S latitude line not offering any support for gale development in the east. but a very solid trough is forecast developing under New Zealand on Sat (9/3) with 170 kt winds pushing north over the southern tip of New Zealand then slowly fading into Sun 99/4) with winds down to 120 kts but still in a good configuration before fading on Tues (9/6) over the Central South Pacific. Good potential is projected to support gale development. And remnants of that trough are to continue pushing east though weak into Wed (9/7). There's hope.

Surface Analysis
Swell was fading in California from a gale previously over the Central South Pacific (see Central South Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours another small gale is forecast developing in the upper reaches of the Central South Pacific Wed PM (8/31) producing 40 kt south winds aimed well north but over a small area with seas building to 28 ft at 49S 134.75W aimed north. On Thurs AM (9/1) 45 kts south winds to build slightly in coverage while lifting northeast with seas 28 ft over a slightly broader area at 46S 129W aimed northeast. Fetch is to be fading in the evening from 35-40 kts while still lifting northeast with seas 28 ft at 44S 125W aimed north. Fetch fading Fri AM (9/2) from 35 kts from the south with seas fading from 26 ft at 40.75S 122W aimed north. Something to monitor.

Southern CA: Rough data suggest swell arriving on Thurs (9/8) building to 1.3 ft @ 17-18 secs later (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell building on Fri (9/9) to 2.3 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft) mid-day. Swell Direction: 192 degrees

North CA: Rough data suggests swell arrival on Fri (9/9) building to 2.0 ft @ 16 secs later. Swell Direction: 188 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.

Southern CA: Dribbles Wed (8/31) fading from 1.7 ft @ 12-13 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 190 degrees

North CA: Dribbles Wed (8/31) fading from 1.8 ft @ 12-13 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 188 degrees


Another Central South Pacific Gale
On Sun (8/28) a gale developed over the deep South Central Pacific with 40 kts southwest winds on the north edge of the Ross Ice Shelf getting traction on ice free waters and producing 28 ft seas at 60S 160.75W aimed east-northeast. In the evening 40 kt southwest winds lifted northeast with seas building in coverage at 29 ft at 56.5S 153W aimed northeast. On Mon AM (8/29) 40-45 kt southwest winds continued tracking east-northeast with seas building to 31 ft at 51.25S 137.5W aimed northeast. In the evening southwest winds were 40+ kts on the eastern edge of the CA swell window with 33 ft seas at 50.75S 127W aimed northeast and poised to move out of the CA swell window while fading after that. No additional fetch occurred beyond.

Oahu: No meaningful swell is expected for the Hawaiian Islands.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon (9/5) building to 1.6 ft @ 19 secs later (3.0 ft). Swell building on Tues (9/6) to 2.5 ft @ 16-17 secs later (4.0 ft). Swell steady on Wed (9/7) at 2.6 ft @ 15-16 secs early (4.0 ft). Swell fading on Thurs (9/8) from 2.4 ft @ 14-15 secs early (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 200 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon (9/5) building to 1.5 ft @ 20 secs later (3.0 ft). Swell building on Tues (9/6) to 2.0 ft @ 17-18 secs midday (3.5 ft). Swell steady on Wed (9/7) at 2.2 ft @ 15-16 secs early (3.5 ft). Swell fading on Thurs (9/8) from 2.1 ft @ 14-15 secs early (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 195 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 perhaps another small gale is to develop in the Eastern Gulf on Tues (9/6) producing 18-19 ft seas falling southeast and better organized offering some potential for early seas small swell if one is to believe the models.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a broad gale is forecast developing south of New Zealand on Sat PM (9/3) producing 1,000 nmiles of south winds at 35-40 kts aimed north targeting primarily the Southern tip of New Zealand with seas building from 32 ft and shadowed by New Zealand relative to Hawaii and CA. On Sun AM (9/4) a broad fetch of 40-45 kts south winds are to be free and clear of New Zealand with 32 ft seas at 54.5S 171.5E aimed north. In the evening a broad fetch of south winds at 40 kts is to be easing east with seas 33 ft at 52S 176.75W aimed northeast. On Mon AM (9/5) a broad fetch of 35-40 kts southwest winds are to be lifting northeast with seas 36 ft at 50.75S 174W aimed northeast. Fetch fading in the evening from 30-35 kts aimed northeast with seas 33 ft at 48S 166.75W aimed northeast. Fetch and seas dissipating from there. Something to monitor.


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 = 4.0 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)

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

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (8/30) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific and strong east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and modest east over the Central Pacific and moderate east over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, versus realtime, so they lag what is happening today (by about 2.5 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (8/31) Strong east anomalies were over the KWGA today. The 7 day forecast calls for strong east anomalies holding over KWGA focused at 160E maybe losing a bit of coverage the last few days of the model run (9/5-9/7).

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (8/30) A modest Inactive MJO signal was indicated today over the KWGA. The statistical model indicates it fading to neutral status starting on day 5 of the model run and then weakly building to Active status on day 10, and building to a moderate strength Active Phase on day 15 of the model run over the KWGA. The dynamic model suggests the Inactive signal fading to weak status on day 5 of the model run and nearly gone on day 10 then neutral on day 15 of the model run. The 2 models pretty much divergent in the longer term.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (8/31) The statistical model depicts the Active signal was weak over Central Indian Ocean and is to slowly plod east reaching the far West Pacific 15 days out at very weak status. The dynamic model suggest the Active Phase moving to the Maritime Continent then backtracking to the Indian Ocean 15 days out.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (8/31) A solid Inactive MJO signal (dry air) was over the East equatorial Pacific today. The forecast depicts it moving inland over Ecuador on 9/5 and slowly fading as the Active Phase (wet air) starts building east into the KWGA on 9/5 filling it by 9/15 then tracking east and pushing into Ecuador on on 10/5. The Inactive Phase (dry air) is to start building over the over KWGA on 9/30 pushing east and filling the KWGA at the end of the model run on 10/10.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (8/30) A weak Inactive MJO was all but gone over the KWGA today. East anomalies are in control over the KWGA at moderate strength. Looking forward the Active Phase is forecast strong over the Maritime Continent but never reaching the KWGA into 9/7 with east anomalies building to strong status over the KWGA on 9/3 fading some then pushing again on 9/13 near 160E then fading but still at moderate strength through the end of the model run on 9/27.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind):
(8/31) - using the 5th ensemble member - the mean of the 4 individual members which are all from the 00Z run - 1 run per day):
Today a pulse of the Inactive Phase is setting up over the KWGA and forecast to hold through 10/2 with a weak pulse of the Active Phase trying to make headway into the KWGA 9/6-9/20 then fading with mostly modest east anomalies controlling the the KWGA. On 10/4 a coherent Active Phase of the MJO is to start pushing through the KWGA in earnest and in control through the end of the model run on 11/27 centered over the dateline if not east of there. West anomalies are to move from the Maritime Continent 10/2 bleeding east to about the dateline on 10/15 then holding if not fully moving east starting 11/11 and filling the KWGA at moderate plus status and easing east from there. this would be a huge change if it develops as forecast. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias with 2 contour line centered at 180W with its western perimeter at 155E today. The second contour is to build into October then collapse on 11/2 with the western edge of the high pressure bias retrograding west to 145E at 10/15 then possibly starting to east east from there to 150E at the end of the model run. A broad double contour low pressure bias is established centered over the West Maritime Continent at 90E with it's leading edge at 130E today but is forecast retrograding to 125E on 10/10 then starting to east east slightly at the end of the model run. Of note, east anomalies which are and have been centered at 180W and are to continue to have some solid influence over the KWGA into early Oct, then dissipate completely thereafter with west anomalies taking over the KWGA beyond.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (8/31) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was gone, previously at 171E. The 28 deg isotherm line was backtracking to 176E from 180E. The 26 degree isotherm was pushing east to 147W. The 24 deg isotherm was backtracking from 125W. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +2 deg C were in a pocket in the far West Pacific down 150m with it's leading edge easing east to 150W, A pocket of cool anomalies at -2 degs C were centered at 120W and filling the area from 145W and points east of there. The remnants of a previous Kevin Wave were at +1 degs in the East Pacific off Ecuador starting at 117W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 8/26 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 GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (8/26) 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: (8/30) 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 110W-140W but with cooler water now starting just south of the Galapagos continuing to 160E. An area of warm water was present on the equator from Ecuador west to 130W but mostly just north of the equator starting at 2N. 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 (8/30): A string of mostly small warm pockets were on the equator between Ecuador to 160W. Weak warming has the edge today.
Hi-res Overview: (8/30) 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 starting on the equator and points north of there. 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: (8/31) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs compared to official sources). Today's temps have stabilized at -0.953 degs and have been in the -1.0 range since 7/29. 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:
(8/31) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs). Today's temps appear to have stabilized at -0.856 after falling to -0.984 on 8/22. Temps have been falling since 7/15 reaching La Nina threshold on 7/27 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.

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 -1.05 degs in Aug.
Forecast (8/31) - Temps are to hold at about -1.0 degs into Sept then slowly falling to -1.20 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 ad heading up from there presumably. This model suggests we are going to steadily transition towards ENSO neutral in Dec. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps bottomed out at -1.05 in mid Aug and are to be rising slightly then falling back to -0.95 degs in Nov then starting a steady upward climb rising above La Nina threshold in Jan 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 (8/31) the Daily Index was rising at +31.74. 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 +8.23 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 steady at +11.10 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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