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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Saturday, September 24, 2022 12:05 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 & 2.5 - 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 9/26 thru Sun 10/2

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 CA
North Pacific To Try - Not Believable Yet


Saturday, September 24, 2022 :

  • Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt)/Buoy 239 (Lani): Seas were 4.9 ft @ 16.7 secs with swell 2.6 ft @ 16.0 secs from 189 degrees. Water temp 81.3 degs (Barbers Pt), 81.3 (Pearl Harbor 233), 81.0 (Lani 239).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 2.9 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 1.9 ft @ 9.6 secs from 282 degrees. Water temp 80.6 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.5 ft @ 18.9 secs with swell 1.0 ft @ 17.7 secs from 203 degrees. Wind northwest at 12-14 kts. Water temperature 71.1 degs, 70.7 (Topanga 103), 69.4 degs (Long Beach 215), 69.8 (Oceanside Offshore 045), 69.8 (Del Mar 153), 71.2 (Torrey Pines Outer 155). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 1.7 ft @ 17.9 secs from 205 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.9 ft @ 18.2 secs from 200 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.2 ft @ 17.7 secs from 201 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) this buoy was down.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 4.6 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 1.7 ft @ 18.1 secs from 197 degrees. Wind at buoy 46012 was northwest at 6-8 kts. Water temp 55.9 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 55.8 (Pt Reyes 46013), 58.6 (46026), 61.7 (SF Bar 142), 60.8 (Pt Santa Cruz 254) and 62.1 (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 Saturday (9/24) North and Central CA had minimal windswell at thigh to maybe waist high coming from the northwest and soft and warbled but with clean surface conditions early and not great. Protected breaks were flat to thigh high and soft and clean. At Santa Cruz surf was chest to head high on the bigger sets and clean with no wind and fog early. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist to chest high and lined up but inconsistent and warbled from northwest wind early. Central Orange County had rare sets at shoulder high and lined up coming from the south and clean but soft. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at chest high and lined up and clean with good form but inconsistent. North San Diego had sets at waist high and somewhat lined up and soft and with clean conditions. Hawaii's North Shore had a few waist high sets and clean. The South Shore had sets at head high and lined up and clean with good form early. The East Shore was thigh high and ruffled from modest southeast wind.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Saturday (9/24) Hawaii was getting swell from a gale that developed under New Zealand on Wed (9/14) with 38 ft sea aimed northeast. And that swell was starting to build in California. And secondary fetch from that system developed over the Central South Pacific Sat-Sun (9/18) with up to 28 ft seas aimed northeast. Swell from that system is hitting Hawaii intermixing with the previous swell while also radiating towards CA. Summer continues. And another weak gale developed in the deep Central South Pacific on Thurs (9/22) with seas briefly to 37 ft aimed mostly east then fading. Another gale is to develop in the Southeast Pacific Mon-Tues (9/27) with seas in the 34 ft range aimed northeast. And week out on Fri-Sat (10/1) another gale is forecast developing while pushing under New Zealand with seas to 37 ft aimed well northeast. And up north of Fri-Sat (10/1) a gale might develop while crossing over the dateline with seas in the 30 ft range aimed east. We're moving towards a Fall pattern, finally.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Saturday (9/24) no real swell was in the water relative to Hawaii or the US West Coast.

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


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


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored at this time.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Sun AM (9/25) northwest winds to be 15 kts for Cape Mendocino early and 10 kts south of there over the remainder of North CA and all of Central CA early continuing in the afternoon. No windswell expected.
  • Mon AM (9/26) northwest winds to be 10-15 kts early for Cape Mendocino and 10 kts for the rest of North CA and Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 10 kts for North CA and 15 kts for Central CA south of Monterey Bay. No windswell production forecast.
  • Tues AM (9/27) northwest winds to be 10 kts for all of North CA and 15 kts south of Monterey Bay. Low pressure is to be building just off Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 15 kts for North CA south of Pt Arena and 15-20 kts for Central CA south of Monterey Bay. No windswell production forecast.
  • Wed AM (9/28) the low is to be lifting north off Washington. Northwest winds to be 10 kts north of Bodega Bay and 15 kts south of there and 15-20 kts for Central CA south of Monterey Bay. In the afternoon northwest winds to build rapidly at 15-20 kts for all of North and Central CA. Windswell production starting in the afternoon.
  • Thurs AM (9/29) northwest winds to be 20-25 kts for North CA and 20 kts for Central CA early. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 20-25 kts for North CA and 15 kts for Central CA. Northwest windswell building more.
  • Fri AM (9/30) northwest winds to be 20-25 kts for Cape Mendocino but 10 kts of less from Pt Reyes southward producing limited windswell. Northwest winds are forecast at 10 kts south of the Golden Gate. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 15-20 kts for North CA and 10 kts for Central CA. Windswell fading.
  • Sat AM (10/1) northwest winds to be 15 kts for North CA early and 10 kts for Central CA. No real windswell is forecast. Building low pressure is forecast off Vancouver Island.

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 12,500 ft today and is forecast holding unchanged through 10/1 then falling to 9,000 ft beyond.

- - -

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 Sat (9/24) the influential southern branch of the jetstream was forming a trough over the South Central Pacific being fed by 130 kt winds running zonal at 58S perhaps offering some fuel for gale development. Otherwise winds were weak over the rest of the South Pacific offering nothing. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to track east and starting to look more legitimate while lifting northeast Sun AM (9/25) over the Southeast Pacific offering some support for gale development then weakening Tues (9/27) being fed by only 110 kts winds offering little in terms of support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours more of the same is forecast through Fri (9/30) with a weak trough over the Southeast Pacific. But on Sat (10/1) a pockets of winds energy is to build under New Zealand at 140 kts running zonally east on the 57S latitude line perhaps starting to fuel gale development.

Surface Analysis
Swell from a gale that formed under New Zealand is hitting Hawaii and starting to build in California (see Another New Zealand Gale below). And more swell from secondary fetch under New Zealand is hitting Hawaii and tracking northeast towards California (see Secondary New Zealand Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a gale is to develop Sun PM (9/25) over the Southeast Pacific with 30-35 kts southwest winds and seas building from 25 ft at 49S 143.75W aimed northeast. Fetch to build Mon AM (9/26) with a core at 40-45 kts from the southwest with 35 kt winds over a decent sized area producing 25 ft seas at 47.25S 140.5W aimed northeast. In the evening southwest winds to be pushing northeast at 45 kts on the edge of the SCal swell window with seas to 34 ft at 51S 128.5W aimed northeast. On Tues AM (9/27) fetch is to be fading from 40 kts while starting to move east of the SCal swell window with seas 34 ft at 47.75S 119.25W aimed northeast. The gale to rapidly move southeast and out of the SCal swell window from there. Something to monitor.


Another New Zealand Gale
A primer gale was developing under New Zealand on Tues AM (9/13) producing 35-40 kt southwest winds with seas building from 25 ft over a small area at 59S 176E aimed northeast. Fetch was fading in the evening from 35-40 kts over a small area aimed northeast with seas fading from 28 ft at 61S 172W impacting the Ross Ice Shelf but serving to rough up the oceans surface there. Then on Wed AM (9/14) the main event developed with a broad area of southwest winds building to 45-50 kts under New Zealand with seas 35 ft at 59.25S 171.75E aimed northeast. In the evening southwest winds were fading from 40-45 kts but over still decent sized area aimed northeast with seas 38 ft at 57.5S 175.75E aimed northeast. On Thurs AM (9/15) fetch was fading while pushing northeast from 30-35 kts from the southwest with seas fading from 34 ft at 55S 173W. Fetch dissipated in the evening with seas fading from 27 ft at 55S 154W aimed northeast. Swell is radiating northeast.

Oahu: Dribbles on Sat (9/24) fading from 1.4 ft @ 14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 192-194 degrees

Southern CA: Swell building slowly Sat (9/24) to 1.4 ft @ 17-18 secs late (2.5 ft). Swell steady on Sun (9/25) at 2.0 ft @ 16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell continues Mon (9/26) at 2.1 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Tues (9/27) from 2.0 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell continues on Wed (9/28) fading from 1.9 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Residuals on Thurs (9/29) fading from 1.8 ft @ 14 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 213-214 degrees

North CA: Swell building slowly Sat (9/24) to 2.0 ft @ 17-18 secs late (3.5 ft). Swell steady on Sun (9/25) at 2.1 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.5 ft). Swell continues Mon (9/26) at 2.3 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft). Swell fading on Tues (9/27) from 2.2 ft @ 15 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell continues on Wed (9/28) fading from 2.1 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0 ft). Residuals on Thurs (9/29) fading from 2.0 ft @ 14 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 211-212 degrees


Secondary New Zealand Gale
A secondary fetch developed under New Zealand on Fri AM (9/16) lifting northeast with winds 40-45 kts over a broad area and seas 29-30 ft just north of the Ross Ice Shelf at 61.25S 178E aimed northeast. In the evening fetch is to push northeast at 40 kts with seas 33 ft at 58.75S 170W aimed northeast. Fetch is to continue Sat AM (9/17) at 40 kts from the southwest with seas 29 ft at 58S 158.25W over a decent sized area. Fetch is to hold coverage in the evening at 35-40 kts with seas 27 ft at 54.75S 153.25W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (9/18) fetch is to be over the Southeast Pacific fading from 30-35 kts with seas fading from 25 ft at 56S 139.25W aimed northeast. Something to monitor.

Oahu: Expect swell arrival on Sat (9/24) building to 1.2 ft @ 16 secs later (2.0 ft). Swell continues on Sun (9/25) at 1.6 ft @ 15 secs early (2.5 ft). Swell dissipating Mon (9/26) from 1.3 ft @ 13-14 secs early (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 190-192 degrees

Southern CA: Swell to be merged with Another New Zealand Gale swell (see above).

North CA: Swell to be merged with Another New Zealand Gale swell (see above).


Weak New Zealand Pulse
On Thurs AM (9/22) a small gale developed just north of the Ross Ice Shelf south of New Zealand with 45 kt southwest winds and seas building from 34 ft at 60.75S 166.25E aimed east-northeast. In the evening fetch tracked east at 40-45 kts with seas 33 ft at 61S 174W aimed east. On Fri AM (9/23) the gale was over the Ross Ice shelf no longer producing winds over ice free waters and offering nothing.

No swell of interest is expected for HI or CA.


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 a small gale is to form just off Washington Tues PM-Wed AM (9/28) producing seas to 23 ft at 48N 135W possibly resulting in small swell down into North CA.

And a tropical system forecast for the Northwest Pacific is to track northeast off Japan then building while approaching the dateline on Fri AM (9/30) with seas to 33 ft at 42N 170.5E aimed east. In the evening it is to reach the dateline with 31 ft seas at 42.5N 179.5E pushing east. The gael is to fade while lifting northeast from there. This is a pure fantasy construed by the models.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours starting Fri AM (9/30) a broad fetch of 40+ kt southwest winds are to push east under New Zealand getting traction and building seas from 34 ft at 58.25S 164E aimed northeast. In the evening 40-45 kt southwest winds to be pushing northeast with seas building to 36 ft at 57.5S 177E aimed northeast. On Sat AM (10/1) 40 kt southwest winds to be approaching the Central South Pacific with seas fading from 34 ft at 54.25S 166.25W aimed northeast. 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 (9/23) 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 modest east 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): (9/24) West anomalies were filling the Western KWGA and east anomalies east of there. The 7 day forecast calls for west anomalies slowly backtracking through the West KWGA and gone by 9/27 with east anomalies building reaching strong status 9/27 filling the KWGA and holding through the end of the model run on 10/1.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (9/23) A neutral MJO signal was indicated today over the KWGA. The statistical model indicates an Inactive MJO slowly building over the KWGA for the next 15 days filling it at the end of the model run. The dynamic model suggests a neutral MJO signal holding for the next 10 days then turning modestly Active on day 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (9/24) The statistical model depicts the Active signal was very weak over Africa today and is to move to the Central Indian Ocean 15 days out at moderate status. The dynamic model suggest the Active Phase moving quickly to the Maritime Continent and building there to moderate strength 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): (9/24) A solid Active MJO signal (wet air) was over the West KWGA today with an Inactive MJO (dry air) moving into Ecuador. The forecast depicts the Active Phase moving steadily east while building over the KWGA then into the Central and East Pacific then moving into Central America on 10/24. An modest Inactive Phase (dry air) is to start building over the over KWGA on 10/17 pushing east moderately filling the equatorial Pacific at the end of the model run on 11/3.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (9/23)
A neutral MJO signal was indicated today but with weak west anomalies filling 70% of the KWGA. The forecast calls for a neutral MJO signal for the next month but with weak west anomalies collapsing on 9/25. East anomalies to quickly develop on 9/28 building to strong status for a few days around 9/30 then moderating but still at moderate status focused at 170E from 10/4 through 10/19, starting to fade at the end of the model run on 10/21.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind):
(9/23) - using the 5th ensemble member - the mean of the 4 individual members which are all from the 00Z run - 1 run per day):
Today weak west anomalies holding over most of the KWGA. Neutral to weak west anomalies to hold west of 170E through 10/4 but with east anomalies modest to near strong status limited over the dateline while a weak pulse of the Inactive Phase controls of the KWGA 9/25-10/4. Then on 10/8 a coherent Active Phase of the MJO is to start pushing through the KWGA in earnest and in control through 12/13 with west anomalies moving from the Maritime Continent 10/10 bleeding east to the dateline on 11/4 and building more filling the KWGA on 11/11 and building beyond. This would be a huge change if it develops as forecast. The key date is 10/31 for the demise of east anomalies and presumably La Nina. A weak Inactive Phase of the MJO is to follow 11/15 through the end of the model run on 12/22 but with weak west anomalies in control. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias with 2 contour lines centered at 180W with its western perimeter at 155E today. The second contour is to hold into October then collapse on 11/19 with the western edge of the high pressure bias retrograding west to 145E at 10/15 then starting to ease east from there to 170E 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 ease 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 by 10/31 (previously 10/19) with west anomalies taking over the KWGA beyond. This would be a huge step forward, if it develops.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (9/24) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was gone, previously at 171E. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 178E. The 26 degree isotherm was backtracking 145W to 152W today. The 24 deg isotherm had backtracked from Ecuador to 133W and was holding at 132W today. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +2 deg C were in a pocket in the far West Pacific down 150m with it's leading edge stuck at 155W. A pocket of cool anomalies at -2 degs C were centered at 130W and filling the area from 155W and points east of there but they appears to be fading and losing density. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 9/20 indicates the same broad area of warm anomalies in the west pushing east to 155W and far warmer. A cool pocket was filling the area east of 155W and reaching the surface and far cooler. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (9/20) Sea heights were stable but negative over the East 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 covering from Ecuador to 150W with a previous broad core at -15 cms breaking into two pockets between 110W-145W with the largest pocket at 115W and fading. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram cool anomalies were positioned in the Central Equatorial Pacific between 157W to 90W and stationary and getting colder at 119W. A cool cycle is underway. It is already longer in duration than the previous cool pulse. If something doesn't change soon, 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: (9/23) 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 Ecuador to 135W. An area of warm water was present on the equator from Ecuador west to 140W 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 (9/23): A fragmented line of warm anomalies were on the equator between Ecuador to 130W with cool pockets at 115W and 125W. The trend was towards warming.
Hi-res Overview: (9/20) 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 90W to 135W 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 some on the equator with warm water from a previous Kelvin Wave breaking up over the East equatorial Pacific.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (9/24) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs compared to official sources). Today's temps were rising at -1.234 after falling to -1.498 degs on 9/21 and had been falling since 9/14 after being 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:
(9/24) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs). Today's temps were steady at -0.832 after peaking at -0.819 on 9/22 and have been in the -1.0 range since 8/16. Temps had fallen 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.

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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 -1.00 degs in Aug and earl Sept.
Forecast (9/23) - Temps are to be falling from about -1.0 degs in Sept to -1.25 degs in Nov then start a quick rise in Dec and reaching above the La Nina threshold in Feb 2023 and up to +0.35 degs in May and 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 -1.00 in mid Aug and are to hold unchanged into Nov then starting a steady upward climb in Dec rising above La Nina threshold in Feb and rising from there forward to +0.40 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 with momentum towards El Nino in Spring. The surface temp coverage model suggests a temps holding steady through Nov. then a steady erosion of the coldest waters south of Nino3.4 (down at 20S) is to begin. By Dec a clear discharge of La Nina is to begin with near neutral temps prevailing over the entire equatorial Pacific and turning fully neutral in Feb and beyond. The greater equatorial Pacific cool signature looks to hold through mid-Oct then quickly dissolving beyond.
IRI Consensus Plume: The September 19, 2022 Plume depicts temps are -0.957 degs today. Temps to hold in Oct at -0.925 then are to warm to the La Nina threshold at -0.658 in Dec and -0.445 in Jan rising to +0.172 in May. 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 (9/9) the Daily Index was rising at +17.06. 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 +16.97 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 +11.52 previously 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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