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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Sunday, November 28, 2021 1:39 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
2.5 - California & 2.5 - Hawaii
Using the 'Winter' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

Probability for presence of largest swells in near-shore waters of NCal, SCal or Hawaii.    

Issued for Week of Monday 11/29 thru Sun 12/5

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 Dateline Swell for HI & CA
Northwest Gulf Swell for CA Beyond/Local Gale for HI


On Sunday, November 28, 2021 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt): Seas were 2.7 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 2.3 ft @ 10.3 secs from 298 degrees. Water temp 78.3 degs (Pearl Harbor 233), NA (Lani 239), 79.2 (Barbers Pt).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.8 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 3.6 ft @ 10.3 secs from 330 degrees. Water temp 79.0 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.6 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 2.1 ft @ 13.5 secs from 248 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north at 0-2 kts. Water temperature 61.0 degs, 61.3 (Topanga 103), 59.9 degs (Long Beach 215), 62.1 (Del Mar 153), 63.5 (Pt Loma 191). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.8 ft @ 11.9 secs from 285 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.9 ft @ 13.6 secs from 252 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.4 ft @ 13.2 secs from 244 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 2.5 ft @ 13.1 secs from 274 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 6.9 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 5.1 ft @ 11.6 secs from 288 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was north 8-10 kts. Water temp 57.2 (Pt Reyes 029), 56.1 (46026), 56.3 degs (SF Bar 142), and 55.6 (Santa Cruz 254).

See Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (bottom of the page)

Swell Classification Guidelines

Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
- 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 (11/28) North and Central CA had set waves at 1-2 ft overhead early and clean with good form. The swell continues. Protected breaks were chest to maybe shoulder high and lined up and clean with decent form. At Santa Cruz surf was chest high and lined up and clean but weak. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist high on the sets and clean but weak. Central Orange County had sets up to chest high and lined up and clean but mainly closed out. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at knee to maybe thigh high and clean and weak. North San Diego had thigh high sets and clean with top breaks to waist high. Hawaii's North Shore was getting some sets at head high and clean and lined with decent form. The South Shore was flat and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell at thigh high and modestly chopped from northeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Sunday (11/28) Hawaii was getting leftover swell from a gale and follow on energy that developed on the dateline Sun-Tues (11/23) with up to 37 ft seas aimed east with secondary fetch from producing 24-26 ft seas in the Western Gulf aimed southeast on Tues-Wed (11/24). California was getting the same swell but with additional swell intermixed as residual fetch from that system reorganized in the Gulf Wed-Thurs (11/25) producing 28 ft seas aimed east. Another gale developed on the dateline moving over the Western Gulf on Fri (11/26) producing 25 ft seas aimed southeast at Hawaii and the US West Coast. That swell is radiating towards the Islands first. Looking forward a gale is forecast developing over the North Dateline Region on Sun (11/28) producing 23 ft seas aimed east, then losing definition only to redevelop in the Northwestern Gulf Mon-Tues (11/30) with 25-26 ft seas aimed east targeting Hawaii and the US West Coast. Another gale is to develop in the Northern Gulf on Wed-Thurs (12/2) producing 23 ft seas over a respectable sized area aimed east. And a broader one is forecast just north of Hawaii on Fri-Sun (12/5) producing 30 ft seas aimed due south. So a bit of hope for everyone.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Sunday (11/28) the jet was well consolidated tracking east off Japan with winds building to 190 kts start to form a trough mid-way to the dateline then ridging some over the dateline before falling into a steep and pinched trough north of Hawaii offering nothing, then ridging northeast up into British Columbia. There was some support for gale development in the developing trough. Over the next 72 hours the trough is to track east and fade before reaching the dateline not offering much. And by Tues (11/30) the jet is to start heavily splitting over Japan with the northern branch lifting hard north inland over Siberia then extending east off Kamchatka with winds over Japan building to 160 kts offering nothing. In the east the jet is to be ridging northeast from the South Dateline up into British Columbia setting up a well entrenched Atmospheric River (AR). But no clear swell support for gale development is indicated. Beyond 72 hours the northern branch of the jet which is to be tracking through the West Bering Sea is to start fall south over the Eastern Aleutians on Thurs (12/2) at 130-140 kts carving out a steep trough there offering some support for gale development falling hard south into Fri (12/3) almost impacting Hawaii. Then additional solid wind energy is to start falling into the trough late on Fri (12/3) with winds to 180 kts impacting Hawaii and offering great support for gale development. That trough is to continue into Sun (12/5) offering more support for gale development targeting Hawaii. Otherwise the jet is to be ridging northeast off Japan pushing up into the Central and Eastern Bering Sea and then ridging over the US West Coast offering nothing. At least there is to be wind energy in the jet over the North Pacific.

Surface Analysis
On Sunday (11/28) swell was fading in Hawaii and California from a gale that previously built on the dateline with secondary and tertiary energy in the Western Gulf (see Dateline Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours starting Sun AM (11/28) a gale was starting to develop over the North Dateline Region with 30-35 kt west winds over a decent sized area and 23 ft seas at 47.25N 177E aimed east. The gale is to track east in the evening with 30-35 kt west winds over a solid area with 20-26 ft seas at 47N 178W aimed east. On Mon AM (11/29) fetch is to move to the Northwestern Gulf with 40 kt west winds and seas 31 ft at 51.5N 162.5W aimed east. In the evening additional 35 kt west fetch is to be building south of what was the main fetch with 23 ft seas at 43N 155W aimed east. On Tues AM (11/30) 30 kt west fetch is to move east with 22 ft seas at 48N 148W aimed east. In the evening 30 kt west winds are to continue circulating in the Northern Gulf with 18-20 ft seas in the Northeast Gulf at 50N 142W aimed east.

Secondary fetch is building in the Northern Gulf on Wed AM (12/1) with 35-40 kt northwest winds and seas 21 ft at 52N 153W aimed southeast. In the evening northwest winds to continue at 35 kts with 24 seas at 53N 146W aimed east. On Thurs AM (12/2) fetch is to be fading from 30 kts from the west with 21 ft seas at 52N 145W aimed east and barely in the Ncal swell window (319 degrees).

Possible swell mostly radiating southeast targeting mainly towards the US West Coast. Something to monitor.


Dateline Gale
On Sun AM (11/21) a more impressive gale started building over the Dateline Region producing northwest winds at 45-50 kts with seas building from 22 ft at 37N 174E aimed southeast. The gale tracked east in the evening with 50-55 kt west winds and seas building from 32 ft at 38.5N 177.25W aimed east. On Mon AM (11/22) fetch was nearly stationary over the dateline at 50-55 kts from the west with 37 ft seas at 43N 173.25W aimed east. In the evening the gale was fading over the dateline with 40-45 kt west winds and seas 35 ft at 45N 172.25W aimed east.

On Tues AM (11/23) secondary fetch was building from 30-35 kts from the northwest over the dateline over a building area with seas 20-26 ft over a broad area centered at 43N 175W aimed east. In the evening 30-35 kt northwest fetch is to be falling southeast with 26 ft seas at 43N 174.75W aimed southeast. On Wed AM (11/24) fetch is to be fading from 30-35 kts moving into the Central Gulf with 24 ft seas over a small area at 39.25N 168W aimed southeast. The gale is to fade from there.

Tertiary fetch is to redevelop Wed AM (11/24) in the Central Gulf producing 40 kt west winds and seas building from 24 ft at 42.5N 158W aimed east. In the evening west winds are to be lifting northeast at 40+ kts with seas 29 ft at 44.25N 151.25W aimed east. Fetch racing northeast on Thurs AM (11/25) at 35 kts off Washington with seas 23 ft at 46N 143W aimed east. The gale is to dissipate from there.

Oahu: Dribbles on Sun (11/28) fading from 3.8 ft @ 11 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 320-325 degrees

North CA: Swell fading on Sun (11/28) from 3.9 ft @ 13 secs (5.0 ft). Dribbles on Mon (11/29) fading from 3.9 ft @ 11-12 secs (4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 295 degrees moving to 290 degrees


Dateline/West Gulf Gale
On Thurs PM (11/25) a gale started building over the North Dateline producing 35 kt northwest winds and seas 20 ft at 45N 175E aimed southeast. On Fri AM (11/26) 35 kt northwest winds moved over the dateline with seas 23 ft at 43.75N 176W aimed southeast. In the evening the gale moved to the Western Gulf with 30-35 kt northwest winds over a decent sized area and seas 23 ft at 41N 172W aimed southeast. On Sat AM (11/27) the gale was fading in the Central Gulf with 30 kt west winds and seas fading from 18 ft at 37N 163W aimed southeast. The gale dissipated after that.

Oahu: Expect swell arrival at sunset on Sun (11/28) at 3.5 ft @ 14-15 secs (5.0 ft). Swell still decent on Mon AM (11/29) at 4.4 ft @ 13-14 secs (5.5-6.0 ft) and fading some through the day. Dribbles on Tues AM (11/30) fading from 2.8 ft @ 11 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 325-330 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (11/30) building to 3.9 ft @ 12-13 secs later (5.0 ft). Swell fading on Wed (12/1) from 3.4 ft @ 12-13 secs (4.5 ft) then being possibly being overrun by a new and different swell. Swell Direction: 289 degrees


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


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are forecast.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Mon (11/29) north winds to be 10-15 kts early for North CA and northwest winds 10 kts for Central CA early. Northwest winds building to 15 kts later all location.
  • Tues (11/30) northwest winds to be building at 10-15 kts early nearshore for North and Central CA early. In the afternoon north winds to be 15-20 kts for North CA and 10 kts for Central CA.
  • Wed (12/1) north winds to be 10 kts for North CA early and calm for Central CA turning northwest 5 kts in the afternoon all locations.
  • Thurs (12/2) north winds to be 15 kts for Cape Mendocino early and northwest 5 kts for the remainder of North and Central CA. In the afternoon north winds to be 20 kts for Cape Mendocino and light south of there.
  • Fri (12/3) north winds to be 20-25 kts for Cape Mendocino early and light south of there. In the afternoon north winds fading for Cape Mendocino to 5-10 kts with light winds south of there.
  • Sat (12/4) a light northwest flow at 5 kts is forecast early for North and Central CA with low pressure approaching the South Oregon Coast. In the evening the low is to be impacting Cape Mendocino with west winds 5 kts there and northwest winds 15 kts over the rest of North and Central CA.
  • Sun (12/5) northwest winds are to be 15 kts early for all of North CA and 15-20 kts for Central CA holding all day.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 14, 16, 13, and 9 inches all on Dec 6th.

Freezing level 12,500 ft today rising to 14,000 ft on 11/30 through 12/1 then falling back to 12,500 ft dropping to 10.5000 ft on 12/6.


Tioga Pass/Pacific Crest Trail intersection forecast: Temps - Freeze Level (more here - scroll down to 'Resort Snow Forecasts>Central CA or North CA Caltrans & Backcountry')

Snow Models: (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!


South Pacific

Surface Analysis
No swell producing fetch has occurred of is forecast.

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


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 gale is forecast developing 700 nmiles north of Hawaii producing 45 kt northeast to north winds with seas 30 ft at 33.75N 162W aimed southwest. On Sat AM (12/4) northeast winds to build to 50 kts with 33 ft seas at 30N 162W aimed south-southwest with sideband energy targeting Hawaii. In the evening 40-45 kt northeast winds to continue positioned 600 nmiles north-northwest of the Hawaiian Islands with 35 ft seas at 33N 161.25W aimed south. More of the same is forecast Sun AM (12/6) with 33 ft seas at 32.5N 162.5W aimed south. Fetch is to be fading some in the evening. Something to monitor.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.


MJO/ENSO Forecast


La Nina Cold Sub-Surface Pool Discharging
Summary - Cool subsurface water volume peaked under the equatorial Pacific on 10/15/21, beating last years volume, and now is fading in coverage and apparently starting to surge to the surface while easing east. The forecast does suggest weak west anomalies taking over the Western KWGA in January and filling 60% of the KWGA after that with the low pressure bias slowly building in from the west. It appears the cold subsurface pool is now erupting to the surface in the East Pacific, signaling the peak of La Nina.

MJO/ENSO Discussion
The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.
And the El Nino/La Nino cycle (collectively know as ENSO - El Nino Southern Oscillation) is a less frequent (about once every 7 years) but more impactful cycle that affects world wide weather. Specifically, strong El Nino events promote storm production in the Pacific while La Nina events suppress storm production. These therefore have a significant impact on the production of swell and surf. The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO and ENSO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for upcoming activity (or inactivity depending on the state and interaction of these two oscillations).

Overview: In 2019 warm equatorial waters were fading, and by August a tongue of cool water was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos reaching to a point nearly south of Hawaii. A bit of a recovery tried to occur during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water held in a pool off Peru. By April 2020 a cool pool was starting to build, forming a well defined cool tongue that evolved into La Nina, with it fully developing through July 2020. A slow dissolving of La Nina started in March 2021 with 2 Kelvin Waves sweeping east and arriving over the Galapagos in June. Weak warming set up over the equator with no cool waters present. NOAA declared La Nina dead.

Fall /Winter 2021-2022 = 3.0 (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 is making a strong return as we move into the end of Sept much like what the CFS model suggested would happen. So at this point we are speculating that the CFS model will verify and that a full double dip La Nina pattern will take hold as we move into November with this second La Nina dip being nearly as strong as the previous one. But a quick fade is forecast as we move into late Fall (Nov) with the CFS predicting a return to a neutral wind anomaly pattern at that time and the low pressure bias making headway in to the KWGA in early Dec. Still it will take some time for the atmosphere to fully respond, resulting in a less than normal swell production forecast especially for Fall into early Winter. But by later in Jan 2022 perhaps a return to a more normal pattern might take hold. As a result a somewhat reduced number of storm days and storm intensity is expected Oct-Dec, resulting in a below normal level of swells, with swell being below normal duration and period. But by later Winter (2022), the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start improving as La Nina fades out. The status of the PDO is not known, though it appears to be returning to at least a neutral state, rather than the warm phase as previously projected thereby having no significant positive or negative effect on the long term outlook.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (11/27) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific and moderate east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and light 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): On (11/28) east anomalies were strong over the entire KWGA and reaching east to a point south of California. But weak west anomalies were reaching into the KWGA from the west to 150E. The forecast calls for strong east anomalies moving east and nearly east of the KWGA at the end of the model run on 12/4 limited to the dateline and point east of there. West anomalies are to build in from the west reaching 170E filling 70% of the KWGA at the end of the model run.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (11/27) A weak Active MJO signal was indicated building over the West KWGA today. The statistical model suggests the Active Phase is to build east on day 5 of the model run filling the KWGA and holding on day 10 fading some on day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model projects much the same as the statistical model.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (11/28) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the Maritime Continent and is forecast tracking to the West Pacific at day 15 of the model run and exceedingly weak. The dynamic model suggests the same thing but with the Active Phase modest strength over the East Pacific at day 15 of the model run.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (11/27) A weak Inactive MJO signal (dry air) was indicated over the East Pacific today. The Inactive Phase (dry air) is to be track east and into Central America on 12/7. A modest Active Phase (wet air) is to develop over the KWGA on 12/2 pushing to the Central Pacific on 12/12 and into Central America 1/1/2022. The Inactive Phase (dry air) is to start developing over the West Pacific on 1/17 moving to the Central Pacific at the end of the model run on 1/6. The Active Phase (wet air) is forecast starting to build over the West Pacific at that time.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (11/27) This model depicts a neutral MJO pattern over the KWGA but with moderate to strong east anomalies still in control. The forecast indicates a Active MJO signal building over the Maritime Continent pushing into the KWGA on 12/2 with west anomalies reaching to 170E on 12/3 holding through 12/11 as the Active Phase pushes well east through the KWGA during that window. The Active MJO is to start fading on 12/13 with west anomalies slowly backtracking to 130E and mostly out of the KWGA at the end of the model run on 12/25.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (11/28 - using the 5th ensemble member - the mean of the 4 individual members which are all from the 00Z run - 1 run per day): Today the Inactive Phase of the MJO was almost east of the KWGA with moderate to strong east anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Inactive MJO signal is to traverse the KWGA through 12/3 and exit east of it with east anomalies fading from today forward. A weak Active Phase is forecast developing 12/1 with a second pulse on 12/7 holding through 12/30 with west anomalies pushing through the KWGA to 170E 12/6-12/20. A neutral MJO is to follow 12/25-1/7 with east anomalies from 140E and points east of there mostly filling the KWGA. The Active Phase of the MJO is to traverse the KWGA 1/6 through 1/31 with weak west anomalies filling the entirety of the KWGA. A weak Inactive Phase is to follow through the end of the mod run on 2/25 with neutral to weak west anomalies in control of the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias with 2 contour lines was centered over the dateline and is to hold while slowly easing east with it's leading edge to 120W on 1/7 and stalling there beyond. A third contour line is now forecast 1/10-1/31. A broad single contour low pressure bias is now established centered over the Maritime Continent at 100E with it's leading edge at 125E and barely in the KWGA and is forecast starting to move east further into the KWGA on 12/30 reaching to 150E on 2/16 filling 45% of the KWGA and building east stronger from there. Today a solid east anomaly pattern that has been in control of KWGA since early July is still in control and there's no clear and believable sign of it being dislodged anytime soon. La Nina is to prevail this Winter.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (11/28) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was gone today, previously at 164E. The 28 deg isotherm line was holding at 180W. The 24 deg isotherm was easing east to 127W. Warm water is holding position. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +2 deg C were pushing east and now steady at 150W. All sensors are down at 140W so this is a little suspect. Cool anomalies were fading from -3 degs C at 105W down 75 meters and tracking east and almost gone from the East Pacific. No Kelvin Waves were obvious and cool water was in control in the east at depth but definitely less of a force than weeks and months past. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 11/24 is less optimistic indicating no warm water east of 160W at depth with a bubble of cold water at -4C below normal east of there (where the sensors are inoperable) extending upward to the surface and into Ecuador but with noticeably less intensity than weeks past and definitely losing ground. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (11/24) Sea heights were negative over the East equatorial Pacific from Ecuador to 170E at -5 cms with shrinking area of -15 cms anomalies between 90W-120W. No -20 or -25 cms anomalies exist anymore. It seems that the coverage of negative anomalies is in quick decline and easing east. All positive anomalies were limited from 170E and points west of there at 20 to 25 cms. A warm water 'horseshoe' pattern is well developed in the West Pacific. La Nina made a return and stronger than last year, but now appears to be in decline, at least from the subsurface water temp perspective. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram La Nina subsurface cold temperatures peaked in coverage in mid-Oct, far broader than last year (-2.5 degs C), but as of 11/24 that coverage is collapsing centered at 110W with the coolest anomalies (-2.5 degs) gone and -2.0 deg anomalies shrinking fast from the west while building east. It appears a cold water Kelvin Wave (upwelling Kelvin Wave) is tracking east.

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: (11/27) The latest images depict a broad stream of cool water on the equator but weakening though still dominant along Chile and Peru then turning west and quickly building from just off Ecuador over the Galapagos and building in concentration tracking peaking out to 110W then weaker west of there. Cooling nearshore along Chile and Peru was still present. A homogenous area of warm water just north of the equator was fading some from Ecuador west to 140W and up along Central America into Southern Baja and fading. Overall this indicates the return of cold water temps in the Central Equatorial Pacific indicative of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (11/27): Temps were warming along Chile and Peru and west along the equator to the Galapagos. Of more interest temps were cooling over a thin stream from 100W to 150W. A cold water Kelvin Wave is erupting at the surface in the East equatorial Pacific.
Hi-res Overview: (11/27) A broad stream of cooler than normal water was aligned on the equator from Ecuador to 110W then weaker but still solid out to 160E. Cooler than normal waters were also south of that line down to 20S. Warmer than normal waters were limited to a line north of the equator up to Mexico and along the US Coast up to Pt Conception. A very weak cool outflow was fading quickly from South California southwest to the a point over Hawaii's Big Island. La Nina is solid but not building anymore focused over the equatorial Central Pacific.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (11/28) Today's temps were rising slightly at -1.422 after bottoming out on 11/24 at -1.700, the lowest in months after previously toggling steady at about -0.6 degs from mid Aug to Oct 6, then falling from there. Before that temps were toggling around neutral 6/13-8/5 except for one dip to -0.411 on 7/8. Prior to that temps peaked on 3/16 when they briefly hit +0.714 degs. Last year temps bottomed out at -2.138 on 8/13/20. The longterm trend has been steadily downward.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(11/28) Today temps were stable at -0.823 after rising to -0.685 on 11/9, and that after bottoming out at -1.08 on 11/2, the lowest in a year. Prior to that temps had been in a freefall starting from the -0.175 range in early Sept. Before that temps peaked up at 7/1 +0.332, the highest in a year. Temps previously had been steady near -0.222 since early March. Temps bottomed out at -1.654 on 11/3/2020.

Click for Full Sized Image Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (11/28) - Temps rose in early Nov 2020 after bottoming out at -1.25 degs, up to -0.01 degs in mid-June then fading to -0.3 degs through Aug and to -0.75 degs in mid Oct. The forecast indicates temps to continue a dramatic fall from here forward dropping down to -1.50 in mid Jan 2022 then quickly pushing up to +0.00 degs in July 2022. This model suggests a return of La Nina conditions and strongly so this Fall and Winter. There is no indication that El Nino will develop. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps falling to -1.30 degs in late Nov starting to rise slowly after mid-Jan 2022. At this point that is as good a guess as any. And the model has been unwavering in this projection for months now.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Oct 20, 2021 Plume depicts temps are at -0.90 degs today, and are to fade to -0.91 degrees in Nov, then rising to -0.46 degs in Feb and neutral in April 2022. A solid return of La Nina is expected this Fall and early Winter 2021-2022.
See chart here - link.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad - this is a lagging indicator) (11/28): The daily index was positive at +6.40. The trend has been towards positive readings with previous notable peaks were at +30.98 on 11/26, +36.90 on 9/28, +27.75 on 9/13 and +37.86 on 7/15. The 30 day average was rising steadily at +11.24 after previously falling to +6.06 on 11/6 after peaking at +11.58 on 10/22. Before that it fell to -3.36 on 6/22, the lowest in a year. It peaked at +19.51 on 1/14. The 90 day average was rising slightly today at +9.79 after falling to +7.10 on 11/1. It previously peaking on 9/21 at +9.80 after falling to it's lowest point in a year on 6/9 at +1.06. The 90 day average peaked at +15.75 on 2/23 (clearly indicative of La Nina then). This index is a lagging indicator but suggest La Nina is returning.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
The PDO theoretically turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and was positive till Dec 2019, but has been negative every 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). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'). If anything it appears more likely we are still in the cool phase of the PDO.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 

Powerlines Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest
Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for this week. See it Here
For automatic notification of forecast updates, subscribe to the Stormsurf001 YouTube channel - just click the 'Subscribe' button below the video.

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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing:

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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