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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, November 30, 2021 3:20 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   

Another North Gulf Swell for CA
Larger Local Swell Possible for HI


On Tuesday, November 30, 2021 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt): Seas were 2.6 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 1.9 ft @ 11.8 secs from 285 degrees. Water temp 78.4 degs (Pearl Harbor 233), NA (Lani 239), 79.0 (Barbers Pt).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 6.4 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 4.7 ft @ 9.8 secs from 43 degrees. Water temp 78.6 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.5 ft @ 11.4 secs with swell 1.8 ft @ 11.5 secs from 242 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north at 0-2 kts. Water temperature 62.1 degs, 61.7 (Topanga 103), 59.9 degs (Long Beach 215), 63.1 (Del Mar 153), 62.6 (Pt Loma 191). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 2.9 ft @ 10.3 secs from 293 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.2 ft @ 12.2 secs from 262 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.0 ft @ 11.8 secs from 250 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 1.6 ft @ 11.7 secs from 260 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 8.0 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 3.9 ft @ 13.5 secs from 289 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was north at 10-14 kts. Water temp 56.7 (Pt Reyes 029), 55.9 (46026), 55.9 degs (SF Bar 142), and 55.8 (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 Tuesday (11/30) North and Central CA had set waves at chest high early and clean with decent form but with intermixed lump/warbled and mushed. Protected breaks were waist to chest high and lined up and clean with decent form but again intermixed with warble and mushed. At Santa Cruz surf was maybe waist high on the sets and clean but with underlying warble and weak. In Southern California/Ventura waves were suspected to be thigh high and clean and soft but heavy fog was obscuring any meaningful view. Central Orange County had sets up to waist high and somewhat lined up and clean but very weak. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at thigh to maybe waist high and clean and weak but closed out. North San Diego had thigh to maybe waist high sets and clean and somewhat closed out. Hawaii's North Shore was getting some sets at waist to maybe chest high and clean but with a fair amount of northeast lump intermixed and mushed. The South Shore was flat to thigh high and clean. The East Shore was getting northeast windswell at head high and modestly chopped from moderate east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (11/30) Hawaii was getting minimal locally generated windswell on north facing shores. A gale developed on the dateline moving over the Western Gulf on Fri (11/26) producing 25 ft seas aimed southeast. That swell was fading if not gone in Hawaii today and is supposedly moving into California. Looking forward a gale developed over the North Dateline Region on Sun (11/28) producing 23 ft seas aimed east mainly at Hawaii, then lost definition only to redevelop in the Northwestern Gulf Mon-Tues (11/30) with two fetch areas producing 23 and 30 ft seas aimed east targeting the US West Coast. Small swell is on the way to both locations. 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 up to 34 ft seas aimed due south. So a bit of hope for everyone. And maybe another weak system is to develop in the Northern Gulf on Tues (12/7) producing 23 ft seas aimed east targeting the US West Coast.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Tuesday (11/30) the jet was well consolidated tracking east off Japan pushing to the dateline on the 32N latitude line with winds 130-140 kts then lifting northeast building to 170 kts and pushing into British Columbia solidly. But the jet was starting to split heavily inland over China indicating a change in the making. Over the next 72 hours the jet is to continue splitting heavily over Japan with the northern branch lifting hard north inland over Siberia on Wed (12/1) then extending east north of Kamchatka pushing into the West Bering Sea with winds over Japan building to 190 kts pushing north to northeast over the Kuril ISlands and landlocked 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). Perhaps wind energy from the Bering Sea is to be falling south over the Aleutians and into the Northwestern Gulf perhaps starting to form a trough there offering some support for gale development. And that trough is to be falling hard south into Fri (12/3) being fed by 150 kts winds but very pinched with the apex of that trough 600 nmiles north of Hawaii. Beyond 72 hours starting Sat (12/4) additional wind energy is to fall into the trough originating off Japan with the jet ridging hard north up into the Central Bering Sea with winds building to 190 kts then falling hard south into the aforementioned trough with 170 kts winds dropping well into that trough offering good support for gale development. The trough is to hold into early Mon (12/6) still being fed by 150 kt winds though well pinched offering continued support for gale development. But by Tues (12/7) the trough is to pinch off and become cut off but then starting to become re-energized later as 190 kt winds rebuilding in the Bering sea and start falling south connecting to the remnants of the previous trough, possibly generating a new one with it's apex just 250 nmiles west of Kauai. Support for gale development there possible.

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday (11/30) swell was fading in Hawaii and radiating towards California from a gale previously over the Dateline and Western Gulf (see Dateline/West Gulf Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours another gale was developing while tracking from the Dateline into the Northern Gulf offering swell production potential for Hawaii and the US West Coast (see Dateline/North Gulf Gale below).

Also a gale is forecast developing 700 nmiles north of Hawaii on Fri AM (12/3) producing 40 kt north to northeast winds with seas building from 20 ft at 36N 165W aimed south. In the evening 40 kt north winds are to be building in coverage aimed south with seas 26 ft at 32.25N 159W 600 nmiles north of Oahu. On Sat AM (12/4) north winds are forecast at 50-55 kts with seas 38 ft over a tiny area at 32.25N 155.75W aimed south. In the evening 40 kt north winds to continue but fading 900 nmiles north of the Hawaiian Islands with 26 ft seas at 35.5N 155.25W aimed south. More of the same is forecast Sun AM (12/6) with 30-35 kt north winds and 24 ft seas at 33.5N 166W aimed south and a bit west of the Islands. Fetch is to be fading and positioned well northwest of the Islands aimed southwest offering no more swell production potential. Something to monitor.

Oahu: For planning purposes expect swell arrival on Fri (12/3) late afternoon and mostly just building windswell at 9.0 ft @ 10 secs (8-9 ft). Swell Direction: 335 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: 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


Dateline/North Gulf Gale
On 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 tracked east in the evening with 30-35 kt west winds over a solid area with 22 ft seas at 47N 178W aimed east and a secondary fetch east of there with 40-45 kt west winds and seas 27 ft at 50N 167W aimed east. On Mon AM (11/29) fetch moved over the Northwestern Gulf with 40 kt west winds and seas 31 ft at 51.25N 160W aimed east. In the evening additional 35 kt west fetch was building south of what was the main fetch with 23 ft seas at 43N 155W aimed east and the original fetch fading with seas dropping from 25 ft at 51.75N 152W aimed east. On Tues AM (11/30) 35 kt west fetch is to move east with 22 ft seas at 48.5N 144.5W aimed east. In the evening 30 kt west winds are to continue circulating in the Northern Gulf with 16-20 ft seas in the Northeast Gulf at 50N 142W aimed east.

Secondary fetch is to be building in the Northern Gulf on Wed AM (12/1) with 35-40 kt northwest winds and seas 20 ft at 53N 151W aimed southeast. In the evening northwest winds to continue at 35-40 kts with 23 seas at 53N 147W aimed east. On Thurs AM (12/2) fetch is to be fading from 35 kts from the west with 23 ft seas at 53.5N 145W aimed east and barely in the NCal swell window (319 degrees). This system is to be gone after that.

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

Oahu: Expect swell arrival on Wed (12/1) building to 3.2 ft @ 13-14 secs later (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell holding on Thurs (12/2) at 3.1 ft @ 12-13 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Residuals fading on Fri (12/3) from 3.1 ft @ 11-12 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 320 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (12/2) pushing 5.2 ft @ 14-15 secs early (7.5 ft). Swell fading some on Fri (12/3) from 4.3 ft @ 13 secs (5.5 ft) early. Secondary more northerly swell arriving on Sat (12/4) pushing 4.5 ft @ 12-13 secs (5.5 ft). Swell fading on Sun (12/5) from 3.1 ft @ 11-12 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 296 degrees moving to 305-310 degrees


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


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are forecast.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Wed (12/1) north winds to be 10 kts for North CA early but up to 20 kts off the coast of Cape Mendocino northwest 5 kts for Central CA turning northwest 5 kts in the afternoon all locations and fading to 15 kts off Cape Mendocino.
  • Thurs (12/2) north winds to be 15-20 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 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. In the evening north winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for all of North and Central CA.
  • Sun (12/5) northwest winds are to be 10-15 kts early for all of North CA and 10 kts for Central CA building to 15 kts all locations in the afternoon.
  • Mon (12/6) northwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for all of North and Central CA early fading to 10 kts for North CA later and 15-20 kts for Central CA.
  • Tues (12/7) northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for all of North and Central CA early.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 9, 7, 8, and 3 inches on Dec 6th and and 9th.

Freezing level 12,000 ft today rising to 14,000 ft on 12/1 then falling back to 10,500 ft on 12/3 dropping to 4.000 ft on 12/7 rising to 10,000 ft 12/8 then back down to 5,000 ft on 12/9. Winter is supposedly going to try and make a showing.


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 perhaps another gale is to develop north of Hawaii on Wed (12/8) with winds building from 35 kts aimed south. 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 (11/29) 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): On (11/30) east anomalies were strong over the KWGA from 145E and point east of there reaching east to a point south of California. But weak west anomalies were reaching into the KWGA from the west to 145E. The forecast calls for strong east anomalies moving east from 155E eastward filling 50% of the KWGA at the end of the model run on 12/7 but with west anomalies build solid in from the west to reaching 180W on 12/2-12/4 then backtracking to 155E and solid. This is a step in the right direction.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (11/29) A modest 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 then fading some while tracking east on day 10 fading some on the dateline on day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model projects a stronger version of the Active Phase tracking much the same as the statistical model but with more complete coverage over the KWGA.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (11/30) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was weak over the far West Pacific and is forecast tracking to the East Pacific at day 15 of the model run and exceedingly weak. The dynamic model suggests the Active Phase moving east over the West Pacific and modest in strength 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): (11/29) A weak Inactive MJO signal (dry air) was moving over Central America today. A modest Active Phase (wet air) is to develop over the KWGA on 12/4 pushing to the Central Pacific on 12/19 and into Central America 12/24. The Inactive Phase (dry air) is to start developing over the West Pacific on 12/24 moving to the Central Pacific at the end of the model run on 1/8. The Active Phase (wet air) is forecast starting to build over the far West Pacific at that time.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (11/29) This model depicts the Active Phase building in the far West KWGA with a neutral MJO pattern over the eastern 50% of the KWGA but with moderate to strong east anomalies still in control. The forecast indicates the Active MJO signal building over the KWGA through 12/10 and holding just east of the dateline through 12/20 with west anomalies reaching to 165E on 12/3 holding through 12/14. The Active MJO is to start fading on 12/21 with west anomalies slowly backtracking to 130E and mostly out of the KWGA at the end of the model run on 12/27 with weak east anomalies rebuilding over the bulk of the KWGA.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (11/30 - 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 east anomalies filling the eastern 50% of the KWGA with west anomalies trying to get a foot hold in the western 50%. The forecast indicates the Inactive MJO signal is to be east of the KWGA on 12/5 with east anomalies fading out. A weak Active Phase is developing today and tracking east with with a second pulse on 12/8 holding through 1/3/2022 with west anomalies pushing through the KWGA filling it entirely by 12/10 through 1/17. A mixed MJO signal to follow through the end of the model run on 2/27 with west anomalies receding to 155E on 1/17 and holding through the end of the model run with west anomalies west of there unchanged. 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 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 12/20 reaching to 150E on 1/28 filling 45% of the KWGA and building east to 165E at the end of the model run. 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, though it might drift slowly east. 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: (11/30) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was gone today, previously at 164E. The 28 deg isotherm line was backtracking to 176E from the dateline. The 24 deg isotherm was easing east to 125W. 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 -2 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 165W 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 the -15 cms 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: (11/29) 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 the Galapagos east 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 (11/29): Temps were warming along Chile and Peru and west along the equator to the Galapagos. Of more interest temps were cooling over a thin but solid stream from the Galapagos to 150W. A cold water Kelvin Wave is erupting at the surface in the East equatorial Pacific.
Hi-res Overview: (11/29) 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: (11/30) Today's temps were steady at -1.432 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:
(11/30) Today temps were stable at -0.790 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 (11/30) - 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 -1.25 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 Nov 20, 2021 Plume depicts temps are at -1.019 degs today, and are to warm to -0.57 degrees in Feb, then rising to -0.00 degs in May and neutral after that. A solid return of La Nina is expected peaking about now then warming thereafter.
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) (11/30): The daily index was positive at +11.20. 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 +11.73 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 falling slightly +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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