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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Sunday, December 5, 2021 2:12 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
2.2 - California & 2.1 - 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 12/6 thru Sun 12/12

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   

Local Gale Swell Hitting HI Solid
Storm Forecast for Gulf a Week Out


On Sunday, December 5, 2021 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt): Seas were 6.8 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 4.0 ft @ 14.6 secs from 321 degrees. Water temp 77.5 degs (Pearl Harbor 233), NA (Lani 239), 78.3 (Barbers Pt).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 15.3 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 12.0 ft @ 15.0 secs from 347 degrees. Water temp 77.9 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.6 ft @ 11.0 secs with swell NA ft @ NA secs from NA degrees. Wind at the buoy was north at 0-2 kts. Water temperature 60.8 degs, 60.3 (Topanga 103), 59.9 degs (Long Beach 215), 60.8 (Del Mar 153), NA (Pt Loma 191). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.7 ft @ 13.2 secs from 300 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.5 ft @ 12.9 secs from 257 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.2 ft @ 11.8 secs from 256 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) this buoy was inoperable.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 8.3 ft @ 7.1 secs with swell 3.4 ft @ 13.0 secs from 313 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was north at 0-4 kts. Water temp 55.8 (Pt Reyes 029), 56.3 (46026), 55.6 degs (SF Bar 142), and 54.5 (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 (12/5) North and Central CA had set waves at chest high and somewhat lined up but crumbled and slightly ruffled from developing northwest wind. Protected breaks were shoulder high and soft and textured from light northwest wind and mostly swamped from tide. At Santa Cruz surf was flat to thigh high and clean and lined up but swamped by tide early with fog just off the shoreline. In Southern California/Ventura waves were thigh to maybe waist high and soft and clean but mostly swamped by tide. Central Orange County had sets up to waist high and lined up and clean but very breaking nearly on the beach. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at maybe thigh high on the peaks and clean and weak. North San Diego had sets at thigh high and clean and weak if even rideable. Hawaii's North Shore was getting swell with wave 12-15 ft and reasonably clean though pretty raw and warbled but approachable at select breaks though still uneven. The South Shore was flat and nearly chopped. The East Shore was getting north swell too with set to 15 ft and clean with moderate south winds.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Sunday (12/5) California was getting the tail end of swell from a gale that developed in the Northern Gulf on Wed-Thurs (12/2) producing 22 ft seas over a respectable sized area aimed east. But of more interest was swell hitting Hawaii from a broad local gale that developed just north of Hawaii on Fri-Sun (12/5) producing 26-30 ft seas aimed due south at the Islands. Looking forward a weak system is forecast for the Northern Gulf of Alaska on Wed (12/8) producing 23 ft seas aimed southeast. Of more interest is a broad system forecast developing over the Northern Gulf on Fri (12/11) falling southeast producing 32-34 ft seas into Sun (12/12) positioned just off Northern CA then.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Sunday (12/5) the jet was pushing hard northeast off Japan with winds to 190 kts pushing over the Western Aleutians tracking into the Bering Sea, then turning and falling hard south into a steep and deep trough being fed by 160 kts winds with it's apex just west of Kauai offering good support for gale development. From there the jet was lifting hard northeast up and a point just off Central Canada then pushing inland over British Columbia. Over the next 72 hours starting Mon (12/6) the trough is to pinch off with most energy tracking more or less west to east on the 45N latitude line but then remnants of the cutoff trough are forecast to try and redevelop again early Tues (12/7) with it's apex 600 nmiles west of Kauai but way too pinched to result in support for gale development with the trough becoming fully cut off and offering nothing. Beyond 72 hours starting Thurs (12/9) the jet is to be split over the Coast of Japan and Siberia then consolidated over the dateline just south of the Central Aleutians with 150 kts winds tracking east through the Northern Gulf of Alaska offering nothing. But by Sat (12/11) the jet is to consolidate over Japan then ridging north up into the Bering Sea only to start falling south over the Northern Gulf with winds 140 kts carving out another developing steep trough with winds building to 180 kts on Sun (12/12) with the apex of the trough 900 nmiles off San Francisco offering good support for gale development. Back to the west the jet is to pushing off Japan then splitting near the dateline, possibly signaling the start of the Active Phase of the MJO over the far West Pacific.

Surface Analysis
On Sunday (12/5) swell was fading in California originating from a gale that developed while tracking from the Dateline into the Northern Gulf (see Dateline/North Gulf Gale below). Also swell was hitting Hawaii from a gale that develop just north of the Islands (see Hawaiian Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours starting Mon AM (12/6) a weak and small gale is to develop in the Northwestern Gulf on Mon (12/6) producing 35 kts west winds and seas 22 ft at 49.5N 162W aimed east. In the evening the fetch is to lift northeast at 30-35 kts with seas 20 ft at 54.75N 156W over the Northern Gulf. More of the same is forecast Tues AM (12/7) producing a tiny area of 22 ft seas at 57N 149W aimed east. In the evening a broader fetch of 35-40 kt west winds are to build in the Northern Gulf producing 21 ft seas at 57N 145W aimed east. Fetch is to start falling southeast on Wed AM (12/8) at 35 kts with seas 23 ft at 54N 144W aimed southeast. Fetch is to be fading in the evening with seas fading from 20 ft at 53N 138W aimed east and starting to impact North British Columbia.


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.

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

North CA: 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


Hawaiian Gale
Ar gale developed 700 nmiles north-northwest of Hawaii on Fri AM (12/3) producing 35-40 kt north to northeast winds with seas building from 20 ft at 36N 164W aimed south. In the evening 40 kt northeast winds are to be building in coverage aimed southwest at Hawaii with seas 27 ft at 31N 161W 600 nmiles north of Oahu. On Sat AM (12/4) north winds built to 50-55 kts over a tiny area with seas 30 ft over a tiny area at 36N 155.5W aimed south. In the evening 45 kt north winds continued but fading 900 nmiles north of the Hawaiian Islands with 27 ft seas at 35.5N 156W aimed south. On Sun AM (12/6) north fetch was fading from 30-35 kts with 23 ft seas fading at 40N 158W aimed southwest somewhat bypassing the Islands. In the evening this system is to be gone.

Oahu: Swell held unchanged on Sun (12/5) at 10.5 ft @ 15 secs early (14 ft) with some sets to 13 ft @ 15 secs (17 ft). Swell fading Mon (12/6) from 6.2 ft @ 13 secs (8.0 ft). Residuals on Tues (12/7) fading from 4.1 ft @ 12 secs (4.5-5.0 ft). Dribbles on Wed (12/8) fading from 2.7 ft @ 11 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 335 degrees moving to 360 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 (12/6) northwest winds are forecast at 15-20 kts for all of North and Central CA early fading to 15 kts later and fading to 5-10 kts for Cape Mendocino. Light rain for all of North CA down to Monterey Bay in the evening. Light snow for the Sierra.
  • Tues (12/7) northwest winds are forecast at 10 kts early for all of North and Central CA holding all day but building to 15 kts for Pt Arena down to Bodega Bay. Light rain possible for Central CA early and light snow for the Sierra from tahoe southward early, fading mid-AM. Maybe evening light rain for Southern CA late Am into the afternoon.
  • Wed (12/8) north winds are forecast at 10 kts for Cape Mendocino early and 15 kts down to the Golden Gate but light south of there. Winds northwest 15 kts for all of North CA later and holding at 5-10 kts for Central CA in the afternoon. Light rain for Cape Mendocino through the day.
  • Thurs (12/9) a more substantial wave of high pressure is forecast with north winds 15-20 kts for all of North and Central CA early. Northwest winds building to 20-25 kts in the afternoon for all of North and Central CA. Light rain forecast for all of North CA early down to Monterey Bay pushing over Central and South CA in the afternoon. Solid snow building over the entire Sierra through the day.
  • Fri (12/10) northwest winds are forecast at 10 kts for Cape Mendocino and 20-265 kts for the remainder of North CA extending south over all of Central CA. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 10 kts for Cape Mendocino and 15 kts south of there to Pt Conception. Light rain early for Cape Mendocino then clearing.
  • Sat (12/11) light northwest winds are forecast (5 kts or less) for all of North and Central CA early. In the afternoon a front is to be pushing south with south winds at 25-30 kts for Cape Mendocino and 15 kts down to Pt Arena with light winds from the Golden Gate southward.
  • Sun AM (12/12) the front continues south with south winds 20-30 kts from Bodega Bay northward and 10 kts south to Monterey Bay. In the afternoon south winds are forecast at 20-35 kts for all of North CA and 15 kts down to Monterey Bay. Rain building south from Cape Mendocino to Pt Reyes later.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 12, 12, 17, and 12 inches on Dec 9th and then again on the 14th. And possible more on the 15th but not reflected in the forecast above.

Freezing level 12,500 ft on 12/5 then dropping to 7,000 ft briefly the night of 12/6 rising to 12,000 ft 12/7 then falling steadily down to 1,000 ft late on 12/9 holding in the 3,000-5,000 ft range through 12/12 then slowly building to 8,500 ft on 12/14, only to fall again after that. Winter is supposedly going to arrive. Warm days are almost gone.


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 another gale is forecast developing in the Northwestern Gulf on Fri AM (12/10) with northwest winds building from 35-40 kts and seas building from 26 ft at 55N 155W aimed southeast. In the evening a solid fetch of 40 kt northwest winds is to be streaming southeast from the Eastern Aleutians with seas building from 27 ft over a solid area at 50N 155W aimed southeast. On Sat AM (12/11) 40-45+ kt northwest winds are forecast streaming south covering a building area with a broad area of 30 ft seas building at 50N 153W aimed southeast. The gale is to hold in the afternoon with 33 ft seas forecast at 49N 148W aimed south to southeast. Fetch is to be fading Sun AM (12/12) with 40 kt northwest winds in the Central Gulf with 33 ft seas at 45.75N 145W aimed southeast. Fetch fading in the evening from 35 kts from the north with seas fading from 29 ft at 40N 145W 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 discharge to the surface while easing east. The forecast continues to suggest west anomalies taking over the Western KWGA in December and filling 60% of the KWGA after that with the low pressure bias slowly building in from the west and a return to a more regular cadence of Active and Inactive MJO phases beyond. With the cold subsurface pool erupting to the surface in the East Pacific, and a return of the MJO projected, perhaps the peak of La Nina is either occurring now or behind us.

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 (12/4) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific and modest east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and moderate east over the Central Pacific and modest to 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 (12/5) west anomalies were strong over the West KWGA and moderate east over the East KWGA reaching east to a point south of California. The forecast calls for moderate to strong west anomalies moving east to 160E or covering about 65% of the KWGA on 12/10 and holding through the end of the model run on 12/12. East anomalies are to hold east of the dividing line. This is the first step in the right direction in a very long time.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (12/4) A modest Active MJO signal was indicated filling the KWGA today. The statistical model suggests the Active Phase is to build east on day 5 of the model run filling the KWGA then holding steady while slowly pushing east still filling the KWGA on day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model projects a weaker version of the Active Phase tracking much the same as the statistical model but with a bit less coverage over the KWGA on day 15 of the model run.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (12/5) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was modest over the far West Pacific and is forecast tracking to the East Pacific at day 15 of the model run and weak. The dynamic model suggests the Active Phase moving east over the West Pacific and building to moderate strength at day 15 of the model run. its been a long time since we've seen this.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (12/4) A moderate Active MJO signal (wet air) was building over the West Pacific/KWGA today. The forecast indicates it is to track east pushing to the Central Pacific on 12/16 and into Central America 1/3. 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 1/13. A solid Active Phase (wet air) is forecast starting to build over the far West Pacific at that time.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (12/4) This model depicts the Active Phase building over the West KWGA today filling nearly 60% of the KWGA with moderate west anomalies nearly filling the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Active MJO signal tracking through the KWGA and exiting east of it at the end of the model run on 1/1 positioned just west of the dateline at that time. West anomalies at moderate to strong status are forecast backtracking west for a few day then rebuilding reaching to 170E on 12/7 and holding generally there through 12/20 then fading to modest strength and backtracking and gone from the KWGA on 12/28. East anomalies are to barely hold over the dateline and over the eastern KWGA from 12/6 through the end of the model run on 1/1. This is a significant upgrade.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (12/5 - 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 Active Phase of the MJO was developing over the KWGA with moderate west anomalies building in filling the western 50% of the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Active MJO is to be moving over the KWGA through 1/6 with neutral to west anomalies filling most of it and holding through 1/14/2022 though slowly fading after 1/29. The Inactive Phase is to follow 12/22-2/4 with weak east anomalies building over the KWGA. Another Active Phase is to develop on 2/2 holding through the end of the model run on 3/4 with west anomalies over the far west KWGA and east anomalies from 150E and points east of there. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias with 2 contour lines was centered over the dateline and is to hold till 1/20, then slowly easing east and almost east of the dateline at the end of the model run. 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 12/29 reaching to 150E on 1/28 filling 45% of the KWGA and building east to 170E 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 barely in control and a return to a more normal MJO alternating pattern is forecast in December moving forward. This could signal the demise of La Nina as we get deeper into Winter.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (12/5) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was back at 164E. The 28 deg isotherm line was tracking east to 178E. The 24 deg isotherm was steady at 125W. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +2 deg C were steady at about 150Wy. All sensors are down at 140W. 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 11/29 indicates no warm water east of 170W 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 off 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: (11/29) Sea heights were negative over the East equatorial Pacific from Ecuador to 170E at -5 cms with only a tiny area of -15 cms anomalies remaining at 105W. No -20 or -25 cms anomalies exist anymore. And the coverage of the -15 cms anomalies is in quick decline. 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 11/29 that coverage is collapsing centered at 105W with the coolest anomalies (-2.5 degs) gone and -1.5 deg anomalies shrinking fast from the west and east. It appears a cold water Kelvin Wave (upwelling Kelvin Wave) is erupting just west of the Galapagos.

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: (12/4) The latest images depict a broad stream of cool water on the equator weakening though still dominant from Chile up to Peru then turning west and quickly building from the Galapagos east to 110W then weaker but still solid west of there to at least the dateline. A classic la Nina pattern was evident. Cooling nearshore along Chile and Peru was still present. A homogenous area of warm water just north of the equator was fading from Ecuador west to 140W and up along Central America into Southern Baja. Overall this indicates the return of cold water temps in the Central Equatorial Pacific indicative of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (12/4): Temps were warming along Chile and Peru but 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: (12/4) 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: (12/5) Today's temps were steady today at -1.629 after being at -1.432 a few days earlier and that 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:
(12/5) Today temps were stable at -0.861 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 (12/5) - 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 and -1.0 degs in mid-Nov. The forecast indicates temps to continue a steady fall from here forward dropping down to -1.40 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 +15.67. 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 +12.67 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 at +9.71 today 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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