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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, December 8, 2022 1:27 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
2.4 - California & 4.0 - 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 12/5 thru Sun 12/11

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 Swell for CA
Modest North Dateline Gale Forecast


Thursday, December 8, 2022 :

  • Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt)/Buoy 239 (Lani): Seas were 3.4 ft @ 8.7 secs with swell 1.6 ft @ 12.2 secs from 294 degrees. Water temp 78.4 degs (Barbers Pt), 78.4 (Pearl Harbor 233), 79.3 (Lani 239).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 7.2 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 5.1 ft @ 9.2 secs from 110 degrees. Water temp 78.1 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.8 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 1.4 ft @ 12.9 secs from 238 degrees. Wind northwest at 2-6 kts. Water temperature 61.2 degs, 60.1 (Topanga 103), 59.9 degs (Long Beach 215), 61.0 (Oceanside Offshore 045), 59.9 (Del Mar 153), 61.2 (Torrey Pines Outer 100). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 2.0 ft @ 16.3 secs from 298 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.4 ft @ 7.9 secs from 266 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 0.7 ft @ 13.7 secs from 199 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 0.9 ft @ 13.4 secs from 224 degrees. Water temperate was 60.4 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 4.4 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 3.3 ft @ 14.9 secs from 301 degrees. Wind southeast at 14-16 kts. Water temp 53.4 (Bodega Bay 46013), 52.7 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 53.1 (San Francisco 46026), 52.5 (SF Bar 142), 52.0 (Pt Santa Cruz 254) and 55.4 (Monterey Bay 46042).

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

Swell Classification Guidelines

Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
- Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
- Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
- up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.

Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.

Current Conditions
On Thursday (12/8) North and Central CA had sets at waist to chest high with rare head high sets and and clean and lined with decent form when they came. Protected breaks were waist high on the sets and clean and lined with good form but weak. At Santa Cruz surf was flat and clean. In Southern California/Ventura waves were flat and clean. Central Orange County had sets at thigh to maybe waist high and super clean but weak and breaking nearly on the beach. South Orange County's best summertime breaks were flat and clean. North San Diego had sets at thigh high and clean and lined up but soft. Hawaii's North Shore had sets at shoulder to head high on the peak at top spots and pretty clean and lined up with decent form but with alot of warble intermixed. The South Shore had some stray thigh high sets and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell at head high to 1 ft overhead and heavily chopped from strong east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (12/6) Hawaii was getting residual swell from a gale previously over the dateline. New swell is poised to arrive from a local gale that was developing northwest of Hawaii Mon-Tues (12/6) producing 26-28 ft seas aimed south. After that a weak gale is forecast tracking southeast through the Northern Gulf Thurs (12/8) with 25 ft seas aimed south. Another is forecast in the Northwestern Gulf on Sun-Tues (12/13) producing 31 ft seas aimed east. And possibly a far stronger system is to be over the North Dateline region on Tues (12/13) but that is more fantasy than reality at this early date. But it looks like the North Pacific will take a little break, then wake up.

See all the details below...


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

North Pacific

On Thursday (12/8) the jetstream was consolidated pushing east off Japan then split before reaching the dateline with most energy tracking northeast in the northern branch of the jet up over the Central Aleutian Islands at 150-160 kts in pockets then turning and starting to fall southeast forming a trough with it's apex just off the OR-CA border offering no real support for gale development but potential for weather before pushing inland over Southern CA. The southern branch was so weak to be unrecognizable. Over the next 72 hours the jet is to continue in the same pattern with the first trough pushing inland over North CA late Thursday and with a stronger trough building off North CA later Friday (12/9) and slowly tracking onshore with it's apex over Southern CA and pushing inland into Tues (12/13). Beyond 72 hours another steep trough is to start building over the Northwestern Gulf on Mon (12/12) tracking east and pinching off mid-way between Hawaii and the mainland on Wed (12/14) likely offering nothing. And yet another trough is forecast building over the North Dateline Region on Tues (12/13) being fed by 170 kts winds pushing firmly off Japan but again getting pinched in the far Western Gulf on Thurs (12/15) not looking to support significant gale development. offering good support for gale development. But at that time the split point is to be moving east to a point almost north of Hawaii possibly offering some hope beyond. The real issue is the position of the spit point. If westerly anomalies in the KWGA were to ease east more, the split point would track east with it opening up more of the North Pacific to gale development.

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (12/8) residual swell from local gale northwest of Hawaii was fading over the Islands (see Local Hi Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours swell from a gale i the Northern Gulf to arrive in CA (see North Gulf Gale below). And possibly larger but rawer swell to result from a gale forecast developing along the CA coast (see Local CA Gale below).


Local HI Gale
On Mon AM (12/5) a gale started building 650 nmiles northwest of Hawaii producing 30-35 kt north winds starting to get traction on the oceans surface. In the evening north winds built to 40 kts and seas built to 24 ft at 28.5N 165.5W aimed south. On Tues AM (12/26) the gale was tracking west with 45 kt north winds and seas 29 ft at 27.25N 168.75W aimed south. In the evening north winds to be 40 kts with seas 30 ft at 29.25N 172.25W and pretty much west of the Hawaiian swell window.

Oahu: Residuals Thurs AM (12/8) fading from 2.1 ft @ 11-12 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 330 degrees


North Gulf Gale
A small gale developed in the Northern Gulf on Wed AM (12/7) producing 30-35 kt northwest winds and seas 18 ft at 50N 147W over a small area aimed east. In the evening northwest winds held at 30-35 kts moving east with seas 19 ft at 48N 139W on the 316 degree path to NCal. On Thurs AM (12/8) fetch was falling southeast at 30-35 kts from the northwest with seas 21 ft up at 54N 143W and mostly east of the NCal swell window (326 degs). Small swell to result.

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri mid-day (12/9) building to 4.5 ft @ 12 secs Swell Direction: 310 degrees


Local CA Gale
Additional fetch to build off Oregon on Fri AM (12/9) at 30 kts from the west with seas 19 ft at 45.5N 146W aimed east. In the evening fetch is to build in coverage at 30-35 kts from the northwest and west impacting North CA with seas 21 ft off the coast at 42N 138W aimed southeast. In On Sat AM (12/10) northwest winds are forecast at 30-35 kts just off the Pacific Northwest with 23 ft seas at 44.5N 132W aimed southeast. More of the same in the evening with seas 23 ft at 42.25N 134.75W aimed southeast. No change on Sun AM (12/11) with northwest winds 30-35 kts off Southern OR with 23 ft seas at 43N 130W aimed southeast. The core of the gale is to be off North CA in the evening with 30 kt northwest winds and seas 24 ft at 39N 125W aimed southeast. This system is to be moving inland over Central CA on Mon AM (12/12). Larger raw jumbled local swell is expected for CA.

North CA: Expect swell arrival later on Sat (12/10) building to 8.0 ft @ 12 secs (9.5 ft). Swell building some on Sun (12/11) 10 ft @ 13 secs (12 ft). Swell theoretically peaking early on Mon (12/12) 10.8 ft @ 13 secs (14 ft). A quick fade thereafter. Swell exceedingly junky. Swell Direction: 285 moving to 295 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (12/11) building to 4.1 ft @ 13 secs later (5.0 ft). Swell theoretically peaking mid-day Mon (12/12) at 4.2 ft @ 13-14 secs (5.0 ft). residuals on Tues (12/13) fading from 3.1 ft @ 12 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 293 moving to 302 degrees


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


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

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Fri AM (12/9) low pressure is to be building just off the coast with northwest winds forecast at 10 kts for North CA and 5-10 kts for Central CA early. In the afternoon south winds are forecast at 30-35 kts for Pt Arena northward as the low approaches and south winds down to Half Moon Bay later and northwest winds 5 kts from Monterey Bay southward. Light scattered rain for all of North and Central CA early. Snow for mostly Tahoe early fading late morning. Heavy rain developing for Cape Mendocino in the afternoon turning to snow in higher elevations in the evening almost reaching Tahoe and heavy rain for Bodega Bay late.
  • Sat AM (12/10) the core of the low is to be just off the Pacific Northwest Coast falling south with a front from it pushing south over the SF Bay Area early with southwest winds at 20-25 kts for North CA and 30 kts for the San Francisco area and south at 10-15 kts for Big Sur southward. In the afternoon the front is to push to Pt Conception with southwest winds 15-20 kts from Monterey Bay northward and south 20-25 kts for Pt Conception up to Big Sur. Heavy rain for Pt Reyes northward early and heavy snow for Tahoe northward early but snow in come capacity building quickly over the Sierra mid-AM. Rain down to Santa Barbara county in the afternoon. Very heavy snow for the entire Sierra in the afternoon holding overnight. Rain developing for Southern CA overnight.
  • Sun AM (12/12) the core of the low is to be off Southern Oregon with northwest winds forecast at 15 kts for North CA and 15-20 kts for Central CA early. South winds 15+ kts for all of Southern CA. In the afternoon the low is to be just off Cape Mendocino with northwest winds hold at 15-20 kts for North and Central CA and 15-20 kts for Southern CA. Moderate steady rain for all of California early. Heavy snow for the Sierra early. Rain fading some late afternoon for all of CA. Snow continues for the Sierra through the afternoon though backing off by sunset but still snowing through the evening.
  • Mon AM (12/13) the low is to be over Monterey Bay with northwest winds forecast at 20-25 kts for all of North CA and 20 kts for Central CA early and west winds 15-20 kts for Southern CA. In the afternoon the low is to be inland over Central CA with northwest winds 20 kts for North CA and Central CA and light winds for Southern CA. Rain fading if not gone early for North CA and fading from Central CA and Southern CA but still present till nearly sunset. Snow fading for the Sierra from north to south through the day.
  • Tues AM (12/14) weak high pressure sets up with northwest winds 15-20 kts for North and Central CA. In the afternoon northeast winds are forecast at 5-10 kts for North CA and northwest at 5-10 kts for Central CA. No precip forecast.
  • Wed AM (12/15) calm winds are forecast for North CA and northeast at 5 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon calm winds prevail.
  • Thurs AM (12/16) calm to light winds continue early for all of North and Central CA and northeast at 5 kts for Southern CA.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth are projected at 63, 68, 65, and 51 inches with a little on 12/8 and most on 12/10-12/11.

Freezing level for Lake Tahoe is 5,000 ft or less today rising to 6,000 ft for a few hours on 12/10 early then falling to the 1,000-4,000 ft range from 12/11 onward.

- - -

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

Snow Models: (Scroll down for Resort specific forecasts).


South Pacific

Surface Analysis
No swell producing fetch has occurred with no swell in the water or radiating towards the coast.

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch 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 in the Northwestern Gulf on Sun PM (12/12) with a small area of 30-35 kt northwest winds and 18 ft seas at 48N 160W aimed southeast. On Mon AM (12/12) 35-40 kt northwest winds to be tracking east with seas 22 ft up at 51N 155W aimed southeast targeting mainly at the US West Coast. Fetch to fade in the evening at 30-35 kts with seas 22 ft at 52N 155W aimed southeast. fetch gone after that. Low odds of meaningful swell resulting.

On Sun PM (12/11) an extratropical system is to develop well off Japan lifting northeast while approaching the dateline producing 45 kt south winds with seas 23 ft over a tiny area at 35N 169E aimed northeast. The gale is to lift north on Mon AM (12/12) producing south winds at 45 kts with seas building to 31 ft at 40N 173.75E aimed north. In the evening the gale is to lift north producing a broad area of south winds at 45 kts extending up to the Aleutians with seas 28-30 ft along the dateline from 42N up to 52N and of no interest. Maybe 21 ft seas driven by west winds behind the front are forecast at 45N 173E aimed east. On Tues AM (12/13) the front is to push east producing 45-50 kt south winds and 34 ft seas aimed north at 46.25N 175.25W ahead of the front and northwest winds at 35 kts over a broad area behind the front producing seas of 26 ft at 48.25N 175E aimed southeast. In the evening northwest winds to be 40-45 kts just east of the dateline and just south of the Aleutians aimed southeast with seas 29 ft at 49N 173W aimed southeast. On Wed AM (12/14) northwest winds to be fading from 35-40 kts streaming southeast off the Aleutians with seas 28 ft at 49N 173W aimed southeast. Something to monitor.


South Pacific

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


MJO/ENSO Forecast


Upwelling Collapsing
Weak West Wind Anomaly Pattern Getting Established Up over KWGA
Cool subsurface water volume peaked under the equatorial Pacific on 10/15/21, faded in May and June 2022, but rebuilt in late July and hold till mid-Nov, then started to retreat east. La Nina conditions are in control at the oceans surface but appear to be weakening while the foundations of it subsurface collapse. And atmospherically anomalous Westerly Winds are getting weakly established over the KWGA and are forecast to continue for the foreseeable future, with a total collapse of La Nina near Christmas with water temps steadily rising beyond. The last link in the chain is to see SSTs actually rising and the SOI falling.The outlook is turning optimistic.

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

Overview: In 2019 warm equatorial waters were fading, and by August a tongue of cool water was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos reaching to a point nearly south of Hawaii. A bit of a recovery tried to occur during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water held in a pool off Peru. By April 2020 a cool pool was starting to build, forming a well defined cool tongue that evolved into La Nina, with it fully developing through July 2020. A slow dissolving of La Nina started in March 2021 with 2 Kelvin Waves sweeping east and arriving over the Galapagos in June. Weak warming set up over the equator with no cool waters present. NOAA declared La Nina dead. But cold water returned in July 2021 and a second pulse of La Nina developed through the Winter of 2022 and is continuing today, though possibly weaker with its foundation appearing to be in decline.

Fall/Winter 2022 = 4.0 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)

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

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (12/7) 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 to weak east over the East equatorial Pacific and modest east over the Central Pacific and strong 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).
1-2 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (12/6) Moderate east anomalies were filling most of the KWGA today strongest over the dateline. The 7 day forecast calls for moderate east anomalies retrograding west from the dateline to the far West KWGA through the end of the model run on 12/15 with weak west anomalies building on the dateline starting 12/13 and holding. The 2 week GFS model is offline.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (12/7) A weak Inactive MJO signal was indicated over the west KWGA today. The statistical model indicates it fading an a near neutral MJO signal forecast for the next 2 weeks. The dynamic model suggest a moderate Inactive MJO signal developing on day 10 of the model run building to near strong status on day 15 of the model run.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (CA and GEFS): (12/8) The statistical model depicts the Active signal was very weak over the Indian Ocean today and is to hold position over the next 2 weeks and very weak. The dynamic model suggest the same thing but a little stronger 2 weeks out.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (12/8) A weak Active MJO (wet air) was developing over the KWGA today.The forecast has it moving east and into Ecuador on 1/7. A weak Inactive MJO (dry air) is forecast developing over the KWGA on 1/2 tracking east and filling the equatorial Pacific at the end of the model run on 1/17.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (12/7)
A weak Inactive MJO signal was pushing east over the dateline today with moderate east anomalies filling the dateline area. West anomalies were over the western half of the KWGA. The Inactive Phase is to track east and out of the KWGA on 12/10 with a neutral MJO pattern setting up. West anomalies are to build over the KWGA 12/13-12/22 filling 70% of it west of 170E After that a neutral MJO signal is forecast with neutral anomalies over the Western KWGA and modest east anomalies from 160E and points east of there (generally over the dateline) through the end of the model run on 1/4.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind):
(12/6) - using the 5th ensemble member - the mean of the 4 individual members which are all from the 00Z run - 1 run per day):
Today a weak Inactive MJO was over the KWGA with a mix of weak east and west anomalies in control of the KWGA though strong east anomalies were east of the dateline. The Inactive Phase is to weakly hold through 12/18 but with west anomalies developing over the KWGA on 12/9 and steadily building in coverage into 12/22 mostly filling the KWGA then turning to neutral anomalies through 1/9 as a weak Active Phase of the MJO pushes over the KWGA 12/20-12/30. A stronger Active MJO is forecast 1/10-2/26 with modest west anomalies filling the KWGA. A weak Inactive MJO signal is to traverse the KWGA 2/18 through the end of the model run on 3/7 but with neutral anomalies filling the KWGA. The big change we've been anticipating is underway marked by the collapse of east anomalies and the arrival of weak west anomalies filling the KWGA starting on 11/16. East anomalies are to be relegated mostly to the dateline and points east of there moving forward. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias with 2 contour lines centered at 180W with its western perimeter at 150E today. The second contour is to collapse on 1/8 with the primary contour collapsing or east of the KWGA by 2/26. A broad double contour low pressure bias is established centered over the West Maritime Continent at 90E with it's leading edge at 125E today and is slowly pushing east and forecast to push hard east starting 1/28 and reaching the dateline at the end of the model run. This is all a big deal and is being repeated in some form consistently from one run of the model to the next. It appears that the high pressure lockdown of the KWGA is starting to fade with no return in sight, indicating the demise of La Nina is underway.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (12/8) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was gone, previously at 171E. The 28 deg isotherm line was backtracking at 174E. The 26 degree isotherm was steady at 152W. The 24 deg isotherm backtracked from 118W to 128W and was at 125W. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies at +4 deg C were in a broad pocket in the far Central Pacific down 150m with it's leading edge easing east from 150W to 130W. A pocket of cool anomalies at -3 degs C were centered at 122W and filling the area from 130W and points east of there and steady. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 12/4 indicates the same broad area of warm anomalies in the west pushing east to 125W and far warmer. A cool pocket was filling the area east of 125W with it's core at 100W and reaching the surface and far cooler. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (12/4) Sea heights were negative but rising over the East Equatorial Pacific. A broad pocket of positive anomalies were over the equator in the far West Pacific reaching east to 140W. A pocket of negative anomalies were covering from Ecuador to 137W and backtracking east with a previous persistent core of -15 cm anomalies gone -10 cm anomalies collapsing between 138W to 120W. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram cool anomalies were in quick retreat positioned in the Central Equatorial Pacific between 129W to Ecuador with the previous cold core gone. It appears the stubborn cool pool is collapsing in earnest.

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: (12/7) The latest images depict a broad generic pool of cool water extending west from Peru to the dateline and filling well south of the equator in a line east to west down at 20S. The coldest stream was embedded in it running from Ecuador to 145W on the equator but weaker than days past and not even along the direct coast anymore. And the broad area of cool water south of that stream previously reaching south to 25S was losing intensity steadily and now only fully positioned north of 20S ad barely that. A broad area of warm water was present on the equator from Ecuador west to 140W but mostly just north of the equator starting at 2N. Overall this indicates the late stages of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (12/7): A stream of mixed weakly warming and cooling waters extended west from Ecuador to 140W. Warming was holding along Peru and Chile extending west to 100W. The balance was towards weak warming for the moment.
Hi-res Overview: (12/7) Persistent cool waters cover a large area from Ecuador to 160E on and south of the equator from South America down at 20S with the coolest waters between 85W to 125W directly over the equator. But the intensity and density of those cold waters are in steep decline over it's entire area. Warmer than normal waters were on the equator in the east aligned in a thin stream from Ecuador to 120W starting 3 degrees north of the equator. La Nina remains in control over the East Equatorial Pacific but the density and intensity of the cooling appears to be fading.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (12/8) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs compared to official sources). Today's temps were steady ay -1.266 after warming to -1.570 a few days around 11/17 previously falling to to -2.177 (11/8) and generally falling to the following points -1.850 (10/20), -1.498 (9/21) and had been falling since 9/14 after being in the -1.0 range since 7/29. Coral Reef indicates temps were falling slightly at -0.948 after rising steadily the previous 8 days to -0.901 and that after falling to the lowest in weeks on 11/22 after rising to nearly -1.0 degs on 11/17, previously toggling between -1.8 to -2.1 degs since Oct 9th. Temps were down on 7/20 to -1.6 degs. Previously temps were stable near -1.4 degrees 6/12 through 7/27. Peaks in that time frame were -1.189 (7/7), -1.534 (7/5). Previously temps were at -1.822 on 6/9 after being up to -1.506 (5/21) and that after hovering around -2.0 degs since 4/21/22. Prior to that temps were fading after peaking at +0.760 on 3/18. Temps had been moving upwards since 2/20, and beat a previous high of -0.650 degs on 1/9 and that after being down at -1.871 on 1/3/22 and -1.954 on 12/18/21, the lowest this year so far. Previously temps dropped on 11/24/21 at -1.700, the lowest in months after previously toggling steady at about -0.6 degs from mid Aug to Oct 6, then falling from there. That year temps bottomed out at -2.138 on 8/13/20. The longterm trend has been steadily downward.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(12/8) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs). Today's temps were falling at -1.213 after falling to -1.110 on 11/3 and up to -0.900 on 10/18 beating a previous peak of -0.819 on 9/22. In general temps have been in the -1.0 range since 8/16. Coral Reef indicates temps were steady at -0.959 degs after rising to -0.870 on 11/29 and had been rising for 12 days prior after bottoming out at -1.168 degs on 11/2 after falling hard the previous 12 days. Temps had fallen since 7/15 reaching La Nina threshold on 7/27 after being more or less steady the previous 3 weeks peaking at -0.25 on 7/14 and -0.275 on 7/5. Previously temps had been on an upward trend since 5/15/22 rising to -0.414 degs (6/19) and -0.493 on 6/9, the first reading above La Nina threshold values since Sept 2021. Temps were down to -0.929 (5/2/22) and that after rising to a peak at -0.704 on 3/27 and had been on a gentle rising trend since falling to -1.012 on 3/8. Previously temps were rising slightly to -0.505 on 2/2 and that after reaching a peak low of -1.096 on 1/3/22 beating the previous low of -1.080 on 11/2/21, the lowest in a year. Prior to that temps had been in a freefall starting from the -0.175 range in early Sept/21. Before that temps peaked up at 7/1/21 +0.332, the highest in a year. Temps previously had been steady near -0.222 since early March 2021. Temps bottomed out at -1.654 on 11/3/2020.

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

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Data
Previous - Temps rose in early Nov 2020 after bottoming out at -1.25 degs, up to -0.01 degs in mid-June 2021 then fading to -1.05 degs in mid-Nov then rebuilding to -0.7 in mid Feb 2022 then fading to -1.1 degs in May before starting an upward climb peaking in mid-June at -0.65 degs and mid July at -0.55 degs. A steady decline set in after that falling to -1.00 degs in Aug and Sept rising to -0.8 degs mid Oct then falling to -1.0 in Nov.
Forecast (12/8) - Temps are to be steady at about -1.00 degs into mid-Dec then starting a steady rise hitting -0.70 degs mid January and reaching above the La Nina threshold (-0.5 degs) the last week of Jan and up to +0.95 degs in August and in El Nino territory. This model suggests we are going to steadily transition towards ENSO neutral in Jan. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps bottoming out at -1.00 the 2nd week of Dec and then are to start pushing up to -0.65 degs mid- Jan rising above La Nina threshold the 3rd week of Jan and rising from there forward to +0.70 degs in July and holding in August. All this is a significant upgrade. According to this version of the model we will hold in weak La Nina conditions through Fall before starting a trend towards neutrality in Dec with momentum towards El Nino in Spring. The surface temp coverage model suggests a temps holding steady through Nov. then a steady erosion of the coldest waters south of Nino3.4 (down at 20S) is to begin. By Dec a clear discharge of La Nina is to begin with near neutral temps prevailing over the entire equatorial Pacific and turning fully neutral in Feb and beyond. The greater equatorial Pacific cool signature looks to hold through mid-Oct then quickly dissolving beyond.
IRI Consensus Plume: The November 18, 2022 Plume depicts temps are -0.921 degs today. Temps to rise steadily from here forward to -0.732 degs in Dec and above the La Nina Threshold at -0.494 in Jan and -0.256 in Feb rising to +0.572 in July. This model suggests a continuation of minimal La Nina temps through early Dec then transitioning to ENSO neutral. This model is in line with the CFS model.
See chart here - link.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad - all but the Daily Index was a lagging indicator):
Today (12/8) the Daily Index was rising at +5.92 today and has been below -10 the last 2 days. In was above +10 the previous 10 days but was generally below +10.0 (from 11/5-11/27). It was negative for 5 days dropping to -31.05 on 11/7. This was the first negative run in months and suggests that the westerly anomaly wind activity in the West Pacific might be having an impact on the SOI. Previous peaks were +37.19 (10/5), +33.57 (5/24), +40.77 (5/10), +31.44 (4/27), +31.80 (4/6), +27.33 (1/31) and +46.71 (12/26). The trend has been solidly positive. Previous other notable peaks were +30.98 (11/26/21), +36.90 (9/28), +27.75 ( 9/13) and +37.86 (7/15).
The 30 day average was rising at +9.51 after falling to +4.18 on 11/27 and peaking at +21.57 (10/16) after supposedly peaking at +19.66 on 9/28. It was down to +6.89 on 7/29. It peaked at +20.34 (5/12) the highest in a year and beating last years high of +19.51 (1/14).
The 90 day average was stable at +13.75 previously peaking at +15.61 on 10/25 and previously peaking at +12.92 on 8/11 and that after peaking at +18.40 (7/2) beating it's previous peak of +16.86 (5/31), the highest in a year. It previously peaked at +9.80 (9/21) after falling to it's lowest point in a year at +1.06 (6/9). The 90 day average peaked at +15.75 (2/23/21 - clearly indicative of La Nina then). This index is a lagging indicator but suggest La Nina is returning.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
The PDO theoretically turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and was positive till Dec 2019, but has been negative ever since, driven by recent La Nina conditions. In May-July 2021 it was the most negative its been in the -1.80 to -2.04 range since Sept 2012 (-2.99) and then fell to -3.16 in Oct 2021 (the lowest since July 1933) then settled at -2.72 in Nov and Dec 2021. Looking at the long term record, it seems likely we are still in the Cool Phase of the PDO (La Nina 'like') with no signs of moving to the positive/warm phase (El Nino 'like').

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 

Powerlines Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest
Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for this week. See it Here
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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing:

Mavericks & Stormsurf on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel

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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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