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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Wednesday, December 14, 2022 1:41 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
3.5 - 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 12/12 thru Sun 12/18

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   

Dateline Swell Targets Hawaii
Weather and Swell Behind for HI - Possible Stronger Dateline Gale Beyond

 

BUOY ROUNDUP
Wednesday, December 14, 2022 :

  • Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt)/Buoy 239 (Lani): Seas were 3.4 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 1.6 ft @ 13.3 secs from 211 degrees. Water temp 77.9 degs (Barbers Pt), 77.7 (Pearl Harbor 233), 78.1 (Lani 239).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 5.2 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 2.5 ft @ 11.8 secs from 229 degrees. Water temp 77.9 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.7 ft @ 11.4 secs with swell 1.8 ft @ 10.5 secs from 309 degrees. Wind southeast at 4-8 kts. Water temperature 59.0 degs, 58.6 (Topanga 103), 57.6 degs (Long Beach 215), 59.7 (Oceanside Offshore 045), 57.9 (Del Mar 153), 59.7 (Torrey Pines Outer 100). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.8 ft @ 17.7 secs from 299 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.3 ft @ 10.2 secs from 279 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.0 ft @ 13.3 secs from 224 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 0.9 ft @ 18.2 secs from 271 degrees. Water temperate was 58.8 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 6.3 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 4.4 ft @ 16.0 secs from 298 degrees. Wind north at 6-10 kts. Water temp 52.3 (Bodega Bay 46013), 52.2 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 52.9 (San Francisco 46026), 52.0 (SF Bar 142), 53.8 (Pt Santa Cruz 254) and 54.9 (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).
Summer
- 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).
Summer
- 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.
Summer
- up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.

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

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
Current Conditions
On Wednesday (12/14) North and Central CA had sets at head high to 2 ft overhead and lined up and clean with light offshores but inconsistent. Protected breaks were chest high on the sets and clean and soft. At Santa Cruz surf was chest high and lined up and clean but very soft. In Southern California/Ventura waves were thigh to maybe waist high and lined up and clean with good form when they came. Central Orange County had sets at waist high and clean and lined up but soft and inconsistent. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had some thigh high sets and super clean and barely rideable on occasion. North San Diego had sets at thigh to waist high and clean and lined up but soft. Hawaii's North Shore had sets at shoulder high and line dup and clean but soft. The South Shore had some thigh high sets and fairly clean but with east lump intermixed. The East Shore was getting east windswell at shoulder to head high overhead and chopped from moderate east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Wednesday (12/14) Hawaii was getting only local windswell. California was getting small modest period swell from a gale that developed in the Gulf on Mon-Tues (12/13) producing 26 ft seas falling south off the US West Coast. A stronger system was over the Dateline region on Tues-Fri (12/16) producing up to 33 ft seas aimed southeast targeting Hawaii well. Secondary energy is to develop from it over the Dateline falling southeast Sun-Tues (12/20) producing up to 31 ft seas falling southeast and pushing directly over Hawaii bringing weather there. And another broad gale is to develop just off the Kuril Islands easing southeast filling the area to the dateline Sun-Wed (12/21) with up to 34 ft seas initially and possibly building over a week out. There's some hope.

See all the details below...

 

SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Wednesday (12/14) the jetstream was consolidated pushing east off Japan at 180 kts then almost splitting on the dateline but also forming a trough there offering good support for gale development. East of there the jet ridged hard north up to the coast of Alaska then fell hard south into a pinched trough over the Eastern Gulf that was not longer supporting gale development before ridging again some and pushing inland over North CA. Over the next 72 hours the dateline trough is to slowly push east and starting pinching off on Thurs (12/15) 700 nmiles north of the Hawaiian Islands offering nothing. And the jet over the Gulf is to generally turn into a ridging pattern offering no support for weather of gale development. Beyond 72 hours the jet is to remain consolidated lifting northeast some off Japan while building to 190 kts by Sat (12/17) falling southeast hard over the dateline starting to carve out a new trough with winds 180 kts and deepening Sun (12/18) fueling local gale development with it's apex pushing over Hawaii late Mon (12/19) producing local weather. And yet another trough is to push east off Kamchatka Mon (12/19) pushing east and then developing strongly on Wed (12/21) as the jet falls southeast at 180 kts starting to carve out a very broad trough over the dateline. Perhaps a significant pattern change is setting up.


Surface Analysis
On Wednesday (12/14) modest swell was starting to show in North CA associated with a gale that developed previously over the Central Gulf (see Second Gulf Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a gale is developing over the dateline with all fetch aimed south at Hawaii (see Dateline Gale below).

And a secondary fetch is to develop 800 nmiles northwest of Hawaii on Sat AM (12/17) producing 35-40 kt northwest winds and seas building from 21 ft at 40N 170EW aimed southeast. In the evening northwest winds to build to 40 kts over the dateline falling southeast with seas 26 ft at 40N 180W aimed southeast directly at Hawaii. On Sun AM (12/18) a broad fetch of northwest winds at 35+ kts are to be straddling the dateline with seas 30 ft at 36N 175W aimed southeast. The gale to fall southeast and fade in the evening 600 nmiles northwest of Hawaii with 30-35 kt north winds almost reaching the Islands and seas 28 ft at 33N 170W aimed southeast. On Mon AM (12/19) 35-40 kt northwest winds are to be 900 nmiles northwest of Hawaii with 30 kt northwest winds reaching Kauai and 25 ft seas at 31.5N 167W aimed southeast. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 30-35 kts northwest of Hawaii 25 kt northwest winds over the ISlands and seas 23 ft at 29N 165W aimed southeast. On Tues AM (12/20) 30 kt northwest winds are to be 300 nmiles northwest of Hawaii with 23 ft seas at 26N 161W aimed southeast. In the evening the gale is to be dissipating just 200 nmiles north of Hawaii.

Likely raw windblown swell focused on Hawaii Mon-Tues (12/20). Something to monitor.

 

Second Gulf Gale
Another gale developed in the Northwestern Gulf on Sun PM (12/12) with seas building. On Mon AM (12/12) 35-40 kt northwest winds were falling southeast with seas 18 ft at 45N 154W aimed southeast targeting mainly at the US West Coast. Fetch built in the evening at 40-45 kts from the northwest with seas 23 ft at 42N 145W aimed southeast. On Tues AM (12/13) northwest winds were fading from 35 kts well off the Pacific Northwest with seas fading from 22 ft at 41N 143W aimed southeast. In the evening fetch was falling south and fading at 30 kts with seas 21 ft at 39N 142W aimed southeast. The gale was gone after that. Perhaps some swell to result for the US West Coast.

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (12/14) building to 4.0 ft @ 15-16 secs later (6.0 ft). Swell fading on Thurs (12/15) from 3.8 ft @ 13-14 secs (5.0 ft). Swell Direction: 292 degrees

 

Dateline Gale
On Tues PM (12/13) a gale started developing over the dateline producing 40-45 kt north winds with seas building from 24 ft at 41N 180W aimed southeast. On Wed AM (12/14) the gale was lifting northeast just east of the dateline with a broad area of 45 kt north winds and seas 31 ft at 41.5N 173W aimed southeast at Hawaii. In the evening the gale is to be over the Northwestern Gulf with 40-45 kt north winds sagging south of there a little bit and seas 33 ft at 42.5N 171W aimed southeast targeting Hawaii well. On Thurs AM (12/15) the gale is to be fading but still producing north winds at 40 kts stationary well northwest of Hawaii with seas 29 ft at 42N 172W aimed south. The gale to be fading in the evening with 30-35 kt north winds falling south with seas 24 ft at 40N 172W targeting Hawaii. The gale is to be gone after that. Something to monitor.

Oahu: Rough data suggests swell arrival on Fri (12/16) building to 7.8 ft @ 15 secs (12 ft). Swell fading on Sat AM (12/17) from 7.1 ft @ 14 secs early (10 ft). Residuals on Sun (12/18) fading from 5.7 ft @ 13 secs (7.5 ft). Swell Direction: 325-330 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

  • Thurs AM (12/15) low pressure is to be fading well off the coast with easterly winds 5-10 kts for all of North and Central CA early. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 5 kts all locations including Southern CA.
  • Fri AM (12/16) light winds are forecast for North CA and northwest at 5-10 kts for Central CA. A weak pressure pattern is to be in control. In the afternoon no change is forecast.
  • Sat AM (12/17) light variable winds are forecast for North Ca early and northwest 5 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon a light northwest flow to set up at 5 kts all locations.
  • Sun AM (12/18) northwest winds are forecast at 5 kts early for North and Central CA building to 10 kts in the afternoon.
  • Mon AM (12/19) northwest winds are forecast at 5 kts early for North and Central CA early. Winds turning light south for North CA (5 kts) in the afternoon and northwest 5 kts for Central CA.
  • Tues AM (12/20) south winds are forecast at 5 kts for North CA early and northwest 1-5 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon calm winds are forecast for North CA and northwest 10-15 kts for Central CA.
  • Wed AM (12/21) south winds are forecast at 5 kts for North CA early and northwest 10-15 kts from Monterey Bay southward. In the afternoon east winds at 5 kts are forecast for North CA and northwest 10 kts for Central CA. No precip forecast.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth are projected at 0, 0, 0, and 0 inches forecast.

Freezing level for Lake Tahoe is 8,500 ft on Wed AM (12/14) and steady through 12/16 falling to 7,000 ft through 12/17, then rising to 9,000 ft 12/18-19 and up to 12,000 ft 12/21 and beyond.

- - -

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

Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for Resort specific forecasts).

 

South Pacific

Overview
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

 

QuikCAST's

 

LONG-TERM FORECAST
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a storm is forecast developing just off the Kuril Islands on Sun PM (12/18) producing west winds at 50-55 kts with seas 37 ft at 45N 156E aimed east. On Mon AM (12/19) the storm is to ease east with 50 kt west winds and seas 34 ft at 46N 162.5E aimed east. In the evening northwest winds to start building in coverage streaming off the Kurils to almost the dateline with seas 29 ft at 44N 172E aimed east. On Tues AM (12/20) northwest winds at 35-40 kts are to be streaming from the Kurils southeast to the dateline with 20+ ft seas filling that area and with a core at 26 ft at 45N 172E aimed southeast. Fetch is to start fading some in the evening at 30-35 kts over a large area aimed east with seas 25 ft at 45N 168E aimed east and southeast. Fetch holding on Wed AM (12/21) at 35-40 kts filling the area from the Kurils to the Dateline with seas fading from 21 ft at 43N 170E aimed east. Theoretically fetch is to be building later Wed as the jet feeds the gale. Possibly something very interesting to result.

 

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.

LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
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 (12/13) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific and strong east over the KWGA. Anomalies were modest east over the East equatorial Pacific and modest east over the Central Pacific and moderate to 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): (12/14) Modest east anomalies were filling the KWGA today except for weak east anomalies on the dateline. The 7 day forecast calls for moderate east anomalies holding with west anomalies building to weak status over the dateline through 12/18, then collapsing. East anomalies are to build filling the KWGA and reaching strong stat us at the end of the model run on 12/21. The 2 week GFS model is offline.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (12/13) A neutral MJO signal was indicated over the KWGA today. The statistical model indicates no real change over the next 2 weeks. . The dynamic model suggest development of a weak Inactive MJO signal on day 5 of the model run building to moderate status on day 10 of the model run then nearly fading out on day 15 of the model run.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (CA and GEFS): (12/14) The statistical model depicts the Active signal was very weak over the Maritime Continent today and is to hold unchanged over the next 2 weeks and very weak. The dynamic model suggest the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (12/14) A weak Active MJO (wet air) was developing over the KWGA today.The forecast has it moving east and into Ecuador on 1/8. A weak Inactive MJO (dry air) is forecast developing over the KWGA on 1/3 tracking east and filling the equatorial Pacific at the end of the model run on 1/23.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (12/13)
A weak Inactive MJO signal was indicated today with west anomalies over the dateline. West anomalies are to build over the dateline then fad on 12/18. East anomalies and the Inactive Phase of the MJO are to build in strong on the dateline 12/19-1/3. After that east anomalies are to fade to modest strength holding through the end of the model run on 1/10 as the Active Phase of the MJO and west anomalies try to build over the far West KWGA.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind):
(12/14) - 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. No change is forecast for the next few days then east anomalies are to build strong over the dateline 12/20 through 12/31. But west anomalies are to hold over the West KWGA from 150E and points west of there. A modest Active Phase of the MJO is to push over the KWGA 12/23 through 2/5 with west anomalies holding west of 150E until 1/7 then easing east to 170E and holding till 1/23, when west anomalies tale over the entire equatorial Pacific 1/24-2/15, then weakening with a nix of weak east and west anomalies over the equatorial Pacific through the end of the model run on 3/13. 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 1/31 with the primary contour collapsing or east of the KWGA by 3/4. 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 2/24 and approaching 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 but not a quickly as previously forecast. 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: (12/14) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was gone, previously at 171E. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 175E. The 26 degree isotherm was steady at 152W. The 24 deg isotherm backtracked from 118W to 128W and was at 128W today. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies at +3 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 -1 degs C were centered at 118W and filling the area from 130W and points east of there and steady. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 12/9 indicates a Kelvin Wave pushing east to 125W and far warmer. A cool pocket was filling the area east of 125W with it's core at 110W and above the 125m depth line. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (12/9) 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 with pockets to 90W north of the equator. A pocket of negative anomalies were covering from Ecuador to 137W and backtracking east with a core of -15 cm anomalies now reappeared at 110W with -10 cm anomalies collapsing between 125W to near Ecuador. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram cool anomalies were in quick retreat positioned in the Central Equatorial Pacific between 130W to Ecuador. It appears the stubborn cool pool is quickly collapsing.

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: (12/13) The latest images depict a broad generic pool of cool water extending west from Ecuador to the dateline with far weaker but still cool waters filling the area 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 (12/13): A stream of weakly warming water extended west from Ecuador to 140W. Broad and solid warming was holding along Peru and Chile extending west to 130W. The balance was towards warming.
Hi-res Overview: (12/13) 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: (12/14) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs compared to official sources). Today's temps were steady at -1.267 after warming to - 1.050 degs on 12/2 and -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:
(12/14) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs). Today's temps were steady at -1.087 after falling to -1.255 on 12/6 but otherwise have been holding around -1.0 degree since 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.

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 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 (12/14) - Temps are to be steady at about -1.00 degs into mid-Dec then starting a steady rise hitting -0.80 degs mid January and reaching above the La Nina threshold (-0.5 degs) the 2nd week of Jan and up to +0.75 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 -0.75 degs mid- Jan rising above La Nina threshold the 1st week of Jan and rising from there forward to +0.60 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 (12/14) the Daily Index was falling at +1.61 today and has been neutral the last 4 days, but above +10 the previous 13 days and then generally below +10.0 before that (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 falling at +9.05 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 +13.13 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: https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/climate-change-good-surfing-other-sports-not-so-much-ncna1017131

Mavericks & Stormsurf on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luQSYf5sKjQ

Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:
http://www.bloomberg.com/video/how-to-predict-the-best-surfing-waves-EsNiR~0xR5yXGOlOq2MqfA.html
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/surfs-up-for-mavericks-invitational-in-calif/

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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