Thursday, December 22, 2022
- Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt)/Buoy 239 (Lani): Seas were 6.3 ft @ 20.0 secs with swell 4.1 ft @ 19.7 secs from 312 degrees. Water temp 77.4 degs (Barbers Pt), 76.5 (Pearl Harbor 233), 77.7 (Lani 239).
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 9.5 ft @ 20.0 secs with swell 6.2 ft @ 19.7 secs from 308 degrees. Water temp 77.5 degs.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.2 ft @ 12.8 secs with swell 1.0 ft @ 12.8 secs from 170 degrees. Wind east at 4 kts. Water temperature 58.8 degs, 58.5 (Topanga 103), 58.5 degs (Long Beach 215), 59.4 (Oceanside Offshore 045), 58.1 (Del Mar 153), 59.7 (Torrey Pines Outer 100). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 1.5 ft @ 17.3 secs from 282 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.0 ft @ 13.2 secs from 220 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.1 ft @ 12.7 secs from 196 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.3 ft @ 13.2 secs from 237 degrees. Water temperate was 59.0 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 3.7 ft @ 16.7 secs with swell 2.7 ft @ 16.2 secs from 277 degrees. Wind north-northeast at 12-16 kts. Water temp 54.3 (Bodega Bay 46013), 54.1 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 52.2 (San Francisco 46026), 51.6 (SF Bar 142), 53.4 (Pt Santa Cruz 254) and NA (Monterey Bay 46042).
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.
On Thursday (12/22) North and Central CA had sets at waist to chest high and clean and lined up with good form and bigger than days past. Protected breaks were flat to thigh high and clean and soft. At Santa Cruz surf was flat to thigh high and clean and soft. In Southern California/Ventura waves were thigh high and clean and lined up and weak. Central Orange County had sets at thigh to waist high and clean but soft and inconsistent breaking just off the beach. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had some waist high sets and clean and lined up when they came. North San Diego had sets at thigh high and clean and lined up but soft. Hawaii's North Shore had sets at 6-8 ft Hawaiian and clean with light offshore winds early. The South Shore had some waist high sets and clean but with lump under it. The East Shore was getting the same northwest swell at waist to chest high with light offshore winds and clean.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Thursday (12/22) Hawaii was getting new longer period swell from a gale that developed just off the Kuril Islands easing east filling the area to the dateline Sun-Tues (12/20) with up to 41 ft seas initially. And small swell is starting to arrive in California from a gale previously over Hawaii that pushed northeast producing seas at 18-20 ft aimed east Tues-Wed (12/21). And residual energy from the Kuril Gale is to weakly redevelop in the Central Gulf tracking northeast Fri- Sun (12/25) producing up to 27 ft seas aimed east. And a secondary fetch is to produce 34 ft seas tracking northeast through the Central Gulf Sat-Sun (12/25). And other is to follow in the Eastern Gulf Mon-Tues (12/27) producing 28 ft seas aimed east. And yet another is forecast just east of the dateline lifting northeast in the Northwest Gulf Tues-Wed (12/28) with 38 ft seas aimed east. And possibly more behind that.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Thursday (12/22) the jetstream was consolidated lifting gently northeast off Japan then falling into a developing trough northwest of Hawaii being fed by strong 200 kts winds offering great support for gale development. from there the jet lifting northeast and dissipated about 1200 nmiles off North CA. Over the next 72 hours the Hawaiian trough is to push east then lift northeast Fri-Sat (12/24) being fed by 180 kts winds and pulsing again on Sun-Mon (12/26) in the Eastern Gulf offering great support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours starting Tues (12/27) the jet is to be consolidated with winds 180 kts running east from Japan up to North California with a gentle trough on the dateline and another pushing onshore over the San Francisco Bay Area both producing weather and supporting gale development. By Thurs (12/29) the same pattern is to hold with the jet raging flat across the North Pacific with 180-190 kts winds with a weak trough on the dateline and the jet pushing onshore over North and Central CA. A most impressive jet is forecast.
On Thursday (12/22) swell was hitting Hawaii and bound for the US West Coast from a gale previously just east of the Kuril Islands (see Kuril Island Gale below). Also swell from a gale that was previously over Hawaii and lifting north through the Gulf was bound for the mainland (see Hawaii Gale Swell for CA below).
Over the next 72 hours a gale is to develop in the Gulf proper targeting both HI and CA (see 1st Gulf Gale below). And yet another Gulf gael is to follow it's track offering more potential (see Another Gulf Gale below).
Kuril Island Gale
A gale developed just off the Kuril Islands on Sun PM (12/18) producing west winds at 50 kts with seas 37 ft over a tiny area at 46N 156.5E aimed east. On Mon AM (12/19) the gale was easing east with 45 kt west winds and seas 40 ft at 48.5N 163.5E aimed east. In the evening northwest winds started building in coverage streaming off the Kuril's to almost the dateline at 30-35 kts with seas 31 ft at 46.5N 165.5E aimed east. On Tues AM (12/20) northwest winds were fading from 30+ kts streaming east off the Kuril's with seas 24 ft at 44N 171E aimed east. The gale is to fade from there. Possibly long distance swell to result for Hawaii and the US West Coast.
Oahu: Clearly this forecast was wrong, with much longer period energy hitting on Thurs (12/22) than expected. Swell to continue on Fri (12/23) building to 4.3 ft @ 15 secs later (6.5 ft). Swell to be buried in new swell arriving on Sat (12/24). Swell Direction: 320 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (12/23) building to 1.9 ft @ 20 secs mid-day (3.5 ft). Swell continues Sat (12/24) building to 3.0 ft @ 16-17 secs (5.0 ft) and mostly buried in more locally generated swell and shadowed. Swell fading on Sun (12/25) from 2.4 ft @ 15 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 307 degrees
Hawaiian Gale Swell for CA
Residual fetch from a gale that pushed directly over Hawaii earlier in the week pushed east and northeast Tues PM (12/20) producing southwest winds at 30-35 kts and seas 19-20 ft at 25-35N 150W aimed east. On Wed AM (12/21) southwest winds were 30-35 kts with seas 18-20 ft at 35N 144W aimed east. In the evening fetch was lifting north at 30-35 kts well off California with seas 18 ft at 38N 139W aimed northeast. Sideband swell to radiate east.
North CA: Expect swell arrival later on Thurs (12/22) building to 2.7 ft @ 15 secs (4.0 ft). Swell continues on Fri (12/23) building to 5.0 ft @ 12-13 secs (6.0 ft). Swell fading on Sat (12/24) from 4.3 ft @ 11 secs (4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 280 degrees
1st Gulf Gale
A better gale is to develop in the Central Gulf on Thurs PM (12/22) producing 35-40 kt northwest with seas 23 ft at 33N 170W targeting Hawaii well. On Fri AM (12/23) the gale is to starting push east of the Islands targeting mainly the mainland with 40 kt west winds and seas 27 ft at 33.25N 161.25W due north of Hawaii with some sideband fetch still providing energy for the Islands. In the evening the gale is to lurch northeast with 40-45 kts west winds and seas 24 ft over a small area at 34N 150W aimed east but mainly redeveloping to the north. On Sat AM (12/24) fetch is to be tracking northeast at 40 kts off South Oregon with seas 26 ft at 46N 147W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to be fading off Washington with 40 kts west winds and seas 29 ft up at 50N 142W aimed east. The gale is to fade from there. Possible small sideband windswell for HI and more direct swell for the US West Coast.
Oahu: Rough data suggest sideband swell arrival on Sat (12/24) building to 8.4 ft @ 14 secs early (11.5 ft). Swell fading on Sun (12/25) from 6.2 ft @ 13 secs (8.0 ft) and getting buried by new swell (see Another Gulf Gale below). Swell Direction: 320-325 degrees
North CA: Rough data suggests swell arrival early Sun AM (12/25) at 3.9 ft @ 15 secs (5.5 ft) and building some through the day. Swell steady on Mon AM (12/26) at 5.9 ft @ 13-14 secs early (8.0 ft) and getting buried by new swell (see Another Gulf Gale below). Swell Direction: 280 degrees
Another Gulf Gale
Fri PM (12/23) another gale is to develop just east of the dateline and well south with 40-45 kt west winds and seas building from 21 ft at 33N 175W targeting primarily Hawaii. On Sat AM (12/24) the gale is to be building while lifting east-northeast with 40-45 kt west winds positioned 900 nmiles north of Hawaii and seas 24 ft at 33N 160E aimed east. In the evening the gale is to be lifting northeast in the Central Gulf with 50-55 kt west winds and seas 33 ft at 39.75N 147W aimed east. On Sun AM (12/25) the gael is to be fading off the Pacific Northwest with 40-45 kt west winds and seas 34 ft at 47.25W 142.75W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to be stationary off Washington with 40 kt northwest winds and seas 26-28 ft at 47N 143W aimed east. On Mon AM (12/26) the gale is to still be producing west winds at 40 kts with seas 29 ft at 48.5N 142W aimed east. After that the gale is to move inland over Central Canada. Something to monitor.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored at this time.
California Nearshore Forecast
- Fri AM (12/23) south winds are forecast at 5-10 kts for North CA early but south 15+ kts for Cape Mendocino and northwest 10-15 kts south of Monterey Bay. In the afternoon south winds are forecast at 15 kts for Cape Mendocino and south at 5 kts down to the Golden Gate and northwest 10 kts for Central CA. Light rain for most of North CA early then fading through the day.
- Sat AM (12/24) south winds are forecast at 10-15 kts early for Cape Mendocino and south 5 kts down to the Golden Gate and northwest 10-15 kts isolated to Pt Conception. No change in the afternoon. Light rain for Cape Mendocino in the late afternoon.
- Sun AM (12/25) south winds are forecast at 5-10 kts for Cape Mendocino and north to northwest 5-10 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon a front is to be just off Cape Mendocino with south winds 20 kts there and south 5-10 kts south to Bodega Bay and north 1-5 kts south of there. No precip forecast.
- Mon AM (12/26) the front is to ease over Cape Mendocino with south winds 30 kts there and light northwest 5-10 kts from the Golden Gate southward. In the afternoon south winds to be 10 kts for Cape Mendocino with the front dissolving there and northwest winds 10 kts from Monterey Bay southward. Rain developing for Cape Mendocino in the morning pushing south to Bodega Bay in the afternoon and stalling there.
- Tues AM (12/27) a new low is to be building just off the North Coast early with a front pushing over North CA with south winds 20-30 kts from Bodega bay northward and south winds 10 kts down to the Golden Gate but calm south of there. In the afternoon the front is to be pushing over Morro Bay with south to southwest winds 15-20 kts down to Morro Bay. Rain for the Golden Gate northward building strongly late morning and racing south to Pt Conception in the late afternoon and Santa Barbara County in the evening. Heavy snow developing for Tahoe late afternoon building south over the Sierra in the evening.
- Wed AM (12/28) the front is to have pushed through with west to northwest winds 15-20 kts for all of North and Central CA. In the afternoon west winds to be 10 kts for North CA and northwest 5-10 kts for Central CA. Rain forecast for all of North and Central CA early clearing late afternoon. Heavy snow early for the Sierra fading through the day and fading overnight.
- Thurs AM (12/29) south winds are to be 15-20 kts for Cape Mendocino and likely south at 5 kts down to the Golden Gate and northwest 5 kts for Central CA. Rain developing for North CA early pushing south to Morro Bay late morning.
Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth are projected at 84, 86, 60, and 54 inches forecast with it split between Tues (12/27) and Sat (12/31).
Freezing level for Lake Tahoe is 10,000 ft today rising to 12,000 ft on Sat (12/24) and holding then starting to fall Mon (12/26) down to 5,000 ft by late on Wed (12/28) and holding.
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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).
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
Beyond 72 hours starting Mon PM (12/26) another gale is to developing off North CA producing west winds at 35-40 kts and seas 24 ft at 43N 150W aimed east. On Tues AM (12/27) the gale is to be pushing east positioned just off North CA with 40 kt west winds and seas 28 ft at 42N 136W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to be pushing over North Oregon with 40 kts west winds and seas 25 ft at 46N 130W aimed east. Something to monitor.
On Tues AM (12/27) a small gael is to develop on the dateline with 45 kt northwest winds and 31 ft seas at 38.25N 180W. In the evening it is to be lifting northeast with 45-50 kt west winds and seas 38 ft at 41.75N 172.25W aimed east. The gael is to track northeast on Wed AM (12/28) with 35 kt west winds and seas fading from 34 ft at 45N 164.25W aimed east. The gale is to dissipate after that.
And another gale is to develop Tues PM (12/27) west of the dateline with 35 kt west winds and seas 26 ft at 35N 171E aimed east. On Wed AM (12/28) the gale is to east of the dateline with 35-40 kt west winds and seas 26 ft at 37N 180W. In the evening the gale is to be moving into the Western Gulf with 40 kt west winds and seas 26 ft at 40N 167W aimed east. The gael is to move into the Central Gulf Thurs AM (12/29) with 35 kts west winds and seas 26 ft at 41N 158W aimed east. Something to monitor.
And possibly another is to be directly behind that.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
Cool Pool Under Pressure
Steady West Wind Anomaly Pattern Getting Established Over the West 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 steadily more established over the KWGA and are forecast to continue for the foreseeable future, with a total collapse of La Nina near Christmas and water temps steadily rising beyond. The last link in the chain is to see SSTs actually rising and the SOI falling (but that has not happened yet).The outlook is turning optimistic.
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 (12/21) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific and moderate to strong east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and moderate east over the Central Pacific and moderate east over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, versus realtime, so they lag what is happening today (by about 2.5 days).
1-2 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (12/22) Strong east anomalies were over the dateline today with moderate west anomalies filling the West KWGA to 150E. The 7 day forecast calls for stronger east anomalies over the dateline through 12/25 then fading but still near strong through the end of the model run with west anomalies backtracking and nearly gone form the KWGA at the end of the model run on 12/29. The 2 week GFS model is offline.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
- MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:
OLR Models: (12/21) A weakly Active signal was indicated over the West KWGA today with a weak Inactive signal fading over the dateline. The statistical model indicates the Active signal slowly pushing east filling the KWGA into day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model indicates the same thing.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (CA and GEFS): (12/22) The statistical model depicts the Active signal was weak over the Maritime Continent and is to move to the West Pacific then retrograde back to the Maritime Continent at the end of the model run and weak the whole time. The dynamic model indicates the Active Phase moving to the West Pacific and stalling there.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (12/16) No Update - A weak Active MJO (wet air) was over the KWGA today.The forecast has it moving east and into Ecuador on 1/15. A weak Inactive MJO (dry air) is forecast developing over the KWGA on 1/5 tracking east and filling the equatorial Pacific at the end of the model run on 1/25.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (12/21) A weak Inactive MJO signal was pushing over the KWGA today with west anomalies filling the KWGA from 150E and points west of there and strong east anomalies on the dateline filling the area east of 150E. East anomalies are to hold at strong status on the dateline through 1/6 then fading but still present at moderate strength through the end of the model run on 1/18. The Active Phase of the MJO is to develop and push east into the West KWGA starting 12/27 making it to 165E and holding through 1/11 before fading. Moderate west anomalies are to hold filling the Western KWGA from 150E and points west of there from today forward. This is a positive change.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (12/20) - 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 all but gone over the KWGA with west anomalies in control of the western half of the KWGA (from 150E west) and east anomalies over the eastern half. The Inactive MJO is to fade by 12/26 with the Active Phase of the MJO building east over the KWGA from 12/24 through 2/3. West anomalies are to hold solid at moderate strength over the western KWGA (from 150E and points west of there) with east anomalies holding over the eastern half but with east anomalies starting to fade on 1/2 and west anomalies filling the KWGA after that. A weak Inactive MJO is forecast moving over the KWGA 1/15 through the end of the model run on 3/21 but with weak west anomalies in control of the KWGA through the end of the model run. 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 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 be slowly pushing east then forecast to push hard east starting 2/24 and nearly on 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. but it's a slow transition.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (12/22) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was present barely at 165E. The 28 deg isotherm line was stable at 180W. The 26 degree isotherm was backtracking to 155W. The 24 deg isotherm backtracked from 118W to 128W and was at 134W today. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies at +4 deg C were in a broad pocket over the West, Central and now the East Pacific down 150m with it's leading edge easing east to 117W. No cool anomalies were indicated. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 12/14 indicates a Kelvin Wave pushing east to 122W and far warmer. A cool pocket was centered at 90W near the surface with residual weakly cool waters filling the area above the Kelvin Wave over the entire equatorial Pacific. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (12/14) 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 130W with other stray reaching east to a point just north of the Galapagos. A pocket of negative anomalies were covering from Ecuador to 130W. A weak core of -10 cm anomalies were fading east of 110W. 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 while a large warm pool builds in the West.
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.
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4 Qualitative Analysis: (12/21) 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 far 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. And warmer than normal temps were present along the coasts of Chile and Peru. Overall this indicates the late stages of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (12/21): A stream of weakly warming water extended west from Ecuador to 140W. A broad and solid are of warming water was locked along the coasts of Peru and Chile extending west to 100W. The balance was towards warming.
Hi-res Overview: (12/19) 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 along the coasts of Chile and Peru and nearly Ecuador. La Nina remains in control over the East Equatorial Pacific for the moment but the density and intensity of the cooling appears to be fading and warming water seems to be building.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (12/22) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs compared to official sources). Today's temps were rising steadily at -0.695 after rising to -0.750 on 12/18, and that after rising from -1.267 in early Dec and then modestly in the -1.5 degs range late Oct and all Nov. Previously temps were in the -1.0 range since 7/29. 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: (12/22) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs). Today's temps were steady at -1.068 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. 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.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
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 (12/22) - Temps are to start a steady rise today hitting -0.85 degs mid January and reaching above the La Nina threshold (-0.5 degs) in early Feb 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 have bottomed out and are to start pushing up to -0.80 degs mid- Jan rising above La Nina threshold the last week of Jan and rising from there forward to +0.75 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 December 19, 2022 Plume depicts temps are -0.661 degs today. Temps to rise steadily from here forward to -0.415 degs in Jan and above the La Nina Threshold and -0.170 in Feb rising to +0.604 in July and +0.648 in Aug. This is an upgrade from the previous run.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 (12/22) the Daily Index was rising hard at +55.74 today and has been in the +20 range the last 6 days, neutral 5 days before that, 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 rising at +14.44 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 rising at +13.62 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
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:
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