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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Thursday, December 30, 2021 1:33 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
2.8 - California & 2.3 - 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 12/27 thru Sun 1/2

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   

Decent Gulf Gale Forecast
Active MJO to Push East - Split Jet to Heal - Real Gale Possible

 

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Thursday, December 30, 2021 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt): Seas were 3.3 ft @ 7.1 secs with swell 1.2 ft @ 14.6 secs from 235 degrees. Water temp 76.5 degs (Pearl Harbor 233), NA (Lani 239), 76.3 (Barbers Pt).
  • Buoy 202 (Hanalei): Seas were 10.0 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 7.3 ft @ 9.6 secs from 63 degrees. Water temp 77.2 degs.
  • Buoy 067 (San Nicholas): Seas were 6.9 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 3.8 ft @ 12.1 secs from 293 degrees. Water temperature 56.8 degs, 57.0 (Topanga 103), 58.3 degs (Long Beach 215), 58.8 (Del Mar 153), 59.9 (Imperial Beach 155). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.6 ft @ 11.8 secs from 319 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 3.9 ft @ 6.1 secs from 172 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 3.6 ft @ 6.1 secs from 210 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 3.5 ft @ 5.8 secs from 194 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 9.9 ft @ 11.4 secs with swell 8.3 ft @ 10.7 secs from 312 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was north at 16-20 kts. Water temp NA (Pt Reyes 029), 53.8 (46026), 52.2 degs (SF Bar 142), and 52.5 (Santa Cruz 254).

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

 
Swell Classification Guidelines

Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
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 Thursday (12/30) North and Central CA had set waves at about 1 ft overhead and lined up and clean with light offshore winds. Protected breaks were shoulder to head high and lined up and clean and pretty lined up. At Santa Cruz surf was waist high with rare chest high peaks and mushed and weak but clean. In Southern California/Ventura waves were thigh to maybe waist high and weakly lined up and clean. Central Orange County had sets at chest high and trashed from strong south wind. South Orange County's best summertime breaks were waist high and really junky and warbled from south wind. North San Diego had sets at waist high and pretty warbled from south winds and not really rideable. Hawaii's North Shore was getting northeast windswell with waves chest to head high and fairly lined up and clean with light wind though a little soft and with northeast warble running through it. The South Shore was knee to thigh high and clean and soft. The East Shore was getting northeast windswell at head high or a little more and chopped from brisk east trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Thursday (12/30) North and Central California was getting modest northwest windswell originating from local low pressure that fell down the coast of the Pacific Northwest on Tues-Wed (12/29) producing up to 13-14 ft seas. And Hawaii was getting easterly windswell from solid northeast trades. The Western Gulf is locked down by high pressure leaving only the edges available for gale production. Looking forward a gale is forecast for the Northern Gulf falling southeast Sun-Tues (1/4) producing 26-28 ft seas targeting the US West Coast well. Raw swell possible. But beyond it appears the Active Phase of the MJO is finally going to push east dragging the split point in the jet from the dateline to the Gulf of Alaska if not eliminating the split entirely, finally opening up the storm door for legitimate swell production, if you believe the models.

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 Thursday (12/30) the jet was pushing east off Japan with winds to 160 kts reaching to the dateline then splitting heavily as it has for the past several weeks with the northern branch ridging hard north up into the Central Bering Sea then tracking down over the coast of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest pushing inland over South California. there were no real troughs indicated offering no support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours starting Fri (12/31) winds to build in the jet to 190 kts pushing off Japan and with a new trough starting to build over the Northern Gulf falling southeast to a point off British Columbia on Sun (1/2) supporting gale formation. Beyond 72 hours starting Mon (1/3) more of the same is forecast with the trough solid sagging south to a point off North Oregon being fed by 140 kts winds offering good support for gale formation. And the jet is to pushing directly into the North Sierra on Tues (1/4) offering weather there. But of more interest starting Tues (1/4) the jet is to build with winds 210 kts pushing off Japan with the split point on the dateline evaporating and starting to push east reaching a point north of Hawaii and a trough developing just west of the dateline pushing over the dateline on Thurs (1/6) being fed by 170 kt winds offering good support for gale formation.

Surface Analysis
On Thursday (12/30) windswell from a local low pressure was pushing into North and Central CA.

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast. But beyond the forecast improves.

 

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are forecast.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Fri (12/31) high pressure is to remain in control with north winds 15-20 kts for all of North and Central CA and light winds for Southern CA. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 20-25 kts for all of the California coast though perhaps lighter nearshore for Southern CA. Rain clearing for San Diego County early but otherwise dry.
  • Sat (1/1) northwest winds to be 15 kts for Cape Mendocino and 10 kts nearshore for North and Central CA though 20+ kts off the coast there. In the afternoon the high is to evaporate with a light north winds in control of the North and Central CA coast. No precip forecast.
  • Sun (1/2) morning southeast winds to set up at 5 kts early for Morro Bay northward and 15 kts for Cape Mendocino. In the afternoon a front is to be pushing south down the North CA coast to Pt Arena with south winds 30 kts for Cape Mendocino and south winds 15 kts down to Pt Arena and 5 kts down to Monterey Bay. Rain developing for Cape Mendocino late evening.
  • Mon (1/3) AM the front holds with south winds 25-35 kts for Cape Mendocino and south winds 15 kts down to the Golden Gate and south winds 5 kts south to Monterey Bay. In the afternoon the front sags slowly south with south winds 20-25 kts from the Golden Gate northward and south winds 15 ks from Monterey Bay northward. Rain for Pt Arena northward early reaching the Golden Gate in the afternoon and Monterey Bay later in the evening and heavy for Cape Mendocino in the evening. Snow developing and building south to Tahoe late evening and heavy.
  • Tues (1/4) the front hold with southwest winds 15 kts from Big Sur northward and southwest winds down to Pt Conception. Winds turning west at 10 kts in the afternoon for all of North and Central CA. Rain for Big Sur northward early with snow from Tahoe northward. More of the same in the afternoon with rain down to maybe Pt Conception and snow lightening for Tahoe late afternoon.
  • Wed (1/5) southwest winds to be 10 kts for all of North CA with a new front setting up approaching Cape Mendocino. Central CA to have northwest winds 5 kts. In the late afternoon southwest winds to be 15-20 kts for Cape Mendocino and southwest 10 kts down to the Golden Gate. Northwest winds are forecast at 10 kts down to Pt Conception with northwest winds 20 kts over the Channel Islands. Rain limited to Pt Arena early sagging south to Pt Reyes in the afternoon. Light snow for Tahoe.
  • Thurs (1/6) AM no change is forecast with .rain maybe down to the Golden Gate.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 46, 52, 29, and 12 inches. A spurt on Jan4-5 and then more on Jan 8 for Tahoe resort but nothing for Mammoth till Jan 8.

Freezing level building about to 4,000 ft today (12/30) generally holding then building to 8,000 ft on 1/1 only to fall back to 3,000 ft 1/2 then building to 5,000 ft on 1/3-1/5, building to 9,000 ft on 1/6 falling back to 4,500 ft on 1/8.

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

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

 

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis
No swell producing fetch has occurred of is forecast.

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.

 

North 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 starting Sat PM (1/1) remnants of a gale previously over the dateline are to track northeast just south of the Eastern Aleutians then start redeveloping in the northern Gulf generating northwest winds at 35-50 kts and seas building from 26 ft up at 54N 152W aimed southeast.On Sun AM (1/2) a broader fetch of northwest winds at 35-45 kts is forecast over the Northern Gulf with 28 ft seas at 50N 149W aimed southeast. In the afternoon a defined closed isobar low is to be falling south off of British Columbia producing 35-40 kt northwest winds and seas 28 ft at 47N 148W aimed southeast. On Mon AM (1/3) northwest fetch is to be fading from 30-35 kts off Oregon pushing into Cape Mendocino CA with seas 26 ft at 42N 140W aimed southeast. In the evening northwest winds to be 30 kts well off Oregon and North CA with seas 24 ft at 40N 134W aimed southeast and positioned off Cape Mendocino. Fetch is to be fading on Tues AM (1/4) from 30 kts off Cape Mendocino with 22 ft seas fading at 41N 133W aimed southeast. Something to monitor.

Of more interest is a projected gale developing off Japan on Wed AM (1/3) with 45 kt northwest winds and seas building from 31 ft at 33N 160E aimed southeast. in the evening winds to build from 40-45 kts with seas 33 ft at 34N 166E aimed southeast and approaching the dateline. On Thurs AM (1/6) northwest winds to build in coverage at 40-45 kts on the dateline with seas to 35 ft at 35N 171.5E aimed southeast and with good coverage. Perhaps the first real gale of the season is to develop.

 

South Pacific

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

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

La Nina Peaking as Primary SubSurface Cool Pool Discharges - Active MJO Still In Control
Summary - Cool subsurface water volume peaked under the equatorial Pacific on 10/15/21, beating last years volume, and now is discharging to the surface while fading and easing east. But a second cool pool is developing. A stronger than expected Active Phase of the MJO today is producing west anomalies forecast to hold over the KWGA into mid-January filling 75% of the KWGA as the low pressure bias slowly builds in from the west. A return to a more normal cadence of Active and Inactive MJO phases is starting now. It appears surface and subsurface water temps have bottomed out. With that it seems the the peak of this years La Nina event is already behind us. But the atmosphere will be slow to respond.

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 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 2021-2022 = 1.5 (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. A full double dip La Nina pattern took hold as we moved into November with this second La Nina dip being nearly as strong as the previous one. But a quick fade is forecast as we move into late December with the CFS predicting a return to a neutral wind anomaly pattern at that time and the low pressure bias making headway in to the KWGA in early 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. But by later in Feb 2022 perhaps a return to a more normal pattern might take hold. But it will be too little too late. As a result a significantly reduced number of storm days and storm intensity is expected Oct-Feb 2022, resulting in a below normal level of swells, with swell being below normal duration and period. But by March 2022, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start improving as La Nina fades out. The status of the PDO is not known, though it appears to be returning to at least a neutral state, rather than the warm phase as previously projected thereby having no significant positive or negative effect on the long term outlook.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (12/29) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific and modest east over the KWGA. Anomalies were modest east over the East equatorial Pacific and modest east over the Central Pacific and weak east over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, versus realtime, so they lag what is happening today (by about 2.5 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (12/30) a mix of weak east anomalies were over the west KWGA and stronger west anomalies were on the dateline. The 7 day forecast calls for more of the same.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (12/29) A moderate Active MJO signal was filling the KWGA today. The statistical model suggests the Active Phase is to slowly lose strength while moving east and almost east of the KWGA through day 15 of the model run focused just east of the dateline centered more over the Central Pacific. The dynamic model projects the Active MJO backtracking on day 10 of the model run then slowly easing east while weakening still filling the KWGA on day 15 of the model run.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (12/30) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was moderate over the East Pacific and is forecast tracking over Africa at day 15 of the model run and very weak. The dynamic model suggests the Active Phase holding over the East Pacific and slowly weakening through day 15 of the model run. It's been a long time since we've seen any Active Phase in the greater Pacific.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (12/29) A modest Active MJO signal (wet air) was over the Central Pacific today with dry air over the far East Pacific. The forecast indicates the Active Phase tracking east pushing into Central America 1/28. The Inactive Phase (dry air) is to start developing over the West Pacific on 1/6 and weak moving to the Central America at the end of the model run on 2/7. A new Active Phase (wet air) is forecast starting to build over the far West Pacific on 1/23 moving east from there.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (12/29) This model depicts the Active Phase was locked over the Central KWGA today with west anomalies rebuilding some still mostly filling the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Active MJO signal holding over the KWGA through 1/10 positioned just west of the dateline with west anomalies rebuilding starting 12/30 and solid on the dateline 12/31-1/10 then fading but still holding control of the central KWGA through 1/13. The Inactive Phase of the MJO is forecast developing 1/8 in the western KWGA with east anomalies creeping over the KWGA on 1/12 filling it at the end of the model run on 1/26 with no west anomalies in sight.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (12/30 - using the 5th ensemble member - the mean of the 4 individual members which are all from the 00Z run - 1 run per day): Today the Active Phase of the MJO was still filling the eastern 50% of the KWGA with weak west anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Active MJO is to continue moving over the KWGA through 1/3 with west anomalies filling the KWGA during that window and stronger 1/1-1/8 then gone on 1/15. The Inactive Phase is already building over the West KWGA though not particularly strong or impactful till 1/15 with weak east anomalies building over the KWGA then peaking on the dateline on 2/20. A moderate Active Phase is to develop on 2/2 pushing east through the KWGA through 3/20 with modest but cohesive west anomalies during that window. An Inactive Phase is to follow starting 3/9 through the end of the model run on 3/29. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias with 2 contour lines was centered over the dateline and is to hold till 1/31, then nudge east with its western perimeter on or near the dateline. The second contour is to fade out on 1/23 then redevelop 2/6-3/19. A broad single contour low pressure bias is established centered over the Maritime Continent at 100E with it's leading edge at 125E and barely in the KWGA and is forecast starting to move east further into the KWGA to 150E on 1/28 filling 50% of the KWGA and building further east to nearly the dateline at the end of the model run. Today a solid east anomaly pattern that has been in control of KWGA since early July is being significantly challenged by west anomalies from the Active Phase of the MJO. A return to a more normal MJO alternating pattern is forecast moving forward. This could signal the demise of La Nina as we get deeper into Winter. That said, there is only one more Active MJO forecast for this winter, in the late-Jan to early March timeframe.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (12/30) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was pushing east to 170E and solid. The 28 deg isotherm line was easing east to 178W. The 24 deg isotherm was steady at 122W. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +4 deg C were building with their leading edge at about 155W. All sensors are down at 140W. Cool anomalies were rebuilding at -5 degs C 75 meters down at 125W and tracking east while rising near the surface near 95W. No Kelvin Waves were obvious and cool water was in control in the east at depth but definitely less of a force than weeks and months past with warm water building in the west. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 12/24 indicates no warm water east of 160W at depth with a bubble of cold water at -4C below normal east of there extending upward to the surface off Ecuador and rebuilding compared to weeks past. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (12/24) Sea heights were negative over the East equatorial Pacific from Ecuador to 175W at -5 to -10 cms now with 2 building pockets of -15 cms anomalies between 110W and 145W. -10 cms anomalies cover a broad area between 80W to 150W. Positive anomalies were creeping east from 178E previously to 175W today. A warm water 'horseshoe' pattern is well developed in the West Pacific. La Nina made a return and stronger than last year, but now appears to be in decline, at least from the subsurface water temp perspective. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram La Nina subsurface cold temperatures peaked in coverage in mid-Oct, far broader than last year (-2.5 degs C), but as of 12/19 that coverage is gone but a second cold wave was developing between 150W to 112W. It appears a second cold water Kelvin Wave (upwelling Kelvin Wave) was developing under the Central Pacific while the primary one was erupting just west of the Galapagos.

Surface Water Temps
The more warm water in the equatorial East Pacific means more storm production in the North Pacific during winter months (roughly speaking). Cold water in that area has a dampening effect. Regardless of what the atmospheric models and surface winds suggest, actual water temperatures are a ground-truth indicator of what is occurring in the ocean. All data is from blended infrared and microwave sensors.
Satellite Imagery
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4 Qualitative Analysis: (12/29) The latest images depict a broad stream of cool water on the equator and extending south from Chile up to Peru then turning west and peaking from the Galapagos east to 110W then weaker but still solid west of there to at least the dateline. A classic La Nina pattern was evident. But the coolest part of that flow is warming compared to a week ago. A pocket of warming water depicted at 130W was fading some but a few pixels of warming along the coast of Chile were rebuilding again. An area of warm water just north of the equator was fading from Ecuador west to 140W and up along Central America into Southern Baja. Overall this indicates the return of cold water temps in the Central Equatorial Pacific indicative of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (12/29): Temps were warming along Chile and Peru and warming in a few pockets between the Galapagos to 120W. A few small pockets of cooling were interspersed. A cold water Kelvin Wave is erupting at the surface in the East equatorial Pacific resulting from the discharge of subsurface water below it.
Hi-res Overview: (12/29) No real change though the magnitude of the coolness appears to be fading some. A broad stream of cooler than normal water was aligned on the equator from Ecuador to 110W then weaker but still solid out to 160E. Cooler than normal waters were also south of that line down to 20S. Warmer than normal waters were limited to a line north of the equator up to Mexico and along the US Coast up to Pt Conception. A previous cool outflow from South California southwest to the a point over Hawaii's Big Island was gone. La Nina is solid but not building anymore focused over the equatorial Central Pacific.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (12/30) Today's temps were rebounding up to -1.319 after falling hard to -1.954 on 12/18, the lowest this year so far. Previously temps rose to -1.432 on 11/29 and that after dropping on 11/24 at -1.700, the lowest in months after previously toggling steady at about -0.6 degs from mid Aug to Oct 6, then falling from there. Before that temps were toggling around neutral 6/13-8/5 except for one dip to -0.411 on 7/8. Prior to that temps peaked on 3/16 when they briefly hit +0.714 degs. Last year temps bottomed out at -2.138 on 8/13/20. The longterm trend has been steadily downward.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(12/30) Today temps were falling as part of a slow steady downward trend down to -0.999 after creeping up to -0.685 on 11/9, and that after bottoming out at -1.08 on 11/2, the lowest in a year. Prior to that temps had been in a freefall starting from the -0.175 range in early Sept. Before that temps peaked up at 7/1 +0.332, the highest in a year. Temps previously had been steady near -0.222 since early March. Temps bottomed out at -1.654 on 11/3/2020.

Click for Full Sized Image Click for Full Sized Image

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

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (12/30) - Temps rose in early Nov 2020 after bottoming out at -1.25 degs, up to -0.01 degs in mid-June then fading to -0.3 degs through Aug and to -0.75 degs in mid Oct and -1.0 degs in mid-Nov. The forecast indicates temps steady from here to mid-Jan at -1.05 then pushing up to -0.25 degs in July 2022. This model suggests a return of La Nina conditions and strongly so this Fall and Winter. There is no indication that El Nino will develop. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps hav already bottomed out at -1.05 in mid-Dec, rising in mid-Jan to -1.0 degs then starting a slow steady rise to -0.20 degs in July. This is an upgrade from 1 week ago when temps were predicted to fall to -1.30 degs and that an upgrade from lower temps months before. At this point it is safe to say peak La Nina has been reached.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Dec 20, 2021 Plume depicts temps are at -1.032 degs today and have bottomed out. They are to warm to -0.47 degrees in March, then rising to -0.00 degs in July and neutral after that. A solid return of La Nina is expected peaking about now then warming thereafter.
See chart here - link.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad - this is a lagging indicator):
Today (12/30) the daily index was positive at 15.26 after peaking at +46.71 on 12/26. The trend has been towards positive readings with previous notable peaks at +30.98 on 11/26, +36.90 on 9/28, +27.75 on 9/13 and +37.86 on 7/15.
The 30 day average was rising some at +12.88 (the highest in a year) after previously falling to +6.06 on 11/6 after peaking at +11.58 on 10/22. Before that it fell to -3.36 on 6/22, the lowest in a year. It peaked at +19.51 on 1/14.
The 90 day average was steady at +10.73 today after previously peaking at 10.22 on 12/10, falling to +7.10 on 11/1. It previously peaking on 9/21 at +9.80 after falling to it's lowest point in a year on 6/9 at +1.06. The 90 day average peaked at +15.75 on 2/23 (clearly indicative of La Nina then). This index is a lagging indicator but suggest La Nina is returning.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
The PDO theoretically turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and was positive till Dec 2019, but has been negative every since, driven by recent La Nina conditions. In May-July 2021 it was the most negative its been in the -1.80 to -2.04 range since Sept 2012 (-2.99). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'). If anything it appears more likely we are still in the cool phase of the PDO.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 


Powerlines Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest
Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for this week. See it Here
For automatic notification of forecast updates, subscribe to the Stormsurf001 YouTube channel - just click the 'Subscribe' button below the video.

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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing: 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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