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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Sunday, February 23, 2020 5:53 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
2.2 - California & 2.5 - 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 2/17 thru Sun 2/23

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   

Small Swell Hitting HI & CA
More to Follow - Small S. Hemi Swell Too

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Sunday, February 23, 2020 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Barbers Point (Buoy 238) : Seas were 3.8 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 2.0 ft @ 13.1 secs from 288 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 5.6 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 3.7 ft @ 13.5 secs from 327 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 5.2 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 3.3 ft @ 7.8 secs from 256 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 8-10 kts. Water temperature 60.3 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 4.2 ft @ 11.7 secs from 288 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 3.8 ft @ 6.3 secs from 259 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.9 ft @ 8.0 secs from 250 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 3.5 ft @ 8.6 secs from 267 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 10.3 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 5.9 ft @ 15.2 secs from 304 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 18-23 kts. Water temp 51.1 degs (013), 52.9 degs (012) and 54.3 degs (042).

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 Sunday (2/23) in North and Central CA waves were 1-2 ft overhead and mushed and warbled with whitecaps developing early. Protected breaks were shoulder to maybe head high and soft and warbled with some whitecaps early. At Santa Cruz surf was waist high on the sets and clean and soft and weak. In Southern California/Ventura waves were thigh high or so and soft and gutless with a fair amount of wind lump intermixed through local wind was calm. In North Orange Co surf was waist to chest high and soft and weak with light northwest winds and some texture on the surface. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were waist high and pure windswell and lumpy and broken up. North San Diego had surf in the waist high range and mushed and crumbled from northwest wind. Hawaii's North Shore was getting Kuril swell with waves 1-2 ft overhead and lined up and clean and peeling at top breaks. The South Shore was occasionally almost waist high and kinda broken up and clean but soft. The East Shore was getting minimal easterly windswell at thigh high and heavily textured early from fading trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Sunday (2/23) in California and Hawaii swell was hitting from a tiny gale that formed off the Kuril Islands Tues (2/18) producing up to 31 ft seas then tracking east over the North Dateline and into the Northwestern Gulf on Wed-Thurs (2/20) with seas 26-28 ft before fading it the Northern Gulf on Fri (2/21) with seas dropping from 25 ft. Conditions were better in Hawaii than CA. Looking forward a small gale is forecast developing on the Dateline Sun-Mon (2/23) falling southeast with seas building to 37 ft aimed southeast then tracking east and dissipating Mon (2/24) with seas fading from 28 ft in the Western Gulf. Secondary fetch to follow tracking northeast through the Gulf Tues (2/25) producing up to 31 ft seas but aimed monthly northeast. And a gale is to push off North Japan on Sun (2/23) tracking east producing up to 33 ft seas aimed east fading some on Tues (2/25) only to redevelop Wed (2/26) producing 30 ft seas pushing up to the dateline, then fading out. Nothing else to follow. The storm track is weak and forecast to only turn more that way.

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 Sunday (2/23) the jetstream was consolidated pushing east off Japan with winds at 170 kts reaching to the dateline digging out a trough there offering some support for gale development. East of there the jet weakened substantially and split with the northern portion lifting northeast through the Gulf then pushing inland over Washington while the southern branch pushed east over Central Baja. Over the next 72 hours no real change is forecast other than winds fading off Japan to 160-170 kts until Sat (2/22) when a trough is forecast developing over the North Dateline digging out decently into Sun (2/23) offering decent support for gale development and with the split point in the jetstream moving to 150W. Beyond 72 hours the Dateline trough is to push east moving into the Northern Gulf on Tues (2/25) and loosing it's ability to support gale development then. A broad gentle trough is forecast developing on the dateline at that time being fed by 130-140 kts winds offering some weak support for gale development. Overall the jet on Tues (2/25) is to be loosely consolidated from Japan to a point north of Hawaii then split east of there and generally not particularly energetic. Beyond 72 hours the same pattern is to hold into Thurs (2/27) then by Fri (2/28) a new trough is to start building off Japan being fed by 150 kts winds offering some support for gale development and pushing east to the dateline on Sun (3/1) loosing energy and definition no longer supporting gale formation. A large split in the jet is to start at 170W with the northern branch arching northeast into the Northern Gulf then pushing south along and just off the coast of British Columbia and down into California. High pressure is to be filling the Gulf in the upper levels of the atmosphere at that time offering no support for gale formation.


Surface Analysis
On Sunday (2/23) small swell was hitting Hawaii and California from a gale that previously tracked east from off the Kuril Islands over the Dateline (see Kuril-Dateline Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours starting Sat PM a small gael started building over the North Dateline region on Sat PM (2/22) producing a tiny area of 50 kt northwest winds and seas to 31 ft at 46.5N 180W aimed southeast. On Sun AM (2/23) the gale was falling southeast with 45 kt northwest winds over a tiny area and seas 36 ft at 44N 179.5W aimed southeast. The gale is to be fading in the evening while falling rapidly southeast with 40 kt northwest winds and seas fading from 36 ft at 41.5N 171.5W aimed southeast. Fetch is to be fading Mon AM (2/24) from 30-35 kts and seas 29 ft at 40N 164W aimed southeast. Additional fetch is to build in the evening at 45-50 kts from the west but lifting northeast fast with seas 27 ft over a small area up at 45N 143W aimed east-northeast. The gale is to track northeast on Tues AM (2/25) with 45 kt west wind and seas 31 ft at 52N 145W aimed east. In the evening residual 30-35 kt southwest fetch is to be fading with seas fading from 25 ft at 50N 143W aimed east. Something to monitor.

Also another gale is to be developing off North Japan on Sun PM (2/23) with 45 kt northwest winds and seas 33 ft at 42N 156E aimed southeast. On Mon AM (2/24) 35-40 kt west fetch is to be pushing towards if not reaching the dateline producing 30 ft seas at 42N 162.5E aimed east. In the evening fetch is to hold position and strength at 30-35 kts with 28 ft seas at 42N 170E aimed east. More of the same is forecast on Tues AM (2/25) with 26 ft seas fading at 42N 170E aimed east. Fetch is to pulse slightly in the evening at 35-40 kts with seas building to 28 ft at 43N 170E aimed southeast. Fetch is to be fading Wed AM (2/26) at 35 kts on the dateline with 30 ft seas at 42.5N 178E aimed southeast. In the evening fetch is to be easing east at 35 kts with seas fading from 28 ft at 43N 177.5W aimed east. The gale is to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.

 

Kuril-Dateline Gale
Another gale formed on Tues PM (2/18) off the Kuril Islands with 40 kt west winds and 31 ft seas building at 41N 161.5E. On Wed AM (3/19) west winds were 35-40 kts over a small are with the gale racing east-northeast approaching the dateline with 25 ft seas at 43N 175E. In the evening the gale is to be pushing into the Northwestern Gulf with 35 kt west winds and 26 ft seas at 48N 172W aimed east. On Thurs AM (2/20) the gale continued east with west winds at 40 kts in the Northern Gulf with 29 ft seas at 49.5N 162W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to be lifting northeast in the Northern Gulf with 35 kt west winds and seas 27 ft at 52N 152W. The gale is to dissipate Fri AM (2/21) with 23 ft seas fading up at 55N 147W aimed east. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Swell fading on Sun (2/23) from 3.6 ft @ 13-14 secs early (5.0 ft). Nothing left after that. Swell Direction: 315 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (2/23) building to 6.5 ft @ 15 secs (9.5 ft) mid-AM an shadowed in the SF Bay Area. Swell fading Mon (2/24) from 5.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (7.5 ft). Swell Direction: 302-305 degrees

 

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Sun (2/23) high pressure at 1030 mbs was just off the Ca coast producing north winds at 15 kts for all of North and Central CA early and building to near 20 kts later. Mon (2/24) north winds are forecast at 20 kts for all of North and Central CA and early holding all day. Tuesday (2/25) north winds are forecast at 20 kts early for North CA and 15 kts for Central CA holding up north all day but fading to 10 kts for everywhere south of Pt Reyes later. Wed (2/26) north winds are forecast at 20-25 kts mainly around Pt Arena early and 5 kts for Central CA holding all day. Thurs (2/27) north winds to be 20 kts for Cape Mendocino early and 5 kts everywhere south of there and dropping to 1-5 kts everywhere later. Fri (2/28) light winds are forecast everywhere all day. Sat (2/29) northwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts early for all of North and Central CA pushing near 20 kts later. Sun (3/1) local low pressure is forecast developing just off Pt Arena falling south to Pt Conception later. South to southeast winds are forecast ahead of the low at 10 kts turning north 35 kts behind it. Rain developing for the entire state through the day. Snow from Tahoe southward strongest for the Central and Southern Sierra.

Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 18, 20, 16 and 12 inches respectively.

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

 

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis
Two small early season gales have produced small swell that is tracking north. (see South Central PAcific Gale and Southeast Pacific Gales below). Otherwise no swell producing fetch is occurring.

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

 

South Central Pacific Gale
A small gale developed in the Central South Pacific Mon AM (2/17) with 40 kt southwest winds and seas building to 33 ft at 54.5S 151.5W aimed northeast. In the evening southwest winds built in coverage but down to 35 kts and seas 31 ft at 53S 144W aimed northeast. Fetch was fading Tues AM (2/18) from 30-35 kts from the southwest with seas fading from 29 ft at 52.5S 136.5W aimed northeast. The gale dissipated from there.

Southern CA: Small swell to arrive starting Tues (2/25) building to 1.6 ft @ 18 secs late (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell building Wed (2/26) to 2.0 ft @ 16-17 secs mid-day (3.5 ft). Swell 2.2 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft) early Thurs (2/27). Residuals fading on Fri (2/28) from 2.2 ft @ 14 secs (3.0 ft). Dribbles on Sat (2/29) fading from 2.0 ft @ 13 secs early (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 195 degrees

Northern CA: Small swell to arrive starting Tues (2/25) building to 1.1 ft @ 19 secs late (2.0 ft). Swell building Wed (2/26) to 1.6 ft @ 17 secs mid-day (2.5 ft). Swell 1.8 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.5-3.0 ft) early Thurs (2/27). Swell fading some on Fri (2/28) from 1.8 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Residuals on Sat (2/29) fading from 1.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 192 degrees

 

Southeast Pacific Gale
A small gale started developing Sat AM (2/22) in the South Central Pacific with 45- kt south winds over a tiny area and seas building from 28 ft at 45.5S 139W aimed north. 40 kt south winds held in the evening with 33 ft seas over a tiny area aimed north at 44S 139W aimed north. Fetch was fading Sun AM (2/23) from 35 kts from the south with seas fading from 29 ft at 42S 134W aimed northeast. Small swell has been produced radiating north.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival late on Sat (2/29) building to 1.3 ft @ 18 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell building through the day Sun (3/1) to 2.2 ft @ 16 secs later (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 198 degrees

Northern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (3/1) building to 1.3 ft @ 17 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 192 degrees

 

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 no swell producing weather systems are forecast.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a series of gales are to form under New Zealand but all are to be tracking hard southeast directing no swell energy northeast towards out forecast area.

 

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

Weak Active MJO Forecast to Fade

The Madden Julian Oscillation 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.The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for MJO activity (which directly relate to the potential for swell production).

Overview: A double dip La Nina was in control through the Winter of 2017-2018. But warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018 associated with two upwelling Kelvin Waves, and continued trying to build over equatorial waters over the Summer and Fall, but not enough to declare El Nino and not coupled with the atmosphere. In January 2019, those warm waters were fading, but then rebuilt late in Feb associated with Kelvin Wave (#3). But as of early June 2019 warm water was 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. El Nino was dead. A bit of a recovery occurred during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water hold in a pool off Peru and has not changed as of late Jan 2020.

LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Fall/Winter 2019/2020 = 5.0/4.0 (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 is assumed the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that a weak borderline El Nino from 2018 is fading out, but not yet completely gone, especially in the atmosphere. Likewise it looks like a La Nina ocean temperature pattern is developing in the equatorial East Pacific, with cooler than normal waters tracking west on the equator. We assumed El Nino like momentum will hold for a while in the atmosphere will take a while to sense that the ocean temperature pattern has changed. But once it does, a turn towards a La Nina like atmospheric pattern will start to develop. that transition is expected in the late Nov-early Dec timeframe. Even so, moderation from the PDO might prevent La Nina from fully developing. Given all that, there is decent probability for a normal start to the Fall surf season (in the Northern Hemisphere) meaning a normal amount of number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in a normal levels of swell, with normal duration and normal period. But by mid-Dec 2019, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start fading and as a result, swell production should fade slightly as well. This pattern is expected to hold through April 2020.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (2/19) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific on over the the North Dateline and North KWGA but moderate west over the South Dateline and into the south KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the far East equatorial Pacific and into the Central Pacific and then strong west over the Southern dateline and KWGA areas (south of the equator).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (2/23) west anomalies were modest to weak in the KWGA. The forecast calls for modest to weak west anomalies holding through the end of the model run on 3/1 but with weak east anomalies in the far West KWGA from 2/25 on and moderate east anomalies east of the KWGA 2/26-2/29.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (2/22) A modest Active MJO signal was in the KWGA centered over he dateline. The statistic model indicates the Active MJO is forecast slowly easing east and out of the KWGA at the end of the model run on day 15 with a moderate Inactive signal over the Maritime Continent easing well into the KWGA. The dynamic model indicates the same thing initially but with the Active Phase gone at day 10 with an Inactive signal over the dateline holding till day 15 but with a strong active Signal building over the Maritime Continent at day 15 and easing into the far west KWGA.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (2/23) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was very weak over the Central Pacific today and is to slowly track east and losing strength over the Eastern Atlantic at day 15 of the model run. The GEFS model suggests the same thing initially, but with the Active Phase racing east faster and over the Maritime Continent at day 15 but still very weak.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (2/23) This model depicts a weak Active Phase fading and exiting the Pacific today over Central America. The Inactive Phase was building over the far West Pacific. It is to push east moving into Central America on 3/24 while slowly losing energy. A modest Active Phase starts to develop in the KWGA 3/24 pushing to the Central Pacific at the end of the model run on 4/3.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (2/22) This model depicts no real MJO signal today but with moderate to strong west anomalies in control in the KWGA. The forecast indicates the west wind anomaly pattern is to hold through 3/9 then start fading but not out even at the end of the model run on 3/21. The MJO signal is to remain very weak and not discernible through the forecast period.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (2/20-using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a very weak Active MJO pattern filling the KWGA today with light to modest west anomalies in the KWGA. the Active MJO Phase is to hold through 3/10, then dissipate with modest west anomalies holding unchanged through the period. Beyond modest west anomalies to hold as a weak Inactive Phase sets up 3/7-3/22. Another somewhat stronger Active Phase is to develop 3/23 holding through 4/24 but with stronger west anomalies in the KWGA build to moderate strong status. A weak Inactive Phase is to develop 4/22 through the end of the model run on 5/22 with weak west anomalies still in control. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias with 2 contour lines in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to the California coast. It is to hold unchanged through the end of the model run. A high pressure bias built in the Indian Ocean and is to hold. East anomalies set up in the Indian Ocean starting 10/22/19 and are to hold for the foreseeable future. The model keeps switching between the continuation of the Indian Ocean high pressure/east wind bias and the low pressure bias over the dateline and the demise of all three in the April timeframe (Springtime 'Predictability Barrier' in full effect).

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (2/23) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm backtracked from 175E to all but gone today. The 29 deg isotherm backtracked to 173W and is steady there today. The 28 deg isotherm line was a brick wall aligned and steady at 162W today. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador and decently thick. Anomaly wise, Kelvin Wave #6 was under the dateline at +3.0 degs tracking from the Maritime Continent under the dateline and on the move today with it's leading edge reaching east to 125W. Lesser warm water was pushing into Ecuador at +1 degs. Warm water was filling the entire equatorial subsurface Pacific from 150 meters upwards. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 2/17 indicates warm water had formed a Kelvin Wave with warm water falling from 120E down into the dateline at 180m deep peaking there at +3 degrees then pushing and rising east to 120W with a stronger pocket of warm water pushing and rising east from there (impacting Ecuador). The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (2/17) A broad pocket of +5 cms anomalies is filling the equatorial Pacific between 160E pushing non-stop into Ecuador. Fairly impressive.

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: (2/22) The latest images indicate warm anomalies were weak just off the coast of Chile up into Peru but with some weak cool anomalies nearshore there, then with building warm anomalies along Ecuador up into Central America then tracking west on the equator to the Galapagos. But cool anomalies were present and building on the equator between 97W to 135W. Warm anomalies were west of there on the equator. A broad pocket of cooling was still south of the equator and well off Peru filling the area from 2S south down to 35S reaching west to 140W and east to 80W. A mirror image of it was now developing off California and well off Baja.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (2/22): Weak warming was off Peru and also west of the Galapagos out to 160W. The short term trend is weakly warming.
Hi-res Overview: (2/22) A steady pocket of cool anomalies is holding south of the equator starting at 5S and just off Peru reaching west out to 140W and steady. A mirror image of it was also off California and Baja Mexico out to 140W. Warm anomalies were trying to hold on along Chile and Peru then stronger up to Ecuador and Central America up to Mainland Mexico out over the Galapagos. But a weak cool pocket was on the equator from 107-135W and weakening. Warmer than normal water was west of there out to the dateline and beyond. Water temps appear to be stable and neither El Nino or La Nina.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (2/23) Today's temps were holding at neutral +0.025. Previously temps dropped to -0.900 on 12/12. Temps peaked prior at +1.55 degrees on 12/2 after a long runup from negative anomalies in October. It now appears we are in a falling trend.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(2/23) Temps were steady at +0.325. Temps peaked on 11/14 at +0.509 degs, fell some to -0.018 on 11/28, and are now trying to rebuild. The trend has been steadily generally upwards since Sept when they bottomed out at -0.6 degs (9/14).

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 (2/23) Actual's indicate a cooling trend set up late last summer with temps -0.2 degs in mid-Sept then started rising to +0.25 degs in early Oct holding to Dec 1 rising to +0.70 degs Jan 1 and holding at +0.65 to Feb 1. From there the forecast depicts temps holding steady to early April at +0.5 then starting to fall, down to 0.0 in mid-May then diving negative appearing to be moving strongly to La Nina down at -1.50 in mid- Oct and possibly falling from there. According to this model a neutral sea surface temperature pattern biased slightly warm is forecast for the Winter and Spring of 2020, then turning strongly towards La Nina in the core of Summer.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Feb 2020 Plume depicts temps are at +0.32 degs, and are to slow fade to neutral +0.00 in June 2020, then falling some to -0.1 degs in Aug only to rebound to neutral in October 2020. 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) (2/23): The daily index was positive today at +5.14 and has been positive at 4 days in a row. The 30 day average was weakly negative at -2.83 and falling. The 90 day average was rising slightly at -3.65, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was developing.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): Dec +0.46, Nov +1.03, Oct +0.27 Sept +1.11, August +0.60, July +0.75, June -0.32, May +1.10, April +0.30, March +1.0, Feb +1.29, Jan +0.193. This index has been steadily positive but still indicates mostly ENSO neutral conditions (not El Nino).

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
Per NOAAs index recent values: Jan 2018 +0.29, Feb -0.19, Mar -0.61, April -0.89, May -0.69, June -0.85, July -0.09, Aug -0.43, Sept -0.46, Oct -0.75, Nov -0.78, Dec -0.12, Jan 2019 -0.18, Feb -0.50 Mar -0.23, April +0.10, May +0.14, June -0.11, July +0.44, Aug -0.14, Sept +0.05, Oct -0.96, Nov -0.28, Dec +0.01, Jan 2020 -1.17, This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2018 +0.70. Feb +0.37, Mar -0.05, April +0.11, May +0.11, June -0.04, July +0.11, Aug +0.18, Sept +0.09. No real negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). 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'), but the data strongly suggests that could be a possibility. By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 

****

External Reference Material: El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), Kelvin Wave


Powerlinessurf Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest

Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for the week starting Sunday (2/23):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsXn9URK12w&feature=youtu.be&hd=1
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

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

Mavericks Invitational 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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