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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Sunday, March 1, 2020 12:31 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
2.6 - California & 2.0 - Hawaii
Using the 'Winter' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

Probability for presence of largest swells in near-shore waters of NCal, SCal or Hawaii.    

Issued for Week of Monday 3/2 thru Sun 3/8

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 Japan Swell Hitting CA
Mixed Weak Swells Projected

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Sunday, March 1, 2020 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Barbers Point (Buoy 238) : Seas were 3.9 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 2.4 ft @ 13.0 secs from 254 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 8.7 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 6.4 ft @ 10.1 secs from 37 degrees.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 5.4 ft @ 17.2 secs with swell 1.8 ft @ 16.0 secs from 218 degrees. Wind at the buoy was west at 14-18 kts. Water temperature 60.3 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 5.5 ft @ 16.3 secs from 278 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.7 ft @ 17.2 secs from 217 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.9 ft @ 17.3 secs from 199 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 3.4 ft @ 17.1 secs from 224 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 13.0 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 8.9 ft @ 9.4 secs from 311 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 21-25 kts. Water temp 50.7 degs (013), 53.2 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 (3/1) in North and Central CA waves were 1 ft overhead and somewhat lined up and clean but with a fair amount of warbled running through it but with light winds and glassy conditions early. Protected breaks were shoulder to head high and soft but lined up and clean early. At Santa Cruz surf was chest high on the sets and clean and lined up with decent form occasionally. In Southern California/Ventura waves were thigh to waist high and completely chopped and blown out and a mess. In North Orange Co surf was waist high or so and not whitecapped but a ragged bumpy warbled mess and soft and not really rideable. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks had sets at chest high and lightly whitecapped and sloppy and not really rideable. North San Diego had surf in the waist high range and chopped and mushy and no good. Hawaii's North Shore had some waves in the head high range and sort of rideable but with a fair amount of warble coming from the northeast running through it. The South Shore was getting small southern hemi swell with waves waist to maybe chest high and lined up and peeling with offshore winds and decent when it came. The East Shore was getting northeasterly windswell at 3 ft overhead and and chopped from solid east-northeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Sunday (3/1) in California swell was hitting from a gale that pushed 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 into Wed (2/26) producing 28 ft seas pushing up to the dateline, then fading out. But even that swell was buried in local windswell. And Hawaii was getting only local windswell. A small gale is forecast forming in the Northeastern Gulf tracking east Wed-Thurs (3/5) with seas to 32 ft. And maybe another is to form off just Japan on Thurs (3/5) producing 30 ft seas aimed east but not even making it half way to the dateline. And maybe a cutoff low to form off California on Sat-Sun (3/8) producing 26 ft seas aimed southeast. And small southern hemi swell is hitting California underneath the more dominant northwesterly swell. Maybe another weak gale to develop in the Southeast Pacific Mon-Tues (3/3) producing 32 ft seas aimed northeast. The transition to Spring is underway.

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 (3/1) the jetstream was loosely consolidated pushing east off Japan with winds to 120 kts in pockets forming a weak trough approaching the dateline offering some support for gale development there. But east of there the jet split heavily starting at 175W with the northern branch tracking solidly northeast with winds to 160 kts pushing inland North Canada with a backdoor trough just barely pushing off San Francisco and then back inland over Baja while the southern branch tracked over Hawaii and then into Baja. Over the next 72 hours the split is to get even more pronounced with the split point moving west to 160E on Tues (3/3) and the northern branch tracking more or less east into Northern British Columbia Mon-Wed (3/4) with a weak trough starting to develop on Wed (3/4) in the Northeastern Gulf offering some support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours that trough is to push east tracking into Vancouver Island on Fri (3/6) offering some support for gale development. Another trough is to form right behind in the same area on Fri (3/6) falling southeast being fed by 130 kts winds offering some support for gale development into Sun (3/8) off the coast of California. At that time the jet is to be weak and split starting inland over Japan with the northern branch sort of trying to form a weak trough off the Kuril Islands then ridging hard northeast into Alaska before falling into the aforementioned trough while the southern branch pushes east on the 25N latitude line the whole way across the Pacific into Baja.


Surface Analysis
On Sunday (3/1) swell was hitting California and all but faded out for Hawaii from a gale that pushed off Japan (see Japan Gale below).

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

 

Japan Gale
A gale developed 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 was pushing towards if not reaching the dateline producing 31 ft seas at 41.5N 162.5E aimed east. In the evening fetch held position and strength at 30-35 kts with 29 ft seas at 40.5N 170E aimed east. More of the same occurred Tues AM (2/25) with 28 ft seas fading at 40N 175E aimed east. Fetch is to pulse but west from it's previous position in the evening at 35-40 kts with seas building to 27 ft at 44N 170E aimed southeast with lingering seas from previous fetch fading from 27 ft at 40N 178W aimed east. Fetch is to be fading Wed AM (2/26) at 35 kts on the dateline with 29 ft seas at 44N 177E aimed southeast. In the evening fetch is to be easing east at 30 kts with seas fading from 26 ft at 45N 178W aimed east. The gale is to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.

Hawaii: Dribbles Sun AM (3/1) fading from 2.1 ft @ 13 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 312-315 degrees

North California: Swell fading slowly on Sun (3/1) from 5.0 ft @ 15 secs early (7.0 ft). Residuals on Mon (3/2) fading from 4.0 ft @ 14 secs (5.0 ft). Dribbles on Tues (3/3) fading from 3.8 ft @ 12-13 secs (4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 300 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 Sunday (3/1) local low pressure was Pt Conception falling south. North winds were modeled at 25 kts nearshore early for all of North CA but only 15 kts for Central CA building to 30-35 kts for North CA and 15-20 kts for Central CA late afternoon. Low odds for showers from the Central CA early pushing to Southern CA in the afternoon and evening. Snow for the Tahoe area early building southward into the Central and Southern Sierra later afternoon then dissipating overnight. On Mon (3/2) north winds are forecast at 30 kts solid for North CA and 15 kts for Central CA early holding up north but fading to 10-15 kts for Central CA late afternoon. Tues (3/3) north winds to continue at 25-30 kts for North CA early and 10 kts for Central CA holding all day. Wed (3/4) north winds are forecast at 20 kts for Pt Arena northward early but calm south of there fading to 15 kts for North Cape Mendocino later and calm south of there. Thurs (3/5) light winds are forecast all day for CA. Fri (3/6) light winds are forecast early with a front along Cape Mendocino with high pressure and north winds building to 15-20 kts for all of North and Central CA late afternoon. Light rain for North CA early early trying to push south but not making it south of Bodega Bay. Sat (3/7) northwest winds are forecast at 15 kts for North CA early and 20-25 kts for Central CA fading to 20 kts later. Sun (3/8) light winds are forecast all day for CA with low pressure just off the coast falling south. No precip forecast for the state.

Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 5.0, 4.0, 5 and 8 inches (all on Sun (3/1) 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 Gale below). Otherwise no swell producing fetch is occurring.

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

 

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: Swell building through the day Sun (3/1) to 2.2 ft @ 16 secs later (3.5 ft). Swell fading some on Mon (3/2) from 2.3 ft @ 15 secs early (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell fading Tues (3/3) from 1.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 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 holding Mon (3/2) at 1.4 ft @ 15-16 secs early (2.0 ft). Swell fading Tues (3/3) from 1.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (1.5 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 a small gale is forecast developing in the Northwestern Gulf on Wed AM (3/4) producing 35 kt northwest winds in the Central Gulf producing 20 ft seas at 45.5N 152W aimed east. In the evening 45 kt northwest fetch is to be tracking east off Washington with 29 ft seas at 47.5N 144W aimed southeast. On Thurs AM (3/5) the gael is to be just off British Columbia with 45 kt northwest winds producing 34 ft seas at 49.5N 136W aimed east. In the evening the gale is to be fading fast just over the Central Canadian Coast with 30 kt north west winds holding off the coast producing 23 ft seas over a broader area at 47N 141W aimed southeast. The gale is to fade from there. Possible swell radiating southeast targeting all the US West Coast north of Pt Conception. Something to monitor.

Also on Thurs AM (3/5) a gale is forecast developing just off North Japan with 40-45 kt northwest winds and seas building. In the evening 40 kt west winds are to be off North Japan with seas 30 ft at 39N 150.5E aimed east. the gale is to be lifting northeast Fri AM (3/6) with 35+ kt northwest winds and seas 29 ft at 39N 156.5E aimed east. In the evening the gale is to be lifting northeast with 35-40 kt northwest winds and seas 29 ft at 42N 162.5E aimed east. By Sat AM (3/7) the gale is to be fading out with barely 30 kt northwest winds and seas fading from 25 ft at 44N 167.5E aimed east. Something to monitor.

A cutoff/backdoor low is to be forming off the Pacific Northwest on Sat AM (3/7) producing 30-35 kt northwest winds and seas building. In the evening north winds are to be building to 35-40 kts with seas 25 ft at 44N 142W aimed southeast. the gale is to hold position on Sun AM (3/8) with 35+ kt north winds and seas 27 ft at 42N 143W aimed south.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a gale is forecast forming in the Southeast Pacific on Mon AM (3/2) producing a broad area of 40 kt southwest winds and seas building from 31 ft at 66S 138.5W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch is to lift northeast fading in coverage with 33 ft seas at 62.5S 127W aimed northeast. On Tues AM (3/3) fetch is to be fading from 30+ kts with 29 ft seas at 58S 119W aimed northeast. Small swell possible radiating northeast into Southern CA and points south of there if all goes as forecast.

 

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

Active MJO Fading - Inactive Phase Building

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 (2/29) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific on over the North Dateline and North KWGA but weak to moderate west over the far South KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the far East equatorial Pacific and into the Central Pacific and then moderate west over the Southern Dateline and KWGA areas.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (3/1) west anomalies were weak to modest in the KWGA with weak east anomalies in the far West KWGA. The forecast calls for modest west anomalies holding through the end of the model run on 3/8 with modest east anomalies in the far West KWGA and strong east anomalies developing just east of the dateline on 3/3 holding solid through the end of the model run.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (2/29) A modest Inactive MJO signal was over the KWGA. The statistic model indicates the Inactive MJO is forecast to hold at day 5 then moving slowly out of the KWGA at day 10 while the Active Phase starts building over the Maritime Continent and easing into the West KWGA and then filling the KWGA at day 15. The dynamic model indicates the same thing but with the Inactive Phase holding and a little stronger on the dateline days 5-10, then fading but with the Active Phase setting up but never quite making it into the KWGA at day 15, holding and modest in strength over the Maritime Continent.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (3/1) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was very weak over the Eastern Indian Ocean today and is to slowly ease east over the far West Pacific at day 15 of the model run. The GEFS model suggests the same thing initially, but with the Active Phase just noodling around the far East Indian Ocean for 15 days, never really moving east.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (3/1) This model depicts the Inactive Phase was strong over the East Equatorial Pacific pushing into Central America through 3/6. Secondary Inactive Phase energy was over the West Pacific too. A neutral pattern biased Inactive is to track east and pushing into Central America on 3/31. A far more organized Inactive Phase is to be setting up in the West Pacific 3/31 pushing to the Central Pacific on 4/10. no organize Active Phase is forecast over the model run.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (2/29) This model depicts a weak Inactive Phase in the far West KWGA today but with weak west anomalies just west of the dateline. The forecast indicates the west wind anomaly pattern is to hold through 3/6 and but steadily fading, dissipating with the Inactive Phase of the MJO taking firm control 3/6-3/21 with modest east anomalies taking control in the core of the KWGA. An Active Phase is to start building in the West KWGA on 3/14 moving into the core of the KWGA on 3/22 with west anomalies taking control of the KWGA 3/22 through the end of the model run on 3/28.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (3/1 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a very weak Active MJO pattern fading in the KWGA today with light west anomalies in the KWGA. The Active MJO Phase is to hold through 3/4, then dissipate with modest west anomalies holding unchanged through that period. Beyond a weak Inactive Phase is to set up 3/5-3/17 with weak east anomalies in control of the KWGA. A very strong Active Phase is now forecast developing 3/17 holding through 4/12 with strong west anomalies in the KWGA during that period. A broad Inactive Phase is to develop 4/5 through the end of the model run on 5/29 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 with occasional pockets of a 3rd contour line. 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 was previously 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). But it seems for now to be settling on a continuation of the low pressure bias over the dateline.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (3/1) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm backtracked from 175E to all but gone today at 171E and shallow. The 29 deg isotherm backtracked to 174W and is steady there today. The 28 deg isotherm line was a brick wall aligned and steady at 163W today. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador and decently thick. Anomaly wise, Kelvin Wave #6 was under the dateline at +2.0 degs tracking from the Maritime Continent under the dateline with it's leading edge steady at 132W. 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 2/22 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 119W 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: (2/22) A broad pocket of +5-10 cms anomalies is filling the equatorial Pacific between 160E pushing non-stop east to 120W then with a small pocket impacting 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: (2/29) The latest images indicate warm anomalies were weak just off the coast of Chile up into Peru but building some from days past with building warm anomalies continuing up along Ecuador up into Central America then tracking west on the equator to the Galapagos if reaching west to 100W. But cool anomalies were present 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 (2/29): Weak warming was off Peru and building strongly along Ecuador west off the Galapagos out to 120W. The short term trend is towards warming.
Hi-res Overview: (2/29) 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. But warm anomalies were trying to build 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 100-135W 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: (3/1) Today's temps were falling slightly at +0.585. 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:
(3/1) Temps were rising slightly at +0.417. 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 (2/26) 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 2020 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) (3/1): The daily index was negative today at -17.47 and has been negative for 2 days in a row. The 30 day average was weakly negative at -3.09 and rising. The 90 day average was falling slightly at -3.24, 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


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Local Interest

Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for the week starting Sunday (3/1):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyhztFkksg8&feature=youtu.be&hd=1
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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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