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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, March 9, 2021 3:48 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
3.7 - 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 3/8 thru Sun 3/14

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   

Junky Swell Hitting CA
Weak Swell Forecast For CA and HI

BUOY ROUNDUP
On Tuesday, March 9, 2021 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 2.7 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 1.7 ft @ 9.3 secs from 169 degrees. Water temp 75.4 degs (Pearl Harbor 233).
  • Buoy 187 (Pauwela): Seas were 10.5 ft @ 7.7 secs with swell 7.5 ft @ 8.0 secs from 66 degrees. Water temp 75.2 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 5.7 ft @ 5.9 secs with swell 2.8 ft @ 10.3 secs from 273 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 14-18 kts. Water temperature 57.6 (Topanga 103), 57.2 degs (Long Beach 215), 58.8 (Del Mar 153). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 7.7 ft @ 14.9 secs from 310 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.8 ft @ 13.1 secs from 255 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.6 ft @ 13.0 secs from 267 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 4.2 ft @ 13.7 secs from 282 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 11.0 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 8.4 ft @ 13.4 secs from 312 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was south at 12-14 kts. Water temp 51.1 (029), 50.9 degs (SF Bar) and 53.4 degs (Santa Cruz).

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 Tuesday (3/9) North and Central CA had waves at 3-4 ft overhead and lined up but warbled and unorganized from south wind. Protected breaks were 2 ft overhead and lined up and closed out but pretty clean. At Santa Cruz surf was head high on the sets and clean and lined up but weak and mushed and pretty warbled with lump outside the kelp. In Southern California/Ventura waves were shoulder to head high and lined up and clean but pretty broken up from warble. Central Orange County had set waves at chest to head high and lined up but crumbled and a little warbled despite light to calm winds. South Orange County's best summertime breaks were flat, warbled and unrideable. North San Diego had sets at waist to chest high and warbled and pretty uneven but rideable. Hawaii's North Shore had waves at chest to head high and clean but with some northerly lump intermixed making for uneven conditions. The South Shore was flat and clean. The East Shore was getting easterly windswell with waves head high and chopped from east-northeast trades.

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

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (3/9) California were seeing leftover swell from a gale that developed in the Northern Gulf on Sat (3/6) producing 38 ft seas aimed southeast with remnants of that gale still producing 19 ft seas while slowly falling southeast off the North CA coast. Beyond a small low pressure system is forecast developing again in the Northern Gulf Fri-Sat (3/13) producing 19-20 ft seas aimed southeast. A small gale developed in the Southeast Pacific on Sun (3/7) producing 35 ft seas lifting northeast with swell radiating north from it. Maybe another weak gale is to form in the Central South Pacific Sat-Mon (3/15) producing 26 ft seas aimed northeast. For the most part no serious swell is forecast and windswell is becoming the best hope. Welcome to Spring.

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 Tuesday (3/9) the jet was weakly consolidated pushing off Japan with winds to 150 kts making it to the dateline then splitting the northern branch falling apart to near nothing while pushing northeast up into Alaska then reorganizing with a weak trough just off the Pacific Northwest offering some support for low pressure development. The southern branch fell south then recovered tracking northeast and pushing up into Baja Mexico. Over the next 72 hours the jet stream is to fall apart with no defined flow in the west by Thurs (3/11) while the trough off the Pacific Northwest moves inland with no support for gale development remaining. Beyond 72 hours starting Sat (3/13) perhaps a steep pinched trough is to develop in the Gulf pushing east into early SUn (3/14) but likely not offering any meaningful support for gale development. A completely diffuse pattern is to continue but on Mon-Tues (3/16) perhaps a small weak trough is to try and develop in the Northwestern Gulf being fed by 100 kt winds offering only support for low pressure development. The Winter season is fading fast if not already gone.

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday (3/9) swell was hitting California from a gale that developed in the Northern Gulf falling southeast towards the US West Coast (See North Gulf Gale below).

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

 

North Gulf Gale
A new small gale was developing in the Northwestern Gulf on Fri AM (3/5) producing 30 kt northwest winds and starting to get traction. In the evening 35-40 kt northwest winds were building in the Northern Gulf with seas building to 21 ft at 50N 153W aimed southeast. On Sat AM (3/6) fetch was building to 40-45 kts from the northwest with seas 28-30 ft at 50N 149W aimed southeast. In the evening northwest winds were falling southeast at 40-45 kts moving over the Eastern Gulf off Washington with 37 ft seas at 49.5N 143W aimed southeast (316 degs NCal). On Sun AM (3/7) the gale was holding position with 35-40 kt northwest winds and seas fading from 33 ft at 47.5N 137W aimed southeast off North Oregon (315 degs NCal). In the evening fetch is to be fading while holding position with northwest winds 30-35 kts and seas 23 ft at 44N 140W aimed southeast. The gale to fall southeast on Mon AM (3/8) with 30 kt northwest winds and seas fading from 22 ft at 42.5N 140W aimed southeast (296 degs NCal). More of the same in the evening with seas fading from 20 ft at 43N 138.5W (298 degs NCal) aimed southeast. On Tues AM (3/9) 30 kt northwest winds to be off North CA with 21 ft seas at 41N 134.5W aimed southeast (293 degs NCal, 305 degs SCal). The gale is to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.

North CA: Swell fading on Tues (3/9) from 7.5 ft @ 14 secs (10.5 ft) and shadowed in the SF Bay Area. Swell and windswell combination is expected on Wed (3/10) at 8.1 ft at 12-13 secs (10 ft). Windswell fading on Thurs (3/11) from 6.0 ft @ 10 secs (5.5 ft). Swell Direction: 315 degrees moving to 290 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (3/9) at 3.4 ft @ 15 secs (5.0 ft) early at exposed breaks. Swell and windswell combination continue on Wed (3/10) at 2.6 ft @ 13 secs (3.0 ft) at exposed breaks. Windswell fading on Thurs (3/11) from 3.1 ft @ 11-12 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 310 fading to 298 degrees

 

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

 

Tropical Update
No tropical weather system of interest were being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Wed (3/10) westerly winds are forecast early for North and Central CA at 10-15 kts turning northwest still at 10-15 kts for North and Central CA in the afternoon. Northwest winds forecast building to 15+ kts for Southern CA in the afternoon. Rain for all of North and Central CA early fading some in the afternoon for North CA but continuing for Central CA. Rain developing for all of Southern CA in the morning and holding into the evening. Snow for the Sierra through the day fading after midnight.
  • Thurs (3/11) northwest winds are forecast at 20 kts for Cape Mendocino early and 10 kts for the remainder of North and Central CA building to 10-15 kts for all of North and Central CA later but still 20+ kts for Cape Mendocino. Some early showers possible for Central and Southern CA. Light snow for the Sierra mainly in the afternoon and early evening.
  • Fri (3/12) northwest winds are forecast at 15-20 kts for North CA and 10-15 kts for Central CA pushing 15 kts everywhere north of Pt Conception later. Light rain early for the southern end of Southern CA.
  • Sat (3/13) northwest winds are forecast at 5-10 kts early for all of North and Central CA turning south 10-15 kts at sunset for Cape Mendocino. No precip forecast.
  • Sun (3/14) south winds are forecast at 20+ kts for North CA early pushing rapidly south over Central CA mid-AM to Pt Conception then turning northwest 20-25 kts right behind the front mid-day and holding through sunset. Rain for North and Central CA early thinning some late afternoon. Snow developing for the Sierra late afternoon continuing through the evening.
  • Mon (3/15) northwest winds are forecast at 25-30 kts early for North CA and 20 kts for Central and South CA building to 25-30 kts all locations in the afternoon. Rain for North and Central CA early and maybe some showers for Southern CA early holding for Central CA until the afternoon then clearing.
  • Tues (3/16) northwest winds 20-25 kts early for all of North and Central CA (but northwest 10 kts for Cape Mendocino) holding all day. Rain for Cape Mendocino late afternoon.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 14 inches, 16 inches, 17 inches, and 11 inches mostly on 3/9 & 3/10 with a dusting on 3/14.

Freezing level 3,500 ft today holding through 3/11, then slowly rising to 10,000 ft on 3/13 falling to 5,000 ft on 3/15 then starting a steady warming trend with freezing level to 8,500 ft on 3/17 and holding there till 3/18.

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

 

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis
No southern hemi swell of interest was hitting California or Hawaii today. But small swell was radiating north from a gale previously in the far Southeast Pacific (see Southeast Pacific gale below).

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

 

Small Southeast Pacific Gale
A gale started building in the deep Southeast Pacific Sat PM (3/6) producing 40-45 kt southwest winds with seas building from 26 ft at 65S 147W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (3/7) 45 kt southwest winds were lifting northeast fast with 35 ft seas at 59S 123.5W aimed northeast. In the evening the gale was east of the SCal swell window with 40 kt south winds and seas 32 ft at 55S 113.5W aimed northeast. Small swell is radiating northeast.

South California: Expect swell arrival on Mon (3/15) building to 1.4 ft @ 17-18 secs (2.0-2.5 ft) late. Swell building on Tues (3/16) to 1.6 ft @ 16 secs mid-day (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 180 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 perhaps another weak gale is to form in the Northern Gulf on Fri AM (3/12) producing 30-35 kts northwest winds with seas building from 20 ft at 45N 143W over a tiny area aimed southeast. In the evening 30 kt north and northwest winds are building in coverage aimed at the US West Coast and Hawaii driven by a 1044 mb high pressure system in the Northwestern Gulf with 16 ft seas just north of the Islands and 18-19 ft seas up at 49N 151W aimed at the US West Coast. On Sat AM (3/13) fetch is to be focused only on Hawaii at 30-35 kts from the northeast driven by the high pressure system with 19 ft seas at 37.5N 153W. More of the same is forecast in the evening with seas 21 ft at 28N 150W aimed southwest at the Islands. On Sun AM (3/14) northeast fetch is to be fading from 30 kts with 19-20 ft seas fading at 29N 145W aimed at the Islands. The high pressure driven fetch is to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a small gale is forecast developing south of New Zealand on Fri AM (3/12) producing 35+ kt southwest winds and seas 26 ft at 60S 166E aimed northeast. In the evening 35 kt southwest winds to track east-northeast producing no swell producing 27 ft seas at 58S 178W aimed east-northeast. On Sat AM (3/13) a broad fetch of 30-35 kts southwest winds are to be approaching the Central South Pacific with 25 ft seas at 55S 168W aimed east-northeast. In the evening fetch is forecast to build some at 35-40 kts from the south and southwest winds seas building from 25 ft at 53S 158W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (3/14) south winds are to be 35-40 kts with 29 ft seas at 55S 150W aimed north. Fetch is to be fading in the evening from 30-35 kts lifting north with 28 ft seas at 48S 150W aimed north. Fetch is to fade Mon AM (3/15) from 30-35 kts with residual seas fading from 26 ft over a tiny area at 42S 148W aimed north. This system is to fade from there. Something to monitor.

 

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

Equatorial Water Temps Continue Warming - Active MJO over East Pacific

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: 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 held in a pool off Peru and had not changed until March 2020. By April the cool pool pushed east and by May subsurface cool waters erupted off Ecuador, forming a well defined cool tongue that looked like the start of La Nina, holding into July 2020.

LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Fall/Winter 2020/2021 = 3.0/3.5 (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 is assumed the PDO has moved to the warm phase in 2014 and that a weak borderline El Nino from 2018 faded out in the Fall of 2019. A La Nina like ocean temperature pattern developed in the equatorial East Pacific in the summer of 2019, then faded and returned to a neutral if not weak warm status during the Winter of 2019-2020 only to return stronger in the Summer of 2020. We have been suspecting a turn towards a La Nina like atmospheric pattern to develop in the late Winter/early Spring of 2020. Our best hope is that moderation from the warm phase of the PDO might tamp down development of a full blown La Nina as we move into 2020. But at this time that does not appear likely. Given all that, for the 2020 there is decent probability for development of La Nina meaning a reduced number of storm days and storm intensity during the summer season, resulting in a below normal level of swell, with swell being below normal duration and period. And by the Fall and early Winter of 2020/21, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should fade even more, resulting in depressed swell production. This pattern is expected to hold through the Spring of 2021.

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 (3/8) 5 day average winds were moderate to strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing at moderate over the Central Pacific and strong east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and modest west over the Central Pacific then modest to moderate easterly over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, so they lag what is happening today by about 2 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (3/9) east anomalies were modest over the KWGA with light west anomalies over the extreme west KWGA. The forecast calls light west anomalies fading in the far West KWGA and gone by 3/11 with modest to moderate east anomalies filling the KWGA at that time and holding through the end of the model run on 3/16.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (3/8) A neutral MJO pattern was over the KWGA today. The statistic model projects a moderate Inactive MJO trying to develop on day 5 of the model run but collapsing to neutral on day 10 and holding through the 15 day model run. The dynamic model suggests the Inactive Phase building steadily to moderate strength through day 15 of the model run.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (3/9) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was exceedingly weak over the North Africa today and is to track east into the Central Indian Ocean by day 15 of the model run. The dynamic model suggests the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (3/8) This model depicts a moderate and Active MJO pattern (moist air) over the East Pacific and it is to track east while slowly losing strength moving over Central America on 3/20. A weak Inactive Phase is over the West Pacific today and is to track east while another Inactive Pulse builds behind it. Both are to move over Central America at the end of the model run on 4/17. A weak Active Phase is to develop over the KWGA at that time.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (3/8) This model depicts a weak Inactive MJO signal exiting the KWGA today with weak west anomalies mostly east of the KWGA and moderate east anomalies over the KWGA. The forecast indicates a weak the Inactive MJO is to track slowly east through the KWGA through 3/29 with east anomalies slowly building in strength and coverage peaking on 3/27 but still holding through the end of the model run. West anomalies and the Active Phase of the MJO are to be moving south of California today through 3/22 increasing the odds of rain there during that winds. But east anomalies are forecast building in coverage over the Central and East Pacific filling that area to a point south of California by 4/2 and holding through the end of the model run on 4/5.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (3/9 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a weak Inactive MJO over the KWGA today and is to slowly and weakly track east through 4/9 with weak east anomalies holding during that timeframe over the dateline and west wind anomalies over the far West KWGA. An Active MJO signal is forecast to follow tracking east 4/10-5/13 producing solid if not strong west anomalies filling the KWGA. A solid Inactive MJO is to follow 5/6 through the end of the model run on 6/6 but with modest west anomalies still in control of the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias is firmly in control over the dateline today with 4 contour lines reaching east to a point south of California. The forth contour line is to fade on 4/2. The 3rd contour line is to fade on 5/3. The second contour line is to fade 5/17. The remaining 1 is to hold indefinitely but shifting quickly east and losing coverage. A single contour low pressure bias is over the Indian Ocean today. The remaining contour line is to theoretically start shrinking in coverage from the west on 4/26 and starting to track east to 180W on 6/5 and filling the KWGA just after that while building to 2 contour lines. This looks like a possible El Nino scenario if one is to believe the model. East anomalies that were previously solid in the Indian Ocean for over a year migrated east into the West Pacific on 10/1/20 and stabilized there, but are theoretically starting a slow fade while migrating east moving to the a point south of California by late April Theoretically the end of La Nina is near.

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

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (3/9) Today in the far West Pacific the 28 deg isotherm line was easing east to 161E after being steady at 165E for over a month. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing the whole way across the equatorial Pacific and building in coverage and depth as compared to weeks prior. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +4 deg C have moved east with the dividing line today at 153W versus 165W on 2/21. A broad cooling pattern was controlling the entire equatorial Pacific with anomalies in a broad pocket at -2C at 125W and west from there. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 3/4 indicates the same thing but with warm anomalies moving east to 145W. Negative anomalies in the East Pacific were the least negative at any time in months. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (3/4) Negative anomalies were forming a wave pushing west from the Galapagos to the dateline on the equator ranging from -5 to -10 cms over that area. But the coverage of the -10 cms anomalies was fading and weaker than at any point over the past 6 months limited to 140W and 115W on the equator. A small area of positive anomalies was building over Ecuador pushing almost to the Galapagos. Negative anomalies were -5 cms along the coast of Peru and reaching north from Central America up to Baja then into South and North CA. Looking at the big picture, negative anomalies were forming a massive triangle from Cape Mendocino to the intersection of the dateline and equator then into Southern Chile. But it was much weaker than weeks and months past. And now a small pocket of positive anomalies were developing.

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: (3/8) The latest images indicate a stream of weak cool water tracking west on the equator from 110W feeding the main pocket of cooling at 150W continuing west to the dateline. But temperatures were much warmer than even a few day ago over the whole area. Warmer temps were building along Peru reaching northwest and streaming from Ecuador west to about 110W. The total cool flow looks weaker than days past. Cool anomalies were streaming from Chile west-northwest to the dateline also feeding the main cool pool but much far weaker than even a few days ago. Overall this seems to indicate the start of the collapse of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (3/8): Temps are warming significantly over the equator from Ecuador west to 160W. Warming was also building off Peru extending west to 145W. This is likely attributable to the Active Phase of the MJO moving over the East Pacific.
Hi-res Overview: (3/8) A weakening stream of weakly cool water was entrenched from off Chile tracking northwest to the equator out to the dateline and west to New Guinea. A similar stream was migrating southwest from off Baja Mexico. A fragile pattern of warm anomalies was again trying to develop on the equator reaching south off Chile and north to Mexico west to 115W with pockets out to 150W. The remaining cool core of La Nina is pushing west from 150W over the dateline but warmer than day past.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (3/9) Today's temps were steady at +0.601 after a recent high of +0.100 on 2/1. Temps previously were -0.604 on 1/24. A previous peak of -0.595 occurred on 12/11. This area has been on a seesaw rising trend since early October. Temps were previously down to -2.138 on 8/13. The longterm trend has been on a slow but steady increase.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(3/9) Temps were rising at -0.297, the highest in a year. Temps bottomed out at -1.654 on 11/3, rising to to -0.982 on 1/21. The previous low before that was -0.733 on 9/10. Temps were on a steady decline since 7/25 then bottomed out in late October and have been on a slow increase since.

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 (3/9) Actuals per the model indicates temps bottomed out in early Nov at -1.25 degs then rose to -0.65 degs mid-Jan and then up to -0.45 degs in Feb. The forecast depicts temps rising to -0.35 degs into June then starting a decline falling to -0.50 degs in early Aug and holding there in Nov. This seems more possible than previous runs, suggests perhaps another year of weak La Nina conditions at worst.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Feb 20, 2021 Plume depicts temps are at -0.64 degs today, and are to rise to -0.37 in April and stabilizing in May at -0.26 maybe easing up to -0.24 degs in Oct. Most models are suggesting a moderate La Nina returning to Neutral in the late Spring of 2021.
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) (3/9): The daily index was falling to -8.09 and negative 14 days in a row. The 30 day average was falling at +6.31 after peaking at +19.51 on 1/14. The 90 day average was falling some at +13.00 after peaking at +15.75 on 2/23 and clearly indicative of La Nina. This index is a lagging indicator.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): June -0.67, May -0.46, April 2020 -0.69, March -0.09, Feb +0.65, Jan +0.42, This index was steady positive Aug 2018 through Feb 2020, and now is steady negative, but only weakly so.

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 (3/7):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?hd=1&v=10uffqPRW5s&feature=youtu.be
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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