Tuesday, January 10, 2017
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 5.5 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 3.4 ft @ 12.3 secs from 22 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.5 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 2.8 ft @ 8.8 secs from 255 degrees. Wind west-southwest 10-12 kts. Water temperature 58.8 degs. At Ventura swell was 2.5 ft @ 9.5 secs from 278 degrees. At Santa Monica swell was 2.2 ft @ 8.5 secs from 255 degrees. At Camp Pendleton swell was 1.7 ft @ 8.1 secs from 246 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma swell was 2.5 ft @ 8.0 secs from 257 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 8.5 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 6.3 ft @ 10.3 secs from 274 degrees. Wind south 18-21 kts at the buoy. Water temp 55.0 degs.
46006, 46059, New! Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (at the 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.
On Tuesday (1/10) in North and Central CA local westerly windswell was producing waves in the head high to 1 ft overhead range at exposed breaks and chopped by south wind. At Santa Cruz surf was waist high and heavily chopped by south winds. In Southern California up north surf was knee to thigh high and clean. In North Orange Co surf was waist to chest high and heavily textured by south winds. In San Diego surf was waist high and clean. Hawaii's North Shore was still getting small northeast swell at head high at top breaks and clean with decent form. The South Shore was getting small New Zealand swell with waves waist to maybe chest high and clean and lined up. The East Shore was getting small northeast swell with waves waist high and textured from east wind.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
An active weather pattern continues for California with rain along the coast and low snow levels and blizzard conditions in the Sierras. In the ocean swell from a gale previous off the Pacific Northwest was pushing towards California. And another local low was developing off California coast with seas in the 18-20 ft range pushing east. But of more interest was a storm that developed off Japan on Mon (1/9) with seas to 41 ft building to 43 ft on Tuesday, and is forecast to track east-southeast Wed-Thurs (1/12) moving over the dateline with seas 45 ft then fading with remnants tracking northeast up into the Gulf of Alaska into the early weekend. At the same time another gale is forecast developing off Japan Sat (1/14) with seas to 38 ft then slowly fading while tracking to the dateline on Tues (1/17) with seas down to 32 ft. Relative to California, a calmer weather pattern is forecast by the weekend.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis.cgius forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Tuesday AM (1/10) the jetstream was somewhat consolidated over Japan with winds to 180 kts there before .cgiitting weakly just east of the coast with the northern branch streaming north over and west of Kamchatka pushing up through the Northwest Bering Sea up into the Arctic Circle and then falling southeast over Alaska and into interior Canada. The remainder of the jet tracked east off Japan and over the dateline with winds fading to 100 kts passing about 600 nmiles north of Hawaii and continuing east moving inland over North CA with winds building to 140 kts feeding the local weather pattern there. Over the next 72 hours a significant change in the jet is forecast with the .cgiit fading as wind builds to 180 kts from Japan out to nearly the dateline with lesser winds then ridging northeast through the Gulf before falling into a steep trough off California on Thurs (1/12) moving inland over the CA-Mexico border. No troughs are forecast over the West Pacific, but given projected wind speeds, support for gale development seems likely. Beyond 72 hours winds in the jet to continue building to the east extending the whole way from Japan over the dateline to a point 1,200 nmiles west of Central CA at 180-190 kts and fully consolidated. The is to be an impressive surge in jetstream velocity. No troughs are forecast but based purely on wind speed, support for gale development seem highly likely. It appears the Active Phase of the MJO is to come into.cgiay feeding jetstream activity.
On Tuesday (1/10) swell from a gale previously off the Pacific Northwest was pushing towards California (see Pacific Northwest Gale below). Swell from a gale over the dateline was tracking towards Hawaii (See Dateline Gale below). And two gales were occurring, one off California (see California Gale below) and a stronger one off Japan (see Japan-Dateline Gale below).
Pacific Northwest Gale
On Sun AM (1/8) low pressure was just off British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest and was starting to organize producing 35-40 kt east winds tracking off North British Columbia and starting to wrap south into the gales west quadrant at 30+ kts. But no seas of interest were yet in.cgiay. In the evening 35-40 kt north and northwest fetch was taking hold in the gales west quadrant taking aim on Oregon south to Central CA with seas building to 23 ft at 46N 144W. On Mon AM (1/8) the low was falling southeast with 35-40 kt west winds just off the Oregon-CA border producing a small area of 22 ft seas at 42N 140W moving towards the CA coast. In the evening west winds were fading in coverage from 30 kt just off Cape Mendocino with 20 ft seas at 41N 132W. Possible small 13-14 sec period swell to result targeting mainly Cape Mendocino southward to Pt Conception.
North CA: Raw swell is to start arriving Tues afternoon (1/10) building to 6 ft @ 13 secs (7.5 ft) with much windswell intermixed. Swell Direction: 190 degrees. Secondary swell (see below) overruning it over night.
Reinforcing low pressure started to develop just off Central CA on Tues AM (1/10) generating 35 kt west winds and seas building from 19 ft at 37N 146W. In the evening 35 kt west winds are to be just off Central CA producing 20 ft seas at 37N 132W then impacting the coast Wed AM (1/11) at sunrise. Larger raw swell is possible for Central CA.
North CA: Raw unrefined swell arriving Wed AM (1/11) at 9 ft @ 11 secs (10 ft) holding through the day. Swell fading but steady Thurs AM (1/12) 6.5 ft @ 11-12 secs (7 ft). Swell Direction: 275 degrees
On Sun PM (1/8) a fetch developed over the dateline producing a small area of 45 kt northwest winds. That fetch built in intensity Mon AM (1/9) with winds to 50 kts still from the northwest producing 33 ft seas over a tiny area at 42N 177E targeting Hawaii well (320 degrees HI). In the evening 40 kt northwest winds were falling southeast with seas 28 ft at 40N 179E (318 degs HI) still targeting Hawaii well. The gale was fading while tracking southeast Tues AM (1/10) with winds fading from 30 kts and seas fading from 24 ft at 39N 175W (327 degs HI). The gale to dissipate from there. Possible modest swell moving towards mainly Hawaii and arriving early for Thurs AM (1/12).
Hawaii: Swell arrival forecast overnight Wed (1/11) with period to 16 secs. by Sunrise Thurs (1/12) swell to be peaking at 4.3 ft @ 15 secs (6.5 ft) and generally holding through late afternoon. Residuals fading Fri AM (1/13) from 4.2 ft @ 12-13 secs 95.0-5.5 ft) and starting to be over run by new possible swell. .
Japan Dateline Gale
A more powerful gale started to develop just off Japan on Sun PM (1/9) producing a small area of 50-55 kt west winds and seas 30 ft at 33N 145E aimed east. On Mon AM (1/9) 50 kt northwest fetch persisted with seas building to 35 ft over a tiny area at 35N 150E. The storm continued east in the evening wand built with 55-60 kt northwest winds and seas to 40 ft at 37N 155E. The storm faded slightly while tracking east on Tues AM (1/10) with 55 kt northwest winds and 44 ft seas at 38N 159E. In the evening the fetch is to track east and fade some down to 45 kts from the northwest with seas from previous fetch fading at 40 ft at 38N 165E. the gael is to fall hard southeast on Wed AM (1/11) with winds building to 50 kts and seas rebuilding to 43 ft at 36.5N 173E. In the evening 45 kt west fetch is to continue tracking east with 43 ft seas at 35.5N 180W. Thurs AM (1/12) the gale is to start fading northwest of Hawaii with 40 kt west winds and seas 41 ft at 35N 171W. The gale is to lift northeast into the Western Gulf in the evening with winds fading from 35 kts and seas fading from 28 ft at 39N 161W.
Maybe some more powerful swell pushing towards Hawaii with inconsistent smaller energy for the US West Coast.
Hawaii: For.cgianning purposes based on only forecast data expect swell arrival on Fri AM (1/13) with period 20+ secs building and peaking at sunset at 10.0 ft @ 18 secs (18 ft Hawaiian). swell fading Sat AM (1/14) from 7.3 ft @ 15-16 secs (11.0 ft). Swell Direction: 312 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday AM (1/10) south winds were building from 20 kts from Pismo Beach northward and rain from Pt Conception northward. Also heavy snow was occurring in the Sierras with I-80 closed in both directions and resorts in Tahoe closed due to whiteout conditions. And this was just the beginning, with heavy snow forecast overnight. From 7 AM Tues to 7 AM Wed (1/11) 48-52 inches of accumulation are expected in tahoe and 31 inches for Mammoth. On Wed AM (1/11) the front is to push through the North and Central Coasts just before sunrise with west winds 15 kts early fading later and turning northwest. Rain turning scattered for the North and Central coasts but light and steady early for Southern CA. Snow tapering off for the Sierra with 5-6 more inches of accumulation possible at Tahoe and 2 inches for Mammoth. Thurs AM (1/12) another local low develops over Central CA falling southeast and inland with northwest winds 15-20 kts for all of North and Central CA but lighter for Southern CA. Rain for North and Central CA showers fading later but building into Southern CA. Modest snow showers for the Southern Sierra and fading in the evening. 5 inches of accumulation for Kirkwood but only 1-2 inches for North Lake resorts. 4-5 inches for Mammoth. Friday high pressure takes hold and north winds forecast at 10-15 kts for North and Central CA. Low odds of a few showers early Saturday mainly in Southern CA with northwest winds holding at 10-15 kts. North winds continue Sunday (1/15) at 10-15 kts for North and Central CA. Northwest winds drop to 10 kts on Monday and weaker Tuesday as another weather system moves into Oregon. No precip for the state forecast.
No swell producing fetch of interest is occurring or forecast.
South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Another gale is forecast developing just off Japan Fri PM (1/13) producing 40 kt northwest winds and starting to get traction on the oceans surface. By Sat AM (1/14) winds to build to storm status at 55 kt from the west winds seas building from 38 ft at 36N 151E. Fetch to expand in coverage in the evening while dropping to 45 kts with seas 40 ft at 35N 159E aimed east. On Sun AM (1/15) 40+ kt west winds to cover a large area west of the dateline with seas 35 ft at 35N 165E tracking east. More of the same in the evening with 35 ft seas over a solid area at 35N 169E. On Monday AM (1/16) the gale is to start fading with west winds dropping from 40 kts and seas still 35 ft at 33N 171E. the gael is to hold while crossing the dateline on Tues (1/17). Certainly something to monitor.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
More details to follow...
SOI Moving Strongly Positive - But Jetstream is Pulsing - Mixed Signals
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 equatorial Pacific it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slack if not an outright reversal of trade winds and enhanced 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.cgianet, 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 help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to .cgiit resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. 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: La Nina started developing in early 2016, but westward di.cgiaced and generally weak. And by early 2017, it appears to be fading.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Monday (1/9) east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific including the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. The KWGA is on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south. Anomalies were weak over the equatorial East Pacific and strong easterly on the dateline to 160E, then fading to calm into the western KWGA. East anomalies over the KWGA when they exist are attributable to La Nina being modulated by the MJO (a.cgiified during the Inactive Phase, weakened during the Active Phase).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): Moderate west anomalies were modeled over the western KWGA (West Pacific east to 150E) with strong east anomalies over the eastern KWGA (dateline). The forecast suggests this pattern is to hold but with both east and west anomalies weakening to modest strength a week out (1/17). The first real easterly wind burst from this La Nina started on 9/23 and continued into 12/13, then started oscillating beyond. Easterly anomalies have been consistent, pulsing stronger at times, then weaker, attributable to La Nina and modulated by the MJO.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 1/9 a modest Active Phase was present over the dateline. The statistic model projects it holding and easing east to the dateline 15 days out. The dynamic model depicts the same thing for the next 5 days, then the Inactive Phase is to develop fairly strong in the West Pacific 10-15 days out.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (1/10) The ECMF model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO is weak and barely discernible in the far West Pacific but forecast to collapse over the next 4 days falling back into the far Western Indian Ocean 2 weeks out and getting strong. The GEFS model depicts the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model: (1/10) This model depicts a weak Active MJO in.cgiay over the West Pacific. It is to move to the dateline 1/18 then dissipate while moving into Central America 2/2. A moderate Inactive signal is to follow in the West Pacific 1/23 moving into Central America 2/19 with a modest Active Phase building over the West Pacific into 2/17. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (1/10) This model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO building over the dateline today with modest east anomalies from La Nina holding on the dateline and points east of there but weak west anomalies west of there. The Active Phase is to hold on the dateline through 2/24 with modest east anomalies continuing over the dateline til 2/11 the fading, while weak west anomalies hold over the west KWGA, then moving to the dateline 2/20b. Then the Inactive Phase is to set up in the west starting 2/20 pushing east over the dateline through 3/29 but with no east anomalies associated with it, and instead west anomalies holding. We suspect at that time La Nina is to dissipate. La Nina is having the effect of dampening the MJO, and producing weak east anomalies over the dateline but not producing an outright bias towards the Inactive Phase of the MJO. Likewise the MJO is serving to dampen the effects of La Nina when in the Active Phase.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (1/10) Actual temperatures remain stratified with warm water in the West Pacific at 30+ degs C (reaching east to 165E) and the 28 deg isotherm line reaching to 178W and steep, suggesting a hard break between warm water in the west and cool water in the east at depth. This is expected with La Nina in.cgiay. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies at +1-2 degs rule from the West Pacific to 180W. Neutral to weak negative anomalies are east of there to Ecuador but at no more than -1.0 degs and only over a very shallow area reaching maybe 150 meters down. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 1/3 depicts this pocket of of cooler water at -1.0 degs in the East Pacific only in pockets and getting weaker. La Nina is in control of the ocean at depth, but not strongly so and weakening and getting shallower.
Sea Level Anomalies: (1/3) Negative anomalies at -5.0 cm with a few small pockets to -10 cm control portions of the equatorial Pacific mainly from 105W to 135W and 5 degs north and south. Slowly sea levels are rising as La Nina looses it's grip at depth.
Surface Water Temps: The more warm water in the equatorial East Pacific means more storm production in the North Pacific during winter months (roughly speaking). Cold water in that area has a dampening effect. Regardless of what the atmospheric models and surface winds suggest, actual water temperatures are a ground-truth indicator of what is occurring in the ocean. All data is from blended infrared and microwave sensors.
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4: (1/9) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a very thin cool pool of water along the immediate coast of Peru but locked from migrating anywhere. Cooler water is now fading off Ecuador but migrating over the Galapagos and west from there along the equator. A broad area of cool temperatures remains from 145W westward to 160W. La Nina is fading in the East Pacific and holding in the Central Pacific suggesting the a westward di.cgiaced La Nina is remains in control.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (1/9): A warming trend continues along Chile and Peru. A warming trend has also developed between Ecuador and the Galapagos out to 115W. It's neutral west of there with pockets of warming and cooling waters present much like it has been, but the cool pockets are scientifically smaller and weaker.
Hi-res Overview: (1/9) A La Nina cool pool is present over the equator generally from the Galapagos west to 170E, broadest south of Hawaii. But it has significantly faded from Ecuador over the Galapagos out to 110W. La Nina is holding coverage in the west and loosing coverage in the east.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (1/10) Today's temps were rising slightly at +0.627.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (1/10) temps were down slightly at -0.512. Temps are oscillating warm to cool and back in 2-3 week cycles within a range from -0.3 to -1.0 degs.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (1/10) This model suggests La Nina developed from June thru Oct in the -0.55 deg range then started rising to -0.5 on Nov 1 up to -0.2 degs on Dec 1 and neutral on Jan 1. The forecast has temps gently rising to to +0.35 degs in April then drifting down to +0.25 in Sept. This indicates that La Nina is effectively over and a return to normal temps is expected in Spring.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Dec Plume depicts temps are warming and are now at -0.3 degs. A slow increase in temps is forecast thereafter to neutral 0.0 in March 2017 warming to +0.2 degs in May and holding into the Fall. This is warmer than last months forecast and suggests La Nina is over. See chart here - link.
Atmospheric Deco.cgiing (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (1/10): The daily index was steady at 19.79 and has been in this range for 11 days. The 30 day average was rising at +6.64 and has been rising for 12 days. The 90 day average was at 0.58 rising for 10 days. All this suggests the Inactive Phase of the MJO was in control.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (1/10) Today's value was rising at -1.09. A peak low was reached on 11/2 at -1.94 the deepest it had been so far in this event suggesting La Nina was getting better established. But that has backed off, with it trending generally upwards (a better direction) and suggesting La Nina is fading.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO continues positive, though much weaker lately (as expected with La Nina setting in).
Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-Oct) are: +0.79, +1.23, +1.55, +1.59, +1.42, +0.76, +0.12 then falling to -0.90, -1.09 and -0.88 in Oct. But in Nov, it was up to +0.53
The Washington EDU index (Jan-Oct) are: +1.53, +1.75, +2.40, +2.62, +2.35, +2.03, +1.25 +0.52, +0.45, +0.56 and up to +1.88 in Nov.
The PDO turned from a 6 year negative run (2008-2013) in early 2014 and has been positive until Aug 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 suggests that could be a real possibility. We've been in the negative phase since 1998 through at least 2013 (15 years). 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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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table