Sunday, January 15, 2017
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.9 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 3.2 ft @ 13.2 secs from 311 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.6 ft @ 7.1 secs with swell 3.8 ft @ 6.7 secs from 266 degrees. Wind east 12-16 kts. Water temperature 59.0 degs. At Ventura swell was 3.1 ft @ 7.8 secs from 272 degrees. At Santa Monica swell was 2.5 ft @ 6.4 secs from 268 degrees. At Camp Pendleton swell was 1.0 ft @ 14.7 secs from 223 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma swell was 3.9 ft @ 8.4 secs from 276 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.2 ft @ 20.0 secs with swell 3.2 ft @ 19.4 secs from 284 degrees. Wind north 8-10 kts at the buoy. Water temp 54.3 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 Sunday (1/15) in North and Central CA Japan-Dateline swell was producing rare waves in the head high to 1 ft overhead range at top spots and clean with light offshore winds. At Santa Cruz surf was chest high and clean but with some local lump intermixed from high tide. In Southern California up north surf was surf waist to chest high and reasonably clean but unremarkable. In North Orange Co surf was waist high and chopped from south winds. In San Diego surf was waist high or so and clean but weak. Hawaii's North Shore was getting leftover Dateline swell with waves 2-3 ft overhead or the sets and clean. The South Shore was flat and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell at waist high and fairly clean with light east trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
Swell from a storm that developed off Japan on Mon (1/9) with seas to 41 ft building to 44 ft early Tuesday, then tracked east-southeast Wed-Thurs (1/12) over the dateline with seas 39 ft before fading while tracking northeast up into the Gulf of Alaska in the early weekend was fading in Hawaii and starting to hit California. At the same time another weaker gale developed off Japan Sat (1/14) with seas building to to 30 ft on Sunday, then is to rebuild while tracking to the dateline on Tues (1/17) with seas in the 33 ft range before fading. Some swell for Hawaii is possible. A new system is to develop in the Gulf on Thurs (1/19) peaking just off North CA on Fri (1/20) with seas to 44 ft. And another system is forecast building off Japan over the weekend with seas to 42 ft aimed east then lifting northeast while expanding in coverage. It looks like the North Pacific is starting to wake up.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis.cgius forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Sunday AM (1/15) the jetstream was well consolidated tracking flat east off Japan with winds to 190 kts reaching to a point just north of Hawaii. no well defined troughs were present in the flow but it was still well capable of supporting gale development. The jet was weakly .cgiitting north of Hawaii with the southern branch flowing southeast over Hawaii and down towards the equator. The northern branch was lighting northeast forming a trough in the Gulf of Alaska being fed by 120 kts winds. From there the jet fell south forming a backdoor trough just off Pt Conception. Over the next 72 hours this pattern is to get more entrenched with 190 kts winds building on the dateline Mon-Tues (1/17) with the .cgiit point moving east to a point just 600 nmiles off North CA. A broad shallow trough is to start building just west of the dateline by Wed (1/18) helping to fuel gale development there. Also a trough is to start building in the leading edge of the jet just off North CA on Wed PM being fed by 180 kts winds offering good support for gale development there. Beyond 72 hours The CA trough is to move inland on Thurs (1/19) likely making for a weather event there. Meanwhile winds are to be fading some off Japan with the jet .cgiitting on the dateline on Sat (1/21) but rebuilding over and just off Japan at 170 kts forming a trough just east of the Kuril Islands. that trough is to be pushing well east on Sun (1/22) almost reaching the dateline. Good support for gale development in the Northwest Pacific pushing east. At that time winds are to continue building off Japan to 180 kts likely supporting gale development. And another trough is to start developing in the Gulf on Sunday being fed by the northern branch of the jet falling south at 130 kts. A fairly productive pattern looks possible.
On Sunday (1/15) swell from a solid gale that tracked from off Japan over the Dateline (see Japan-Dateline Gale below) was fading in Hawaii but starting to show in California. And a weaker system is behind it (see Japan-Dateline Gale #2 below).
Another small storm was developing in the Gulf on Sun AM (1/15) producing 50 kt west winds over a small area aimed east and seas building to 28 ft at 43N 156W. This storm is to lift rapidly northeast in the evening while fading to 45 kts with seas building to 33 ft over a small area at 46N 150W. This system is to be moving into North Canada on Monday. Swell arrival in North CA expected at sunset on Tues (1/17) building to 3.9 ft @ 16 secs (6.0 ft). Swell building overnight and 7.5 ft @ 13-14 secs Wed AM (10 ft) with more local energy starting to arrive. Swell Direction: 300 degrees
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 and built with 55-60 kt northwest winds and seas to 40 ft at 37N 155E (301 degs HI, 299 degs NCal). The storm faded slightly while tracking east on Tues AM (1/10) with 55 kt northwest winds and 44 ft seas at 38N 159E (305 degs HI, 297 degs NCal). In the evening the fetch tracked east and fades some down to 45 kts from the northwest with seas from previous fetch fading at 37 ft at 38N 165E (307 degs HI, 295 degs NCal). The gale fell southeast on Wed AM (1/11) with winds building to 45 kts and seas rebuilding to 39 ft at 38N 172E (310 degs HI, 293 degs NCal). In the evening 45 kt west fetch continued tracking east with 40 ft seas at 35.5N 180W (311 degs HI, 285 degs NCal). Thurs AM (1/12) the gale started fading north-northwest of Hawaii with 40 kt west winds and seas 35 ft at 35N 172W (319 degs HI, 281 degs NCal). The gale lifted northeast into the Western Gulf in the evening with winds fading from 40 kts and seas fading from 27 ft at 40N 166W (287 degs NCal). On Fri AM (1/13) fetch was fading from 35 kt from the west in the Gulf with seas fading from 25 ft at 44N 160W (295 degs NCal).
Maybe some more powerful swell pushing towards Hawaii with inconsistent smaller energy for the US West Coast.
Hawaii: Residuals on Sun AM (1/15) fading from 4.2 ft @ 13-14 secs (5.5 ft). Swell Direction: 305-312 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun AM (1/15) before sunrise and building with period 20-21 secs, building to 5.8 ft @ 18 secs at sunset (10 ft). Swell peaks overnight, then fading Mon AM (1/16) from 6.2 ft @ 16 secs (9.5 ft). Residuals fading Tues AM (1/17) from 4.5 ft @ 13-14 secs (6.0 ft). Swell very inconsistent. Swell Direction: 285-295 degrees
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon AM (1/16) before sunrise and building with period 19-21 secs, building to 2.9 ft @ 17-18 secs at sunset (5.0 ft). Swell peaks overnight, then fading Tues AM (1/17) from 3.5 ft @ 15-16 secs (5.0-5.5 ft). Residuals fading Wed AM (1/18) from 2.5 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell maddeningly inconsistent. Swell Direction: 290-300 degrees
Japan-Dateline Gale #2
Another gale started developing just off Japan Sat AM (1/14) with winds 35 kt from the west and seas building from 20 ft at 32N 153E. Fetch expanded in coverage in the evening from the west at 35-40 kts with seas building to 27 ft at 31N 153E aimed east but of no real interest yet. On Sun AM (1/15) 35-40 kt west winds were covering a moderate area west of the dateline with seas 28 ft at 32N 161E tracking east. More of the same is expected in the evening with 35-40 kt winds and 30 ft seas over a small area at 32N 163E. On Monday AM (1/16) the gale is to start fading with west winds in the original fetch but a new fetch of 40 kt west winds building just north of it approaching the dateline with seas in the original fetch at 28 ft at 33N 175E. and 31 ft seas in the new fetch up at 37N 172E. The new fetch is to take over in the evening while crossing the dateline with winds 40 kts from the west and seas to 34 ft at 37N 180W. On Tues AM (1/17) west fetch is still be at 40 kts tracking east with 33 ft seas at 38N 172W targeting Hawaii well but also taking aim on the US West Coast. The gale is to lift northeast in the evening and fading with winds 35 kt from the northwest in the Central Gulf with seas 28 ft at 38N 166W targeting mainly the US West Coast. The gale is track east in the Eastern Gulf on Wed AM (1/18) with 35 kt northwest over a solid area and 24 ft seas at 40N 158W. In the evening residual 35 kt northwest fetch is to be just 700 nmiles off Central CA with seas 24 ft at 40N 137W. The gale is to move inland over Central CA Thurs AM (1/19). Some swell for Hawaii likely with raw swell possible for California. Something to monitor.
Hawaii: For.cgianning purposed expected swell arrival at Wed afternoon (1/18) pushing 7.5 ft @ 17 secs late (12.5 ft). Swell fading Thurs AM (1/19) from 6.4 ft @ 15 secs (9.5 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 Sunday AM (1/15) a weak low pressure system was just off Cape Mendocino with generally light winds over North CA but north winds 15 kts down into Central CA and fading as the low moves onshore through the day. On Monday a light northerly flow is forecast at maybe 10 kts fading to calm on Tuesday as a front starts building off the coast then starting to impact Cape Mendocino late afternoon with up to 25 kt south winds. Rain starts building later Tuesday for extreme North CA down to Pt Arena in the evening. Wednesday (1/18) the front starts pushing southeast with south winds reaching Pismo Beach late afternoon and up to 25 kt for Monterey Bay and light rain down to San Francisco at sunset, but heavy precip for the North Coast late. Rain turning to snow for higher elevations of Tahoe late. Thursday a light westerly flow is forecast at 10 kts for all of North and Central CA with south winds 15 kts for Southern CA early. Snow for all the Sierra at lower elevations early fading by sunset. A stronger front impacts the coast Fri AM with 25 kt south winds reaching San Diego late afternoon. Rain through the day down to San Diego. Solid snow for all the Sierra through day tapering off overnight. Saturday AM (1/21) brisk northwest winds are forecast at 20 kts early fading for North and Central CA late afternoon but up to 30 kts early for Southern CA and fading only incrementally. Light rain fading early for North and Central CA. A dusting of snow for all the Sierra. Another low is forecast impacting California on Sun (1/22) with south winds 25+ kts reaching to Pt Conception at sunset and pushing south from there. Rain pushing south to Pt Conception 10 AM and San Diego at sunset and very heavy north of Pt Conception at sunset. Significant snow fall for the Sierra by Sunday afternoon and building overnight.
No swell producing fetch of interest is occurring or forecast.
A solid storm tracked through the South Tasman Sea on Sat AM (1/14) from just south of Tasmania over Southern New Zealand Sun AM (1/15) with 45 kt southwest winds producing 36 ft seas traversing the 50S latitude line in the Fiji swell window. Possible larger swell for Fiji if this comes to pass.
South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Another storm is to develop in the Central Gulf on Thurs AM (1/19) with 45 kt northwest winds building while falling southeast seas 36 ft over a tiny area at 45N 150W. In the evening 45-50 kt northwest winds are to be over a small area and starting to get traction on the oceans surface with seas on the increase to 39 ft at 45N 143W. On Fri AM (1/19) 45-50 kt northwest winds to be building in coverage just off North CA with 40 ft seas in the Eastern Gulf off Oregon at 45N 136W. The storm is to hold off the North CA-Oregon border in the evening with winds fading from 40 kts and seas fading from 31 ft over a solid area at 42N 143W aimed directly at North and Central CA. The gale is to move onshore Sat AM (1/21) with 25 ft seas impacting the South Oregon and north CA coast down to San francisco. Large raw swell is possible.
Another storm is forecast developing off Japan on Fri PM (1/20) with 50 kt west winds and seas building from 30 ft. On Sat AM (1/21) 50-55 kt west winds to be easing east with 42 ft seas at 33N 152E. In the evening fetch is to be building in coverage but fading to 45 kts while moving east with 42 ft seas at 34N 161E. The gale is to fill the Central North Pacific on Sun AM (1/22) with 45 kt northwest winds on the dateline over a smallish area and 37 ft seas at 35N 171E. The gale is to lift northeast some in the evening with winds down to 40 kts from the west and 33-34 ft seas over a solid area at roughly 40N 175W. Something to monitor.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
More details to follow...
Models Suggest Inactive MJO Coming - La Nina Steadily Fading
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 Saturday (1/14) 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 moderate east anomalies over the eastern KWGA (dateline). The forecast suggests east anomalies weakening some and migrating into the West Pacific a week out (1/22) suggesting the development of the Inactive Phase of the MJO. 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 1/14 a weak Active Phase was present over the dateline. The statistic model projects it holding for 5 days then dissipating with a neutral pattern taking hold till 15 days out. The dynamic model depicts the same thing for the next 5 days, but with the Inactive Phase developing fairly strong in the West Pacific 5-10 days out then dissipating 15 days out with a neutral pattern taking hold.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (1/15) The ECMF model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO is weak and barely discernible on the dateline and forecast to collapse over the next 4 days falling back into the far Western Indian Ocean 1 week out and getting strong there then weakening and tracking east to the Maritime continent. The GEFS model depicts about the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model: (1/15) This model depicts a weak Active MJO moving into Central America now while a moderate Inactive signal is developing in the West Pacific. The Inactive Phase is to build while tracking east reaching the dateline 1/25 then tracking to Central America 2/24. A modest Active Phase is to be building over the West Pacific 2/14 tracking east. All the above data suggests the Inactive Phase is getting ready to take control. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (1/15) This model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was in control over the dateline today with modest east anomalies from La Nina and a Rossby Wave 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 3/4 but with modest east anomalies continuing over the dateline til 2/25 the fading, while weak west anomalies hold over the west KWGA. Then the Inactive Phase is to set up in the west starting 3/6 pushing east over the dateline through 4/13 but with no east anomalies associated with it, and instead west anomalies holding. The MJO and wind patterns appears out of sync on all models. 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: (1/15) 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 179W 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 less than -1.0 degs and only over a shallow area reaching down 100 meters and progressively getting smaller in coverage. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 1/8 depicts 3 pocket of of cooler water to -1.0 degs in the East Pacific with neutral water around them. La Nina is in control of the ocean at depth, but not strongly so and weakening and getting shallower.
Sea Level Anomalies: (1/8) Negative anomalies at -5.0 cm with a few small pockets to -10 cm control portions of the equatorial Pacific mainly from 110W 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: (1/14) 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. Warmer water is building off Ecuador and the Galapagos reaching west to 110W. Cool water is off Costa Rica and south of Southern Mexico but not officially in the NIno1.2 monitoring area. 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 (1/13): A significant warming trend is occurring along Peru out to the Galapagos extending to 120W. In any other year one would wonder if El nino was developing. It's also warming west of there with pockets of warming out to 140W. It's neutral west of there on the equator.
Hi-res Overview: (1/13) There is no signs of La Nina cool waters from ecuador to 115W. A cool pool is present over the equator generally from 115W west to 170E, broadest south of Hawaii. La Nina is holding coverage in the west and loosing coverage strongly in the east.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (1/15) Today's temps were steady at +0.528.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (1/15) temps were rising at -0.075 or effectively neutral. 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 (1/15) 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 5. The forecast has temps gently rising to to +0.35 degs in March holding in the range into Sept. This indicates that La Nina is effectively over and a return to normal temps is expected in Spring. The change in the atmosphere will be slower.
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 (1/15): The daily index was falling at -11.63 and has been negative for 4 readings now. The 30 day average was falling at +6.62 and has been falling for 2 days. The 90 day average was at 0.85 falling for 2 days. All this suggests the Inactive Phase of the MJO was loosing some control.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (1/15) Today's value was rising at -0.90. 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-Dec) are: +0.79, +1.23, +1.55, +1.59, +1.42, +0.76, +0.12 then falling to -0.87, -1.06 and -0.70 in Oct. But in Nov, it was up to +0.80 and +0.45 in Dec. This looks much like the warm phase of the PDO.
The Washington EDU index (Jan-Dec) are: +1.53, +1.75, +2.40, +2.62, +2.35, +2.03, +1.25 +0.52, +0.45, +0.56, +1.88 and +1.17 in Dec.
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive 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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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table