Tuesday, April 3, 2018
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.7 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 2.7 ft @ 10.2 secs from 300 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.6 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 1.4 ft @ 14.7 secs from 203 degrees. Wind at the buoy was east at 2 kts. Water temperature NA. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.2 ft @ 13.8 secs from 218 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.2 ft @ 13.8 secs from 208 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.5 ft @ 13.7 secs from 211 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.2 ft @ 14.7 secs from 224 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 6.5 ft @ 7.1 secs with swell 4.7 ft @ 8.0 secs from 321 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 10-14 kts. Water temp 54.3 degs.
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.
On Tuesday (4/3) in North and Central CA local northwest windswell was producing waves in the chest to shoulder high range and slightly warbled and weak and mushy but reasonably clean. Protected breaks were waist to maybe chest high and soft but clean. At Santa Cruz surf was occasionally waist to maybe chest high and lined up and clean coming from the south. In Southern California up north surf was thigh to maybe waist high on the sets and clean. In North Orange Co surf was waist to chest high on the sets and clean and lined up when it comes. South Orange Country's best breaks were chest high and clean and lined up. In North San Diego surf was up to waist high on the sets at top breaks and weak but clean. Hawaii's North Shore was getting fading residual northwest swell with waves shoulder to head high at top breaks and clean and lined up. The South Shore was flat and clean but with some warble in the water. The East Shore was flat and clean with light southwest winds early.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Tuesday (4/3) small southern hemi swell was hitting California from a tiny gale previously in the far Southeast Pacific and another swell is on it's heel from the same area. Otherwise no swell was in the water relative to Hawaii or CA. Beyond a tiny gale is forecast northwest of Hawaii on Thurs-Fri (4/6) producing 18-20 ft seas then fading only to redevelop just off North CA early Sat (4/7) with 25-27 ft seas. At the same time another gale is to be falling southeast from Kamchatka producing a short lived area of 30 ft seas fading out before reaching the dateline on Sat (4/7) then trying to reorganize in the Gulf of Alaska Sun-Mon (4/9) with 22-23 ft seas aimed east. So a more active pattern is forecast up north. Down south nothing of interest is forecast until Mon-Tues (4/10) when a gale might theoretically generate 39 ft seas aimed northeast in the far Southeast Pacific.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Tuesday AM (4/3) the jetstream was split over Japan then consolidating just west of the dateline pushing east on the 33N latitude line with winds to 140 kts on the dateline before weakening north of Hawaii and lifting northeast, moving inland weakly over Washington. The was some indicating of weak troughing on the dateline and north of Hawaii, but nothing organized nor supportive of gale development. Over the next 72 hours through Fri (4/6) the split point is to move steadily eastward, from a point half way to the dateline to 170W with the consolidated flow also pushing east with winds building in that flow to 170 kts pushing east offering good support for gale development. Also another trough is to be forming off the Kuril Islands falling southeast being fed by 160 kt winds in the northern branch of the jet there offering good support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours the split flow in the west is to fade on Sun (4/8) with the northern branch building with winds to 160 kts pushing northeast off Japan up along the Kuril Islands to the Western Aleutians before falling southeast feeding an existing trough in the Gulf of Alaska and that trough pushing east to a point just off North California on Tues (4/10) still offering good support for gale development. A that time the jet is to be fully consolidated over the width of the North Pacific running flat east on the 40N latitude line with winds to 130 kts in the Gulf of Alaska still offering some support for gale development. but winds to be far weaker off Japan and that trend is likely to continue.
On Tuesday AM (4/3) no swell producing fetch of interest was occurring and no swell producing weather system had occurred.
Over the next 72 hours three systems of interest are forecast and are worth monitoring.
A small gale is forecast developing in the Central Gulf on Wed (4/4) with 35 kt northwest winds and seas building. In the evening west winds are to be 30 kt over a broader area targeting North CA with seas building to 18 ft at 38N 149W. The gale is to lift northeast on Thurs AM (4/5) with 30 kt west winds and seas 17 ft at 40N 144W. The gale is to fade from there. Low odds of small 10-11 sec period windswell for North and Central CA.
On Wed PM (4/4) a tiny gale is to develop on the dateline with 35 kt northwest winds over a tiny area and 18 ft seas at 38N 173W targeting Hawaii. The gale is to build Thurs AM (4/5) with a broader area of 35 kt northwest winds targeting Hawaii 18 ft seas at 35N 169W. In the evening 35 kt northwest winds to be north of Hawaii with 18 ft seas at 34N 160W again targeting Hawaii. On Fri AM (4/6) the gale is to track east with 35 kt west winds and 20 ft seas at 34W 152W. Small swell is to possibly result for Hawaii.
The remnants of the above gale are to track east rapidly Fri PM (4/6) and redevelop while merging with another low in the Northeastern Gulf producing a fetch of 40 kt west winds 450 nmiles off Cape Mendocino with 20 ft seas building fast. By Sat AM (4/7) a broader fetch of 30-35 kt west winds is to be in place off the North CA coast with 26 ft seas at 43N 130W and 20-22 ft seas at 40N 132W 9296 degs NCal). This system is to be gone after that, moving inland.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday AM (4/3) weak high pressure at 1018 mbs was centered 500 nmiles west of the entire California coast forming a weak pressure gradient and north winds 15 kts over North and Central CA waters early and fading some though the day. Low pressure is to be building well off the coast pushing closer to North CA cutting into the gradient later causing north winds to fade some. Wed AM (4/4) a light northwest flow is forecast for Central CA and south winds building to 10 kts for Cape Mendocino later. On Thurs (4/5) the front is to weakly impact Cape Mendocino with south winds 15-20 kts early there and south winds building down to Bodega Bay at 10 kts later. More low pressure is to be building well off the coast and out to Hawaii. North winds 15 kts over Pt Conception. Rain building south to the Golden Gate late afternoon and Monterey Bay overnight. Friday AM (4/6) south winds to push south to the Golden Gate at 15 kts mid-AM building south to Morro Bay 10+ kts and 20+ kts for Cape Mendocino late evening as low pressure moves up to the Oregon Coast. Rain for all of North CA down to Monterey Bay early falling south to Pt Conception late afternoon stalling there and continuing overnight. Rain building for Tahoe with snow levels varying between 9000-10000 ft all day and evening. Saturday AM (4/7) low pressure is to be holding off Oregon with west winds 10 kts down to the Golden Gate and northwest winds 5-10 kts for Central CA and the Channel Islands building to 15 kts late afternoon. Moderate to heavy rain continues for all of North and Central CA early reaching to Pt Conception then fading as the day continues. Heavy rain for Tahoe early below 10,000 ft but snow levels falling to 6500 at 10 AM with mixed precip to 5400 ft and then to lake level at sunset. 11 inches of accumulation up high. Sunday (4/8) weak high pressure is to set up off the Central Coast with north winds 20 kts for just south of Monterey Bay southward to Pt Conception and light north 5-10 kts for all of North CA down to Monterey Bay and north winds building to 15 kts over North CA later. Light precipitation fading for Cape Mendocino early. Monday (4/9) north winds are forecast at 15 kts for all of North and Central CA but turning calm for North Ca later as another front approaches the coast. Tues (4/10) the front impacts North CA with south winds 20 kts down to Pt Arena and 10 kts to the Golden Gate and light north winds for Central CA. Rain early from the Golden Gate northward pushing south to maybe Monterey bay late afternoon and fading up north. Snow levels 6800 ft for Tahoe with light precip possible later.
A small gale developed in the Southeast Pacific a weekend ago producing swell pushing north (see Southeast Pacific Gale below). Another gale developed right behind in the Southeast Pacific mid-last week also producing swell tracking north (Stronger Southeast Pacific Gale).
Over the next 72 hours a storm started building just south of New Zealand on Fri PM (3/30) with 45 kt southwest winds and seas building from 30 ft over a tiny area at 52S 167E. On Sat AM (4/1) the gale fell southeast slightly with southwest winds 45 kts and seas 33 ft over a tiny area at 52S 174E. The gale faded some while tracking east in the evening with 40 kt southwest winds and 33 ft seas at 53S 180W. On Sun AM (4/1) southwest winds were fading from barely 35 kts with 29 ft seas fading at 53S 173W aimed northeast. In the evening the gale is to be gone. No swell expected for Hawaii and only minimal southwest swell to result for the US West Coast.
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (4/10) pushing 1.0 ft @ 16-17 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 219 degree
Southeast Pacific Gale
A small weather system developed in the Southeast Pacific on Sun PM (3/25) lifting gently east-northeast with 40 kt southwest winds and seas to 27 ft over a tiny area at 63S 138W. The gale tracked east-northeast Mon AM (3/26) with 40 kt southwest winds and seas 29 ft at 60S 127W aimed mainly at Chile and Peru but with sideband energy possibly pushing up towards Southern CA. The gale continued east-northeast in the evening with a tiny area of 40 kt southwest winds and seas 30 ft at 59S 119W targeting mainly South America with sideband energy somewhat towards Southern CA. This system was outside the CA swell window by Tues AM (3/27) with winds 35 kts aimed at Chile with 30 ft seas at 54S 111W. The gale is fade from there. Maybe some background swell to result for California.
Southern CA: Possible swell arrival on Tues (4/3) building to 2.0 ft @ 18 secs later (3.5 ft). Swell peaking on Wed (4/4) building to 2.4 ft @ 16-17 secs early (4.0 ft). Swell holding Thurs (4/5) at 2.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 183 degrees
North CA: Possible swell arrival on Tues (4/3) building to 1.5 ft @ 18-19 secs later (2.5 ft). Swell peaking later on Wed (4/4) at 2.3 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell holding Thurs (4/5) at 2.6 ft @ 15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 181 degrees
Stronger Southeast Pacific Gale
On Wed AM (3/28) a gale developed in the deep Southeast Pacific producing a small area of 45 kt south winds with 27 ft seas building at 55S 119W aimed northeast. In the evening 55 kt south winds were building with 41 ft seas at 56S 105W mainly outside the SCal swell window but some energy pushing north. By Thurs AM (4/29) the gale was racing east with 45-50 kt west winds and 45 ft seas at 56S 96W and totally outside the CA swell window aimed only at Southern Chile. Swell possibly radiating north towards mainly Southern CA and point well south of there.
SCal: Expect swell arrival on Tues (4/3) building to 2.0 ft @ 17-18 secs late (3.0 ft and likely overstated). Wed (4/4) swell building to 2.3 ft @ 16 secs (3.5 ft). Swell continues Thurs (4/5) 2.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5 ft). Swell fading from Fri (4/6) from 2.5 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Residuals on Sat (4/7) 2.3 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 180-190 degrees
NCal: Expect swell arrival on Tues (4/3) building to 1.6 ft @ 18 secs late (2.5-3.0 ft and likely overstated). Wed (4/4) swell building to 2.3 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.5 ft). Swell continues Thurs (4/5) 2.6 ft @ 15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell fading from Fri (4/6) from 2.5 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Residuals on Sat (4/7) 2.3 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 180-185 degrees
South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Beyond 72 hours starting Friday AM (4/6) another broader gale is to develop off Kamchatka and the Northern Kurils with 45 kt northwest winds and seas to barely 30 ft at 47N 163E. The gale is fall southeast rapidly by evening with 35 kt northwest winds over a broader area small area and seas fading from 27 ft at 44N 171E targeting Hawaii. By Sat AM (4/7) residual 35 kt northwest winds to be fading in coverage just west of the dateline with seas fading from 20 ft at 39N 179W targeting Hawaii. Something to monitor.
Theoretically remnant energy from the above gale is to try and redevelop on Sat PM (4/7) producing 35-40 kt northwest winds with seas building from 22 ft at 38N 160W aimed east. The gale is to build Sun AM (4/8) with 40 kt west winds and 24 ft seas at 39N 152W aimed east. The gale is to fade and fragment in the evening with pockets of 30-35 kt west winds and 24 ft seas at 42N 146W targeting the US West Coast. On Mon AM (4/9) the gale is to be reorganizing in the Eastern Gulf with 30-35 kt westerly winds and 20 ft seas at roughly 37N 150W. In the evening fetch is to consolidate off North CA with 30-35 kt west winds and seas 21 ft at 37N 144W aimed east. The gale is to build and lift northeast quickly Tues AM (4/10) with 45+ kt west winds off Oregon with 24 ft seas at 42N 133W targeting Central and North CA. A far broader fetch of 35 kt northwest winds is to build in the Northwestern Gulf too. By evening a broad area of 35-40 kt northwest winds are to be filling the Gulf targeting all of California with 26 ft seas at 44N 158W. Something to monitor.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.
More details to follow...
Suspicious Warming Holds West of Galapagos
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: La Nina started developing in early 2016, but westward displaced and generally weak. And by March 2017, it was gone with suspicious warming developing along South America and over the Galapagos to a point south of Hawaii. By May the atmosphere returned to a neutral configuration but then in July east anomalies started building in the KWGA and have not stopped, with cold water upwelling over the the Nino1.2 and 3.4 areas, indicative of La Nina. A double dip La Nina was in control and continued through the Winter of 2017-2018. But warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018 associated with 2 Upwelling Kelvin Waves, suggesting the demise of La Nina was at hand.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Friday (4/2) 5 day average winds were from the east over the bulk of the equatorial Pacific but from the west over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area from 160E and points west of there. Anomalies were neutral over the equatorial East Pacific and strong westerly over the Western KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (4/3) Modest east anomalies were from the dateline and points east of there with moderate to strong westerly winds filling the KWGA to the dateline. This pattern is to hold through 4/5 then westerly anomalies are to dissipate with east anomalies building over the KWGA 4/6 through the end of the model run on 4/10. This suggests a pattern change, and not favorable so.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (4/2) A moderate Active/Wet signal was over the West Pacific reaching east of the dateline. The statistical model depicts the Active signal fading steadily over the next 5 days with a modest Inactive/Dry MJO signal building in the far West Pacific at day 5 and filling the KWGA 10 days out and building to moderate strength there 2 weeks out. The dynamic model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO is to continue filling the KWGA 5 days out then fading and gone by day 10 while the Inactive/Dry Phase of the MJO builds over the Maritime Continent then stalls and fades there at day 15 with a dead neutral pattern over the KWGA.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/3) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO modest in strength just east of the dateline. It is to track east steadily over the next 15 days moving into the Indian Ocean 15 days out and weak. The GEFS model depicts the same track and speed but with the Active Phase weaker the last 6 days of the model run.
40 day Upper Level Model: (4/3) This model depicts a weak Active/Wet pattern exiting the Pacific over Central America. A new moderate Inactive Phase is to be developing in the far West Pacific on 4/7 migrating east to the East Pacific through 5/3. After that a weak Active Phase is forecast moving into the West Pacific 4/23 easing east to the East Pacific through the end of the model run on 5/13. This model runs about 1-2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (3/25) This site is down - no update available since 3/21. today. On (3/21) this model depicted the Inactive Phase was all but gone over the KWGA with east anomalies mainly from the dateline and points east of there with moderate west anomalies from 170E and point west of there with this west wind pattern holding through 3/27. From that point forward east anomalies are forecast to collapse and not return for the duration of the model run. A weak Active Phase is to follow in the West Pacific starting 3/29 holding through 4/14 with modest west anomalies developing and filling the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Beyond no coherent MJO signal is forecast through 5/30 but with weak west anomalies holding in the KWGA and no sign of east anomalies in the KWGA or even in the East Pacific. Perhaps a stronger Active Phase to develop 6/1 holding through the end of the model run on 6/18 with west anomalies strengthening some in the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates a modest low pressure bias over the bulk of the KWGA at 170E and is to push east steadily from here forward reaching the dateline 4/14 with a high pressure bias over the East KWGA at 175E and steadily moving east and out of the KWGA on 4/4. Basically the La Nina bias is to be gone in 2-3 weeks. But no significant oceanic change is expected until 3 months after the change has taken place in the atmosphere.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/2) The overview pattern depicts that warm water is building in coverage in the West Pacific tracking east with cooler water steadily loosing control of the East Pacific. Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 29-30 degs at 160E. The 28 deg isotherm line is steady at 180W and steep (meaning there is still a headwind of cooler water pushing into it from the east - La Nina). The 24 deg isotherm was building in thickness while making significant eastward progress at 95 meters deep at 140W and 50 meters deep at 120W dropping to 25 meters into Ecuador. Anomaly wise in the East Pacific negative temperatures at -1.0 degs were in one small pocket at 105W 50 metes deep. Cooler waters are steadily loosing coverage and density and being squeezed to the surface by a Kelvin Wave and warm water building in from the west at depth. Warm anomalies were weakening in the West at +3.0 degs at 165W down 150 meters and tracking east with the dividing line between that and cool waters at 115W down 75 meters and pushing up to 30 m deep indicative of a large Kelvin Wave trying to push east and about poised to erupt in the far East Pacific. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 3/29 depicts warm water in the west at +4.0 degs at 160W reaching east to 120W pushing up to 50 m deep. Cool water was holding in one elongated shallow pocket in the East Pacific from Ecuador to 160W down 50-70 meters with one pocket at -4.5 degs at 100W and continues significantly losing density, intensity and depth while being squeezed to the surface by the approaching Kelvin Wave. The cool pool appears to be slowly discharging to the surface and is poised to be undercut by an approaching Kelvin Wave. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data.
Sea Level Anomalies: (3/29) Positive anomalies were over the West equatorial Pacific at +5-10 cms centered at 160W reaching east to 117W. Neutral anomalies were east of there except for negative anomalies at -5 cms near 3S 100W and extending east to Peru. The La Nina cool pool is all but gone.
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: (4/2) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a generic and diffuse cool pocket elongated west to east in the deep Southeast Pacific centered at 20S 100W. A pocket of cool anomalies was along the immediate coast of Peru reaching northwest up to the Galapagos and much smaller than days past. Of much interest is a building pool of warm anomalies developing on the oceans surface on and just south of the equator starting off of Peru out to 110W. This possibly could be the start of a defined eruption point for a large Kevin Wave directly below. Warm anomalies were also along the immediate coast of Central America and Mexico. Cool anomalies on the equator west of 115W are collapsing limited mainly to positions south of the equator - the last of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/2): A previous cooling trend along the immediate coast of Peru has dispersed. A deep pocket of cooling remains over the Galapagos. Warming was along the equator from just west of the Galapagos out to the dateline with a core at 120-130W possibly indicating the breach point for a large Kelvin Wave directly beneath there.
Hi-res Overview: (4/2) A pocket of cool water is along the immediate coast of Peru reaching up to the Galapagos. But weak warming was further off the coast over the same area and reaching north to the equator at 100W. Warming was also along Ecuador and Central America filling the area north of the equator up into Mexico and east over the entirety of the equatorial Pacific. The La Nina core cool pocket was shrinking now mainly on the equator and south of there 110W to barely the dateline looking like a Modoki La Nina (meaning the core of La Nina is advecting west and dissipating). Overall the cooling pattern is steadily loosing density and drifting west.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/3) Today's temps were rebounding quickly to -0.154 after previously falling hard to -2.364 degs on 3/25, the coldest of any point in this La Nina. Previous cool peaks were on 3/12 at -1.5 degs retreating from the peak of the first Kelvin Wave hitting at +0.898 degrees on 2/28. Overall temps had been steadily marching upwards since late December. Temps in this area bottomed out on 12/23 at -2.1 degs, a third near peak negative reading. The lowest point so far in this La Nina was -2.248 degs reached on 11/5. And that low point was lower than the previous coldest point reached on 10/11 at -1.9 degs.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/3) Today temps were rising some at -0.688 degs. A weak surge in temps occurred 1/12-1/28 reaching up to -0.600 deg range. But since then temps have eased off some only rebuilding in the past week. Previously a peak low was observed on 1/10-1/12 to -1.577. On (12/7) temps hit a previous record low at -1.219, just below the previous coldest peak so far this La Nina on 11/22 at -1.156. And the third previous low peak was reached at -1.1 on 11/23. The long arc suggests perhaps a rising pattern. La Nina is in control, but it's taking a hit.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/3) The forecast depicts temps bottomed out at -0.75 in Nov 2017 and have been slowly rebounding since, up to -0.55 in early Feb. In mid-March a sharp increase was indicated rising to -0.35 in early April. The model indicates temps steadily rising from there to neutral in early June, hovering there then starting to rise into the Fall to +0.2 degs in Oct and to +0.4 degs later in Nov. This suggests the peak of La Nina occurred in 2017 and is to fade out in the early Summer of 2018 before turning weakly positive in the Fall. The odds of a 3 year La Nina developing are rare (3 year La Ninas 17%, 2 year La Ninas 50%, 1 year La Ninas 33% 1951-2017). This model is now falling inline with all the others suggesting La Nina is to die this Spring.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-March Plume depicts temps at -0.5 degs and are to slowly rise, to +0.0 in May and +0.2 in August and +0.5 in November. See chart here - link. It looks like La Nina is fading out. The CFSv2 is in the low end of that pack.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (4/3): The daily index was rising to 25.52. The 30 day average was rising to 10.15 suggesting the Inactive Phase of the MJO was building. The 90 day average was rising some at 4.2 suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (4/3 This index was rising slightly at -1.03 down from -1.13 on 3/27. Still this is down from -0.33 in late Feb, but was up from -1.11 on 1/29. The trend suggests La Nina is not gone, but possibly also reflects the last of the cool subsurface water being squeezed to the surface from an approaching large Kelvin Wave. Last years La Nina reached -1.94 on 11/2/16 and then fell to -2.20 on 6/28/17. It held pretty negative through Jan 2018. This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina events. The goal is to have it rise to at least -0.5 before a significant change could be suggested.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly positive, even though La Nina is in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.12, Feb = +0.05, March = +0.14, April=+0.53, May=+0.29, June=+0.21, July= -0.50, Aug= -0.62, Sept = -0.25, Oct= -0.61, Nov = -0.45, Dec= -0.13, Jan=+0.29, Feb=-0.10. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO, even with La Nina, because the warm PDO appears to be dampening the effects of La Nina. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington EDU index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.77, Feb = +0.70, Mar = +0.74, April=+1.12, May=+0.88, June=+0.79, July=+0.10, Aug=+0.09, Sept = +0.32, Oct=+0.05, Nov = +0.15, Dec = +0.50, Jan +0.70. Feb +0.37. No 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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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table