Sunday, June 4, 2017
- Buoy 146 (Lanai): This buoy is down and there is no backup site.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.3 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 2.1 ft @ 15.6 secs from 196 degrees. Wind southeast 6-8 kts. Water temperature 61.2 degs. At Ventura swell was 1.8 ft @ 16.1 secs from 191 degrees. At Santa Monica swell was 2.4 ft @ 15.8 secs from 196 degrees. At Camp Pendleton swell was 2.4 ft @ 16.0 secs from 215 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma swell was 3.6 ft @ 15.7 secs from 193 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 9.8 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 8.0 ft @ 8.6 secs from 311 degrees with southern hemi swell 2.5 ft @ 16.2 secs from 187 degrees. Wind northwest 20-24 kts at the buoy. Water temp 55.2 degs.
46006, 46059, 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 Sunday (6/4) in North and Central CA local northwest windswell was producing surf at chest to head high at exposed breaks and white capped early and basically unrideable. Protected breaks were chest high and soft and warbled but much cleaner. At Santa Cruz swell from the Southeast Pacific was finally hitting producing sets waves at head high or so and lined up but inconsistent. In Southern California up north southern hemi swell was producing surf at up to chest high and clean and lined up. In North Orange Co southern hemi swell was hitting producing waves at head high to maybe 1 ft overhead and clean and lined up with good form but a pretty stiff northward current. In South Orange Co Southeast Pacific swell was producing sets at head high to 1 ft overhead and clean and lined up but a little slow. In San Diego surf was chest high and lined up and clean. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was near flat and clean. The East Shore was getting small east windswell with waves waist high and chopped from moderate east trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Sunday (6/4) swell from a modest sized gale that developed in the Central South Pacific on Thurs (5/25) producing 31 ft seas for 15 hrs aimed somewhat to the northeast was finally hitting California. A far weaker gale developed in the same place on Tues (5/30) with barely 28 ft seas resulting. Small swell to result for California. Over the next 7 days down south a small gale is forecast tracking under New Zealand Wed-Fri (7/9) with 32 ft seas aimed east. Tiny swell is possible. A stronger system is forecast for the same area starting Sat (6/10) with up to 37 ft seas aimed east. In the Northern Hemisphere a small low pressure system developed in the Gulf on Sat-Mon (6/6) with 15 ft seas. Otherwise local north windswell is expected for California though Tues (6/6) then dissipating.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Sunday (6/4) windswell from low pressure in the Gulf of Alaska was pushing east (see Another Gulf Low below). Today high pressure was 800 nmiles west of San Francisco CA ridging east producing 25 kt north winds along the North CA coast and 20 kt north winds reaching south to Pt Conception resulting in raw local north windswell at exposed breaks. No fetch of interest was in play relative to the Hawaiian Islands.
Over the next 72 hours relative to Hawaii a weak pressure and wind pattern is forecast offering no potential for trades and developing above 10 kts and therefore no potential for windswell of interest to result.
Relative to California, high pressure is to continue west of San Francisco on Sun (6/4) with fetch building covering the entire coast with north winds at 20-25 kts then fading some on Mon (6/5) with north fetch dropping to 20 to barely 25 kts over the same area, then fading more on Tues (6/6) with north winds dropping from 20 kts and down to 15 kts late afternoon. North windswell to vary in size commensurate with the strength and size of the fetch but mostly it is to be very raw and chopped for all exposed breaks in North and Central CA.
Another Gulf Low
On Sat AM (6/3) low pressure was tracking through the Western Gulf producing a small fetch of 30 kts southwest winds with seas building from 14 ft at 44N 166W. Fetch built to 35 kts in the evening tracking east with seas building to 16 ft at 44N 161W. Southwest fetch tracked east Sun AM (6/4) at 30 kts with seas fading from 15 ft at 44N 154W. The gale is to fade from there but with secondary fetch developing just north of there in the evening with 30 kt west winds and 16 ft seas at 49N 162W. that fetch is to fall southeast Mon AM (6/5) with 30 kt northwest winds and 15 ft seas at 48N 160W. This system is to fade from there. No swell to result for Hawaii and low odds of swell for California.
North CA: Possible windswell arrival on Wed (6/7) at 4.0 ft @ 11-12 secs later (4.5 ft). Swell continues Thurs (6/8) at 4.0 ft @ 10-11 secs (4.0 ft). Swell fading from there. Swell Direction: 197 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 (6/4) weak high pressure at 1024 mbs was 800 nmiles west of the California coast generating a pressure gradient over North and Central CA with north winds there to 20 kts and up to 25 kts over North CA. More of the same on Mon (6/5) but with the gradient fading some and north winds dropping from 20-25 kts down to 20 kts late over the same area. On Tuesday (6/6) the gradient is to fade with north winds dropping to 15-20 kts late over the same area. Wed (6/7) north winds to dissipate as a cold front approaches the coast cutting the legs out of the high pressure system. Light winds along the coast. Thurs (6/8) light winds are forecast everywhere over CA waters with south winds to 15 kts early from Pt Reyes northward. Friday north winds to return but weak at 10 kts with high pressure at 1026 mbs 800 nmiles north of Hawaii. Sat (6/10) the high is to ease east with north winds building some at 15 kts from Pt Arena southward and up to 25 kts over Pt Conception. On Sunday (6/11) that pattern is to build some with 15 kts over the entire state including Southern CA with embedded pockets to 20 kts.
On Sunday AM (6/4) a split zonal flow was in effect with the northern branch tracking east on the 28N latitude line and the southern branch running east on the 63S latitude line. No troughs were in play and winds were less than 100 kts across the width of the influential southern branch offering no support for gale development in lower levels of the atmosphere. Over the next 72 hours more of the same is forecast with no troughs of interest forecast developing. But a pocket of 140 kts winds is to push east under New Zealand on Wed (6/7) possibly offering some hope. Beyond 72 hours another similar pocket of wind energy is to build under New Zealand lifting northeast Fri evening (6/9) at 150 kts continuing east into Sun (6/11) but not really forming a well defined trough offering only weak potential to support gale development in lower levels of the atmosphere.
On Sunday (6/4) swell from a gale previously in the South Central Pacific was finally hitting California (see South Central Pacific Gale below). And another gale developed behind that in the Southeast Pacific possibly sending tiny background swell towards CA (see Southeast Pacific Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
South Central Pacific Gale
A gale started developing in the Central South Pacific on Wed PM (5/24) with 40 kt southwest winds over a small area building and seas building. On Thurs AM (5/25) the fetch built in coverage with southwest winds 40 kts and seas to barely 28 ft at 52S 151W. In the evening fetch was starting to fade from 40 kts over a broad area with 31 ft seas at 56S 155W aimed decently to the northeast. Fri AM (5/26) the fetch faded from 35 kts but pushing well to the north-northeast with seas fading from 27 ft at at 54S 147W. In the evening this system was gone. Possible small swell to result mainly for the US West Coast down into Central and South America.
Southern California: Swell continues on Sun (6/4) at 2.6 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.0 ft). Swell fading on Mon (6/5) from 2.5 ft @ 14-15 secs early (3.5 ft). Residuals on Tues (6/6) from 1.9 ft @ 13 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 197 degrees
North CA: Swell continues on Sun (6/4) at 2.1 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading Mon (6/5) from 2.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell DIrection: 195 degrees
Southeast Pacific Gale
A small gale developed in the South Central Pacific Mon PM (5/29) producing a broad area of 35 kt southwest winds and 26 ft seas at 54S 142W aimed northeast. On Tues AM (5/30) fetch was fading from 30-35 kts with seas 28 ft at 51S 135W aimed well to the northeast. The gale to fade from there while quickly moving east out of the California swell window. Tiny background swell is possible for California down into Central and South America.
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (6/6) at 1.8 ft @ 16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell continues on Wed (6/7) at 2.1 ft @ 14 secs (2.5-3.0 ft) with secondary swell 1.6 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.5 ft). Swell fading Thurs (6/8) from 1.7 ft @ 13 secs (2.0-2.5 ft) with secondary swell 1.7 ft @ 15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). That swell fades out on Fri (6/9) from 1.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 193 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues (6/6) building to 1.6 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.5 ft). Swell building Wed (6/7) from 1.8 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 ft) early. Swell gone on Thurs (6/8). Swell Direction: 191 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 no local windswell producing fetch is forecast. And a placid pattern is to set up over the bulk of the North Pacific.
Beyond 72 hours the models are hinting at a small gale developing southwest of New Zealand and just north of the Ross Ice Shelf Wed PM (6/7) with 40-45 kt west winds and seas building to 34 ft over a small area at 60S 155E. On Thurs AM (6/8) 45 kt west winds to continue tracking east with seas 32 ft at 60S 167E. Fetch is to fade in the evening from 40 kts from the west with seas 32 ft at 60S 178E. The gale is to fade out from there. Something to monitor.
A stronger gale is forecast southwest of New Zealand on Sat AM (6/10) with 50 kt west winds and 38 ft seas at 58S 145E. In the evening winds to be fading from 45 kts with seas 38 ft at 58S 163E. Fetch is to be fading from 40 kts Sun AM (6/11) with 33 ft seas at 60S 175E. Something to monitor but odds very low of it actually materializing at this early date.
More details to follow...
SSTs Continue Cooling off South America - Drier Air in Nino 3.4
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.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Saturday (6/3) east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific including the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral in most locations but modest easterly in the far east Pacific and light westerly in the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): Modest east anomalies were over the KWGA but forecast to quickly fade by 6/5 and mostly neutral at the end of the forecast period (6/11). This suggests the Inactive Phase of the MJO is fading over the KWGA with a neutral pattern is to move in.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 6/3 a weak Active/Wet Phase of the MJO was over the far West Pacific drifting east. The statistic model projects the Active Phase continuing to ease east to the dateline 2 weeks out. The dynamic model depicts the Active Phase dissipating 4 days out and the Inactive Phase redeveloping moderately in the West Pacific 2 weeks out.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (6/4) The ECMF model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO was weak over the Maritime Continent and is to collapse in 3 days and remain weak and indiscernible for the next 2 weeks. The GEFS depicts much the same thing but with the Active Phase perhaps rebuilding/retrograding in the Indian Ocean 2 weeks out.
40 day Upper Level Model: (6/4) This model depicts a modest Active pattern was over the dateline and is to track east into Central America 6/19. A weak Inactive Phase to follow modestly in the West Pacific 6/24 moving into Central America 7/9. A neutral pattern to follow. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (6/4) This model depicts a weak version of the Inactive Phase of the MJO was fading on the dateline with neutral anomalies in play in the KWGA. Beyond a very weak Active Phase is to develop on 6/9 with weak west anomalies developing in the KWGA and holding even after the Active Phase fades on 6/20. The Active Phase of the MJO is to fully develop in the West Pacific on 7/13 with building west anomalies but still just moderate in strength 7/27 then fading some through 8/10, fading to neutral on 9/1 (the end of the run). This is likely overstated as the model has been teasing at west anomalies for months and yet they never develop. The low pass filter indicates La Nina is to hold on in the KWGA till 6/12 (previously 5/6-5/8). La Nina might weakly redevelop 7/21 with the core just east of California rather than over the KWGA. Best guess is a very weak directionless pattern is to set up post La Nina and it will take 3-5 years for the Pacific to recharge from the 2014-16 El Nino.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (6/4) Actual temperatures remain stratified with warm water in the far West Pacific at 30 degs no longer on the chart. The 28 deg isotherm line is backtracking some at 147W. The 24 isotherm reaches Ecuador down at 40 meters and is building to 90 meters at 140W. Warm anomalies are at +3 degs in the East Pacific and +1 deg anomalies are in the West Pacific down at 100m. Continuous 0 to +1 degs anomalies stretch from the west to the east. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 5/28 depicts a continuous stream of warm water tracking from the west to the east suggesting a Kelvin Wave is in flight. The concern is there is not much warm water in the far West Pacific to feed any sort of a progressive Kelvin Wave pattern and that pattern is only getting more pronounced. The GODAS image appears to be about 1 week behind the TAO data.
Sea Level Anomalies: (5/28) +5 cm anomalies are fading in coverage along the coast of Peru and Ecuador. In the west 0-5 cm anomalies are retreating from the KWGA back at 170E. One pocket of positive heights remains at 125W. A neutral to weak warm trend was suggested per this imagery.
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: (6/3) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a generalized warm pattern is present well off the coasts of Northern Chile and Peru north to Ecuador then extending west on the equator west of the Galapagos and out to 160W. But the warmth in this entire area is fading significantly compared to a few weeks ago. And upwelling along the immediate coasts of Peru and North Chile continues to build with building cool anomalies extending from Peru and Ecuador out to the Galapagos. Looking at the large picture, warming in the southern hemi that extends east thousands of miles off the coast of South America as far south as 20S or more has backed off over the entire area. It is not well defined with most warming now from 120W and points west of there. La Nina is gone and the El Nino like pattern that was trying to build is now backing off significantly.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (6/2): A cooling trend continues off Ecuador over the Galapagos out to 110W with very weak cooling along immediate Chile and Peru. This replaces a warming trend over the same area weeks previous. A warming trend is present in the Northern Hemi from a point off California pushing just north of Hawaii and reaching west to the Philippines. But overall nothing remarkable is indicated.
Hi-res Overview: (6/2) A solid warm regime holds from Chile north to Ecuador and west to 160W and less energetic out to the dateline. It looks like El Nino is trying to develop and making headway into the Nino3.4 region. Overall waters of all oceans of the planet are warmer than normal. Suspect climatology needs to be updated to reflect this new reality, or the recent Super El Nino has significantly redistributed heat across the oceans.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (6/4) Today's temps have stabilized but much cooler than weeks before at -0.537, down from the peak of +3.0 degs on 3/18.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (6/4) temps were stable at +0.423 degs.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (6/4) The forecast has temps steady at +0.5 degs today into early July then falling to +0.2 in early Aug rebuilding to +0.3 degs in Oct, then falling to neutral in Dec-Jan 2018. This suggests normal to weakly warm pattern developing for the Winter of 2017-2018. CFS data suggests a Modoki style warming pattern over the dateline this Fall and Winter. La Nina is over and a return to normal temps appears to have occurred in the ocean. There is no source for greater warming with the warm pool in the far West Pacific pretty weak. Much recharging and heat buildup is required for a real El Nino to develop. We're at least 5 years out from that.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-May Plume updated (5/19) depicts temps are warming and are now at +0.5 degs. A slow increase in temps is forecast thereafter to +0.7 degs in Aug and holding through Dec, then falling to 0.6 degs in Jan. This is +0.1 degs warmer than the April forecast and +0.7 degs warmer than the January forecast suggesting La Nina is over and a warmer regime is setting up. See chart here - link. The NMME consensus depicts peak temp to +1.0 degs Nov through Jan.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (6/4): The daily index was falling to -9.84 and has been negative for 3 days prior. The 30 day average was rising at +0.68. The 90 day average was falling at -1.63 or just south of neutral. This suggests a return to ENSO neutral conditions has taken hold.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (6/4) Today's value was falling at -1.29 or trending back towards La Nina. A peak low was reached on 11/2 at -1.94, the deepest of the past La Nina event. This measures atmospheric response, not oceanic.
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): Jan 2017 = +0.10, Feb = +0.03, March = +0.09, April=+0.52 . This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO. No consistently 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. 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