Saturday, July 1, 2017
- Buoy 146 (Lanai): This buoy is down and there is no backup site and no date if or when it will return to service. Buoy 233/51211 (Pearl Harbor) is available but has a new frequency layout. We'll have to code a new program to read it's output (date TBD).
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.6 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 1.4 ft @ 16.2 secs from 148 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southeast 8 kts. Water temperature 65.3 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.9 ft @ 8.8 secs from 274 degrees. At Santa Monica (Buoy 028) swell was 1.4 ft @ 15.7 secs from 185 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (Buoy 043) swell was 1.4 ft @ 15.1 secs from 219 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (Buoy 191) swell was 2.0 ft @ 15.6 secs from 196 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 9.8 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 8.4 ft @ 8.3 secs from 321 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest 21-25 kts. Water temp 55.4 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 Saturday (7/1) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing surf at 1 ft overhead and blown out and chopped from northwest wind. Protected breaks were chest high and warbled and nearly chopped and raw. At Santa Cruz background southern hemi swell was still producing rideable waves occasionally to waist high or so and clean but slow. In Southern California up north local windswell was producing waves at thigh to barely waist high and clean but slow. In North Orange Co fading southern hemi swell was still producing set waves at chest to head high with some windswell intermixed breaking it up some with clean conditions. In South Orange Co southern hemi swell was fading with set waves chest to head high and clean but soft. In San Diego fading southern hemi swell and windswell combo was producing sets at thigh to waist high and clean. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was small with sets waves thigh to maybe waist high and clean early. The East Shore was getting east windswell with waves thigh to waist high and chopped from modest east trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Saturday (7/1) local north windswell was building in North and Central California with local onshore winds making a mess of things at exposed but conditions expected to improve on Sunday and windswell hold into Monday, then fading out 24 hours later with no return forecast. Minimal southern hemi swell was hitting still California originating near New Zealand but is on the downswing. A gale is developing in the far Southeast Pacific Sat (7/1) with 28 ft seas aimed well north with a second expected to develop late Sun (7/3) with 46 ft seas aimed northeast and building while moving out of the CA swell window Mon (7/3) targeting Chile and Peru. Nothing else is on the charts. Get whatever you can while you can.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Saturday (7/1) high pressure at 1028 mbs was centered 900 nmiles north of Hawaii and was ridging east forming the usual summertime pressure gradient over North and Central CA waters generating north winds at 20-25 kts producing modest raw local north windswell at exposed breaks. This high was also generating east winds at 15-20 kts over a shallow fetch from about 150 nmiles east of the Hawaiian Islands and sweeping over them producing minimal east windswell at exposed breaks.
Over the next 72 hours on the mainland the gradient is to lift north focused over North California on Sun (7/2) but fading in coverage some with north winds at 20-25 kts but light over Central CA. Then the gradient is to regenerate on Mon (7/3) pushing 25+ kts while an eddy flow builds over Central CA and from Pt Arena southward before collapsing Tues (7/4) with windswell starting to drop out.
For Hawaii east trade winds are to fade on Sun (7/2) then rebuilding Mon (7/3) to 15+ kts over a broader area east of the Islands with windswell along east facing shore regenerating modestly. Trades to fade in coverage some Tues (7/4) but still at15 + kts offering windswell potential, then collapsing on Wed (7/5) with windswell from it dropping out.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
On Saturday AM (7/1) the southern branch of the jet was flowing zonally east under New Zealand with winds at 150 kts in one pocket but mostly 90 kts or less continuing east across the South Pacific on the 65S latitude line with no troughs indicated and for the most part too weak to support gale development even if a trough were in play. The northern branch was flowing zonally east on the 25S latitude line. Over the next 72 hours southern branch is to start lifting northeast over the Southeast Pacific Sat PM (7/1) with winds building briefly to 140 kts forming a trough but tracking east and out of the California swell window by Mon AM (7/3) offering only a limited window to support gale development relative to our forecast area. But that trough is to continue tracking east into Southern America on Tues (7/4) while fading offering support for gale development relative to Chile and Peru. The the west and zonal southward displaced flow is to continue with no trough or support for gale development projected. Beyond 72 hours starting Wed (7/5) the jet is to continue southward displaced over the Southwest Pacific but steadily rising east-northeast as it tracks east over the Southeast Pacific. The issue is wind speeds are to be light (90 kts or less) offering no fuel to support gale development. This pattern is to hold into Sat (7/8) when potentially a small trough is to for southeast of New Zealand being fed by 120 kts winds and offering a glimmer of hope for gale development.
On Saturday (7/1) swell generated from a gale previously southeast of New Zealand was impacting California but on it's way down (see 3rd New Zealand Gale below).
Also a gale was tracking north through the far Southeast Pacific (See Primer Gale below).
Also on Sat AM (7/1) a new fetch of 35 kt southwest winds are to start building over the deep South Central Pacific rushing east with seas building from 22 ft at 61S 147W. In the evening fetch is to build in coverage to the broad category at 35 kts from the southwest moving to the Southeast Pacific with seas building to 24 ft at 57S 130W. On Sun AM (7/2) that fetch is to track east and fade with a secondary fetch building right behind it at 45 kts from the southwest and positioned further north with a new area of seas to 26 ft at 58S 131W. Fetch is to track east-northeast in the evening while building to 50-55 kts over a small area from the southwest at 58S 118W (mostly east of the CA swell window) with seas building to 36 ft at 56S 117W sending sideband energy towards Southern CA but most energy targeting Chile. On Mon AM (7/3) 50-55 kt southwest winds to continue tracking east-northeast with 45 ft seas at 55S 110W targeting Chile well but small in coverage. The storm is to hold in the evening with fetch still 55 kts over a tiny area and seas building to 50 ft over a tiny area at 51S 103W targeting Chile well. The gale is to dissipate from there Tues AM (7/4) with winds dropping from 40 kts and seas fading from 40 ft at 49S 91W targeting Chile well and just 800 nmiles away from breaks in Southern Chile. this system is to dissipate and fall south from there. Possible swell for Southern California with most energy towards South America and specifically Chile. Will monitor.
On Thurs AM (6/29) a gale started developing in the Southeast Pacific with 35 kt southwest winds building in the deep South Central Pacific moving rapidly east. That fetch started lifting northeast in the evening at 35 kts over a broad area with seas building to 24 ft at 59S 131W. On Fri AM (6/30) winds built to 40 kts over a modest area imbedded in a broader fetch of 35 kt south winds with seas 29 ft at 57S 126W aimed well north. On Fri PM fetch was collapsing from 35 kts aimed north with seas holding at 29 ft at 52S 119W targeting California southward to Peru. This system was gone on Sat AM (7/1) with seas fading from 28 ft at 46S 114W targeting mainly Mexico and Central America and out of the California swell window. This system should produce a nice little pulse of 16 secs energy targeting California and points south of there.
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival late on Fri (7/7) with swell building to 1 ft @ 19-20 secs 92 ft ) and inconsistent. Swell building on Sat (7/8) pushing 2.3 ft @ 17-18 secs mid-day (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 183 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (7/8) pushing 1.6 ft @ 18 secs mid-day (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 175-180 degrees
3rd New Zealand Gale
On Sun (6/18) a storm started developing southeast of Tasmania with 55 kt west winds and seas building from 35 ft over a tiny area at 54S 150E and shadowed by New Zealand relative to NCal and HI and barely in the 222 degs window for SCal. Winds held at 55 kts from the west on Mon AM (6/19) but with the fetch falling east-southeast with seas 38 ft at 57.5S 166E (214 degs SCal and shadowed by Tahiti, 214 degs and unshadowed for NCal, and clear and in the 200 degs window for Hawaii). Fetch was 50 kts in the evening from the southwest and still falling east-southeast with seas to 43 ft at 59.5S 177E aimed east (208 degs NCal and shadowed, 209 degs SCal and barely unshadowed,192 degs HI). On Tues AM (6/20) fetch was fading from 40 kts with seas fading from 37 ft at 61S 171.5W (203 degs NCal and unshadowed, 204 degs SCal and unshadowed, 187 degs HI). This system is to be gone by evening.
This system had solid winds and seas, but was tracking east-southeast with not much momentum aimed northeast, thereby limited swell size traveling in that direction and towards our forecast area.
Southern CA: Residuals on Saturday (7/1) fading from 1.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 213 degrees.
Northern CA: Residuals on Saturday (7/1) fading from 1.4 ft @ 15 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 214 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 a weak pressure and wind pattern is forecast through early Fri (7/7) then high pressure at 1022 mbs is to try and rebuild just off the Central CA coast with north winds 15-20 kts from Pt Reyes southward focused mainly on Pt Conception and holding on Sat (7/8). No real windswell expected to result except near Pt Conception.
For Hawaii trades to remain light in the 10-15 kt range from the east with no meaningful windswell resulting.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.
More details to follow...
ESPI Holds Negative - SST's Gently Cooling in NIno1.2
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 and is holding.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Friday (7/1) east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific including the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral everywhere including the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): Weak east anomalies were over the Central KWGA and forecast to weaken some through the end of the 7 day model run (7/8). It is expected that since these winds are at the 850 mb level (4,200 ft) a neutral wind pattern will be in play at the surface like it is today. It was looking like the long running Inactive Phase of the MJO/La Nina was dissipating, but it still has not given up completely.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 6/30 a near neutral pattern was in effect with only a withering weak Inactive/Dry Phase of the MJO in play over the far Western Pacific. The statistical model depicts a neutral pattern taking over quickly and continuing with no MJO signal in play over the next 2 weeks. The dynamic model finally has fallen in line suggesting the Inactive Phase is to fade in the West Pacific on day 5, with a neutral pattern in-play beyond.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (7/1) The ECMF model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO was exceedingly weak over the Indian Ocean and is to track steadily east reaching the Maritime Continent 2 weeks out. The GEFS depicts the Active Phase holding weak in the Indian Ocean through the 2 week period.
40 day Upper Level Model: (7/1) This model depicts a weak Inactive/Dry pattern over the East Pacific tracking east into Central America 7/9 while a very weak Active Phase was trying to develop over the far West Pacific today slowly tracking east to the East Pacific through 8/5. A weak inactive Pattern is to follow in the West Pacific 8/5. Basically a weak Active to nonexistent MJO pattern is expected for the next month and a half. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (7/1) This model depicts no MJO signal over the KWGA. Neutral anomalies were indicated over the KWGA. Over the coming days weak west anomalies are to be developing a better footprint in the KWGA with a weak Active MJO signal developing over the KWGA holding to 7/21. Weak west anomalies holding in the KWGA after that until a legitimate Active Phase of the MJO is to fully develop in the West Pacific on 8/1 with building west anomalies moderate in strength holding till 9/11 with a weak Inactive Phase of the MJO trying to develop in the KWGA 9/10-9/28 (end of the model run) but west anomalies still in play in the KWGA, but weaker. Of note: East anomalies are to be in-play from the dateline and points east of there from 7/29 onward. The west wind anomaly scenario 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 dissipated as of 6/14. Interestingly the model projects a lowpass La Nina signal is to redevelop 8/8 (previously 7/21) but now over the interior US mainland at 110W rather than over the KWGA. in fact a weak El nino signal is to develop in the far West Pacific in later Sept. Best guess is a very weak directionless pattern is to set up or even a weak La Nina redeveloping in Fall of 2017. It will take 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: (7/1) Actual temperatures remain stratified with warm water in the far West Pacific at 30 degs over a shallow area at 160E. The 28 deg isotherm line is steady at 146W. The 24 deg isotherm has pushed east and is now reaching Ecuador. It is 100 meters deep at 140W. Anomaly wise a generic pattern of +1 deg anomalies stretches from the East to West Pacific from 110 meters upward. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 6/27 depicts a continuous stream of warm water tracking from the west to the east suggesting a homogenous pattern biased warm was in effect of the upper reaches of the entire equatorial Pacific. There is no real warm water in the far West Pacific to feed any sort of a progressive Kelvin Wave pattern. The GODAS image appears to be about 1 week behind the TAO data.
Sea Level Anomalies: (6/27) In the east a small area of 5 cm anomalies are over waters off Ecuador but fading in coverage. In the west all warm anomalies have vanished on the equator. A pocket of 0-5 cm anomalies were on the equator at 140W building slightly. Effectively a dead neutral pattern is in control of the entire equatorial Pacific.
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: (6/30) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a lightly warm pattern is along the immediate South American coast extending west to 120W but steadily fading towards neutral. Temps were building in heat content west of 120W. A few small pockets of warm water were scattered on the equator from Ecuador west to 103W, remnants of a warm event previously along South America and advecting west. Upwelling along the immediate coasts of Chile, Peru and Ecuador was weak and almost non-existent for the moment. A broad pocket of cooling was building centered at 25S 100W. Overall temps are cooling off South America out to 120W (2,400 nmiles off the coast). The La Nina that developed last Spring faded and was replaced by an El Nino like pattern that tried to build after it during March-May, but that too is dissipating with a neutral pattern setting up off Central America down to Peru.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (6/29): A neutral to weak warming trend is developing along the coasts of Chile and Peru. Alternating pockets of warming and cooling are present on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos out to 120W, the likely fading remnants of warming previous along Peru. A strong warming trend continues in the Northern Hemi from California pushing north of Hawaii and reaching west to the Philippines. But overall nothing remarkable is indicated.
Hi-res Overview: (6/29) A weak warm regime holds from Chile north to Ecuador and west to 140W then stronger to 140E. But it looks like a neutral temperature regime is trying to set up off South America. Small pocklettes of cool anomalies are in the far East Pacific off Ecuador and Peru. 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: (7/1) Today's temps were falling from +0.032, down from the peak of +3.0 degs on 3/18 and +1.0 degs on 5/2..
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (7/1) temps were steady at +0.578 degs.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (7/1) The forecast has temps steady at +0.55 degs today and holding for a few more days then starting to fall weakly, dropping to +0.4 in early Aug holding into early Nov, then dropping to 0.0 in Jan 2018, perhaps warming to +0.2 degs in March. This suggests a neutral pattern setting up for the Winter of 2017-2018. CFS data (6/26) still suggests a Modoki style warming pattern over the dateline this Fall and Winter but other models are no suggesting a return of a weak La Nina pattern. There is no source for El Nino like warming with the warm pool in the far West Pacific weak and fading. 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-June Plume updated (6/15) depicts temps have warmed to +0.3 degs. Temps are forecast to hold at this level for the coming 8 months suggesting a neutral pattern in control. See chart here - link. The NMME consensus depicts the same thing with temp +0.3 degrees above normal through Feb.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (7/1): The daily index was falling some at -7.33 and has been mostly negative for 31 days now. The 30 day average was falling at -9.57. The 90 day average was steady at -4.90 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): (6/29) Today's value was rebounding slightly at -2.08 (up from -2.20 on 6/28) but still strongly suggesting a turn towards La Nina. A peak low was reached on 11/2/16 at -1.94, the deepest of the past La Nina event. So the index is currently more negative than at the peak of last years La Nina. At this time it looks like La Nina is returning. This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina events.
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, May=+0.36. 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, May=+0.88. 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