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.
Thursday, July 7, 2016
- Buoy 146 (Lanai): Seas were 2.2 ft @ 20.0 secs with swell 0.7 ft @ 20.2 secs from 201 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.7 ft @ 11.4 secs with swell 1.8 ft @ 11.9 secs from 189 degrees. Wind south 6 kts. Water temperature 67.3 degs. At Santa Barbara swell was 2.0 ft @ 6.2 secs from 266 degrees. At Santa Monica swell was 1.3 ft @ 11.8 secs from 202 degrees. Southward from Orange County to San Diego swell was 1.9 ft @ 11.5 secs from 182 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.2 ft @ 6.7 secs with windswell 4.1 ft @ 6.4 secs and southern hemi swell 1.7 ft @ 12.9 secs from 169 degrees. Wind northwest 10-14 kts. Water temp 54.5 degs.
Buoy 46059, Hi-res Buoys
On Thursday (7/7) in North and Central CA local northwest windswell was producing waves at thigh to maybe waist high and chopped from northwest winds. It was barely rideable. At Santa Cruz fading southern hemi swell was producing waves at knee high and clean and exceptionally weak. In Southern California up north windswell was producing waves at knee to thigh high and textured early. Down south southern hemi swell was producing set waves at waist to maybe chest high and lightly textured from south wind. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore had waist high sets at top breaks and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell at waist high and chopped from easterly trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
A small gale developed just east of New Zealand on Fri (7/1) with seas to 37 ft over a small area aimed northeast with swell in the water pushing northeast and some energy starting to arrive in Hawaii today eventually bound for California. Another gale formed in the Southeast Pacific late Sat (7/2) producing 36 ft seas aimed briefly north. Not too much is expected from it relative to California and nothing for Hawaii. Neither system had much coverage or duration. Overall, the Inactive Phase of the MJO has been suppressing the potential for gale development but we are moving into a weak version of the Active Phase now, so there's some hope that the storm pattern might trend somewhat more favorable in the Southern Hemi. The tropics have produce Hurricane Blas targeting mainly Hawaii with another forecast to follow early next week.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis.cgius forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Thursday AM (7/7) no swell producing fetch is occurring and none is forecast for the next 72 hours.
There was no California coastal pressure gradient in effect on Thursday (7/7) resulting in no support for local windswell production. Low pressure was just off Vancouver Island repelling high pressure at 1032 mbs centered 1200 nmiles north of Hawaii. Instead a weak 15 kt north winds flow was over a shallow area covering North and Central CA coastal waters. Over the next 72 hours the low is to slowly fall south producing northwest fetch at 20-25 kts barely in the NCal swell window, with the low moving inland over Oregon on Sun (7/10). Low odds for some windswell to result, but mainly fog and local northwest winds are forecast at 10-15 kts. Pretty soupy conditions expected north of Pt Conception.
For Hawaii, east trades were limited to the area just over and north of the Islands at 15 kts from the east, but less than 15 kts east of Hawaii resulting in little to no east windswell on exposed shores. Northeast trades to start building on Fri (7/8) at 15 kts due mainly to the highs interaction with Hurricane Blas and continuing through Sat (7/9) then fading Sunday. The result is to be some building northeast windswell through Saturday but of a rather short period.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Hurricane Blas peaked Wed AM (7/6) with peak winds 110 kts positioned 1320 nmiles south-southwest of Santa Cruz Ca and 1110 nmiles south-southwest of Dana Point CA. Assuming 14 sec period sideband swell resulting, peak swell should arrive on Fri 4 PM (7/8) in NCal and 8 AM on Fri in SCal. Blas was also 1799 nmiles from the Big Islands of Hawaii on the 94.5 degree track. Peak swell arrival expected Sat (7/9) at 8 AM with period 15 secs. On Thurs AM (7/7) Blas still had winds of 105 kts tracking west-northwest at 8 kts and was beyond the CA swell window but was still spraying wave energy towards Hawaii from 1610 nmiles out of the 93 degree track. By Friday AM (7/8) Blas to be fading steadily with winds dropping from 80 kts and no longer being an effective swell producer relative to even HI. Blas to be a minimal tropical storm on Sun AM (7/10) with winds 35 kts (1072 nmiles from Hawaii on the 80 degree track) and down to Depression status after that. The best odds of swell production are for Hawaii (Big Island).
Big Island: Swell arrival on Sat (7/9) building to near 4 ft @ 15 secs mid-day (6.0 ft faces). Swell holding on Sun (7/10) at 4.0 ft @ 14-15 secs (5.5 ft faces). Swell fading slowly from there. Swell Direction: 90-94 degrees
Southern CA: Swell arrival on Fri (7/8) peaking early at 3.1 ft @ 12 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell continues Sat (7/9) at 3.1 ft @ 12-13 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell fading Sun (7/10) from 2.2 ft @ 11 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 180-190 degrees
NCal: Swell arrival on Fri (7/8) peaking late afternoon at 2.8 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell continues Sat (7/9) at 3.1 ft @ 12-13 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell fading Sun (7/10) from 2.4 ft @ 11-12 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 180-190 degrees
Tropical Depression #4 on Thurs AM (7/7) was positioned 600 nmiles due south of Cabo San Lucas Baja Mexico on Thurs AM (7/7) with winds 30 kts. Steady strengthening is forecast while tracking west winds winds to 90 kts on Tues (7/12) positioned at 17N 128W and making a bit of a turn to the west-northwest. The GFS model suggests this system hold together longer than Blas and moving in closer proximity to Hawaii a week out therefore providing increased odds for swell production there. Will believe it when it happens.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday (7/7) high pressure was still trying to nose into California but was being held at bay by low pressure off Vancouver, resulting in a meager local northwest flow at 15 kts. More of the same is forecast Friday while the low falls southeast, with winds fading to less than 10 kts on Saturday as the low moves over Oregon. By Sunday the gradient is to start rebuilding to 25 kts but southward di.cgiaced near Pt Conception, then fading to 20 kts while focusing northward near Pt Reyes in on Mon-Tues (7/12). Wed-Thurs (7/14) a more normal pressure gradient situation is to develop with north winds near 25 kts over North CA and 20 kt north winds reaching south to Pt Conception. In short, no end to the wind for any length of time.
On Thursday AM (7/7) the jet was .cgiit over the Tasman Sea but consolidated just east of New Zealand tracking that way into Chile and running on the 40S latitude line. A bit of a trough was trying to develop southeast of New Zealand with winds 120 kts starting to feed into it pushing east from the channel between New Zealand and Antarctica. Over the next 72 hours the trough is to slow ease east on Fri (7/8) but winds faltering to only 100 kts and nothing better forecast immediately. Not a bad configuration, just no wind energy is to be present to feed gale development in lower levels of the atmosphere. Beyond 72 hours another pocket of 130 kts winds is to be pushing east from under New Zealand on Sun (7/10) lifting northeast some and building into Mon (7/11) with winds to 140 kts forming a defined trough in the Central South Pacific easing east into Tuesday pushing well north but loosing energy with winds dropping to 110 kts. Good support for gale development possible. But to the west a big ridge is to be taking over pushing south to Antarctica. As the trough moves east it's to surge again on Thurs with south winds feeding it at 130 kts again offering support for gale development. Something to monitor.
On Thursday (7/7) two small swells were in the water tracking north (see New Zealand Gale and Southeast Pacific Gale below).
A gale started tracking under New Zealand on Wed AM (7/6) producing an elongated fetch of 40-45 kts winds aimed east starting to get traction on the oceans surface. By evening 40 kts west winds were pushing east getting traction on the oceans surface with seas building to 32 ft at 57.5S 165E (199 degs HI, 214 degs NCal and unshadowed, 214 degs SCal and shadowed). 40 kt southwest winds continued moving east on Thurs AM (7/7) with 32 ft seas at 58S 174E (210 degs Ncal and almost shadowed, 211 degs SCal and shadowed, 193 degs HI). Fetch to fade from 35+ kts in the evening while tracking east from there with seas fading from 30 ft at 58S 177W (207 degs NCal and shadowed, 208 degs Scal and just becoming unshadowed, 190 degs HI). The gale to fade out thereafter. Something to monitor.
New Zealand Gale
A cutoff low developed southeast of New Zealand on Fri AM (7/1) generating 40 kt south-southwest winds at 45S 174W aimed north and seas starting to build. By evening winds build from the south-southwest at 50 kts and seas building to 31 ft over a small area at 45S 172W and up to 37 ft at 42S 169.5W at 06Z (unshadowed in NCal, barely unshadowed in SCal). Fetch was fading from 40 kts Sat AM (7/2) aimed northeast with seas fading from 35 ft at 40.5S 168W. This system was very short lived and small in coverage but was still capable of producing decent swell for Tahiti with small swell for Hawaii.
Hawaii: Expect swell arrival late on Thurs (7/7) pushing 1.6 ft @ 17-18 secs at sunset (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell peaking on Fri (7/8) at 2.3 ft @ 16 secs (3.5 ft with sets to 4.6 ft). Swell fading on Sat (7/9) from 2.3 ft @ 14 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Residuals on Sun (7/10) at 2.0 ft @ 12-13 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 193 degrees
South CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (7/10) building to 1.6 ft @ 17 secs (2.7 ft with sets to 3.4 ft). Swell continuing on Mon (7/11) at 1.6 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.5 ft) . Swell fading Tues (7/12) from 1.9 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 216 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (7/10) building to 1.8 ft @ 17 secs (3.1 ft with sets to 3.8 ft). On Mon (7/11) swell holding at 1.6 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). On Tues (7/12) swell fading from 1.7 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 213-214 degrees
Southeast Pacific Gale
On Sat AM (7/2) a small cutoff gale developed in the far Southeast Pacific generating 40 kt southeast winds and seas on the increase. By the evening fetch built to 55 kts from the south -southeast aimed well at California with seas to 32 ft at 51.5S 124 (182 degs NCal, 184 degs SCal), peaking at 06Z at 35 ft over a tiny area at 51.5S 125W. Fetch was fading from 45-50 kts from the south Sun AM (7/3) with seas fading from 29 ft at 51.5S 127W (182 degs NCal, 185 degs SCal). This system was gone after that.
South CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun PM after sunset (7/10) with period 17 secs and size tiny. Swell 1 ft @ 15-16 secs (1.5 ft) on Mon (7/11). Swell Direction: 184 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon AM (7/11) with swell 1 ft @ 17-18 secs and size tiny (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell continuing on Tues (7/12) at 1 ft @ 16 secs (1.5 ft). Swell Direction: 182 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 the local California pressure gradient is to awaken once low pressure moves inland from Oregon on Mon (7/11). Northwest winds to build to 20-25 kts for North and Central CA then weakening some on Tues (7/12) limited to 20 kts then refocusing over North CA on Wed (7/13) at 20+ kts building to 25 kts on Thurs (7/14) with 20 kt north winds pushing south to Pt Conception. Windswell size to be commensurate to the strength and coverage of these winds focused best on Central CA.
For Hawaii trades are to remain below the 15 kt threshold from Mon-Thurs (7/14). No real windswell expected. But the tropics are to be active (see Tropical Update above).
Beyond 72 hours a small gale is forecast developing in the Central South Pacific on Mon PM (7/11) with winds from the southwest at 40 kts over a small area. By Tues AM (7/9) winds to reach 50+ kts pushing well northeast reaching storm status with seas 36 ft at 49S 144.5W. In the evening winds to fade from 45 kts lifting well north with seas 35 ft up at 45S 133W, but with a new fetch of 55 kt south winds building below it generating 38 ft seas over a tiny area at 603S 133W. Winds to fade from 40-45 kts Wed AM (7/13) with seas 40 ft at 55S 130W. Fetch to fade in the evening at 35 kts but over a huge area aimed north-northeast with seas 33 ft at 49S 128W. More fetch possible beyond too. Certainly something to monitor.
More details to follow...
La Nina Starting to Pulse Again
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: The 2014-2016 El Nino is fading out. La Nina is emerging.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Wed (7/6) east winds were over the equatorial Pacific east of 160W but light east west of there and calm in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA). Anomalies were neutral over the most of the equatorial Pacific but light westerly in the KWGA reaching east to 155W.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): Neutral to very light west anomalies were over the KWGA on 7/7. A neutral to weak westerly anomaly pattern is to continue over the KWGA through 7/14 suggestive of a weak Active MJO pattern.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 7/6 a neutral MJO signal was over the Pacific. The Statistic model projects no change with neutral anomalies in.cgiay the next 2 weeks. The dynamic model depicts much the same pattern.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (7/7) The ECMF model indicates a dead MJO signal. The forecast projects no change for the coming 2 week window. The GEFS model depicts a variation on the same theme.
40 day Upper Level Model: (7/7) A weak Active Phase was over the KWGA moving east and expected to reach the East Pacific on 7/22. A new weak Inactive Phase of the MJO is to push into the West Pacific 7/17 moving east from there through 8/16.
CFS Model beyond 1 week (850 mb wind): This model depicts a weak Active MJO signal was over the KWGA moving east with weak west anomalies in.cgiay and offering minimal support for enhancing the jetstream. It projects this Active Phase moving east and fading through 7/25. An Inactive MJO pattern to follow with moderate east anomalies taking root 7/26-8/22. An Active MJO signal to follow 8/25 to 10/5 with west anomalies over the far West Pacific (in the KWGA) to 170E and stationary with east anomalies from 170W and point east to Central America. The low pass filter suggests the remnants of El Nino are shifting east and are now south of Hawaii (rather than in the KWGA) and offering nothing to enhance the jetstream and are to dissipate (gone) south of California by 9/6. At the same time low pass anomalies are over the Indian Ocean and forecast to build into Oct, typical of La Nina.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (7/7) Actual temperatures are building in the west near the surface and fading in the east daily. A pocket of 30 deg temps were building in the far West Pacific with the 28 deg isotherm line stable now at 165W. No El Nino subsurface anomalies remain. Warm anomalies at +1 degs rule from the West Pacific to 160W with weak negative anomalies between there and 125W. Neutral to +1 deg anomalies are east of there over a shallow pool near the surface. Cool subsurface waters are at depth erupting between 130W-160W with -3 degs anomalies reaching east down 100 meters to 140W (steady). The Kelvin Wave pipeline has been r.cgiaced with a cold river rushing east. But it appears to be not reaching Ecuador, but rather is westward di.cgiaced. Per the hi-res GODAS animation posted 7/2 a weak pocket of +0.5-1.0 deg anomalies is building from 130E to 160E. Cool waters 3-4 degs below normal were under the entire width of the equator, undercutting any residual warm water above it and forming a bubble near 150W and upwelling from 120-150W but also reaching east to Ecuador. La Nina is in control of the ocean.
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: (7/6) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicates cooler than normal water continues over the entire equator Pacific with negative anomalies along the coast of Peru pushing north building while extending west from Ecuador over the Galapagos, tracking solidly west out to at least 160W with with peak temps down to -1.75 degs (near the Galapagos and south of Hawaii). The cool pattern over the Central equatorial Pacific seems to have stabilized. La Nina is firmly in control of surface waters, with remnant El Nino warm water 3 degs north and south of the equator but Cool water now reaching up to 10N in pockets quickly edging out the warmer water. No warm water remains anywhere in the Nino regions on the equator.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (7/6): A neutral trend has developed weakly along Chile and Peru. But a strong cooling trend has redeveloped from the Galapagos out to 140W. A mirror image cooler trend has developed in the Atlantic though weaker extending from the coast out to almost Brazil. The PDO warm pool is holding solidly if not building from Oregon out to a point north of Hawaii and west from there to Japan.
Hi-res Overview: (7/5) The El Nino signal is dissipating. A clear La Nina cool water pool is tracking from Ecuador and building some recently south of Hawaii. A generalized pattern of +1-2 deg above normal temps remains 3 degs north and south of the equator and west of 180W. Cooler water is over the north dateline region in the North Pacific with warm water off the Pacific Northwest streaming over Hawaii looking very much like the classic Active PDO pattern.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (7/7) Today's temps were steady at +0.124 degs.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (7/7) temps were steady at +0.090 degs.
Comparing Stongest El Ninos in the last 50 year - ERSSTv4 'centered' data
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (7/7) indicates temps on a steady downward trajectory falling to -0.1 degs early July and continuing down till mid-Sept at -0.65 degs and holding through Dec, then slowly rising in Jan 2017 and neutral by March. This is moderate La Nina territory but it's up from the -1.5 and -1.25 degs indicated even a few weeks ago.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-June Plume depicts temps falling steadily from here forward, down to -0.7 by Sept then holding there to March. See chart here - link.
Atmospheric Deco.cgiing (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (7/60): The daily index was weakly positive at +1.90. The 30 day average was steady at +3.65. It transitioned from negative to positive for the first time in 2 years on 5/27. The 90 day average was rising from -3.39. El Nino was evident only in the 90 day average, and even that will soon be a distant memory.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation): (7/7) Today's value was steady at -0.94. It peaked on 3/12 at +1.57 then fell until 4/14, when it started rising again peaking 4/23 at +1.12. But it has been falling steadily ever since.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO continues, though a little weaker in June (as expected with La NIna setting in). Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-June) have been +0.79, +1.23, +1.55, +1.60, +1.45 and +0.78. The Washington EDU index for the Jan-May period indicates +1.54, +1.75, +2.40, +2.62 and +2.35. April's value was the highest since 1941. The PDO turned from a 6 year negative run (2008-2013) in early 2014 and has been mostly above +1.5 all of 2015. Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data suggests that could be a real possibility. We've been in the negative phase since 1998 through at least 2013 (15 years). By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.
See imagery in the ENSO Powertool
External Reference Material: El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), Kelvin Wave
Add a STORMSURF Buoy Forecast to your Google Homepage. Click Here:
Then open your Google homepage, hit 'edit' button (top right near graph), and select your location
Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for the week starting Monday (7/4): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pINxz8VsQwQ&feature=youtu.be&hd=1
For automatic notification of forecast updates, subscribe to the Stormsurf001 YouTube channel - just click the 'Subscribe' button below the video.
Titans of Mavericks on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luQSYf5sKjQ
- - -
||Casa Noble Tequila If you are looking for an exquisite experience in fine tequila tasting, one we highly recommend, try Case Noble. Consistently rated the best tequila when compared to any other. Available at BevMo (in California). Read more here: http://www.casanoble.com/
Mavericks Invitational Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:
Time Zone Converter By popular demand we've built and easy to use time convert that transposes GMT time to whatever time zone you are located. It's ion left hand column on every page on the site near the link to the swell calculator.
Read all the latest news and happenings on our News Page here
Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table