Thursday, July 9, 2020
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 2.5 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 1.1 ft @ 14.7 secs from 196 degrees.
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.2 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 3.0 ft @ 7.5 secs from 41 degrees. Water temp 79.5 degs.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were NA ft @ NA secs with swell NA ft @ NA secs from NA degrees. Wind at the buoy was east at 2-4 kts. Water temperature 69.4 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 4.9 ft @ 7.9 secs from 310 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.2 ft @ 13.5 secs from 202 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.5 ft @ 13.4 secs from 192 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 2.0 ft @ 13.5 secs from 193 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 9.6 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 7.4 ft @ 7.9 secs from 328 degrees with southern hemi swell 1.5 ft @ 13.8 secs from 192 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 16-21 kts. Water temp 48.4 degs (013), 57.6 degs (SF Bar) and 54.9 degs (042).
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 Thursday (7/9) in North and Central CA locally generated north windswell was producing waves at waist to chest high and warbled and crumbled with light northwest winds early. Protected breaks were waist high or so with clean surface conditions and weak. At Santa Cruz no real swell was hitting with waves occasionally thigh high and clean and weak. In Southern California/Ventura waves were thigh high and weak but clean. Central Orange County had waves at chest to shoulder high and lined up pushing from the south and clean on the sets providing for still rideable surf. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had rare set waves at shoulder high and clean and soft. North San Diego had waves at waist high and clean and with decent form but mostly weak. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was getting some rare southern hemi waves at thigh to maybe waist high on the peak during sets and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell with waves waist high or so and modestly chopped conditions early.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Thursday (7/9) minimal residual energy from Swell #3S was fading in only Southern California generated by a gale that formed in the upper reaches of the Southeast Pacific on Fri-Sat (6/27) producing up to 47 ft seas aimed north. Beyond a small gale is forecast developing under New Zealand on Fri-Sat (7/11) producing up to 39 ft seas aimed east. Nothing else is to follow. The doldrums of summer have arrived.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Thursday (7/9) no swell of interest was in the water.
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Tropical Storm Cristina on Thurs AM (7/9) was positioned 300 nmiles south of Cabo San Lucas tracking west-northwest at 10 kts with winds 55 kts. Christina is forecast to continue on this track while building into the evening peaking at 65 kts (minimal hurricane status) and moving into the SCal swell window (159 degrees) but not aimed well up into it. Cristina is to continue on a west northwest track thereafter and fading falling below hurricane strength on Fri evening (7/10) and then turning due west. Low odds of meaningful swell resulting.
Otherwise no tropical systems of interest are being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday (7/9) northwest winds to be 20-25 kts early for North CA and 10-15 kts for Central CA with the fetch falling south reaching down to Santa Cruz in the afternoon at 20 kts and 10-15 kts south of there. Fri (7/10) northwest winds to be 20 kts for North CA and 10-15 kts for Central CA early building to 15-20 kts later for Central CA. Sat (7/11) northwest winds are forecast at 15-20 kts early for North and 10-15 kts for Central CA early building there to 15-20 kts later. On Sun (7/12) north winds are forecast at 25 kts for North CA and 15-20 kts for Central CA early building to near 20 kts for Central CA later. Mon (7/13) northwest winds are to be 25+ kts for North CA early and 15-20 kts for Central CA building to 30 kts for North CA and fading for Central CA to 10-15 kts later. Tues (7/14) north winds are forecast at 30 kts for North CA early and 5 kts for Central CA fading up north to 25 kts later and holding at 5-10 kts for Central CA. Wed (7/15) north winds to be 30 kts for Cape Mendocino early with an eddy flow (south winds) for the rest of the state south of Pt Arena. north winds fading to 25 kts for North CA later. Thurs (7/16) north winds to be 25-30 kts for North CA early with a steady eddy flow for the area south of Pt Arena. Non-stop windswell is expected for exposed breaks in North and Central CA for the foreseeable future.
Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 0, 0, 0 and 0 inches respectively. Freezing level 14,000 ft or higher for the week.
Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!
On Thursday (7/9) the jetstream was well split over the width of the South Pacific with the southern branch still exceedingly weak with winds 80 kts or less with no troughs indicated offering no support for gale development. But a pocket of wind energy at 100 kts was developing south of Tasmania lifting northeast perhaps offering some hope. Over the next 72 hours that wind pocket is to slowly build and push east with 100 kt winds lifting northeast under New Zealand on Fri (7/10) building to 110 kts on Sat forming a trough and offering some support for gale development before weakening on Sun (7/12). During that window a large ridge is to be pushing hard south into Antarctica over the Southeast Pacific offering no support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours starting Mon (7/13) a ridge is to start building under New Zealand with 100 kt winds pushing southeast and over Antarctic Ice and that ridge sweeping east into Tues (7/14) offering no support for gale development. At least the ridge over the Southeast Pacific is to start dissipating. By Wed (7/15) the jet under New Zealand is to start lifting northeast at 120 kts and forming a trough southeast of New Zealand in the evening then fading through the day Thurs (7/16) with winds down to 90-100 kts but lifting due north still forming a weak trough offering some weak support for gale development.
On Thursday (7/9) no swell of interest was hitting California or Hawaii. And no swell was in the water traveling towards those destinations. The storm track evaporated.
Over the next 72 hours starting Thurs PM (7/9) a small gale is forecast developing south of the Tasman Sea producing 35 kt west winds starting to get traction on the oceans surface. On Fri AM (7/10) the gael is to be south of New Zealand producing southwest winds at 45-50 kts over a small area tracking east with seas 33 ft at 58.5S 160E aimed east-northeast. Fetch is to hold in the evening still aimed northeast at 45-50 kts with seas 38 ft over a tiny area at 57S 175.5E aimed east-northeast. On Sat AM (7/11) fetch is to be fading from 35-40 kts with seas 37 ft at 60S 172.5W falling southeast. Fetch is to be gone in the evening with seas fading from 28 ft at 51S 171.5W aimed northeast. This system is to be gone after that. Low odds of meaningful swell resulting.
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 swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
La Nina Development Stalled
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: A double dip La Nina was in control through the Winter of 2017-2018. But warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018 associated with two upwelling Kelvin Waves, and continued trying to build over equatorial waters over the Summer and Fall, but not enough to declare El Nino and not coupled with the atmosphere. In January 2019, those warm waters were fading, but then rebuilt late in Feb associated with Kelvin Wave (#3). But as of early June 2019 warm water was fading and by August a tongue of cool water was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos reaching to a point nearly south of Hawaii. El Nino was dead. A bit of a recovery occurred during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water held in a pool off Peru and had not changed until March 2020. By April the cool pool had collapsed with warm water starting to build on the equator.
LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Fall/Winter 2019/2020 = 5.0/4.0 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)
Rationale: It is assumed the PDO has moved to the warm phase in 2014 and that a weak borderline El Nino from 2018 faded out in the Fall of 2019. A La Nina like ocean temperature pattern developed in the equatorial East Pacific in the summer of 2019, then faded and returned to a neutral if not weak warm status during the Winter of 2019-2020. We have been suspecting a turn towards a La Nina like atmospheric pattern to develop in the late Winter/early Spring of 2020. Our best hope is that moderation from the warm phase of the PDO might tamp down development of a full blown La Nina as we move into 2020. Given all that, for 2020 there is decent probability for development of La Nina meaning a reduced number of storm days and storm intensity during the summer season, resulting in a below normal level of swell, with swell being below normal duration and period. And by the Fall and early Winter of 2020, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should fade even more, resulting in depressed swell production. This pattern is expected to hold through the end of 2020 if not longer.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (7/8) 5 day average winds were solid from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific then continuing solid easterly over the Dateline and the whole of the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial holding over the Central Pacific then moderate easterly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (7/9) strong east anomalies were filling the KWGA. The forecast calls for east anomalies holding strong through 7/12, then fading some but still moderate plus strength through the end of the model run on 7/16, but with easterly anomalies building over the East Pacific and filling the whole of the Pacific by 7/14.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
- Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (7/8) A moderate plus strength Inactive MJO pattern was filling the KWGA today. The statistic model indicates this pattern is to fade some on 5 then rapidly weakening on day 10, and gone and neutral over the KWGA on day 15 possibly turning weakly active. The dynamic model is corrupt and no useable.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (7/9) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was modest over North Africa today and is to slowly ease east and weaken and all but gone over the Maritime Continent at day 15. The GEFS model suggests the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (7/8) This model depicts a moderate strong Inactive Phase over the West Pacific today and tracking east pushing into Central America on 7/28. A modest Active MJO is forecast developing over the far West Pacific 7/23 pushing east and moving into Central America on 8/17 at the end of the model run.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (7/8) This model depicts no coherent MJO signal over the KWGA today but with east anomalies filling the KWGA at moderate strength. The forecast indicates a continuation of no MJO signal but with modest to moderate east anomalies in control over the KWGA and building in coverage filling the entirety of the Pacific by 7/14 at moderate strength. East anomalies are to hold filling the KWGA and the entire Pacific onward through the end of the model run on 8/5 with the focus of those easterly anomalies in the KWGA.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (7/9 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a weak Inactive MJO tracking over the KWGA today with modest east anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast depicts the Inactive MJO is to hold while very slowly easing east through 8/4 with modest east anomalies building in coverage starting 7/14 and filling the entirety of the equatorial Pacific Ocean and holding. An Active MJO is forecast moving over the KWGA 7/28 and then filling it by 8/15 and holding through 9/9 producing westerly anomalies but those anomalies are to never reach east of 165E, filling only half of the KWGA and only of modest strength. Moderate to strong east anomalies are to prevail from 170E and points east of there to Ecuador through the end of the model run. A weak Inactive Phase is to follow 9/3 through the end of the model run on 10/6 with east anomalies in control. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias was in control over the dateline today and is to build steadily in coverage through the end of the model run with a second contour setting up on 8/10. A single contour low pressure bias is to appear over the Indian Ocean starting 8/8 building in coverage through the end of the model run. East anomalies that have been previously solid in the Indian Ocean are migrating east today into the Pacific are to set up on the dateline and points east of there by 7/14 and continuing if not building there for the foreseeable future fueled by the building high pressure bias contour. Based on this model it appears a clear transition to La Nina is starting today and is to become entrenched by mid-July.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (7/9) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm was gone (previously at 163E). The 29 deg isotherm was steady at 171W. The 28 deg isotherm line was stable at 159W today. The 24 deg isotherm was steady at 110W. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies 0-1 deg C were previously isolated to the West Pacific were today pushing east to 110W where only a few days before they reached only to 140W. Cool anomalies continued were upwelling to the surface from a rapidly collapsing subsurface pocket of cool water -2 degs off Ecuador but with a second pocket now building at 160W. It appears a conveyor belt of cool water was building subsurface at 175m deep over the entirety of the equatorial Pacific. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 7/2 indicates the cool water bubble at depth was erupting in the east to the surface between 140W to 85W at -4 degs C with warm water moving east to 140W. But another cool pocket of water was building in the subsurface West Pacific. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (7/2) Negative anomalies at -5 to -10 cms had collapsed over the equatorial Pacific between Ecuador reaching east only 125W (previously 140W). Neutral anomalies were west of there to 160E. Negative anomalies were along and down the coast of Peru and up the coast of Central America to mainland Mexico. Positive anomalies at +5 cms were effectively gone over the entirety of the equatorial Pacific and along Peru and Central America.
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: (7/8) The latest images indicate cold water was holding over the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos and to nearly the dateline, looking like the start of a La Nina pattern but weaker than days past. Warm anomalies were gone off the coast of Chile up into Peru turning decidedly cooler and appearing to be feeding the cool stream. Warm water was off Central America reaching west to the dateline but only north of the equator, remnants of a fading El Nino like pattern. Overall the cool pool on the equator was unmistakable but not building but holding steady in coverage and intensity.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (7/8): Pockets of cooler water are again redeveloping off Ecuador pushing west on the equator out over the Galapagos out to 135W but not super pronounced. The short term trend is looking like a fading La Nina pattern that was previously building. But we suspect that is short lived with a return to a development of La Nina as easterly anomalies again take over.
Hi-res Overview: (7/8) A stream of cool water is entrenched along the coast of Peru lifting northwest to the equator from Ecuador west to the dateline and holding in coverage. Warmer than normal temps were stable north of the equator with cooler than normal water building on and south of the equator. Overall the data suggests a stable La Nina like pattern.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (7/9) Today's temps were steady, down at -1.508 after previously down at -1.511 on 6/16 and have been fading steadily since March 26. Overall the trend is fading from a warmer range near +0.6 degs between 2/25-3/26.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (7/9) Temps were rising at +0.090 today and have been rising the last past 3 weeks after bottoming out at -0.595 on 5/27. Overall the trend is steady if not warming after previous being on a downward trajectory April and May. Temps were in the +0.3 degree range in Feb., and up to the +0.5-+0.6 degree range 3/12-4/8.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (7/9) Actual temperatures were in the +0.65 deg range 1/1/2020 through 4/1/2020 then started falling hard down to -0.20 in late-May and held through late June. The forecast depicts temps restarting a precipitous fall, down to -0.75 in late July, then beginning a more gradual downward trajectory reaching down to -1.00 in early Sept dropping to -1.20 in early Dec, then starting to rebound at -0.6 in March 2021. According to this model sea surface temps should be falling strongly moving towards La Nina as Summer develops. All objective evidence indicates this is in-fact occurring.
IRI Consensus Plume: The June 19, 2020 Plume depicts temps are at -0.35 degs, and are to hold in that range into November then rising some to -0.1 by Feb 2021. The low outliers are the dynamic models (NCEP CFS, NASA GMAO and the COLA CCSM4) all suggesting solid La Nina. See chart here - link.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad) (7/9): The daily index was positive today at 12.37. The 30 day average was rising to -3.58. The 90 day average was rising to -1.42, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was in control.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): April 2020 -0.62, March -0.11, Feb +0.69, Jan +0.42, Dec 2019 +0.46, Nov +1.03, Oct +0.27 Sept +1.11, August +0.60, July +0.75, June -0.32, May +1.10, April +0.30, March +1.0, Feb +1.29, Jan +0.193. This index has been steadily positive but still indicates mostly ENSO neutral conditions (not El Nino).
Pacific Decadal Oscillation
Per NOAAs index recent values: Jan 2018 +0.29, Feb -0.19, Mar -0.61, April -0.89, May -0.69, June -0.85, July -0.09, Aug -0.43, Sept -0.46, Oct -0.75, Nov -0.78, Dec -0.12, Jan 2019 -0.18, Feb -0.50 Mar -0.23, April +0.10, May +0.14, June -0.11, July +0.44, Aug -0.14, Sept +0.05, Oct -0.96, Nov -0.28, Dec +0.01, Jan 2020 -1.17, This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2018 +0.70. Feb +0.37, Mar -0.05, April +0.11, May +0.11, June -0.04, July +0.11, Aug +0.18, Sept +0.09. No real 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