Tuesday, August 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 3.4 ft @ 7.1 secs with windswell 1.3 ft @ 13.8 secs from 171 degrees. Wind at the buoy was west at 10-12 kts. Water temperature 71.6 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 2.6 ft @ 6.1 secs from 264 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.4 ft @ 15.7 secs from 1982 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.8 ft @ 17.3 secs from 215 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.2 ft @ 15.1 secs from 177 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 4.8 ft @ 14.7 secs with southern hemi swell 2.5 ft @ 14.3 secs from 167 degrees. Wind at the buoy was west at 4-8 kts. Water temp 56.1 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 Tuesday (8/1) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing surf at thigh to waist high and clean with no wind nearshore with fog just off the coast. Protected breaks were knee to maybe thigh high and clean early and fogged in. At Santa Cruz there was no rideable waves with clean conditions. In Southern California up north waves were thigh high and nearly chopped with northwest winds blowing early. In North Orange Co southern hemi swell was producing sets at head high to 2 ft overhead and lined up and clean with a good number of waves in a set when they arrive. In South Orange Co the same swell was producing waves in the head high range with sets to 1 ft overhead and clean. In San Diego surf was waist to maybe chest high and clean. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore had sets to waist high and clean. The East Shore was thigh to almost waist high and chopped from modest east trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Tuesday (8/1) local north windswell was small and weak along North and Central California and is expected to fade away through the week and into the weekend. No real windswell is hitting Hawaii but maybe some small incarnation of it is forecast for the weekend. South angled southern hemi swell was hitting Southern CA down into Mexico generated by the second of 2 gales previously in the far Southeast Pacific with remnant energy from the first one slowly fading out. The forecast suggests no swell from tropical sources is to be expected. But a gale is forecast in the deep Southeast Pacific on Wed (8/2) with 34 ft seas aimed northeast. Long tern a stronger system is forecast lifting north on the edge of the Southern CA swell window Sun-Mon (8/7) with seas to 38 ft. Something to monitor.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Tuesday (8/1) a weak pressure pattern was in control off the California coast with high pressure at 1028 mbs along the immediate Canada coast ridging south producing a weak pressure gradient and north winds at 20-25 kts along the South Oregon to near Cape Mendocino producing limited weak north windswell down the North and Central CA coast. Relative to Hawaii a weak pressure and wind pattern was in control with no windswell producing fetch indicated.
Over the next 72 hours relative to the mainland whatever north fetch is present over extreme North CA is to be gone by Wed evening (8/2) and windswell is to be fade out with it and is not forecast to return.
For Hawaii easterly trade winds are to remain below the 15 kt threshold for generating easterly windswell with no windswell expected for east facing shores of the Hawaiian Islands through Thurs (8/3). but Friday (8/4) a local fetch of 15 kt east winds is to start developing extending 300 nmiles east of the Islands driven by a 1028 mbs high over the dateline ridging east. Slightly improved odds for east windswell developing then.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
On Tuesday (8/1):
Remnants of what was Irwin and Hilary were fading between Hawaii and California (closer to California) tracking northwest and no longer producing swell of interest.
Hurricane Noru is positioned 600 nmiles south of Tokyo Japan with winds 60 kts tracking northeast at 7 kts producing 37 ft seas. Noru is forecast to continue on it;s northwesterly track through Sun (8/6) and moving up to if not over the south most extent of Japan. At this time no swell production is expected relative to our forecast area, though Japan will certainly be impacted by large surf.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday (8/1) high pressure at 1028 mbs was along the coast of British Columbia ridging south generating a pressure gradient off the North CA-Oregon border and 20-25 kt north winds. Otherwise winds were light from just south of Cape Mendocino to Pt Conception. The gradient is to dissipate on Wed (8/2) with a very light pressure and wind pattern nearshore for all of California into Fri (8/4), then a light northwest flow is to develop at 5-10 kts through Sun (8/6). More of the same is forecast nearshore Monday while north winds build at 15 kts over Cape Mendocino and down the coast over outer waters holding into Tues (8/8).
On Tuesday AM (8/1) the jetstream continued in a zonal pattern with the northern branch running east on the 35S latitude line and the southern branch of the jet running east on the 65S latitude line and weak with winds mostly not exceeding 110 kts running on the northern edge of Antarctic Ice offering no support for gale development. No troughs capable of supporting gale production were indicated. Over the next 72 hours more of the same is forecast but with winds building some in the southern branch to 150 kts over the far West Pacific later Thurs (8/3) and starting to lift northeast Fri (8/4) almost forming a trough in the Central South Pacific possibly providing some support for gale development in lower levels of the atmosphere. Beyond 72 hours the trough is to continue building into Sun (8/6) while migrating into the Southeast Pacific being fed by 140 kt winds lifting northeast offering good support for gale development before getting cut off on Monday (8/7).
On Tuesday (8/1) a generally weak pressure pattern was in control of the South Pacific with no fetch capable of generating seas of interest indicated. Swell from a weather system previously in the far Southeast Pacific has generated swell that is hitting California (see 2nd Southeast Pacific Gale below). Also tiny swell is pushing northeast towards Hawaii from New Zealand (See New Zealand Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours more of the same is forecast until Tues PM (8/1) when a gale is forecast building in the far Southeast Pacific with southwest winds 45 kts and seas to 30 ft over a small area at 60S 127W. The gale is to race east and out of the Southern CA swell window Wed AM (8/2) with winds 45 kts at 58S 110W and seas 36 ft at 59S 111W. Low odds for any swell to push up into the Southern CA swell window.
Otherwise no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
2nd Southeast Pacific Gale
A new gale developed on the eastern edge of the Southern CA swell window on Sun PM (7/23) with 45 kt south winds and lifting north with seas building from 32 ft over a small area at 57.5S 119W. On Mon AM (7/24) fetch fading from 40 kts still lifting north and on the edge of the SCal swell window with 30 ft seas at 53S 114W tracking north. Additional 35-40 kt south fetch built in the same area in the evening with 32 ft seas at 51S 115W pushing due north. On Tues AM fetch was still 40 kts from the south but well east of the SCal swell window with 31 ft seas at 45.5S 11W pushing due north. This system is to be gone by evening.
Southern CA: Swell continues on Tues (8/1) at 3.2 ft @ 17-18 secs early (5.5 ft with sets to 7.0 ft). On Wed (8/2) swell holding at 2.8 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell continues Thurs (8/3) at 2.8 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell fading on Fri (8/4) from 2.6 ft @ 14 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Dribbles on Sat (8/5) fading from 2.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.5 ft). Swell fading Sun (8/6) from 2.5 ft @ 13 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 175 degrees
North CA: Swell continues on Tues (8/1) at 2.3 ft @ 18 secs early (4.0 ft with sets to 5.0 ft) at exposed breaks. Swell continues on Wed (8/2) at 2.5 ft @ 16-17 secs (4.0 ft). Swell continues Thurs (8/3) at 2.6 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.0 ft). Swell continues on Fri (8/4) at 3.0 ft @ 14-5 secs (4.0 ft). Swell fading Sat (8/5) from 3.0 ft @ 13-14 secs (4.0 ft). Swell fading Sun (8/6) from 2.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 170-175 degrees
New Zealand Gale
A tiny cutoff gale developed just east of New Zealand on Fri (7/28) producing 40-45 kt south winds and 20 ft seas in the evening building to 27 ft at 40.5S 176W Sat AM (7/29) aimed north then fading in the evening from 25 ft at 39N 173W. Low odds of tiny swell radiating north to Tahiti and maybe Hawaii.
Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Fri (8/4) building to 1.1 ft @ 16 secs late (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell peaks Sat (8/5) at 1.4 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0 ft). Swell fading after that. Swell Direction: 197 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 winds pattern is forecast for California until Sunday (8/6) when perhaps high pressure is to start building in the Gulf of Alaska setting up a small pressure gradient over Cape Mendocino with north winds building to 25 kts and limited local north windswell resulting later in the day pushing down into North and maybe Central CA. Light winds are to be in control from Pt Arena southward to Pt Conception.
For Hawaii trades to hold at 15 kts Sat-Sun (8/6) limited to a small area 300 nmiles east of the Islands but somewhat spotty in coverage offering low odds for short period limited east windswell at exposed breaks along east facing shores. Trades to get even less contiguous into Mon (8/7) before totally dissipating with no odds for windswell resulting along east facing shore of the Hawaiian Islands.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather system or fetch of interest is forecast. A cutoff gale is forecast forming in the mid levels of the South Pacific on Wed PM (8/2) producing 45 kt west winds aimed at Chile with seas building from 37 ft over a tiny area at 38S 142W. Thurs AM (8/3) winds to hold at 45 kts from the west with 35 ft seas falling southeast at 39S 137W but aimed east at Southern Chile and falling southeast into the evening with fetch aiming more southeast. No swell is to radiate northeast towards California.
Beyond there's some suggestion of a gale forming in the far Southeast Pacific on Sun (8/6) with winds 45 kts from the south with seas in the evening to 30 ft at 53S 115W and just east of the SCal swell window. Mon AM (8/7) 45-50 kt south fetch to lift north with 38 ft seas over a tiny area at 52S 11W pushing north. The gale to race north-northeast in the evening with 45 kt south winds and 38 ft seas at 48S 105W targeting mainly Mexico. This is worth monitoring.
More details to follow...
SSTs Stabilizing - ESPI Slowly Rising
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 Mon (7/31) east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific including the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral over the East Equatorial Pacific and mostly neutral over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (8/1) Weak east anomalies were modeled over the East KWGA and weak west anomalies were over the West KWGA. This pattern is to hold till 8/4 then east anomalies again start developing over the Western KWGA and are to hold through the end of the 7 day model run (8/8). It appears something like an Inactive Phase of the MJO/La Nina was holding. This is a downgrade from previous forecasts.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 7/31 a very weak Active/Wet MJO pattern was depicted over the far West Pacific. The statistical model depicts the Active Phase slowly fading and turning neutral 2 weeks out with a weak Inactive Phase over the Maritime Continent trying to ease east. The dynamic model depicts the same thing but with the Active Phase not fading, but reenergizing 2 weeks out. We had been thinking perhaps a real Active Pattern would set up rather than being dominated by the Inactive Phase of the MJO as has been the case the past 6 months. No such luck.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (8/1) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO weak over the West Pacific and is to collapse in the next 4 days steadily fading from there making no further eastward progress. The GEFS model depicts the same thing. This is not promising.
40 day Upper Level Model: (8/1) This model depicts a moderately strong Inactive Active/Dry Pattern over the Maritime Continent moving east while slowly fading reaching the West Pacific 8/9 and then tracking east to the East Pacific through the end of the model run, 9/10. So basically the Inactive Phase is to take over and hold for the next 40 days. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (8/1) This model depicts a very weak Active MJO signal over the west KWGA with neutral to weak west anomalies indicated there. Over the coming days weak west anomalies are to hold as the Active MJO moves over the dateline. The Active Phase is to fade 8/18 with west anomalies weakening to near neutral with a weak version of the Inactive Phase of the MJO taking over 8/25-9/13. After that the Active Phase of the MJO is to return starting 9/16 with west anomalies in control through the end of the model run on 10/29. Of note: East anomalies are in-play from the dateline and points east of there and are to hold into early-Oct. The low pass filter indicates a La Nina signal redeveloped 7/25 from the dateline eastward and is to hold for the foreseeable future. There's some sense the El Nino core is to start shifting east some in later October. 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: (8/1) 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 retrograding west and currently is at 160W. The 24 deg isotherm has pushed back east to 95W and rising to 75 meters deep at 140W (previously 100 meters). The warm water layer in the East Pacific is getting shallower suggesting a transition to La Nina. Anomaly wise a generic pattern of 0.0 to +1.0 deg anomalies stretches from the East to West Pacific from 90 meters upward and is getting shallower. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 7/27 depicts fragmented pockets of warm water from the west to the east suggesting a homogenous pattern biased warm 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: (7/27) A neutral high pattern has been in control for the past month but today negative anomalies developed between 180W to 115W in pockets suggesting cooler water at depth.
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: (7/31) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a weak warm pattern trying to develop off Peru and Ecuador tracking northwest up to the Galapagos with a pocket of stronger warming over the Galapagos and 2 more west to 120W. No clear nearshore upwelling is indicated. A broad pocket of cooling that was building centered at 25S 100W (well off Chile) is holding. Cooling previously south of mainland Mexico to the equator has faded with warm anomalies rebuilding. Overall cooling both north and south was less defined as compared to the last forecast. The La Nina that developed Spring 2016 faded and was replaced by an El Nino like pattern that tried to build March-May 2017, but that too has dissipated and is being replaced by a neutral pattern possibly trending cool (starting July 2017).
Hi-res 7 day Trend (7/31): A neutral trend was along the coast of Chile and Peru. A mixed pattern was pushing west off Ecuador and the Galapagos out to 150W with alternating pockets of warm and cool water. An early start of a legit La Nina pattern appeared to be developing, but has stalled. 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: (7/31) A weak warm regime is barely holding off Chile while a thin stream of cooler water is depicted just off Peru northwest to the Galapagos then turning west along the equator tracking west to the dateline. West of there a warmer pattern existing out to 140E. 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: (8/1) Today's temps continue rebounding, up to +0.199, still down through from a warm peak of +3.0 degs on 3/18 and +1.0 degs on 5/2 and +0.6 degs on 6/20.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (8/1) temps continue rebounding some, at +0.164, but way down from +0.5 degs where it was consistently through 7/18.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (8/1) The forecast has temps falling steadily from +0.50 degs July 1 to +0.0 in early Aug to -0.3 in Oct, holding there to Nov, then falling to -0.5 late Dec then stating to rebound to 0.0 in early March 2018 and perhaps warming to +0.3 degs in April. This suggests a neutral pattern biased cool setting up for the Winter of 2017-2018. CFS data (7/21) now suggest a legit La Nina cool pattern building on the equator off the Galapagos starting weakly in August and building steadily looking very La Nina like in Nov through Jan 2018. There is no source for El Nino like warming with the warm pool in the far West Pacific weak and fading.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-July Plume updated (7/25) depicts temps warmed to +0.5 degs in June. Temps are forecast to fade some to +0.3 degs in July, and are to hold there solid through March 2018 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 March.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (8/1): The daily index was falling at 5.70 and has been positive for 19 days now. The 30 day average was rising steadily at 7.68. The 90 day average was rising at -0.42 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): (8/1) Today's value was rising some at -1.68 (up from -2.20 on 6/28) but still strongly suggesting a turn towards La Nina. A supposed peak of this La Nina was reached on 11/2/16 at -1.94. So the index is about as negative as it was at the peak of last years (2016) 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 = +0.04, March = +0.12, April=+0.52, May=+0.31, June=+0.17. 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