Tuesday, November 7, 2017
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 6.4 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 4.6 ft @ 10.5 secs from 24 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 1.8 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 1.2 ft @ 14.0 secs from 203 degrees. Wind at the buoy was west at 2-4 kts. Water temperature 67.6 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 0.7 ft @ 14.0 secs from 206 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.2 ft @ 13.7 secs from 219 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.0 ft @ 13.5 secs from 214 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.4 ft @ 13.6 secs from 214 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.3 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 4.0 ft @ 10.0 secs from 326 degrees. Wind at the buoy was east at 8-10 kts. Water temp 55.0 degs.
Notes: 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 (11/5) in North and Central CA local windswell was producing waves in the waist high range and weak but groomed by offshores early. Protected breaks were waist high and slow and weak but clean. At Santa Cruz surf was flat with clean conditions early. In Southern California up north set waves were thigh high or so and clean and weak. In North Orange Co set waves were thigh high on the sets and clean and mostly unrideable. In San Diego surf was knee to thigh high and clean and weak. Hawaii's North Shore was getting northeast windswell at waist high to chest high and clean early. The South Shore was flat and clean. The East Shore was getting northeast windswell at shoulder to head high and clean early with no trades in effect.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Tuesday (11/7) swell was starting to be generated tracking south from a gale in the Northern Gulf of Alaska falling south-southeast Mon-Thurs (11/9) forecast to produce up to 28 ft seas aimed mainly at California. Down south a gale formed in the Central South Pacific on Wed (11/1) producing 27 ft seas aimed northeast then rebuilt Thurs (11/2) producing 34 ft seas over a small area aimed northeast towards California. A small gale is forecast just west of the dateline on Sat (11/11) producing up to 24 ft seas aimed southeast towards Hawaii. Otherwise an unseasonably calm pattern is in control both north and south driven by the Inactive Phase of the MJO and is expected to hold for the next few weeks.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Tuesday AM (11/7) the jetstream was pushing off North Japan with winds to 140 kts then instantly splitting with the northern branch weak and pushing up over the Western Aleutians up into the Bering Sea and eventually into Alaska and landlocked before falling hard south off North Canada forming a backdoor trough over the Northeastern Gulf of Alaska with winds falling into it at up to 130 kts, offering some support for gale development there. The southern branch was weak and meandering east on the 30N latitude line eventually pushing into Southern CA offering no support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours through Fri (11/10) more of the same is forecast with the jet very weak and the split point easing east slightly to a point mid-way between Japan and the dateline with the northern branch entirely encased north of the Aleutians. The backdoor trough is to fall south into Wed (11/8) positioned just off North CA still being fed by 140 kts winds but quickly weakening and then tracking into the Pacific Northwest Thurs (11/9). Support for gale development possible from this systems. Beyond 72 hours more of the same macro level pattern is forecast with a hugely split and weak jetstream flow in control through Tues (11/14). Another backdoor trough is forecast forming off Northern Canada falling south Fri-Sun (11/12) but weak with winds not exceeding 110 kts, limiting support for gale development in the trough. There is some suggestion of a more consolidated jetstream flow developing over and pushing east off Japan to the dateline on Tues (11/14). Maybe this suggests the massively split pattern that has been in control lately will heal.
On Tuesday (11/7) a weak pressure and wind pattern was in effect other than a gale support aloft by a backdoor trough offering some support for swell production (see Backdoor Gulf Gale).
Over the next 72 hours
Backdoor Gulf Gale
A small gale started developing in the extreme Northern Gulf of Alaska on Mon AM (11/6) generating a tiny area of 40 kt north winds with seas building. In the evening the gale built some more producing a broader area of 40 kt north winds while falling south with seas to 26 ft at 51N 148W (316 degs NCal). On Tues AM (11/7) north winds were 35-40 kts over a better sized area off British Columbia with 28 ft seas at 49N 148W (311 degs NCal). In the evening fetch is to continue falling south-southeast at 40 kts and a bit better organized with seas building to 28 ft at 46N 147W (306 degs NCal). The gale is to be off the CA-Oregon border Wed AM (11/8) tracking east with northwest winds 35 kts and seas 27 ft at 42N 144W (294 degs NCal). The gale is to fade from there with west winds 30 kts in the evening just off North CA and 23 ft seas at 39N 136W (288 degs NCal). Possible northwest angled swell to result for Oregon down into CA late in the workweek but likely accompanied by weather. Sideband swell is possible for Hawaii late in the workweek too. Something to monitor.
Hawaii(Oahu): For planning purposes expect swell arrival on Fri (11/10) peaking mid-morning at 5.0 ft @ 15 secs (7.5 ft) holding decently through sunset. Swell fading Sat AM (11/11) from 3.9 ft @ 12-13 secs (5.0 ft). Swell Direction: 10-15 degrees.
North CA: For planning purposes expect swell arrival on Thurs (11/9) mid-day pushing 9.0 ft @ 13 secs (12 ft) from 310 degrees and lesser period energy from 290 degrees. Swell fading Fri (11/10) from 6.7 ft @ 11-12 secs(7.5 ft). Swell Direction 287 & 310 degrees
For windswell relative to California: A weak pressure and wind pattern is forecast until the front associated with the Backdoor Gulf Gale (see above) arrives.
For windswell relative to Hawaii: Northeast windswell from previous fetch northeast of the ISlands is to be fading on Tues (11/7). No windswell producing fetch is forecast again until later Fri (11/10) when trades build to 15 kts east of and over the Islands making for small short period east windswell at exposed east facing breaks.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday (11/7) a light pressure and wind pattern was in effect for all of California waters. Light winds are to hold into Tues evening (11/7) but south winds are to start building to 20 kts at Cape mendocino in the evening associated with a front pushing south from the Gulf of Alaska. Wednesday the front is to push inland into North CA with south winds 40 kts mid-morning down to Pt Arena and 20 kts to the SF Bay Area early evening. Rain pushing south to the Golden Gate sunset Wednesday The front to dissolve near Monterey Bay Thurs AM (11/8) with south winds fading from 15 kts there and rain dissolving near Big Sur mid-day. Otherwise southwest winds 10 kts for the area from Monterey Bay northward. Light snow in the morning for higher elevations of Tahoe. A light wind pattern is to again set up Fri AM (11/10) holding through Saturday other than north winds 15 kts for Pt Conception, then south winds again start building to 20 kts for Pt Arena northward mid-day Sun (11/12) as another low and associated front builds just off the coast. Rain building southward over North CA through the evening reaching San Francisco Monday AM (11/13). Southwest winds continue at 15 kts for North CA down to the Golden Gate. Light rain pushes south Monday to Morro Bay in the afternoon. Light snow for the higher elevations of Tahoe start mid-morning Monday continuing through early evening. Tuesday (11/14) high pressure returns with north winds 10 kts for North CA and up to 20 kts for Pt Conception building north to Pt Reyes late afternoon. Light rain for Cape Mendocino continues Tuesday but dry south of there.
On Tuesday (11/7) small swell from a gale that tracked through the South Central Pacific was radiating north (see South Central Pacific Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.
South Central Pacific Gale
A gale developed in the deep Central South Pacific on Tues PM (10/31) producing a small area of 40 kt southwest winds with seas starting to build. On Wed AM (11/1) south winds built in coverage at 35-40 kts aimed north with seas to 26 ft at 48S 150W over a small area. Fetch is to track east in the evening at 35 kts with 26 ft seas moving to 46S 143W. On Thurs AM (11/2) fetch was rebuilding with south winds near 50 kts and seas 27 ft over a building area at 48S 135W targeting California well. Fetch is to be falling southeast and having less coverage in the evening at barely 45 kts with seas 33 ft over a tiny area retreating from 50S 130W. On Fri AM (11/3) secondary fetch of 30-35 kts is to be feeding into the gales core from the southwest and seas building to 24 ft at 47S 130W aimed northeast well. In the evening that fetch is to build to 45 kts well to the north over a tiny area with seas 30 ft over a small area at 40N 130W aimed northeast. On Sat AM (11/4) a tiny area of 45-50 kt west winds are to hold while tracking east with seas building to 31 ft over a small area at 42S 118W and starting to move out of the CA swell window targeting mainly Chile and Peru. Beyond this system is to be tracking east and out of the CA swell window targeting mainly Chile. Something to monitor.
Southern CA: Small swell is to be building starting Thurs (11/9) to 2.6 ft @ 16-17 secs late (4.0-4.5). Swell to continue Fri (11/10) at 3.0 ft @ 15 secs (4.5 ft). Swell continues on Sat (11/11) at 3.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.5 ft). Swell fading Sun (11/12) from 2.5 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5 ft). Swell fading Mon (11/13) from 2.0 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 200 degrees
North CA: Swell is to be building starting Fri (11/10) pushing 2.2 ft @ 18 secs later (4.0 ft). Swell to continue Sat (11/11) at 3.1 ft @ 16-17 secs (5.0 ft). Swell fading Sun (11/12) from 3.0 ft @ 15 secs (4.5 ft). swell fading Mon (11/13) from 2.5 ft @ 14 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 190 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 another backdoor low is forecast developing in the extreme North Gulf of Alaska on Fri AM (11/10) producing a fetch of northwest winds at 30-35 kts and falling southeast some into the evening with seas building to 18 ft at 53N 150W. Northwest fetch is to fade from 25 kts Sat AM (11/11) with seas 16 ft and fading from there, gone by Sun AM (11/12). Maybe some windswell to result for southern Oregon down into Central CA. Something to monitor.
And yet another backdoor gale is forecast in the Northeastern Gulf on Mon PM (11/13) producing a broader area of 30 kt northwest winds with seas building. On Tues AM (11/14) 30 kt northwest winds to hold over the Pacific Northwest with 19 ft seas holding at 50N 140W. Something to monitor.
Also on Fri PM (11/10) a gale is forecast developing in the West Pacific generating 35 kt northwest winds aimed decently at Hawaii with 18 ft seas building at 37N 165E. On Sat AM (11/11) a small area of 35-40 kt northwest winds are to build aimed well west with 23 ft seas over a small area at 36N 165E. In the evening 35-40 kt northwest winds to fall southeast with 25 ft seas moving east to 33.5N 170E still targeting Hawaii. Fetch is to dissipate Sun AM (11/12) with 20 ft seas fading at 33N 177E. Small swell is possible moving towards Hawaii.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.
More details to follow...
Inactive MJO and La Nina Developing - Cool Pool Well Developed
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 but then in July east anomalies started building in the KWGA and have not stopped, with cold water upwelling over the the Nino1.2 and 3.4 areas, indicative of La Nina. So it appears now a double dip La Nina is setting up and is to continue through the Winter and Spring of 2017-2018.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Mon (11/6) the 5 day average indicated east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific but for one barb of west winds over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were light over the East Pacific but moderate easterly from 160W extending over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (11/7) Moderate east anomalies were modeled over the entire KWGA and are forecast to build to the strong category on 11/8 holding through 11/13 then moderating some but still solid through the end of the model run on 11/14. The first Active Phase of the MJO in months is gone and the Inactive Phase is returning with a vengeance.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 11/6 a weak Inactive/Dry MJO pattern was over the West Pacific. The statistical model depicts the Inactive Phase fading 5 days out with a neutral pattern taking hold on day 8 and then a weak Active Phase trying to develop in the far West Pacific at the end of the model run 15 days out. The dynamic model depicts the same thing but with the Active Phase building 8 days out and stronger but still nothing more than modest in the far West Pacific hold hold 15 days out.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (11/7) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO very weak and fading over the Central Indian Ocean and forecast to build some in the for West Pacific 15 days out. The GEFS model suggests a variant of the same thing but with the Active Phase a little stronger pushing east through the Indian Ocean and into the West Pacific 2 weeks out.
40 day Upper Level Model: (11/7) This model depicts a modest Inactive/Dry pattern over the Central and East Pacific and it's to track east into Central America 11/17. After that a weak Active/Wet Phase is to follow in the West on 11/17 pushing east to Central America through 12/8. A weak Inactive/Dry pattern is to follow moving into the West Pacific 12/5 and pushing east from there. This model runs about 1 week ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (11/7) This model depicts a modest Active Phase of the MJO exiting over the East KWGA and the Inactive Phase building over the West KWGA with east anomalies in control of the core of the KWGA. The Inactive Phase is to build east and hold through 11/15 with east anomalies fading and gone by 11/12 with mostly neutral anomalies taking root after that. Another pulse of the Inactive Phase is to develop 12/1-12/15 with east anomalies forecast during that window. Finally the Active Phase of the MJO is to develop in the far West Pacific 12/18 and building with west anomalies in the KWGA 12/25 and holding earnest through 1/22/18. After that the Inactive Phase is to again develop 1/25 and hold through the end of the model run 2/4 neutral anomalies possible. The low pass filter indicates a modest El Nino/low pressure signal over the extreme west KWGA and it is to ease east filling the KWGA by Jan 24. A La Nina/high pressure signal is over the East KWGA at 170E and is to move east into the East Pacific and no longer in the KWGA by Jan 1. If this verifies, the underpinnings of La Nina are to be fading and then gone by late December. This suggest that as winters builds (typically the peak of La Nina in the jan timeframe), support for La Nina will be fading. But it takes 3 months for the ocean to respond to whatever happens in the atmosphere, so this winter is lost to La Nina regardless of what the low pass filter indicates. No significant oceanic change is expected until likely early April 2018. Even at that it will take about 5 years for the Pacific to recharge from the 2014-16 El Nino before another El Nino develops. So a neutral ENSO pattern is likely to develop.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (11/7) A pattern change set up in August, with warm water retreating to the west and cooler water building in the east. Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 29 degs centered at 160E. The 28 deg isotherm line is pushing east slightly to 165W. The 24 deg isotherm is weak at 123W today and shallow at 60 meters deep at 140W. Anomaly wise a clear change is present in the East Pacific with warm water gone and instead neutral to weakly negative temperatures at the surface and down to -3 degs C down 125 meters at between 110-155W indicative of La Nina. Warm anomalies are isolated to the West Pacific at +2.0 degrees down to 100 meters deep with the dividing line between cool at 150W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 10/30 depicts a large area of subsurface cool water filling the East Pacific (-4.0 degs) and erupting to the surface in broad pockets between 90W to 165W with a near neutral temperature pattern in the west.
Sea Level Anomalies: (10/30) Negative anomalies are in control at -5 cms over the entire equatorial Pacific with a core of -10 cm anomalies present between Ecuador to 150W.
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: (11/6) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a clear cool pattern has developed. Upwelling continues solidly along Peru and Ecuador then tracking west on the equator out to 140W. The cool pool continues west from there. No warm anomalies are indicated within 3+ degs north or south of the equator over the entire region.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (11/6): A neutral trend was along Peru. But a building cool trend is indicated starting just off the Galapagos continuing west to 140W. it looks like La Nina is pulsing.
Hi-res Overview: (11/6) A clear La Nina cool stream is present starting off Southern Chile pushing north up Peru and building in coverage, then turning northwest off Ecuador tracking west over the Galapagos and building out to 150W and stronger than days past. Weak cool anomalies continued west from there out to 180W. Cool water at depth is erupting to the surface with the breach point near the Galapagos. There is no sign of warm anomalies in the Nino 1.2 or Nino3.4 regions.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (11/7) Today's temps were rising slightly to -2.047, warmer than the -2.248 low point reached 3 days ago (11/5) and that was lower than the previous coldest point reached on 10/11 at -1.9 degs.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (11/7) temps were falling at -0.861 but still above a the lowest temp reached so far at -1.1 on 11/23. The long arc suggests a downward trend. La Nina is in control.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (11/7) The forecast has temps falling steadily from -0.5 in early Oct to -1.1 in late Dec and holding through Jan. Then the trend is to turn upwards reaching -0.35 in April and 0.0 degs in July 2018. This suggests a legit La Nina is expected for the Winter of 2017-2018. The CFS SST images (10/13) continues to suggest a moderate La Nina cool pattern building on the equator off the Galapagos into Feb 2018. A full on La Nina is setting up.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Oct Plume updated (11/7) depicts temps forecast to fade -0.7 degs in Oct and holding through Dec, then slowly rising from there turning neutral in April 2018. See chart here - link The NMME consensus for Oct average indicates temps -0.85 degrees below normal Nov-Jan 2018 then rebounding to normal in April. It sure looks like La Nina is on the way. The CFSv2 is now in the middle of that pack.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (11/7): The daily index was falling at 3.37. The 30 day average was falling at 7.69. The 90 day average was rising at +8.05. This suggests a turn towards La Nina.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (11/7) The index was falling slightly at -1.07 (up from -2.20 on 6/28/17). The trend is stable for now. Last years La Nina reached -1.94 on 11/2/16 so we've bested that already. But the recent upward trend is offering some hope. Still it looks like La Nina is returning for a double dip/2 year La Nina (not unusual). 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 is weakly negative, but not as much as one would expect with La Nina in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.10, Feb = +0.04, March = +0.12, April=+0.52, May=+0.30, June=+0.19, July= -0.50, Aug= -0.68, Sept = -0.28, Oct=-0.60. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO, even with La Nina, because the warm PDO appears to be dampening the effects of La Nina. 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, June=+0.79, July=+0.10, Aug=0.09, Sept = 0.32. 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