Saturday, November 25, 2017
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 10.5 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 7.6 ft @ 9.0 secs from 10 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.0 ft @ 10.0 secs with swell 2.3 ft @ 10.1 secs from 265 degrees. Wind at the buoy was east at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 63.5 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.3 ft @ 11.2 secs from 268 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.9 ft @ 9.6 secs from 262 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.1 ft @ 13.5 secs from 228 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.8 ft @ 13.4 secs from 244 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 6.0 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 5.0 ft @ 10.2 secs from 307 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northeast at 6-8 kts. Water temp 58.8 degs.
Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (bottom of the page)
Swell Classification Guidelines
Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
Summer - Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
Summer - Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
Summer - up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.
Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.
On Saturday (11/25) in North and Central CA residual windswell from the Gulf of Alaska was producing waves at chest high and clean and lined up with light offshore winds but very soft. Protected breaks were waist to maybe chest high and clean and soft. At Santa Cruz surf was waist high and clean and slow. In Southern California up north surf was waist to maybe chest high and clean with good form and calm wind early. In North Orange Co surf was maybe waist high coming from the north and clean but pretty weak. In South Orange Country best breaks were waist high and clean and weak. In San Diego surf was waist high and clean and weak. Hawaii's North Shore was getting cleaner north swell from the Gulf of Alaska at 2-3 ft overhead on the face and pretty clean early but still with some underlying warble running through it. The South Shore was flat and clean. The East Shore was getting north-northeast swell at 1 ft overhead and chopped from northeast wind.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Saturday (11/25) Gulf windswell was fading in both Hawaii and California. But that lack of swell will be short lived with swell from yet another Gulf Gale in the water and pushing southeast with that gale having fallen southeast Fri-Sat (11/25) with up to 31 ft seas targeting the Pacific Northwest down into California and expected to regenerate some Sun (11/26) off Central CA with up to 26 ft seas. This one is to target California more that Hawaii. Another system to follow behind starting over the North Dateline region Sun (11/26) pushing quickly to the extreme Northwestern Gulf with seas building to 51 ft and continuing east Mon-Tues (11/28) with seas fading from 39 ft. Another small system is on the charts for Thurs (11/30) with up to 43 ft seas off the North Kuril Islands pushing to the North Dateline region. So an improved swell pattern is projected but all these systems are to be displaced well north near the Aleutian Islands and not in either the prime Hawaii or California swell windows. This is to be expected with La Nina in control.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Saturday AM (11/25) the jetstream was pushing firmly off Japan with winds to 190 kts and consolidated making it to almost the dateline before splitting. From there the jet ridged hard north with the northern branch tracking north into the Bering Sea then falling hard south into the Gulf of Alaska forming yet another backdoor trough being fed with 130 kts winds offering good support for gale formation there. The northern branch then lifted northeast and pushed into British Columbia. The southern branch fell southeast from the dateline then rebounded gently northeast pushing over Hawaii and then rejoining the northern branch pushing into the Pacific Northwest. Over the next 72 hours the consolidated jet is to push east with up to 170 winds reaching to the dateline if not the Western Gulf with the split point holding on the dateline into Tues AM (11/28). A trough is to be tracking east over the Aleutians being fed by that flow and offering good support for gale development but very far north in the Pacific if not over the Aleutians and the jet progressively weakening over the period. Beyond 72 hours the jet is to weaken yet more on Wed-Thurs (11/30) and splitting again on the dateline while more wind energy is to be building over Japan to 160 kts again pushing east pulling the jet together from Japan to the dateline and the northern branch sweeping east over and just south of the Aleutians the whole way into the Northern Gulf of Alaska. No clearly defined troughs are indicated though offering no real support for gale development. This pattern is to hold through Sat (12/2) with the split point still on the dateline and the northern branch firmly pushing east-northern just south of the Aleutians, but with no troughs indicated offering no clear support for gale development.
On Saturday (11/25) swell from another backdoor gale swell was pushing southeast towards mainly California (see Final Backdoor Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours starting on Sat PM (11/25) a primer storm is to build over the North Dateline region with 60-65 kt west winds and seas building from 37 ft at 49N 179E over a small area aimed east. On Sun AM (11/26) the storm is to move mostly north of the Aleutians with up to 60 kt northwest winds still south of the Eastern Aleutians with seas to 50 ft over a tiny area at 51N 171W. In the evening 50 kt northwest winds to be pushing from the Bering Sea into the extreme Northwestern Gulf of Alaska with 50 ft seas at 53N 170W. On Monday AM (11/27) residual 45 kt west fetch is to hold just south of the Eastern Aleutians with seas fading from 39 ft at 50N 162W (308 degs NCal). In the evening west fetch is to be fading from 45 kts and seas fading from 34 ft at 51N 161W. On Tues AM (11/28) this system is to be fading with 45-50 kt south fetch and 32-34 ft seas pushing north at 47N 159W and of no interest to our forecast area targeting only Alaska. More of the same in the evening. Something to monitor.
Final Backdoor Gale
Another system started moving from the East Bering Sea into the Northern Gulf on Thurs PM (11/23) with 40 kt northwest winds and seas building from 28 ft at 53N 158W. Fri AM (11/24) 40 kt northwest winds were pushing southeast into the Northern Gulf with seas building to 30 ft at 49N 152W (308 degs NCal). Fetch was fading while falling southeast in the evening from 30-35 kts with 26 ft seas at 47N 149W (307 degs NCal). Fetch was fading in coverage at 30+ kts from the northwest on Sat AM (11/25) with seas fading from 21 ft over a moderate sized area at 45N 148W aimed southeast (300 degs NCal). In the evening fetch is to start rebuilding at 35 kts from the northwest well off the NCal coast with 23 ft seas at 44N 150W (297 degs NCal) aimed southeast at the Central CA coast. The front is to be off the NCal coast Sun AM (11/26) with northwest winds 35-40 kts and seas 25 ft at 39N 144W (285 degs NCal, 294 degs SCal). This secondary fetch to pushing east in the evening at 35-40 kt from the northwest just off San Francisco with 26 ft seas at 38N 134W (295 degs SCal) and impacting the Central Coast Mon (11/27) through the day and fading from 23 ft off Central CA. Something to monitor.
North CA: For planning purposes expect swell arrival on Sun (11/26) building to 6.3 ft @ 16 secs later (10 ft) and shadowed in the SF Bay Area. Swell to fade overnight dropping from 6.4 ft @ 14 secs secs (9.0 ft) on Mon (11/27) while local windswell and raw local proto swell starts building on top to 9.5 ft @ 15 secs later (14.0 ft). Swell fading quickly on Tues (11/28) from 7.8 ft @ 12 secs (9.0 ft). Swell Direction: 308 degs moving to 298-300 degrees
Southern CA: For planning purposes expect swell arrival on Mon (11/27) building to 3.0 ft @ 16 secs later (4.5 ft). Swell to rebuild overnight pushing 5.0 ft @ 14 secs secs (7.0 ft) on Tues (11/28). Swell fading quickly on Wed (11/29) from 2.9 ft @ 11-12 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 312 degs moving to 295 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Saturday (11/25) weak high pressure was barely holding on over North and Central CA making for a light offshore wind pattern for much of the state. But a new low pressure system was building 600 nmiles off Central CA. By sunset south winds are to be building to 30 kts for Cape Mendocino and 15 kts down to Big Sur and rain pushing south to Cape Mendocino late afternoon. By Sun AM (11/26) the front from this system is to push south to the Golden Gate early with south winds 15 kts to Monterey Bay and 10 kts down to Morro Bay then dissipate early with light winds but rain pushing south from Pt Reyes early to Morro Bay late afternoon. Rain for Tahoe starting 1 PM turning to snow at the highest peaks 7 PM and down to lake level by 10 PM. 3 inches accumulation overnight at Squaw and up to 17 inches at Kirkwood. Monday AM another local low is to be right behind with the front impacting the Central Coast early with northwest winds 20+ kts fading to 10-15 kts late morning covering all of North and Central CA and down into Southern CA. Rain for the entire North and central Coast clearing by 10 AM. Tues (11/28) high pressure is to be building into the coast from the west with north winds 15-20 kts from Cape Mendocino southward early. No precip forecast. Wednesday a new high pressure system builds off the North Coast ridging into the Pacific Northwest with a local gradient there producing north winds to 35 kts but with light winds from Bodega Bay southward. On Thurs (11/30) light winds forecast for the entire state continuing Friday. A new local low is forecast building just off Central CA on Sat (12/2) with south winds 20 kts from Morro Bay northward.
No swell producing winds of interest were occurring.
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.
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 persistent area of 30+ kt west fetch is to be lingering from the dateline into the Northern Gulf from Mon PM (11/27) through Wed PM (11/29) generating a broad area of 20-22 ft seas near 47N 162W targeting Hawaii and the US West Coast. Considerably long lasting 12-13 sec period background swell to result for Hawaii and the US West Coast.
On Thurs (11/30) another small gale is forecast developing while pushing east off the Northern Kuril Islands Thurs AM (11/30) with 45 kt west winds and 38 ft seas forecast at 48N 162E. a solid are of 45 kt west winds are to continue east into the evening just south of the Western Aleutians with 43 ft seas forecast at 50N 172E. On Fri AM (12/1) fetch is to be fading from 40 kt just south of the Aleutians on the dateline with seas fading from 38 ft at 50N 180W. This system is to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather system nor fetch is forecast.
More details to follow...
La Nina Stable - Cool Pool Solid and Bulletproof
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 Fri (11/24) 5 day average winds were from the east over the entire equatorial Pacific but near calm in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral over the East Pacific and light east over the Central Pacific then neutral over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (11/25) Weak east anomalies were modeled over the core of the KWGA. Weak east anomalies are to hold in the KWGA building to the moderate to strong range starting 11/28 and holding through the last day of the run on 12/2. The Inactive Phase of the MJO appears to weakening but also appears to be forecast to return.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 11/24 a neutral MJO pattern was in control of the equatorial far West Pacific with a weak Inactive/Dry signal over the dateline. The statistical model depicts the Active/Wet Phase developing 5 days out in the far West Pacific and building to modest strength at the end of the model run 15 days out. The dynamic model depicts the same thing but with the Inactive/Dry signal on the dateline holding for the next 10 days.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (11/25) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO very weak over the West Maritime Continent and is to push slowly east into the West Pacific 2 weeks out. The GEFS model suggests much the same but far stronger than the ECMF.
40 day Upper Level Model: (11/25) This model depicts a weak Inactive/Dry MJO pattern over the far East Pacific and gone by 11/30. A weak Active/Wet pattern is to develop in the West Pacific 11/30 and slowly ease east pushing into the far East Pacific 12/20. A slightly stronger Inactive/Dry MJO signal is to follow starting in the West Pacific 12/15 and tracking east to the East Pacific through the end of the model run on 1/4/18 (40 days out). This model runs about 1 week ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (11/25) This model depicts a very weak Inactive Phase of the MJO was migrating east while weakening over the KWGA with near neutral anomalies over the KWGA. The Inactive Phase is to continue migrating east and hold through 12/8 with sporadic pockets of east anomalies forecast until 12/5 when weak west anomalies take root in the West Pacific. East anomalies are forecast in the East KWGA 11/30-12/10, then fading out. A weak Active Phase of the MJO is to develop in the far West Pacific 12/13 holding through 12/30 with weak west anomalies in the KWGA. After that the MJO is to disappear with no clear sign of it indicated through the end of the model run on 2/22/18 with neutral to weak west anomalies forecast in the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates a modest low pressure bias over the extreme west KWGA and it is to ease east filling 75% of the KWGA by 1/28. A high pressure bias is over the East KWGA at 170E and is to move east into the East Pacific and only 15% remaining in the KWGA by Feb 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 is to 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: (11/25) 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 30 degs in the far West Pacific at 165E. The 28 deg isotherm line has retrograded heavily to 180W. The 24 deg isotherm was weak at 130W 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 modestly negative temperatures are at the surface and down to -2 degs C down 100 meters at between 95-180W 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 temps to the east at 170W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 11/19 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 170W with a near neutral temperature pattern in the west.
Sea Level Anomalies: (11/19) Negative anomalies are in control at -5 cms over the entire equatorial East Pacific with a core of -10 cm anomalies present between Ecuador to 155W.
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: (11/24) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a clear cool pattern is in control. Upwelling continues along Peru and Ecuador and rebuilding in strength then tracking west on the equator out to 160W with a well defined cool pool evidenced. The cool pool continues west from there but not as strong. No warm anomalies are indicated within 3+ degs north or south of the equator over the entire region.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (11/24): A warming trend was fading along Peru. A weak cooling trend was indicated in pockets along the equatorial Pacific from the Galapagos west to 140W. La Nina is pulsing again.
Hi-res Overview: (11/24) Regardless of the short term warming trend indicated above, 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 stable. 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: (11/25) Today's temps were falling some to -0.392, much warmer than the -2.248 low point reached on 11/5. And that low point was lower than the previous coldest point reached on 10/11 at -1.9 degs.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (11/25) temps were inching up at -0.866, just above the coldest peak so far this La Nina on 11/22 at -1.156. A previous low peak was reached at -1.1 on 11/23. The long arc suggests a steadying pattern. La Nina is in control.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (11/25) The forecast has temps falling steadily from -0.75 in early Nov to -1.0 in late Dec and holding there through early Feb. Then a weak upward trend is suggested with temps reaching -0.6 in April and -0.4 degs in July 2018 and holding there. This suggests a legit La Nina is expected for the Winter of 2017-2018. The CFS SST images (11/05) continues to suggest a moderate La Nina cool pattern building on the equator off the Galapagos into Dec-Jan 2018, then fading but still very present into May 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 (11/25): The daily index was falling some at 1.46. The 30 day average was rising some at 8.07. The 90 day average was rising slightly at +8.22. This suggests a turn towards La Nina.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (11/25) The index was falling again at -1.22 (up from -2.20 on 6/28/17). The trend is generally 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, Oct=0.05 . 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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POWERLINES Night at the OPL - Surf Footage Featuring Mavericks from Powerlines Productions plus live music from 6 to 8 PM- Nov 17, 2017. Video starts at 8:15 PM at the Old Princeton Landing (OPL) in Half Moon Bay/Princeton CA.
Titans of Mavericks on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luQSYf5sKjQ
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table