Tuesday, June 13, 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 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.7 ft @ 5.9 secs with swell 3.0 ft @ 6.4 secs from 263 degrees. Wind northeast 8-10 kts. Water temperature 62.1 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 2.9 ft @ 8.5 secs from 266 degrees. At Santa Monica (Buoy 028) swell was 2.9 ft @ 6.3 secs from 270 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (Buoy 043) swell was 2.9 ft @ 7.7 secs from 262 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (Buoy 191) swell was 3.7 ft @ 8.0 secs from 279 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 6.5 ft @ 7.1 secs with swell 5.5 ft @ 6.6 secs from 314 degrees. Wind northwest 18-21 kts at the buoy. Water temp 54.1 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 (6/13) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing surf at chest high and reasonably clean early with just some texture on it. Protected breaks were waist high or so and clean. At Santa Cruz surf was knee to maybe thigh high and clean and weak. In Southern California up north surf was flat and clean early. In North Orange Co north windswell was producing waves to waist high and clean. In South Orange Co windswell was producing waves to thigh high and clean. In San Diego northwest windswell was producing surf at thigh to maybe waist high and weak and warbled but clean. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was near flat with thigh high sets and clean. The East Shore was getting no real east windswell with waves knee to maybe thigh high and chopped from modest east trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Tuesday (6/13) no swell of interest was hitting any breaks in our forecast area. Tiny swell from a gale previously in the Gulf of Alaska was starting to show on the NCal buoys at 13 secs but buried in more dominant local windswell. Raw local windswell is expected for California for the next 7 days. Down south a small gale developed under New Zealand Sat-Sun (6/11) tracking east with up to 41 ft seas aimed east. An even smaller weather system is starting to develop just east of New Zealand Tues-Wed (6/14) with up to 39 ft seas tracking northeast. Small swell to start arriving in Hawaii on Sat (6/17) and for the mainland beyond. Beyond the models are teasing us with a broad system forecast tracking under New Zealand stating late in the coming weekend. So there's hope. In the meantime, windswell is the only available option.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Tuesday (6/13) moderate high pressure at 1028 mbs was centered 1000 nmiles west of Monterey Bay ridging into the US West Coast generating 20 kt northwest winds over all of North and Central CA waters resulting in small local northwest windswell. Also east winds were being generated off the south side of the high at 15 kts focused decently on the Hawaiian Islands offering minimal potential for generating windswell along east facing shores. And small swell from a low pressure system previously in the Gulf of Alaska was starting to hit exposed breaks along the US West Coast (see Gulf Low Pressure System below).
Over the next 72 hours high pressure is to ease east positioned 600 nmiles west of Pt Conception on Fri (6/16) with north winds building to 20-25 kts along the California coast but more focused on the southern portion of Central CA making for more junky north windswell.
For Hawaii trades to continue at 15 kts from the east aimed well at East Shores of the Islands through Thurs (6/15) offering some minimal odds for small very short period windswell to result, but nothing better. the fetch is to become less defined by Friday (6/16).
Gulf Low Pressure System
A low pressure system developed in the Northwestern Gulf of Alaska on Fri AM (6/9) starting to produce 25-30 kt west winds over a small area and starting to get traction on the oceans surface. By evening 35-40 kt west fetch built over a small area aimed east with seas building to 19 ft at 50N 160W aimed east. Fetch faded Sat AM (6/10) to 30 kts from the west over a small area with seas building to 20 ft at 50N 155W. The low dissipated from there in the evening with winds dropping from 25 kts from the west and seas fading from 15 ft at 52N 151W. Small windswell possible.
North CA: Swell arrival on Tues (6/14) at 6 PM pushing 3.1 ft @ 12 secs (3.5 ft). Swell continues Wed (6/15) at 3.0 ft @ 10 secs (3.0 ft) then dissipating. Swell Direction: 300 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday (6/13) high pressure was ridging into the coast from a position 1,000 nmiles west of Pt Conception generating a pressure gradient and north winds at 15-20 kts along the entire North and Central Coasts down over the Channel Islands and forecast building to 25 kts in pockets later. On Wed (6/14) north winds to continue at 20-25 kts over North and Central CA but fading some on Thurs (6/15) over North CA with a front pushing into the Pacific northwest. Friday the gradient to reorganize with 20-25 kts north winds over Central Ca northward into North CA to Pt Arena but only 10 kts over Cape Mendocino. The gradient to lift a little north on Saturday with 25+ north winds focused over Cape Mendocino and 20 kts north winds down to Pt Conception. Sunday (6/18) north winds to be 30 kts over Cape Mendocino with an eddy flow (south winds) possible for Central CA. The gradient to fade over North CA on Mon (6/19) but still winds north at 25 kts then building on Tues (6/20) at 25 kts over all of North and Central CA building to 30 kts over North CA later.
On Tuesday AM (6/13) in the southern branch of the jet a dirty trough was pushing north along the coast of New Zealand being fed by 120-130 kts winds offering decent support for gale development, but also being undercut by 40 kts winds (hence the 'dirty' nomenclature). East of there the jet was ridging hard south into Antarctica over the South Central and Southeast Pacific offering no support for gale development. The northern branch was generally tracking east on the 28S latitude line. Over the next 72 hours starting Wed (6/14) the New Zealand trough is to totally get cut off with the ridge in the east retrograding west some and taking over the entire South Pacific, but winds weak at only 80-90 kts. This pattern is to hold through Sat (6/17). Beyond 72 hours the jet is to lift dramatically to the north on Sun (6/18) west and moving under New Zealand at 120-130 kts up at 52S the building to 140 kts on Mon (6/19) and pushing northeast under and east of New Zealand reaching to 50S offering good support for gale development. And by Tues (6/20) the pattern is to hold if not build with 120 kts winds pushing almost due north and reaching north to 45S a bit east of the New Zealand continuing support for gale development. This looks promising if one is to believe the models this far in the future.
On Tuesday (6/13) small swell from a gale that developed under New Zealand was tracking northeast towards Hawaii and California (see New Zealand Storm below). Also another gale was developing tracking northeast along the New Zealand Coast (see Second New Zealand Storm below).
Over the next 72 hours the Second New Zealand Storm is to be the only system of interest.
New Zealand Storm
A storm developed southwest of New Zealand on Fri PM (6/9) with 55 kt west winds over a small area aimed east with seas building from 36 ft at 57S 141E. On Sat AM (6/10) winds were fading but still 55 kts from the west while tracking east with seas building to 44 ft over a small area at 58.5S 153E (220 degs NCal and SCal and unshadowed, shadowed relative to HI by NZ). Fetch was fading from 40 kts in the evening with 41 ft seas at 59S 165E (198 degs HI and unshadowed, 212 degs NCal and unshadowed, 211 degs SCal and shadowed). Fetch was rebuilding to 45 kts from the east Sun AM (6/11) south of New Zealand with seas fading from 36 ft at 60S 172.5E (209 degs NCal and 210 degs SCal and both shadowed, 192 degs HI and unshadowed). The gale dissipated from there with 40 kt west winds Sun PM and seas fading from 33 ft at 61S 180W (190 degs HI, 202 degs NCal and 203 degs SCal and unshadowed). The gale was gone after that. Possible sideband swell to result targeting Hawaii and far more direct energy for NCal and shadowed energy from Southern CA.
Hawaii: Swell arrival Sat (6/17) building to 1.6 ft @ 15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell fading Sun (6/18) from 1.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 192-198 degrees
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival Mon afternoon (6/19) with period 20 secs. Swell Direction: 202-220 degrees focused on 220 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival Mon afternoon (6/19) with period 20 secs. Swell Direction: 203-220 degrees focused on 220 degrees
Second New Zealand Storm
Another gale developed well south of Tasmania on Mon AM (6/12) with 40 kt southwest winds starting to get traction on the oceans surface. By evening a fetch of 45 kt southwest winds was lifting northeast with seas building to 30 ft at 52S 155E and shadowed by New Zealand for CA and HI. On Tues AM (6/13) the storm was lifting northeast and centered just southeast of New Zealand with winds to 50 kts from the south with seas building from 33 ft at 50S 170E but covering only a small area. On Tues PM (6/13) a small fetch of 45-50 kt south winds is to be pushing north just east of the New Zealand coast with 39 ft seas at 45.5S 175.5E. On Wed AM (6/14) fetch is to be fading from 40 kts off North New Zealand generating 35 ft seas at 40.5S 178.5W. In the evening south winds to be fading from 35 kts with seas fading from 28 ft at 37S 173W. This system is to be gone on Thurs AM (6/15).
Possible solid short lived swell for Tahiti given it's close proximity there. A decent pulse of energy is possible for Hawaii too. Lesser energy for the US West Coast given the small fetch size of this system and longer travel distance. This system is worth monitoring.
Tahiti: For planning purpose swell arrival expected on Sat (6/17) building to 6.9 ft @ 16-17 secs (11 ft Hawaiian). Swell Direction: 220 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 starting Saturday (6/17) high pressure is to start ridging northeast pushing into the Pacific Northwest from 600 nmiles off Monterey Bay continuing the pressure gradient along the California coast but drifting north with north winds 20-25 kts but centered more toward North CA later in the day and producing better odds of windswell. The gradient is to lift north more on Sunday (6/18) building to 30 kts and fully centered over Cape Mendocino with windswell increasing north of Pt Conception and with an eddy flow starting to build over Central CA. Cleaner longer period windswell is possible for Central CA at that time. The gradient is to fade some on Monday (6/19) at 25 kts positioned over extreme North CA, then falling south slightly and rebuilding Tuesday (6/20) with north winds to near 30 kts centered over Pt Arena with 20 kts north winds again reaching south to Pt Conception. Junkie north windswell expected for North and Central CA.
Trades to start fading in coverage on Thursday (6/15) east of the Islands as the high pressure system moves east, with windswell generation potential fading for East Shore of the Hawaiian Islands by Fri (6/16). But a resurgence of those trades is to develop starting Mon (6/19) and extending from North Ca the whole way over the Islands becoming more focused and build to almost 20 kts on Tues (6/20) offering better odds for east windswell.
Beyond 72 hours a storm is forecast developing south of Tasmania on Sat (6/17) with 50 kt west winds and seas building to 40 ft at 53S 149E and shadowed by New Zealand for HI and North California and barely in the Scal swell window at 222 degrees. Fetch is to track southeast in the evening holding if not building in coverage at 50 kts from the west with seas holding at 40 ft at 57S 158E moving into the Southern CA swell window (216 deg) and NCal swell window (218 degs) but still shadowed by NZ for HI. The fetch is to fade in size from 50 kts Sun AM (6/18) while a new fetch builds north of it at 50 kts from the west over a large area aimed east. Seas from the original fetch fade from 37 ft just off the Ross Ice Shelf at 62S 168E (209 degs SCal and shadowed by Tahiti, 209 degs NCal and shadowed). In the evening 55 kt west winds to push east under New Zealand with 46 ft seas at 55S 172E. (215 degs Scal and shadowed, 214 degs Ncal and unshadowed, 199 degs HI and unshadowed by NZ). Fetch to fade from 40 kts Mon AM from the west with a new fetch building behind it at 45 kts aimed northeast. Seas from the original fetch 39 ft at 55S 180W (193 degs HI, (212 degs Scal and shadowed, 210 degs NCal and partially shadowed). In the evening the new fetch is to build to 45 kts solid aimed almost north with seas 39 ft at 57.5S 178W. Tues AM (6/20) fetch fades from 40 kts over a very solid area aimed north with 39 ft seas at 59S 170W aimed northeast. This is a system worth monitoring.
More details to follow...
PDO Continues Weakly Positive
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 Monday (6/12) east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific but weaker over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral in most locations but weak westerly over the entire KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): Light east anomalies were over the KWGA and forecast to hold for the next 2 days, then start weakening by Thurs (6/15) and holding weak easterly into the end of the forecast period (6/19). This suggests a fading Inactive Phase of the MJO is over the KWGA.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 6/12 a modest Inactive/Dry Phase of the MJO was over the West Pacific and dateline regions. The statistical model depicts it fading in 5 days with no MJO signal in play beyond out 2 weeks. The dynamic model projects the Inactive Phase holding in the West Pacific for the next 2 weeks.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (6/13) The ECMF model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO was weak and incoherent maybe rebuilding weakly over Africa 2 weeks out. The GEFS depicts much the same thing but with the Active Phase rebuilding a little stronger over Africa 2 weeks out.
40 day Upper Level Model: (6/13) This model depicted a modest Inactive/Dry pattern over the West Pacific tracking east into Central America 6/28 with a second pulse pushing off the Philippines 6/23 tracking into Central America 7/18. Then a weak Active Phase develops in the West Pacific 7/3 tracking to the dateline through the end of the model run on 7/23. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (6/13) This model depicts a neutral MJO pattern over the KWGA with a weaker Active Phase moving into the West Pacific. Neutral wind anomalies were indicated over the KWGA. Beyond the weak Active Phase is to reach the dateline 7/4 with west anomalies developing in the KWGA 7/22 and holding. A legitimate Active Phase of the MJO is to fully develop in the West Pacific on 7/19 with building west anomalies moderate in strength holding till 8/25, then fading as the Inactive Phase of the MJO develops in the KWGA 9/2 holding through 9/10 (the end of the run). This is likely overstated as the model has been teasing at west anomalies for months and yet they never develop. The low pass filter indicates La Nina is to dissipate in the KWGA today (6/13 - previously 5/6-5/8). La Nina might weakly redevelop 8/8 (previously 7/21) in the KWGA with a secondary core just east of California rather than over the KWGA. Best guess is a very weak directionless pattern is to set up post La Nina and it will take 3-5 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: (6/13) 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 steady at 150W. The 24 deg isotherm reaches Ecuador down at 30 meters and is 90 meters down at 140W. Warm anomalies are at 2.0 degs in the East Pacific and fading rapidly and +1 deg anomalies are in the West Pacific down at 100m. Continuous 0 to +1 degs anomalies are tracking from east to the west reaching down 110 meters. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 6/7 depicts a stream of warm water tracking from the west to the east suggesting a Kelvin Wave is in the East Pacific. A break in that stream is depicted on the dateline. The concern remains that 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: (6/7) In the east +5 cm anomalies are holding if not building in coverage along the coast of Peru and Ecuador. In the west +0-5 cm anomalies have retreated only present west of 170E on the equator. One pocket of positive heights remains at 120W associated with an Oceanic Kelvin Wave there. otherwise a neutral pattern is in play over the remainder of the equator.
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: (6/12) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a generalized warm pattern offset from the South American coast from the equator southward extending from the Galapagos west out to 160W and southward beyond 25S. Upwelling along the immediate coasts of Chile, Peru and Ecuador rapidly collapsed on (6/6) but cool anomalies started reappearing along the coasts of Peru and Chile on 6/10 and remain today, but are looking weaker. La Nina that developed last Spring is gone and an El Nino like pattern that was trying to build during March-May is now backing off, but not gone.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (6/11): A cooling trend continues off Ecuador and along the coast of Peru and Chile. Stronger cooling continues on the equator from the Galapagos out to 105W and weak out to 115W. A warming trend continues in the Northern Hemi from a point off California and Mexico pushing over Hawaii and reaching west to the Philippines. But overall nothing remarkable is indicated.
Hi-res Overview: (6/11) A warm regime holds from Chile north to Ecuador and west to 160W then stronger to 140E. It looks like El Nino is trying to develop and making headway into the Nino3.4 region. But pockets of cool anomalies are in the far East Pacific off Ecuador out to 110W. 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: (6/13) Today's temps are steady at -0.049, down from the peak of +3.0 degs on 3/18 and +1.0 degs on 5/2..
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (6/11) temps were fading slightly at +0.403 degs.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (6/13) The forecast has temps steady at +0.55 degs today into early July then falling to +0.25 in early Aug holding to early Oct, then falling to +0.0 in Dec-Jan 2018, perhaps warming to +0.25 degs in March. This suggests normal to weakly warm pattern developing for the Winter of 2017-2018. CFS data (6/12) suggests a Modoki style warming pattern over the dateline this Fall and Winter but other models are no suggesting a return of a weak La Nina pattern. There is no source for El Nino like warming with the warm pool in the far West Pacific weak and fading. Much recharging and heat buildup is required for a real El Nino to develop. We're at least 5 years out from that.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-May Plume updated (5/19) depicts temps are warming and are now at +0.5 degs. A slow increase in temps is forecast thereafter to +0.7 degs in Aug and holding through Dec, then falling to 0.6 degs in Jan. This is +0.1 degs warmer than the April forecast and +0.7 degs warmer than the January forecast suggesting La Nina is over and a warmer regime is setting up. See chart here - link. The NMME consensus depicts peak temp to +1.0 degs Nov through Jan.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (6/13): The daily index was steady at -9.77 and has been negative for 13 days. The 30 day average was falling at -0.37. The 90 day average was falling at -2.75 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): (6/13) Today's value was falling at -1.51 or trending back towards La Nina. A peak low was reached on 11/2 at -1.94, the deepest of the past La Nina event. This measures atmospheric response, not oceanic. 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.
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 = +0.03, March = +0.09, April=+0.52, May=+0.36. 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. 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