Thursday, August 3, 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 3.0 ft @ 14.7 secs with southern hemi swell 2.6 ft @ 14.3 secs from 219 degrees. Wind at the buoy was west at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 72.0 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 0.9 ft @ 15.6 secs from 184 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.0 ft @ 14.9 secs from 198 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 2.2 ft @ 15.5 secs from 205 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.4 ft @ 15.4 secs from 180 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 4.0 ft @ 14.7 secs with southern hemi swell 2.7 ft @ 14.2 secs from 190 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 4-6 kts. Water temp 60.1 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 Thursday (8/3) in North and Central CA southern hemi swell was producing surf at waist to maybe chest high and clean but a little warbled. Protected breaks were flat and clean early. At Santa Cruz southern hemi swell was hitting producing surf in the chest high range on the sets and clean and lined up but slow. In Southern California up north waves were up to waist high and clean early. In North Orange Co southern hemi swell was still pumping producing sets at head high to 1 ft overhead and lined up and clean with a good number of waves in a set when they arrive. In South Orange Co no report was available. In San Diego surf was waist high and clean and generally weak. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore had sets to waist high and clean. The East Shore was 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 Thursday (8/3) no windswell was present along the coast of North and Central California and none is forecast for the foreseeable future. No real windswell is hitting Hawaii either but might develop for Fri-Sat (8/5). But south angled southern hemi swell was hitting California generated by the second of 2 gales previously in the far Southeast Pacific. The forecast suggests no swell from tropical sources is to be expected. But a gale is did develop in the deep Southeast Pacific on Wed (8/2) with 34 ft seas aimed northeast. Longer tern a stronger system is forecast in the far Southeast Pacific lifting north but well east of the Southern CA swell window Tues-Wed (8/9) targeting only Chile and Peru. So thing are to get pretty quiet as we wait for the transition to Fall to start.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Thursday (8/3) a weak pressure and wind pattern was in control off the California coast with no solid high pressure within 800 nmiles of the coast resulting in no wind of interest and no windswell. For Hawaii a weak pressure and wind pattern was also in control with no windswell producing fetch indicated.
Over the next 72 hours through Sun (8/6) relative to the mainland more of the same is forecast with no windswell expected.
For Hawaii easterly trade winds are to start building on Friday (8/4) a local fetch of 15 kt east winds 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. Trades to hold at 15 kts Sat (8/5) 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 Sun (8/6) before totally dissipating with no odds for windswell resulting along east facing shore of the Hawaiian Islands.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
On Thursday (8/3):
Hurricane Noru is positioned 300 nmiles south-southwest of Tokyo Japan with winds 75 kts tracking northwest at 8 kts producing 34 ft seas. Noru is forecast to continue on it's northwesterly track then turn north on Sat (8/5) and moving up to if not over the south most extent of Japan with winds 80 kts. And eventual track into the Sea of Japan is forecast and strength fading to tropical storm status. 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 Thursday (8/3) a weak pressure and win pattern was in control of the California Coast with winds 10 kts or less and forecast to hold through Tues (8/8). There's some suggestion of high pressure trying to move into the East Pacific on Wed (8/9) with 15 kt north winds setting up over North CA early building in pockets to Pt Conception later but then fading with less coverage on Thurs (8/10).
On Thursday AM (8/3) 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 64S latitude line and weak with winds mostly not exceeding 100 kts running on the northern edge of Antarctic Ice offering no support for gale development. No troughs capable of supporting gale production were indicated. That said, a pocket of 130 kt winds was developing over the Tasman Sea and starting to seep east under New Zealand offering potential longer term. Over the next 72 hours that pocket of winds is to build to 140 kts over the far West Pacific later Thurs (8/3) and starting to lift northeast Fri (8/4) while tracking east through Sun (8/6) almost forming a trough in the Southeast Pacific possibly providing some support for gale development in lower levels of the atmosphere. Beyond 72 hours the trough is to continue building into Mon (8/7) while migrating into the far Southeast Pacific and east of the California swell window being fed by 120 kt winds lifting northeast offering decent support for gale development before getting cut off on Tuesday (8/9). After that a return to a zonal flow is forecast.
On Thursday (8/3) 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). And another small swell is tracking north from a gale that formed in the far Southeast (see Southeast Pacific Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours a cutoff gale was tracking east through the mid-latitudes generating 45 kt west winds and 37 ft seas aimed east targeting Chile and Peru. This system is to fall southeast and slowly fade with no swell radiating north towards our forecast area.
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 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 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
Southeast Pacific Gale
Tuesday PM (8/1) a gale developed building in the far Southeast Pacific with southwest winds 45 kts and seas to 33 ft over a small area at 60S 127W. The gale raced east and out of the Southern CA swell window Wed AM (8/2) with winds 45 kts at 58S 110W and seas 33 ft at 58S 111W. Low odds for any swell to push up into the Southern CA swell window.
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs AM (8/10) pushing 1.6 ft @ 17 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 192 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 wind pattern is forecast for all of California through Thurs (8/10) with no windswell producing fetch and therefore no windswell producing fetch forecast for the state.
For Hawaii trades to hold below 15 kts until Thurs (8/10) when again high pressure at 1024 mbs builds 750 nmiles north of Hawaii generating east trades at 15 kts over an area extending 800 nmiles east of the Islands offering improved odds for short period limited east windswell at exposed breaks along east facing shores of the Hawaiian Islands.
Beyond 72 hours there's some suggestion of a gale forming in the far Southeast Pacific on Sun PM (8/6) with winds 40-45 kts from the south with seas in the evening at 29-30 ft at 52S 115W and just east of the SCal swell window. Mon AM (8/7) a fragmented fetch of 45 kt south fetch to lift north with 32 ft seas over a tiny area at 48S 115W pushing north. The gale to race north-northeast in the evening with 45 kt south winds and 35 ft seas at 42S 105W targeting mainly Mexico southward to Peru and Chile. Low odds of any swell resulting for CA.
More details to follow...
La Nina Cool Stream Developing on Equator
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 Wed (8/2) east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific including the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were light easterly over the East Equatorial Pacific and also over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (8/3) Moderate east anomalies were modeled over the East KWGA and weak west anomalies were over the West KWGA. This pattern is to hold till 8/5 then a generalized weak east anomaly pattern is to set up over the core of the KWGA and holding through the end of the 7 day model run (8/10). 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 8/2 a very weak Active/Wet MJO pattern was depicted over the far West Pacific. The statistical model depicts the Active Phase fading and turning neutral 1 week out with a weak Inactive Phase over the Maritime Continent trying to ease east 2 weeks out. The dynamic model depicts the same thing. 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): (8/3) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO weak over the West Pacific and is to collapse in the next 2 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: (8/3) This model depicts a moderate Inactive Active/Dry Pattern over the Maritime Continent moving east while slowly fading reaching the West Pacific 8/15 and then tracking east to the East Pacific through the end of the model run, 9/12. 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): (8/3) 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 8/20 with west anomalies weakening to neutral with a weak version of the Inactive Phase of the MJO taking over 8/25-9/4. After that the Active Phase of the MJO is to return starting 9/14 with west anomalies in control through the end of the model run on 10/31. 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 very weak La Nina signal redeveloped 7/25 from the dateline eastward and is to hold very weak till 9/4, then building and holding 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: (8/3) 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 16`W. The 24 deg isotherm has retrograded again to 105W but holding at 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 now negative anomalies have 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: (8/2) 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. A small upwelling pattern is indicated nearshore along North Peru. 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 solidly. Overall cooling both north and south is less defined as compared to previous forecasts. 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 (8/1): 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 but favoring the cooler water. An early start of a legit La Nina pattern appears to be developing. 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: (8/2) A weak warm regime is barely holding off Chile while a thin stream of cooler water is depicted running through it just off Peru northwest to the Galapagos then turning west along the equator tracking west to the dateline. A broad cool stream is pushing northwest off Chile almost reaching the equator too. A marked cool stream is developing on the equator from 110W to 170W running through the heart of the Nino3.4 region suggesting the development of a legit La Nina. 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: (8/3) Today's temps continue rebounding, up to +0.285, still down though 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 (8/3) temps continue rebounding some, at +0.225, 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 (8/3) 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 +0.4 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 (8/3): The daily index was falling at 0.67 and has been positive for 21 days now. The 30 day average was steady at 7.76. The 90 day average was rising at -0.12 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): (8/3) Today's value continued rising some to -1.54 (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