Thursday, November 23, 2017
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 12.8 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 6.5 ft @ 14.9 secs from 355 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.5 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 1.7 ft @ 9.8 secs from 257 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 8 kts. Water temperature 64.9 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 2.3 ft @ 9.4 secs from 267 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.7 ft @ 9.3 secs from 264 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 0.9 ft @ 13.3 secs from 222 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.5 ft @ 10.0 secs from 261 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 7.9 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 5.8 ft @ 13.5 secs from 309 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 12-14 kts. Water temp 58.6 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 Thursday (11/23) in North and Central CA new swell from the Gulf of Alaska was producing waves at head high to 1 ft overhead and clean and lined up with no wind early. Protected breaks were chest high and clean and lined up. At Santa Cruz surf was chest to near head high on the sets and clean and lined up but slow. In Southern California up north surf was waist to maybe chest high and clean with light north wind early. In North Orange Co surf was waist high coming from the north and clean but nearly breaking on the beach early. In South Orange Country best breaks were waist high and clean and weak. In San Diego surf was knee to thigh high and clean and weak or basically flat. Hawaii's North Shore was getting raw north windswell at 8-9 ft with a bit of a warble running through it from northeast wind at exposed breaks. The South Shore was flat to knee high and clean. The East Shore was getting north-northeast swell at double overhead plus and chopped from northeast wind.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Thursday (11/23) swell was hitting HAwaii and California from another gale that fell south through the Gulf Mon-Wed (11/22) with up to 27 ft seas aimed initially at Hawaii then turned somewhat southeast towards CA. And another is forecast falling southeast Fri-Sat (11/25) with up to 34 ft seas targeting the Pacific Northwest down into California. A primer gale is to follow pushing east from the North Dateline Sun-Tues (11/28) into the Northern Gulf with up to 38 ft seas projected. And a far stronger system is on the charts for Mon-Wed (11/29) with up to 51 ft seas over the North Dateline region aimed east then fading while moving into the Gulf. So an improved swell pattern is projected.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Thursday AM (11/23) the jetstream was pushing off North Japan with winds building to 170 kts but splitting just off the coast with the northern branch ridging north tracking over the Kuril Islands and then turning east through the Bering Sea before falling hard south into the fading remains of a steep and pinched backdoor trough over the Eastern Gulf. that trough was offering no support for gale development. From there the jet ridged hard northeast again and was pushing into the Pacific Northwest. The southern branch was very weak pushing southeast over the dateline moving just south of Hawaii then merged with the northern branch pushing up into the Pacific Northwest. Over the next 72 hours the backdoor trough is to almost start pinching off and fading early Wed (11/22) and by Thursday no longer offering support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours yet another trough is to develop in the Gulf while falling southeast on Fri (11/24) being fed by north winds at 120-130 kts offering some support for gale development while tracking east through the Gulf, slowly fading and pushing inland over British Columbia later Sun (11/26). Of more interest starting Fri (11/24) off Japan the jet is to start getting more energetic with 180 kt winds consolidated building to 190+ kts on Sat (11/25) with the split point moving quickly east to the dateline then starting to form a trough in the Western Gulf Mon (11/27) being fed by 150 kts winds offering some support for gale development. Unfortunately winds in the jet are to be fading fast and down to 130 kts in one little pocket on the dateline Tues (11/28) but still consolidated offering some support for low pressure development. But by Thurs (11/30) the jet is to split again on the dateline. Wind west of the split point are to be up to 160 kts but not over a large enough area to support a consolidated flow east of there. Support for gale development is to be fading with no clear troughs indicated.
On Thursday (11/23) swell from another backdoor gale swell was hitting Hawaii and California simultaneously (see One More Backdoor Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours yet another system is forecast moving from the East Bering Sea into the Northern Gulf on Thurs PM (11/23) with 45-50 kt northwest winds and seas building from 30 ft at 53N 158W. Fri AM (11/24) 40-45 kt northwest winds are to be pushing southeast into the Northern Gulf with seas building to 35 ft at 49N 152W (308 degs NCal). Fetch is to fade while falling southeast in the evening from 35 kts with 27 ft seas at 47N 148W (307 degs NCal). Fetch is to hold at 35+ kts from the northwest on Sat AM (11/25) with seas fading from 27 ft over a modest sized area at 48N 151W aimed southeast (306 degs NCal). In the evening 35+ kt northwest fetch is to be well off the NCal coast with 28 ft seas at 42N 148W (292 degs NCal) aimed southeast at the Central CA coast. The front is to be off the NCal coast Sun AM (11/26) with west winds 30-35 kts and seas 24 ft at 39N 140W (285 degs NCal, 294 degs SCal). A secondary fetch to develop in the evening with 35 kt west winds just off Pt Reyes and 24 ft seas at 38N 133W (295 degs SCal) and impacting the Central Coast Mon AM (11/27). Something to monitor.
North CA: For planning purposes expect swell arrival on Sun (11/26) building to 7.0 ft @ 16 secs later (11 ft) and shadowed in the SF Bay Area. Swell to build overnight pushing 12.6 ft @ 14 secs (15 ft) on Mon (11/27). Swell fading quickly on Tues (11/28) from 6.8 ft @ 12 secs (8.0 ft). Swell Direction: 308 degs moving to 292 degrees
One More Backdoor Gale
Yet another backdoor gale developed in the Northwest Gulf on Sun PM (11/19) producing a broader area of 35 kt northwest winds south of the Eastern Aleutians with seas building to 20 ft at 52N 157W. Fetch fell southeast Mon AM (11/20) building to 40 kt from the north over a moderate sized area with seas building to 24 ft over a decent sized area at 51N 158W. In the evening 35-40 kt north winds were falling hard south over a modest area with seas 25 ft in the Northern Gulf at 45N 157W aimed southeast and south Targeting mainly Hawaii. Fetch continued falling south Tues AM (11/21) at 30-35 kts over a modest sized area and a little bit more cohesive aimed south and southeast with 25 ft seas at 40N 157W targeting Hawaii well with a second pocket of seas at 26 ft at 48N 152 targeting the US West Coast better. Northwest fetch continued falling south-southeast in the evening at 35-40 kts aimed southeast with seas 27 ft at 40N 153W targeting both Hawaii and the US West Coast. Wed AM (11/22) fetch was fading from barely 30 kts from the north-northwest targeting mid-way between the US West Coast and Hawaii with seas fading from 23 ft at 35N 150W. This system was gone after that.
Hawaii: Swell is to be peaking Thurs (11/23) sunrise at 9.8 ft @ 14-15 secs (14 ft) holding decently through the day. Swell fading Fri (11/24) from 7.8 ft @ 13 secs (10 ft). Residuals on Sat (11/25) fading from 6.2 ft @ 11 secs (6.5 ft). Swell Direction: 005-015 degrees
North CA: Core sideband swell is to be peaking Thurs (11/23) at sunrise at 4.1 ft @ 13-14 secs (5.0-5.5 ft) holding through the day. Residuals on Fri (11/24) 4.0 ft @ 10 secs (4.0 ft) and on Sat (11/25) fading from 4.0 ft @ 10 secs (4.0 ft) from 270 degrees. Swell Direction: 305 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday (11/23) weak high pressure at 1020 mbs was just off Central CA making for light winds nearshore other than north winds 10-15 kts over Pt Conception and a weak front generating 15 kt south winds over Cape Mendocino and light rain down to maybe Pt Arena early forecast pushing south to maybe Bodega Bay later. Friday (11/24) north winds are forecast at 15 kts mainly from Monterey southward to Pt Conception but light elsewhere. Saturday (11/25) a local low is to spin up off the Central Coast with southeast winds 10 kts early for all of Central and North CA building to 30+ kts for Cape Mendocino at sunset and 15 kts down to near Monterey Bay and rain pushing south from Cape Mendocino late afternoon to the Golden gate late evening and Monterey Bay Sun AM (11/26). Sunday (11/26) the front is to dissipate early with light winds but rain pushing south to Morro Bay late morning and Pt Conception late afternoon. And another local low is to be right behind with the front impacting the North Coast late afternoon with south winds 25 kts and rain pushing south from Cape Mendocino mid morning to San Francisco after dark. Snow for the highest peaks in Tahoe mid-morning and falling to lake level in the evening while building down to the Southern Sierra. Monday high pressure is to be just off the coast with north winds 20 kts for all of the California coast including Southern CA and building to 25 kts but limited to Central CA. Snow fading early Mon AM for the Sierra. Tues (11/28) high pressure tracks north with north winds 20 kts from Cape Mendocino southward early turning northeast and fading to 10 kts in the afternoon. No precip forecast. Wednesday a new high pressure system builds off the North Coast with north winds 15-20 kts for all of North and Central CA and continuing into Thurs (11/30).
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 on Sat PM (11/25) a primer gale is to building off North Japan with 45 kt west winds and seas developing. On Sun AM (11/26) a fragmented fetch of 40-45 kt west winds are to be mid-way to the dateline and pretty far north with 2 tiny areas of 28 ft seas at near 48N 165E. In the evening fetch is to consolidate and build to 45 kts over the North Dateline Area aimed mostly east with 33 ft seas at 47N 177E. A new fetch is to be building in the Northern Gulf at the same time with 45-50 kt northwest winds and seas building. On Monday AM (11/27) the two fetch areas are to start converging with winds 45 kts and seas from the new fetch at 38 ft at 51N 158W and 28 ft from the original fetch down at 44N 168W. In the evening the two systems are to merge with 35 kt west winds over a broad area and seas 36 ft up at 51N 150W with 26 ft seas down to 42N 155W pushing east and southeast. On Tues AM (11/28) this system is to be fading and heading towards the Central Canada Coast with seas fading from 25 ft over a broad area filling the Gulf centered at 46N 148W. Something to monitor.
A far stronger system is forecast developing behind that on Mon AM (11/27) with 45+ kt west winds getting traction on an already roughed up ocean surface and seas building from 30 ft at 43N 167E. On Mon PM (11/27) the system is to build to storm status while lifting northeast to a point just south of the intersection of the dateline and the Aleutians (North Dateline region) with 60 kt northwest winds generating 37 ft seas at 45N 178E. On Tues AM (11/28) 60+ kt northwest winds are forecast holding over the North Dateline region aimed southeast with 51 ft seas building at 48.5N 179W. In the evening fetch is to be falling southeast and fading from 50 kts with seas 48 ft at 48N 173W. On Wed AM (11/29) fetch is to be fading from 40 kt over a solid area in the Western Gulf aimed east with seas fading from 42 ft at 46N 164W. Residuals forecast at 30-35 kt from the northwest in the evening with seas fading from 33 ft over a broad area aimed east at 46N 156W. Something to monitor but not real believable at this early date.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather system nor fetch is forecast.
More details to follow...
La Nina Stable - Cool Pool Solid
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 Wed (11/22) 5 day average winds were from the east over the entire equatorial Pacific but near calm in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were light east over the East Pacific but light westerly from 170E and point west of there in the Central KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (11/23) Weak east anomalies were modeled over the core of the KWGA. Weak east anomalies are to hold in the KWGA perhaps building to the modest range starting 11/27 and holding through the last day of the run on 11/30. 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 11/22 a neutral MJO pattern was in control of the equatorial far West Pacific. The statistical model depicts the Active/Wet Phase developing 5 days out and holding weakly through the end of the model run 15 days out. The dynamic model depicts a dead neutral MJO pattern holding for the next 5 days then the Inactive Phase building on the dateline with the Active/Wet Phase moving into the West Pacific 15 days out.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (11/23) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO very weak over the East Maritime Continent and is to build in strength and then start pushing east into the West Pacific 2 weeks out. The GEFS model suggests much the same but stronger than the ECMF.
40 day Upper Level Model: (11/23) This model depicts a weak Inactive/Dry MJO pattern over the West Pacific pushing east and into Central America 12/18. A very weak and undefined pattern is to follow through the end of the model run on 1/2/18 (40 days out). This model runs about 1 week ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (11/23) 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. A very weak Active Phase of the MJO is to develop in the far West Pacific 12/16 but holding weakly with weak west anomalies anomalies in the KWGA. This pattern is to hold through the end of the model run on 2/20/18. The low pass filter indicates a modest low pressure bias over the extreme west KWGA and it is to ease east filling 70% 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 20% 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: (11/23) 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: (11/22) 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. 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 (11/21): A warming trend was developing 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: (11/21) 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: (11/23) Today's temps were rising solidly to 0.113, 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 (11/23) temps were stable at -1.047, 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 (11/23) The forecast has temps falling steadily from -0.75 in early Nov to -1.1 in late Dec falling to -1.2 in early Feb. Then the trend is to turn upwards 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 (11/23): The daily index was steady moving positive at 14.63. The 30 day average was rising some at 7.49. The 90 day average was rising slightly at +8.13. This suggests a turn towards La Nina.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (11/23) The index was falling again at -1.15 (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, 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