Thursday, February 2, 2017
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 10.3 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 6.9 ft @ 14.5 secs from 48 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.8 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 3.3 ft @ 13.7 secs from 246 degrees. Wind east 10-12 kts. Water temperature 57.4 degs. At Ventura swell was 1.4 ft @ 11.8 secs from 267 degrees. At Santa Monica swell was 2.3 ft @ 12.5 secs from 256 degrees. At Camp Pendleton swell was 1.4 ft @ 14.7 secs from 235 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma swell was 3.7 ft @ 13.5 secs from 260 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 10.9 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 8.4 ft @ 8.3 secs from 186 degrees. Wind southeast 21-27 kts at the buoy. Water temp 54.7 degs.
46006, 46059, New! Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (at the 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 (2/2) in North and Central CA locally generated southwest windswell was producing waves in the chest to head high range with some bigger sets with lump running through it coming from the south and no good form. Smaller and cleaner at protected breaks. At Santa Cruz surf was 2 ft overhead on the outside and chopped and a mess driven by south winds. In Southern California up north residual Gulf swell was producing surf at waist to chest high and clean with decent form on the sets. In North Orange Co surf was waist high and clean but weak. In San Diego surf was waist high with some bigger sets and textured with a weak onshore flow. Hawaii's North Shore was getting swell from a gale north of the Islands with waves at 8-10 ft and fairly clean this AM. The South Shore was flat and clean. The East Shore was getting north swell at 10 ft and textured from southeast wind.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
A gale developed Mon-Tues (1/31) north-northeast of Hawaii producing 28-30 ft seas aimed at the Islands with 22 ft seas also targeting Southern CA. That swell is fading in Hawaii and moving towards California. A broader system also developed off the Kurils on Tues (1/31) with 35 ft seas pushing east, then faded fast Wed (2/1) never making it to the dateline. A smaller system is forecast Thurs-Fri (2/3) just off the Kurils producing 32 ft seas aimed east and also not making it to the dateline. On Mon (2/6) another small gale is to develop off North Japan producing 38 ft seas tracking east and fading out on the dateline late Tues (2/7). At the same time a gale is forecast just northwest of and in close proximity to Hawaii with seas building to 29 ft just 500 nmiles north of the Islands late Tuesday with weak remnants of it lifting northeast and targeting the US West Coast Wed-Thurs (2/9). And some diffuse energy is to be off Japan at that time. A very southward di.cgiaced storm track is forecast focused over the Central Pacific.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis.cgius forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Thursday AM (2/2) the jetstream was consolidated tracking east off Japan with winds to 190 kts reaching just over the dateline then .cgiitting heavily with the northern branch lifting northwest up into the Bering Sea then falling south and rejoining the main flow in the Central Gulf and pushing into Central CA. The southern branch fell south some west of Hawaii then pushed northeast again joining the northern branch in the Gulf. In short the jet over the West Pacific was supportive of gale development even though no real troughs were present but the jet was not supportive over the East Pacific. Over the next 72 hours winds in the jet are to continue at 190-200 kts pushing off Japan and over the dateline reaching to a point 600 nmiles north of Hawaii by Sun (2/5) with a broad trough starting to develop just east of the dateline offering good support for gale development. East of there a fragmented pattern is to continue but getting more organized. Beyond 72 hours the jet is to fully consolidate over the width of the north Pacific by Tues (2/7) with winds 170-180 kts from just off Japan pushing over North CA with a trough still developing north of Hawaii with it's apex moving directly over the Islands offering good support for gale development there. The trough is to slowly lift northeast and be poised just off the California Coast on Thurs (2/9). Back to the west the jet is to start building again with winds 170 kts off Japan reaching to the dateline running flat east with no troughs present but still supportive of gale development. It looks like another pulse of energy and gale activity might develop, possibly forced by a developing Active Phase of the MJO.
On Thursday (2/2) swell from a gale that formed north-northeast of Hawaii a few days before was fading (see Second Hawaiian Gale below). Also a small storm formed off north Japan on Monday (1/30) (see Kuril Gale below)
Over the next 72 hours starting Thurs AM (2/2) another small gale is to develop off the Kuril's producing 45 kt west winds and seas building from 30 ft at 41N 155E. The gale is to lift north some in the evening making no eastward progress with 40 kt northwest winds and seas 30 ft over a small area at 40N 162E targeting Hawaii and the US West Coast. West fetch is to be fading Fri AM (2/3) from 40 kts off Kamchatka with seas 29 ft at 46N 168E aimed mainly at the Aleutians. The gale to dissipate from there. Small swell for Hawaii possible starting Mon (2/6) building to 6.0 ft @ 15 secs at sunset (9.0 ft). Swell Direction: 310 degrees.
Also on Mon PM (1/30) a small storm started brewing off North Japan with 50 kt northwest winds and seas building from 28 ft over a small area at 39N 156E. On Tues AM (1/31) a broader area of 45 kt northwest winds were lifting northeast generating 35 ft seas at 40N 165E targeting Hawaii well. In the evening fetch is to be lifting north fast getting less traction on the oceans surface and fading from 45 kts with seas fading from 30 ft at 42N 168E. This system is to fade from there while moving into the Bering Sea with residual 26 ft seas up at 47N 170E aimed east. After that no additional sea production of interest is forecast.
Hawaii: Small swell is expected to arrive starting later Fri (2/3) building to 3.9 ft @ 16 secs at sunset (6.0 ft). Swell to peak on Sat (2/4) at 5.2 ft @ 15 secs (7.5 ft). Residuals fading on Sun (2/5) from 3.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (5.0 ft). Swell Direction: 310 degrees
Second Hawaiian Gale
Remnants from a previous gale just north of Hawaii started redeveloping while lifting northeast on Mon AM (1/30) with 45 kt north and northeast winds producing 25 ft seas at 36N 151W targeting Hawaii but also swinging towards the US West Coast. In the evening 45 kt north-northeast winds built in the Central Gulf with 29 ft seas at 35N 151W targeting Hawaii and 24 ft seas building in the gales south quadrant at 33N 148W somewhat targeting Southern California. Fetch was fading Tues AM (1/31) from 35 kts from the north with 27 ft seas at 34N 150W still aimed at Hawaii with 24 ft seas at 31N 147W targeting South CA. This system started fading from there while tracking northeast with 30 kt north winds in the evening and 23 ft seas fading at 32N 150W mainly targeting Hawaii. Nothing was left after Tuesday evening.
Oahu: Residuals on Thurs (2/2) fading from 7.0 ft @ 13-14 secs (9.5 ft). Dribbles on Fri (2/3) fading from 4.8 ft @ 12 secs (5.5 ft). Swell Direction: 20-25 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday AM (2/2) low pressure was circulating off the California coast driving south winds at 20 kts from Pt Conception northward. Modest rain occurred early but was fading mid-day over the same area. 1-3 inches of snow had fallen in Tahoe since Wed PM into Thurs AM but is to dissipate during the day. This is a major downgrade compared to forecast 48 hour earlier. Friday south winds continue from Pt Conception northward at 15-20 kts and slowly fading as the low lifts north and moves inland late evening. A stronger bout of rain expected early morning fading late afternoon into the evening for all of North and Central CA reaching south to LA. Snow develops for Tahoe at 4 AM Friday pulsing through the day and early evening with decent snow levels then fading Sat 10 AM. 25-29 inches of accumulation possible in that timeframe. Mammoth to receive only 5 inches through the period. Saturday AM a weak southwest flow at 10 kts is forecast from Morro Bay northward. Low odds of light rain from Monterey Bay northward but good odds north of Pt Reyes. A new local low is forecast developing off the CA coast on Sunday (2/5) with south winds 10 kts early from Morro Bay northward building to 25 kts late afternoon. Rain from Pt Arena northward through the day then developing from Pt Conception northward at 4 PM pushing south to LA later evening. Snow for the entire Sierra starting at 7 PM building to heavy overnight and into Monday AM then fading and gone by Monday evening. Rain fading for the entire state Monday AM (2/6). West to southwest winds Monday AM 15 kts mainly north of Morro Bay fading to calm late afternoon. Tuesday the next low queues up off the coast with south winds 20 kts from Monterey Bay northward and rain over the same area. Snow developing mid- AM for the Sierra focused on Tahoe and heavy late afternoon into the evening. Wednesday south winds lighten up but continue from Monterey Bay northward with rain from Morro bay northward and snow fading for mainly Tahoe turning to rain late afternoon. Total accumulation from now through Thurs AM (2/9) for Tahoe to 55 inches. Thursday (2/9) the next low queues up with south winds from Morro Bay northward and the low lifting north. Light rain from the Golden Gate northward. Light rain for Tahoe.
The models suggest a storm building in the Central South Pacific Mon-Thurs (2/9) with up to 52 ft seas aimed east. This is hard to believe but worth monitoring. Otherwise no swell producing fetch of interest is occurring or 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 a broad gale is forecast developing Mon AM (2/6) 700 nmiles northwest of Hawaii with 30-35 kt northwest fetch and the leading edge of it impacting Kauai and seas building from 19 ft at 34N 180W (on the dateline). In the evening more of the same is forecast with a fetch of 30-35 kts from the northwest just 300 nmiles northwest of Kauai and effectively stationary with 20 ft seas building back at 30N 168W. More of the same is forecast on Tues AM (2/7) with 30-35 kt northwest winds just 200 nmiles north of Hawaii with 24 ft seas at 27N 161W. In the evening the gale is to be holding stationary with 35-40 kt northwest fetch still targeting the Islands and seas building to 29 ft 30N 159W. By Wed AM (2/8) the gale is to be lifting northeast with 35 kt northwest winds targeting locations east of Hawaii with 27 ft seas at 28N 150W mainly aimed at Southern Baja. A quick fade to follow. Raw local swell for Hawaii is the likely outcome.
Also on Mon PM (2/6) a broad gale is forecast pushing off Japan producing 40 kt west winds over a small area aimed east and seas building from 30 ft over a tiny area at 40N 157E. On Tues AM (2/7) fetch is to push east with winds 40-45 kts with seas building in coverage at 30 ft at 39N 161E. In the evening 35-40 kt west winds to be solid in coverage over the West Pacific with 32 ft seas at 39N 168E targeting Hawaii well. Fetch is to stall Wed AM (2/8) just west of the dateline at 35-40 kts with 30 ft seas at 40N 171E. The gale is to fade some in the evening with 30-35 kt west winds and seas fading from 27 ft at 40N 173E. The gale is to fade from there but still producing 30-35 kt west fetch into Thurs PM (2/9) with 23 ft seas at 37N 170E. A long run of swell is possible for the Islands if this.cgiays out as forecast.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
More details to follow...
Inactive Phase In Control for Now, But Active Phase Expected Shortly
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 equatorial Pacific it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slack if not an outright reversal of trade winds and enhanced 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.cgianet, 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 help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to .cgiit resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. 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 di.cgiaced and generally weak. And by early 2017, it appears to be fading.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Wednesday (2/1) east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific and solid over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. The KWGA is on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south. Anomalies were neutral over the equatorial East Pacific but moderate easterly over the KWGA. La Nina had not given up yet, or at least the Inactive Phase was in.cgiay over the dateline region.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): Modest east anomalies were modeled over the dateline but neutral to light westerly from 155E building to strong westerly over the Maritime Continent. The forecast suggests east anomalies tracking east of the dateline 1 week out while west anomalies build in strength and ease slowly east reaching the dateline a week out. This suggests a battle between the remnants of La Nina on the dateline and a normal wind pattern trying to build in from the west. La Nina is loosing it's grip and the Active Phase of the MJO might finally appear for real in the West Pacific with west anomalies associated with it (the first time this Winter season).
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 2/1 a modest Inactive Phase was present over the dateline with the Active Phase straddling the East Indian Ocean and far West Pacific. The statistic model projects the Inactive Phase fading on the dateline 5 days out and gone beyond with a modest version of the Active Phase moving from the West Pacific to the dateline. The dynamic model depicts the same thing but with the Active Phase moving into the West Pacific strongly 6 days out migrating to the dateline 2 weeks out. It looks like the Active Phase is on it's way per the models.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (2/2) The ECMF model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO is weak over the Maritime Continent and is to track east and build in strength moving to the West Pacific and beyond 2 weeks out at moderate strength. The GEFS model depicts about the same thing but the Active Phase stronger peaking in the West Pacific 8 days out.
40 day Upper Level Model: (2/2) This model depicts a weak Active Phase of the MJO was over the West Pacific tracking east while slowly fading, reaching the dateline 2/12 and into Central America into 2/27. The Inactive Phase is to follow tracking over the West Pacific 2/25-3/14. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (2/2) This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO was over the KWGA with east wind anomalies in.cgiay on the dateline and points east of there (but not west of there). This is to hold into 2/10. Then the Active Phase returns 2/11-2/26 with moderate west anomalies in the far West Pacific and east anomalies gone over the dateline. A weak Inactive Phase is to follow 2/27-3/14 but with west anomalies slowly getting more traction over the dateline region in March onwards. A weak Active Phase is to follow with solid west anomalies over the KWGA. The MJO is forecast to start building in strength from here forward having more influence on wind anomalies in the KWGA as La Nina dies (gone per the low pass filter on 3/22 with El nina taking hold 4/4).
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (2/2) Actual temperatures remain stratified with warm water in the West Pacific at 30+ degs C (reaching east to 165E) and the 28 deg isotherm line reaching to 180W and steep, suggesting a hard break between warm water in the west and cool water in the east at depth. This is expected with La Nina in.cgiay. Anomaly wise there's no signs of La Nina. Warm anomalies at +1-2 degs rule from the West Pacific pushing east to 155W (possible mini-Kelvin Wave). Neutral anomalies are east of there to Ecuador. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 1/28 depicts 2 small pockets of of cooler water to -1.0 degs, one along Ecuador and the other at 160W and both fading in coverage. And warm water is building east forming a nearly continuous path from the West Pacific to nearly Ecuador at +0.5-1.0 degs. La Nina has lost control of the ocean at depth with remaining negative anomalies weakening and getting shallower.
Sea Level Anomalies: (1/28) Negative anomalies at -5.0-10 cm's control 2 pockets stranding the equator from 105W to 135W and 5 degs north and south. Sea levels are slowly rising with La Nina loosing it's grip 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: (2/1) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate warm water dominating the region extending from Southern Chile north to Panama and then extending west over the Galapagos reaching to 110W. But temps here are not as warm as days past with only pockets to +2.0 degs. Neutral to weak cool temps are west of there on the equator to 160W. La Nina is gone and it looks like an El Nino like pattern is returning, though that seems not possible.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (2/1): Significant warming continues along Chile, Peru Ecuador out over the Galapagos extending west now to 125W. A small pocket of cooling is out at 140W and loosing ground with neutral anomalies west of there. In any other year one would wonder if El Nino was developing. Most interesting.
Hi-res Overview: (1/31) There is no sign of La Nina cool waters from Ecuador west to at least 120W. The only real remnants are from 135W-175E and even those appear to be in collapse and heading west. La Nina is loosing coverage quickly. This is good news.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (2/2) Today's temps were rising at +1.087, but not as high as the recent pulse at +1.635 on 1/25.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (2/2) temps were falling steadily at -0.5769. Temps have been oscillating warm to cool and back in 2-3 week cycles within a range from -0.0 to -0.5 degs but a re trending steadily warmer.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (1/31) This model indicates La Nina developed from June thru Oct in the -0.55 deg range then started fading with temps rising to neutral by Jan 1. La Nina is dead. The forecast has temps gently rising abruptly to +0.5 degs March 1 building to +0.80 degs in April and holding if not rising to +1.1 degs in Oct, suggesting a return of El Nino. This indicates that La Nina is over and a return to at least normal temps is expected in Spring. The change in the atmosphere will be slower.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Jan Plume depicts temps are warming and are now at -0.2 degs. A slow increase in temps is forecast thereafter to neutral 0.0 in March 2017 warming to +0.2 degs in May and holding into the Fall. This is no different than the Dec forecast and suggests La Nina is over. See chart here - link.
Atmospheric Deco.cgiing (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (2/2): The daily index was positive today at +15.71, the 3rd day in a row in this range. The 30 day average was falling slightly at -1.50, negative for 3 days in a row and the first time it's been negative since November. The 90 day average was rising some at +0.41. All this suggests the Active Phase of the MJO was trying to get a foot the door in January but that maybe the Inactive Phase is now taking hold and that La Nina is dead.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (2/2) Today's value was falling at -1.24. A peak low was reached on 11/2 at -1.94 the deepest it has been in this La Nina event. But that since backed off but has held in the -1.2 range since. Of all the indicators, this is the only one that suggests La Nina is not loosing it's grip. That is to be expected though as this measures atmospheric response, not oceanic. The atmosphere lags changes in the ocean driven by the ENSO cycle. The expectation is this index will start rising shortly.
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) are: +0.79, +1.23, +1.55, +1.59, +1.42, +0.76, +0.12 then falling to -0.87, -1.06 and -0.70 in Oct. But in Nov, it was up to +0.80 and +0.45 in Dec. This looks much like the warm phase of the PDO.
The Washington EDU index (Jan-Dec) are: +1.53, +1.75, +2.40, +2.62, +2.35, +2.03, +1.25 +0.52, +0.45, +0.56, +1.88 and +1.17 in Dec.
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive 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