Monday, February 6, 2017
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 6.9 ft @ 16.7 secs with swell 3.1 ft @ 16.6 secs from 312 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.8 ft @ 17.2 secs with swell 1.4 ft @ 15.9 secs from 228 degrees. Wind southwest 14-16 kts. Water temperature 57.6 degs. At Ventura swell was 0.9 ft @ 16.8 secs from 258 degrees. At Santa Monica swell was 1.1 ft @ 16.9 secs from 269 degrees. At Camp Pendleton swell was 1.0 ft @ 14.7 secs from 225 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma swell was 2.0 ft @ 10.1 secs from 249 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 8.2 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 3.1 ft @ 14.9 secs from 290 degrees. Wind south 12-14 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 Monday (2/6) in North and Central CA locally generated west windswell was producing waves in the shoulder high range and lumpy and nearly white capped from local south winds. surf was smaller and cleaner at protected breaks. At Santa Cruz surf was waist to chest high and heavily chopped and a mess driven by south winds and rain. In Southern California up north westerly windswell was producing waves at maybe waist high and clean with no winds and rain. In North Orange Co surf was about waist high but chopped and moving sideways up the beach from the south and not rideable. In San Diego surf was thigh to waist high and textured but rideable. Hawaii's North Shore was getting small swell from a gale that was off Japan late last week with waves 7-8 ft but tattered by southwest winds. The South Shore was flat and heavily chopped by southwest winds. The East Shore was getting northeast windswell at 2 ft and clean.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
A small gale developed Thurs-Fri (2/3) just off the Kuril's producing 32 ft seas aimed east then quickly faded while lifting northeast and not making it east to even the dateline. Swell from that is hitting Hawaii now. On Mon (2/6) another small gale was starting to develop off North Japan and expected to produce 38 ft seas tracking east and fading out just west of the dateline on Wed (2/8). At the same time a gale is forecast just northwest of and in close proximity to Hawaii with seas building to 26 ft just 600 nmiles north of the Islands late Tuesday with weak remnants of it lifting northeast and targeting the US West Coast Wed-Thurs (2/9) with 20-22 ft seas. Beyond a stronger storm pattern is forecast with a gale developing off Japan on Fri (2/10) and building while tracking east with up to 40 ft seas forecast on the dateline by Sun (1/12) then fading while moving into the Western Gulf on Mon (1/13) all on a very southerly track.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis.cgius forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Monday AM (2/6) the jetstream was consolidated tracking east off Japan with winds building to 190-200 kts ridging slightly just west of the dateline then falling southeast forming a gentle trough 600 nmiles north of Hawaii before lifting northeast and weakening to 140 kts and pushing into North California. There was good support for gale development in the trough north of Hawaii. There was just a weak .cgiit of energy peeling off the main flow east of Hawaii pushing south to the equator, but otherwise the jet was consolidated over it's length across the Pacific. Over the next 72 hours wind speeds in the jet are to fade to roughly 140 kts over it's length with the jet flowing zonally (west to east) and a weak .cgiit trying to develop Wed (2/8) just east of the dateline with some energy peeling off and trying to push north but not fully .cgiitting. A bit of a trough to result behind that point in the Northwest Pacific offering support for gale development there. And the trough previously north of Hawaii is to continue easing east reaching a point midway between there and the California coast by Thurs (2/9) continuing to support gale development. At that time a new pocket of winds energy to 180 kts is to start building off Japan and streaming east looking to reinvigorate the jet. Beyond 72 hours those winds to build to 190 kts on Sat (1/11) pulling the jet back together and reaching a point north of Hawaii with a bit of a trough forming there, while the trough previously between Hawaii and California moves onshore over Central CA likely making weather. By Mon (1/13) 180 kt winds to be feeding a consolidated just from Japan flat east on the 35N latitude line reaching a point just east of Hawaii, then .cgiitting heavily with the northern branch pushing up into Alaska and the southern branch diving to the equator. No real troughs are forecast but just based on wind speeds alone, some support for gale development is possible west of Hawaii. It looks like the Active Phase of the MJO is to start feeding the jet.
On Monday AM (2/6) swell from a gale that formed off the Kuril Islands later last week was hitting Hawaii (see Kuril Island Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours a broad gale was developing Mon AM (2/6) 900 nmiles northwest of Hawaii with 30 kt northwest fetch and the leading edge of it impacting Kauai and seas building from 19 ft at 32N 180W (on the dateline). In the evening more of the same is forecast with a fetch of 30-35 kt northwest winds positioned 700 nmiles northwest of Kauai tracking east with 20 ft seas building at 30N 168W. More of the same is forecast on Tues AM (2/7) with 35-40 kt northwest winds just 500 nmiles north of Hawaii with 24 ft seas at 29N 158W. In the evening the gale is to be easing east with 35-40 kt northwest fetch just passing east of Hawaii with seas building to 26 ft 31N 157W. By Wed AM (2/8) the gale is to be pushing east and out of the Hawaiian swell window. Raw local swell for Hawaii is the likely outcome.
Hawaii: Rough data suggests swell arrival on Oahu later Tues (2/7) pushing 9.8 ft @ 14 secs at sunset (13.5 ft). Swell fading slowly Wed AM (2/8) from 8.4 ft @ 13 secs (11 ft). residuals fading Thurs AM (2/9) from 5.6 ft @ 12 secs (6.5 ft). Swell Direction: 320 degrees
Also on Mon AM (2/6) a small gale is forecast developing off Japan producing 45 kt west winds over a small area aimed east and seas building from 26 ft over a tiny area at 40N 150E. In the evening 45-50 kt northwest winds to take hold over a tiny area with 31 ft seas building at 38N 154E. On Tues AM (2/7) fetch is to push east at -45 kts with seas building in coverage at 36 ft at 38N 160E. In the evening 40 kt west winds to be solid in coverage over the West Pacific with 36 ft seas at 36N 168E targeting Hawaii well. Fetch is to stall Wed AM (2/8) just west of the dateline and lift north at 40 kts with 28-32 ft seas at 40N 170E. The gale is to fade some in the evening with 30-35 kt west winds and seas fading from 27 ft at 43N 172E. The gale is to fade from there but still producing 30-35 kt west fetch into Thurs AM (2/9) with 20 ft seas fading at 44N 165E. A decent pulse of swell is possible for the Islands if this.cgiays out as forecast.
Also the remnants of the gale previously north of Hawaii are to track east on Wed AM (2/8) producing a tiny area of 30-35 kt west winds and seas to 24 ft at 30N 148W targeting Southern CA and Baja. That fetch is to lift northeast fast in the evening at 30 kts with 20 ft seas moving east to 32N 141W targeting Southern CA. The gale is to redevelop to the north on Thurs AM (2/9) with 35 kt west winds off North CA and 20 ft seas at 39N 138W. In the evening residual 30 kt west winds to be pushing into Oregon coastal waters with 20 ft seas at 41N 132W targeting North CA and Oregon. Some raw local swell is possible for all of California.
Kuril Island Gale
On 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 to result for Hawaii.
Hawaii: Swell arrival expected starting Mon (2/6) building to 5.6 ft @ 15 secs at sunset (8.0 ft). Swell to hold on Tues AM (2/7) at 6.2 ft @ 14 secs early (8.5 ft) and being overrun by more locally generated swell. Swell Direction: 310 degrees.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Mon AM (2/6) low pressure was moving inland over Oregon with moisture from it pushing into California. Winds were south in the 10 kt range but up to 15 kts near Pt Conception and pushing as far south as San Diego. Light rain was falling over the entire state. Light snow was falling in the Sierra above 5500 ft. Monday evening the next low queues up off the coast with south winds 20+ kts from Pt Conception northward and rain over the same area. Heavier snow developing 5 PM the Sierra focused on Tahoe and continuing to 7 AM Tuesday. 30-36 inches of accumulation possible on the Sierra Crest in Tahoe. Tuesday south winds continue at 20-25 kts early for the SF Bay area and less to Pt Conception weakening late afternoon. Heavy rain forecast for Central and North CA focused on San Francisco. Snow for Tahoe turning to rain about noon but holding as snow for higher elevations (Kirkwood) total accumulation there 65 inches by 4 AM Wednesday 35 inches for Mammoth and 50 inches at the top of Tioga Pass Road. Wednesday the next low winds up off the coast with south winds 15 kts from San Francisco northward and near 40 kts for Cape Mendocino late evening. Light rain for Pt Conception northward early and drying out late afternoon for Central CA but continuing it not building then from the Golden Gate northward. Rain all day and evening for the Sierra except the highest peaks in the backcountry near Yosemite. Thursday (2/9) the front finally pushes through Monterey Bay and dissipates late afternoon with south winds 20 kts early fading later. Rain moving from North CA southward to Point Conception late evening. Snow for the Sierra with falling snow levels in the afternoon approaching lake level at sunset. Fri AM (1/10) south winds are forecast at 5-10 kts through the day from Pt Conception northward. Light rain through the day fading late evening. Snow for the Sierra all day and evening. Total accumulation in Tahoe post rain equals 24 inches. Saturday clearing high pressure builds in with northwest winds 15 kts even into Southern CA. A drying pattern sets up. North winds continue Sunday and Monday including for Southern CA.
The models suggest a storm building in the Central South Pacific Tues-Fri (2/10) tracking flat east on the 57S latitude line with up to 40 ft seas Tues PM at 57S 146W aimed east. This has been on the charts for days now and is worth monitoring. Most energy is to be aimed at Chile and Peru. 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 another gale is forecast developing off Japan starting Fri AM (1/10) being fed by a strong jetstream flow aloft. 45 kt west winds are to be over a tiny area with seas building from 28 ft. In the evening 40-45 kt west winds are to be racing east with 28 ft seas moving to 37N 158E. Sat AM (1/11) 40 kt west winds to push to nearly the dateline with 28 ft seas building back at 39N 167E. In the evening 35-40 kt west winds to be over a broad area on the dateline with 28 ft seas building at 38N 173E. More of the same is forecast Sun AM (1/12) with 20+ ft seas over a solid area on the dateline and up to 26 ft at 37N 169W. Fetch is to be fading some in the evening from 35-40 kt northwest of Hawaii with 28 ft seas at 35N 178W. More of the same is forecast Mon AM (1/13) with 30 ft seas finally materializing at 35N 172W targeting mainly Hawaii. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 35 kts with 30 ft seas fading at 35N 168W. Something to monitor.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
More details to follow...
Active MJO Trying to Build Over West Pacific
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 Sunday (2/5) 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 to strong easterly from the dateline and into 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): Moderate to strong east anomalies were modeled over the dateline but strong westerly anomalies were west of 155E into the Maritime Continent. The forecast suggests east anomalies slowly easing east of the dateline 1 week out while west anomalies hold strength and ease slowly east reaching 170E 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 2/5 a weak Inactive Phase was fading west of the dateline with the Active Phase moving into the far West Pacific. The statistic model projects a solid version of the Active Phase moving from the West Pacific to the dateline over the next 2 weeks. The dynamic model depicts the same thing. It looks like the Active Phase is already 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 moderately strong on the dateline and is to track east and hold strength moving to the Atlantic 2 weeks out at moderate or more strength. The GEFS model depicts the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model: (2/6) This model depicts a moderate Active Phase of the MJO was over the West Pacific tracking east while slowly fading, reaching the dateline 2/16 and into Central America into 3/3. The Inactive Phase is to follow tracking over the West Pacific 2/26 reaching Central America 3/18. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (2/6) This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO was fading over the KWGA with east wind anomalies in.cgiay on the dateline and points east of there (but not west of there). The Active Phase returns 2/8-2/24 with moderate west anomalies in the far West Pacific and east anomalies fading over the dateline. A weak Inactive Phase is to follow 2/25-3/14 but with west anomalies slowly getting more traction over the dateline region from March onwards. A weak Active Phase is to follow with solid west anomalies over the KWGA and dateline regions. 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 4/13).
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (2/6) 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. 26 degs anomalies reached to 140W. 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 2/2 depicts 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: (2/2) Negative anomalies at -5.0-10 cm's control 2 pockets stranding the equator from 110W to 145W 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: (2/5) 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 115W. 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 (2/5): A warming trend continues along Chile, Peru, Ecuador out over the Galapagos extending west now to 135W. In any other year one would wonder if El Nino was developing. Most interesting.
Hi-res Overview: (2/5) 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: (2/6) Today's temps were falling at +0.369, but not as high as the recent pulse at +1.635 on 1/25.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (2/6) temps were steady at -0.457. 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 (2/6) 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 +0.90 degs in April and holding if not rising to +1.25 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 (2/6): The daily index was positive today at +26.66, the 7th day in a row in this range. The 30 day average was rising slightly at -0.57, negative for 7 days in a row and the first time it's been negative since November. The 90 day average was rising some at +1.14. All this suggests the Inactive Phase of the MJO was trying to get a foot the door in early Feb.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (2/6) Today's value was rising at -1.04. 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. Now even this inidcator suggests La Nina is loosing it's grip. 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