Thursday, June 29, 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 2.9 ft @ 18.9 secs with swell 0.9 ft @ 17.9 secs from 190 degrees. Wind at the buoy was south 4-6 kts. Water temperature 64.2 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.2 ft @ 7.9 secs from 269 degrees. At Santa Monica (Buoy 028) swell was 1.2 ft @ 17.8 secs from 209 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (Buoy 043) swell was 1.4 ft @ 17.8 secs from 224 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (Buoy 191) swell was 1.5 ft @ 17.5 secs from 205 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 7.1 ft @ 9.1 secs with swell 5.6 ft @ 8.0 secs from 310 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest 16-20 kts. Water temp 55.4 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 (6/29) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing surf at chest high and crumbly with northwest bump though winds were light nearshore. Protected breaks were waist high and warbled and weak but clean. At Santa Cruz residual New Zealand swell was producing surf at thigh to waist high and clean but slow and weak. In Southern California up north local windswell was producing waves at thigh to maybe waist high and clean but slow. In North Orange Co fading southern hemi swell was still producing set waves to chest high and lined up and heavily textured from south wind. In South Orange Co southern hemi swell was fading from waist to chest high on rare sets and moderately textured from south wind. In San Diego southern hemi swell was fading with sets waist high and clean. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was small with sets waves waist to maybe chest high and clean and lined up early. The East Shore was getting east windswell with waves waist high and chopped from modest east trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Thursday (6/29) local north windswell was starting to build in North and Central California and expected to move upwards some into the weekend and more so early next week, but nothing remarkable. Minimal southern hemi swell was fading in Hawaii and starting to hit California from a gale that developed under New Zealand on Mon (6/19) with up to 43 ft seas aimed east. Beyond a gale is forecast in the far Southeast Pacific Sat-Sun (7/2) with 29 ft seas aimed well north with a second late Sun (7/3) with 40 ft seas aimed northeast. And a small gale is forecast tracking under New Zealand on Sun (7/2) with 37 ft seas aimed east. So there's some hope.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Thursday (6/29) weak high pressure at 1024 mbs was just west of North CA starting to form a weak pressure gradient over North and Central CA waters generating north winds at 20 kts producing minimal north windswell at exposed breaks. Another high pressure system at 1024 mbs was 500 nmiles north of Hawaii generating east winds at 15 kts from about 250 nmiles east of the Islands and sweeping over them producing minimal east windswell at exposed breaks.
Over the next 72 hours on the mainland more of the same is forecast with high pressure hanging off the California coast at 1024 mbs generating northwest winds at 20-25 kts Friday building in coverage more on Saturday (7/1) holding till Sun AM (7/2) then fading in the afternoon some as the local high fades and starts merging with a far broader high at 1030 mbs building 1200 nmiles north-northeast of Hawaii. Some form of weak shorter period windswell is expected along exposed breaks in North and Central CA.
For Hawaii east winds to build some early Friday (6/30) at 15-20 kts over and east of the Islands offering some hope for minimal east windswell along exposed east facing shores but that fetch is to be lifting north and fading Sat (7/1) with windswell fading and then gone by Sun (7/2).
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday (6/29) high pressure at 1024 mbs was just off the CA coast generating a northwesterly flow at 15-20 kts pushing down the North and Central Coast expected to build to 20 kts continuously later in the day. Friday north winds to build to 20-25 kts over North and Central CA down to Pt Conception. Saturday (7/1) north winds to build to 25-30 kts mainly over North CA and 25 kts reaching south to a point off Pismo Beach. Raw conditions expected for all of North and Central CA during this period. Sunday (7/2) the gradient is to lift north focused over North CA and fade with north winds 20-25 kts there and 15-20 kts down to Pt Conception. On Monday (7/3) the gradient is to redevelop at 25+ kts isolated over Cape Mendocino with an eddy flow (south winds) building from Bodega Bay southward. Then then gradient starts fading Tuesday (7/4) at 20-25 kts from the north limited to Cape Mendocino with an eddy flow holding from Pt Arena southward. Wed (7/5) winds to be light northwest 15 kts over North CA and less south of there. Thursday (7/6) a generic 15 kt northwest flow is to develop over all of the North and Central Coast and reaching south into Southern CA and Baja later in the day.
On Thursday AM (6/29) the southern branch of the jet was flowing zonally east under New Zealand with winds at 90 kts continuing east across the South Pacific on the 65S latitude line with no troughs indicated and too weak to support gale development even if a trough were in play. The northern branch was flowing zonally east on the 28S latitude line. Over the next 72 hours no change is forecast until Fri (6/30) when the southern branch starts to lift northeast over the Southeast Pacific with winds building briefly to 130 kts forming a trough but quickly exiting east by the evening and out of the California swell window offering little support for gale development. But on Sat (7/1) another trough is to form in the same area being fed by 140 kt winds pushing to the northeast holding into Sun (7/2) offering decent support for gale development. At the same time another trough is forecast developing under New Zealand on Sun (7/2) being fed by 110 kt winds and rapidly tracking east as winds build to 130 kts on Mon (7/3) over the South Central Pacific offering support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours both troughs are to rapidly collapse with the eastern one move quickly into the southern tip of South America no longer offering support for gale development. the jet is to remain weak running flat east on the 64S latitude line with winds mostly 90 kts or less with no troughs forecast offering no support for gale development in the upper atmosphere.
On Thursday (6/29) swell generated from a gale that developed southeast of New Zealand was impacting California (see 3rd New Zealand Gale below).
Otherwise no swell producing fetch was occurring.
Over the next 72 hours a primer system is forecast in the Southeast Pacific with a stronger system right behind it while a moderate system builds under New Zealand (details below).
A primer gale is forecast developing in the Southeast Pacific on Thurs AM (6/29) with 35 kt southwest winds building in the deep South Central Pacific moving rapidly east. That fetch is to start lifting northeast in the evening at 35 kts over a broad area with seas building to 23 ft at 59S 131W. On Fri AM (6/30) winds to build to 40 kts over a small area imbedded in a broader fetch of 35 kt south winds with seas 26 ft at 58S 125W. On Fri PM fetch is to collapse from 35 kts aimed north with seas peaking at 28 ft at 52S 120W targeting California southward to Peru. This system is to not be so much a swell producer as a means to rough up the oceans surface.
On Sat AM (7/1) a new fetch of 40-45 kt southwest winds are to start building over the deep South Central Pacific rushing east with seas building from 26 ft at 61S 149W. In the evening fetch is to build in coverage at 40-45 kts from the southwest moving to the Southeast Pacific with seas building to 29 ft at 57S 131W. On Sun AM (7/2) that fetch is to track east and fade with a secondary fetch building right behind it at 45 kts from the southwest and positioned further north with a new area of seas to 32 ft at 57S 131W. Fetch is to track east-northeast in the evening while building to 50-55 kts from the southwest at 58S 115W (east of the CA swell window) with seas building to 40 kts at 54S 119W sending sideband energy towards Southern CA but most energy targeting Chile. On Mon AM (7/3) 50-55 kt southwest winds to continue tracking east-northeast with 49 ft seas at 53S 108W targeting Chile well. The storm is to fade quickly in the evening with fetch fading from 55 kts over a tiny area and seas from the original fetch fading from 43 ft at 47S 96W targeting Chile well. The gale is to dissipate from there Tues AM (7/4) with seas fading from 41 ft at 48S 87W targeting Chile well and just 800 nmiles away from breaks in Southern Chile. Possible swell for California with most energy towards South America and specifically Chile.
Another gale is to develop due south of New Zealand on Sun AM (7/2) with southwest winds building from 40 kts and seas building from 30 ft at 62S 167E. In the evening fetch is to build from 45-50 kts over a moderate sized area aimed east-northeast with seas building from 35 ft over a modest sized area at 61S 177E. Mon AM (7/3) fetch is to race east and start fading from 45 kts with seas fading from 35 ft over a small area at 59S 170W. In the evening this weather system is to track rapidly east having a hard time getting traction on the oceans surface with winds 40-45 kts from the southwest with seas 30 ft at 55S 155W. This system is to fade from there while tracking fast east. Something to monitor.
3rd New Zealand Gale
On Sun (6/18) a storm started developing southeast of Tasmania with 55 kt west winds and seas building from 35 ft over a tiny area at 54S 150E and shadowed by New Zealand relative to NCal and HI and barely in the 222 degs window for SCal. Winds held at 55 kts from the west on Mon AM (6/19) but with the fetch falling east-southeast with seas 38 ft at 57.5S 166E (214 degs SCal and shadowed by Tahiti, 214 degs and unshadowed for NCal, and clear and in the 200 degs window for Hawaii). Fetch was 50 kts in the evening from the southwest and still falling east-southeast with seas to 43 ft at 59.5S 177E aimed east (208 degs NCal and shadowed, 209 degs SCal and barely unshadowed,192 degs HI). On Tues AM (6/20) fetch was fading from 40 kts with seas fading from 37 ft at 61S 171.5W (203 degs NCal and unshadowed, 204 degs SCal and unshadowed, 187 degs HI). This system is to be gone by evening.
This system had solid winds and seas, but was tracking east-southeast with not much momentum aimed northeast, thereby limited swell size traveling in that direction and towards our forecast area.
Southern CA: On Thurs (6/29) swell to build to 1.6 ft @ 18 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell fading Fri (6/30) from 1.8 ft @ 16 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Residuals on Saturday (7/1) fading from 1.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 213 degrees.
Northern CA: On Thurs (6/29) swell to build to 1.4 ft @ 17-18 secs (2.5 ft). Swell fading Fri (6/30) from 1.4 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Residuals on Saturday (7/1) fading from 1.4 ft @ 15 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 214 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 high pressure at 1032 mbs is to hold north of Hawaii on Mon (7/3) ridging east some and continuing the gradient along mainly the North CA coast producing north winds at 25+ kts resulting in somewhat improved northwest windswell down into Central CA. That gradient and resulting windswell to fade rapidly on Tues (7/4) with winds dropping to 20 kts later and shrinking from there Wed (7/5) at barely 20 kts over a small area over Cape Mendocino. Generic 15 kts northwest winds to be all that's left on Thurs (7/6) developing southward from North CA down to Central CA offering no real windswell development potential.
For Hawaii trades to start rebuilding in coverage east of the Islands Mon-Tues (7/4) at 15 kts from the east possibly offering an increase in easterly windswell at exposed break along east facing shores. But Wed-Thurs (7/6) the high is to evaporate and trades to fall below the 15 kt threshold with east windswell fading out.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.
More details to follow...
ESPI Holding Well Negative
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 Wednesday (6/28) east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific including the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral everywhere including the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): Weak east anomalies were over the eastern KWGA and forecast to retrograde to the Western KWGA through the end of the 7 day model run (7/6). It is expected that since these winds are at the 850 mb level (4,200 ft) a neutral wind pattern will be in play at the surface like it is today. It was looking like the long running Inactive Phase of the MJO/La Nina was dissipating, but now it looks like it's redeveloping.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 6/28 a weak Inactive/Dry Phase of the MJO was in play over the Western Pacific. The statistical model depicts a neutral pattern developing on day 5 and continuing with no MJO signal in play over the next 2 weeks. The dynamic model continues to projects the Inactive Phase holding West Pacific through day 10 , then starting to fade 15 days out.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (6/29) The ECMF model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO was exceedingly weak over the Indian Ocean and is to track steadily east reaching the dateline 2 weeks out. The GEFS depicts the Active Phase holding weak in the Indian Ocean through the 2 week period.
40 day Upper Level Model: (6/29) This model depicts a weak Inactive/Dry pattern over the East Pacific tracking slowly east into Central America 7/9 while a weak Active Phase was trying to develop over the far West Pacific today slowly tracking east to the East Pacific through 8/8. Basically a weak Active to nonexistent MJO pattern is expected for the next month and a half. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (6/29) This model depicts no MJO signal over the KWGA. Light west wind anomalies were indicated over the KWGA. Over the coming days weak west anomalies are to be developing a better footprint in the KWGA with a weak Active MJO signal developing over the KWGA holding to 7/21. A weak Inactive signal is to develop 7/18-7/28 but with weak west anomalies holding in the KWGA. A legitimate Active Phase of the MJO is to fully develop in the West Pacific on 7/31 with building west anomalies moderate to strong in strength holding till 9/9 with a weak Inactive Phase of the MJO trying to develop in the KWGA 9/10-9/26 (end of the model run) but west anomalies still in play, but weaker. Of note: East anomalies are to be in-play from the dateline and points east of there from 7/29 onward. The west wind anomaly scenario is likely overstated as the model has been teasing at west anomalies for months and yet they never develop. The low pass filter indicates La Nina dissipated as of 6/14. Interestingly the model projects a lowpass La Nina signal is to redevelop 8/18 (previously 7/21) but now over the interior US mainland rather than over the KWGA. 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: (6/29) Actual temperatures remain stratified with warm water in the far West Pacific at 30 degs over a shallow area at 160E. The 28 deg isotherm line is steady at 146W. The 24 deg isotherm has pushed east and is now reaching Ecuador. It is 100 meters deep at 140W. Anomaly wise a generic pattern of +1 deg anomalies stretches from the East to West Pacific from 100 meters upward. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 6/22 depicts a continuous stream of warm water tracking from the west to the east suggesting a homogenous pattern biased warm was 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: (6/22) In the east a small area of 5 cm anomalies are over waters off Ecuador. In the west all warm anomalies have vanished on the equator. A pocket of 0-5 cm anomalies were on the equator at 140W. Effectively a dead neutral pattern is in control of the entire equatorial Pacific.
Surface Water Temps: The more warm water in the equatorial East Pacific means more storm production in the North Pacific during winter months (roughly speaking). Cold water in that area has a dampening effect. Regardless of what the atmospheric models and surface winds suggest, actual water temperatures are a ground-truth indicator of what is occurring in the ocean. All data is from blended infrared and microwave sensors.
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4: (6/28) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a lightly warm pattern is along the immediate South American coast extending west to 120W then building in heat content west of there. One small pocket of warm water was present along Ecuador and another at 103W, remnants of a warm event previously along South America and advecting west. Upwelling along the immediate coasts of Chile, Peru and Ecuador is building some. And a broad pocket of cooling was down at 20S 100W. Overall temps are cooling off South America out to 120W (2,400 nmiles off the coast). The La Nina that developed last Spring is gone and an El Nino like pattern that was trying to build after it during March-May is dissipating with a neutral pattern setting up off Central America down to Peru.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (6/28): A neutral to weak warming trend is developing along the coasts of Chile and Peru. Alternating pockets of warming and cooling are present on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos out to 120W, the likely fading remnants of warming previous along Peru. 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: (6/28) A weak warm regime holds from Chile north to Ecuador and west to 140W then stronger to 140E. But it looks like a neutral temperature regime is trying to set up off South America. Pockets of cool anomalies are in the far East Pacific off Ecuador and Peru. Overall waters of all oceans of the planet are warmer than normal. Suspect climatology needs to be updated to reflect this new reality, or the recent Super El Nino has significantly redistributed heat across the oceans.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (6/29) Today's temps were falling from +0.389, down from the peak of +3.0 degs on 3/18 and +1.0 degs on 5/2..
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (6/29) temps were steady at +0.566 degs.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (6/29) The forecast has temps steady at +0.55 degs today and holding for 1 more week then starting to fall weakly, dropping to +0.4 in early Aug rebounding to +0.5 in Oct holding till early Nov, then dropping to +0.1 in Jan 2018, perhaps warming to +0.25 degs in March. This suggests a neutral pattern setting up for the Winter of 2017-2018. CFS data (6/26) still suggests a Modoki style warming pattern over the dateline this Fall and Winter but other models are no suggesting a return of a weak La Nina pattern. There is no source for El Nino like warming with the warm pool in the far West Pacific weak and fading. Much recharging and heat buildup is required for a real El Nino to develop. We're at least 5 years out from that.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-June Plume updated (6/15) depicts temps have warmed to +0.3 degs. Temps are forecast to hold at this level for the coming 8 months 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 Feb.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (6/29): The daily index was steady at -4.92 and has been mostly negative for 29 days. The 30 day average was falling at -9.20. The 90 day average was steady at -4.95 or just south of neutral. This suggests a return to ENSO neutral conditions has taken hold.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (6/29) Today's value was rebounding slightly at -2.13 (up from -2.20 on 6/28) but still strongly suggesting a turn towards La Nina. A peak low was reached on 11/2/16 at -1.94, the deepest of the past La Nina event. So the index is currently more negative than at the peak of last years 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 = +0.03, March = +0.09, April=+0.52, May=+0.36. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO. No consistently negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington EDU index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.77, Feb = +0.70, Mar = +0.74, April=+1.12, 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