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.
Thursday, June 30, 2016
- Buoy 146 (Lanai): Seas were 3.1 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 2.0 ft @ 13.8 secs from 194 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.7 ft @ 17.2 secs with swell 2.5 ft @ 17.2 secs from 185 degrees. Wind east 4 kts. Water temperature 67.6 degs. At Santa Barbara swell was 2.9 ft @ 7.9 secs from 265 degrees. At Santa Monica swell was 2.0 ft @ 18.4 secs from 204 degrees. Southward from Orange County to San Diego swell was 2.6 ft @ 17.7 secs from 193 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 11.4 ft @ 9.1 secs with windswell 9.1 ft @ 8.1 secs and southern hemi swell 2.1 ft @ 17.6 secs from 194 degrees. Wind northwest 16-20 kts. Water temp 53.4 degs.
Buoy 46059, Hi-res Buoys
On Thursday (6/30) in North and Central CA local northwest windswell was producing waves at shoulder to head high and warbled and textured from northwest winds. At Santa Cruz new southern hemi swell was producing waves at chest to head high on the sets and clean but a little sectioned by the north windswell. In Southern California up north windswell was producing waves in the waist to maybe chest high range and sift but clean early. Down south southern hemi swell was producing set waves at head high to 1 ft overhead and reasonably clean but with some wind lump running through it. Top spots were maybe 2 ft overhead on the sets. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was getting southern hemi sideband swell with waves in the waist to maybe chest high range on the sets and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell at knee to thigh high and chopped from easterly trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
One last pulse of southern hemi swell is in the water and starting to arrive in California, but fading in Hawaii. It originated from a small gale that tracked under New Zealand on Sun-Mon (6/20) with 38-39 ft seas. And its remnants redeveloped in the Central South Pacific on Wed (6/22) producing 31 ft seas aimed well northeast. After that a total shutdown of the storm track occurred. Looking at the charts 2 cut off gales are forecast, one east of New Zealand on Fri (7/1) with seas to 30 ft over a small area and the other in the Southeast Pacific late Sat (7/2) producing 32 ft seas aimed north. But overall, the Inactive Phase of the MJO is suppressing the potential for gale development, at least for a little while.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis.cgius forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Thursday PM (6/30) no swell producing fetch is occurring and none is forecast for the next 72 hours.
A solid version of the classic summer time local California coastal pressure gradient was in effect on Thurs (6/30) with high pressure at 1030 mbs 600 nmiles west of North CA ridging into the coast producing a focused fetch of 30 kt north winds over the North CA coast centered near Pt Arena. A weak eddy flow as starting to develop in Central CA with south winds in effect. The fetch is expected to hold through mid-Friday (7/1) then start fading late dropping to 25 kts by mid-Saturday and mostly 20 kts on Sunday (7/3). The eddy flow is to only get more established lifting north to Bodega Bay early Sat and further north on Sunday. Solid 10-11 sec period north windswell is possible at the peak of the gradient (see QuikCASTs for surf details).
For Hawaii, east trades were building on Thurs (6/30) with high pressure northeast of the Islands in control at 1030 mbs with east winds building to 15 kts from California all the way to and over Hawaii generating increasing odds for windswell development. This is to build into Fri (7/1) with east winds at 15-20 kts holding into Saturday. Then on Sunday (7/3) fetch is to fade some at 15 kts and limited to the area 1/2 way from California to and over Hawaii.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
A tropical disturbance was 350 nmiles south of Southern Mexico on Thurs AM (6/30) with a 40% probability of developing more over the coming days. The GFS model is hyping development of this system by Mon (7/4), but it is way too early to believe any of that just yet. Otherwise no tropical systems of interest are being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday (6/30) high pressure and a solid version of the California pressure gradient was in control of waters off the north end of the state producing north winds at 30 kts with a weak eddy flow (south winds) trying to develop over Central CA waters. More of the same is forecast on Friday then fading Saturday with north winds dropping to 25 kts over North CA and the eddy flow lifting north to near Pt Arena. From Sun (7/3) to Tues (7/5) the eddy flow is to control all the state but the north most reaches near Cape Mendocino where north winds to be 20 to maybe 25 kts over a small area. After that generic north winds to be 15-20 kts starting to fall south moving into Central CA waters on Wed nd holding Thurs (7/7).
On Thursday AM (6/30) the southern branch of the jet was ridging hard south under New Zealand pushing nearly to Antarctica on the 70S latitude line and sweeping east the whole way across the South Pacific to nearly the tip of South America but relatively light in terms of velocity at only 70-80 kts. This ridge was suppressing all gale development across the South Pacific. Over the next 72 hours through Sun (7/3) no change is forecast with the ridge continuing to dominate the South Pacific diving deeper to 75S. Beyond 72 hrs there signs the dominant ridge is to loose a little of it's grasp starting in the West Pacific on Mon (7/4) when a weak trough is forecast developing under New Zealand with winds building to 130 kts on Wed (7/6) it's apex reaching north to 53S on Thurs (7/7) and winds building to 140 kts offering some support for gale development. But those winds to start forming another ridge behind the trough likely shutting things down again longer term. The Inactive Phase of the MJO is hampering trough development.
On Thursday (6/30) swell associated with 2 gales (Swell #9S) is arriving in California and already fading in Hawaii. This swell (combination of energy from the 2 individual gales) is to reach significant class levels pushing the season total to 9 so far.
Otherwise no swell production has occurred or is occurring.
Over the next 72 hours two small systems are forecast.
A cutoff low is to develop southeast of New Zealand on Fri AM (7/1) generating 35 kt south winds at 45S 174W aimed north and seas starting to build. By evening winds to turn southwest at 40 kts with one pocket to 45 kts and seas building to 28 ft over a small area at 43S 172W. Fetch is to be fading from barely 40 kts Sat AM (7/2) aimed northeast with seas fading from 30 ft at 41S 167.5W. Seeing how this is a cutoff low, odds for seas developing as forecast are low. Still, if it does develop, some decent swell could result mainly for Tahiti with small swell for Hawaii. Something to monitor.
On Sat AM (7/2) a small cutoff gale is forecast developing in the far Southeast Pacific generating 30-35 kt south winds and seas on the increase. By the evening fetch is to build to 50 kts from the south aimed right at California with seas to 29 ft at 50S 122 (180 degs NCal, 182 degs SCal). Fetch is to be fading from 40 kts from the south Sun AM (7/3) with seas fading from 32 ft at 48S 122W (180 degs NCal, 182 degs SCal). This system is to be gone after that. Again, the risk is that this is way out on the models and to originate from a cutoff low. Something to monitor.
Gale #4 (Swell #9S)
On Sun AM a small system tracked well south of the Tasman Sea producing 45 kt west winds and seas to 36 ft over a tiny area aimed east. In the evening 45 kt west winds continued tracking east generating up to 38 ft seas at 58.5S 162E pushing reasonably up the great circle tracks to California (214 degs NCal and unshadowed, 214 degs SCal and shadowed, well east of the 200 degree track to Hawaii). On Monday AM (6/20) fetch continued at 45 kts over a solid area aimed east with seas fading from 37 ft at 59.5S 178.5E (190 degs HI, 206 degs NCal and shadowed, 207 degs SCal and unshadowed). Fetch was fading from 40 kts in the evening with seas fading from 36 ft at 59S 170.5W. On Tues AM (6/21) fetch was fading from 40 kts from the southwest with seas dropping to 32 ft at 60S 160W (183 degs HI, 202 degs NCal and unshadowed, 203 degs SCal). This system is to be gone after that. Small inconsistent swell to result for all locations.
Southern CA: Size peaking early Thurs (6/30) at 3.6 ft @ 17-18 secs (6.0-6.5 ft with sets to nearly 7 ft) as it interacts with Swell #6 below. Swell holding Fri AM (7/1) at 3.6 ft @ 15-16 secs (5.5 ft with sets to 7.0 ft). Swell fading Sat (7/2) from 3.3 ft @ 14-15 secs (4.8-6.0 ft). Residuals on Sun (7/3) at 2.7 ft @ 14 secs (3.5 ft). A second pulse is forecast on Mon (7/4) at 2.8 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell fading Tues (7/5) from 2.5 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Residuals on Wed (7/6) fading from 2 ft @ 12-13 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 202-214 degrees Part1, 194-202 degs Part 2) Focused on 197 degs
NCal: Swell builds on Thurs (6/30) to 3 ft @ 17-18 secs (5.0-5.5 ft with sets to 6.5 ft) later as it interacts with Swell #6 below. Swell holding Fri AM (7/1) at 3.2 ft @ 16 secs (5.0 ft with sets to 6.5 ft). Swell fading Sat (7/2) from 2.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Residuals on Sun (7/3) at 2.4 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5 ft). A second pulse is forecast on Mon (7/4) at 2.8 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell fading Tues (7/5) from 2.6 ft @ 14 secs (3.5 ft). Residuals on Wed (7/6) fading from 2 ft @ 13 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 202-214 degrees Part1, 192-199 degs Part 2) Focused on 195 degs
Gale #6 (Really it's Gale #4 Part 2)
And yet another gale followed Wed AM (6/22) directly in the same trough in the Southeast Pacific producing a broad area of 35-40 kt southwest winds and seas building from 30 ft at 50S 152W aimed northeast (199 degs NCal, 202 degs SCal). In the evening 40 kt southwest winds pushed northeast with seas tracking northeast at 30 ft at 46S 145W (196 degs NCal, 198 degs SCal). On Thurs AM (6/23) fetch was fading from 35 kts over a broad area aimed northeast with seas fading from 30 ft at 43S 137W (192 degs NCal, 194 degs SCal) aimed northeast. This system to dissipate after that. Small swell to result targeting California but focused mainly on Central America.
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival at Thurs AM (6/30) with swell period 17 secs and overlapping with the New Zealand Swell from Gale #4 above. Refer to that forecast for details. Swell Direction: 194-202 degrees
NCal: Expect swell arrival at Thurs PM (6/30) with swell period 17 secs and overlapping with the New Zealand Swell from Gale #4 above. Refer to that forecast for details. Swell Direction: 192-199 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 the local California pressure gradient is to continue fading on Monday (7/4) with north winds limited to a small area centered at Cape Mendocino at 20-25 kts fading to 20 kts on Tues (7/5) and withering from 15-20 kts on Wed and falling south some reaching down into Central CA. The eddy flow for Central CA is to fade out on Wednesday. Windswell steadily fading over the timeframe. The gradient is to be gone after that with a generalized shallow north wind flow on Thurs (7/7) at 15 kts offering no windswell production potential.
For Hawaii trades are to continue to loose coverage off California on Mon (7/4) as the high retrogrades west to a point north of Hawaii. East winds to be 15 kts limited to the area 450 nmiles east of Hawaii then collapsing from there. Windswell to diminish as the trades loose coverage with no real production forecast by Wed (7/6).
Beyond 72 hours a gale is forecast tracking under New Zealand on Wed AM (7/6) producing an elongated fetch of 35-45 kts winds aimed east. Seas on the increase. In the evening a consolidated fetch of 40 kt southwest winds is forecast building with seas building to 32 ft at 55S 172E. 40 kt southwest winds to continue east on Thurs AM (7/7) with one small pocket to 45 kts with 31 ft seas at 52S 175W. More southerly angled fetch looks possible in the evening with seas production continuing. Something to monitor.
More details to follow...
La Nina Pulsing
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: The 2014-2016 El Nino is fading out. La Nina is emerging.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Wed (6/29) east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific including the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA). Anomalies were neutral over the entire equatorial Pacific.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): Neutral to very light west anomalies were over the KWGA on 6/30. A weak westerly anomaly pattern is to continue over the KWGA through 7/7 suggestive of a weak Active MJO pattern mainly limited to the western portion of the KWGA.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 6/29 a modest Active MJO signal was over the far West Pacific. The Statistic model projects this Active Phase easing east and building some while reaching the dateline 1 week out, then starting to fade but still barely in.cgiay 2 weeks from now. The dynamic model depicts the existing Active Phase fading quickly, with only a neutral pattern in.cgiay 1-2 weeks from now. Based on the above data, there is a 50/50 probability for some enhancement of the jetstream in the South Pacific over the next 2 weeks.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (6/30) The ECMF model indicates a weakly Active MJO signal was present over the dateline. The forecast projects the Active Phase holding for a few days then crashing and becoming inconsequential 5 days out. The GEFS model depicts a variation on the same theme.
40 day Upper Level Model: (6/30) The Active Phase was over the far East Pacific and is to track east easing into Central America on 7/10. A new moderate Inactive Phase of the MJO is to push into the West Pacific 7/5 moving east from there almost reaching Central America 8/9.
CFS Model beyond 1 week (850 mb wind): This model depicts a totally different outcome than the above models. It suggests a weak Inactive MJO signal was over the east KWGA moving east with no anomalies in.cgiay and offering no support for enhancing the jetstream. But it projects a weak Active Phase developing in the West Pacific with weak to modest west anomalies 7/2-7/22. it will be interesting to see which of the models (this one or the others above) are correct. An Inactive MJO pattern to follow with moderate east anomalies taking root 7/23-8/10. And Active MJO signal to follow 8/8 to 9/26 with west anomalies over the far West Pacific to 170E and stationary with east anomalies from 170W and point east to Central America. The low pass filter suggests the remnants of El Nino are shifting east and are now south of Hawaii (rather than in the KWGA) and offering nothing to enhance the jetstream and are to dissipate (gone) south of California by 8/28. At the same time low pass anomalies are over the Indian Ocean and forecast to build into Sept, typical of La Nina.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (6/30) Actual temperatures are building in the west near the surface and fading in the east daily. A pocket of 30 deg temps were building in the far West Pacific with the 28 deg isotherm line retreating to 165W. No El Nino subsurface anomalies remain. Warm anomalies at +1 degs rule from the West Pacific to 155W with weak negative anomalies between there and 125W. Neutral to +1 deg anomalies are east of there. Cool subsurface waters are at depth erupting between 130W-160W with -3 degs anomalies reaching east down 100 meters to 135W (steady). The Kelvin Wave pipeline has been r.cgiaced with a cold river rushing east. But it appears to be not reaching Ecuador, but rather is westward di.cgiaced. Per the hi-res GODAS animation posted 6/22 a weak pocket of +0.5-1.0 deg anomalies is building from 130E to 160W and a tiny one at 110W (fading). Cool waters 3-4 degs below normal were under the entire width of the equator, undercutting any residual warm water above it and forming a bubble near 140W and upwelling from 120-150W. La Nina has begun.
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: (6/29) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicates cooler than normal water continues over the equator region with negative anomalies building strongly along the coast of Peru pushing north and extending west from Ecuador over the Galapagos, tracking solidly west out to at least 160W with with peak temps down to -1.75 degs (near Ecuador). La Nina is firmly in control of surface waters, with remnant El Nino warm water 3 degs north and south of the equator in pockets but quickly getting edged out. No warm water remains anywhere in the Nino regions on the equator.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (6/28): A cooling trend is developing weakly along Chile and Peru. A more vigorous cooling trend was from the Galapagos out to 180W (increasing coverage). This is expected based on a cool burst that occurred 2 weeks ago off Africa. The mirror image cooler trend that developed in the Atlantic on 6/9 dissipated but returned 6/25 and continues today but is weakening. Temps are warming along Baja and California due to a retreat of high pressure and northwest winds previously in that area. The PDO warm pool is holding solidly from Oregon out to a point north of Hawaii and west from there to Japan.
Hi-res Overview: (6/28) The El Nino signal is dissipating. A clear La Nina cool water pool is tracking from Ecuador and building some recently south of Hawaii. A generalized pattern of +1-2 deg above normal temps remains 3 degs north and south of the equator and west of 180W. Cooler water is over the north dateline region in the North Pacific with warm water off the Pacific Northwest streaming over Hawaii looking very much like the classic Active PDO pattern.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (6/30) Today's temps were down some at -0.349 degs.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (6/23) temps were up slightly at +0.015 degs.
Comparing Stongest El Ninos in the last 50 year - ERSSTv4 'centered' data
Pacific Counter Current: As of 6/6 the current was moderately but continuously from the east on the equator from 90W to 150E. Anomalies were stronger still from the east over the same area. There were no pockets of west anomalies indicated. La Nina is firmly entrenched based on this data, which is normal for this point in the El Nino lifecycle.
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (6/30) indicates temps on a steady downward trajectory falling to -0.1 degs early July and continuing down till Oct 1 at -0.6 degs and holding through Dec, then slowly rising in Jan 2017. This is solid La Nina territory but it's up from the -1.5 and -1.25 degs indicated even a few weeks ago.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-June Plume depicts temps falling steadily from here forward, down to -0.7 by Sept then holding there to March. See chart here - link.
Atmospheric Deco.cgiing (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (6/25): The daily index was rising at +13.10. The 30 day average was rising from +2.29. It transitioned from negative to positive for the first time in 2 years on 5/27. The 90 day average was rising from -5.61. El Nino was still evident only in the 90 day average, but even that will soon be a distant memory.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation): (6/30) Today's value was steady at -0.99. It peaked on 3/12 at +1.57 then fell until 4/14, when it started rising again peaking 4/23 at +1.12. But it has been falling steadily ever since.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO continues solid. Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-May) have been +0.79, +1.23, +1.55, +1.60, and +1.45. The Washington EDU index for the Jan-May period indicates +1.54, +1.75, +2.40, +2.62 and +2.35. April's value was the highest since 1941. The PDO turned from a 6 year negative run (2008-2013) in early 2014 and has been mostly above +1.5 all of 2015. 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 suggests that could be a real possibility. We've been in the negative phase since 1998 through at least 2013 (15 years). 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
Add a STORMSURF Buoy Forecast to your Google Homepage. Click Here:
Then open your Google homepage, hit 'edit' button (top right near graph), and select your location
Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for the week starting Sunday (6/26): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nONDe8AHBSw&feature=youtu.be&hd=1
For automatic notification of forecast updates, subscribe to the Stormsurf001 YouTube channel - just click the 'Subscribe' button below the video.
Titans of Mavericks on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luQSYf5sKjQ
- - -
||Casa Noble Tequila If you are looking for an exquisite experience in fine tequila tasting, one we highly recommend, try Case Noble. Consistently rated the best tequila when compared to any other. Available at BevMo (in California). Read more here: http://www.casanoble.com/
Mavericks Invitational Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:
Time Zone Converter By popular demand we've built and easy to use time convert that transposes GMT time to whatever time zone you are located. It's ion left hand column on every page on the site near the link to the swell calculator.
Read all the latest news and happenings on our News Page here
Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table