Monday, July 3, 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 2.8 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 2.2 ft @ 13.9 secs from 173 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southeast 6-10 kts. Water temperature 64.4 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.0 ft @ 13.5 secs from 178 degrees. At Santa Monica (Buoy 028) swell was 1.5 ft @ 15.5 secs from 180 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (Buoy 043) swell was 1.5 ft @ 15.5 secs from 212 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (Buoy 191) swell was 2.1 ft @ 15.7 secs from 190 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.7 ft @ 7.7 secs with swell 4.4 ft @ 8.3 secs from 313 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southwest at 8-10 kts. Water temp 55.6 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 Monday (7/3) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing surf at waist high, mushy and chopped from south winds. Protected breaks were thigh to waist high and clean but weak. At Santa Cruz background southern hemi swell was still producing somewhat rideable waves occasionally to waist high and clean but slow. In Southern California up north local windswell was producing waves at thigh high and clean but slow. In North Orange Co southern hemi swell was solid with waves at chest to head high and lined up and clean but often closed out. In South Orange Co southern hemi swell was still head high to a foot overhead on the larger sets and clean and lined up but slow. In San Diego southern hemi swell was thigh to waist high and clean but weak. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was small with sets waves thigh to maybe waist high and clean early. The East Shore was flat and chopped from modest east trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Monday (7/3) local north windswell is to be building in North and Central California and Hawaii driven by high pressure north of Hawaii, but that's expected to be fading in CA by Tues (7/4) and HI on Wed (7/5). Background southern hemi swell was still hitting mainly Southern California. A gale developed in the far Southeast Pacific Sat (7/1) with 29 ft seas aimed well north with a second one developing late Sun (7/3) with 26 ft seas aimed northeast. That gale is to intensify while moving out of the CA swell window Mon (7/3) targeting Chile and Peru with a small area of seas to 37 ft. Another small gale is forecast on the edge of the CA swell window Tues PM (7/4) with 37 ft seas aimed northeast. And yet another is forecast in the same area late Thurs (7/6) with 37 ft seas aimed northeast. Beyond a far broader storm is forecast southwest of New Zealand with up to 44 ft seas aimed east but dissipating to nothing by the time it moves south of New Zealand. Nothing else is on the charts.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Monday (7/3) high pressure at 1032 mbs was centered 1000 nmiles north of Hawaii and was ridging east reforming the usual summertime pressure gradient over extreme North CA waters generating north winds at 25 kts producing modest raw local north windswell that should start showing at at exposed breaks. This high was also starting to generate east winds at 15 kts up to 900 nmiles east of Hawaii and sweeping over them producing minimal east windswell at exposed breaks.
Over the next 72 hours on the mainland the gradient is to lift north and fade Tuesday AM (7/4) with windswell from it fading by mid-day down into Central CA. After that no wind or windswell of interest is forecast with a light pressure pattern in play.
For Hawaii east trade winds are to hold at 15 kts Tues (7/4) then dissipating by early Wed (7/5) with windswell from it fading out. No other windswell or fetch of interest is forecast.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
The GFS model is suggesting a tropical wave developing near 125W on Fri (7/7) tracking east into Mon (7/10) with a stronger tropical system behind it lifting northwest on Sun (7/9). Something to monitor.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Monday (7/3) high pressure at 1032 mbs was centered 900 nmiles north of Hawaii ridging into the CA coast generating a pressure gradient and northwest winds at 25+ kts over Cape Mendocino resulting in some local north windswell at exposed breaks with an eddy flow (south wind) along the Central and North coasts up to Pt Arena. The gradient starts fading fast Tuesday (7/4) from 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 early turning northwest 10-15 kts over North and Central CA. Thursday (7/6) a generic 15 kt northwest flow is to develop building over all of the North and Central Coast reaching south into Southern CA and Baja later in the day while building to 20+ kts over Pt Conception. Friday (7/7) weak high pressure at 1024 mbs is to be 500 nmiles off Central CA generating north winds at 15-20 kts from Cape Mendocino southward to the Channel Islands and continuing Saturday (7/8) then weakening Sun (7/9) in coverage and very shallow. Fetch getting even weaker on Mon (7/10) at 15+ kts over all waters of North and Central CA.
On Monday AM (7/3) the southern branch of the jet was flowing zonally east under New Zealand with winds 90-100 kts moving east across the South Pacific on the 65S latitude line with no troughs indicated and for the most part too weak to support gale development. But a trough was present in the far East Pacific at 120W being fed by 110-120 kts winds offering some support for gale development. The northern branch was flowing zonally east on the 30S latitude line. Over the next 72 hours the southern branch is to start lifting northeast over the Southeast Pacific Tues AM (7/4) with winds 100-110 kts near 130W forming a weak trough offering some support for gale development and building while tracking east well out of the California swell window targeting Chile. Beyond 72 hours starting Thurs (7/6) another similar trough is forecast well east of the CA swell window being fed by only 100 kts winds perhaps offering limited support for gale development targeting Chile. On Sun (7/9) a trough is forecast in the far Southwest Pacific being fed by 110-120 kts winds pushing well north over New Zealand offering better support for gale development. But in the area from south of New Zealand to the Southeast Pacific the jet is to be ridging pretty firmly south on the 66S latitude line offering nothing to support gale development.
On Monday (7/3) background southern hemi swell of indeterminate source was still hitting mainly Southern California making for rideable surf. Also swell from a gale that developed in the far Southeast Pacific was tracking north (See Primer Gale below). Another gale formed directly behind it, but nowhere near as strong as originally forecast (see Second Gale below). And yet another small gale is forecast behind that (see Third Gale below). After that the pattern is to move east mainly east of the California swell window.
On Thurs AM (6/29) a gale started developing in the Southeast Pacific with 35 kt southwest winds building in the deep South Central Pacific moving rapidly east. That fetch started lifting northeast in the evening at 35 kts over a broad area with seas building to 24 ft at 59S 131W. On Fri AM (6/30) winds built to 40 kts over a modest area imbedded in a broader fetch of 35 kt south winds with seas 29 ft at 57S 126W aimed well north. On Fri PM fetch was collapsing from 35 kts aimed north with seas holding at 29 ft at 52S 119W targeting California southward to Peru. This system was gone on Sat AM (7/1) with seas fading from 28 ft at 46S 114W targeting mainly Mexico and Central America and out of the California swell window. This system should produce a nice little pulse of 16 secs energy targeting California and points south of there.
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival late on Fri (7/7) with swell building to 1 ft @ 19-20 secs 92 ft ) and inconsistent. Swell building on Sat (7/8) pushing 2.3 ft @ 17-18 secs mid-day (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 183 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (7/8) pushing 1.6 ft @ 18 secs mid-day (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 175-180 degrees
Also on Sat AM (7/1) a new fetch of 30-35 kt southwest winds started building over the deep South Central Pacific rushing east with seas building from 20 ft over a small area and inconsequential. In the evening fetch built in coverage to the broad category at 35 kts from the southwest moving to the Southeast Pacific with seas building to 23 ft at 55S 128W. On Sun AM (7/2) that fetch tracked east and faded with a secondary fetch building right behind it at 40-45 kts from the southwest and positioned further north with a new area of seas to 24 ft at 58S 132W. Fetch tracked east in the evening while building to 50-55 kts over a tiny area from the southwest at 61S 119W (mostly east of the CA swell window) with seas building to 27 ft at 53S 125W targeting California and up to 30 ft at 60S 118W. On Mon AM (7/3) 50 kt southwest winds continue tracking east with 28 ft seas at 60S 120W and up to 32 ft over a tiny area at 61S 115W targeting Chile. The storm is to start lifting north in the evening with fetch still 50 kts over a tiny area and seas building to 36 ft over a tiny area at 58S 113W targeting Chile well with maybe 28 ft seas at 55S 118W targeting southern CA. The gale is to dissipate from there with a small area of seas still targeting Chile. Possible small swell for Southern California with most energy towards South America and specifically Chile but nowhere near as large or strong as previously forecast. Will monitor.
On Mon PM (7/3) another tiny gale is to develop in the deep Southeast Pacific with southwest winds building from 40 kts. On Tues AM (7/4) fetch is to build to storm status at 50-55 kts from the southwest over a small area with 30 ft seas building at 62S 129W. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 45 kts tracking northeast with seas building to 37 ft at 58S 120W targeting Southern California and points southward. Wed AM (7/5) the gale is to race northeast and fade from 40 kts with 34 ft seas over a small area at 55S 110W targeting mainly Chile.
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 weak pressure and wind pattern is forecast through early Fri (7/7) then high pressure at 1024 mbs is to try and rebuild just off the Central CA coast with north winds 20 kts later over North and Central CA holding till Sun AM (7/9) then fading. Maybe limited small short period windswell to result for North and Central CA but nothing impressive.
For Hawaii trades to remain 15 kt range from the east but only over a shallow spotty fetch area until Sat (7/8) when the fetch is to become more consistent and build in coverage extending east of the Islands 1200 nmiles and holding into Mon (7/10) with potential enhancement from tropical low pressure. Improving odds for easterly windswell along east facing shores.
Beyond 72 hours starting Sun AM (7/9) a storm is forecast developing south of Tasmania with 55 kt southwest winds generating 36 ft seas at 57S 140E and barely in the Southern CA swell window at 221-222 degrees. In the evening 50 kt west winds to fall southeast some with 44 ft seas at 59S 151E (217 degrees CA and unshadowed). Fetch is to fade Mon AM (7/10) from 40 kts from the west with 37 ft seas over a broad area at 59S 157E. Something to monitor.
More details to follow...
ESPI Holds Negative - Cool Trend Developing in Nino1.2
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 Sunday (7/2) east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific including the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were solid from the east near the Galapagos but neutral to weak westerly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): Modest east anomalies were modeled over the East KWGA and forecast to weaken significantly by 7/6 and near neutral then holding through the end of the 7 day model run (7/10). 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 it still has not given up completely.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 7/2 a weak Inactive/Dry Phase of the MJO in play over the far Western Pacific. The statistical model depicts a neutral pattern taking over quickly and continuing with no MJO signal in play over the next 2 weeks. The dynamic model continues to be the outlier suggesting the Inactive Phase is to hold in the West Pacific for the next 2 weeks.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (7/3) The ECMF model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO was exceedingly weak over the west Indian Ocean and is to track steadily east reaching the Maritime Continent 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: (7/3) This model depicts a neutral pattern biased Dry over the West Pacific and really not moving much over the next 40 days. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (7/3) This model depicts a weak Active MJO signal over the KWGA. Neutral to weak west anomalies were indicated over the KWGA. Over the coming days weak west anomalies are to be building in coverage in the KWGA with a weak Active MJO signal developing over the KWGA holding to 7/24. Weak west anomalies holding in the KWGA after that until a legitimate Active Phase of the MJO is to fully develop in the West Pacific on 8/14 with building west anomalies moderate in strength holding till 9/11 with a weak Inactive Phase of the MJO trying to develop in the KWGA 9/13-9/30 (end of the model run) but west anomalies still in play in the KWGA, 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 8/23 (previously 7/21) but now over the interior US mainland at 100W rather than over the KWGA. In fact a weak El nino signal is to develop in the far West Pacific in later Sept. 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: (7/3) 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 144W. 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 110 meters upward. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 6/27 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: (6/27) In all no positive or negative anomalies are present over the length of the equatorial Pacific other than a pocket of 0-5 cm anomalies 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: (7/2) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a lightly warm pattern is along the immediate South American coast tracking northwest up to the equator and then west from there. Otherwise neutral to slightly cooler temps were off Chile and just south of Mexico. Warmer temps were west of 120W. Upwelling along the immediate coasts of Chile, Peru and Ecuador was weak and almost non-existent for the moment. A broad pocket of cooling was building centered at 25S 100W (off Chile). The La Nina that developed last Spring faded and was replaced by an El Nino like pattern that tried to build after it during March-May, but that too is dissipating with a neutral pattern setting up off Central America down to Peru.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (7/2): A neutral trend was along the coasts of Chile and Peru. A markedly cooler trend is develop from Ecuador over the Galapagos and out to 120W. This almost looks like the early start of a legit La Nina pattern. 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: (7/2) 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. Small pocklettes 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: (7/1) Today's temps were falling from -0.156, 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 (7/1) temps were falling slightly at +0.439 degs.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (7/3) The forecast has temps steady at +0.55 degs today and holding for a few more days then starting to fall weakly, dropping to +0.4 in early Aug holding into early Nov, then dropping to 0.0 in Jan 2018, perhaps warming to +0.1 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 (7/3): The daily index was falling some at -8.31 and has been mostly negative for 33 days now. The 30 day average was rising some at -9.39. The 90 day average was falling some 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): (7/3) Today's value was rebounding slightly at -2.07 (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