Sunday, August 27, 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 1.7 ft @ 14.7 secs with southern hemi swell 1.0 ft @ 13.9 secs from 195 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 6-10 kts. Water temperature 68.4 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.4 ft @ 9.9 secs from 254 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 0.9 ft @ 14.6 secs from 189 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 0.8 ft @ 15.7 secs from 208 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.0 ft @ 17.0 secs from 185 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 3.7 ft @ 8.3 secs with local north windswell 3.0 ft @ 8.2 secs from 308 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 8-10 kts. Water temp 58.1 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 Sunday (8/27) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing surf at up to waist high on the sets and clean and weak. But no fog was making for a beautiful day from the beach. Protected breaks were thigh high and clean and weak. At Santa Cruz surf was flat to maybe knee high and clean but foggy early. In Southern California up north waves were flat to maybe knee high on the sets and clean. In North Orange Co small southern hemi background swell was producing waves to waist high but slow and weak with some northwest lump in the water. In South Orange Co sets at top spots waves were shoulder high on the rare sets but pretty heavily textured early from northwest winds and slow. In San Diego surf was flat to maybe knee high and clean but foggy. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was flat and clean. The East Shore was knee to thigh high and chopped from modest east trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Sunday (8/27) no real locally generated north windswell was in-play along the coast of North and Central California, But the usual north winds are to start building later Tuesday (8/29) with windswell on a slow upward trend into Fri (9/1) holding into Sat (9/2) before fading. For Hawaii, no windswell was present and a none is forecast. But a small gale is forecast for the Northern Gulf on Tues (8/29) producing 17 ft seas aimed south though no real swell is likely to result. Looking south a small pulse of southern hemi background southeast swell was starting to show on the buoys in Southern CA and is expected to build some from a gale previously off Southern Chile. And another small gale developed south of Tahiti on Fri-Sat (8/26) producing 28 ft seas aimed north resulting in a second small southern hemi swell. But nothing else is on the charts. The same prognosis is in effect - local windswell is to be the main swell source until the North Pacific comes online.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Sunday (8/27) a weak pressure and wind pattern was in effect for the greater North Pacific with no fetch of interest in effect and not local winds in effect capable of generating local windswell for either Hawaii or California.
Over the next 72 hours for California the pressure gradient is to weakly start building on Tues (8/29) attributable to high pressure at 1020 mbs 600 nmiles off Pt Conception generating north winds at 15 kts nearshore for all of North and Central CA but up to 20 kts after sunset for North CA starting to producing minimal raw local north windswell. That fetch is to build some Wed (8/30) to 20 kts off all of North and Central CA with raw windswell building some more.
Also of some interest is a low pressure system forecast to build in the extreme Northern Gulf of Alaska on Monday (8/28) producing a tiny area of north winds at 35-40 kts in the evening then fading from 35 kts Tues AM (8/29) with seas peaking at 17 ft at 54N 153W. It's unlikely any swell is to result.
For Hawaii, easterly trades at 15 kts are forecast to be building starting Tues (8/29) attributable to the above high pressure system but positioned all south of the Islands with no fetch targeting exposed east shores. No windswell production is forecast.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No swell producing tropical systems of interest were being monitored. The models are hinting at a system forming southeast of Japan on Mon (8/28) building while lifting north eventually moving over the Western Aleutians the possibly falling southeast from there towards the Gulf of Alaska, but that is very far fetched.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Sunday (8/27) a weak pressure and wind pattern was in control of California nearshore coastal waters. Monday north winds to build some at 10-15 kts over all the North and Central CA coast both nearshore and offshore continuing Tuesday but mostly 15 kts pushing near 20 kts later then building coverage Wed AM (8/30) at 20 kts pushing near 25 kts late. By Thurs AM (8/31) north winds to continue at 15-20 kts over Central CA fading some later but building in coverage off North CA at 25 kts. Fri (9/1) winds to be 25+ kts over North CA building to 30 kts later but an eddy flow (south winds) to be in control of Central CA. Sat (9/2) winds to be fading from 25 kts early over extreme North CA with light winds south of there. Sunday winds to be light everywhere but building to 20 kts from the north over Pt Conception later.
On Sunday AM (8/27) the jetstream continued in a zonal pattern with the northern branch running east on the 27S latitude line while the southern branch of the jet was running east on the 65S latitude line and generally weak with winds 100 kts or less over the width of the South Pacific with no troughs present offering no support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours more of the same is forecast with no troughs forecast offering no support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours starting Wed (8/30) the southern branch of the jet is ridge a bit further south being fed by 130 kts winds pushing down to 70S and winds building to 150 kts all over Antarctic Ice and building over the entirety of the South Pacific offering no support for gale development. By Sun (9/3) winds are to weaken but still zonal and displaced south at 65S with no troughs forecast. No support for gale development is indicated.
On Sunday (8/27) small swell from a gale previously in the Southeast Pacific was tracking north (see Southeast Pacific Gale below). Also small swell from a gale previously south of Tahiti was pushing north (see Small Central Pacific Gale below). Otherwise no swell producing fetch of interest was in play over the width of the South Pacific.
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.
Southeast Pacific Gale
On Sat PM (8/20) a small gale developed in the Southeast Pacific Sat PM into Sun AM (8/20) producing 33 ft seas at 57S 97W in association with a gale low there supported by an upper level trough. But most of this energy was targeting Mexico down into Peru and Chile.
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (8/27) building to 1.6 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.5 ft). Swell building into Mon (8/28) to 2.8 ft @ 16 secs (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell continues Tues (8/29) at 3.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.5 ft). Swell fading Wed (8/30) from 3.0 ft @ 14 secs (4.0 ft). Residuals on Thurs (8/31) fading from 2.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 173 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon (8/28) building to 2.2 ft @ 16 secs (3.5 ft). Swell building into Tues (8/29) at 2.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5 ft). Swell fading Wed (8/30) from 2.3 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Residuals on Thurs (8/31) fading from 2.1 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 170 degrees
Small Central Pacific Gale
A small cutoff gale developed south of Tahiti Thurs PM (8/24) with 35-40 kt south winds and seas building from 24 ft over a small area at 48S 160W aimed due north. On Fri AM (8/25) fetch built in coverage at 35 kts from the south and with 2 pockets to 40 kts with seas to 28 ft up at 40S 158W aimed due north. In the evening the original fetch was fading from 30-35 kts but a new fetch built south of it at 40 kts aimed north with a new area of 28 ft seas at 47S 153W and seas from the original fetch fading from 25 ft at 36S 155W. Fetch faded from 40 kts Sat AM (8/26) aimed north with seas 27-28 ft at 43S 152W. fetch faded in the evening from 35 kts with seas fading from 28 ft at 39S 151W aimed north. A Decent swell is pushing north towards Tahiti with smaller energy for Hawaii with less energy from the US West Coast.
Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Fri (9/1) building to 2.0 ft @ 16 secs (3.0 ft) later. Swell to peak on Sat (9/2) at 2.3 ft @ 14-15 secs early (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell fading Sun (9/3) from 2.2 ft @ 13 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 180 degrees
South CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (9/2) pushing 1.8 ft @ 16 secs later (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell holding Sun (9/3) at 2.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 210 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on late Sat (9/2) pushing 1.3 ft @ 17 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell peaking Sun (9/3) at 1.9 ft @ 16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 206 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 regarding windswell production for California, on Thurs (8/31) high pressure is to continue at 1022 mbs 600 nmiles west of North CA still generating north winds at 20+ kts off the North and Central CA coast but not nearshore, and then migrating north in the evening with 25 kts north winds over North CA with 15-20 kts north winds over Central CA . Windswell building. By Friday (9/1) the gradient is to be only over Cape Mendocino with north winds ether at 25+ kts and an eddy flow (south winds) setting up from Pt Arena southward. Decent windswell production likely for North and Central CA with improving local conditions. By Sat (9/2) North winds are to be isolated to the Oregon-CA broader at 25 kts and fading in coverage with the eddy flow well established south of there. Windswell fading through the day. On Sunday (9/3) no local fetch is to remain with light winds and no windswell forecast.
For Hawaii trades directly east of the Islands are to be below the 15 kts threshold Wed (8/30) and beyond but still present south of the Islands at 15 kts over a elongated fetch area possibly venturing a bit north of there on Thurs (8/31) offering s thin chance for windswell production. But by Fri (9/1) all trades are to fade with no return forecast.
Otherwise no low pressure systems of interest are to develop tracking east through the North Pacific.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
More details to follow...
PDO Weakly Negative - Responding to La Nina
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 Sat (8/26) the 5 day average indicated east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific but somewhat weaker over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral over the East Pacific and weak easterly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (8/27) Moderate east anomalies were modeled over the core of the KWGA. Moderate plus strength east anomalies are to start rebuilding over the easterly KWGA peaking on 8/29-30 but then quickly fading and almost neutral by the end of the model run on 9/3. It appears an Inactive Phase of the MJO was building and feeding a La Nina pattern.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 8/26 a modest Dry/Inactive MJO pattern was depicted over the far West Pacific reaching to the dateline. The statistical model depicts the Dry pattern to fade 5 days out turning dead neutral and holding for the next 2 weeks. The dynamic model depicts the same thing but with a weak Active/Wet Phase setting up in the west on days 10-15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (8/27) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO weak over the West Indian Ocean tracking east and forecast to reach the Maritime Continent 2 weeks out and weak. The GEFS model depicts the same thing but the pattern a bit weaker and making it to the West Pacific 2 weeks out.
40 day Upper Level Model: (8/27) This model depicts the Inactive/Dry Phase over the Central Pacific and modest in strength. It is to track east while slowly fading pushing over Central America through 9/26. At the same time a weak Active/Wet MJO pattern is forecast to follow in the West Pacific starting 9/11 pushing east to the East Pacific through the end of the model run on 10/6. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (8/27) This model depicts a weak version of the Inactive Phase of the MJO was over the KWGA with modest east wind anomalies over the West Pacific and forecast holding over the bulk of the KWGA through 9/30. After that the Active Phase of the MJO is to return starting 10/1 with weak west anomalies in control through 10/23. Then the Inactive Phase starts redeveloping the West Pacific and neutral anomalies setting up and holding through the end of the model run (11/24). The low pass filter indicates a very weak La Nina signal redeveloped 7/25 from the dateline eastward then built a little on 8/15 but still minimal and is to hold weak till 9/30, then building in coverage but drifting east and showing signs of weakness in it's core. There's some sense the El Nino like core currently in the Indian Ocean is to start shifting east to the West Pacific in early November while the La Nina pattern shifts east too taking root entirely east of the dateline. Best guess is a very weak directionless and low energy weather pattern biased towards 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: (8/27) A pattern change has set up the past month, with warm water retreating west and cooler water in the east. In the far West Pacific water temps were depicted at 30 degs centered at 160E. The 28 deg isotherm line has stabilized at 167W. The 24 deg isotherm has retrograded to 126W and is holding at 75 meters deep at 140W (previously 100 meters) but that is expected to fade soon. The warm water layer in the East Pacific is gone suggesting a transition to La Nina. Anomaly wise a clear change is present in the East Pacific with warm water gone and turning neutral to weak negative +0.0 to -1.0 degs while +1.0 degree anomalies build in coverage in the West Pacific at 125 meters deep. the dividing line between cool and warm is at 160W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 8/21 depicts the same thing, but with more cool water east and less warm water in the west. It looks like the cool water pocket is poised to erupt to the surface in the equatorial East Pacific while east winds are pushing all warm surface waters of the equatorial Pacific to the West Pacific. This might be the start of a pattern to build warm water in the far West Pacific that eventually might be able to feed some sort of a progressive Kelvin Wave pattern, a few years from now. The GODAS image appears to be about 1 week behind the TAO data.
Sea Level Anomalies: (8/21) Negative anomalies are building coverage at -5 cms from 165 to Ecuador suggesting a building cool pool 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: (8/26) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a clear cool pattern developing with modest upwelling nearshore along Peru and Ecuador while tracking northwest over the Galapagos and then flowing steadily west from there on the equator and well defined out to 160W. There is no breaks in the cool stream over this entire area. But the upwelling pattern nearshore to Peru is somewhat more subdued for the moment. This looks very much like a classic La Nina signature. Cooling in the heart of the Nino3.4 region is building.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (8/26): A cool trend is fading from Ecuador over the Galapagos out to 100W with a weak warming trend set up over this area. Cooling continues in pocket between 110W-145W. La Nina is stalling for the moment.
Hi-res Overview: (8/26) A clear legit La Nina cool stream has developed on the equator from Peru up to Ecuador then west to 180W. There is no sign of warm anomalies in the Nino 1.2 or Nino3.4 regions. But the stream of cooler water associated with nearshore upwelling just off Peru northwest to the Galapagos is subdued for the moment. Overall waters of all oceans of the planet are warmer than normal other than the aforementioned stream. We now assert that climatology needs to be updated to reflect the new reality of warming ocean temperatures over the entire planet.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (8/27) Today's temps were falling again to -1.105, down from a warm peak of +3.0 degs on 3/18 and +1.0 degs on 5/2 and +0.6 degs on 6/20.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (8/27) temps were up some at -0.128, way down from +0.5 degs where it was consistently through 7/18. A clear downward trend is indicated.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (8/27) The forecast has temps falling steadily from +0.0 in Aug to -0.5 in Oct and down from there to -1.0 in Dec then stating to rebound to 0.0 in April 2018. This is a upgrade in the strength of La Nina and suggests a legit La Nina now forecast for the Winter of 2017-2018. The CFS SST images (8/19) continues to suggest a weak La Nina cool pattern building on the equator off the Galapagos in Sept and building steadily into Dec/Jan 2018. There is no source for El Nino like warming with the warm pool in the far West Pacific weak and fading.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Aug Plume updated (8/20) depicts temps forecast to fade 0.0 degs in Aug, and are to hold there solid through Feb 2018 suggesting a neutral pattern in control. See chart here - link. The NMME consensus depicts the same thing with temps -0.01 degrees below normal through Jan. last month both models depicted temps at +0.3 degs above normal through the Winter. So this is a significant downgrade.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (8/27): The daily index was positive at +1.15 and has been positive for a long time now with no end in sight. The 30 day average was steady at 4.62. The 90 day average was stable at +0.45 or just north 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): (8/27) Today's value was falling again at -1.16 (up from -2.20 on 6/28) but still suggesting a turn towards La Nina. A supposed peak of this La Nina was reached on 11/2/16 at -1.94 (last year) . So the index is about as negative as it was at the peak of last years (2016) La Nina. At this time it looks like La Nina is returning or a double dip 2 year La Nina. 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 = +0.04, March = +0.12, April=+0.52, May=+0.30, June=+0.19, July=-0.41. 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, June=+0.79, July=+0.10. 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