Tuesday, September 26, 2017
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 3.3 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 1.9 ft @ 9.9 secs from 288 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.1 ft @ 12.0 secs with windswell 1.1 ft @ 10.3 secs from 205 degrees. Wind at the buoy was east at 4-6 kts. Water temperature 66.7 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 0.9 ft @ 8.9 secs from 256 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 0.7 ft @ 12.9 secs from 195 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 0.8 ft @ 12.4 secs from 206 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.2 ft @ 13.2 secs from 178 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.6 ft @ 8.3 secs with local north windswell 4.7 @ 8.1 secs from 315 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north 8-10 kts. Water temp 62.1 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 Tuesday (9/26) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing waves at at exposed breaks at waist to chest high and clean but soft. A beautiful day at the beach. Protected breaks were waist high and clean. At Santa Cruz there was no rideable surf. It was flat and clean. In Southern California up north rare set waves were knee to thigh high and clean. In North Orange Co rare background southern hemi sets were producing waves thigh high and textured from south wind. In South Orange Co waves were thigh to waist high and weak but clean. In San Diego surf was thigh high or so and super clean early but weak. Hawaii's North Shore was near flat with waves maybe thigh to waist high at best breaks and clean. The South Shore was near flat with sets thigh high and clean. The East Shore was getting no meaningful east windswell and heavily textured early with east-northeasterly trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Tuesday (9/26) no swell was in the water hitting or moving towards our forecast area. Small locally generated windswell was hitting North and Central CA. For Hawaii no windswell was in effect. The models suggest a cutoff low north-northwest of the Hawaiian Islands Fri-Sun (10/1) might generate 18-20 ft seas with sideband energy supposedly eventually radiating towards Hawaii. Down south a gale is to develop well southeast of New Zealand on Wed (9/27) generating up to 35 ft seas aimed mostly east then lifting north by Fri (9/29) with 34 ft seas targeting from California southward. Late season southern hemi swell is possible. Otherwise local windswell is to dissipate for CA by Wed AM (9/27) and not return till later Sat (9/30) then holding well into the following week. East windswell also possible for Hawaii by Mon (10/2).
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Tuesday AM (9/26) the jetstream was tracking east off Japan on the 37N latitude line and a bit diffuse then consolidating over the dateline with winds up to 120 kts in one small pocket almost trying to form a trough as it moved over the Western Gulf of Alaska then weakly split with most energy ridging northeast pushing into British Columbia with the southern branch pushing over Central Baja. There was weak limited support for gale development in the Western Gulf proto-trough. Over the next 72 hours the same general pattern is to hold Thurs-Fri (9/29) with the existing proto-trough moving to the Eastern Gulf being fed by 150 kt winds perhaps offering some support for low pressure development. West of there another proto-trough is to try and develop Fri 99/29) on the dateline being fed by 130 kt north winds but that trough pretty pinched and steep not offering a whole lot to support gale development. The jet is to be ridging some off Japan. Beyond 72 hours the East Gulf trough is to move inland over Washington State on Sat (9/30) while the pinched/steep trough on the dateline all but pinches off northwest of Hawaii and a ridge develops over the West Pacific. The pinched trough is to totally cut off from the main flow north of Hawaii on Mon (10/2) offering little support for gale development. By Tues (10/3) the jet is to riding off Japan with winds 130 kts up to 47N then tracking east from there and weakening eventually pushing into Central Canada offering no support for gale development.
On Tuesday (9/26) no groundswell was hitting either Hawaii or California. Locally generated north windswell was present along the North and Central California Coast.
Over the next 72 hours no swell production of interest is forecast.
For windswell relative to California: High pressure is to fade along the California Coast on Wed AM (9/27) with all fetch gone offering no windswell production potential. A weak pressure and wind pattern is to continue through Fri (9/29) offering no windswell generation potential.
For windswell relative to Hawaii: East trades are to remain below the 15 kt threshold east of the Islands through Fri (9/29) offering no support for windswell production.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest were occurring and none were forecast.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday (9/26) high pressure at 1022 mbs was ridging into British Columbia generating a weak pressure gradient over North CA with north winds 20-25 kts isolated to the area from Pt Arena northward with light winds south of there. the gradient is to fade over night with light winds forecast everywhere on Wed-Fri (9/29) 10 kts or less. North winds are to again start building Sat AM (9/30) at 20-25 kts from just south of Cape Mendocino to Pt Conception pushing near 30 kts in pockets late driven by building high pressure at 1026 mbs just 500 nmiles off North CA. The gradient is to hold Sunday with 25 kts north winds from Cape Mendocino southward to Pt Reyes nearshore and 100 nmiles off the coast to Pt Conception with 15 kt north winds nearshore. Monday the gradient and north winds are to dissipate as a tiny gale low builds just 100 nmiles off the Oregon-Washington border with a front pushing south to Cape Mendocino-Pt Arena on Tues (10/3) but dissipating there late.
On Tuesday (9/26) no swell from the South Pacific was hitting California or Hawaii and none was in the water tracking north.
Over the next 72 hours an improving picture is forecast.
On Wed AM (9/27) a gale is to start building southeast of New Zealand with winds 40-45 kts from the southwest getting traction on the oceans surface with seas building from 33 ft at 60S 178W and north of the Ross Ice Shelf. In the evening evening the gale is to track east with a solid fetch of 40-45 kts southwest winds and seas 36 ft at 59S 165W aimed at the US East Coast well with sideband energy to Hawaii. Fetch is to start lifting north Thurs AM (9/28) with 40 kt south to southwest winds building in coverage with 35 ft seas over a solid area at 55S 152W and lifting northeast. In the evening a solid fetch of south winds is to be building at 40-45 kts with 35 ft seas at 53S 140W aimed at the US West Coast down into Peru. Fetch is to fade and lifting north Fri AM (9/29) with 37 ft seas at 50S 135W. Fetch is to be fading in the evening from 35 kts from the south with seas fading from 34 ft at 45S 132W. Sat AM (9/30) residual 35 kt south fetch is to be dissipating with seas fading from 30 ft way at at 35S 131W. Solid southerly swell is possible from the US West Coast down into Mexico if all goes as forecast.
South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Beyond 72 hours a cutoff low pressure system is to be developing 1200 nmiles northwest of Hawaii on Thurs (9/28) easing east then producing up to 35-40 kt north and northeast winds on Fri AM (9/29) with seas 25 ft at 39N 175W aimed slightly at Hawaii. In the evening north fetch is to fade from 30-35 kts holding positioned with seas 23 ft at 38N 175W. On Sat AM (9/30) north to northeast fetch is to be fading from 30 kts with seas 19 ft at 35N 175W. Fetch and seas fading from there. Maybe some small sideband swell to radiate southeast towards Hawaii.
For California high pressure is to start building in the Eastern Gulf on Sat (9/30) generating a local pressure gradient and north winds building from 20 kts early along North and Central CA pushing up to 30 kts over North CA later with windswell on the increase. Sunday the gradient is to hold but with the focus lifting north some with 30 kts north winds over North CA and 20 kts down to Big Sur and 15 kts to Pt Conception and windswell building and raw. More of the same is forecast Mon (10/2) with 25 kts north winds over nearshore waters of Central CA and up to 30 kts over North CA early with windswell down a little and raw. The gradient is to lift north on Tues (10/3) at 30 kts solid and less than 10 kts from Pt Reyes southward with windswell building and cleaning up for Central CA.
For Hawaii trades are to be start building Sat (9/30) as high pressure builds in the Southeast Gulf of Alaska at 15 kts east of the Islands but ending 300 nmiles east of the Big Island offering only low odds for rideable windswell to result. The same situation is forecast Sun-Mon (10/2) then east trades finally move closer to the Islands on Tues (10/3) and building in coverage at 15 kts almost continuous from California to Hawaii offering improved odds for east windswell.
Beyond 72 hours there's also some suggestions of another small gale developing in the Southeast Pacific on Sun (10/1) with 32 ft seas barely in the California swell window before tracking east and out of it on Mon (10/2). Something to monitor.
More details to follow...
La Nina Solid and Holding
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 Mon (9/25) the 5 day average indicated east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific and moderate to strong over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral over the East Pacific but moderate easterly over the entire KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (9/26) strong east anomalies were modeled over the core of the KWGA. East anomalies are to hold strong through 9/29 then fading to modest and holding through the end of the model run on 10/3. This is not the Inactive Phase of the MJO, but is a full pulse of La Nina completely squashing the MJO. This is not conducive to storm development in the greater Pacific Basin.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 9/25 a neutral MJO pattern was in control of the KWGA. The statistical model depicts a dead neutral pattern holding for the next 2 weeks. The dynamic model depicts the same thing but with a weak Inactive/Dry pattern trying to develop in the far West Pacific the last 5 days of the model run.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (9/26) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO weak and incoherent and is forecast to stay that way. The GEFS model suggests it building over the Atlantic 10 days out.
40 day Upper Level Model: (9/26) This model is becoming more coherent depicting a weak Inactive/Dry Phase over the Central Pacific and it's to track east into Central America on 10/11. A dead neutral pattern is to take hold thereafter in the west on 10/11 holding through the end of the model run on 11/5. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (9/26) This model is trying to rewind up after crashing on 9/18. It depicts a strong version of the Inactive/Dry Phase of the MJO building over the KWGA with the Active Phase moving east and out of the KWGA. Neutral anomalies are indicated over the far West Pacific (that is not true). Weak east anomalies are to build as the Inactive Phase tracks east over the West Pacific through 10/14. After that a very weak pattern is forecast through 11/1 with weak east wind anomalies forecast. After that the the Active Phase build 11/8 with weak to modest west anomalies developing and holding control holding through 11/25, fading with a weak Inactive Phase building with west anomalies still in control through the end of the model run on 12/23. The low pass filter indicates a very weak La Nina signal is in control of the KWGA and is to hold till 10/28, then building in coverage but quickly drifting east and out of the KWGA by the end of November. There's some sense the pattern is to start shifting east early November 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: (9/26) A pattern change set up in August, with warm water retreating to the west and cooler water building in the east. Today in the far West Pacific water temps had fallen to 29 degs centered at 160E. The 28 deg isotherm line is easing east some at 170W. The 24 deg isotherm is stable at 126W today but shallow at 60 meters deep at 140W. Anomaly wise a clear change is present in the East Pacific with warm water gone and turning neutral to weakly negative +0.0 to -1.0 degs at the surface and up to -2.0 degs at depth at 140W indicative of La Nina. Warm anomalies are isolated to the West Pacific at +1.0 degrees down to 100 meters deep with the dividing line between cool and warm at 168W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 9/15 depicts the same thing, but with more cool water east and less warm water in the west. It looks like the cool water pocket at depth in the East Pacific is poised to erupt to the surface while east winds push all warm surface waters of the equatorial Pacific to the West Pacific. The GODAS image appears to be about 1 week behind the TAO data.
Sea Level Anomalies: (9/15) Negative anomalies are in control at -5 cms from 170W to Ecuador with a large pocket of -10 cm anomalies now present between 110W-160W suggesting a building cool pool at depth. This is not good.
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: (9/25) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a clear cold pattern has developed on the equator. Upwelling is strong nearshore along Peru and Ecuador and building tracking solidly northwest continuing in density over the Galapagos and flowing steadily west from there on the equator to 110W and weaker out to 150W. There is no breaks in the cool stream over this entire area. 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 (9/25): A neutral temperature trend is along Peru off Ecuador and the Galapagos. West of there on the equator equal sized alternating cold and warm pockets are indicated out to 130W.
Hi-res Overview: (9/25) A clear La Nina cool stream is present starting off Southern Chile pushing north up Peru while building steadily, then turning northwest off Ecuador peaking while tracking west from the Galapagos to 110W, then moderate and continuing to the dateline. This pattern outlines the South Pacific high pressure system well which is assumed to be stronger than normal. There is no sign of warm anomalies in the Nino 1.2 or Nino3.4 regions. Otherwise 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: (9/26) Today's temps were steady at -1.434, down markedly from 2 weeks ago.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (9/26) temps are rising slowly at -0.498, having bottomed out on 9/12 at -0.898. The long arc suggests a clear downward trend.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (9/26) The forecast has temps falling steadily from -0.6 degs early Sept to -0.7 in early Oct and down from there to -1.5 in Dec. Then the trend is to turn upwards rebounding to -0.35 in April and neutral in June 2018. This suggests a legit La Nina now expected for the Winter of 2017-2018. The CFS SST images (9/11) continues to suggest a modest La Nina cool pattern building on the equator off the Galapagos in Sept and building steadily into Jan/Feb 2018. A full on La Nina is setting up.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Sept Plume updated (9/19) depicts temps forecast to fade -0.4 degs in Sept, and fading to -0.6 degs in Nov, slowly rising from there turning neutral in April 2018. See chart here - link. The NMME consensus for Sept average indicates temps -0.75 degrees below normal Nov-Jan 2018 then rebounding to normal in April. It sure looks like La Nina is on the way. The CFSv2 is the outlier, colder than all other models. Still, given all the oceanic signals, we a tending to side with it more than the other models.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (9/26): The daily index was positive again and stronger at 15.63, rebounding from a 6 day negative run. The 30 day average was rising at 4.49. The 90 day average was rising at +4.83. This suggests a turn towards La Nina.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (9/26) The index was falling again at -1.38 (up from -2.20 on 6/28/17 but still suggesting a turn towards La Nina). Last years La Nina reached -1.94 on 11/2/16. We're deeper than that now. 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 for a double dip/2 year La Nina (not unusual). 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= -0.50, Aug= -0.68. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO discounting the recent La Nina dip. 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
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 (9/24): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HV2jaxQOXgI&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