Thursday, November 2, 2017
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.8 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 3.0 ft @ 13.0 secs from 327 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.2 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 1.4 ft @ 13.6 secs from 206 degrees. Wind at the buoy was west at 4-6 kts. Water temperature 66.7 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 0.6 ft @ 16.0 secs from 253 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.0 ft @ 14.9 secs from 224 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.1 ft @ 14.9 secs from 219 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.5 ft @ 15.5 secs from 228 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 4.6 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 3.2 ft @ 13.8 secs from 285 degrees. Wind at the buoy was east at 8-10 kts. Water temp 58.8 degs.
46006, 46059, Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (bottom of the page)
Swell Classification Guidelines
Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
Summer - Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
Summer - Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
Summer - up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.
Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.
On Thursday (11/2) in North and Central CA remnant dateline swell was still hitting in the head high range and clean but weak. Protected breaks were maybe waist high with luck and slow and swamped by tide but clean. At Santa Cruz surf was flat with clean conditions and too much tide early. In Southern California up rare set waves were waist high and clean and lined up. In North Orange Co set waves were coming out of the south at waist high or so and clean but rare. In San Diego surf was up to waist high and textured and soft. Hawaii's North Shore was getting nice swell with waves up to 2 ft overhead and clean at top breaks and lined up. The South Shore was getting minimal swell at thigh to maybe waist high on the sets and clean. The East Shore was getting north windswell at thigh high and heavily textured with modest southeast wind.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Thursday (11/2) background swell from the North Dateline region was hitting in Hawaii and the US West Coast, but unremarkable except perhaps in Hawaii. No other swell of interest is in the water. And no solid storms or gale are forecast for the next week. A local gale remains forecast to to develop off British Columbia Fri (11/3) falling south producing 18-20 ft seas aimed somewhat at California. And a stronger gale is to form in the Northern Gulf on Mon-Tues (11/7) producing 28 ft seas tracking southeast into Wed (11/8) dissipating off California with seas fading from 24 ft. Down south a gale formed in the Central South Pacific on Wed (11/1) producing 27 ft seas aimed northeast and is forecast to build today/Thurs 911/2) to 33 ft over a small area aimed northeast. Something to monitor. Otherwise a rather tranquil pattern is forecast. The Inactive Phase of the MJO is taking control for the next few weeks.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Thursday AM (11/2) the jetstream was pushing off North Japan with winds to 130 kts reaching halfway to the dateline, then splitting with the northern branch ridging hard north up into the Bering Sea at 130 kts and then on into Alaska while the southern branch continued east tracking just north of Hawaii and into Baja and weak. There was no support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours through Sun (11/5) more of the same is forecast. A backdoor trough is to push down the US West Coast but not get any significant exposure over open ocean. The southern branch is to develop a ridge north of Hawaii falling into a nearly cutoff low well off the US West Coast. But nothing is presented that obviously supports gale development. Beyond 72 hours more of the same is forecast until Wed (11/8) when the split point retrogrades further west, just off North Japan. The northern branch is to be tracking over the Kuril's and then the Aleutians up into Alaska and weak offering no support for gale development while the southern branch meanders east eventually pushing into Northern Baja also offering nothing of interest. No change is forecast then through Thurs (11/9).
On Thurs (11/2) background swell from a tiny gale that developed on the North Dateline region on Sun (10/29) with barely 30 ft seas over a tiny area was hitting California and Hawaii.
Over the next 72 hours no real swell producing weather systems are forecast. A gale is to develop just off Vancouver Island on Thurs PM (11/2) with 35 kt north winds and 19 ft seas at 48N 131W falling south Fri AM (11/3) with 30 kt north winds and 19 ft seas at 47.5N 132W targeting the US West Coast. Fetch is to fall south in the evening off Oregon fading from 25 kts from the north and seas 16 ft at 43N 134W. The gale is to fade from there. Maybe some windswell to result for California for the weekend. See QuikCASTs for details.
Also a storm tracked up the northern Kuril Islands Mon (10/30) with 45-50 kt south winds over exposed waters just east of there generating 41 ft seas at 48N 155E targeting only Kamchatka. This system continued lifting north into Tues AM (10/31) and moving inland over Kamchatka then with seas fading from 28 ft at 52N 165E. Low odds of any sideband swell radiating east.
For windswell relative to California: On Sun AM (11/5) low pressure is to develop over the Oregon-Washington border with high pressure at 1034 mbs 1200 nmiles north of Hawaii forming a pressure gradient and north winds 25 kts off the Oregon coast for 24 hours resulting in some limited north windswell for California.
For windswell relative to Hawaii: On Sat (11/4) the same high pressure system north of Hawaii (see paragraph above) is to start generating northeast winds at 20+ kts 600 nmiles northeast of Hawaii and targeting the Islands and falling southwest and impacting Hawaii on Sun (11/5) at 15-20 kts and holding into Mon (11/6) resulting in northeast windswell for exposed east shores.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday (11/2) a light pressure and wind pattern was in effect for all of California waters. Fri (11/3) light south winds are to build in the 10 kt range down to Pt Conception turning north 10-15 kts mainly north of the Golden Gate. Light winds again take root on Sun (11/5) holding into mid-Tues (11/7) with south winds 10 kts late afternoon mainly from Monterey Bay northward. Wednesday south winds are to build at 20-25 kts with a front pushing through mid-day down to Monterey Bay. Southwest winds to continue at 10-15 kts all day Thurs (11/9) down to Pt Conception.
On Thursday (11/2) small swell from a gale tracking through the South Central Pacific was radiating north with possibly more to follow (see South Central Pacific Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.
South Central Pacific Gale
A gale developed in the deep Central South Pacific on Tues PM (10/31) producing a small area of 40 kt southwest winds with seas starting to build. On Wed AM (11/1) south winds built in coverage at 35-40 kts aimed north with seas to 26 ft at 48S 150W over a small area. Fetch is to track east in the evening at 35 kts with 26 ft seas moving to 46S 143W. On Thurs AM (11/2) fetch was rebuilding with south winds near 50 kts and seas 27 ft over a building area at 48S 135W targeting California well. Fetch is to be falling southeast and having less coverage in the evening at barely 45 kts with seas 33 ft over a tiny area retreating from 50S 130W. On Fri AM (11/3) secondary fetch of 30-35 kts is to be feeding into the gales core from the southwest and seas building to 24 ft at 47S 130W aimed northeast well. In the evening that fetch is to build to 45 kts well to the north over a tiny area with seas 30 ft over a small area at 40N 130W aimed northeast. On Sat AM (11/4) a tiny area of 45-50 kt west winds are to hold while tracking east with seas building to 31 ft over a small area at 42S 118W and starting to move out of the CA swell window targeting mainly Chile and Peru. Beyond this system is to be tracking east and out of the CA swell window targeting mainly Chile. Something to monitor.
Southern CA: Small swell is to be building starting Thurs (11/9) to 2.6 ft @ 16-17 secs late (4.0-4.5). Swell Direction: 200 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 a small storm is to develop in the extreme Northern Gulf of Alaska on Mon AM (11/6) generating 50 kt north winds and seas building from 28 ft at 54.5N 147W. The storm is to fade to gale status in the evening while falling southwest with north winds 40 kts and seas 30 ft at 51.5N 145.5W (319 degs NCal). On Tues AM (11/7) north fetch is to fade from 35-40 kts off British Columbia with 26 ft seas at 49N 141W (319 degs NCal). fetch is to continue falling south at 30-35 kts with seas 23 ft at 45N 140W (307 degs NCal). The gale is to be off the CA-Oregon border Wed AM (11/8) with north winds 30 kts and seas 22 ft at 42N 138W (295 degs NCal). The gale is to fade from there. Possible north angled swell to result for Oregon down into CA.
Otherwise a weak swell production pattern is to take hold driven by a split jetstream and that influenced by the Inactive Phase of the MJO.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.
More details to follow...
Inactive MJO/Building Cool Pool Developing
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 but then in July east anomalies started building in the KWGA and have not stopped, with cold water upwelling over the the Nino1.2 and 3.4 areas, indicative of La Nina. So it appears now a double dip La Nina is setting up and is to continue through the Winter and Spring of 2017-2018.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Wed (11/1) the 5 day average indicated east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific but very light over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were light over the East Pacific and amazingly moderate westerly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (11/2) Light west anomalies were modeled over the entire KWGA. Light west anomalies are to hold over the entire KWGA through 11/4, then eroding and starting to be replaced by weak east anomalies building to strong easterly anomalies on 11/6 holding through the end of the model run on 11/9. The first Active Phase of the MJO in months is fading.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 11/1 a weak Inactive/Dry MJO pattern was getting a toe over the West Pacific with the Active Phase fading south of Hawaii. The statistical model depicts the Inactive Phase building to the east and in control over the West Pacific 10 days out and holding through the end of the model run 15 days out. The dynamic model depicts the same thing initially but with the Inactive Phase fading 10 days out with the Active Phase build in to the far West Pacific 15 days out.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (11/2) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO weak and fading over Africa and forecast to fade more while tracking east back over the far West Pacific 2 week out. The GEFS model suggests a variant of the same thing but with the Active Phase a little stronger pushing east and over the West Pacific 2 weeks out.
40 day Upper Level Model: (11/2) This model depicts a modest Inactive/Dry pattern over the Central Pacific and it's to track east into Central America 11/22. After that a weak Active/Wet Phase is to follow in the West on 11/17 pushing east to Central America through 12/12. A weak Inactive/Dry pattern is to follow. This model runs about 1 week ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (11/2) This model depicts a modest Active Phase of the MJO fading over the far East KWGA with weak west west anomalies over the same area. The Active Phase is to move east and be gone from the KWGA by 11/6 with light west anomalies fading over that time period in the KWGA. The Inactive Phase is to develop in the KWGA on 11/5-12/16 with mostly neutral anomalies perhaps turning weakly east limited to the far West Pacific. Then the Active Phase returns weakly on 12/17 with weak west anomalies in control into 1/18/2018. The Inactive Phase to follow but weak from then into 1/30/18. The low pass filter indicates a modest El Nino signal over the extreme west KWGA and is to ease east filling it by Jan 15. A La Nina signal is over the East KWGA near the dateline and is to move into the East Pacific and no longer in the KWGA by Jan 1. Interesting. If this is true, it suggests the underpinnings of La Nina that is developing in the Pacific and to peak in Jan are weak and fading and are to be gone by late December. Assuming it takes 3 months for the ocean to respond, this winter is lost to La Nina with no significant change expected until likely early April 2018. Even at that it will take about 5+ years for the Pacific to recharge from the 2014-16 El Nino before another El Nino develops. So a neutral ENSO pattern is likely to develop.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (11/2) 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 are barely 29 degs centered at 160E and shrinking in coverage. The 28 deg isotherm line is hanging on at 170W perhaps building east to 165W. The 24 deg isotherm is weak at 125W today and shallow at 60 meters deep at 140W. Anomaly wise a clear change is present in the East Pacific with warm water gone and instead neutral to weakly negative temperatures at the surface and down to -2 degs C down 100 meters at between 110-155W indicative of La Nina. Warm anomalies are isolated to the West Pacific at +0.5-1.0 degrees down to 100 meters deep with the dividing line between cool at 165W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 10/25 depicts a large area of subsurface cool water filling the East Pacific (-4.0 degs) and erupting to the surface in broad pockets between 90W to 165W with a near neutral temperature pattern in the west.
Sea Level Anomalies: (10/25) Negative anomalies are in control at -5 cms over the entire equatorial Pacific with a core of -10 cm anomalies present between Ecuador to 160W with one patch to -15 cms at 130W.
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: (11/1) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a clear cool pattern has developed. Upwelling continues solidly along Peru and Ecuador (building the past few days) then tracking west on the equator out to 150W. The cool pool continues west from there. No warm anomalies are indicated within 3+ degs north or south of the equator over the entire region.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (11/1): A neutral trend was along Peru. A mix of pockets of warming and cooling are indicated starting just off Ecuador over the Galapagos continuing west to 160W.
Hi-res Overview: (11/1) A clear La Nina cool stream is present starting off Southern Chile pushing north up Peru and building in coverage, then turning northwest off Ecuador tracking west over the Galapagos and building out to 160W and stronger than days past. Weak cool anomalies continued west from there out to 175E. Cool water at depth is erupting to the surface with the breach point near the Galapagos. There is no sign of warm anomalies in the Nino 1.2 or Nino3.4 regions.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (11/2) Today's temps were falling at -2.176, and below the previous coldest point so far this La Nina when they dipped to -1.9 degs on 10/11.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (11/2) temps were falling slightly and still cool at -0.597, but up from the most recent cool downward spike on 10/23 at -1.1 degs and warmer than a previous downward spike on 9/12 at -0.898. The long arc clearly suggests a downward trend. La Nina is in control.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (11/2) The forecast has temps falling steadily from -0.5 in early Oct to -1.0 in late Dec. Then the trend is to turn upwards reaching -0.25 in April and +0.25 degs in July 2018. This suggests a legit La Nina is expected for the Winter of 2017-2018. The CFS SST images (10/13) continues to suggest a moderate La Nina cool pattern building on the equator off the Galapagos into 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 Oct 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 (11/2): The daily index was rising at 7.00. The 30 day average was falling at 9.02. The 90 day average was rising at +6.88. This suggests a turn towards La Nina.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (11/2) The index was falling slightly at -0.99 (up from -2.20 on 6/28/17). This at most looks like a rising trend developing, which would be good. Last years La Nina reached -1.94 on 11/2/16 so we've bested that already. But the recent upward trend is offering some hope. Still 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 is weakly negative, but not as much as one would expect with La Nina in play.
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, Sept = -0.28. 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, Aug=0.09, Sept = 0.32. 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