Tuesday, November 14, 2017
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 6.2 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 5.0 ft @ 10.0 secs from 33 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.5 ft @ 5.9 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 14.0 secs from 178 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north-northeast at 8-10 kts. Water temperature 65.3 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 2.4 ft @ 5.8 secs from 267 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.4 ft @ 15.6 secs from 197 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.2 ft @ 16.4 secs from 214 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.8 ft @ 15.7 secs from 186 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 10.7 ft @ 11.8 secs with swell 7.8 ft @ 12 secs from 310 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north-northeast at 10-12 kts. Water temp 59.5 degs.
Notes: 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 (11/14) in North and Central CA new Gulf swell was producing waves at 3-4 ft overhead and clean and semi-lined up but on the soft side. Protected breaks were 1 ft overhead and clean but weak. At Santa Cruz the same swell was producing waves at chest high and clean. In Southern California up north set waves were thigh high and clean but with lump in the water. In North Orange Co residual southern hemi swell was producing surf at chest to near head high and lined up and clean. In South Orange country best breaks were head high and lined up and clean but slow. In San Diego surf was maybe waist high and clean. Hawaii's North Shore was getting northeast windswell at head high to 1 ft overhead and clean with some northerly ripples running through it and soft. The South Shore was thigh high and clean. The East Shore was getting northeast windswell at shoulder high and nearly chopped early from northeasterly trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Tuesday (11/14) new swell from a low pressure system that fell south through the Gulf of Alaska on Sat (11/11) producing 17 ft seas aimed south and then pulsed off Oregon on Mon (11/13) with up to 30 ft seas was hitting North California. Small residual southern hemi swell was fading out in Southern CA. In Hawaii swell from a small gale that developed just west of the dateline on Sat (11/11) producing up to 26 ft seas aimed southeast was hitting mixed with northeast windswell being generated just northeast of the Islands. Another gale was falling southeast through the Gulf Mon-Tues (11/14) producing 18 ft seas targeting the Pacific Northwest down into Central CA. Another gale is to follow a similar track on Fri-Sun (11/19) with 20-22 ft seas targeting California and Hawaii. And theoretically a stronger system is to track southeast through the Gulf Mon-Tues (11/21) with up to 35 ft seas. A bit of a break in the calm pattern appears to be forecast.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Tuesday AM (11/14) the jetstream was pushing off North Japan with winds to 130 kts in a few pockets not even reaching half way to the dateline then splitting heavily with the northern branch ridging hard north up and over the Bering Sea then diving south through Alaska and over the Northeastern Gulf forming a backdoor trough off North Canada being fed by 120 kt winds offering limited support for gale development in lower levels of the atmosphere before the jet tracked east into North California. The southern branch was very weak pushing east over the dateline and Hawaii then merging with the northern branch pushing into California. Over the next 72 hours through Fri (11/17) more of the same is forecast with the backdoor trough slowly falling southeast while weakening and moving inland over Washington on early Friday no longer offering support for gale development. Also on Thurs-Fri (11/17) another backdoor trough is forecast starting to build falling south over the Northern Gulf of Alaska with winds to 120 kts starting to again support gale development in lower levels of the atmosphere. Beyond 72 hours that trough is to continue falling south being fed by north winds 120-130 kts offering support for gale development before pinching off late Sun (11/19) with it's apex down to 30N. And yet another backdoor trough is to form in the Northwest Gulf on Mon (11/20) being fed by 130 kts pushing southeast into Tues (11/21) also offering support for gale development.
On Tuesday (11/14) swell from a gale in the Gulf was hitting California (see Backdoor Gulf Low below). Another backdoor low pressure system was over the far Eastern Gulf of Alaska generating seas (see Another Backdoor Trough below). Also swell from a Gale previous in the West Pacific was poised to hit Hawaii (see West pacific Mini-Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours another backdoor gale is to develop on the Western Gulf on Thurs AM (11/16) with seas building. In the evening north winds to continue at 30-35 kts falling into the Central Gulf with seas building to 18 ft at 46N 155W. Fri AM (11/17) north fetch is to continue at 35 kts taking aim more at Hawaii with 22 ft seas at 43N 153W aimed midway between Hawaii and California. Fetch is to be fading in the evening from 30 kts with 23 ft seas at 40N 151W. A small area of 30-35 kt north winds to continue falling south Sat AM (11/18) producing 20 ft seas at 37N 148W. After that the low is to dissipate. Swell is possible for California (Mon - 11/20) and Hawaii (later Sun 11/19).
Backdoor Gulf Low - California
A weak backdoor trough/low pressure system developed in the Northern Gulf on Sat AM (11/11) producing 25-30 kt northwest winds over a small area falling southeast. That fetch fell south in the evening to a point well off Oregon with 30 kt north winds and 17 ft seas at 46N 150W aimed mainly at Hawaii. This system fell southeast on Sun AM (11/12) while dissipating with north winds 25-30 kts and seas fading from 17 ft at 46N 147W aimed like before. Maybe some sideband windswell to result mainly for Hawaii.
Also secondary fetch from this trough developed off Southern Oregon on Sun PM (11/12) with west winds 30 kts and seas building. By Mon AM (11/13) 40 kt west winds were just off the Central Oregon coast with 22 ft seas at 44N 132W. Fetch continued at near 40 kts mid-day then moved into the Oregon coast in the evening with 26 ft seas at 46N 126W all shadowed from Pt Reyes southward. Raw swell is possible for extreme North CA though late Mon (11/13) into Tues AM (11/14).
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Tues AM (11/14) at 6.6 ft @ 11 secs holding till mid-afternoon (7.0 ft). Swell fading Wed AM (11/15) from 4.8 ft @ 10-11 secs (5.0 ft). Swell Direction: 310 degrees
Another Backdoor Trough
Another fetch developed in the Eastern Gulf on Mon PM (11/13) producing 30 kt northwest winds and seas 18 ft at 51N 142W. Northwest fetch continued Tues AM (11/14) at 30 kts off the Pacific Northwest producing 18 ft seas at 50N 142W targeting the US West Coast. Fetch is to fade in the evening from 25+ kts with 18 ft seas at 42N 141W falling southeast. This system is to slowly fade Wed AM (11/15) with north winds 25 kts and seas 16 ft at 47N 137W. Windswell is likely for North and Central CA starting late Wednesday evening (11/15).
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs AM (11/16) at 5.6 ft @ 11-12 secs (6.5 ft) and holding. Swell fading Fri AM (11/17) from 5.3 ft @ 11 secs (5.5 -6.0 ft). Swell Direction: 310 degrees
West Pacific Mini-Gale - Hawaii
On Fri PM (11/10) a gale developed in the West Pacific just west of the dateline and pretty far south generating 35-40 kt northwest winds aimed decently at Hawaii with seas building at 35N 168E. On Sat AM (11/11) 40 kt northwest winds were building aimed well west with 24 ft seas over a small area at 34N 170E. In the evening 35 kt west winds were fall southeast with 26 ft seas moving east to 32.5N 172E still targeting Hawaii. Fetch is to dissipate Sun AM (11/12) with 21 ft seas fading at 33N 175E. Small swell is possible moving towards Hawaii.
A secondary fetch of 20-25 kt northeast winds developed just north of Hawaii on Tues-Wed (11/15) associated with high pressure there producing windswell hitting Hawaii on Wed (11/15) at 5.5 ft @ 10-11 secs (5-6 ft) from 15 degrees.
Oahu: Expect swell arrival on Tues PM (11/14) building to 2.4 ft @ 14 secs (3.5 ft). Swell fading Wed AM (11/15) from 2.2 ft @ 13 secs (3.0 ft) with windswell mixing in (see above). Swell Direction: 305 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday (11/14) low pressure at 992 mbs was just off the Central Canadian coast with a front pushing down the South Oregon coast while weak high pressure was over North California resulting in light winds over the state. South winds are to be building to 15+ kts for Cape Mendocino later Tuesday as the front pushes south. No rain is forecast for the state. Wednesday the front pushes south from Cape Mendocino to Big Sur late afternoon with south winds building to 20-30 kts. Rain builds south Wednesday from Pt Arena down to Pt Arena after sunset and pretty solid down to the Golden Gate. A more solid snow event is to start building for the entire Sierra starting Wednesday evening peaking Thurs AM (11/16) then slowly fading though Thurs night into Fri AM. 39 inches of accumulation for Squaw Valley and up to 62 inches at Kirkwood. Thursday west to northwest winds 10-15 kts through the day for all of North and CA down to Monterey Bay but south 15 kts south of there to Pt Conception. High pressure is to be ridging weakly into North CA by Fri AM (11/17) with a light offshore wind pattern possible and no rain forecast. Low pressure queues up off the coast Sat (11/18) but high pressure holds nearshore with light offshore winds forecast but south 15 kts for Cape mendocino later. Sunday (11/19) the front is to impact the North CA coast with south winds 25-30 kts from Pt Arena northward and south winds 15 kts from the Golden Gate northward. Rain pushing south from Cape Mendocino to the Golden Gate at sunset and to Big Sur late evening. Rain for Tahoe Sunday evening into Monday (11/20). Monday the front is to stall over North CA with south winds 20+ kts for all of North CA and 10-15 kts down to Monterey Bay. Rain from Big Sur northward all day Monday (11/20) and heavy from San Francisco northward to Pt Arena in the evening. Snow for high elevations of the Southern Sierra Mon evening. Tues (11/21) a light south wind pattern is forecast for Big Sur northward and things drying out. A large low is forecast in the Gulf pushing towards the coast.
On Tuesday (11/14) no swell producing fetch was occurring.
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are 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 yet another backdoor gale is forecast in the Northwest Gulf on Sun PM (11/19) producing a broader area of 45 kt northwest winds south of the Eastern Aleutians with seas building to 37 ft at 50N 166W. Fetch is to fall southeast Mon AM (11/20) at 40-45 kt from the north filling the Western Gulf with seas building to 37 ft over a solid area at 45N 158W. In the evening fetch is fade from 35-40 kts from the north over a solid area with seas 35 ft in the Southwestern Gulf. Fetch is to be fading from 35-40 kts Tues AM (11/21) with 31 ft seas at 42N 153W targeting Hawaii and the US West Coast. Northwest fetch is to hold in the evening at 30-35 kts with seas 29 ft at 43N 145W targeting the US West Coast more directly. Something to monitor.
Beyond 72 hours a gale is forecast pushing under New Zealand on Sat (11/18) with 45 kt southwest winds and seas building to 35 ft at 57S 174E in the evening. It is to move east on Sun AM (11/19) with southwest winds fading from 40 kts and seas fading from 33 ft at 56S 175W. The gale to fade from there. Something to monitor.
More details to follow...
La Nina Solid - Cool Pool Locked-In
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 Mon (11/13) 5 day average winds were from the east over the entire equatorial Pacific and the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were light over the East Pacific but moderate easterly from 170W extending over the entire KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (11/14) Moderate east anomalies were modeled over the core of the KWGA. East anomalies are to slowly weaken and move east and out of the KWGA by the 11/19 with a neutral anomaly pattern in control by the end of the model run on 11/21. The Inactive Phase of the MJO is in control but expected to fade a week out.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 11/13 a modest Active/Wet MJO pattern was developing in the West Pacific. The statistical model depicts the Active Phase holding if not easing east slightly through the end of the model run 15 days out. The dynamic model depicts the Active Phase fading 2 days out with a neutral pattern taking control thereafter. So the 2 models are in disagreement.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (11/14) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was very weak over the far West Pacific and is to ease east and remaining week for the next 2 weeks. The GEFS model suggests much the same but weaker and not moving east.
40 day Upper Level Model: (11/14) This model depicts a weak Active/Wet pattern fading over Central America and gone by 11/19. A weak Inactive/Dry Phase is over the Central Pacific and is to push east into Central America through 12/9. A very weak an undefined pattern is to follow through the end of the model run on 12/24. This model runs about 1 week ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (11/14) This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO was migrating over the KWGA with weak east anomalies fading over the KWGA. The Inactive Phase is to continue building east and hold through 12/15 with east anomalies starting to build on 11/30 holding into 12/10. Finally the Active Phase of the MJO is to develop in the far West Pacific 12/16 and building with west anomalies in the KWGA 12/25 then building steadily while easing east through 1/23/18. After that the Inactive Phase is to again develop 1/31 and building east through the end of the model run 2/11 but with west anomalies holding. The low pass filter indicates a modest El Nino/low pressure signal over the extreme west KWGA and it is to ease east filling the KWGA by 1/28. A La Nina/high pressure signal is over the East KWGA at 170E and is to move east into the East Pacific and no longer in the KWGA by Jan 1. If this verifies, the underpinnings of La Nina are to be fading and then gone by late December. This suggest that as winters builds (typically the peak of La Nina in the jan timeframe), support for La Nina will be fading. But it takes 3 months for the ocean to respond to whatever happens in the atmosphere, so this winter is lost to La Nina regardless of what the low pass filter indicates. No significant oceanic change is 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: (11/14) 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 29 degs centered at 160E with a hint of 30 degs temp creeping in from the west. The 28 deg isotherm line has retrograded heavily to 177W. The 24 deg isotherm is weak at 133W 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 modestly negative temperatures are at the surface and down to -4 degs C down 100 meters at between 130-150W indicative of La Nina. Warm anomalies are isolated to the West Pacific at +2.0 degrees down to 100 meters deep with the dividing line between cool at 170W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 11/9 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 160W with a near neutral temperature pattern in the west.
Sea Level Anomalies: (11/4) Negative anomalies are in control at -5 cms over the entire equatorial Pacific with a core of -10 cm anomalies present between Ecuador to 150W.
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: (11/13) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a clear cool pattern has developed. Upwelling continues (though weaker than what it was a few days ago) along Peru and Ecuador then tracking west on the equator out to 150W. The cool pool continues west from there but not as strong. No warm anomalies are indicated within 3+ degs north or south of the equator over the entire region.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (11/13): A neutral to warming trend was along Peru. A warming trend is also indicated starting at the Galapagos continuing west to 140W. It looks like the latest La Nina pulse is backing off.
Hi-res Overview: (11/13) 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 150W and stronger than days past. Weak cool anomalies continued west from there out to 180W. 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: (11/14) Today's temps were falling slightly to -2.036, just barely warmer than the -2.248 low point reached on 11/5. And that low point was lower than the previous coldest point reached on 10/11 at -1.9 degs.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (11/14) temps were rising at -0.724 a little above the lowest temp reached so far at -1.1 on 11/23. The long arc suggests a steadying pattern. La Nina is in control.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (11/14) The forecast has temps falling steadily from -0.5 in early Oct to -1 in late Dec falling to -1.05 in early Feb. Then the trend is to turn upwards reaching -0.6 in April and -0.1 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-Oct Plume updated (11/7) depicts temps forecast to fade -0.7 degs in Oct and holding through Dec, then slowly rising from there turning neutral in April 2018. See chart here - link The NMME consensus for Oct average indicates temps -0.85 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 now in the middle of that pack.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (11/14): The daily index was rising at 12.28. The 30 day average was falling at 6.37. The 90 day average was steady at +8.01. This suggests a turn towards La Nina.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (11/14) The index was steady at -1.03 (up from -2.20 on 6/28/17). The trend is stable for now. 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, Oct=-0.60. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO, even with La Nina, because the warm PDO appears to be dampening the effects of La Nina. 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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POWERLINES Night at the OPL - Surf Footage Featuring Mavericks from Powerlines Productions plus live music from 6 to 8 PM- Nov 17, 2017. Video starts at 8:15 PM at the Old Princeton Landing (OPL) in Half Moon Bay/Princeton CA.
Titans of Mavericks on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luQSYf5sKjQ
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table