Thursday, November 17, 2016
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): This buoy stopped reporting data at 0z on 11/17.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.9 ft @ 12.8 secs with swell 2.2 ft @ 13.6 secs from 183 degrees. Wind north 14-16 kts. Water temperature 63.5 degs. At Santa Barbara no data was available. At Santa Monica swell was 3.0 ft @ 8.6 secs from 271 degrees. Southward from Orange County to San Diego swell was 5.2 ft @ 9.7 secs from 283 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 12.5 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 8.2 ft @ 14.8 secs from 294 degrees. Wind north 10-14 kts. Water temp 58.5 degs.
46006, 46059, Hi-res Buoys
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 (11/17) in North and Central CA North Gulf swell was producing waves in the 10 ft range but warbled and pretty raw even though local wind was light. At Santa Cruz the same swell was producing waves in the head high to 1 ft overhead range and clean abut slow and soft. In Southern California up north North Gulf swell was producing waves in the waist to chest high range and clean and very north angled. Down in North Orange Co sets waves were chest to shoulder high and getting a fair amount of north lump on it early with north winds in effect. Hawaii's North Shore was getting residual swell from the Kuril Islands producing surf in the 1-2 ft overhead range at top spots and reasonably clean but with a little north lump intermixed. The South Shore was flat and clean. The East Shore was getting a mix of east windswell and Kuril wrap around swell with waves waist high and chopped from east trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
Swell from a small gale that developed in the Northeastern Gulf on Sun-Mon (11/14) with 26-30 ft seas over a small area aimed southeast was hitting California mixed with residual swell from a gale that tracked of the Kuril Islands a week ago. And smaller residuals from the Kuril Island system were fading in Hawaii. And another gale started developing Wed (11/16) in the Western Gulf and is to track east to a point off North CA on Sat (11/19) with seas in the 25-30 ft range over it's life. Another gale is to track east from the North Dateline region through the Northern Gulf Sat-Tues (11/22) with 28-30 ft seas. Another gale is to develop just off Kamchatka on Tues (11/22) with up to 34 ft seas then fading out as it hits the North Dateline region later Wed (11/23). So more swell is expected, but moderate in size.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis.cgius forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Thursday AM (11/17) the jetstream was running east off Japan at 120 kts ridging over the Dateline but still south of the Aleutians then falling into a developing trough in the Gulf being fed by 140 kts winds offering some support for gale development. From there the jet tracked east pushing over North California at 130 kts. Over the next 72 hours that same basic pattern is to hold but with additional 140 kt winds falling into the Gulf trough helping to reinvigorate it then till the apex of the trough starts moving east and pinching off just off Central CA on Sunday (11/20) and moving onshore there later evening. Back to the west the ridge is to weaken a bit over the dateline with a gentle trough developing off Kamchatka pushing east over the dateline Sun (11/20) being fed by 125 kt winds. Limited support for gale development is possible in this trough. Beyond 72 hours that trough is to ease east moving over the Gulf on Tues (11/22) with up to 130 kt winds feeding it offering more limited support for gale development. By Thurs (11/24) the ridge is to reappear on the dateline pushing the jet over the Aleutians but no further north then falling into yet another developing trough over the Gulf with winds in the jet 130 kts offering some support for gale development in the Gulf. Previous concerns about the jet possibly .cgiitting off Japan are no longer in the forecast, with the jet consolidated and flowing off Japan at 120 kts on Thurs (11/24) ridging over the dateline then falling into the aforementioned trough. Basically, we're in a steady state pattern that is generally favorable for gale development in the Gulf. Sure looks like a seasonal pattern is digging in.
On Thursday (11/17) swell from a gale that developed in the Northern Gulf of Alaska was hitting California (see North Gulf Swell below). Another gale was tracking from the dateline towards California (see Gulf Gale below)
Over the next 72 hours starting Sat PM (11/19) a small gale is to develop over the Northern Dateline tracking east-southeast with 45 kt northwest winds generating a tiny area of 30 ft seas at 48N 178E. On Sun AM (11/20) 40-45 kt northwest winds to build in coverage pushing east with seas building to 28 ft over a small area at 48N 172W. Fetch is to build more in the evening to 45 kts over a small area with seas to 30 ft at 48N 166W. Fetch is to fade from 35-40 kts Mon AM (11/21) with the gale in the Northern Gulf with seas fading from 30 ft at 46N 157W. Fetch rebuilding in the evening in the Gulf at 40 kts from the northwest with seas 29 ft over a solid area at 47N 152W. On Tues AM (11/22) fetch is to be fading in coverage but still 45 kts from the northwest with seas 30 ft at 48N 149W. Residuals fading from 35 kts off Oregon in the evening with 28 ft seas at 46N 142W. Larger raw swell possible for the Pacific Northwest with solid north angled energy reaching down to Central CA.
North Gulf Swell
A gale formed in the Northern Gulf Sat PM (11/12) generating a small patch of 40 kt northwest winds extending south from the Eastern Aleutian Islands starting to get traction on the oceans surface with seas building to 20 ft. This fetch was in-phase with swell already moving south of this area from the Kuril Islands. 40 kt northwest winds built in coverage Sun AM (11/13) over a thin area generating a small area of 28 ft seas at 48.5N 162W targeting the Pacific Northwest (304 degs NCal). In the evening fetch held at 35-40 kts over a broader area with seas 26-30 ft at 47N 155W (302 degs NCal). On Mon AM (11/14) fetch was fading from 30- 35 kts from the northwest with seas 25 ft at 47N 155W (302 degs NCal). Fetch was fading in the evening from 30-35 kt from the northwest with seas fading from 23 ft at 46N 151W (301 degs NCal). This system faded Tues AM (11/15) with winds dropping from 30-35 kts and seas fading from 23 ft at 49N 149W (309 degs NCal). This system is to dissipate thereafter. Possible decent swell to result for the Pacific Northwest down into Central CA.
North CA: Swell fading Thurs AM (11/17) from 8.4 ft @ 14 secs (11.5 ft). Residuals fading on Friday (11/18) from 5 ft @ 12-13 secs early (6.0 ft). Swell Direction: 301-304 degrees
South CA: Swell fading Fri AM (11/18) from 3.7 ft @ 14 secs (5.0 ft). Residuals dissipating Sat AM (11/19) from 2.4 ft @ 12-13 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 306-309 degrees
On Tues PM (11/15) a small storm started developing just east of the dateline tracking east with 50-55 kt northwest winds targeting Hawaii some. Seas built from 29 ft at 43.5N 171W. On Wed AM (11/16) 45 kt northwest winds continued easing east with seas building to 30 ft over a small area at 42N 166W targeting mainly the US West Coast (290 degs NCal). In the evening winds were fading from 40 kts from the west with seas fading to 28 ft over a small area at 40N 161W (289 degs NCal). Thurs AM (11/17) 35-40 kt west winds were approaching North CA with seas 27 ft at 39N 155W (283 degs NCal). In the evening the gale is to hold while tracking east-southeast with northwest winds to 35 kts and seas 25 ft at 37N 148W (276 degs NCal, 287 degs SCal). More of the same is forecast Friday AM (11/18) with 30-35 kt west winds just off Central CA with 23 ft seas at 36N 143W (270 degrees NCal, 284 degs SCal). In the evening some regeneration is forecast with 45 kt northwest winds developing off the Pacific Northwest targeting California and seas 26 ft at 43N 143W (302 degs SCal). Fetch is build more while falling southeast Sat AM (11/19) with 45 kt northwest winds and seas building to 30 ft at 40N 138W 600 nmiles off Cape Mendocino (286 degs NCal, 297 degs SCal). Fetch to fade in the evening with seas collapsing from 23 ft at 37N 135W. Larger raw swell is expected for North and Central CA with perhaps some larger energy wrapping into exposed breaks in SCal. Something to monitor.
North CA: For.cgianning purposes expect swell arrival on Sat sunset (11/19) building to 8 ft @ 15 secs (12 secs). Swell to peak Sun AM (11/20) at 12 ft @ 15 secs (18 ft). Swell fading Mon AM (11/21) from 6.7 ft @ 12 secs (8.0 ft). Swell Direction: 280 degrees
South CA: For.cgianning purposes expect swell arrival on Sun AM (11/20) building to 4.2 ft @ 14-15 secs (6.0 ft) later (18 ft). Swell peaking overnight then fading Mon AM (11/21) from 4.9 ft @ 14 secs (6.5 ft). Swell fading Tues AM (11/22) from 3.0 ft @ 11-12 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 285-295 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday AM (11/17) weak high pressure was centered 500 nmiles off Central CA at 1022 mbs early generating northwest winds at 15 kts from Pt Arena southward and expected to fade in coverage some late as low pressure builds in the Gulf tracking east. Friday the front from that low is to be moving into the North Coast with south winds 20 kts from Bodega Bay northward mid-day building to 40 kts at Cape Mendocino late and 20+ kts down to Monterey Bay. Rain building over all of North CA at sunset and beyond. The front is to continue pushing into the coast Saturday AM (11/19) reaching Big Sur with south winds 20+ kts mid- morning and fading near Pismo Beach at sunset at 15 kts. Rain pushing south from San Francisco to Pismo Beach during the day with 2-4 inches of snow for higher elevations of Tahoe and points northward. The low is to slowly dissipate while lifting north into Oregon on Sun (11/20) with south winds 10 kts early in SF fading as the day continues. Rain continues from Pismo Beach northward through the day. 2-3 more inches of snow possible reaching down into the Southern Sierras. Monday a light northwest wind flow is forecast (10 kts or less) with more low pressure building in the Northern Gulf. Rain clearing early and snow fading over the Southern Sierras. Tues (11/22) north winds are forecast at 10 kts or so for the North and Central Coasts but up to 15 kts for Pt Conception with clearing skies. Light rain late for extreme North CA. Wednesday (11/23) high pressure is to nose into the Central Coast with low pressure trying to nose into the North Coast. Rain pushing south to Pismo Beach late. A more solid snow pattern developing for Tahoe. Northwest winds 15 kts early up north building down to and into Southern CA late and up to 20 kts for the SF Bay area. Low pressure is to move into the Pacific Northwest on Thurs (11/24) with south winds building over North CA at 25 kts, light winds for Central CA, and north winds from Pt Conception and over the Channel Islands. Rain moving into extreme North CA late.
No swell of interest was in the water and no swell producing fetch of interest was occurring.
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
One more tiny gale is to develop off Kamchatka Tues AM (11/22) with 45 kt west winds and 33 ft seas at 51N 165E targeting mainly the Aleutians. Its to track east-northeast in the evening at 40 kts with 32 ft seas at 51.5N 170E mostly shadowed by the Aleutians. It is to track over the Aleutians on Wed (11/23) getting sheared and obscured by land, eventually redeveloping in the Central Gulf on Thurs AM (11/24) with a broad area of 30-35 kt northwest winds with seas 20-22 ft at 46N 150W. In the evening more 30-35 kt northwest winds to hold in the Northern Gulf with 24 ft seas at 51N 148W. Something to monitor.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
More details to follow...
SOI Falling Again
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 equatorial Pacific it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slack if not an outright reversal of trade winds and enhanced 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.cgianet, 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 help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to .cgiit resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. 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: The 2014-2016 El Nino is all but gone except for remnants in the upper atmosphere. La Nina is developing but weaker than expected.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Thursday (11/16) east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific continuing over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. The KWGA is on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south. Anomalies were neutral over the equatorial East Pacific and modest easterly over the KWGA. These easterly anomalies are solely attributable to La Nina and are modulated by the MJO.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): Weak east anomalies were modeled over the Eastern KWGA focused mainly near the dateline today and are forecast to build a little over the dateline for the coming week (through 11/24). The first real easterly wind burst from this La Nina started on 9/23 and is to continue holding fro the foreseeable future. We are thinking it will not end anytime soon but rather will just pulse, stronger at times, then weaker, attributable to La Nina, and modulated by the MJO.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 11/16 a weak and fading Active MJO signal was indicated over the dateline with the Inactive Phase building moderately over the far West Pacific. The Statistic model projects the Active signal holding position and dissipating 1 week out while the Inactive Phase of the MJO builds over the far West Pacific moving to the dateline 2 weeks out while weakening. The dynamic model depicts the same thing but with the Inactive Phase of the MJO weakening as it tracks east, and gone with a neutral pattern in control 2 weeks out.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (11/17) The ECMF model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO was weak and nearly over Africa. It is forecast to track east and fade in the Indian Ocean 6 days from now. The GEFS model depicts it building some strength, then crashing in the Indian Ocean 7 days out.
40 day Upper Level Model: (11/17) This model depicts the Inactive Phase of the MJO covering the North Pacific tracking over and into Central America on 11/27. A weak Active Phase is to build in the West Pacific on 11/27 tracking east to Central America on 12/22. A weak Inactive Phase to follow in the West Pacific starting 12/20.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (11/11) This model depicts a weak Active MJO signal present over the KWGA with weak west wind anomalies in.cgiay. It is to ease east and fade 11/18. Then the Inactive Phase develops in the West Pacific starting 11/17 holding through 12/10 but with neutral wind anomalies holding in KWGA. A weak Active Phase is forecast to follow 12/15-2/8 with weak west anomalies for the KWGA. Overall the MJO signal is projected to be very weak and this pattern is to hold as we move deeper into Fall. We suspect La Nina is having the effect of dampening the MJO, and producing weak east anomalies in the KWGA but not producing an outright Inactive Phase of the MJO. Likewise the MJO is serving to dampen the effects of La Nina when in the Active Phase.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (11/16) Actual temperatures are stratified with warm water in the West Pacific at 30+ degs C (reaching east to 158-160E) and the 28 deg isotherm line reaching to 175W and steep, suggesting a hard break between warm water in the west and cool water in the east at depth. This is expected with La Nina developing. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies at +1-2 degs rule from the West Pacific to 175W with a tongue of warmer water at depth reaching east to 155W. This is an upgrade and sort of looks like a Kelvin Wave, but it is not. Neutral to weak negative anomalies are east of there to Ecuador at not more than -1.0 degs. The Kelvin Wave pipeline is full of neutral to slightly cooler than normal water. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 11/9 depicts a pocket of cooler water -3-4 deg anomalies in the East Pacific at mainly 140W down 125 meters. La Nina is in control of the ocean at depth, but not strongly so.
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: (11/16) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a thin cool pool of water developing along the immediate coast of Peru reaching up to Ecuador. The effects of the Active Phase of the MJO are at least temporarily evident with much warmer water just west of the South American coast. Cool water becomes better defined just west of the Galapagos and continues along the equator continuously out to 125W, but still a little weaker than weeks past. Cool water that has had a larger footprint west of there out to at least 160W continues looking weaker now, as if La Nina is retreating. La Nina is in control of surface waters of the Central Pacific, and is now starting to take control of the East Pacific too, but with less energy.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (11/16): A weak warming trend continues along Peru and Chile. A neutral trend is in control of the entire equatorial Pacific with pockets of warming waters present as they have been for months along the equator from the Galapagos to 160W but now with no cooler pockets. Interesting.
Hi-res Overview: (11/16) A La Nina cool pool is most present in the Central Equatorial Pacific from 120W to 175E. But a thin continuous cool stream extends from the Galapagos to 120W on the equator. La Nina is building slightly, likely in it's mature phase.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (11/17) Today's temps were falling at -0.037. We're falling off a warm peak that was up to +0.7 degs on 11/10.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (11/17) temps were steady at -0.454. We're moving into a warmer pulse here now. Temps are oscillating warm to cool and back in 2-3 week cycles within a range from -0.3 to -1.0 degs until the warming spike in late Sept. Temps bottomed out at -1.0 degs near 7/21-7/26.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (11/17) This model suggests La Nina held from July thru Oct 1 in the -0.55 deg range. But the forecast has temps slowly warming from here forward with temps at -0.5 in early Dec and -0.4 degs Jan 1 rising steadily from there reaching neutral in March 2017 and up to +0.3 degs late April and holding in July. This is very interesting with the model holding the strength of La Nina at minimal ' La Nina' territory and moving towards weak El nino territory next summer. Not likely, but interesting.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Oct Plume depicts temps have reached their peak minimum at -0.6. A slow increase in temps is forecast thereafter to -0.2 in Jan 2017 and neutral in April, starting to turn weakly positive after that to +0.6 in June. This is up slightly from last months peak low temp of -0.7 degs and barely in La Nina territory. See chart here - link.
Atmospheric Deco.cgiing (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (11/17): The daily index is again nosediving, down to -24.31 today. It was well negative for most of October, then turned positive on 11/1 and held steady at roughly +2.0 until 11/10, and is now falling again. The 30 day average was falling at -5.30. This strongly suggests the Active Phase of the MJO or some other mode of variability was having the same effect as the Active Phase of the MJO. The 90 day average falling slightly +4.35. La Nina is trying to hang on, but not strongly.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (11/17) Today's value was rising slightly again up to -1.35. A peak low was reached on 11/2 at -1.94 the deepest it had been so far in this event suggesting La Nina was getting better established. But that is changing now, moving in a better direction.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO continues positive, though much weaker lately (as expected with La Nina setting in).
Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-Sept) are: +0.79, +1.23, +1.55, +1.59, +1.42, +0.76, +0.12 then falling to -0.87 and -1.06 in Sept.
The Washington EDU index (Jan-Sept) are: +1.54, +1.75, +2.40, +2.62, +2.35, +2.03, +1.25 +0.52 and +0.45 in Sept.
The PDO turned from a 6 year negative run (2008-2013) in early 2014 and has been positive until Aug 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 suggests that could be a real possibility. We've been in the negative phase since 1998 through at least 2013 (15 years). 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