Tuesday, January 19, 2021
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 238 (Barbers Point): Seas were 8.3 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 5.2 ft @ 14.6 secs from 317 degrees.
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 14.4 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 7.3 ft @ 14.2 secs from 318 degrees. Water temp 77.9 degs.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 5.0 ft @ 17.2 secs with swell 3.1 ft @ 16.3 secs from 252 degrees. Wind at the buoy was east at 16-21 kts. Water temperature 59.4 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 7.3 ft @ 15.9 secs from 289 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.5 ft @ 17.2 secs from 262 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.3 ft @ 17.0 secs from 260 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 5.1 ft @ 16.5 secs from 276 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 10.0 ft @ 15.4 secs with swell 4.5 ft @ 15.5 ft from 285 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was north-northeast at 27-35 kts. Water temp 52.0 degs (013), 52.3 degs (SF Bar) and 53.4 degs (042).
See 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 (1/19) in North and Central CA waves were 8-10 ft and very lumpy and torn apart by strong north-northeast winds. Protected breaks were head high to 1 ft overhead and torn apart by north winds and unrideable. At Santa Cruz surf was head high to maybe 1-2 ft overhead on the sets and lined up and clean and peeling but soft. In Southern California/Ventura waves were maybe head high and untouchable with 30+ kt southeast winds. Central Orange County had sets at shoulder high and lined up but soft and textured from southeast winds. South Orange County's best summertime breaks were chest high and lined up and clean and soft. North San Diego had sets at 1-2 ft overhead and clean and lined up and peeling but soft. Winds was not an issue. Hawaii's North Shore had waves at 10-12 ft on the sets and pretty ragged and warbled with north lump running through at best spots if not chopped at more exposed breaks and unruly. The South Shore was flat and fairly clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell with waves 1-2 ft overhead and chopped from moderate northeast winds.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Tuesday (1/19) Swell #10 was fading out in California and trashed mostly by a solid Santa Anna wind event. Hawaii was getting swell from a weak system that tracked southeast from off the Kuril Islands Fri-Sun (1/17) with 35 ft seas targeting the Islands well but also bringing weather with it. Beyond a small but solid storm is forecast tracking east off Japan to the dateline Wed-Fri (1/22) with seas to 54 ft then evaporating east of there. A major storm track reorganization is forecast after that shifting west and weakening significantly. A weak gale is forecast tracking off Japan Sun-Tues (1/26) producing 40 ft seas aimed somewhat at Hawaii but not making it to even the dateline. Another is forecast falling southeast through the Northeastern Gulf Mon-Tues (1/26) producing 37 ft seas targeting California.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Tuesday (1/19) the jet was well consolidated pushing due east off Japan with winds building to 180 kts reaching the dateline then splitting north of Hawaii (155W) with a weak flow tracking northeast over the Northern Gulf and into British Columbia and the southern branch falling southeast to the equator. No troughs were present offering no support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours a new trough is to develop in the consolidated portion of the jet west of the dateline tracking east to the dateline on Fri (1/22) offering some support for gale development before fading. Beyond 72 hours the jet is to be regenerating over Japan with winds building to 200 kts falling southeast to a point west of Hawaii on the dateline trying to carve out a new trough there on Sat (1/23) but no quite doing it with the split point retrograding to the dateline and building in solid there. By Mon (1/25) the jet is to be split over Japan consolidating briefly just west of the dateline at 170E then splitting hard with most energy tracking into the northern portion of the jet pushing just south of the Eastern Aleutians then falling southeast and pushing into Central and Southern CA with a trough developing in that flow off Oregon on Tues (1/26) being fed by 150 kt winds offering some support for gale development. But a large ridge is to be north of Hawaii totally shutting down support for gale development there. For the future a full high pressure lockdown looks likely for the core of the North Pacific with the storm track focusing either in the far West Pacific or the far East Pacific.
On Tuesday (1/19) swell from Storm #10 was fading in CA (see Storm #10 below). And swell from a far weaker system previously over the dateline was hitting Hawaii (see Dateline Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours a stronger gale is forecast developing off North Japan Tues PM (1/19) with 55 kt northwest winds and seas building from 37 ft at 41N 159.5E aimed southeast. Fetch holding Wed AM (1/20) at 55 kts over a modest sized area half way to the dateline with 50 ft seas at 41N 167.5E aimed southeast. Fetch is to push east in the evening at 55 kts from the northwest approaching the Dateline with 54 ft seas at 41.5N 172.5E. Northwest winds are to be fading in strength and coverage Thurs AM (1/21) from 45 kts pushing to the dateline with seas 46 ft at 42N 178.5E aimed east. Fetch fading from 40 kts in the evening on the dateline with seas fading from 34 ft at 44N 174W aimed east. This system is to be gone after that. Maybe some swell for Hawaii and lesser size for the US West Coast.
Strong Storm #10 - Target Hawaii
And yet another storm started developing off North Japan on Wed AM (1/13) producing a small area of 40-45 kt northwest winds with seas building. In the evening a decent fetch of northwest winds were falling southeast at 50 kts with seas building from 44 ft at 40.5N 168E aimed southeast. On Thurs AM (1/14) the storm was pushing over the dateline falling southeast with 55 kt northwest winds and seas 52 ft at 39.5N 177E aimed southeast. In the evening the storm was falling southeast with 55 kt northwest winds and sea 55 ft at 38N 175W aimed southeast. On Fri AM (1/15) the storm was tracking east with 50 kt west winds and seas 51 ft at 36N 167.5W aimed east. In the evening the gale was pushing east to almost northeast with 40 kt west winds and seas 43 ft at 37.5N 159.5W aimed east. The gale was fading Sat AM (1/16) while lifting northeast with 35-40 kt west winds and seas fading from 37 ft at 41.5N 152.5W aimed east. The gale to dissipate from there.
Very large and powerful swell for Hawaii and more moderate size for the US West Coast.
North CA: Swell fading on Tues (1/19) fading from 5.9 ft @ 15 secs early (8.5 ft). Dribbles on Wed (1/20) fading from 2.8 ft @ 13 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 281-292 degrees focused on 287 degrees
A weaker and smaller system tracked east after developing off the Kuril Islands Thurs PM (1/14) with 45 kt northwest winds ands seas building from 30 ft at 44.5N 155E aimed southeast. On Fri AM (1/15) 40 kt northwest winds continued falling southeast with seas building to 35 ft over a small area at 43N 162E aimed southeast. In the evening fetch was falling southeast fast at 35-40 kts with seas 33 ft at 40N 170E aimed southeast at Hawaii. On Sat AM (1/16) northwest winds were 35 kts on the dateline with 31 ft seas at 37.5N 177E aimed southeast. Fetch faded in the evening from 30-35 kts with seas 28 ft at 34.5N 178W aimed southeast. 30 kt north winds continued falling southeast into Sun PM (1/17) with 24 ft seas at 32.5N 165W and impacting Kauai 12 hrs later. Something to monitor.
Hawaii: Raw swell to continue on Tues (1/19) at 7.8 ft @ 13-14 secs (10.5 ft) with local windswell intermixed. Windswell fading on Wed (1/20) from 6.1 ft @ 11-12 secs (7.0 ft). Dribbles fading on Thurs (1/21) from 3.4 ft @ 11 secs (3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 320 degrees moving to 360 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical weather system of interest were being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday (1/19) northeast winds were 15-20 kts for all of North CA and 25-35 kts for Central CA focused on San Francisco early fading to 10-15 kts for North and Central CA later but building to to 20-25 kts and even 30+ kts for part of Southern CA later. Wed (1/20) northeast winds are forecast at 5-10 kts for North and Central CA early but 15-20 kts for Southern CA early fading to calm if not northwest 5 kts later and for Southern CA east at 10 kts later. Thurs (1/21) low pressure is to be approaching North CA light winds from the northwest 5 kts for North CA and 10 kts for Central CA turning west 10-15 kts for North CA later and northwest 10 kts for Central CA. Rain developing for Cape Mendocino overnight. On Fri (1/22) weak low pressure is to be falling down the coast just inland with north winds light for North CA early and southwest 10-15 kts for Central CA early turning north 20+ kts for North CA down to Monterey Bay later and northwest 10-15 kts south of there. Rain sweeping south and holding for all of North and Central CA down to Santa Barbara County at sunset and the to San Diego overnight. Snow for the Sierra starting mid-morning holding through the night. Sat (1/23) north winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for North CA to Monterey Bay early at 15 kts south of there to Pt Conception early holding all day though maybe 10 kts later for Bodega Bay to Pigeon Point. Light rain possible for Monterey Bay to San Diego through the day. Snow fading early for the Sierra. Sun (1/24) north winds are forecast at 20 kts for North CA and 10+ kts for Central CA early building to 30 kts for all of North CA later and building over Central CA overnight. Rain pushing south from Cape Mendocino to Pt Conception overnight. Solid snow for the Sierra in the evening. Mon (1/25) north winds are forecast at 20 kts early for North CA and 30 kts from the northwest for Central and South CA pretty much holding all day. Light rain for Cape Mendocino early holding all day. Light rain for Big Sur south to San Diego early fading through the morning. Snow slowly fading from the Sierra through the day. Tues (1/26) southwest winds ahead of a front forecast building to 35 kts for all of North CA by noon pushing south to Central CA in the afternoon. Rain for Cape Mendocino early pushing south to Morro bay later. Snow along the coast at higher elevations of Cape Mendocino early building into a strong snow event along the North Coast later and reaching Tahoe at sunset.
Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 27 inches, 38 inches, 39 inches, and 38 inches through 1/28.
Freezing level around 10,000 ft into 1/21 then falling steadily, to 1,000 on 1/25 then rising some to 4,000 ft 1/26 and holding.
Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!
No swell was in the water.
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems 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 the storm pattern is to shift and fade compared to weeks past.
A small storm is forecast developing off Southern Japan on Sun PM (1/24) producing 50-55 kt north winds and seas building from 35 ft at 34N 149E aimed south. Fetch is to push east Mon AM (1/25) at 55 kt still aimed south with 43 ft seas at 33N 155.5E aimed south. In the evening fetch is to be fading from barely 45 kts with seas fading from 31 ft at 34N 168E aimed south. Nothing after that. Low odds of any swell resulting for Hawaii.
Also on Mon PM (1/25) a gale is forecast developing in the Northern Gulf with a broad area of 40+ kt northwest winds developing aimed southeast with seas building. On Tues AM (1/26) 40-45 kt northwest winds to be covering a solid area off the US West Coast with seas building to 33 ft at 49N 145W aimed southeast. Fetch fading in coverage in the evening falling southeast at off North CA at 40-45 kts with seas 37 ft at 42N 137W aimed southeast. Something to monitor.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.
La Nina Continues - Water Temps Warming over Galapagos
The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) 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.And the El Nino/La Nino cycle (collectively know as ENSO - El Nino Southern Oscillation) is a less frequent (about once every 7 years) but more impactful cycle that affects world wide weather. Specifically, strong El Nino events promote storm production in the Pacific while La Nina events suppress storm production. These therefore have a significant impact on the production of swell and surf. The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO and ENSO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for upcoming activity (or inactivity depending on the state and interaction of these two oscillations).
Overview: A double dip La Nina was in control through the Winter of 2017-2018. But warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018 associated with two upwelling Kelvin Waves, and continued trying to build over equatorial waters over the Summer and Fall, but not enough to declare El Nino and not coupled with the atmosphere. In January 2019, those warm waters were fading, but then rebuilt late in Feb associated with Kelvin Wave (#3). But as of early June 2019 warm water was fading and by August a tongue of cool water was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos reaching to a point nearly south of Hawaii. El Nino was dead. A bit of a recovery occurred during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water held in a pool off Peru and had not changed until March 2020. By April the cool pool pushed east and by May subsurface cool waters erupted off Ecuador, forming a well defined cool tongue that looked like the start of La Nina, holding into July 2020.
LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Fall/Winter 2020/2021 = 3.0/3.5 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)
Rationale: It is assumed the PDO has moved to the warm phase in 2014 and that a weak borderline El Nino from 2018 faded out in the Fall of 2019. A La Nina like ocean temperature pattern developed in the equatorial East Pacific in the summer of 2019, then faded and returned to a neutral if not weak warm status during the Winter of 2019-2020 only to return stronger in the Summer of 2020. We have been suspecting a turn towards a La Nina like atmospheric pattern to develop in the late Winter/early Spring of 2020. Our best hope is that moderation from the warm phase of the PDO might tamp down development of a full blown La Nina as we move into 2020. But at this time that does not appear likely. Given all that, for the 2020 there is decent probability for development of La Nina meaning a reduced number of storm days and storm intensity during the summer season, resulting in a below normal level of swell, with swell being below normal duration and period. And by the Fall and early Winter of 2020/21, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should fade even more, resulting in depressed swell production. This pattern is expected to hold through the Spring of 2021.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (1/18) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific and stronger still from the east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific building weakly easterly over the Central Pacific and exceedingly strong easterly over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, so they lag what is happening today by about 2 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (1/19) exceedingly strong east anomalies were filling the KWGA and reaching east to a point south of Hawaii. The forecast calls for strong east anomalies fading on 1/20 to moderate if not modest strength in the KWGA and weakening more with a hint of weak west anomalies developing in the KWGA at the end of the model run on 1/26. West anomalies are currently south of California to Ecuador at moderate strength and are forecast holding through the end of the model run.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
- Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (1/18) A weak Inactive MJO pattern was over the dateline and eastern KWGA today. The statistic model projects it holding on day 5 of the model run turning neutral on day 10 with a weak Active signal developing in the KWGA on day 15. The dynamic model suggests a variation of the same thing but with an even weaker pattern suggested.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (1/19) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was very weak over the East Indian Ocean today and is to track to the West Pacific and exceedingly weak on day 15. The GEFS model suggests a variant of the same with the Active Phase making it to the West Pacific on day 7 and very weak then backtracking to the far East Maritime Continent on day 15.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (1/18) This model depicts a modest Active MJO pattern (moist air) over the far West Pacific and is to track east while fading moving over Central America on 2/22. A moderate to strong Inactive Phase is to push into the West Pacific on 2/12 pushing east to the Central Pacific at the end of the model run on 2/27 while building in strength.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (1/18) This model depicts no MJO signal today with strong east anomalies over the core of the KWGA. The forecast indicates east anomalies are to hold strong through 1/20 then weakening with west anomalies developing 1/22-1/27 driven by a Rossby Wave. Weak to modest east anomalies are to return 2/1 holding through the end of the model run on 2/15. The low pass filter indicates perhaps some weakening in strength of high pressure bias over the KWGA currently with 2 contour lines fading to 1 contour line on 2/6.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (1/19 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a weak Inactive MJO signal over the KWGA today with moderate to strong east anomalies in control focused over the dateline. The Inactive Phase of the MJO is to track east and fade through 1/24 while a weak Active Phase starts building in from the west building modestly over the KWGA on 2/1 and holding till 2/27 but with weak west anomalies developing and holding weakly over the KWGA. A strong Inactive MJO is to return 2/10 tracking through the KWGA through the end of the model run on 4/18 and exiting east at that time with east anomalies at moderate strength in control. An Active Phase is to follow on 2/18 building into the KWGA through the end of the model run with moderate west anomalies trying to take over the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias is firmly in control over the dateline today with 4 contour lines reaching east to a point south of California. The forth contour line is to fade on 2/27. A double contour low pressure bias is over the Indian Ocean today and is to build in coverage with the second contour line holding through 2/19 the theoretically shrinking in coverage from the west on 3/8. No realistic change in the coverage or position of either is forecast. East anomalies that were previously solid in the Indian Ocean for over a year migrated east through the West Pacific to the East Pacific on 10/1 and have stabilized there.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (1/19) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 and 29 deg isotherms were gone. The 28 deg isotherm line was retrograding from 166E to 162E today. The 24 deg isotherm was easing east to 120W today ad losing coverage. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +3 deg C were locked steady in the West Pacific pushing east to 165W at depth and moving no further east. A broad cooling pattern was controlling the entire equatorial Pacific with anomalies -1 degs C in the far East, weaker than weeks past, but building to -2C at 140W and west from there. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 1/13 indicates the same thing. Negative anomalies in the East Pacific were the least negative at any time in months. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (1/13) Negative anomalies were forming a wave pushing west from the Galapagos to the dateline on the equator at -5 to -10 cms continuous over that area with 2 small pockets to -15 cms at 140W and 155W. Negative anomalies were -5 to -10 cms along the coast of Peru up into Ecuador and reaching north up to Baja and -5 to -10 cms into South and North CA. Looking at the big picture, negative anomalies were forming a massive triangle from Cape Mendocino to the intersection of the dateline and equator then into Southern Chile. No positive anomalies were over the equatorial Pacific, except from the dateline and points west of there. But the triangle was not as strong as weeks past but not substantially weakening either.
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: (1/18) The latest images indicate warm anomalies were building on the equator from Ecuador west to 130W and then cooler on the equator out to the dateline. But solid cool anomalies were along Chile extending west-northwest to the dateline. But no markedly cooler imbedded pockets were present in the east but several were in the west between 150-170W. And the overall cool pool does not look as cold as weeks and months past. Cool anomalies were gaining a little strength along the coast of Peru with stray pockets of warming fading in coverage along the South Peruvian Coast. This clearly indicates a well developed version of La Nina filling the entire equatorial Pacific and down into Chile. But the overall cool intensity of that pool appears to be waning. We are past the peak of this event.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (1/18): Temps continue weakly warming off Chile and Peru reaching west to 125W. And pockets of warming were occurring on the equator from Ecuador to 120W. The balance still looks like warming is taking the upper hand.
Hi-res Overview: (1/15) A stream of consistent cool water is well entrenched from Chile up to Peru and Ecuador tracking west on the equator out to the dateline and west to New Guinea. But the trail of markedly cool anomalies previously imbedded in that flow is gone. The peak of La Nina is past.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (1/19) Today's temps were falling today down from -0.482 on (1/11) to -0.830 today. A previous peak of -0.595 occurred on 12/11. This area has been on a seesaw rising trend since early October. Temps were previously down to -2.138 on 8/13. The longterm trend has been steady but quite cold since June.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (1/19) Temps were mostly steady after rising to -0.969 on 1/4 and -1.007 today after bottoming out at -1.654 on 11/3, beating the previous low of -0.945 on 9/22. The previous low before that was -0.733 on 9/10. Temps have been on a steady decline since 7/25. Overall the trend appears to be in a steep decline.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (1/19) Actuals per the model indicates temps rose to -0.75 degs mid-Jan after bottoming out in early Nov at -1.25 degs. The forecast depicts temps slowly rising moving forward to -0.55 degs in April and holding then fading some to -0.65 degs in mid Oct. This is likely becoming a 2 year event in that even if temps were to return to normal in July it would take 3-5 months for the upper level circulation to respond in kind. But we suspect a strong El Nino might be building right behind the current La Nina.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Oct 21, 2020 Plume depicts temps are at -1.10 degs today, and are to hold into Dec, then moderating and starting to rise some to -0.89 by Jan 2021 and then neutral by June. Most models are suggesting a moderate to La Nina returning to Neutral in the late Spring. See chart here - link.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad - this is a lagging indicator) (1/19): The daily index was steady at +22.99. The 30 day average was falling to +18.56. The 90 day average was rising to 12.93, clearly in La Nina territory. This index is a lagging indicator.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): June -0.67, May -0.46, April 2020 -0.69, March -0.09, Feb +0.65, Jan +0.42, This index was steady positive Aug 2018 through Feb 2020, and now is steady negative, but only weakly so.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation
Per NOAAs index recent values: Jan 2018 +0.29, Feb -0.19, Mar -0.61, April -0.89, May -0.69, June -0.85, July -0.09, Aug -0.43, Sept -0.46, Oct -0.75, Nov -0.78, Dec -0.12, Jan 2019 -0.18, Feb -0.50 Mar -0.23, April +0.10, May +0.14, June -0.11, July +0.44, Aug -0.14, Sept +0.05, Oct -0.96, Nov -0.28, Dec +0.01, Jan 2020 -1.17, This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2018 +0.70. Feb +0.37, Mar -0.05, April +0.11, May +0.11, June -0.04, July +0.11, Aug +0.18, Sept +0.09. No real 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