Sunday, February 7, 2021
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 238 (Barbers Point): Seas were 5.0 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 3.5 ft @ 11.7 secs from 314 degrees. Water temp 76.8 degs.
- Buoy 187 (Pauwela): Seas were 8.2 ft @ 11/8 secs with swell 5.7 ft @ 11.8 secs from 285 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.5 ft @ 6.7 secs with swell 0.8 ft @ 15.2 secs from 244 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southeast at 8-12 kts. Water temperature 57.4 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.0 ft @ 15.4 secs from 286 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 0.8 ft @ 15.5 secs from 258 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.2 ft @ 8.0 secs from 271 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 1.4 ft @ 15.8 secs from 277 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 10.5 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 4.5 ft @ 13.7 secs from 297 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 18-21 kts. Water temp 52.3 (029), 52.0 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 Sunday (2/7) North and Central CA had waves at chest high at top spots and lined up with clean conditions but unremarkable but rideable. Protected breaks were chest high and lined up and clean but with some intermixed lump. At Santa Cruz surf was thigh high and lined up and clean but soft. In Southern California/Ventura waves were thigh high or so and clean and weak. Central Orange County was flat and clean. South Orange County's best summertime breaks was flat and clean. North San Diego had sets at thigh high or so and soft and clean. Hawaii's North Shore had sets in the head high range on the sets and clean but not well organized. The South Shore was flat and clean. The East Shore was getting wrap around northwest swell with waves head high or so and nearly clean with a light north flow.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Sunday (2/7) Hawaii and California were getting fading swell that originating Sat-Mon (2/1) from a small gale that developed just off the Kuril Islands producing 26-28 ft seas aimed east then faded while limping to the dateline and redeveloping some there Tues (2/2) while falling towards Hawaii producing 21 ft seas aimed southeast. Another tiny gale developed tracking northeast off the Kuril Islands on Fri-Sat (2/6) producing 36 ft seas aimed east but again not tracking east to even the dateline. Beyond a more interesting gale is forecast developing on the dateline easing into the Western Gulf Tues-Thurs (2/11) producing 47 ft seas over a modest sized area aimed east. And another is to follow further south on the dateline Fri (2/12) with up to 49 ft seas aimed east then lifting northeast Sat-Sun (2/14) with seas fading from 40 ft. Perhaps an improved swell pattern to result.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Sunday (2/7) the jet was consolidated pushing off Southern Japan with winds 170 kts over land but fading while tracking east to the dateline and then to a point just north of Hawaii. The jet split east of there and was so weak as to not be of interest. Over the next 72 hours wind energy is to build in the jet the jet to 210 kts reaching the dateline then weakly splitting with most energy falling into the southern branch falling southeast pushing over Hawaii on Tues (2/9). By Wed a new trough is to start building off the Kuril Islands offering some support for gale development while a secondary smaller trough develops over Hawaii falling southeast likely only supporting weather for the Islands. Beyond 72 hours winds are to remain solid pushing form Japan to the dateline at 210 kts over a good portion of that area feeding the trough pushing off the Kuril Islands with the split in the jet pushing east to a point just north of Hawaii. At the point eh northern branch is to be pushing hard north up into the Bering Sea while the southern branch continues tracking over Hawaii with high pressure likely over the Pacific east of the split point. A new trough is to build in the jet over the dateline on Fri (2/12) pushing east into the Northwestern Gulf later Sat (2/13) then fading and offering some support for gale development. But after that starting Sun (2/14) the jet is to weaken and start splitting weakly just off Japan with winds 130 kts only to reconsolidate and push cohesively over Hawaii then ridging gently over the Gulf before moving over Central California likely setting up weather there. At least there is some hope in upper levels of the atmosphere now.
On Sunday (2/7) residual swell was hitting Hawaii and California from a gale that developed off Japan and tracked east while fading, then redeveloped just north of the Islands (See Raw Hawaiian Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours starting Tues PM (2/9) a new semi interesting gale is to start building just west of the dateline producing 45-50 kt northwest winds over a moderate sized area with seas building from 39 ft at 43.5N 174.5E aimed east. The gale is to build to storm status Wed AM (2/10) with 55 kt northwest winds setting up just west of the dateline with 47 ft seas building at 44N 176.5E aimed southeast and east. Fetch is to be fading in the evening from 50 kts on the dateline with seas fading from 41 ft at 44N 178.5E aimed east. On Thurs AM (2/11) fetch is to be fading from 40-45 kts just east of the dateline with seas fading from 38 ft at 43.5N 177W aimed east. Fetch is to be fading in the evening from 35 kts over a broad area aimed east with seas fading from 31 ft at 42.5N 170W aimed east. Something to monitor.
Raw Hawaiian Gale
Secondary fetch from a previous gale off Japan reformed weakly on the dateline Mon PM (2/1) generating 35 kt northwest winds over a small area with 25 ft at 36.5N 175E aimed southeast. On Tues AM (2/2) the gale was lifting northeast with 40 kt northwest winds and seas 23 ft at 33.5N 180W aimed southeast over a moderate area. The gale eased east in the evening with 30 kt north winds and seas 21 ft at 32N 172W aimed southeast. On Wed AM (2/3) fetch faded while falling south fast just 700 nmiles northwest of Hawaii with 30 kt north winds and seas 21 ft at 29N 168W aimed directly at the Islands. In the evening the gale eased east with 25 kt northwest winds and 19 ft seas at 29N 164W aimed right at Oahu and in close proximity. Fetch is to start lifting east-northeast and rebuilding for 12 hours Thurs PM (2/4) with 35-40 kt north winds and seas building to 20 ft over a small area at at 33N 161W then fading. Raw swell likely for the Islands.
Oahu: Dribbles Sun (2/7) fading from 5.0 ft @ 12 secs (6.0 ft). Swell Direction: 315-320 degrees
North CA: Swell fading on Sun (2/7) from 3.4 ft @ 14 secs early (4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 296 degrees
Small Kamchatka Gale
On Thurs PM (2/4) a small gale developed off the Kuril Islands producing 40 kt west winds over a tiny area with seas building. On Fri AM (2/5) the storm tracked east with 50-55 kt west winds over a tiny area and seas 37 ft over a small area at 45N 164E aimed east. The gale lifted northeast with fetch fading in the evening from 45 kts with seas 35 ft at 46N 167.5E aimed east. On Sat AM (2/6) fetch was fading from 45 kts while the gale held stationary with seas fading from 32 ft at 47N 169E aimed east. The gale dissipated in the evening with seas from previous fetch fading from 29 ft at 48N 171E aimed east. Small swell possible for Hawaii and less for the mainland.
Oahu: Expect swell arrival on Tues (2/9) building to 4.5 ft @ 14-15 secs later (6.5 ft). Swell fading Wed (2/10) from 4.0 ft @ 13-14 secs early (5.0-5.5 ft). Swell gone by sunset. Swell Direction: 315 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on later on Wed (2/10) building to 2.0 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.0 ft). Swell peaking early Thurs (2/11) at 2.9 ft @ 15 secs (4.0 ft). Swell fading on Fri (2/12) from 3.2 ft @ 14 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 300 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical weather system of interest were being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
- Monday (2/8) northwest winds are forecast at 15-20 kts for North CA and 10+ kts for Central CA early with winds 15 kts from the northwest for all of North and Central CA later.
- Tues (2/9) weak low pressure is to be off the North CA coast with light winds early for all of North and Central CA early with winds turning calm for Cape Mendocino later and northwest winds 15 kts for Central CA south of Big Sur later.
- Wed (2/10) light winds are forecast for North CA early and northwest winds 15 kts for Central CA south of Monterey Bay early and holding all day.
- Thurs (2/11) a local low is forecast building off North CA with south winds 10 kts early for Pt Reyes northward and light winds south of there. South winds 10-15 kts are forecast late afternoon for all of North and Central CA in the afternoon. A light northwest flow is forecast at 5-10 kts all day for North and Central CA. Rain developing in the afternoon for all of North CA pushing down to Monterey Bay and the Point Conception overnight. Snow developing for the Sierra overnight.
- Fri (2/12) northwest winds are forecast at 15-20 kts for Cape mendocino early and 10-15 kts for the remainder of North and Central CA holding at 15 kts for all of North and Central CA in the afternoon. Rain for all of North, Central and Southern CA early clearing through the day. Snow fading for the Sierra through the day.
- Saturday (2/13) northwest winds are forecast at 15 kts for Pt Arena southward early and light north of there with a new front coming through mid-day in the north with winds turning northwest 20-25 kts for all of North CA and northwest 15+ kts for all of Central CA later. Rain developing up north pushing south to Monterey Bay at sunset and into Southern CA overnight. Moderate plus snow for the Sierra developing through the day continuing overnight.
- Sunday (2/14) northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts early for all of North, Central and South CA early holding all day. Rain and snow clearing out early.
Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 21 inches, 23 inches, 23 inches, and 6 inches through 2/13 occurring on 2/10 and 2/12-2/13.
Freezing level 10,000 ft falling to to 7,000 ft on 2/8 and holding then falling to 5,000 ft on 2/11 and beyond.
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 a small gale is forecast developing in the far Southeast Pacific Sun PM (2/7) producing 35-40 kt southwest winds with seas building from 27 ft at 53S 127 W aimed northeast. On Mon AM (2/8) southwest fetch is to hold at 35 kts with seas 27 ft at 51S 129W aimed northeast. And a secondary fetch is to form south of there at 40 kts with seas building. In the evening the secondary fetch is to be fading from 40 kts from the south with seas 29 ft at 60S 119W aimed north. A tertiary fetch of 40 kt southwest winds is to build on Tues AM (2/9) with 33 ft seas at 63.5S 145.5W aimed northeast. In the evening that fetch is to lift hard northeast at 40 kts with seas fading from 29 ft at 56S 123W aimed northeast. This system is to dissipate after that. Possibly small southerly angled swell for Southern CA to result.
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 stronger storm is forecast developing well south and just west of the dateline on Thurs PM (2/11) producing 50+ kt northwest winds and seas building from 30 ft at 34N 167E aimed east. By Fri AM (2/12) northwest winds are forecast building to 55 kts with seas 46 ft at 34N 173E aimed east. The gale is to start lifting gently northeast in the evening with 45 kt west winds pushing east over the dateline with and seas 44 ft at 34N 178W aimed east. On Sat AM (2/13) the gael is to be lifting northeast with 45-50 kt west winds in the far Western Gulf with seas rebuilding to 40 ft at 41N 170W aimed east. The gale is to be fading in the evening with west winds 35+ kts in the Northwestern Gulf and seas fading from 36 ft at 44.5N 164W aimed east. This system is to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.
La Nina Stable for Now
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 (2/6) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific and strong east over the KWGA. Anomalies were moderate easterly over the East equatorial Pacific turning neutral over the Central Pacific then moderate 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 (2/7) mostly neutral anomalies were in control of the KWGA. The forecast calls for weak west anomalies in the far West KWGA and east anomalies in the East KWGA starting 2/8 and continuing through the end of the model run on 2/13.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
- Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (2/6) A moderate Active MJO pattern was over the KWGA today. The statistic model projects it slowly weakening while easing slowly east and over the dateline still barely holding in the KWGA by day 15 of the model run while a strong Inactive Phase builds over the Maritime Continent. The dynamic model suggests a variation of the same thing with the Active Phase building steadily to strong status on day 10 of the model run and not moving east at all, still filling the KWGA.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (2/7) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was moderate strength over the West Pacific today and is to ease east and fading to weak status on day 15 over the far East Atlantic. The GEFS model suggests the Active Phase is to hold position in the West Pacific at moderate strength through day 15, not moving east at all.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (2/6) This model depicts a weak Active MJO pattern (moist air) over the Entire Pacific and is to track east while fading moving over Central America on 3/3. A moderate Inactive Phase is to start building in the West Pacific on 2/19 and is to track east to the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 3/15 while holding strength. A weak Active Phase is to building over the KWGA at that time.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (2/6) This model depicts a weak Active MJO signal today over the KWGA with west anomalies over the core of the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Active Phase is to track east through the KWGA and east of it on 2/14 with west anomalies holding at modest strength through that window. Moderate east anomalies are to return 2/16 holding through the end of the model run on 3/6 but nothing compared to what we've previously seen and fading to weak status at the end of that window. The low pass filter indicates weakening in strength of high pressure bias over the KWGA currently with 1 contour line and that is to lose 30% of it's current coverage at the end of the model run. And weak west anomalies are to be building in the far west KWGA at that time. A dramatic fall of La Nina is forecast in the next month.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (2/7 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a weak Active Phase in control of the KWGA and holding till 2/28 with weak west anomalies today and holding over the KWGA. A broad Inactive MJO is to return 2/15 tracking through the KWGA getting solid 3/7 and holding through 4/4 with moderate east anomalies filling the KWGA. A moderate Active MJO signal is forecast building in the west KWGA 3/27 tracking east through the end of the model run on 5/7 producing solid west anomalies. 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 3/11. The 3rd contour line is to fade on 4/29. The remaining 2 are to hold indefinitely. A double contour low pressure bias is over the Indian Ocean today and is to hold in coverage with the second contour line fading on 2/14 with the remaining contour line theoretically shrinking in coverage from the west on 3/27 and starting to ease east to 165E. 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 10/1/20 and have stabilized there.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (2/7) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 and 29 deg isotherms were gone. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 165E today. The 24 deg isotherm was building east and pushing the whole way across the equatorial Pacific down 15 meters in the far east. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +3 deg C were locked steady in the West Pacific pushing east to 170W at depth but moving no further east. A broad but weakening cooling pattern was controlling the entire equatorial Pacific with anomalies focused at -3C at 135W and west from there. A pocket of +1 deg anomalies was steady from 132W eastward. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 2/2 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: (2/2) 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 a broad pocket at -15 cms between 130W-150W. A thin flow of neutral anomalies that was pushing off Ecuador over the Galapagos is fading out. Negative anomalies at -5 to -10 cms were 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 170E 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: (2/6) The latest images indicate pockets of warm anomalies were on the equator from Ecuador west to 140W but with a newly developing cool stream running through the core of the warm stream. A broader area of cooler temps were on the equator from 145W to the dateline. Solid cool anomalies were south of there streaming from Chile west-northwest to the dateline. But no markedly cooler imbedded pockets were present in the east but several were in the west between 160-180W on the equator. And the overall cool pool does not look as cold as weeks and months past. Cool anomalies were also losing strength along the coast of Peru with stray pockets of warming fading in coverage along the South Peruvian Coast. This indicates a late phase 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 (2/6): Temps continue warming off Chile and Peru reaching west to 150W. A stream of mixed warming and cooling waters was occurring on the equator from Ecuador to 130W. The balance looks like warming is taking the upper hand.
Hi-res Overview: (2/6) A stream of consistent cool water is well entrenched from Chile up well off Peru tracking west on the equator out to the dateline and west to New Guinea. But warm anomalies are on the equator from Ecuador to 130W in pockets. The last of the core of La Nina cold waters are pushing west from 140W towards the dateline. The peak of La Nina is past.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (2/7) Today's temps were falling today to -0.374 after a recent high of +0.10 on 2/1. Temps previously were -0.604 on 1/24. 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 on a slow but steady increase.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (2/7) Temps have been steady but started rising from -0.982 on 1/21 to -0.639 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 but stabilized starting in October.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (2/7) Actuals per the model indicates temps rose to -0.65 degs mid-Jan after bottoming out in early Nov at -1.25 degs. The forecast depicts temps rising from today into April to -0.50 then starting a steep decline falling to -1.55 degs in Oct. This seems unbelievable but suggests another year of La Nina possible.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Jan 21, 2021 Plume depicts temps are at -0.80 degs today, and are to rise to -0,25 in April and neutral by August. Most models are suggesting a moderate 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) (2/7): The daily index was falling to +13.26. The 30 day average was falling some at +13.14 after peaking at 19.51 on 1/14. The 90 day average was steady at 14.21 after peaking on 1/28 at 14.30, 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