Sunday, March 25, 2018
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): This buoy is down and not updating.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 5.4 ft @ 5.6 secs with swell 4.5 ft @ 5.8 secs from 275 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 20-25 kts. Water temperature 56.3 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 3.5 ft @ 5.7 secs from 271 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 4.5 ft @ 6.3 secs from 266 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 2.3 ft @ 6.0 secs from 267 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 4.5 ft @ 6.4 secs from 289 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 10.0 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 7.6 ft @ 13.1 secs from 312 degrees. Wind at the buoy was west at 10-16 kts. Water temp 54.0 degs.
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 (3/25) in North and Central CA south northwest windswell from the Gulf was producing waves in the head high range to 1 ft overhead and fairly clean early but pretty unorganized and jumbled though conditions were clean. Protected breaks were shoulder to head high and clean and closed out. At Santa Cruz surf was up to head high and decently organized but very weak and gutless and clean. In Southern California up north surf was thigh to waist high but warbled and weak with brown water with no wind but still looking almost chopped. In North Orange Co surf was waist to almost chest high on the sets and warbled and weak with light north winds setting up texture. South Orange Country's best breaks were tight high and nearly chopped and unrideable. In North San Diego surf was thigh to waist high on the sets and weak and a bit warbled. Hawaii's North Shore was getting lingering northeast windswell at waist to maybe chest high and clean but generally small and weak. The South Shore was flat and weak but clean early. The East Shore was getting northeast windswell at waist high or so and clean with light west winds early.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Sunday (3/25) weak swell was hitting California from the Northeast Gulf of Alaska previously producing 22 ft seas aimed south making for somewhat larger waves than days past but marred by northwest wind. In Hawaii no swell of interest was hitting. After that a gale is forecast forming on the dateline Tues-Wed (2/28) tracking southeast producing up to 28 ft seas. So there is some limited hope. The models are teasing at some sort of tropical system developing off the philippines long term and build while recurving northeast. But that is not believable at this early date.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Sunday AM (3/25) the jetstream was consolidating over Japan then tracking east-northeast to the dateline with winds to 160 kts before splitting near 170W with the northern branch pushing east northeast into the Northern Gulf before falling south along the coast of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest before turning east and moving inland over Central CA. There was limited support for gale development along the dateline region though no troughs were indicated. The southern branch fell southeast from the split point just east of the dateline moving over Hawaii and then east into Central Baja. The split flow was now centered in the Western Gulf of Alaska. Over the next 72 hours through Tues (3/27) the consolidated portion of the jet is to fall south pushing off Southern Japan running flat east on the 33N latitude line over the dateline with winds to 160 kts forming a bit of a trough just west of the dateline and offering decent support for gale development while the trough tracks southeast into Wed (3/28). The split point is to move to 160W then while the two branches of the jet push inland, the northern branch into British Columbia and the southern branch into Southern Baja. Beyond 72 hours starting Fri (3/30) the jet is to become fully split again with the split point just off the Kuril Islands. The northern branch is to be weak pushing northeast up into the Bering Sea and not returning south. The Southern branch is to be stronger with pockets to 150 kts tracking off Japan then falling into remaining energy associated with a trough just west of the dateline but not cutoff before lifting well northeast of Hawaii then splitting again in the Gulf of Alaska with the northern branch pushing into Washington and the southern branch very weak pushing into Central CA. No support for gale development is indicated. This pattern is to hold into Sun (3/1) but with the split pushing into the Bering Sea fading out and perhaps the remaining trough now relocated to the Western Gulf offering some limited support for gale development.
On Sunday AM (3/25) weak swell from a gale previously in the Northeastern Gulf was hitting exposed breaks in North and Central CA but unremarkable (see Second Gulf Gale below). No other swell was in the water for our forecast area.
Over the next 72 hours a gale is forecast developing in a trough just west of the dateline starting Tues AM (3/27) producing a modest sized area of 30+ kt northwest winds and seas building from 19 ft over a tiny area at 37N 168E. In the evening north winds to build to 40 kts with 22 ft seas at 38N 172E targeting Hawaii well. The gale is to be organizing better Wed Am (3/28) with northwest winds 40 kts while tracking southeast with seas to 27 ft at 37N 173E targeting Hawaii well. The gale is to stall in the evening with northwest winds fading from 35 kts on the dateline and seas 26 ft at 35N 177E aimed directly at Hawaii. The gale is to be fading Thurs AM (3/29) in the evening with 30 kt north winds and seas dropping from 20 ft at 34N 175W targeting Hawaii. Something to monitor. Possible swell arrival in Hawaii early next weekend.
Second Gulf Gale
A secondary gale developed off the coast of British Columbia Fri AM (3/23) generating 35 kt northwest winds and seas building from 18 ft at 50N 140W targeting Oregon and North CA. The gale built in the evening with northwest winds to 35 kts and seas to 20 ft at 45N 137W (308 degs NCal). On Sat AM (3/24) the gale was just off the CA-Oregon border with northwest winds 35 kts and seas 22 ft at 43N 132W (304 degs NCal). In the evening the gale was moving onshore over Cape Mendocino with north winds fading from 25 kts and seas fading from 19 ft at 40N 129W (303 degs NCal).
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Sun (3/25) at 3 AM peaking near 8 AM at 8.6 ft @ 12-13 secs (10.8 ft) but shadowed in the SF Bay Area. Swell starting to fade late afternoon and down Mon AM (3/26) to 7.0 ft @ 9-10 secs (6.5 ft) and fading from there. Swell Direction: 303-310 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Sunday AM (3/25) high pressure at 1028 mbs was centered in the Gulf of Alaska starting to ridge into the California coast generating north winds at 15-20 kts and forecast building to 20 kts for the entire coast in the afternoon. No liquid precipitation was indicated but snow flurries were still falling in the Tahoe area with Squaw reporting 15 inches in 24 hours and 42 inches over the past 5 days above 8000 ft. March snow total for Squaw was at 228 inches. Miracle March indeed. Unfortunately that is to be the last of it for the foreseeable future with the split flow in the upper atmosphere and high pressure at the surface taking control. Monday high pressure is to be solid off the coast producing north winds for North and Central CA at 20+ kts all day. Tuesday the high is to start riding into Oregon with north winds 25 kts for North CA and 15+ kts for Central CA. Wed (3/28) north winds to be isolated to Cape Mendocino at 20-25 kts and light for Central CA from the north. Thurs (3/29) north winds to be 20-25 kts for Cape Mendocino and less than 10 kts from Pt Reyes southward. More of the same on Friday. Saturday (3/31) the gradient is to build some with north winds 20-25 kts for Cape Mendocino down to Pt Reyes and north 10 kts or so for all of Central CA. Sunday (4/1) north winds are forecast at 20 kts for North CA down to Bodega Bay and 10+ kts for Central CA. Spring is here. Expect much north winds, upwelling and no precip from here forward.
No swell producing weather systems of interest have occurred.
Over the next 72 hours the models hint at a small weather system developing in the Southeast Pacific on Sun PM (3/25) lifting gently east-northeast with 40-45 kt southwest winds and seas to barely 30 ft over a tiny area at 63S 138W. The gale is to continue tracking east-northeast Mon AM (3/26) with 40-45 kt southwest winds and seas 33 ft at 60S 126W aimed mainly at Chile and Peru but with sideband energy possibly pushing up towards Southern CA. The gale is to continue east-northeast in the evening with a tiny area of 40-45 kt southwest winds and seas 36 ft at 58S 119W targeting mainly South America with sideband energy somewhat towards Southern CA. This system is to be outside the CA swell window by Tues AM (3/27) and of no interest. Maybe some background swell to result for California.
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 model have been teasing about some sort of a tropical system forming just 450 nmiles east of the Philippines on Mon (3/26) tracking north and building, eventually tracking northeast about 600 nmiles southeast of Japan on Fri (3/30) and building more while approaching the dateline on Sun (4/1). Low odds of this actually materializing.
Beyond 72 hours a storm is forecast.
A strong system is forecast developing for the deep Southeast Pacific on Wed AM (3/28) with 55 kt south winds and seas building from 40 ft at 55S 115W and east of and outside the California swell window targeting only South and Central America. In the evening southwest winds to be building in coverage at 55 kts aimed well north and northeast with seas 49 ft at 54S 105W aimed at all of Central and South America. Fetch is to fade Thurs AM (3/29) at 50 kts from the south with seas 46 ft at 53S 97 off Patagonia targeting only Southern America. Something to monitor but not of interest to the US Coast.
More details to follow...
Large Kelvin Wave Pushing East - Last of the Cool Water Rushing Upwards
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. A double dip La Nina was in control and continued through the Winter of 2017-2018. But warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018 associated with 2 Upwelling Kelvin Waves, suggesting the demise of La Nina was at hand.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Saturday (3/24) 5 day average winds were from the east over the bulk of the equatorial Pacific and also from the east over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were modest easterly over the equatorial East Pacific but building easterly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (3/25) Moderate to strong east anomalies were east of the KWGA with moderate to strong westerly winds filling the KWGA to 170E. This pattern is to weaken marginally but generally holding with the dividing line between east and west anomalies easing slightly east to the dateline on 4/1 with moderate east anomalies east of that lien and modest westerly anomalies west of there.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (3/24) No coherent MJO signal was indicated over the equatorial Pacific with at best a weak Active/Wet signal over the far West Pacific reaching east over New Guinea. The statistical model depicts the Active signal fading 7 days out with a neutral MJO signal in control 2 weeks out. The dynamic model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO is to slowly develop and move east into the West Pacific and the KWGA and then to the dateline and weakening 15 days out while the Inactive/Dry Phase of the MJO builds over the maritime continent.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (3/25) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO very weak in strength over the Maritime Continent. It is to track east and build into the West Pacific over the next 10 days reaching modest strength over the dateline then rapidly track east and fade beyond. The GEFS model depicts a variant of the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model: (3/25) This model depicts the Inactive/Dry Phase was moving over Central America and into the Atlantic. A weak Active/Wet pattern was over the West Pacific. The weak Active Phase is to track east from the West Pacific moving east into the East Pacific and Central America through 4/13. A new weak Inactive Phase is to be developing in the far West Pacific on 4/5 migrating to the East Pacific on 4/24. After that a very weak Active Phase is forecast in the West Pacific 4/19 easing east to the dateline through the end of the model run on 5/4. This model runs about 1-2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (3/25) This site is down - no update available today. On (3/21) this model depicted the Inactive Phase was all but gone over the KWGA with east anomalies mainly from the dateline and points east of there with moderate west anomalies from 170E and point west of there with this west wind pattern holding through 3/27. From that point forward east anomalies are forecast to collapse and not return for the duration of the model run. A weak Active Phase is to follow in the West Pacific starting 3/29 holding through 4/14 with modest west anomalies developing and filling the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Beyond no coherent MJO signal is forecast through 5/30 but with weak west anomalies holding in the KWGA and no sign of east anomalies in the KWGA or even in the East Pacific. Perhaps a stronger Active Phase to develop 6/1 holding through the end of the model run on 6/18 with west anomalies strengthening some in the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates a modest low pressure bias over the bulk of the KWGA at 170E and is to push east steadily from here forward reaching the dateline 4/14 with a high pressure bias over the East KWGA at 175E and steadily moving east and out of the KWGA on 4/4. Basically the La Nina bias is to be gone in 2-3 weeks. But no significant oceanic change is expected until 3 months after the change has taken place in the atmosphere.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (3/25) The overview pattern depicts that warm water is building in coverage in the West Pacific and building east with cooler water steadily loosing control of the East Pacific. Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 29-30 degs at 160E. The 28 deg isotherm line has eased east to 180W and steep (meaning there is a headwind of cooler water pushing into it from the east - La Nina). The 24 deg isotherm was building in thickness while making significant eastward progress at 90 meters deep at 140W and 50 meters deep at 120W dropping to 25 meters into Ecuador. Anomaly wise in the East Pacific negative temperatures at -1 degs were in on pocket at 110W 75 metes deep. Cooler waters are steadily loosing coverage and density and being squeezed to the surface by warm water building in from the west at depth. Warm anomalies were building in the West at +3.5 degs at 165W down 150 meters and are building east with the dividing line between that and cool waters moving east to 120W indicative of a large Kelvin Wave pushing east and about poised to erupt in the far East Pacific. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 3/19 depicts warm water in the west at +4.5 degs reaching east to 120W. Cool water at -2.0 degs was holding in one elongated shallow pocket in the East Pacific from Ecuador to 165W down 50-70 meters and continues significantly losing density, intensity and depth. The cool pool appears to be slowly discharging to the surface and is poised to be undercut by an approaching Kelvin Wave. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data.
Sea Level Anomalies: (3/19) Positive anomalies were over the West equatorial Pacific at +5 cms centered at 160W reaching east to 135W but with a leading pocket to 115W. Neutral anomalies were east of there except for negative anomalies at -5 cms between Ecuador and the Galapagos. The La Nina cool pool is all but gone.
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: (3/24) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a generic and diffuse cool pocket in the deep Southeast Pacific centered at 20S 100W. Warm anomalies were all but gone off the coast of Chile and Peru up to Ecuador while cooler temps from the Inactive/Upwelling Phase of the Kelvin Wave cycle were building along the immediate coast of Peru. Warm anomalies are present from the Galapagos out to 110W and northward off Central America and Mexico but weakening in coverage and density. Cool pockets were generally weak and diffuse on the equator west of there from 120W to 160W.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (3/24): A cooling trend was indicated along the immediate coast of Chile, Peru up to Ecuador. A weak warming trend was developing off Central America and down to the equator out to 110W. The upwelling phase of the Kelvin Wave cycle appears to be building, or something else is occurring.
Hi-res Overview: (3/24) A building pocket of cool water is building along the coast of Peru and Ecuador. But weak warming was further off the coast over the same area and reaching north over the Galapagos out to 110W on the equator and filling the are north of the up into Mexico. The La Nina core cool pocket was shrinking on the equator covering from 110W to barely the dateline looking like a Modoki La Nina than anything solid (meaning the core of La Nina is advecting west). Cool water at depth is still erupting to the surface with the breach point near 120W. Overall the cooling pattern is steadily loosing density and drifting west. It appears La Nina is in steady decline.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (3/25) Today's temps were falling hard at -2.364 degs, the coldest of any point in this La Nina. Previous cool peaks were on 3/12 at -1.5 degs and retreating from the peak of the first Kelvin Wave hitting at +0.898 degrees on 2/28. Overall temps are steadily marching upwards since late December. Temps in this area bottomed out on 12/23 at -2.1 degs, a third near peak negative reading. The lowest point so far in this La Nina was -2.248 degs 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: (3/25) Today temps were steady at -0.998 degs. A surge in temps occurred 1/12-1/28 reaching up to -0.600 deg range. But since then temps have eased off some. Previously a peak low was observed on 1/10-1/12 to -1.577. On (12/7) temps hit a previous record low at -1.219, just below the previous coldest peak so far this La Nina on 11/22 at -1.156. And the third previous low peak was reached at -1.1 on 11/23. The long arc suggests perhaps a rising pattern. La Nina is in control, but it's taking a hit.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (3/25) The forecast depicts temps bottomed out at -0.75 in Nov 2017 and have been slowly rebounding since, up to -0.55 in early Feb and expected to rise to -0.45 in April. The model indicates temps slowly rising to -0.25 early July, hovering there then starting to rise into the Fall to -0.2 degs in Oct and neutral in Nov possibly going weakly positive in December. This suggests the peak of La Nina occurred in 2017 and is to linger into the Summer of 2018 before fading out in the Fall. The odds of a 3 year La Nina developing are rare (3 year La Ninas 17%, 2 year La Ninas 50%, 1 year La Ninas 33% 1951-2017). This model is now falling inline with all the others suggesting La Nina is to die this Spring.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-March Plume depicts temps at -0.5 degs and are to slowly rise, to +0.0 in May and +0.2 in August and +0.5 in November. See chart here - link. It looks like La Nina is fading out. The CFSv2 is in the low end of that pack.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (3/25): The daily index was rising at 13.93. The 30 day average was rising at 9.42 suggesting the Inactive Phase of the MJO was still affecting the index. The 90 day average was rising some at 2.67 suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (3/25) This index continues falling today at -1.14, down from -0.33 in late Feb, but that was up from -1.11 on 1/29. The trend suggests La Nina is not gone, but possibly also reflects the last of the cool subsurface water being squeezed to the surface from an approaching large Kelvin Wave. Last years La Nina reached -1.94 on 11/2/16 and then fell to -2.20 on 6/28/17. It held pretty negative through Jan 2018. This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina events. The goal is to have it rise to at least -0.5 before a significant change could be suggested.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly positive, even though La Nina is in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.12, Feb = +0.05, March = +0.14, April=+0.53, May=+0.29, June=+0.21, July= -0.50, Aug= -0.62, Sept = -0.25, Oct= -0.61, Nov = -0.45, Dec= -0.13, Jan=+0.29, Feb=-0.10. 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 solid 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, Oct=+0.05, Nov = +0.15, Dec = +0.50, Jan +0.70. 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
Add a STORMSURF Buoy Forecast to your Google Homepage. Click Here:
Then open your Google homepage, hit 'edit' button (top right near graph), and select your location
Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for the week starting Sunday (3/25): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEwDs92k79s&feature=youtu.be&hd=1
For automatic notification of forecast updates, subscribe to the Stormsurf001 YouTube channel - just click the 'Subscribe' button below the video.
Stormsurf and Mavericks on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luQSYf5sKjQ
- - -
||Casa Noble Tequila If you are looking for an exquisite experience in fine tequila tasting, one we highly recommend, try Case Noble. Consistently rated the best tequila when compared to any other. Available at BevMo (in California). Read more here: http://www.casanoble.com/
Mavericks Invitational Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:
Time Zone Converter By popular demand we've built and easy to use time convert that transposes GMT time to whatever time zone you are located. It's ion left hand column on every page on the site near the link to the swell calculator.
Read all the latest news and happenings on our News Page here
Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table