Sunday, April 14, 2019
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/ Buoy 239 (Lanai) seas were 2.8 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 1.0 ft @ 13.2 secs from 224 degrees.
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 6.0 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 3.6 ft @ 10.3 secs from 173 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.7 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 1.4 ft @ 14.0 secs from 196 degrees. Wind at the buoy was west at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 58.3 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 2.1 ft @ 10.0 secs from 271 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.3 ft @ 14.7 secs from 203 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.4 ft @ 13.7 secs from 215 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.9 ft @ 10.3 secs from 281 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 9.4 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 6.3 ft @ 13.5 secs from 306 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 21-27 kts. Water temp 55.0 degs (042) and 49.1 (013).
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 (4/14) in North and Central CA local north windswell was mixed with West Gulf swell producing waves at head high or so and soft and warbled and pretty bumpy from moderate northwest wind. Protected breaks were chest to head high and soft and jumbled and warbled but a shade cleaner. At Santa Cruz northwest swell was wrapping in producing surf at chest high on the sets and lined up and clean. In Southern California/Ventura waves were thigh to waist high and clean and somewhat lined up making for barely rideable conditions. In North Orange Co surf was up to head high on the sets on the peak and clean but soft and crumbled. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks had waves in the chest high range on the peak and clean and occasionally lined up but inconsistent. North San Diego had surf at thigh high on the rare sets and a bit lined up but weak and mushed with clean conditions. Hawaii's North Shore was getting local northeast windswell with waves waist to occasional chest high and a little bit lined up with some north warble running through it but otherwise clean. The South Shore was flat to thigh high on the sets and clean. The East Shore was getting northeast windswell with waves chest to shoulder high and chopped with solid trades in control.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Sunday (4/14) in California local northerly windswell was mixing with swell coming from the Western Gulf with pretty warbled conditions still in control. No swell of interest was hitting Hawaii. A small gale tracked northeast over the dateline Wed-Thurs (4/11) with up to 38 ft seas developing just south of the Eastern Aleutians aimed somewhat east. that swell is pushing towards the Pacific Northwest and California. Another gale followed while developing off Japan Fri-Sat (4/13) pushing to the North Dateline region before fading with seas to 36 ft aimed east. Perhaps one more small gale to develop in the Northeastern Gulf on Wed (4/17) with 28 ft seas aimed northeast, and then it appears to be over. No meaningful activity is forecast from the South Pacific either.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Sunday (4/14) the jetstream was consolidated tracking off Japan with winds 110-120 kts pushing east then splitting before reaching the dateline with the northern branch lifting gently east-northeast and over the Gulf of Alaska pushing into Oregon with no clearly defined troughs indicated offering no support for gale development. The southern branch tracked southeast over Hawaii and then east pushing just south of Baja and into mainland Mexico. Over the next 72 hours the jet is to weaken over and off Japan with a weak steep trough forming on the dateline late Mon (4/15) offering some weak support for low pressure development then ridging over the Gulf of Alaska before falling into another small steep trough pushing into North CA offering a hint of weather there. After that the trough on the dateline is to slowly push east and miraculously hold together pushing into the Western Gulf on Tues (4/16) being fed by 130 kts winds then fading later Wed (4/17) over the Central Gulf. Limited support for low pressure development possible. Beyond 72 hours the jet is to split a third time over Japan with some energy tracking towards the Arctic Circle while the split pattern holds over the bulk of the North Pacific with no change forecast through Sun (4/21). No support for gale development is forecast. .
On Sunday (4/14) swell from the Western Gulf was hitting California but lost in local windswell (see West Gulf Gale below). And another swell originating from the West Pacific is pushing east targeting Hawaii and California weakly (see West Pacific Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.
West Gulf Gale
A gale developed while lifting northeast fast on the dateline Wed AM (4/10) with 40 kt southwest winds and seas 24 ft at 38N 179W aimed east. In the evening the gale built to storm status while racing northeast over the North Dateline/Northwestern Gulf region with 55 kt west winds and seas 35 ft at 44N 169.5W aimed east. The storm stalled and downgraded to gale status Thurs AM (4/11) over the Eastern Aleutians with 50 kt west winds holding south of the Eastern Aleutians and 37 ft seas at 50N 161.5W aimed east. The gale faded in the evening with 40 kt southwest winds and seas 36 ft over a small area at 54.5N 157.5W aimed east. On Fri AM (4/12) 30 kt west winds were still holding with 25 ft seas fading at 55N 155W in the Northwestern Gulf aimed east. The gale faded out after that. Possible decent swell for the Pacific Northwest and less reaching down into North and Central CA.
North CA: Swell to be peaking Sun AM (4/14) at 5.0 ft @ 15 secs (7.5 ft) but shadowed in the San Francisco Bay area and buried in local windswell. Swell to be fading Mon AM (4/15) from 5.6 ft @ 13 secs (7.0 ft). Residuals fading on Tues AM (4/16) from 5.6 ft @ 12-13 secs (7.0 ft). Swell Direction: 303 degrees
West Pacific Gale
Another small gale developed off North Japan on Thurs PM (4/11) with 40 kts west winds and seas building to 27 ft over a tiny area at 37.5N 160E. The gale was lifting northeast Fri AM (4/12) with west winds 40 kts and seas building to 32 ft at 40N 167E aimed east. In the evening the gale was approaching the dateline with 45 kt west winds over a small area and seas 35 ft at 42N 173.5E aimed east. The gale was fading Sat AM (4/13) on the North Dateline region with 40 kt west winds over a small area and seas fading from 31 ft at 43.5N 179W aimed east. In the evening winds were fading from 30-35 kts from the west with seas 25 ft at 45.5N 172W aimed east. On Sun AM this system was all but gone with seas fading from 21 ft at 48N 166W aimed east. Small swell to result.
Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Mon (4/15) building to 3.0 ft @ 16 secs later (4.5 ft). Swell holding on Tues (4/16) at 3.0 ft @ 13-14 secs early (4.0 ft). Dribbles on Wed (4/17) fading from 2.1 ft 11-12 secs early (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 312 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (4/17) with small swell building to 3.9 ft @ 16 secs (6.0 ft) mid-day and holding. On Thursday (4/18) mixed swell and windswell to be 3.8 ft @ 14 secs (5.0 ft) and holding. Swell fading Fri (4/19) from 3.4 ft @ 11-12 secs (3.5 ft) at best and fading out. Swell Direction: 295 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical weather systems of interest are forecast.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Sunday (4/14) weak high pressure at 1028 mbs was centered 750 nmiles north of Hawaii and weakly ridging into California producing north winds 15 kts for all of North and Central CA. A weak low pressure system and front is to push over Cape Mendocino later Mon (4/15) with north winds 15 kts for Central CA early but light winds for North CA turning south 15 kts late AM and then westerly 15 kts for all of North and Central CA in the late afternoon. Light rain is forecast pushing south through Monterey Bay to Pt Conception in the evening. . Snow for the Sierra Monday evening. Tuesday (4/16) the low is to be inland with high pressure weakly building in behind with northwest winds 15 kts early for all of North and Central CA building to near 20 kts later for Pt Conception. Light rain down for Pt Conception fading quickly mid-AM. Light snow for the Sierra focused mainly on the Southern Sierra and fading through the day. Wednesday (4/17) north winds to be 15-20 kts for all of North and Central CA holding all day. No precip forecast. Thurs (4/18) a more summertime like gradient is forecast with north winds 15-20 kts over Cape Mendocino but only 10 kts south of there. Friday (4/19) more of the same is forecast with north winds 20 kts for Cape Mendocino to Pt Arena building to 25 kts later but only 10 kts south of there. Saturday (4/20) north winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for all of North and Central CA as high pressure builds off the coast and continuing Sun (4/21) with north winds to 30 kts early for Pt Arena to San Francisco. A real mess.
Total snow accumulation for for the week (thru Sun PM 4/21) per the GFS model: Tahoe = 8-11 inches and Mammoth = 3 inches
Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts).
No swell producing weather systems of interest were occurring in the South Pacific.
Over the next 72 hours no meaningful 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 no swell producing weather systems are forecast.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.
Final Kelvin Wave #3 Poised to Erupt in E. Pacific
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 did not stop, 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 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. As of January 2019, those warm waters were fading, but then started building some late in Feb associated with another Kelvin Wave (#3).
LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Fall/Winter 2018 = 6.0 (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: Assuming the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that El Nino does not develop as strong as previously forecast, and assuming and an ocean-atmospheric coupling becomes weakly established in the January timeframe and ocean temperature anomalies in Nino3.4 build to the +0.6 deg range, there is good probability for slightly enhanced storm production in the North Pacific starting in the late Nov timeframe (specifically the Gulf of Alaska and Dateline regions) with slightly increased intensity in number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in slightly increased odds for larger than normal swell, with increased duration and higher than normal period. This should be significantly better than the past 2 winter seasons.
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 (4/13) 5 day average winds were solidly from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific to the dateline, then weaker easterly over the KWGA mainly south of the equator. Anomalies were light easterly over the far East Pacific then neutral over the Central Pacific and into the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (4/14) neutral anomalies were controlling the KWGA. The forecast is for this situation to continue through 4/19, then west anomalies are to build some through the end of the model run on 4/31. There is no enhanced support for storm development and no real change is forecast.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (4/13) A dead neutral MJO pattern was over the KWGA. The statistic model indicates neutral MJO signal is to slowly give way to a modest Inactive signal through the last day of the model run on day 15. The dynamic model indicates a variation on that theme with a weak Inactive Phase taking root at day 5 and fading some but still in place at day 15. The 2 models are generally in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (4/14) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was exceedingly weak and in no position and is to hold that way through day 14. The GEFS model suggests the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (4/14) This model depicts a very weak Active Phase was over the West Pacific. It is to move east while fading pushing into Central America on 5/6. A weak Inactive Phase of the MJO is to be setting up in the West Pacific on 4/24 pushing east to Central America on 5/16. A weak Active Phase is to be building over the West Pacific 5/4 moving to the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 5/24 while a new Inactive Phase builds over the West Pacific starting 5/16 and pushing east from there. Overall the MJO is to be exceedingly weak.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/13) This model depicts neutral anomalies or very light west anomalies in the KWGA today. Spotty west anomalies are to be easing east through the KWGA to 4/27 while east anomalies associated with the Inactive Phase of the MJO build in the far West KWGA 4/20 pushing east and fading 5/9. After that neutral anomalies are forecast holding through the end of the model run on 5/11. there is no active support for storm development for the next 4 weeks.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (4/14) This model depicts the Active Phase was fading and all but gone over the Eastern KWGA. A neutral anomaly wind and MJO pattern is to set up in the core of the KWGA from now till 5/3. After that a weak Active MJO signal is forecast with weak west anomalies in control starting 5/5 through 5/25. A weak Inactive signal to materialize after that but with weak west anomalies holding 5/29-6/26, followed by a weak Active Phase 6/3 through the end of the model run on 7/12 but again with weak west anomalies in play over the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias with 2 contour lines is fully in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to California but not inland and forecast to hold steady for the foreseeable future. A third contour line faded 4/14 and is to not return. It appears from this model that a tendency towards El Nino was previously in control during 2018, then faded, and tried to build in mid-Feb 2019 and is to fade again mid-April and not return. Given this, it seems likely no meaningful El Nino will develop.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (4/14) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 29 deg temps reaching east to 173W mainly down 50 meters. The 28 deg isotherm line had retrograded west to 160W mid-Nov, then moved east and walled up to 153W near Christmas, then retrograded back at 160W in late Feb, but made a major push east starting 3/16 from 150W to 140W on 3/20, and to 130W on 4/10 and was pushing hard east to 121W today. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador 25-30 meters down. Anomaly wise, gentle warm anomalies are filling the entire subsurface Pacific at +1 degs or greater from the surface to 100 meters down. A pocket of warm water was centered at 120W at +2 degs (Kelvin Wave #3) almost reaching Ecuador and +2 degs C from 137W and point east of there. This Kelvin Wave is the warmest of any Kelvin Wave so far since La Nina faded into early 2018 and is to adding warmth moving into 2019. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/8 indicates cool water associated with the upwelling phase of the Kelvin Wave cycle just east of Ecuador was all but gone. Kelvin Wave #3 was weaker in the West Pacific and stronger over the East Pacific and filling the entirety of that area. +2-3 deg anomalies were over the West Pacific and with a warmer pocket at +4-5 degs from 150W to 95W (attributable to a Westerly Wind Burst 12/30-1/16 and another 2/12-2/24). And there was a hint of more warm water was moving from the Maritime Continent into the far West Pacific at 135E falling into the pre-existing warm pool near 160W. There is a river of very warm water traversing the width of the equatorial Pacific. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (4/8) Positive anomalies were gone from the interior Maritime Continent with weak negative anomalies there now. But positive anomalies were solid tracking east from 155E pushing over the dateline to a point just east of the Galapagos (87W) at 0-5 cms with 2 imbedded pockets of +5 cms anomalies at 175E and 120W. No +10 cms anomalies exist any more. In general the density of the warm pool and those pockets of +5 cms anomalies appear to be fading.
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: (4/13) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate temps were modestly warm straddling 20 degrees north and south of the equator from the Galapagos west to the dateline. These temps are stable compared to days past. Cool water was along the entirety of the coast of Peru but warming temps were off Ecuador and Columbia and growing. There is some weak indication of El Nino but not strong.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/13): A weak warming trend was over the equatorial Central Pacific with a few random pockets of stronger warming off Ecuador and Columbia and migrating west to a point just east of the Galapagos. Otherwise a weakly warming pattern was building on the equator from 90W to 120W.
Hi-res Overview: (4/13) Cool water was no longer present along the immediate coast of Peru and slightly along Columbia. Otherwise warmer than normal water was from immediate Ecuador to the Galapagos and then modestly warmer along the equator west of there to the dateline. It was holding compared to days past.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/14) Today's temps were falling nard again at -0.948 and have generally been falling for the last 3 months.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (4/14) Today temps were steady at +0.805 today. Temps have been generally steady the last 6 weeks, but up some over the past 3 months.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (4/14) The model indicates temps were at +1.00 degs on March 1 and forecast holding April then slowly building to +1.15 degrees in early June then fading slowly to +1.05 degs on July 1, then fading slightly through the Fall to +0.70 degs in Sept, down to +0.6 degs in Oct and +0.5 in Nov 1, then falling to +0.25 degs in early Dec and steady into Jan. A weak El Nino like pattern is to hold if not build into July associated with Kelvin Wave #3, then slowly fading through the Fall and Winter of 2019/20 with no more Kelvin Waves forecast. A multiyear warming event is in progress as suggested by this model.
IRI Consensus Plume: The March 2019 Plume depicts temps are at +0.65 degs today, and are to hold in the +0.75 range into July, then holding at +0.75 through Nov 2019. 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) (4/14): The daily index was negative today at -15.44 and has been negative the last 5 days but was positive for 7 days before that, and was previously negative for 57 days before that (Feb 4-4/2 other than 3/23 & 3/24). The 30 day average was steady at -2.11 suggesting a fading Active MJO. The 90 day average was steady at -6.13, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern biased towards El Nino (for now).
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (4/14) The index was neutral at -0.01 on 2/14 but has been rising ever since and pushed up to +0.99 on 3/3 (the highest its been in years), then fell some but rose again to +0.47 on 3/28 and is up to +0.85 today. Still, it is not anywhere near as strongly positive as it should be if El Nino were developing. It suggest only ENSO neutral conditions.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly positive, even though La Nina is in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values: June 2017 +0.21, July -0.50, Aug -0.62, Sept -0.25, Oct -0.61, Nov -0.45, Dec -0.13, 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 -0.23, Feb -0.55 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/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): June 2017 +0.79, July +0.10, Aug +0.09, Sept +0.32, Oct +0.05, Nov +0.15, Dec +0.50, Jan +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