Tuesday, June 27, 2017
- Buoy 146 (Lanai): This buoy is down and there is no backup site and no date if or when it will return to service. Buoy 233/51211 (Pearl Harbor) is available but has a new frequency layout. We'll have to code a new program to read it's output (date TBD).
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.5 ft @ 6.7 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 12.8 secs from 222 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest 12-16 kts. Water temperature 66.0 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 0.8 ft @ 13.6 secs from 177 degrees. At Santa Monica (Buoy 028) swell was 1.7 ft @ 13.4 secs from 200 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (Buoy 043) swell was 1.6 ft @ 13.6 secs from 221 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (Buoy 191) swell was 1.9 ft @ 14.6 secs from 202 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 3.5 ft @ 10.0 secs with swell 2.2 ft @ 13.7 secs from 216 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest 12-14 kts. Water temp 56.3 degs.
46006, 46059, 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 (6/27) in North and Central CA local north windswell was producing surf at thigh high or so and lightly chopped from northwest winds and gutless. Protected breaks were knee to thigh high and warbled and weak. At Santa Cruz New Zealand swell was fading producing surf at waist high or so and clean but slow and weak. In Southern California up north local windswell was producing waves at maybe knee high and warbled though local wind were light. In North Orange Co fading southern hemi swell was still producing rare set waves to head high and clean though mostly smaller. In South Orange Co southern hemi swell was fading from chest to head high on the rare sets but mostly smaller and clean. In San Diego southern hemi swell was fading with sets waist high and mostly clean. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was small with sets waves to chest high and clean early. The East Shore was getting northeast windswell with waves waist to chest high and chopped from modest east trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Tuesday (6/27) local north windswell is all that is expected for North and Central California in the days ahead, small to nonexistent in the short term but building Wednesday (6/28) and more so by Mon (6/26). Minimal southern hemi swell is tracking northeast from a gale that developed under New Zealand on Mon (6/19) with up to 43 ft seas aimed east. A pair of storms are forecast in the far Southeast Pacific starting Sun (7/2) with seas 37-40 ft and the second on Tues (7/4) with 37 ft seas. So there's something to monitor.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Tuesday (6/27) high pressure at 1028 mbs was in the Northeastern Gulf of Alaska but not ridging into California or Hawaii. Light winds were in control all the North Pacific offering no source for local or distant swell production.
Over the next 72 hours more of the same is forecast until Wednesday (6/28) when the Gulf high is to move east some ridging south generating a local fetch of 20-25 kt north winds over North CA fading some Thurs (6/29) then falling south Fri (6/30) and covering mostly Central CA waters at 20 kts. Limited local north windswell is expected for North and Central CA. Also east winds to develop off the south side of the above high pressure system from 500 nmiles east of Hawaii sweeping over the Islands starting Wed (6/28) perhaps starting to producing minimal local easterly windswell along east facing shores and holding through Fri (6/30).
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday (6/27) high pressure at 1028 mbs was in the Gulf of Alaska but not yet reaching the California coast. A light wind flow was in effect along the entire coast early. That high is to impact the coast Wed (6/28) with north winds building 25 kts over Cape Mendocino and 15-20 kts down to Pt Conception and the Channel Islands. On Thurs (6/29) the gradient and north winds are to fade some at mostly 20 kts over North California and 15 kts down to Pt Conception. Friday north winds to build to 25 kts over North CA and 20 kts down to Pt Conception. Saturday (7/1) north winds to build to near 30 kts over a small area in North CA and 25 kts reaching south to a point off Pismo Beach. Raw conditions expected for all of North and Central CA during this period. Sunday (7/2) the gradient is to lift north focused over North CA at 25-30 kts with a light eddy flow (south winds) starting to set up over all of Central CA. On Monday (7/3) the gradient is to build more at 30 kts isolated over Cape Mendocino to Pt Arena with the eddy flow holding south of there. Then then gradient starts fading Tuesday (7/4) at 25 kts from the north with the eddy flow holding from Pt Arena southward.
On Tuesday AM (6/27) the southern branch of the jet was flowing zonally southeast under New Zealand with winds at 100 kts continuing east to the East Pacific on the 68S latitude line with no troughs indicated. The northern branch was flowing zonally east on the 28S latitude line. No support for gale development was indicated. Over the next 72 hours no change is forecast until Fri (6/30) when the southern branch starts to lift northeast over the Southeast Pacific with winds building to 130 kts forming a trough but quickly exiting east by the evening and out of the California swell window offering little support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours starting Sat (7/1) another trough is to form in the same area being fed by 150 kts pushing well to the northeast into Sun (7/2) offering decent support for gale development. And yet another small trough is to develop on Mon (7/3) in the same location (130W) being fed by 120-130 kts winds but not lifting as far north. More support for gale development is possible. By Tues (7/4) the trough is to hold but weaker being fed only by 100 kt winds.
On Tuesday (6/27) swell generated from a gale that developed southeast of New Zealand was tracking northeast (see 3rd New Zealand Gale below).
Otherwise no swell producing fetch was occurring.
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
3rd New Zealand Gale
On Sun (6/18) a storm started developing southeast of Tasmania with 55 kt west winds and seas building from 35 ft over a tiny area at 54S 150E and shadowed by New Zealand relative to NCal and HI and barely in the 222 degs window for SCal. Winds held at 55 kts from the west on Mon AM (6/19) but with the fetch falling east-southeast with seas 38 ft at 57.5S 166E (214 degs SCal and shadowed by Tahiti, 214 degs and unshadowed for NCal, and clear and in the 200 degs window for Hawaii). Fetch was 50 kts in the evening from the southwest and still falling east-southeast with seas to 43 ft at 59.5S 177E aimed east (208 degs NCal and shadowed, 209 degs SCal and barely unshadowed,192 degs HI). On Tues AM (6/20) fetch was fading from 40 kts with seas fading from 37 ft at 61S 171.5W (203 degs NCal and unshadowed, 204 degs SCal and unshadowed, 187 degs HI). This system is to be gone by evening.
This system had solid winds and seas, but was tracking east-southeast with not much momentum aimed northeast, thereby limited swell size traveling in that direction and towards our forecast area.
Hawaii: Swell fading Tues (6/27) from 1.1 ft @ 15-16 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell gone after that. Swell Direction: 215 degrees.
Southern CA: Swell arrival expected Wed AM (6/28) with period 20 secs and size imperceptible. On Thurs (6/29) swell to build to 1.6 ft @ 18 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell fading Fri (6/30) from 1.8 ft @ 16 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Residuals on Saturday (7/1) fading from 1.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 213 degrees.
Northern CA: Swell arrival expected Wed AM (6/28) with period 20 secs and size imperceptible. On Thurs (6/29) swell to build to 1.4 ft @ 17-18 secs (2.5 ft). Swell fading Fri (6/30) from 1.4 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Residuals on Saturday (7/1) fading from 1.4 ft @ 15 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 214 degrees.
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 high pressure is to hold together if not build at 1028 mbs centered 900 nmiles north of Hawaii while ridging east generating a solid fetch of 25 kt north winds over North and Central CA on Sat (7/1) then that fetch is to lift north solely over North CA on Sun (7/2) then building Mon (7/3) to 30 kts over Cape Mendocino fading to 25 kts on Tues (7/4). Windswell to be produced relative to North and Central CA commensurate with the velocity of the winds in that fetch.
For Hawaii trades to start fading in coverage on Sat (7/1) at 15 kts while moving a bit north of the Islands and then coverage fading even more on Sun (7/2). Windswell fading in size. Mon-Tues (7/4) east winds to rebuild in coverage but still only 15 kts east of the Islands perhaps improving odds for minimal east windswell along east facing shores.
Beyond 72 hours a primer gale is forecast developing in the Southeast Pacific on Thurs-Fri (6/30) with 30-35kt south winds building at 53S 126W and seas building Fri PM to 26 ft at 52S 121W. This system is to not be so much a swell producer as a means to rough up the oceans surface.
On Sat AM (7/1) 40-45 kt southwest winds are to start building over the deep Central Pacific rushing east and building to 45-50+ kts in the evening moving to the Southeast Pacific and aimed northeast with seas building from 33 ft @ 60S 133W. On Sun AM (7/2) the fetch is to track east still at 45-50 kts and blowing from the south-southwest with seas building to 39 ft at 56S 124W aimed well to the north. Fetch is to start fading in the evening while lifting northeast at 45 ks over a small area with seas 40 ft at 56S 115W mostly out of the California swell window but with 34 ft seas aimed north and in the swell window. Most energy at this point is to be aimed at Central America, Peru and Chile. This system is to be outside the CA swell window by Mon AM (7/3) with fetch fading from 40 kts and seas 39 ft over a tiny area at 52S 109W. Possible swell for California with more energy towards South America.
Another gale is to be right behind starting Mon PM (7/3) with 45 kts southwest winds building just off Antarctic Ice with seas building from 30 ft at 62S 134W. 45 kt southwest winds to track east Tues AM (7/4) and shrinking in coverage with seas building to 35 ft at 62S 126W aimed northeast. Something to monitor.
More details to follow...
ESPI Continues To Decline
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 and is holding.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Monday (6/26) east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific including the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral everywhere including the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): Weak east anomalies were over the Eastern KWGA and forecast to retrograde to the Western KWGA through the end of the 7 day model run (7/4). It is expected that since these winds are at the 850 mb level (4,200 ft) a neutral wind pattern will be in play at the surface like it is today. This suggests the long running Inactive Phase of the MJO/La Nina that has been in control is dissipating.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 6/26 a neutral pattern was in control with neither an Inactive/Dry Phase or the Active/Wet Phase of the MJO in play. The statistical model depicts a neutral pattern continuing with no MJO signal in play over the next 2 weeks. The dynamic model continues to projects the Inactive Phase rebuilding in the West Pacific for the next 2 weeks. this is a minority opinion.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (6/27) The ECMF model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO was exceedingly weak over the Central Indian Ocean and is to hold there for the next 2 weeks. The GEFS depicts essentially the same thing but the Active Phase retrograding west slightly through the 2 week period.
40 day Upper Level Model: (6/27) This model depicts a weak Inactive/Dry pattern over the East Pacific tracking slowly east into Central America 7/17 while a weak Active Phase was over the far West Pacific today slowly tracking east to the East Pacific through 8/6. Basically a weak to no MJO pattern is expected for the next month and a half. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (6/27) This model depicts no MJO signal over the KWGA. Neutral if not light west wind anomalies were indicated over the KWGA. Starting 7/3 weak west anomalies are to be developing a better footprint in the KWGA with a weak Active MJO signal developing over the KWGA holding to 7/21. A weak Inactive signal is to develop 7/18-8/3 but with weak west anomalies holding in the KWGA. A legitimate Active Phase of the MJO is to fully develop in the West Pacific on 8/4 with building west anomalies moderate to strong in strength holding till 9/21 (end of the model run) even with a weak Inactive Phase of the MJO trying to develop in the KWGA. But of note, east anomalies are to be in-play from the dateline and points east of there from 7/29 onward. The west wind anomaly scenario is likely overstated as the model has been teasing at west anomalies for months and yet they never develop. The low pass filter indicates La Nina dissipated as of 6/14. Interestingly the model projects a lowpass La Nina signal is to redevelop 8/20 (previously 7/21) but now over the interior US mainland rather than over the KWGA. Best guess is a very weak directionless pattern is to set up or even a weak La Nina redeveloping in Fall of 2017. It will take 5 years for the Pacific to recharge from the 2014-16 El Nino.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (6/27) Actual temperatures remain stratified with warm water in the far West Pacific at 30 degs over a shallow area at 160E. The 28 deg isotherm line is steady at 146W. The 24 deg isotherm no longer reaches Ecuador and dissipates at 100W. But it is 100 meters deep at 140W. Anomaly wise a generic pattern of +1 deg anomalies stretches from the East to West Pacific from 100 meters upward. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 6/22 depicts a continuous stream of warm water tracking from the west to the east suggesting a homogenous pattern bias warm was in effect of the upper reaches of the entire equatorial Pacific.. There is no real warm water in the far West Pacific to feed any sort of a progressive Kelvin Wave pattern. The GODAS image appears to be about 1 week behind the TAO data.
Sea Level Anomalies: (6/22) In the east a small area of 5 cm anomalies are over waters off Ecuador. In the west all warm anomalies have vanished on the equator. Effectively a dead neutral pattern is in control of the entire equatorial Pacific.
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: (6/26) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a lightly warm pattern is along the immediate South American coast extending west to 120W then building in heat content west of there. One small pocket of warm water was present along Ecuador and another at 103W, remnants of a warm event previously along South America and advecting west. Upwelling along the immediate coasts of Chile, Peru and Ecuador is much weaker than weeks past. Overall temps are cooling off South America out to 120W (2,400 nmiles off the coast). The La Nina that developed last Spring is gone and an El Nino like pattern that was trying to build after it during March-May is dissipating with a neutral pattern setting up off Central America down to Peru.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (6/25): A neutral to weak warming trend is developing along the coasts of Chile and Peru. Alternating pockets of warming and cooling are present on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos out to 120W, the likely fading remnants of warming previous along Peru. A strong warming trend continues in the Northern Hemi from California pushing north of Hawaii and reaching west to the Philippines. But overall nothing remarkable is indicated.
Hi-res Overview: (6/25) A weak warm regime holds from Chile north to Ecuador and west to 140W then stronger to 140E. But it looks like a neutral temperature regime is trying to set up off South America. Pockets of cool anomalies are in the far East Pacific off Ecuador and Peru. Overall waters of all oceans of the planet are warmer than normal. Suspect climatology needs to be updated to reflect this new reality, or the recent Super El Nino has significantly redistributed heat across the oceans.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (6/27) Today's temps were rising from +0.558, down from the peak of +3.0 degs on 3/18 and +1.0 degs on 5/2..
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (6/24) temps were steady at +0.580 degs.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (6/27) The forecast has temps steady at +0.55 degs today and holding for 1 more week then starting to fall, dropping to +0.4 in early Aug and holding till early Nov, then dropping to +0.0 in Jan 2018, perhaps warming to +0.2 degs in March. This suggests a neutral pattern setting up for the Winter of 2017-2018. CFS data (6/26) still suggests a Modoki style warming pattern over the dateline this Fall and Winter but other models are no suggesting a return of a weak La Nina pattern. There is no source for El Nino like warming with the warm pool in the far West Pacific weak and fading. Much recharging and heat buildup is required for a real El Nino to develop. We're at least 5 years out from that.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-June Plume updated (6/15) depicts temps have warmed to +0.3 degs. Temps are forecast to hold at this level for the coming 8 months suggesting a neutral pattern in control. See chart here - link. The NMME consensus depicts the same thing with temp +0.3 degrees above normal through Feb.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (6/27): The daily index was falling at -3.30 and has been mostly negative for 26 days. The 30 day average was falling at -7.68. The 90 day average was falling at -5.01 or just south of neutral. This suggests a return to ENSO neutral conditions has taken hold.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (6/27) Today's value was falling hard at -2.20 or trending strongly towards La Nina. A peak low was reached on 11/2/16 at -1.94, the deepest of the past La Nina event. So the index is currently more negative than at the peak of last years La Nina. At this time it looks like La Nina is returning. This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina events.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO continues positive, though much weaker lately (as expected with La Nina setting in).
Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.10, Feb = +0.03, March = +0.09, April=+0.52, May=+0.36. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO. No consistently 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. 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
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table