Thursday, July 18, 2019
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/ Buoy 239 (Lanai) Seas were 4.2 ft @ 7.7 secs with swell 2.8 ft @ 7.9 secs from 161 degrees.
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.5 ft @ 7.7 secs with swell 3.4 ft @ 6.7 secs from 27 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.8 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 1.9 ft @ 15.5 secs from 211 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southwest at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 69.1 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.2 ft @ 15.6 secs from 200 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.0 ft @ 15.8 secs from 209 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 2.3 ft @ 15.7 secs from 222 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.5 ft @ 15.3 secs from 199 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.9 ft @ 15.4 secs with southern hemi swell 2.4 ft @ 15.8 secs from 208 degrees. Wind at the buoy (013) was northwest at 6-10 kts. Water temp 50.2 degs (013) and 57.0 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 Thursday (7/18) in North and Central CA locally generated northwest windswell was producing waves at waist high or so and weak and nearly chopped early from local northwest wind. Protected breaks were thigh high and slightly clean and soft and mushy and barely breaking. At Santa Cruz surf was head high on the sets and clean and lined up with good form but a nit on the slow side. In Southern California/Ventura southern hemi swell was producing waves at waist to maybe chest high and pretty warbled from local northwest wind. In North Orange Co southern hemi swell was still producing wave at up to shoulder high and lined up and clean with no wind but slow. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were still getting southern hemi swell with waves head high or so on the sets and lined up and clean but slow. North San Diego had surf at chest high or so and clean and lined up but generally soft. Hawaii's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was pretty quiet with occasional sets waves at chest to head high and clean but with some east lump running through it. The East Shore was getting east windswell with waves chest high and chopped from solid east trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Thursday (7/18) in California southern hemi swell was hitting from a final gale that tracked up along the east side of New Zealand Sun-Mon (7/8) with up to 38 ft seas aimed northeast. The faintest remnants of that swell were also fading in Hawaii. Unfortunately no other swell producing weather systems are projected for at least then next 7 days.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast other than local windswell (see below).
On Thursday (7/18) north winds were 20 kts limited to North CA waters mainly focused on Cape Mendocino and building to 25 kts later offering only minimal windswell production for North and Central CA. For Hawaii trades to continue solid at 20 kts up to 1500 nmiles east of all Islands offering continued potential for windswell production along east facing shores. On Friday (7/19) north winds are to be rebuilding to 30 kts limited to Cape Mendocino with light winds from Bodega Bay southward offering only modest potential for generating windswell down into Central CA. For Hawaii east trades to be fading fast in coverage at 15 kts and shallower extending only 900 nmiles east of the Islands still offering windswell production potential for all exposed east shores. On Saturday (7/20) a gradient is to hold for North CA with north winds 25 kts limited to Cape Mendocino producing more north windswell at exposed breaks. An eddy flow (south winds) is to be building for Central CA. For Hawaii to trades to be fading fast from 15 kts extending only 300 or so nmiles to the east in pockets offering weak odds for windswell production for exposed eastern shores. On Sunday (7/21) north winds are to be fading from 20 kts over Cape Mendocino early producing fading modest windswell pushing south into Central CA with an eddy flow from Bodega Bay southward early. For Hawaii trades are to be 15 kts in pockets up to 500 nmiles east of the Islands offering only limited support for windswell production.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical weather systems of interest are being monitored at this time.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday (7/18) north winds were 15 kts limited to North California building to 20-25 kts later with a weak eddy flow over Central CA. Friday (7/19) north winds to be building in coverage at 25-30 kts still limited to Cape Mendocino with a weak eddy flow (south wind) holding for all of Central CA and up to Bodega Bay. Sat (7/20) north winds to continue at 25 kts over Cape Mendocino with the eddy flow building from Bodega Bay southward. On Sunday (7/21) north winds are to be fading from 20 kts kts mainly over Cape Mendocino dropping to 15 kts late afternoon with a weak eddy flow holding over Central CA. Monday (7/22) a modest northwest flow is expected over North and Central CA at 10-15 kts all day. Tues (8/23) northwest winds are forecast at 15-20 kts over all nearshore waters of North and Central CA. Wednesday (7/24) north winds are to build to 20 kts over all of North and Central CA nearshore waters. Thurs (7/25) north winds to continue at 15-20 kts over the same area.
Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts).
On Thursday (7/18) a weak trough remained in-place south of the Tasman Sea and again just off the extreme South America Coast while a large and strong ridge was pushing the jet south into Antarctica from 180W to 110W effectively filling the entirety of the South Pacific and actively suppressing support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours more of the same is expected with the ridge pushing east and moving up to the South American Coast while a new ridge starts building in the Tasman Sea on Fri (7/19) and sweeping east locking down the entire South Pacific Ocean by Sun (7/21) offering no support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours starting Mon (7/22) the massive ridging pattern is to continue with the jet pushing south to 70S at 160E (south of the Tasman Sea) at 120 kts continuing east to South America on Tues (7/23) and that pattern to continue unchanged into Thurs (7/25). The Inactive Phase of the MJO appears to be having a strong impact in not a good way on the jetstream over the South Pacific.
Swell from a gale that developed while tracking up the east coast of New Zealand was pushing into California and well past it's peak (see Final New Zealand Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.
Final New Zealand Gale
Yet another gale developed south of New Zealand on Sat AM (7/6) with 40-45 kt southwest winds and seas building from 33 ft at 59.5S 173.5E aimed east. This was just a primer gale serving only to rough up the oceans surface there. In the evening a new broad fetch of 40+ kt south-southwest winds built south of New Zealand with seas building quickly from 34 ft at 53S 166E aimed northeast (218 degs SCal and unshadowed by Tahiti, 217 degs NCal and unshadowed by Tahiti). The gale tracked northeast fast on Sun AM (7/7) with 40-45 kt southwest winds over a solid area and seas 38 ft at 50S 173.5E aimed northeast (218 degs SCal, 217 degs NCal). The gale continued lifting northeast in the evening with 40-45 kts southwest winds and seas 36 ft at 48S 179W aimed northeast (214 degs SCal and 213 degs NCal). The gale started pushing east and fading on Mon AM (7/8) with 40 kt west winds and seas 36 ft at 47.5S 166W aimed east-northeast (207 degs SCal and unshadowed, 204 degs NCal and shadowed). The gale is to fade from there in the evening with seas dropping from 32 ft at 47.5 154.5W. This system dissipated from there.
Southern CA: Swell fading on Thurs (7/18) from 2.0 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Residuals on Fri (7/19) fading from 1.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 214-218 degrees
North CA: Swell fading on Thurs (7/18) from 2.1 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Residuals on Fri (7/19) fading from 1.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 213-217 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 no swell producing weather systems are forecast.
On Monday (7/22) north winds are to be 15 kts mainly off the coast of North and Central CA offering minimal odds for windswell production. Trades are to be building for the Hawaiian Islands at 15 kts up to 1200 nmiles east of all Islands offering improved odds for windswell production there. On Tuesday (7/23) a weak gradient is to be producing northwest winds at 15-20 kts along all the North and Central CA coast offering some odds for weak short period windswell at exposed breaks. For Hawaii trades to continue at 15-20 kts up to 1200 nmiles east of the Islands early offering continued support for windswell production along exposed east shores and that fetch is to be building in coverage and intensity (to 20 kts) later. On Wednesday (7/24) northwest winds to be 20 kts for all of North and Central CA generating moderate north local windswell. That fetch is to turn easterly and extend over Hawaii building to near 20 kts near the Islands offering improved support for easterly windswell there. On Thursday (7/25) more of the same is forecast for North and Central CA with northwest winds 20 kts producing more raw windswell. Trades for Hawaii to fade some at 15 kts extending east 900 nmiles still producing windswell, but down some from days previous.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
Westerly Wind Burst Fading - Equatorial Sea Temps Turning Towards La Nina
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. In January 2019, those warm waters were fading, but then rebuilt late in Feb associated with Kelvin Wave (#3). But as of early June warm water was fading and the outlook did not favor El Nino come Fall.
LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Summer 2019 = 5.5 (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: Assuming the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that weak borderline El Nino condition continue, and assuming a weak ocean-atmospheric coupling holds and ocean temperature anomalies in Nino3.4 hold in the +0.8 deg range, there is good probability for slightly enhanced storm production in the South Pacific during the Northern Hemisphere Summer time months. There is 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 Summer 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 (7/17) 5 day average winds were solidly from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific fading some over the Central Pacific and turning fully westerly at moderate strength over the KWGA. Anomalies were weak easterly over the East equatorial Pacific turning neutral over the Central Pacific then reversing direction and building to moderate to strong westerly over the KWGA, at Westerly Wind Burst strength.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (7/18) moderate west anomalies were holding solid in the core of the KWGA focused on the dateline. The forecast is for those west anomalies holding over the dateline through 7/21. then fading and gone by 7/24. But at the same time east anomalies were in the extreme West Pacific and forecast to slowly but steadily easing east filling the KWGA at the end of the model run on 7/25. The Inactive Phase of the MJO appears to be building in the KWGA over the next 7 days.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (7/17) A weak Inactive MJO pattern was indicated over the Western KWGA today. The statistic model indicates the the Inactive Phase is to build and be solid by day 5 holding through day 10, then collapsing fading to neutral at day 15. The dynamic model suggests a slower evolution with the peak of the Inactive Phase occurring at day 15. Regardless of the differences between the two models, the Inactive Phase is coming.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (7/18) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase over the Indian Ocean and exceedingly weak and it is forecast to remain that way while slowly easing east over the next 2 weeks but still only over the Central Indian Ocean and weak. The GEFS model suggests the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical model): (7/18) This model depicts a weak Active Phase of the MJO over the East Pacific tracking east and moving into Central America on 8/7. The Inactive Phase of the MJO is developing in the far West Pacific today at moderate strength and it is to track east moving into Central America at the end of the model run on 8/27. A modest Active Phase of the MJO is to build in the West Pacific on 8/7 building while tracking to the Central Pacific at the end of the model run on 8/27.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (7/17) This model depicts a weak Active MJO signal fading over the Dateline today with a more concentrated area of modest west anomalies in the core of the KWGA with weaker west anomalies reaching west to 150E. But east anomalies are in the far West Pacific and are to reach east to 165E on 7/25, then quickly dissipating on 7/31. The forecast has weak to modest west anomalies holding if not retrograding and filling the KWGA at the end of the model run on 8/14. Support for gale development to fade into the end of July, then start rebuilding.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (7/18) This model depicts the Active Phase fading over the KWGA with weak west anomalies mainly over the dateline and points east of there. The Active Phase and modest westerly anomalies are to be gone on 7/20, with the Inactive Phase developing but with weak west anomalies holding on the dateline. The Inactive Phase is to hold through 8/24 with east anomalies reaching east to 150E peaking 7/26 then collapsing. After that an Active Phase is forecast moving over the KWGA on 8/26 holding through 10/6 with modest west anomalies filling the entirety of the KWGA. An Inactive MJO is to be moving into the KWGA at the end of the model run on 9/29-10/15 with west anomalies holding in the KWGA. The low pass filter continues to indicate a low pressure bias with 1 contour lines in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to California. This single remaining contour line is to hold till 9/4 then dissipating and migrating west to the Indian Ocean at the same time and holding through the end of the model run. There is currently no sign of a high pressure bias building over the dateline yet. This model indicates that a weak El Nino pattern is to fade in late August and not return, moving towards the Indian Ocean, symptomatic of La Nina. Basically we are moving from a pattern biased towards El Nino to one biased towards ENSO neutral if not La Nina.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (7/18) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs over a shrinking area reaching east to 174W while the 29 deg isotherm was steady at 162W today. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 150W. The 24 deg isotherm previously pushed into Ecuador at 30 meters down, retrograded to 105W, then again pushed into Ecuador down 20 meters on 6/25 but retrograded again on 7/11 and was holding today at 107W. Anomaly wise, gentle warm anomalies are filling the entire subsurface Pacific at +1 degs from the surface to 150 meters down (deepest on the dateline). A pocket of +2 deg anomalies were developing under the dateline today. +2 degs anomalies previously in the far East Pacific were gone today. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 7/12 indicates warm water from Kelvin Wave #4 has formed a small pocket of warm water under the Central equatorial Pacific from 165E to 125W at +1.0 degs above normal, and shrinking in coverage and shallow reaching down only 90 meters. A small pocket of cool water was drawing up from depth to the surface in the east at 100W was getting smaller. And cool water was filling the depths just under the remainder of the warm water pocket in the Central Pacific. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (7/12) A small pocket of positive anomalies were building over the dateline at +5 cms reaching east to 150W. Otherwise no positive anomalies are indicated over the equatorial Pacific with neutral anomalies over the bulk of the equator and a small area of negative anomalies at -5 cms was over the Galapagos.
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: (7/17) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate modest warm anomalies are weakly present north of the equator from Central America west to the dateline. But south of the equator cool anomalies were off Peru and Ecuador reaching west to only 90W, then with weak warm anomalies from there west to the dateline. At this time there is only weak indications of El Nino remaining.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (7/17): A clear cooling trend/stream was developing pushing from off Ecuador west to 145W on the equator interspersed with a few tiny pockets of warming water. A solid stream of cool water previously streaming west off Africa on the equator is gone now with warming temps indicated but with a cooling trend in the Central equatorial Atlantic. In general the trend towards a cooler pattern in the equatorial Pacific is becoming apparent.
Hi-res Overview: (7/17) Warmer than normal water was from Ecuador west over the Galapagos 20 degrees north of the equator and 10 degrees south of it continuing west of there to the dateline. But there is an unmistakable stream of cool water developing on the equator from just off the Peruvian Coast and then solidly from the Galapagos west to 135W. And warm temps south of the equator from Peru west to 140W were quickly fading to nearly neutral. El Nino appears to be in retreat and La Nina appears to be developing.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (7/18) Today's temps were rising slightly today but still negative at -0.479 and have been pretty consistently negative since June 1.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (7/15) Today temps were falling slightly at +0.166 today. The trend has been generally downward since early June.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (7/18) The model indicates a cooling trend has set up with temps falling from +0.50 degs in mid-June and forecast falling to 0.0 degs by late July and down to -0.50 degs Sept 1 holding through Dec. On Jan 1 2020 temps are to drop to -0.65, then start rebuilding reaching 0.0 degs by April 1. A weak La Nina pattern is to set up.
IRI Consensus Plume: The June 2019 Plume depicts temps are at +0.60 degs in June, and are to hold in the +0.70 range into November, then fading slightly to +0.65 in February 2020. 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) (7/18): The daily index was negative today at -12.31, mostly negative the last 33 days. The 30 day average was falling at -14.77. The 90 day average was steady at -8.59, 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): (April) +0.34, March +1.0, Feb +1.29, Jan +0.193. It is approaching El Nino territory but still indicted mostly 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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Surfer -Shaper Glen Kennedy passed away earlier this month. His memorial paddle out is set for Sunday, July 28th at First Point Malibu at 10 AM. Come celebrate Glen's life.
NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing: https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/climate-change-good-surfing-other-sports-not-so-much-ncna1017131
Stormsurf and Mavericks on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luQSYf5sKjQ
Mavericks Invitational Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table