Sunday, August 15, 2021
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Buoy 238 (Barbers Pnt) : Seas were 2.9 ft @ 16.7 secs with swell 1.4 ft @ 17.0 secs from 254 degrees. Water temp 79.5 degs (Pearl Harbor 233), NA (Lani 239), 80.1 (Barbers Pnt).
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.0 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 12.5 secs from 306 degrees. Water temp 79.5 degs.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.2 ft @ 12.8 secs with swell 2.0 ft @ 12.8 secs from 215 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north at 0-2 kts. Water temperature 70.3 degs, 67.5 (Topanga 103), 63.9 degs (Long Beach 215), 67.8 (Del Mar 153), 70.0 (Pt Loma 191). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 2.7 ft @ 12.3 secs from 258 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.9 ft @ 13.1 secs from 206 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.3 ft @ 13.1 secs from 195 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 2.6 ft @ 13.4 secs from 196degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 4.8 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 2.3 ft @ 14.2 secs from 200 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 10-12 kts. Water temp 57.6 (Pt Reyes 029), 59.7 (46026), 60.4 degs (SF Bar 142), and 62.2 (Santa Cruz 254).
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 (8/15) North and Central CA had waves at waist to sometimes chest high and weak and slightly warbled from southerly winds. Protected breaks were maybe waist high and soft and clean. At Santa Cruz surf was smaller with sets chest high and somewhat lined up and soft and clean. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist high and pretty warbled and soft from northwest wind. Central Orange County had set waves at chest high and lined up coming from the south and clean but a little closed out. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets up to head high and lined up but really weak and fairly warbled from wind over outer water though locally winds was calm. North San Diego had sets waves at shoulder high and real lined up if not almost closed out and clean. Hawaii's North Shore was getting some small swell with waves chest to near head high and lined up and clean at top spots. The South Shore was getting some rare sets at waist to almost chest high and clean and lined up. The East Shore was getting no windswell with waves knee high or less and textured from weak east trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Sunday (8/15) California and Hawaii were seeing the remnants of a swell that originated from a weak gale that formed east of New Zealand on Wed (8/4) with up to 26 ft seas aimed northeast targeting mainly Tahiti and Hawaii. A far stronger gale developed Tues-Wed (8/11) producing up to 39 ft seas over the South Central Pacific aimed well northeast then faded out over the Southeast Pacific on Thurs (8/12). After that the South Pacific quieted down with no swell producing weather systems forecast for the next week. Up north a pair of small gales tracked off North Japan on Tues-Thurs (8/12) producing 29 and 30 ft seas respectively aimed east at Hawaii though not making it to even the dateline. The first of those swell is hitting Hawaii. After that the NPac is to quiet down too. We're moving towards the Fall transition.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Sunday (8/15) swell from a tropical storm off Japan was hitting Oahu (see Japan Tropical Storm below).
Over the next 72 hours swell from a second tropical systems that pushed off Japan is forecast hitting Hawaii (see Tropical Storm Lupit below).
Otherwise no swell producing fetch is forecast.
Japan Tropical Storm
The remnants of a weak tropical system pushed west off North Japan Sun PM (8/8) with winds 45 kts over a tiny area and seas 27 ft at 37N 147.25E aimed east. On Mon AM (8/9) 45 kt west winds continued pushing east with seas 29 ft at 38N 152.25WE aimed east. More of the same occurred in the evening with seas 32 ft at 37.75N 158.25E aimed east. The gale was fading Tues AM (8/10) with 35 kt west winds and seas fading from 26 ft at 35.75N 163.25E aimed east. Small swell is radiating east towards Hawaii.
Oahu: Swell fading on Sun (8/15) from 1.7 ft @ 11-12 secs early (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 306 degrees
Tropical Storm Lupit
The remnants of Tropical Storm Lupit tracked east off North Japan on Tues PM (8/10) producing a somewhat broad fetch of 35-40 kt northwest winds and seas building to 23 ft at 39.5N 151.5E aimed southeast. On Wed AM (8/11) northwest winds built to 45 kts with seas 25 ft at 40N 156E aimed east. In the evening 40 kts west winds were pushing east with 28 ft seas at 41N 160E aimed east. Fetch collapsed on Thurs AM (8/12) with west winds 30-35 kts and seas fading from 23 ft at 40.5N 164.75E aimed east. In the evening fetch is to fade from 30 kts from the northwest half way to the dateline with seas 18 ft at 40N 170E aimed east. This system is to be gone after that. Possibly some more minimal swell to result for Oahu.
Oahu: Expect swell arrival on Sun (8/15) building to 1.5 ft @ 16 secs later (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell holding on Mon (8/16) 2.0 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell fading on Tues (8/17) from 2.0 ft @ 12 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Dribbles on Wed (8/18) fading from 1.5 ft @ 11 secs (1.5 ft). Swell Direction: 308-310 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
2 minimal tropical systems pushed off Japan offering potential for swell radiating into Hawaii (see North Pacific Short Term forecast above).
On Thurs (8/12) Hurricane Linda was 480 nmiles south-southeast of Cabo San Lucas Mexico with winds 65 kts tracking west-northwest at 7 kts producing 22 ft seas and shadowed relative to Southern CA. Linda continued to track west-northwest while slowly building moving into the Dana Point swell window (159 degrees) in the late evening with winds 75 kts and seas to 28 ft. On Fri AM (8/13) winds built to 100 kts with seas 30 ft at 17.2N 112.3W or 1250 nmiles south of Dana Point CA on the 164 degree track. More of the same occurred Fri PM (8/13) with winds building to 105 kts and seas reestimated at 24 ft on the 169 degree track. On Sat (8/14) Linda started turning to the west with winds peaking at 115 kts with seas 35 ft 850 nmiles south of Dana Point on the 175 degree track. In the evening Linda was tracking west with winds fading from 100 kts and seas 32 ft with less if any swell aimed north.
Southern CA: Swell building later Sun (8/15) to 2.4 ft @ 12-13 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Mon (8/16) from 2.3 ft @ 11-12 secs early (2.5 ft). Dribbles on Tues (8/17) fading from 2.3 ft @ 10-11 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 159 moving to 175 degrees
California Nearshore Forecast
- Mon (8/16) the summertime pressure gradient is to redevelop with northwest winds 20-25 kts for North CA and 10-15 kts for Central CA early building in the afternoon for Central CA at 15-20 kts later. Windswell production up some.
- Tues (8/17) northwest winds are forecast at 20-25 kts for North CA early with north winds 15-20 kts off Central CA and 10 kts nearshore. In the afternoon northwest winds are forecast at 30-35 kts for all of North CA and then northwest 15-20 kts for Central CA in the afternoon. Windswell building.
- Wed (8/18) northwest winds are forecast at 30+ kts for North CA early focused on Cape Mendocino with an eddy flow (south winds) from Bodega Bay southward and fading from 30 kts up north in the afternoon otherwise unchanged. Windswell holding.
- Thurs (8/19) a light flow is forecast for all of North and Central CA early but with north winds 30 kts just off Cape Mendocino fading to 25 kts in the afternoon. Windswell fading some but still present.
- Fri (8/20) north winds to be 20-25 kts just off Cape Mendocino and 20 kts well off the Central CA coast with a eddy flow nearshore from Pt Arena southward early and holding through the day. Windswell still pretty solid.
- Sat (8/21) north winds to be 20 kts for Cape Mendocino and light off the Central CA coast with a eddy flow nearshore from Pt Arena southward early and holding through the day. Windswell fading.
- Sun (8/22) no change forecast.
Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 0, 0, 0, and 0 inches respectively.
Freezing level 14,000+ ft solid with no change forecast.
Tioga Pass/Pacific Crest Trail intersection forecast: Temps - Freeze Level (more here - scroll down to 'Resort Snow Forecasts>Central CA or North CA Caltrans & Backcountry')
Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!
On Sunday (8/15) the influential southern branch of the jet was exceedingly weak while falling southeast under new New Zealand then dissipating completely over the deep reaches of the Central South Pacific continuing that way over the Southeast Pacific offering no support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours a trough is forecast developing pushing up into the South Tasman Sea on Mon (8/16) with 130 kt winds pushing up into it offering some support for gale development but weakening on Tues (8/17) while pushing over South New Zealand and then getting cut off and gone on Wed (8/18). Low odds for support of gale development. Beyond 72 hours a weak ridge is to be developing under New Zealand and building steadily over the entire South Pacific later Wed (8/18) and continuing non-stop into Sun (8/22) pushing down to 70S pretty much eliminating odds for gale development.
On Sunday (8/15) swell from a cutoff gale was fading in California (see New Zealand Cutoff Gale below). And swell from a far stronger storm in the Central South Pacific was tracking northeast having already hit Tahiti (see Central South Pacific Storm below).
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.
New Zealand Cutoff Gale
A cutoff gale started developing east of New Zealand on Tues AM (8/3) producing 35+ kt south winds along the northeast coast of NZ getting some traction. In the evening south winds were 40 kts over a solid area with seas building to 23 ft at 39S 176.5W aimed northeast. On Wed AM (8/4) 35 kt south winds continued with seas 26 ft over a small area at 40S 174W aimed northeast. Fetch was fading in the evening at 30-35 kts over a broad area aimed north with 25 ft seas at 35S 166W aimed northeast. Fetch was fading after that at 30 kts from the west with seas 23-24 ft on Thurs AM (8/5) at 36S 158W aimed northeast and fading. The gale dissipated from there. Low odds for swell resulting for California through Hawaii and Tahiti could get some rideable swell.
Southern CA: Swell fading on Sun (8/15) from 1.5 ft @ 13 secs (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 220 degrees
North CA: Swell fading on Sun (8/15) from 1.8 ft @ 13 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 220 degrees
South Central Pacific Storm
On Tues AM (8/10) a new gale developed east of New Zealand producing south winds at 45 kts with seas 28 ft over a small area at 40S 167W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch built rapidly to 50 kts from the south-southeast over a decent sized area with seas building to 35 ft at 47.75S 160W aimed northeast. The Jason 3 satellite confirmed sea at 41.6 ft with a peak reading to 49.7 ft in the core of the fetch aimed northeast. So the model was undercalling it. On Wed AM (8/11) fetch was elongating to the northeast over a solid sized area at 40-45 kts with 39 ft seas at 44.75S 153.75S aimed northeast. In the evening southwest winds were 40 kts over the Central South Pacific with seas 36 ft at 43S 146.5W aimed northeast. The Jason 3 satellite confirmed seas at 43 ft with one reading to 46.9 ft again beating the model. Fetch was fading Thurs AM (8/12) from 35 kts from the west with seas 32 ft at 42.5S 139.5W aimed east-northeast. In the evening fetch faded from 30-35 kts from the southwest winds seas 29-30 ft at 41.25S 131.25W aimed east-northeast. The gale dissipated from there. Semi real swell to result for Tahiti, Hawaii and California with a very south angled for Hawaii. California to suffer some from shadowing from Eastern Polynesia with the core angle at peak swell generation of 201.98-204.885 degrees, but not too badly.
Hawaii: Expect swell arrival late on Mon (8/16) building to 1.8 ft @ 19 secs (3.5 ft). Swell peaking midday Tues (8/17) at 2.8 ft @ 16-17 secs (4.0-4.5 ft with sets 5.5 ft) Swell continues on Wed (8/18) at 3.1 ft @ 15 secs early (4.5 ft with sets to 6.0 ft) fading some later. Swell fading on Thurs (8/19) from 2.6 ft @ 13-14 secs early (3.5 ft). Dribbles on Fri (8/20) fading from 1.8 ft @ 13 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 180 degrees moving to 175 degrees
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (8/18) building to 2.3 ft @ 19 secs later (4.0-4.5 ft). Swell building then peaking later on Thurs (8/19) at 2.9 ft @ 17 secs (4.5-5.0 ft with sets near 6.0 ft). Swell continues on Fri (8/20) at 2.8 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.5 ft with sets to 5.5 ft). Swell fading on Sat (8/21) but still decent at 2.5 ft @ 15 secs early (3.5-4.0 ft). Residuals on Sun (8/22) fading from 2.2 ft @ 14 secs (3.0 ft) early. Swell Direction: 197-208 degrees focused on 204.885 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (8/18) building to 1.9 ft @ 19 secs later (3.5 ft). Swell building then peaking on Thurs (8/19) at 2.6 ft @ 17 secs (4.5 ft with sets to 6.0 ft). Swell continues on Fri (8/20) at 2.9 ft @ 16 secs (4.5 ft with sets near 6.0 ft). Swell fading on Sat (8/21) but still decent at 2.4 ft @ 15 secs early (3.5 ft). Residuals on Sun (8/22) fading from 2.1 ft @ 14 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 194-205 degrees focused on 201.98 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 fetch is forecast.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.
La Nina Slowly Building
Summary - Cool water is building across the subsurface equatorial Pacific with warm water from previous Kelvin Waves fading and existing only in the east. The forecast suggests east anomalies taking over the equatorial Pacific from the dateline eastward in later August. And a high pressure bias is forecast to control the KWGA this Fall. Blocking high pressure is starting to rebuild and is to hold through Winter 2021-2022.
The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.And the El Nino/La Nino cycle (collectively know as ENSO - El Nino Southern Oscillation) is a less frequent (about once every 7 years) but more impactful cycle that affects world wide weather. Specifically, strong El Nino events promote storm production in the Pacific while La Nina events suppress storm production. These therefore have a significant impact on the production of swell and surf. The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO and ENSO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for upcoming activity (or inactivity depending on the state and interaction of these two oscillations).
Overview: In 2019 warm equatorial waters were fading, and by August a tongue of cool water was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos reaching to a point nearly south of Hawaii. A bit of a recovery tried to occur during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water held in a pool off Peru. By April 2020 a cool pool was starting to build, forming a well defined cool tongue that evolved into La Nina, with it fully developing through July 2020. A slow dissolving of La Nina started in March 2021 with 2 Kelvin Waves sweeping east and arriving over the Galapagos in June. Weak warming set up over the equator with no cool waters present. NOAA declared La Nina dead.
LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Spring/Summer 2021 = 4.0/3.5 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)
Rationale: It is assumed that the moderate La Nina from the Winter of 2020/2021 is on the wane and that a return to neutral ENSO state will set up over the Pacific Basin through the summer of 2021. But lingering effects of La Nina are forecast to continue over the Pacific for some time as the upper atmospheric circulation slowly transitions to an ENSO neutral state. This scenario tend to favor the Southeast Pacific, therefore favoring California over Hawaii. To counter that is the forecasted movement of the low pressure bias currently in-flight from the Maritime Continent to the West Pacific over the next 3 months. Still it will take some time for the atmosphere to fully respond, resulting in a slightly less than normal swell production forecast. A somewhat reduced number of storm days and storm intensity is expected as compared to normal over the South Pacific during the early summer season, resulting in a below normal level of swells, with swell being below normal duration and period. But by the Fall and early Winter of 2021/22, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start improving as La Nina fades out. The status of the PDO is not known, though it appears to be returning to at least a neutral state, rather than the warm phase as previously projected thereby having no significant positive or negative effect on the long term outlook.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (8/14) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific then moderate east over the Central Pacific and moderate plus over the KWGA. Anomalies were modest east over the East equatorial Pacific and light west over the Central Pacific and light east over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, versus realtime, so they lag what is happening today (by about 2.5 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (8/15) east anomalies were moderate filling the KWGA. The forecast calls for east anomalies holding at moderate strength filling the KWGA for the next week while expanding eastward over the Central and East equatorial Pacific to a point south of California at the end of the model run on 8/22. No sign of the Active Phase of the MJO is forecast.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
- MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:
OLR Models: (8/14) A moderate Inactive MJO signal was indicated filling the KWGA today. The statistic model projects the Inactive Pattern holding unchanged over the KWGA on days 5 through 15 of the model run. The dynamic model projects the same thing but with the Inactive Phase rapidly fading on day 10 and with a weak Active Phase moving into the west KWGA on day 15 of the model run.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (8/15) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was moderate over the West Indian Ocean and forecast barely tracking east to the Central Indian Ocean collapsing to very weak weak status 15 days out. The dynamic model suggests the same thing but moving east to the East Indian Ocean.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (8/14) A strong Inactive Phase (dry air) was indicated over the KWGA and filling most of the equatorial Pacific. The Inactive Phase (dry air) is to move east over the Central Pacific and then into Central America on 9/3. A weak Active Phase is forecast developing over the KWGA on 9/5 tracking east and filling the equatorial Pacific on 9/18 then moving to the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 9/23.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (8/14) This model depicts a solid Inactive Phase was moving into the West KWGA today with east anomalies preceding it filling most of the KWGA today. The forecast indicates the Inactive MJO signal is to move through the KWGA through 8/27 with moderate east anomalies filling the KWGA during that window. East anomalies are to hold over the East KWGA after that through the end of the model run on 9/11 while the Active Phase builds strong over the Maritime Continent with west anomalies preceding it pushing into the West KWGA 8/27 through the end of the model run.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (8/15 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): Today a solid Inactive Phase of the MJO was building over the KWGA with modest east anomalies filling the KWGA. The forecast indicates the Inactive Phase is to building filling the KWGA through 9/5 with modest to moderate east anomalies in control. A decent Active Phase is to develop while slowly pushing east 8/26 through the end of the model run on 11/12 with west anomalies reaching east to about 165E (60% of the way across the KWGA) by 8/31 then holding with solid east anomalies east of there filling the equatorial Pacific to a point south of California. A weak Inactive MJO pattern is to try and push into the KWGA on 10/15 but not make it. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias is in control limited to the area south of California (with one contour line) and the low pressure bias over the West KWGA centered at 125E filling the western 50% of the KWGA to 155E. The high pressure contour line is to hold over the far East Pacific till 9/9 then back-build west on the dateline on 8/30 and holding that position filling the eastern portion of the KWGA through the end of the model run with a second contour lined developing on 10/4. The single contour low pressure bias is to dissipate on 8/16 then rebuild 9/16 recentered over the Maritime Continent at 100E like last winter and holding through the end of the model run. East anomalies to take over the KWGA east of 165E on 8/30 with west anomalies west of there and no change forecast. This suggests a return to some flavor of a weak La Nina pressure pattern by September with east anomalies and high a pressure bias taking over from the mid-KWGA and points east of there. This forecast has been stable for over a month now suggesting it will actually happen.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (8/15) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was steady at 176E. The 28 deg isotherm line was easing east to 168W. The 24 deg isotherm was steady at 118W today. Warm water has receded west. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +1-2 deg C were pushing east to 160W then mostly just below the surface east of there in a thin stream into Ecuador. Cool anomalies at -2 degs were building below the warm stream 50 meters down at 125W. No Kelvin Waves were obvious and cool water was building in the east at depth. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 8/11 was far more stark suggesting no warm water remaining east of the dateline. A solid stream of cool water was pushing up from 150 meters down on the dateline and breaching the surface just west of the Galapagos. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (8/11) Sea heights were falling over the entire equatorial Pacific with negative anomalies at -5 to -10 cms over the East equatorial Pacific between Ecuador to 160W on the equator and all positive anomalies gone west of the dateline. A warm water 'horseshoe' pattern was redeveloping in the West Pacific. La Nina is making a return.
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 Qualitative Analysis: (8/14) The latest images depict warm water on the equator limited to the area from Ecuador west to a point a bit west of the Galapagos (100W), then only in pockets from there west to 140W with mostly cooler waters developing in waves, and only cooler waters west of there. An area of weak warming was holding along Chile and Peru. A more cohesive pocket of warm water was along Central America up to Southern Baja. Overall this seems to indicate the return of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (8/14): A string of mostly cooling pockets were filling the area from Ecuador to 140W.
Hi-res Overview: (8/14) A broad area of warmer than normal water was nearshore along Peru, then off Ecuador and Central America up into Mexico but brick walled limited from 105W and points east of there. Cooler waters were on the equator from 105W to the dateline. The clear cool outflow was still pushing from California southwest to the a point over Hawaii's Big Island but nearshore to California warmer water was taking control. La Nina appears to be trying to make a resurgence.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (8/15) Today's temps were falling hard down to -0.716. Temps previously were toggling around neutral 7/20-8/5 after falling to -0.411 on 7/8. Temps before that peaked at +0.213 on 6/17, the highest since 3/16 when they briefly hit +0.714 degs. But in between they've been in the -0.75 range. The longterm trend has been stable and mostly below normal.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (8/15) Today temps were stable at -0.175 since 8/1, but previously falling steadily from 7/1 when they peaked at +0.332, the highest in a year. They previously reached up to +0.224 on 6/15 and before that at +0.085 on (6/1), beating the previous peak high of +0.040 on 5/3. Temps previously had been steady near -0.222 since early March. Temps bottomed out at -1.654 on 11/3. Temps have been on a steadily increasing trend.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (8/15) - Actuals per the model indicate temps were rising in early Nov 2020 after bottoming out at -1.25 degs, building to -0.01 degs in mid-June then starting a slow fade from -0.3 degs in early Aug. The forecast indicates temps continuing a slow fade into mid November dropping to -0.80 degs then quickly starting to slowly rise to -0.6 degs in mid Jan 2022 pushing up to +0.00 degs in mid April 2022. This model suggests a return of La Nina conditions this Fall and Winter. There is no indication that El Nino will develop. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temp falling only to -0.70 degs in Nov starting to rise slowly in Jan 2022.
IRI Consensus Plume: The July 20, 2021 Plume depicts temps are at -0.23 degs today, and are to fade steadily to -0.55 degrees in Nov and stabilizing there into December, then rising to neutral in Feb 2022. A weak return of La Nina is expected this Fall and Winter 2021-2022.
See chart here - link.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad - this is a lagging indicator) (8/12): The daily index was still positive at +6.13 after peaking at +37.86 on 7/15. The Inactive Phase was solid. The 30 day average was fading some at +9.58 after rising to +16.49 on 7/29 after falling to -3.36 on 6/22, the lowest in a year and beating the previous low on 6/14 of -2.08. It peaked at +19.51 on 1/14. The 90 day average was falling to +5.69 after falling to it's lowest point in a year on 6/9 at +1.06. The 90 day average peaked at +15.75 on 2/23 (clearly indicative of La Nina then). This index is a lagging indicator.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation
The PDO theoretically turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and was positive till Dec 2019, but has been negative every since, driven by recent La Nina conditions. As of May 2021 it was the most negative its been at -2.04 since Sept 2012. 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'). It is more likely we are still in the cool phase of the PDO.
See imagery in the ENSO Powertool
Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for this week. See it Here
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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing: https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/climate-change-good-surfing-other-sports-not-so-much-ncna1017131
Mavericks & Stormsurf on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luQSYf5sKjQ
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.
Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table