Sunday, August 26, 2018
- Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai): Seas were 2.4 ft @ 6.2 secs with swell 0.8 ft @ 13.5 secs from 213 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.4 ft @ 12.8 secs with swell 1.3 ft @ 13.4 secs from 194 degrees. Wind at the buoy was south at 6-8 kts. Water temperature 72.5 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 1.7 ft @ 5.9 secs from 281 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.0 ft @ 13.0 secs from 203 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.0 ft @ 12.7 secs from 213 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.0 ft @ 12.6 secs from 196 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 3.9 ft @ 8.3 secs with swell 3.0 ft @ 7.6 secs from 314 degrees. Wind at the buoy was southwest at 2-4 kts. Water temp 59.7 degs.
See Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (bottom of the page)
Swell Classification Guidelines
Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
Summer - Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
Summer - Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
Summer - up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.
Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.
On Sunday (8/26) in North and Central CA northern windswell was producing waves to maybe waist high and heavily textured from south winds and not really rideable. Protected breaks were knee to thigh high and clean and weak and barely rideable. At Santa Cruz surf was knee to thigh high on the rare sets and clean and soft. In Southern California/Ventura surf was knee to thigh high and clean and not really rideable. In North Orange Co waves were waist high and clean and lined up but mostly breaking on the beach. South Orange Country's best breaks were tiny with what appeared to be windswell only at thigh to maybe waist high and weak but clean. In North San Diego surf was thigh to maybe waist high and clean but with some intermixed lump and weak. Hawaii's North Shore was getting wrap around easterly windswell at waist to maybe chest high and pretty ragged from northeast sideshore lump. The South Shore was near flat and clean. The East Shore was getting east windswell with waves chest high and chopped from moderate to strong east trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Sunday (8/26) no swell was hitting California or Hawaii. Even windswell was fading out, except for the east shore of the Hawaiian Islands. No gales have formed with no swell in the water. Beyond a small and short lived gale is forecast developing in the far Northwest Pacific on Tues (8/28) with seas to 20 ft. And the tropics are to get busy mid-way between Mexico and Hawaii Tues (8/28) and beyond. Down in the southern hemisphere a series of fleeting gales are forecast, but none are forecast to last long enough or be pushing north enough to result in swell for our forecast area. So for now, we are waiting for the start of Fall.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Sunday AM (8/26) no swell was hitting and no swell was in the water moving towards Hawaii or California.
Over the next 72 hours one small gale is forecast in the far Northwest Pacific starting on Mon PM (8/27). (See Northwest Pacific Gale below).
Northwest Pacific Gale
On Mon PM (8/27) a small gale is forecast developing just east of the Kuril Islands generating 40 kt north winds and starting to get traction on the oceans surface with seas building to 18 ft at 43N 160E aimed south. On Tues AM (8/28) the gale is to be pushing southeast with west winds 35 kts and seas pushing to 20 ft at 43N 167E aimed decently at Hawaii. By the evening the gale is to fade and lift northeast fast and no longer getting traction on the oceans surface. With some luck, tiny 13 sec period swell might eventually reach Hawaii. Something to monitor.
California: On Sunday (8/28) high pressure at 1036 mbs was filling the Central Gulf ridging east some barely reaching North CA producing north winds there at 20 kts down to Pt Arena but no further south with light winds south of there generating limited short period north windswell down to Pt Conception. On Monday (8/27) north winds to build to 25 kts between Cape Mendocino and Pt Arena and then light south of there offering increased odds fro windswell production down into Central CA. Tuesday (8/28) the weak gradient and north winds are to be fading at 20 kts off the coast of Cape Mendocino aimed south offering weak north windswell potential down into Central CA. By Wed (8/29) all north fetch is to fade with no potential for windswell production. See QuikCAST's for details.
Hawaii: On Sunday (8/28) easterly winds were still blowing at 15-20 kts over a shallow area mainly just over the Hawaiian Islands with spotty east winds to 15 kts east of the Islands in pockets limiting potential for windswell production along exposed east facing shores. On Monday (8/27) slightly more coherent east winds at 15 kts are to be up to 450 nmiles east of the Hawaiian Islands again offering only limited potential for production of short period east windswell. More of the same is expected on Tues (8/28) and then that fetch is to get a bit more coherent on Wednesday (8/29) offering slightly better odds for short period windswell production driven by high pressure at 1032 mbs 1200 nmiles north of Hawaii forming a weak pressure gradient with a supposedly developing tropical system 1200 nmiles east-southeast of Hawaii. See QuikCAST's for details.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Tropical Depression Lane: On Sunday (8/26) the remnants of Lane were 250 nmiles west-southwest of Honolulu HI with winds 30 kts tracking west and forecast to fade no longer having any threat to Hawaii. Long term this system is to possibly regain strength while tracking northwest nearly reaching the dateline well north of Midway Island on Fri (8/31) but not showing any signs of recurving northeast and offering no swell production potential.
The GFS model suggests that two tropical system are to develop later Tues (8/28), one about 1200 nmiles east-southeast of Hawaii tracking west and the second 1000 nmiles south of California also tracking west. The first one is to turn to the north on Thurs (8/30) reaching a point parallel with Hawaii and 600 nmiles east of there on Sun (9/2) then turning to the west again while the second holds on a westerly track pushing to within 1100 nmiles east of Hawaii on Sun (9/2) and in close proximity to the first one. There is copious warm water in the tropical development region between Mexico and Hawaii offering good potential for tropical storm production. Something to monitor.
Otherwise no swell producing tropical systems were being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Sunday (8/26) north winds were 20 kts over Cape Mendocino but with light winds 10 kts or less south of there. Monday (8/27) north winds to build to 20-25 kts over Cape Mendocino but light from Pt Arena southward at 10 kts maybe pushing 15 kts over Pt Conception. Tuesday (8/28) a light wind pattern is to set up along the entire California coast continuing into Thurs (8/30) but with north winds building over Pt Conception to 15 kts late. Friday (8/31) north winds to be 10 kts over North CA and down to Monterey Bay, but 15 kts south of there to Pt Conception. Sat (9/1) north winds to build at 15 kts over all of North CA and 20 kts from Big Sur southward to Pt Conception and 20 kts everywhere late. Sunday (9/2) north winds to take control at 20-25 kts over all of North and Central CA nearshore waters.
On Sunday AM (8/26) the southern branch of the jetstream was weak running zonally west to east on the 62S latitude line just north of the northern edge of the Ross Ice Shelf with winds up to 120 kts in one pocket southeast of New Zealand but generally far weaker elsewhere. There were no troughs and no support for gale development indicated. Over the next 72 hours more of the same is forecast but with a weak trough starting to build in the Central South Pacific on Wed (8/29) but with no real wind velocity feeding it offering no real support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours starting Thurs (8/30) a ridge is to start building under New Zealand sweeping east reaching down to 65S and over Antarctic Ice actively suppressing support for gale development and continuing through Sat (9/1).
On Sunday (8/26) no swell of interest was hitting nor being generated. A gale did develop producing 32 ft seas south of New Zealand on Fri (8/24) and another developed in the same place on Sat (8/25) with seas to 37 ft but both only lasted 24 hours and were falling hard southeast offering no potential for swell to radiate to the northeast.
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest 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 fetch of interest is forecast.
California: By Thurs (8/30) a weak pressure and wind pattern is to be in control of the CA windswell window offering no potential for windswell production. Friday (8/31) high pressure at 1034 mbs is to be in the Western Gulf barely ridging east generating a light pressure gradient along the North and Central CA coast producing north winds at 15 kts and up to 20 kts over Pt Conception and that building north some later. By Sat (9/1) north winds are to build to 20 kts over all of North and Central CA late producing increasing odds for raw local north windswell for that area. And by Sunday (9/2) north winds are to be 20-25 kts over all of North and Central CA with raw local north windswell expected reaching down into Southern CA too.
Hawaii: On Thursday (8/30) east-northeast winds are to hold at 15+ kts up to 500 nmiles east of the Islands being driven by high pressure at 1034 mbs 1200 nmiles north of the Islands still feeding a weak gradient in conjunction with a supposedly tropical system forecast 750 nmiles east-southeast of Hawaii tracking north. On Friday (8/31) the tropical system is to continue north with the high is to back off with easterly winds fading at barely 15 kts offering low odds for windswell production. Sat (9/1) a weak local windswell pattern is to set up offering no support for windswell production though a broad area of easterly fetch is to be building about 200 nmiles east of Hawaii and filling the area over to California offering increasing odds for windswell production. More of the same is forecast on Sun (9/2) but with east fetch starting to impact the Islands.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast. A gale is forecast east of North New Zealand on Sat (9/1) with seas to 30 ft but it is to fall hard south offering no swell generation potential. Also on Sat (9/1) another gale is forecast forming under Tasmania with seas to 39 ft tracking east, but is to dissipate before reaching a point south of New Zealand. And yet a third one is forecast developing in the far Southeast Pacific but outside the California swell window. So no meaningful swell is expected to result.
Details to follow...
ESPI Falls Weakly Negative - Kelvin Wave #2 Building on Dateline
The Madden Julian Oscillation is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for MJO activity (which directly relate to the potential for swell production).
Overview: La Nina started developing in early 2016, but westward displaced and generally weak. And by March 2017, it was gone with suspicious warming developing along South America and over the Galapagos to a point south of Hawaii. By May the atmosphere returned to a neutral configuration but then in July east anomalies started building in the KWGA and have not stopped, with cold water upwelling over the the Nino1.2 and 3.4 areas, indicative of La Nina. A double dip La Nina was in control and continued through the Winter of 2017-2018. But warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018 associated with two upwelling Kelvin Waves, and was building over equatorial waters in July, suggesting the demise of La Nina and possibly turning towards El Nino.
LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Fall/Winter 2018 (California & Hawaii) = 6.5
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 develops as forecast, and assuming and an ocean-atmospheric coupling becomes established in the Sept timeframe and ocean temperature anomalies in Nino3.4 build to the +1.0 deg range, there is good probability for enhanced storm production in the North Pacific starting in the late Nov timeframe (specifically the Gulf of Alaska and Dateline regions) with an increased intensity in number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in increased odds for larger than normal swell, with increased duration and higher than normal period.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Sat (8/25) 5 day average winds were solidly from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific reaching west and continuing over the dateline to 170E then weakening turning light easterly and filling the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and neutral to light westerly west of there over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (8/26) Light mixed east and west anomalies were filling the KWGA and forecast to turning more consistently light westerly filling the KWGA at the end of the model run on 9/2.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: (8/25) A neutral MJO signal biased slightly Active/Wet was over the KWGA. The statistical model depicts that this pattern is to hold for the next 2 weeks. The dynamic model depicts the same thing but with the Inactive?Dry Phase setting up at day 15. The models are mostly in sync.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (8/25) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was very weak positioned over the Maritime Continent. It is to remain weak while drifting east to the Atlantic over the next 2 weeks. The GEFS model depicts the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model: (8/19 - no update) This model depicts a weak Active/Wet MJO signal was over the dateline region and is to be easing east over Central America on 9/13. A weak Inactive/Dry pattern is to follow in the West Pacific starting 8/27 making slow east headway reaching the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 9/28. At that time a weak Active/Wet pattern is to be developing over the far West Pacific.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (8/25) This model depicts weak west anomalies over the entirety of the KWGA today. The forecast indicates west anomalies are to build in coverage over the next week, then building stronger on the dateline for week 2. Those anomalies to back off some (but still westerly and filling the KWGA in week 3, then again building in stronger and increasing in coverage in week 4 (through 9/22). Basically non-stop west anomalies are on the charts for the next month. It certainly smells of El Nino if the model is correct.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (8/26) This model depicts the Inactive/Dry Phase of the MJO was weakly developing over the West Pacific with neutral wind anomalies in play. The Inactive MJO signal is to hold through 9/21 but with modest west anomalies rebuilding in KWGA starting 8/30 and holding through the lift of the Inactive Phase. A short lived period of a neutral MJO phase is to set up thereafter 9/22-10/2 but with moderate west anomalies in the KWGA bordering on WWB status. The Active Phase is to build some 10/4 through 10/31 with westerly anomalies holding if not at WWB status. A neutral MJO to follow through the end of the model run 10/30-11/23 but with west anomalies continuing. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias is fully in control of the KWGA reaching east to 125W at 3 contour lines and is to hold solid through the end of the model run building east to 120W (over California) by 9/19 and to 115W in mid-October. The high pressure bias is currently limited to an area south of California and shrinking fast and is to be gone by 9/11. The atmosphere and ocean are slowly becoming coupled towards an El Nino bias and were originally thought to reach that state 3 months after the start of when the low pressure bias officially filled the KWGA (on 5/8) or on 8/8. But the coupling is developing a bit less aggressively than expected, so we're thinking coupling should occur more like 8/28 now. This pattern is slowly becoming more favorable to support storm production in the Pacific.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (8/26) Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs and migrating east now to 171E. The 28 deg isotherm line started to retrograde west from 148W on 7/2 to 153W on 7/10 and to 163W on 8/10). It started moving east again reaching to 158W on 8/16 due to development of Kelvin Wave #2 under the West Pacific, but today has retreated to 160W. The 24 deg isotherm was 100 meters deep at 140W but retracted from the coast of Ecuador and was breaching the surface at 125W on 8/10. Today it was hovering near 117W. Anomaly wise warm waters associated with the February Kelvin Wave are gone with neutral anomalies in the far East equatorial Pacific pushing into Ecuador. To the west warm anomalies are building indicative of the new Kelvin Wave (#2) at +3 degs centered under 170W down 150 meters and with a finger of +1.0 degs anomalies reaching east to 125W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 8/21 is a little more optimistic, with remnants of the first Kelvin Wave still holding over a shallow area in the East Pacific from 140W eastward building to +1.5 degs centered at 120W extending east to 105W and not reaching Ecuador. It was breaching the surface between 110W-130W and losing coverage. The Second Kelvin Wave was pushing east from the Maritime Continent spilling into the West Pacific pushing under the dateline at +4.0 degs reaching east to 130W and building in coherency with broken fragments of warm water joining the existing Kelvin Wave east of there. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (8/21) Positive anomalies were solid from the Maritime Continent over the West Equatorial Pacific and dateline and broad in coverage east to 110W at +5-15 cms indicative of a new Kelvin Wave (#2) building strong there. East of there it weakened some with 5 cms anomalies continuing in pockets east to 110W, but no further east, remnants of Kelvin Wave #1. There were no breaks over that entire area. No negative anomalies were indicated. El Nino appears to be developing.
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: (8/25) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate temps were neutral biased cool along the immediate coast of Peru and Chile. But solid warm anomalies were holding from Ecuador west on the equator and north of there to 105W and continuous aided by dissipation of easterly wind anomalies over this area. A pocket of cool anomalies was from 105W-130W. Then moderate warm anomalies continued from 130W west of out to the dateline. A broad area of strong warming was also filling the area north of the equator from Central America and South Mexico out to the dateline. The remnants of the La Nina cool pool were gone.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (8/25): An elongated area with pockets of alternating warming and cooling were strung along the equator from the Galapagos to 125W indicative of the end of Kelvin Wave #1's eruption coupled with a fading easterly wind burst over that area supporting cool upwelling. Temps were steady along the coasts of Chile and Peru. Weak warming was on the equator off Central West African. We're waiting from that warming trend to be mirrored west of Ecuador.
Hi-res Overview: (8/25) An area of weak cool water was present along Chile and Peru. Of interest was mild warm water holding on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos with imbedded pockets of stronger warming and west from there to the dateline from 10S up to 20N, but mainly on the equator and points north of there. A pocket of cooler water was between 105W and 130W. More coherent warming was on the equator from 135W to 140E.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (8/26) Today's temps were steady at -0.530 degs. That is about steady compared to the past few weeks readings. A big peak occurred at +0.459 on 5/13. Overall temps here are steady in the -0.50 deg range and slowly rising.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (8/26) Today temps were steady at +0.214 degs, down from a peak at +0.490 on 7/2. Overall temps are holding steady in the +0.25 degs range the past month.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (8/26) The forecast calls for a steady increase from here forward rising in early Oct to +1.20 degs and to +1.50 degs in late Nov holding through January 2019 then slowly fading through April 2019 down to +1.15 degs. This suggests that perhaps El Nino is to build through the Fall of 2018. Most other models are also suggesting a possible turn to weak El Nino conditions by late Fall.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Aug Plume depicts temps at +0.45 degs in August (predicted at +0.6 last month) and are to slowly rise from here forward, to +0.8 in October (unchanged from last months forecast) and +0.9 in Nov and holding there into Jan 2019, then slowly fading to 0.7 in April. See chart here - link. It looks like La Nina is fading out and a weak El Nino might develop. The CFSv2 is in the high end of that pack.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad) (8/26): The daily index was steady today at +3.82. The 30 day average was steady today to -6.04 suggesting the Active Phase of the MJO was peaked out. The 90 day average was steady at -3.78. The 90 degree average turned negative for the first time in a year on 6/30 suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was building in the atmosphere. This is expected for a month more before falling into steady negative territory by mid August.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): (8/26) Today the index was falling at -0.07, down from +0.20 on 8/20. The reading from 8/14 (+0.11) was the first time it's turned positive in a year and beats the previous highest peak (-0.09 on 7/2). This suggest that perhaps El Nino is starting to get better coupled in the atmosphere. Recent points of interest in reverse chronological order are: -1.04 on 6/5, -0.70 on 5/20, -0.60 on 5/17, -0.36 on 5/11 and -0.38 on 5/10, -0.35 on 4/26, -1.02 on 4/5, -1.13 on 3/27. The trend suggests La Nina is all but gone. This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina situations.
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 -0.88, July -0.23. 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. 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