Saturday, September 2, 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).
46025 (Catalina RDG):
Seas were 2.3 ft @ 13.7 secs with southern hemi swell 1.5
ft @ 13.4 secs from 177 degrees. Wind at the buoy was
north at 0-2 kts. Water temperature 69.8 degs. At Ventura (Buoy
111) swell was 0.6 ft @ 16.9 secs from 190 degrees. At Santa
Monica (028) swell was 1.0 ft @ 15.9 secs from 207 degrees.
At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.0 ft @ 17.1 secs from 219
degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.8 ft @ 13.2
secs from 184 degrees.
46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029
(Pt Reyes): Seas were 4.2 ft
@ 8.3 secs with local north windswell 3.1 ft @ 9.8 secs from
323 degrees and south swell 2.3
ft @ 13.1 secs from 180 degrees. Wind at the buoy was
calm. Water temp 61.0 degs. Note: These warm temperatures are
unheard of for a non-El Nino year. And even more interesting
for a La Nina year.
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 Saturday (9/2) in North and Central CA local north
windswell was producing surf at waist high on the sets and super
clean but weak. Beautiful beach day. Protected breaks were waist
high on the biggest sets and clean. At Santa Cruz surf was thigh
high on the bigger sets and clean but weak and slow and not really
rideable. In Southern California up north waves were knee to maybe
thigh high on the sets and clean and weak. In North Orange Co
southern hemi swell was maybe waist high but torn apart by south
winds and nearly chopped early. In South Orange Co sets at top
spots were waist to chest high and nearly chopped from south wind.
In San Diego surf was maybe knee high and clean. Hawaii's North
Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore was chest to head high
with some bigger sets at top break and clean and lined up. The
East Shore was waist high wrapping in from the south and chopped
from modest east trades.
for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed
On Saturday (9/2) minimal locally generated north windswell was
still hitting weakly along the coast of North and Central California
with no winds over CA coastal waters. No windswell production
is forecast till at least next weekend (9/9). For Hawaii, no windswell
was present and a none is forecast. But a gale is forecast for
the Northwestern Gulf on Sun-Mon (9/4) producing 21 ft seas aimed
southeast. Small swell is possible. And a tropical system in the
far West Pacific is tracking north expected to generate 40 ft
seas aimed northeast Sat-Sun (9/3) then turning east just south
of the Aleutians late Mon (9/4) with seas fading from 36 ft, fading
out over the North Dateline region. Looking south a small gale
developed south of Tahiti on Fri-Sat (8/26) producing 28 ft seas
aimed north resulting in southern hemi swell that is hitting Hawaii
and expected to reach California over the weekend. Beyond a series
of gales are forecast for the far Southeast Pacific Sat (9/2),
Sun-Mon (9/4) and Wed (9/6) with seas 30 ft barely in the CA swell
window and up to 36 ft on the third system but all aimed east.
Low odds of anything resulting for the United States. The good
news is it looks like the North Pacific is trying to wake up,
but not really doing it yet.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Since we are now nearing the start of
Fall from a swell production perspective, we will start performing
regular analysis of the jetstream for the North Pacific.
On Saturday AM (9/2) the jetstream was running east up on the
50N latitude line pushing off the Northern Kurils tracking over
the Aleutians then falling southeast in the Northwestern Gulf
with winds building to 170 kts carving out a developing trough
before ridging northeast pushing into Central Canada. There was
building support for gale development in this trough. Over the
next 72 hours the
trough is to deepen into late Sun (9/3) pushing south to 42N in
the Central Gulf being fed by 160-170 kts winds offering good
support for gale development into Monday before pinching off on
Tues (9/5) with support for gale development fading then. Beyond
72 hours some remnants of that trough are to try and redevelop
in the Northern Gulf Wed-Sat (9/9) being fed by 120-130 kts winds
but never really getting well defined. Support for low pressure
is possible. At the same time in the west the jet is to remain
consolidated running west to east on generally the 45N latitude
line offering some hope for the future. Fall
is trying to get organized in the upper atmosphere.
On Saturday (9/2) two areas of fetch were
in play, one developing over the Northwestern Gulf associated
with a developing gale there (see Possible Gulf Gale below). Also
a tropical system was tracking north off Japan (see Tropical Update
below). Otherwise no local fetch was in play relative to either
Hawaii or California capable of generating local windswell.
the next 72 hours only the systems defined above are to be of
A low pressure system was building in the Northwestern Gulf of
Alaska on Sat AM (9/2) with northwest winds 25 kts building to
30-35 kts in the evening and seas on the increase. On Sun AM (9/3)
northwest winds to be 40 kts over a small area with seas building
from 24 ft at 47N 162W targeting mainly the US West Coast with
sideband energy towards Hawaii. In the evening fetch is to fade
from 35 kts over a broader area and seas 23 ft at 47N 160W targeting
mainly the US West Coast. Mon AM (9/4) north fetch is to be fading
from 30 kts with a small area of 17 ft seas lingering at 46N 167W.
This system is to dissipate after that. Small weak early season
13 sec period swell is possible for the Pacific Northwest, California
and Hawaii. Something to monitor.
Pacific Animations: Jetstream
Pressure/Wind - Sea
Height - Surf
Tropical Storm Sanvu was 300 nmiles east-southeast
of Tokyo Japan with winds 55 kts tracking north-northeast at 20
kts producing 30 ft seas at 33N 147E. This system is to continue
tracking north-northeast for the next few days with winds 55 kts
Sat PM and seas increasing to 38 ft at 37N 150E. On Sun AM (9/3)
winds to be fading from 50 kts with seas supposedly 38 ft at 42N
155E, then fading in the evening with winds 45 kts and seas fading
from 32 ft at 45N 160E. Mon AM (9/4) Sanvu is to turn extratropical
and turn east with winds from the west at 45 kts and seas 38 ft
at 49N 162E aimed east (barely unshadowed by the Aleutians on
the 308 degree track to NCal) then turning fully east in the evening
with west winds 45 kts and seas 35 ft but up at 51N 166E and totally
shadowed relative to the US West Coast and aimed too far east
to be of much use to Hawaii. More of the same is forecast Tues
AM (9/5) with west winds fading from 40 kts and seas 32 ft at
51N 170E (mostly north of the 308 degree track to NCal and partially
shadowed by the Aleutians). A quick fade to follow. Something
California Nearshore Forecast
(9/2) a weak pressure and winds pattern was in play for all CA
coastal waters with no winds in excess of 10 kts. No change is
forecast Sunday other than one pocket of 15 kt north winds over
North CA at sunset. A light wind pattern is forecast again Mon-Thurs
(9/7) except building north winds for Pt Conception on Thursday
at 20 kts. More of the same is forecast Friday except with north
winds starting to build over North CA at 15-20 kts associated
with high pressure building at 1024 mbs 700 nmiles off the coast
there. By Sat AM (9/9) those winds to build to 25 kts limited
to North CA with an eddy flow over all of South CA (south winds).
On Saturday (9/2) final remnant swell from a gale previously in
the Southeast Pacific was hitting California but effectively gone.
Also small swell from a gale previously south of Tahiti was pushing
north and hitting Hawaii and bound for California (see Small Central
Pacific Gale below). Otherwise no swell producing fetch of interest
was in play over the width of the South Pacific.
the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.
gale started getting exposure from Antarctic Ice in the far deep
Southeast Pacific Fri PM (9/1) with 40-45 kt west winds producing
29 ft seas at 62S 124W in the CA swell window but not really radiating
north much. By Sat AM (9/2) that fetch was all well east of the
CA swell window with west winds 40 kts over a good sized area
with seas 34 ft at 60.5S 109W and well east of the CA swell window.
No meaningful swell to result for California. Most energy is to
be aimed at Chile.
similar system is to develop in the same location Sun AM (9/3)
with 40-45 kts southwest building and seas building. By Sun PM
40-45 kt southwest winds are to continue tracking east and generating
32 ft seas at 61S 120W. By Mon AM (9/4) It is to be well east
of there with fetch fading from 35 kts and seas 32 ft at 59S 106W
and targeting only Chile and Peru. Again, low odds of any meaningful
swell resulting for California given the easterly storm track
and mostly westerly wind direction.
Central Pacific Gale
A small cutoff gale developed south of Tahiti Thurs PM (8/24)
with 35-40 kt south winds and seas building from 24 ft over a
small area at 48S 160W aimed due north. On Fri AM (8/25) fetch
built in coverage at 35 kts from the south and with 2 pockets
to 40 kts with seas to 28 ft up at 40S 158W aimed due north. In
the evening the original fetch was fading from 30-35 kts but a
new fetch built south of it at 40 kts aimed north with a new area
of 28 ft seas at 47S 153W and seas from the original fetch fading
from 25 ft at 36S 155W. Fetch faded from 40 kts Sat AM (8/26)
aimed north with seas 27-28 ft at 43S 152W. Fetch faded in the
evening from 35 kts with seas fading from 28 ft at 39S 151W aimed
north. A Decent swell is pushing north towards Tahiti with smaller
energy for Hawaii with less energy from the US West Coast.
Swell to peak on Sat (9/2) at 2.3 ft @ 14-15 secs early
(3.0-3.5 ft). Swell fading Sun (9/3) from 2.2 ft @ 13 secs (2.5-3.0
ft). Swell Direction: 180 degrees
CA: Expect swell arrival on Sat (9/2) pushing 1.8 ft
@ 16 secs later (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell holding Sun (9/3) at 2.0 ft
@ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading Mon (9/4) from 1.9 ft @ 14-15
secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Residual energy on Tues (9/5) fading from 1.6
ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 208 degrees
CA: Expect swell arrival on late Sat (9/2) pushing 1.3
ft @ 17 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell peaking Sun (9/3) at 1.9 ft @
16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading Mon (9/4) from 1.9 ft @ 15 secs
(2.5-3.0 ft). Residual energy on Tues (9/5) fading from 1.6 ft
@ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 206 degrees
South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.
windswell production is expected for CA or HI either.
Beyond 72 hours a gale is to start building in the Southeast Pacific
on Wed PM (9/6) with a broad area of 40 kt west to northwest winds
and seas building but mainly targeting the Antarctic. The storm
is to build rapidly Thurs AM (9/7) and track east fast with 50+
kt west winds and seas building to 33 ft at 61S 117W aimed mainly
at Southern Chile. This system is to race east from there in the
evening with 45-50 kt southwest winds and seas 36 ft at 60S 107W
and well east of the Southern CA swell window. Low odds of any
swell resulting for California.
details to follow...
La Nina Not Going Anywhere
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.
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).
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.
Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
(TAO Buoys): As
of Fri (9/1) the 5 day average indicated
east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific including the
Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were light easterly in
pockets over the East Pacific and modest easterly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (9/2)
Moderate east anomalies were modeled over the Western KWGA with
neutral anomalies over the East KWGA. East anomalies are to hold
and start building east again starting 9/7 filling the KWGA by
the end of the model run on 9/9. It now looks like the Inactive
Phase of the MJO is to again start asserting itself refueling
Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West
Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 9/1 a neutral MJO pattern was
in control of the KWGA. The statistical model depicts a neutral
pattern to continue for the next 2 weeks biased weakly Active/Wet
in the far West Pacific making no eastward progress. The dynamic
model depicts the same thing but with a weak and building Inactive/Dry
Phase setting up in the west starting on day 8 continuing through
day 15. The two models are in conflict long term.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS):
(9/2) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO weak
over the Maritime Continent and forecast to collapse to nothing
and not changing. The GEFS model depicts the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model: (9/2) This model depicts
the Inactive/Dry Phase was over the far East Pacific and modest
in strength. It is to track rapidly east while slowly fading pushing
over Central America through 9/9. At the same time a very weak
Active/Wet MJO pattern is over the far West Pacific and is to
push east while fading and gone over Central America on 9/27.
A weak Inactive/Dry Phase is to push over the far West Pacific
10/5 tracking east through the end of the model run 10/12. This
model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (9/2) This model
depicts a very weak version of the Inactive Phase of the MJO was
over the KWGA with modest east wind anomalies over the far West
Pacific. Those anomalies are forecast to rebuild over the coming
weeks as the Inactive Phase rebuilds in the West Pacific 9/10-10/1.
After that the Active Phase of the MJO is to return starting 10/4
with weak west anomalies in control through 10/28. Then the Inactive
Phase starts redeveloping the West Pacific 11/1 with neutral anomalies
biased weak westerly holding through 11/17, then turning easterly
and holding through the end of the model run (11/30). The low
pass filter indicates a very weak La Nina signal is in control
of the KWGA and is to hold till 10/6, then building in coverage
while drifting east and out of the KWGA by the end of November.
There's some sense the pattern is to start shifting east early
November entirely east of the dateline. Best guess is a very weak
directionless and low energy weather pattern biased towards La
Nina redeveloping in Fall of 2017. It will take 5 years for the
Pacific to recharge from the 2014-16 El Nino.
month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc
TAO Array: (9/2) A pattern change set up in August,
with warm water retreating west and cooler water building in the
east. Today in the far West Pacific water temps were depicted
at 30 degs centered at 160E. The 28 deg isotherm line has stabilized
at 167W. The 24 deg isotherm is holding at 120W and at 75 meters
deep at 140W. Anomaly wise a clear change is present in the East
Pacific with warm water gone and turning neutral to weak negative
+0.0 to -1.0 degs indicative of La Nina while +1.0 degree anomalies
build in coverage in the West Pacific at 125 meters deep. But
there's some sense of neutral anomalies starting to rebuild in
the far East Pacific. The dividing line between cool and warm
is at 160W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 8/26 depicts the
same thing, but with more cool water east and less warm water
in the west. It looks like the cool water pocket is poised to
erupt to the surface in the equatorial East Pacific in few weeks
while east winds are pushing all warm surface waters of the equatorial
Pacific to the West Pacific. The GODAS image appears to be about
1 week behind the TAO data.
Sea Level Anomalies: (8/26) Negative anomalies
are building coverage at -5 cms from 165W to Ecuador with 2 small
pockets of -10 cm anomalies embedded suggesting a building cool
pool at depth.
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: (9/1) The latest
indicate a clear cool pattern has developed with weak upwelling
nearshore along Peru and Ecuador tracking northwest over the Galapagos
and then flowing steadily west from there on the equator and well
defined out to 160W. There is no breaks in the cool stream over
this entire area. This looks very much like a classic La Nina
signature. Cooling in the heart of the Nino3.4 region is building.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (8/31): A neutral temperature
trend is along Peru trending cool along Ecuador and out over the
Galapagos out to 145W. There are interspersed warmer pockets from
the Galapagos westward La Nina is starting to make some headway
Hi-res Overview: (8/31) A clear La Nina cool stream
is present on the equator from Peru up to Ecuador then west to
180W. There is no sign of warm anomalies in the Nino 1.2 or Nino3.4
regions. If anything the stream of cooler water associated with
nearshore upwelling just off Peru northwest to the Galapagos is
building in the past few days. Otherwise waters of all oceans
of the planet are warmer than normal other than the aforementioned
stream. We now assert that climatology needs to be updated to
reflect the new reality of warming ocean temperatures over the
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index
Temps: (9/2) Today's temps were steady at -0.853,
down from a warm peak of +3.0 degs on 3/18 and +1.0 degs on 5/2
and +0.6 degs on 6/20.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index
Temps: Today (9/2) temps were falling at -0.341, down
from +0.5 degs where it was consistently through 7/18. A clear
downward trend is indicated.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (9/2) The forecast has
temps falling steadily from +0.0 in early Aug to -0.65 in early
Oct and down from there to -1.3 in late Dec. Then the trend is
to turn upwards rebounding to -0.15 in April 2018. This is yet
another upgrade in the strength of La Nina and suggests a legit
La Nina now forecast for the Winter of 2017-2018. The CFS SST
images (8/28) continues to suggest a weak La Nina cool pattern
building on the equator off the Galapagos in Sept and building
steadily into Dec/Jan 2018. There is no source for El Nino like
warming with the warm pool in the far West Pacific weak and fading.
IRI Consensus Plume:
The mid-Aug Plume updated (8/20) depicts temps forecast to fade
0.0 degs in Aug, and are to hold there solid through Feb 2018
suggesting a neutral pattern in control. See chart here - link.
The NMME consensus depicts the same thing with temps -0.01 degrees
below normal through Jan. last month both models depicted temps
at +0.3 degs above normal through the Winter. So this is a significant
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of
El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (9/2):
The daily index was positive at +7.01, and has been nearly continuous
positive for months now. The 30 day average was rising some at
3.55. The 90 day average was rising at +0.84 or just north of
neutral. This suggests a return to ENSO neutral conditions has
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed
precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (9/2) Today's
value was stable at -1.18 (up from -2.20 on 6/28) but still suggesting
a turn towards La Nina. A supposed peak of this La Nina was reached
on 11/2/16 at -1.94 (last year) . So the index is about as negative
as it was at the peak of last years (2016) La Nina. At this time
it looks like La Nina is returning for a double dip 2 year La
Nina (not unusual). This index is a forerunner of what happens
in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina events.
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
= +0.04, March = +0.12, April=+0.52, May=+0.30, June=+0.19, July=-0.41.
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, June=+0.79, July=+0.10. 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