Tuesday, September 5, 2023
- Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt)/Buoy 239 (Lani): Seas were 3.2 ft @ 16.7 secs with swell 2.0 ft @ 16.2 secs from 195 degrees. Water temp 81.1 degs (Barbers Pt), 80.8 (Pearl Harbor 233), 80.8 (Lani 239).
- Buoy 106 (Waimea)/Buoy 202 (Hanalei): Seas were 3.2 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 2.5 ft @ 8.8 secs from 133 degrees. Water temp 80.1 degs
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.6 ft @ 17.2 secs with swell 2.5 ft @ 16.9 secs from 176 degrees. Wind southeast at 8-10 kts. Water temperature 67.5 degs, 68.7 (Topanga 103), 68.0 degs (Long Beach 215), 70.5 (Oceanside Offshore 045), 69.1 (Del Mar 153), 69.4 (Torrey Pines Outer 100). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.4 ft @ 12.0 secs from 285 degrees. At E. Santa Barbara (46053) swell was 1.6 ft @ 12.0 secs from 289 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.5 ft @ 17.2 secs from 200 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 2.7 ft @ 17.3 secs from 196 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.4 ft @ 17.4 secs from 176 degrees. Water temperature was 67.3 degrees (Imperial Beach).
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay) Out of Service /029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 7.0 ft @ 18.2 secs with swell 3.9 ft @ 17.7 secs from 177 degrees. Wind west at 4-8 kts (46026). Water temp NA (Bodega Bay 46013), 57.9 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 59.2 (San Francisco 46026), 60.1 (SF Bar 142), 62.2 (Pt Santa Cruz 254) and 60.1 (Monterey Bay 46042).
Swell Classification Guidelines
Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
Summer - Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
Summer - Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
Summer - up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.
Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.
On Tuesday (9/5) North and Central CA waves were waist to chest high and lined up but mushed and warbled from northwest wind. Protected breaks were waist high and lined up but and very soft and warbled from southwest wind. At Santa Cruz surf was chest to shoulder plus high on occasion and lined up with decent form and clean but totally fogged in early. In Southern California/Ventura waves were up to head high and lined up with decent form and fairly clean but with some underlying lump and unevenness early. Central Orange County had sets at up to 2-3 ft overhead coming from the south and lined up and powerful but with a bit of warble on it from light northwest wind. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at 2-3 ft overhead and lined up with good form and clean but a bit broken up by warble. North San Diego had sets at 1-2 ft overhead and very lined up if not closed out and clean but with lump intermixed. Oahu's North Shore was flat and clean. The South Shore had sets at occasionally head high and lined up and clean with good form. The East Shore was getting east windswell at thigh high and warbled from modest easterly trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Tuesday (9/5) south swell was hitting California from the second of 2 gales that developing just on the east edge of the Southern CA swell window Sun-Mon (8/28) producing 37 ft seas aimed north. And Hawaii was getting swell from a weak gale developed just east of New Zealand Mon-Wed (8/30) producing up to 24-26 ft seas aimed east-northeast. And another gale is developing in the Central South Pacific Tues-Wed (9/6) forecast producing up to 33 ft seas aimed north. And yet another is forecast for the Central South Pacific Sat-Mon (9/11) producing up 33 ft seas aimed north. And yet another is forecast under New Zealand Mon-Tues (9/12) producing 32 ft seas aimed northeast. The South Pacific is awake! And tropical Storm Jova is to be building while tracking west-northwest off Mexico in the coming days.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Tuesday (9/5) small Gulf swell was fading in California (see Small Gulf Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
Small Gulf Gale
On Wed AM (8/30) a small gale started building on the dateline with 40 kt west winds lifting northeast. In the evening winds built to 50 kt from the west with seas 34 ft over a small area at 48.5N 171.75W aimed east. On Thurs AM (8/31) 45 kt west winds were in the Northwestern Gulf just south of the East Aleutians with seas 35 ft at 52N 164.75W aimed east. In the evening fetch was fading out from 35 kts while moving inland over Alaska with residual seas of 29 ft at 54.5N 157.7W aimed east. Small swell is tracking east.
Oahu: Expect tiny sideband swell arrival on Mon (9/4) building to 1.4 ft @ 10-11 secs (1.5 ft). Nothing after that. Swell Direction: 324 degrees
North CA: Dribbles on Tues (9/5) fading from 2.2 ft @ 11 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 304 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Tropical Storm Jova was developing 450 nmiles southwest of Manzanillo Mexico with winds 35 kts tracking west-northwest at 12 kts and building. Jova is to reach hurricane status on Wed (9/6) 200 nmiles south of the Island of Clarion with winds 65 kts tracking west northwest. Jova to steadily build with winds to 100 kts Thurs PM (9/7) 900 nmiles due south of San Diego taking a slightly more northwesterly track possibly offering some support for swell production. Jova to be accelerating to the west-northwest from there and fading while moving over cooler waters. Something to monitor.
California Nearshore Forecast
- Wed AM (9/6) northwest winds to be 15-20 kts near Pt Arena early but 10 kts over the rest of North CA and 5 kts for Central CA early. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 15 kts for Pt Arena and 5-10 kts for Central CA. Very limited windswell holding.
- Thurs AM (9/7) northwest winds to be 15 kts for Pt Arena but 10 kts over the rest of North CA early and 5 kts from Pt Reyes southward. No change in the afternoon. No windswell forecast
- Fri AM (9/8) northwest winds to be 15 kts for most of North CA centered on Pt Arena and 5-10 kts from Pt Reyes southward. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 10-15 kts for all of North and Central CA. No windswell expected.
- Sat AM (9/9) northwest winds to be 10-15 kts for North CA and 15 kts for all of Central CA early. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 10-15 kts for North CA and 15-20 kts for all of Central CA.
- Sun AM (9/10) northwest winds to be 15 kts for all of North and Central CA early. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 15-20 kts for North CA and 10 kts for Central CA. Very limited northwest windswell possible.
- Mon AM (9/11) northwest winds to be 20 kts for all of North CA and over outer waters of Central CA and 15 kts nearshore. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 20-25 kts for all of North CA and 15-20 kts for Central CA. Windswell building.
- Tues AM (9/12) northwest winds to be 20-25 kts for North CA early and 15 kts for Central CA. Windswell building some.
Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth are projected at 0, 0, 0, and 0 inches.
Temperatures for the Pacific Crest Trail and Tioga Pass Road intersection (8,700 ft): 45-55 degrees for the next 10 days.
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Tioga Pass/Pacific Crest Trail intersection forecast: Temps - Freeze Level
More locations 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).
On Tuesday (9/5) the jet was split over the entire South Pacific with the influential southern branch down at 65S under New Zealand tracking east then lifting northeast forming a trough over the Southeast Pacific being fed by 130-140 kts winds offering good support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to push east and slowly fade into Thurs (9/7) and very weak over the far Southeast Pacific no longer supporting gale development. Beyond 72 hours a new trough is forecast developing southeast of New Zealand on Sat (9/9) and building fast with winds up to 160 kts pushing north offering good support for gale development and sweeping east into Sun (9/10) before fading over the Central South Pacific. And then on Mon (9/11) another trough is to start building under New Zealand being fed by 110 kts winds lifting north into Tues (9/12) again offering support for gale development. It appears the logjam has finally broken.
On Tuesday (9/5) the second of 2 swells from the far Southeast Pacific was hitting California (see Second Southeast Pacific Gale below). And small swell from a gale previously east of New Zealand is starting to hit Hawaii (see Small New Zealand Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours a very active pattern is forecast.
A gale was developing over the Central South Pacific on Tues AM (9/5) producing 40-45 kts south winds and seas building from 29 ft at 51S 142W aimed north. In the evening south to southwest winds are to building in coverage at 40-45 kts with seas to 32 ft at 47.25S 136.5W aimed northeast. On Wed AM (9/6) 35-40 kt south winds are to move over the far Southeast Pacific with seas 33 ft at 45.25S 127.25W aimed northeast. In the evening fetch is to be fading from 35 kts lifting northeast with seas 28 ft at 43S 125W aimed northeast and up to 32 ft sea of there at 43S 120.5W but mostly aimed east at Chile. On Thurs AM (9/7) fetch is to be fading from 30-35 kts from the southwest with seas 25 ft at 40S 120W aimed northeast. The gael to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.
Second Southeast Pacific Gale
A second fetch developed over the same area (far Southeast Pacific) on Sat AM (8/26) from the south again at 35 kts with seas building. In the evening south winds built to 45 kts aimed north barely in the CA swell window with seas 23 ft at 58.25S 129W. On Sun AM (8/27) fetch was holding stationary at 45 kts from the south still in the CA swell window aimed north with seas 31 ft at 57.5S 119.75W aimed north. The Jason-3 satellite reported seas of 37.1 ft with a peak reading to 41.7 ft (6-10 ft higher than modeled). In the evening fetch was pushing north at 50 kts and barely in the CA swell window with seas at 36 ft at 56.25S 117.75W aimed north. The Jason-3 satellite reported seas at 43.1 ft with one reading to 49.4 ft (7-13 ft higher than the model). On Mon AM (8/28) fetch was on the move to the east and fading from 40 kts from the south over a large area and barely in the Southern CA swell window with seas 37 ft at 53.75S 112.5W aimed north primarily targeting Central America and Peru with 28 ft seas barely in the SCal swell window. The gale was tracking northeast from there and of no interest to California.
Southern CA: Swell building Tues (9/5) to 2.3 ft @ 16-17 secs mid-day (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell holding on Wed (9/6) at 2.3 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft). Swell fading on Thurs (9/7) from 2.1 ft @ 14-15 secs early (3.0 ft). Swell fading some on Fri (9/8) from 2.1 ft @ 14-15 secs early (3.0 ft). Residuals on Sat (9/9) fading from 2.0 ft @ 13-14 secs early (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 184 degrees Note: swell will likely be higher given the Jason-3 satellite readings.
North CA: Swell building Tues (9/5) to 2.3 ft @ 17 secs later (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell holding on Wed (9/6) at 2.4 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell fading on Thurs (9/7) from 2.2 ft @ 14-15 secs early (3.0 ft). Swell fading some on Fri (9/8) from 2.0 ft @ 14-15 secs early (3.0 ft). Residuals on Sat (9/9) fading from 1.6 ft @ 13-14 secs early (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 182 degrees Note: swell will likely be higher given the Jason-3 satellite readings.
Small New Zealand Gale
A small gale developed south of New Zealand on Mon PM (8/28) producing southwest winds of 35-40 kts over a tiny area aimed northeast with seas 26 ft at 53S 178W aimed northeast. On Tues AM (8/29) southwest winds were 35 kts over a small area with seas 26 ft at 49S 173.5W aimed northeast. In the evening southwest winds were 30-35 kts aimed northeast with seas 24 ft at 45S 167W aimed northeast. On Wed AM south winds were 30 kts over a decent sized area with seas 23 ft at 42S 163.25W aimed northeast over a modest sized area. The gale was fading from there. Swell from this system to be buried in swell from the Second Southeast Pacific Gale (see above) for California.
Oahu: Expect swell arrival on Tues (9/5) building to 2.2 ft @ 16 secs later (3.5 ft). Swell peaking on Wed (9/6) at 2.5 ft @ 14 secs (3.0-3.5 ft).Swell fading on Thurs (9/7) from 2.5 ft @ 12-13 secs (3.0 ft). Dribbles on Fri (9/8) fading from 1.7 ft @ 11-12 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 188 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 starting Sat AM (9/9) there's some suggestion of a low pressure system trying to develop over the North Dateline region producing west winds at 30+ kts in the evening sweeping east into Sun (9/10). But not meaningful seas are forecast. Something to monitor.
Beyond 72 hours starting Fri PM (9/8) a gale is to start building southeast of New Zealand producing southwest winds at 40-45 kts with seas building from 26 ft at 63S 178W aimed northeast. On Sat AM (9/9) south winds to build to 40-45 kts over a solid sized area with seas 30 ft at 58S 166.25W aimed northeast. In the evening south winds to be lifting northeast at 40 kts over a solid area with seas 30 ft at 54.5S 157W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (9/10) south winds to be 40 kts over the northern reaches of the Central South Pacific with seas 33 ft at 49S 155w aimed northeast. A secondary fetch to develop in the evening with 50 kt south winds and seas 30-32 ft at 48.75S 139W and residual seas from the original fetch fading from 31 ft at 42S 153W aimed north. Mon AM (9/11) south winds to be fading from 40-45 kts over a small area with seas 35 ft at 44.5S 138W aimed north. Fetch fading from there.
And on Mon AM (9/11) a new gale is to be building under New Zealand with 40 kt west winds and seas 28-30 ft at 57S 171E aimed east. the gale to build in coverage in the evening with 30-40 kts southwest winds and seas 29 ft at 54S 177E aimed northeast. Fetch building Tues AM (9/12) at 45 kts from the south with seas 31 ft at 58S 173W aimed northeast. Fetch theoretically continuing from there. Something to monitor.
El Nino Getting A Better Toehold
Kelvin Waves #3, #4 and #5 Erupting - NINO3.4 SSTs well in El Nino Territory and Slowly Rising
1 Kelvin Wave traversed the Pacific in Dec '22 with a 2nd in Jan-Feb and a 3rd and 4th in March-April and a 5th in May. But after the last Active MJO in mid-to-late May, the MJO stalled. Finally restarting in later July thanks so a renewed push of the Active Phase of the MJO. Sea Surface Temperatures in the east are very warm and holding, and slightly expanding. The atmosphere is starting to show building signs of being coupled with the ocean. Fortunately, another Kelvin Wave has developed and is pushing east and will help push the atmosphere towards El Nino. The atmospheric signal is finally starting to build (SOI, OLR. ocean current, and wind anomalies).
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. That pattern continued until late Fall 2022 when trades started fading and by early 2023 multiple Kelvin Waves were in flight with significant warming developing over the East Equatorial Pacific. La Nina was dead on 3/18/2023 with El Nino apparently developing. But it was not coupled with the atmosphere as of 7/20/2023.
LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Summer 2023 = 3.7 (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: A 3 year La Nina started fading in Jan 2023 and was gone by April. 3 Active MJO's produced 3 Kelvin Waves with the 3rd in that series poised to start erupting off Ecuador now (May 2023). The CFS model is predicting steady west anomalies from here forward and the leading edge of the low pressure bias on the dateline and forecast to nearly fill the Pacific during June. We are in a state of transition from ENSO neutral to El Nino during the summer of 2023. As a result we will be moving from a period of reduced number of storm days and storm intensity during the early part of Summer towards a period of enhanced storm production starting Late July and beyond, getting fairly intense come Fall. This should result in a slightly below normal level of swells, with swells being below normal duration and period over early Summer. But by late July 2023, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start improving as El Nino starts getting a solid footprint on the atmosphere. The net result is we're currently thinking a near normal number of swells with normal size and duration is to result, but all focused sometime after late July 2023. The swell pattern will be normal to somewhat below normal before July and above normal after July 23. And By Sept, the El Nino footprint should be solid. Of course this is all highly speculative at this early and based mostly on the CFS model and it's projection of a building ENSO footprint getting solid by Sept.
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 (9/4) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the East equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific and light west over the KWGA. Anomalies were modest east over the East equatorial Pacific and neutral over the Central Pacific and modest west over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, versus realtime, so they lag what is happening today (by about 2.5 days).
2 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (9/5) Modest to moderate east anomalies were filling the KWGA today. The forecast indicates east anomalies are to hold through 9/13 then starting to fade 9/14 with light west anomalies building over the Central KWGA and nearly in control of the who;e KWGA on 9/17 holding through the end of the model run on 9/21. The GEFS depicts the same thing. . The ECMWF shows west anomalies rebuilding on 9/9 near the dateline and getting solid through the end of the model run on 9/15. So it looks like a window of about 7 days of east anomalies then back to our west anomaly pattern.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
- MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:
OLR Models: (9/4) A neutral MJO was over the KWGA. The statistic model indicates a weak active Pattern is to set up over the west KWGA on day 5 of the model run building more Active on days 10 and then filling the KWGA on day 15. The dynamic model depicts the same thing.
Phase Diagrams - 2 week forecast (CA and GEFS): (9/5) The statistical model depicts the Active signal was weak over the East Indian Ocean and is to track east to the far West Pacific and still weak 15 days out. The dynamic model indicates the Active Phase noodling around over the East Indian Ocean holding a weak status 15 days out.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (9/5) A very weak Active (wet) pattern was filling the West Pacific today. The forecast has the Active Phase (wet air) tracking slowly east over the KWGA through 9/30. A weak Inactive signal (dry air) is to be moving over the KWGA 9/20 building weakly but mostly manifest over the Central Pacific through the end of the model run on 10/15.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (9/4) Today the Inactive MJO was depicted over the KWGA with modest east anomalies in control there. The Inactive Phase is to hold over the KWGA into 9/16 in the west but gone over the dateline by 9/8. Strong west anomalies are to develop on the dateline on 9/11 backfilling to the west and filling the KWGA 9/17. Moderate to strong west anomalies are to fill the KWGA if not the entire equatorial Pacific beyond through the end of the model run on 10/2.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (9/5) - using the 5th ensemble member - the mean of the 4 individual members which are all from the 00Z run - 1 run per day):
Today the Inactive Phase was near peaking over the KWGA with east anomalies at modest strength in control. The Inactive Phase is to peak on 9/10-9/13 but at that time west anomalies are to start building and frailly strong near the dateline. The Inactive Phase is to dissipate on 9/17 with the Active Phase taking over 9/14-9/20. West anomalies are to build to near strong status with weak west anomalies taking control building to strong status 9/129 and holding as the Active Phase fades on 10/31. Beyond a weak Inactive Phase is forecast 10/23 through the end of the model run on 12/3 but with west anomalies holding at moderate to near strong status. Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR) suggests cloud activity took over the KWGA on 6/24 and is holding if not building today and forecast beyond. If anything clear skies started building over the Maritime Continent 7/16 and are forecast building from here forward. The low pass filter indicates a broad low pressure bias is established over the KWGA centered at 180W with 3 contour lines (starting 7/14) and it's leading edge well east of the dateline at 127W today (it started pushing east on 2/15). The primarily contours leading edge is to slowly ease east to 118W (Up to the California coast) at the end of the model run with it's center holding on the dateline and a 4th contour line developing late Nov 9. The high pressure bias was south of the mid-west US at 100W and is to dissipate on 9/29. 7/18 was the start of a major positive change in the development of El Nino with a advent of the Active Phase of the MJO and west anomalies and that momentum is growing strong each passing day. It appears a strong El Nino is developing.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (9/5) Today in the far West Pacific the leading edge of the 30 deg isotherm was easing east at 169W (previously 170W). The 29 degree isotherm was steady at 156W (previously 160W). The 28 deg isotherm line was easing east to 139W (previously 141W). The 24 degree isotherm extended the whole way across the Pacific but was getting a little deeper today at 37m (previously 25m but at one point down to 65m) in the far East. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies at +2 deg C started in the far West Pacific at 174E associated with newly developing Kelvin Wave #6 centered at 172W pushing east in a continuous stream feeding into a broad pocket of +3-5 degs anomalies over the East Pacific starting at 149W (145W on 7/20). +4-5 degree anomalies were building in coverage starting at 141W (building in coverage). The warm pool in the east is discharging to the surface but also growing (being backfilled) at the same time by new Kelvin Wave #6. There's now about 3+ months of warm water backed up off the Ecuadorian Coast (previously 2 months) today with a stream of warm water backfilling into it. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 8/26 indicates a large very warm stream of +1-2 degs anomalies extending west to east starting at 170E and over a large section of the subsurface equatorial Pacific and building while tracking east with 2 deg anomalies from 170W and points east of there and +4-5 degs anomalies from 117W and points east of there erupting into Ecuador. +1-2 degree anomalies were falling off the Maritime Continent merging with the preexisting warm stream with a new pocket of 2-3 degs anomalies centered at 180W (Kelvin Wave #6). In other words, this image suggests a steady flow of warm water flowing east from the Maritime Continent suggesting another Kelvin Wave is developing. No cool anomalies were indicated. El Nino is developing. The GODAS animation is 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately depicted since its satellite based.
Sea Level Anomalies: (8/26) Sea heights were positive across the equatorial Pacific starting east of 170E at +0-5 cms. +5 cm anomalies were in the east from 162W east into Ecuador with +10 cm anomalies from 150W east to 110W. Positive anomalies extending north into Central America up to the southern tip of Baja and south to Chile. This means no cool water was at depth. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram warm water continues at +1.00-2.00 degs over the East Pacific from 162W and east of there. A broad pocket of near neutral temps was in place west of the dateline. The warm water flow had backed off some with nothing to force more warm water east (i.e. no Active MJOs occurring). But that pattern is changing for the better now. Otherwise there's been no change since mid March, a steady flow of warm water pushing east.
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: (9/4) The latest images depict a strong warm signal along the coasts of Peru and Ecuador out to 105W and fading some again due to east anomalies there. Lesser but still serious heat continued west to about 150W (previously 137W). The warm pool is growing/building westward. Lesser heat extended west to the dateline and beyond. Heat also extends north up Mexico reaching Central Baja and south down into Patagonia. There is a very clear El Nino signal with the classic El Nino triangle in-place. The last remnants of La Nina are gone on the equator but remnants are still evident in a cool pool from a point well off Baja from 130W west to a point south of Hawaii. The Cool Pool is finally collapsing. La Nina is all but gone now atmospherically over the Pacific.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (9/4): A stream of solid cooling waters were on the equator from Ecuador west to 115W with warming water from there west to 150W. A neutral trend was along the coasts of Chile and Peru. The pattern of adding energy to the warm surface pool is stable but not inching forward. A warming trend had been well entrenched over the East Pacific since Nov 1 with no cooling waters over the equatorial East Pacific since 12/15 except for the time frame from 4/23 to today. And strong warming is extending southwest from Southern CA to a point south of Hawaii. This signals the demise of the cool upwelling 'La Nina hangover' pool.
Hi-res Overview: (9/4) Warmer than normal waters are filling the East Pacific off Chile, Peru, Ecuador and north up to Mexico with strong warming in many pockets along the immediate cost of Peru and Ecuador out to 110W and building. And the classic El Nino tongue of more intense warming is building considerably over the equator west to the dateline and beyond. Everything is now looking like El Nino. And the La NIna enhanced cool pool off California is fading and drifting west, while weakening.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (9/5) (Coral Reef temps run about +0.2 degrees higher). Today's temps were falling at +2.638 after rising at +3.073 (8/31) after rising to +3.164 (8/18) after being up to +2.925 on 8/10 after rising at +3.074 degs (8/7) after being up to +3.391 (on 7/20) and had been rising from +2.906 (starting 7/3) rising from +2.451 after peaking at +2.7926 on 6/13 and have been up in the +2.0 to +3.0 degs range since 4/1 having previously peaked at +2.891 (4/13). Previously temps reached +2.302 degrees on 4/6, +1.732 degs (3/22), up from +0.462 since 2/28. Temps had reached as high as +1.076 on 2/19 and were previously steady at +0.848 since 2/7. Previously they started steadily rising 11/13 when they were around -1.5 degs C.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (9/5) (Coral Reef anomalies run about +0.2 degrees higher). Today temps were steadily but slowly rising at +1.226 and on a slow upwards trajectory. Temps first time above 1.0 degs was on 8/7 after being up to +0.967 (8/1) up from +0.873 degs (7/25) after peaking at +0.985 (7/18). Previously temps were rising slightly at +0.882 (7/9) after being steady at +0.794 4-5 days and that after being steady at +0.895 (3 days near 6/25) after being in the +0.712 range the previous 9 days after previously rising to +0.975 on 6/9. We are now 31 days into a trend of being above the El Nino threshold (for the 2nd time). Temps reached the El Nino threshold for the first time on 5/17 at +0.507 then quickly fell over the next 10 days down to +0.378 (5/26). Previous peaks of +0.318 on 4/30 besting the previous peak at +0.199 on 4/21. Temps have been steadily increasing hitting 0.0 on 4/12 and were then more or less steady the previous 4 weeks. Temps previously rose to -0.402 on 2/23. Temps rose above the La Nina threshold (-0.5 degs) on 2/22 and had been rising slowly since 2/12 when they were about -1.0 degs C. They had been in the -1.0 deg range since at least Nov 2022.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Data (Nino3.4 Region)
Previous - Temps rose in early Nov 2020 after bottoming out at -1.25 degs, up to -0.01 degs in mid-June 2021 then fading to -1.05 degs in mid-Nov then rebuilding to -0.7 in mid Feb 2022 then fading to -1.1 degs in May before starting an upward climb peaking in mid-June at -0.65 degs and mid July at -0.55 degs. A steady decline set in after that falling to -1.00 degs in Aug and Sept rising to -0.8 degs mid Oct then falling to -1.0 in Nov but then slowly rising to -0.75 degs in Jan 2023 and up to -0.5 degs (above the La Nina threshold) on 2/12. Temps rose to +0.50 degs mid-May and were at +0.9 degs in mid-June, and +1.05 mid July reaching +1.30 degs early Aug.
Forecast (9/5) - Temps rose to +1.30 degs in mid-Aug and are to hold there into mid Sept, then start rising quickly, to +1.60 degs in Oct and +1.90 degs in Nov and solidly in El Nino territory. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps are forecast falling to +1.10 degs in Sept, then rising to +1.25 degs in Oct and +1.50 degs in Nov-Dec. According to this version of the model we are building into a high medium or low level strong El Nino through the Summer. But max temps are down from previous runs and continue to be adjusted downwards.
IRI Consensus Plume: The August 18, 2023 Plume (all models) depicts temps are +1.432 degs today and it's the 5th month above the La Nina threshold. Temps to rise steadily from here forward up to +1.682 degrees in Oct and 1.716 in November then fading from there. The dynamic model suggest temps peaking at +2.060 in Nov while the statistic models show +1.122 degrees. The dynamic models are running much hotter than the statistic models. The CFS model is right in the middle of the dynamic model range.
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 - all but the Daily Index was a lagging indicator):
Today (9/5) the Daily Index was negative at -2.49 and have been negative for 17 days, then positive the previous 7 days. It had been negative the previous 29 days (7/14-8/11) with a peak down to -37.30 on 7/25. It was positive the previous 21 days then was negative 11 days prior and positive 5 days previous then negative for 27 days previous ending 6/6 with a peak down to -29.32 on 5/31, -64.63 on 5/24 and -31.31 on 5/12. Previously readings were toggling between +10 and -10 for 13 days, but negative the 15 days previous to that, positive the 6 days prior to that after being mostly negative 25 days before that. It fell to -19.40 on 4/2. -17.44 on 2/22, the beginning of a change from which no return seemed likely. It was up to +21.85 on 2/10 and +55.74 on 12/22 and were in the +20 range the previous 22 days.
The 30 day average was rising at -10.92 and fell below the neutral point on 7/26. It rose above positive 7/3-7/25. It previously fell to -19.64 on 6/5 had been falling to -4.13 on 4/4 (lagging indicator driven by the Active Phase of the MJO) after falling to -0.52 on 3/22 previously falling to +4.18 on 11/27 and peaking at +21.57 (10/16) after supposedly peaking at +19.66 on 9/28. It was down to +6.89 on 7/29. It peaked at +20.34 (5/12) the highest in a year and beating last years high of +19.51 (1/14).
The 90 day average was falling some at -5.79 and turned negative the first time in years on 5/12. Recent max lows were -8.90 on 8/8 and -7.57 on 6/6. It previously peaked at +14.63 on 2/20, +15.61 on 10/25 and +12.92 on 8/11 and that after peaking at +18.40 (7/2) beating it's previous peak of +16.86 (5/31), the highest in a year. It previously peaked at +9.80 (9/21) after falling to it's lowest point in a year at +1.06 (6/9). The 90 day average peaked at +15.75 (2/23/21 - clearly indicative of La Nina then). This index is a lagging indicator but suggests that the Active Phase occurring now is starting to drive the index down, hopefully with no upward trend in sight for at least a year.
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 ever since, driven by recent La Nina conditions. In May-July 2021 it was the most negative its been in the -1.80 to -2.04 range since Sept 2012 (-2.99) and then fell to -3.16 in Oct 2021 (the lowest since July 1933) then settled at -2.72 in Nov and Dec 2021. Looking at the long term record, it seems likely we are still in the Cool Phase of the PDO (La Nina 'like') with no signs of moving to the positive/warm phase (El Nino 'like').
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